BeatRoute Magazine is a monthly arts and entertainment paper with a predominant focus on music – local, independent or otherwise. The paper started in June 2004 and continues to provide a healthy dose of perversity while exercising rock ‘n’ roll ethics.
KOOL FM a refreshing breeze with Christy and Fraser BY B. SIMM “This is the first radio station where I can say that I don’t like a song. The programmer is still going to play what they have their list, but I can say on-air that I don’t like it. Everywhere else I’ve worked, you have to put on the face of the station, and the ‘Hi, I love everything’ attitude.” Amid the avalanche of media that we get caught up in each day, early someone talk about peeing or pooping out loud is the funniest thing. Farrell morning radio is a pleasant way to be bombarded by info bites and then chirps in with the adult punch line, “Oh, is that their excuse,” adding a soundtracks. There are, of course, a variety of choices to consume the air little extra as to why grown-ups might pee on each other. Hehe. waves while lying in bed with one eye open, putting on the coffee or, all too Good innuendos are part of C&F’s yin and yang charm directed by unpretentious chit-chat that’s light-hearted but engaging with everyday topics that often, stuck on Glenmore Trail on route to work. Some folks prefer the chatty talk show hosts rehashing yesterday’s news range from airport travel, cooking meals, walking the dog, treating hangovers while manning the call lines from chatty citizens, some like frat house humour despite it seldom scores more than three stars out of five, some need by texting comments directly to C&F, helping to kick-start the day with a and pulling through the divorce. Their fanbase of regular listeners join in their shot of classic rock or contemporary twang, while others prefer the morning coffee. serenity of jazz, classical concertos or peaceful, easy listening with little to no “We just talk about normal shit. People text in, we talk about their shit, talk at all. And some us just flip to a station so the kid strapped in the safety and it’s almost as easy as doing this conversation,” says Tuff, explaining their seat is satisfied. relaxed, accommodating approach. 101.5 Kool FM plays all the pop songs bubbling up the charts. A lot Farrell adds that 101.5 FM’s hands-off policy allows them to have up to hip-pop: silky-smooth hip-hop and sexy R&B for the masses. It’s stuff most 30 minutes of talk time, which, for commercial stations, breaks the format. folkies, rockers, metalheads and country fans dread and denounce as sappy “Usually you have three to four minutes an hour of ins and outs filling it with insipid shit. Too bad for them. Lorde makes fantastic records, fading divas some he-hes and blah-blahs. But they wanted it unplanned, so we have a lot Gaga and Katy Perry leave a trail of gems behind, Taylor Swift, Sia and Portugal The Man spew out infectious smash hits, and Bruno Mars is the dashing would be told to shut up!” of talk time. I don’t know where I would be able to work again, because we love child of Prince and/or Michael Jackson. The shit is often irresistible, hardly insipid. But who would know unless you had a teen or preteen strapped in program before switching to another in Saskatoon called the Western Originally from Edmonton, Farrell enrolled in NAIT’s broadcasting the back seat of the SUV. Academy of Broadcasting. Referred to as WABC, she fondly says it’s more Kool FM also comes with a pleasant surprise called Christy and Fraser – a well known as “the Western Academy of Bingo Calling.” After working morning show tag-team that bottles the right stuff. They’re not zany, not in Northern BC, she relocated to the Okanagan Valley were she was cranked on caffeine, not slick, definitely not rock jocks, they’re clever but head-hunted by 101.5 FM and brought to Calgary. it’s not a political podcast, they’re fun and spirited with the right amount of “She was offered a job, and I had to fucking beg for one,” jokes Tuff, on-air zest that doesn’t dumb-it-down and insult your intelligence like most who’s been in radio a number of years. Trained in Lethbridge he’s moved biff-bam-pow stations do ad nauseam. around from Fort Mac to Brandon to Regina then Calgary spending seven Christy, last name is Farrell, defends other talk show hosts saying, “Sometimes I wonder if they’re allowed to be anything else. While they (radio at Kool FM. “This is the first radio station where I can say that I don’t like a years at X92. Like Farrell, Tuff enjoys and appreciates the freedom he has station management) want you to be you, it’s their version of you. But where song. The programmer is still going to play what they have their list, but I we work, your flaws, they embrace them. We don’t get in trouble for making can say on-air that I don’t like it. Everywhere else I’ve worked, you have to mistakes.” put on the face of the station, and the ‘Hi, I love everything’ attitude.” In There’s definitely a natural shoot-from-the-hip banter between the two mocking unison, C&F harmonize, “You gotta love the music!” that easily slides into a comic routine that, like all good PG comedy, works for To be clear, Kool Fm doesn’t just play the latest by Ed Sheeran. AC/ the kids, mom and dad. On one occasion C&F were discussing how to ease DC, Tom Petty are staples and even Motorhead’s “Ace Of Spades” came the pain and prevent infection from a jellyfish bite that might happen during blasting through the speakers when “Fast Eddie” Clark, one of the band’s that warm, mid-winter tropical getaway. Fraser (Tuff) said that peeing on founding members, passed away. Fun family radio for anyone who gives a the bite helps to disinfect the wound. Of course, any seven year-old hearing shit about good radio. 10 | FEBRUARY 2018 • BEATROUTE ARTS
THE LILY new DIY artist-run space where “art is fun” In the heart of Calgary’s Mission, a small collective of artists have transformed the basement of a century old house into a bright, shadowless, DIY gallery space, intended for artists of all media to share their work. It is called The Lily. “The space itself is not about one person. It was designed for the community. We wanted it to be a place for writers, curators and artists to come together,” says Lily. An experiment in what can be done with a space and community of artists, the space itself has white walls, white floors and a plethora of fluorescent lights creating a blinding and immersive room where art hangs as if floating. Replete with outdoor fire, DJs and a small party at each opening. The Lily has hosted three shows since its inception in the summer of 2017, and is currently showing the artwork of Eureka, California based visual artist Stephen Nacthigall, who has exhibited his work in Canada, the United States, Scotland and Germany. Titled lost in the meshes, Nachtigall’s work is an exploration of the relationship between technology and the natural world. Using computer software, video and sculptures to alter and manipulate images of plant life, he creates “growing pictures, translated and repackaged but still reaching to express an environment, a changing climate, a continual emergence. Pictures weaving in and out, reaching across to touch vertices and edges.” Adding, “The imagery in this show reflects the merging of those two in some way. It’s interesting that this computer software is trying to emulate these natural images, in the colours and textures,” says Nachtigall. “There’s always a push and pull between nature and technology. If we look at serious issues with more of a hybridity of the two, it may be a more healthy way to find solutions.” Going forward, The Lily will be continually looking for new submissions and collaborations. “There’s value in an idea,” says Lily. “This can be a space for anyone from established to emerging artists.” Adding that such DIY spaces create new cultures in Calgary’s art community. “I think a lot of these DIY, artist-run spaces haven’t been around for a quite some time. It brings a new form of history back into the city. Our space can be a reminder that art is fun, and doesn’t necessarily have to be commercial.” BY MICHAEL GRONDIN To contact The Lily, reach out to the firstname.lastname@example.org and for information on showings visit @the.lily_ on Instagram. ARTS BEATROUTE • FEBRUARY 2018 | 11