Near Perfect Pitch reaches 25

perfect_pitch_logo_smA reminder to check out “Near Perfect Pitch” hosted by Dara Mottahed, recorded in the CKCU studios. A weekly, 3 hour, Music Podcast featuring the best in Indie, Alternative, BritPop, C86, Shoegaze, Punk, Post-Punk, New Wave, College, new releases, guest interviews and regular features. Near Perfect Pitch has now reached the 25 show tally! (80+ hours of music and 25 guest interviews!) Near Perfect Pitch has a brand new web site at


CKCU mourns the loss of Mary Mackinnon

heavy-friendsThis world just got a little darker as our very special “heavy” friend, CKCU volunteer & show host Lady Mary Mackinnon passed away Thursday morning (Dec.15th) after a long battle with cancer. She is survived by her son Liam and her husband Régis Loreau, also a CKCU host. A staggering loss to our radio and music community, Mary’s light shone brighter than most, an amazing woman of tremendous passion, warmth and intelligence that we could all do well to aspire. Originator of the program Heavy Friends (every Saturday 8-10PM), Mary was challenging and thought-provoking in her approach to radio, always bringing something wildly unique and deep to the airwaves and beyond. She was also a fearless explorer of the globe, sometimes traveling far and wide to be immersed in music and culture that moved her. Mary was also an esteemed and accomplished  lawyer, practicing labour and employment law for over 20 years with a focus on helping those unfairly treated and marginalized in our community. She was truly one of a kind and will never be forgotten.

There will be a “Celebration of Life” that will take place on her birthday (Tuesday, February 21st, 2017) at First Unitarian Congregation of Ottawa and St. Anthony’s Hall. More details to follow… donations in her name/honour to Kidney Cancer Canada (where Mary was a board member) would be greatly appreciated.

Also, this past Saturday evening, a special show featuring words and music from Lady Mary… hosted by Bijon Roy, Chris Ikonomopoulos and Régis Loreau from the Heavy Friends crew.

Kelly Sloan w/ Curtis Chaffey on The Saint Brigid’s Sessions

ksloan_cchaffeyTune in to Stephen Neale’s edition of the Saturday Morning program for the SAINT BRIGID’S SESSIONS. Recorded at the Saint Brigid’s Centre for the Arts, located in Ottawa’s Lowertown, this former church, which was built in 1890, plays the ideal host to the sessions.  The goal of the Saint Brigid’s Sessions is to capture live unplugged performances by artists in as technically minimal and unobtrusive manner as possible in order to capture a natural sound in what really is a magnificent sounding space.

The Saint Brigid’s Sessions are sponsored by Brigid’s Well, a pub located in the basement of the Centre.  Brigid’s Well is open Wednesday through Sunday beginning at 4PM. The address is 310 St. Patrick Street.

The next Saint Brigid’s Sessions airs Saturday, December 24th at 9AM featuring Kelly Sloan with Curtis Chaffey. Photo Credit: Josée Robillard.

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#WhatDrivesYou: Ryan Bresee


Ryan Bresee sits in the on air studio at CKCU.
words and photo by Beverly Osazuwa

Ryan Bresee is the host of Whatever’s Cool with Me, a general music show for all people and genres.

How long have you been involved with CKCU?

I started with CKCU when I was a student here. I was a student in the journalism program from 1995-99 and I started volunteering in 1996. I would come in and just volunteer in-between classes and started doing the closed circuit.

An over-nighter opened and I did a 2 in the morning to 7 in the morning shift for a few months, and then a Thursday morning spot opened. I applied for it and I started doing that in August of 1997, so this past august I just celebrated 19 years in that time slot. I’m just trying to do something special for 20 next year.

What made you want to be involved with radio/CKCU?

I’d been listening to CKCU while I was in high school and I was really drawn to a lot of the music. I like pop music and I grew up listening to old country, old rock, classical and stuff like that. I liked pop music, but I really liked a lot of the indie rock stuff, the rap, and electronic was starting to become a bigger thing at that point and I really wasn’t hearing that elsewhere. Continue reading

#WhatDrivesYou: Shelley Ann Morris



words and photo by Erik Stolpmann

Shelley Ann Morris is a co-host of Welcome to My World—a Wednesday morning program made by, for, and about people with disabilities.

How long have you been involved at CKCU?

I’ve been a host for about three years, but I’ve been an avid listener since I was a kid. I can remember when CKCU went on the air November 1975, and I’ve listened on and off ever since I was about 14 years old. So I guess I’ve been involved since that time but an actual host for 3 years.

When we’re broadcasting—when we’re putting together our shows on-the-air—we never know who’s going to be listening. I was that little kid upstairs in her bedroom with the radio turned on, doing her homework while listening to the likes of Junior Smith, Ron Sweetman, John Tackaberry, and Roch Parisien, who are still around in different forms.

Why did you first become involved?

I always dreamed of being on the radio. You know when you’re a kid, and you have these dreams, but then life gets in the way, and you put those dreams on the shelf for a little bit—but they stay with you.

