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Fred Penner, Sting + Shaggy

Fred Penner has been dubbed the King of Positivity, known for his work crafting minds through his long-running television hub Fred Penner’s Place. Two decades since he retired from the electronic babysitter – he’s earned the Order Of Canada and collaborated with artists that he raised on his latest album, including Alex Cuba, Bahamas, Basia Bulat, Ron Sexsmith and Terra Lightfoot. When he visited the House Of Strombo to join the epic Barenaked Ladies’ session, he slung his guitar upstairs to revel in the incredible history of his career from the origins of his show to attending school with Neil Young, the transformative family process through divorce and he delivers a Doc Watson cover.

“The most important thing to me in any kind of music is surprise.” Sting + Shaggy sat down with George at New York’s Reservoir Studios, the headquarters of their collaborative project, 44/876. In conversation, the two legends unravel the story behind the surprise, their first meeting, the modern definition of reggae, the essence of a good song, how age changes the approach, the value of music as a societal influence in political times, their personal experience as immigrants to America, the eternal influence of Bob Marley, how to plant the seeds of a revolution, artists controlling the “gateway to cool”, insecurities in their songwriting, and their mutual appreciation of Kendrick Lamar.

We celebrate the life and music of Grateful Dead’s Jerry Garcia to remember the day that his final ashes were scattered at the Golden Gate bridge in San Francisco. Through some of the most treasured covers of his expansive
catalogue; Lucinda Williams to Cracker, Elvis Costello to Patti Smith – it’s a long strange trip of musical bliss.

We’ll deliver 3-hours of uninterrupted music for music lovers by music lovers, including premieres of new music from Beatrice Deer, Bossie and iLLvibe.

Al Jourgensen of Ministry, Alanis Obomsawin + Spike Slawson

Al Jourgensen once said, “I will stop making music. You just make it a nice little utopian world. All right? Then I’ll shut the fuck up.” As the long-serving frontman of the industrial monsters Ministry, Uncle Al’s opinions have pulled punches on politics and conspiracies and beyond. His latest album AmiKKKant is a direct response to the disrespect of women in our society, the waning respect for the U.S. Constitution, the challenges of moral and ethic responsibility and “the man in the White House.” In conversation with George from Topanga, Al dissects the return to Ministry, the #MeToo movement, holding the listener accountable, how he harnesses his anger, collaborating with members of NWA, learning to have fun with music, modern counter-culture from Parkland, the rebirth through personal sobriety and beyond.

Documentary filmmaker Alanis Obomsawin has created fifty films in her fifty year career, revolving around the Indigenous experience in Canada. The prestigious voice joined George for a conversation during the Toronto International Film Festival to celebrate her latest film, Our People Will Be Healed, songs that kept her going throughout her career, her own musical career and the intention of filmmaking: “For our people to have a voice.”

Spike Slawson is known for his spectacular work as the manic frontman of Me First And The Gimme Gimmes, but he visits the House Of Strombo, armed with a ukulele to deliver some wonderful jams from his latest project: Uke-Hunt to cover Nancy Sinatra and Skeeter Davis.

Next in our series of celebrating icons while they’re with us, we turn our attention toward the great Japanese mind, Haruomi Hosono. His work shaped many through film soundtracks, ambient albums, production and pioneering efforts on the synth. We dig through his archives and welcome shepherds of the next generation, Mappe Of and Twist, to perform their thoughtful versions of his biggest songs.

We celebrate the life and music of Kurt Cobain to commemorate the day that he was found at home, outside of Seattle. We’ll revisit the sounds of his mind, female artists that he wore on his sleeve that influenced his work covering the work that influenced them – The Slits doing Marvin Gaye, The Breeders taking on The Beatles and The Raincoats’ rendition of The Kinks.

We’ll deliver 3-hours of uninterrupted music for music lovers by music lovers, including premieres of new music from Donovan Woods, Long Branch and Young Galaxy.

Brian Fallon, John Krasinski + Maestro Fresh Wes

It’s been a decade since Brian Fallon led The Gaslight Anthem with their genre-influencing record, The ’59 Sound. He has since forged his own trail with a solo career and his latest project SLEEPWALKERS is a return to the studio with producer Ted Hutt, the man behind the boards of that aforementioned seminal record. It’s been a minute since the New Jersey bread tunesmith and George have sat down together, so there’s more than a lot to talk about as Fallon visits with his guitar slung.

John Krasinski has earned the three-peat by writing, directing and staring in the dramatic-thriller, A Quiet Place. In an in-depth conversation, Krasinski goes deep on directing his wife Emily Blunt in the film, designing monsters, his love for Nick Drake, accepting fear in fatherhood, tracing his family history alongside his own father in Poland, his personal exploration spirituality, the kingdom of Bhutan and how he embraces immortal popularity with his performance as Jim Halpert on Netflix’s darling, The Office.

