Ypsilanti: CBC Radio 2

When I flaneur I often have music playing in my head. From childhood music has played an integral role in my overall sense of well-being. Without, I become rather crabby and very curmudgeonly. By the time I left Chicago in 1997, public radio there had become a vast land of talk radio. Granted it was NPR talk radio, but talk radio nonetheless.

I do like the occasional talk-radio program. But mostly I live for music on the radio and interviews with musicians. I could the rest of my life and never watch another television program again. Without radio, though, I would be lost.

One of the very best and great things about Ypsilanti, Michigan is our proximity to Windsor, Ontario. We are just east enough from Ann Arbor to receive the Windsor feed of Canadian Broadcasting Corporation’s Radio 2 broadcasts. Every day. All day. I love that the local news is Canadian and the world news is from a Canadian perspective. I love that they have a variety of music ranging from opera to jazz (though Tonic, Radio 2’s jazz show, is fantastic, it will never be the same for me once long-time Tonic hostKatie Malloch retired in early 2012).

In short, CBC Radio 2 provides an international perspective for a tiny hamlet on the Huron and Ypsilanti rivers. For a world-travelled soul such as myself, I find I need a decidedly non-American approach to both the news and the music.

And it is the realm of music the Radio 2 shines. Of course they play Canadian musicians of all genres. But they also play lesser known American musicians or unknown cuts from concepts albums by more well-known American artists. Radio 2’s commitment to travel the lesser known musical sounds (read here not-so-corporate”) led me to Zooey Deschanel’s collaborative debut album, She & Him, Volume One when a Radio 2 DJ played Why Do You Let Me Stay Here.’

Hearing this song, I felt like a shot of adrenaline had entered my heart. I’ve listened it to endlessly and am grateful for Radio 2 and our Canadian friends to our north. The quality of radio programming offered without commericials and with a commitment to a much greater variety of artists than NPR could ever hope to offer makes living in my little rust-belt hamlet well worth it. In fact, it’s one of the reasons I’m loathe to move, that’s how much I love CBC Radio.

(For your additional listening pleasure, I include below a very charming video of Why Do You Let Me Stay Here’ that Zooey Deschanel and Joseph Gordon-Levitt created for their movie 500 Days of Summer. Enjoy!)

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