What happened with us, on January 14, 2012, Matthew Crosier was doing a presentation at CKCU related to making good radio. So we showed up—myself, my co-host Kim Kilpatrick, and another woman named Parastou—after hearing about it from Chris White. Of course, Chris is the host of Canadian Spaces on CKCU, and I think his whole reason for being is to give other people their voice. With his help and support from others, we decided that this was something that we wanted to pursue. Chris said, “Okay, you want to learn how to be on the radio? I can show three blind and visually impaired people how to do that.” So we did some sessions in the practice studio and we learned our craft and Chris taught us a lot of things. With lots of practice, we ended up feeling confident and proposed a show called “Welcome To My World.”

What is the premise of your program?

At that time, I don’t think there was another disabilities show on the air in Ottawa. So we proposed a show by, for, and about people with disabilities.

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A Shocktober special: 10 cult classics you need to see












by Michael O’Keefe

Shocktober is the perfect excuse to catch up on horror films. From the great to the not-so-great, there’s always so much to explore. Compiled here are not necessarily the best horror films of all time, but a collection that’s so much fun you’ll hardly miss trick or treating. Happy Halloween, y’all!

1    The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2: While it’s not a classic, anything-goes-let-it-all-burn film like the first one is, the second  installment in this series is very funny. I mean, how can you beat Dennis Hopper having a chainsaw duel with Leatherface?

2    The Toxic Avenger: A cult classic from Tromaville! New Jersey’s first Super Hero! The Toxic Avenger might not be your favourite movie but maybe it should be. Basically the local wimp gets bullied one day, thrown in toxic waste and runs around town stopping crime.

3    I Drink Your Blood: This film is about a bunch of jerks going to stir stuff up in a small town. A kid has enough and infects their food with rabies, and the jerks go on a killing spree. Need I say more?

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#WhatDrivesYou: Richard Parks of Both Kinds of Music

Richard Parks sits at a desk, smiling.

photo and words by Erik Stolpmann

Richard Parks hosts a long-running show, Both Kinds of Music, on CKCU FM. As Parks heads into his 11th Funding Drive, we asked him—what drives you? 

How long have you been involved in CKCU?

I started with CKCU in late 2004 and Both Kinds of Music started in March 2005.

What made you want to start a show at CKCU?

I wanted to highlight the local community and show people great music was happening here. I just wanted to focus on the shows I was going to and the musicians that I saw there. And it sort of morphed into a show of six or seven songs I geek out about—they come from anywhere in the world. But the bulk of the show comes from who’s playing around town, who’s released records, and I want to make sure everyone knows that they’re happening.

What is the premise behind Both Kinds of Music?

In my mind, Both Kinds of Music is country-ish rock and garage-ee rock. It could also be local and international. But it really comes down to that I like the country music and the garage music. Genres are silly. No one works in a genre. I find that artists that start in one end up in different ones. At the end of the day, the show is really about music I like, and that’s the only definition that matters.

Why have you stuck around for so long?

It is work—really fun work. When I started, I didn’t realize what CKCU meant to the local community.

Over the 11 years I’ve been there, I really do see from an artist’s point of view that we’re there to promote new artists and give them that opportunity. I know from the people that put on music—Irene’s, Zaphod’s, Dominion Tavern, Blacksheep Inn, or even the National Arts Centre—that it matters to them if someone in the media is helping them do what they’re doing.

So I was just flabbergasted last year during the funding drive when Irene’s called in a huge generous donation for me. I’m just a patron of Irene’s, is what I think. But then I started to think that I play a lot of music, and I talk about that—and that matters to them. At the end of the day, the main reason I stay at CKCU is that all the work that I put in comes back at me so hard and so fast, and it pays me back in ways that I could never anticipate. Continue reading

REVIEW: Sleepy and the Noise release debut EP


by Beverly Osazuwa

Ottawa’s Sleepy and the Noise steps onto the scene with their debut EP, Altitudes.

Sleepy and the Noise brings us emotionally charged lyrics over easy listening melodies. The indie-rock-pop trio formed in 2012, but the music started much before that.

Before Sleepy and the Noise, lead singer Christian Pasiak was working on solo projects. In an interview with Ottawa Showbox, the musician talks about how he found love in singing and songwriting. When drummer Kira Montfort and bassist Sarah Fitzpatrick joined Pasiak, they completed the sound.

Altitudes is an authentic piece. The four-track EP moves from mellow beats in “Mountains and Valleys” to a harder sound in “Crossroads and Graveyards.” Pasiak’s lyricism shows its strength in tracks two and three, “Noisy Universe” and “My Medusa,” where he tackles the depth and struggles of anxiety. Continue reading

surinder_jajeet_smAsian Sounds in partnership with Urban Tandoor restaurants (Bells Corners location) have arranged for a lunch buffet on the 29th of October at 11:30 a.m. The lunch buffet is priced at $15.00. Part of the proceeds will go to CKCU’s funding drive. Please call Urban Tandoor at 613-820-1700 for reservations and mention “CKCU Funding Drive”. Please make your reservations before the 28th of October. Asian Sounds is hosted by Jagjeet and Surinder Sharma (pictured here) every Wednesday evening from 6 – 7 PM on CKCU!