Thursday, February 28, 2008

The Vinyl Cafe

Every weekend, I listen to "The Vinyl Cafe" on CBC radio. Depending on how early I'm up, I will even listen to the Atlantic or Eastern feed on the computer on Saturday mornings. The host of this hour long program is Stuart McLean, a master humourist and storyteller. He plays an eclectic mix of music and places a strong emphasis on Canadian music.
If you go to; you will be greeted with this overview on the main page:
The Vinyl Cafe is a radio show heard on CBC Radio in Canada, on selected public radio stations in the United States, Sirius Satellite Radio channel 137, on Podcast and live online. The show is written and hosted by Stuart McLean and features stories, essays and music (both live and recorded). The Vinyl Cafe stories are about Dave, owner of the second hand record store, and they are collected in books and on CD. The stories also feature Dave's wife, Morley, their two children, Sam and Stephanie, and assorted friends and neighbours.The motto of Dave's store - and of the radio show - is: "We May Not Be Big, But We're Small".
From the main page you can click on any of the features to get more info. Some of those features are the "story exchange" (listeners submit short, true stories that may be read on air), tour dates, store, and special features ("last dance" and the annual "Arthur Awards").
The "Arthur's" are an annual awards show that Stuart and his team have created to celebrate the importance of the unimportant. The Arthur's are named for Dave's dog, Arthur. You nominate whoever you want in whatever category you want and tell why this person deserves an award for whatever it was they have done. It could be something as simple as the neighbour who shovels your walk for you without pay, the bus driver who is nice to everyone no matter what or the stranger who went that extra mile to return a lost item. It's entirely up to you!
The stories about Dave and his family and friends are highly entertaining and also very touching/thought provoking. Stuart always finds a way to balance the humour with the humanity and the world around us. A word of warning though, Never eat or drink while listening to a Vinyl Cafe story. You never know when Stuart might throw in a line that will have you laughing so hard that you almost choke.
Stuart takes the show on tour several times a year and is embarking on a western Canada tour during March. Check the site for a show near you. The show in Winnipeg on March 18 is being taped, to air at a later date. I've never been to a Vinyl Cafe concert but it is on my list of things I want to do someday. For now I'll have to settle for listening to the broadcasts.
I highly recommend that you click on "how to listen" and select one of the methods and give this wonderful show a listen. You'll laugh, you'll think and find your foot taping to the music. Whether you listen while working or relaxing, it is a refreshing break from this hectic world.
P.S. Thanks to a ticket giveaway on the Vinyl Cafe Facebook page, I did get to go to a live concert here in Winnipeg in February 2012. You can read the story here.

No comments: