Indie88

Indie88, Toronto's newest radio station, flips the switch

After weeks of hype and what may have been the longest Rickroll of all time, Indie 88.1 officially hit Toronto's airwaves yesterday at noon. The dawn of a new era of Toronto radio kicked off with, quite appropriately, an epic Alan Cross promo, followed by Arcade Fire's "Ready to Start." Admittedly, it gave me chills.

The rest of the music played in the first hour was all over the map, and depending on who you talk to, it was either completely awesome or a huge letdown. I'm more inclined to lean towards the former - simply put, you're not going to hear "Paper Girl" by July Talk, "I Turn My Camera On" by Spoon, and "Lose It" by Austra on any other radio station in the city. Sure, there were a couple of questionable song choices, such as MGMT's "Electric Feel" and Snow Patrol's "Chasing Cars" (ok, that one is a HUGE misfire), and yes, we're all terribly sick of Mumford & Sons' "I Will Wait." Those tunes aside, it's clear that Indie 88.1 is aiming to regularly offer listeners a fresh alternative to what we're used to. And any station that plays music from Whitehorse is a-ok in my books.

If you expected them to play nothing but unsigned local acts and truly indie Canadian bands, you have to understand that the word "Indie" in the station's name primarily refers to the fact that it's an independently owned and operated station. While they're going to play indie music, they're also going to play tunes that appeal to a broader audience - radio is a business, after all.

My advice is to tune in, give it a listen, and see what Indie 88 is all about. I sense a very bright future for the station.

[MUSIC EDITOR'S NOTE]
Hi Indie 88. I think Bryan hit the Indie™-sound vs independent music nail on the head (have you seen that Miley Cyrus movie LOL? I mean it's called LOL. Cyrus's crush is in a Snow Patrol-esque band which is described as "indie." No girls in LOL touch musical instruments.) I'm just going to add a couple of things: I expected Indie 88 to be exactly what it was in its first hour: guitar-centric, almost entirely male fronted bands, with brooding, sensitive macho-ness in place of traditional rock's rugged brand of macho. I totally get the need to build a following playing music many people like. I just want to let you know that once you get on your feet, I'm interested in hosting a late night drone & psychfolk show, so hit me up.


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