The Godfather of Canadian hip-hop returns to the House Of Strombo. Maestro Fresh Wes brings his signature bravado to commemorate his fiftieth birthday through a career-spanning conversation with George, looking ahead through the rear-view mirror. From the moment that “Let Your Backbone Slide” defined a culture in our country to his charitable work alongside War Child, there’s no denying that Maestro’s impact is everlasting.

We celebrate the life and music of Marvin Gaye, who was tragically killed by his father on this weekend in 1984. By spinning his songs of love, hope, redemption and joy, we’ll dance the pain away together to the spirit of the Prince of Motown.

We’ll deliver 3-hours of uninterrupted music for music lovers by music lovers, including premieres of new music from Harmonauts, Reuben And The Dark and Wild Child.

Strombo’s JUNOs After-Party Special

With mammoth hits and melodies that put you in a stranglehold, Barenaked Ladies are the Canadian institution that are truly the first indie success story in this country. Since that famous “Yellow Tape”, they’ve sold over 15-million albums worldwide, wrote the theme song for the biggest American comedy show, continue to give back with initiatives such as Plus1, MusiCounts and they continue that legacy with the recent release of their fifteenth album, “Fake Nudes.” In an incredibly intimate session, the BNL jam their biggest songs to an audience of fans and Canadian musicians from throughout their career and reflected on their 30-years with George. They’re joined by friends Fred Penner, Maestro Fresh Wes and Sloan’s Chris Murphy on a few of the classics.

Denise Donlon, this year’s recipient of the Walt Grealis Special Achievement Award, joins George for a one-on-one exploration. She is only the second woman to earn the award, following radio trailblazer Rosalie Tremblay in 1984. Donlon and George discuss the ongoing gender-parity movement, the current state of the Canadian music scene and her badass career as one of the most fascinating people in the industry, from hosting a campus radio station, tour-managing Headpins on the road with Whitesnake to her innovative contributions as VP/GM at MuchMusic, becoming the first female president at Sony Music Canada, her time as the executive-director and general manager of CBC English Radio and her ongoing work alongside initiatives, which include War Child Canada and Swim Drink Fish Canada.

In an incredibly rare performance session, Do Make Say Think celebrate their JUNO-nominated album, “Stubborn Persistent Illusions.” The post-rock collective formed twenty years ago in Toronto and have consistently approached their music with a fiercely independent self-production with the core remaining: Ohad Benchetrit, David Mitchell, James Payment, Justin Small and Charles Spearin. We welcome the songs of their first album in eight years, their zen approach and they serve up an unexpected cover of an instrumental classic.

We’ll revisit some recent House Of Strombo performances and conversations with this year’s JUNO nominees including The Beaches, Clairmont The Second, Iskwe, Jessie Reyez, Kid Koala, Land Of Talk, Leif Vollebekk, The Weather Station and WEAVES.

Some JUNO nominated friends of the show call-in to request songs from fellow-JUNO nominees, such as A Tribe Called Red, Anciients, Battle Of Santiago, Blue Hawaii, Broken Social Scene’s Brendan Canning, DJ Shub, The Jerry Cans, Lou Phelps, METZ, Nickelback’s Chad Kroeger, Rebecca Kohler and Rose Cousins.

First Aid Kit, Paul Shaffer + Twist

First Aid Kit’s Klara and Johanna Söderberg return with their fourth album, “Ruins” born in some self-described millennial restlessness, time away and a series of collaborations with members of R.E.M. and Wilco. In conversation with George, the sisters unravel the process of returning, modern femininity and the choice to have their father behind the sound boards on the road.

Paul Shaffer is best known as Letterman’s right-hand musical force, but it doesn’t end there – he dedicates his time to countless charities, wrote “It’s Raining Men”, turned down the offer to be George Constanza on Seinfeld, and is the man responsible for the Blues Brothers band. The list goes on. Shaffer calls George from New York to dig into his relationship with the Blues Brothers, his project with Toronto’s CAMH, reminisces about that iconic Godspell production and what next for the icon.

Twist is multi-instrumentalist and producer Laura Hermiston. She took a moment from preparing her next album with Holy Fuck’s Brian Borcherdt to rip through a few songs in the House Of Strombo, following her charming cover of Wham!’sLast Christmas” on our Holiday special.

We’ll deliver 3-hours of uninterrupted music for music lovers by music lovers, including premieres of new music from Zoe Sky Jordan.

Allan Hawco, CHVRCHES, Randy Bachman + Tal Bachman

Allan Hawco found himself burned out after “Republic Of Doyle” with his public identity in retirement. Since then, he’s kept a busy schedule of film, theatre, family and returns with his adaptation of Lisa Moore’s acclaimed novel, “Caught.” With that latest project rolling through CBC this month, Hawco joins George to open up about that transition of self, the creation of the new show, the history of drug culture in Newfoundland and the undeniable music of the seventies.

CHVRHCES return to the House Of Strombo to explore the making of their upcoming album “Love Is Dead.” Lauren, Iain and Martin open up about the process to write about “love or the lack of it,” the decision to welcome production outside of their holy trinity, feminist politics of today and their collaborations with EurythmicsDave Stewart and The National’s Matt Berninger.

Randy Bachman and his son, Tal Bachman, keep the rock rolling in a rare father-and-son conversation with George to celebrate Randy’s latest, “By George – By Bachman.” Randy reveals his reconstruction project as he approached the music of George Harrison and his relationship with the most recent addition to his touring band, his son.

We’ll deliver 3-hours of uninterrupted music for music lovers by music lovers, including premieres of new music from Acid Test and Rich Aucoin, along with song requests from our friends in PORCHES and Superorganism.

International Women’s Day Special

This week’s episode of The Strombo Show is our annual celebration of International Women’s Day.

We ring in the fifteenth anniversary of their mega album “Fallen” and their recent collection (“Synthesis“) with an intimate Evanesence session. As one of the architects of this last decade of pop-rock, Amy Lee is a powerhouse. She brings her bravado, stories and song to the House Of Strombo and talks all things motherhood, anxiety and shares memories behind that undeniably influential album.

Land Of Talk returned from seven years of mental and geographic scramble with “Life After Youth” and its lead single “This Time” ranked high on this year’s Strombo Hundo. She delivers those goods through her new songs, a Safia Nolin cover and an exploration of modern feminism, the importance of redefinitions and when you recognize mortality.

Maylee Todd’s most recent art piece “Acts Of Love” proposed the question: “What is your act of love and how does it bring you therapeutic value?” In conversation with George, the inimitable artist digs into that tale of one woman’s metamorphosis, the relationship between music and human nature, the meaning of happiness and more. All while performing new music and offering an exclusive cover of beat smith, Mndsgn.

We’ll share a moment with CHVRCHES ahead of next week’s thorough conversation about their recently announced album, “Love Is Dead.”

Some of the most badass House Of Strombo performances from this season are revisited, including The Beaches covering Linda Ronstadt, Belle Game covering Joan Baez, Black Mountain, Ellevator covering Kate Bush, Jessie Reyez, Weyes Blood covering Kate Bush and Zaki Ibrahim covering Mary J. Blige.

Song requests from some friends of the show including Buffy SainteMarie, Cassie Dasilva, Charlotte Day Wilson, LIGHTS, Margo Price, Milk And Bone, The Weather Station and George premieres new music from Skye Wallace.

 

Born Ruffians, The Secret Things + Thurston Moore

Born Ruffians’ latest album title “Uncle, Duke and the Chief” is an evocative tribute to their fathers, so it was only fitting that Luke Lalonde’s pops was in attendance for their House Of Strombo session. The road warriors from Midland deliver some new songs, reflect on their beginnings, the art of the mixtape and Luke also provides a nod to the late Dolores O’Riordan with a solo version of The Cranberries’ “Dreams.”

The Secret Things return to the program, as well. The LA trio that “formed out of friendship and a common love for playing loud” strip down in the House to jam a few tunes off their debut Shock Diary EP and offer one timely rendition of a PJ Harvey classic, which they covered to support awareness for transgender charities.

He’s a teacher of consciousness, a collaborator of many and the former talisman of Sonic Youth. In an intimate conversation that explores the relationship between the oneness of physical and metaphysical, Thurston Moore strums his guitar to reveal new songs and favourite songs, sharing the story behind “Kool Thing.” He also resurrects his rendition of The Fall’s “Psycho Mafia”, 30-years after covering it for Sonic Youth‘s Peel Session.

We’ll deliver 3-hours of uninterrupted music for music lovers by music lovers, including premieres of new music from Ensign Broderick, Low Sun and Tallies.

Alex Garland, Mount Eerie + Zaki Ibrahim

Alex Garland is the mind that wrote and directed the Academy Award-nominated film, “Ex Machina.” His directorial follow-up is “Annihilation,” an adaptation of Jeff VanderMeer’s trippy mystery that follows four female scientists on an expedition into the abandoned Area X. He visits the House to dive into the making of the film and beyond.

One of the finest records of this past year was crafted by Mount Eerie’s Phil Elverum. His album “A Crow Looked At Me” is a cathartic expression art documenting how he coped with the tragedy of losing his wife, shortly after giving birth to their daughter. He wrote and recorded songs in her work space, with her tools. In conversation with George, Phil shares his process with guitar in hand to recount a few songs from the record.

Zaki Ibrahim recently dropped one of the most-anticipated Canadian albums of the year, “The Secret Life Of Planets.” As the follow-up to her Polaris Prize-nominated debut stokes the fire, she brings her mysticism to the House Of Strombo to discuss birth, mortality, Stevie Wonder and more while performing her new songs and covering Mary J. Blige.

We’ll deliver 3-hours of uninterrupted music for music lovers by music lovers, including a premiere of new music from Adrian Sutherland covering Neil Young, produced by John Angus MacDonald of The Trews.