May 5, 2016

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May 10, 2016

2:00 pm PST

CiTR 101.9 FM

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Aug 22, 2015

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Onward To the Edge

Well. I guess that’s that.

I never ever thought I’d do radio; out of many, many different arts and performance mediums, it was never on my list, but it turns out that I really love it. The first time I ever went live on the air, in March(ish) 2012, I was absolutely terrified; my parents and my then-partner could hear the telltale tremble in my voice. When I first began, I wrote out full scripts detailing what I planned to say and timed each set down to the minute; over time I trained myself to improvise on mic and would plan things out on the fly. I finally pitched my own weekly program in late 2013, and I have loved nearly every show I’ve ever done. No matter what was going on in my life, I could virtually guarantee that I’d walk out of the radio station with a smile on my face. Once a week, I got to share my love of music with the public; it has been one of the most positive and enjoyable parts of my life for the past two years. I got to meet insanely talented musicians, see incredible live performances, and discover music from every genre. Today, we hit the pause button on Particles and Waves.

I hope this isn’t the end. I don’t think it’s the end. I may be moving on from Victoria, but UBC has a radio station too, and they know I’m coming as a student in September. I hope to sign on once again in the very near future and gush about music from old favourites and from new artists I haven’t met yet. Good for Grapes and The Zolas are both releasing new albums soon and I have to tell someone about it. I’ll be sure to keep you all up to date on social media if anything develops.

So this isn’t the very end for Particles and Waves, just perhaps an extended hiatus. Nonetheless, I’ve learned so much and had so much fun these past few years, and I have a few people who helped me along the way.

Thank you to the staff of CFUV 101.9FM, who were so supportive and kind every single day.

Thanks to my parents and friends who listened in, and especially my dad who would text me his live commentary.

Thanks to Adrian Chalifour of Towers and Trees, the very first musical guest I ever interviewed.

Thanks to The Royal Oui, Allison Brown, Raine Hamilton, Lisa Joyce, Little Coyote, The Fast Romantics, The Written Years, Heard in the Mountains, Doug Hoyer, Chersea, Mikaela Ben Dori, The Auricle, For Esme, Jaron Chiciac, Ian Dixon, and West My Friend, for being amazing guests.

And thank you, listeners, for nearly 80 shows celebrating the sheer joy of music. It’s been a pleasure.


melodysheep – Ode to the Brain (Symphony of Science)

Darren Korb – Build That Wall [Zia’s Theme] (Bastion OST)

Towers and Trees – West Coast (West Coast LP)

Annie Sumi – Reflections of Me (Reflections)

Good for Grapes – A Worthier Man (Man on the Page)

West My Friend – The Cat Lady Song (When the Ink Dries)

Rayannah – Tivoli (Boxcar Lullabies)

The Weepies – Learning to Fly (Sirens)

The Strumbellas – Spirits (Spirits)

Kathryn Calder – Blue Skies (Kathryn Calder)

Winona Wilde – Pop & Chips for the Apocalypse (You Lose Some, You Lose Some)

Untrained Animals – Visitors (III)

Jeremy Fisher – I Love You…So? (The Lemon Squeeze)

Gospel Machine – Reunion Day (Your Holy Ghost)

The Zolas – Cold Moon (Ancient Mars)

Library Voices – Que Sera Sarah (Summer of Lust)

Paul Simon – The Obvious Child (Rhythm of the Saints)

The New Pornographers – You Tell Me Where (Brill Bruisers)

melodysheep – Onward to the Edge (Symphony of Science)

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Feb 21, 2015

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FUNDRIVE 2015 and Custom Mix CDs

It’s that time again.

I’m thrilled and honored to have been the host of Particles and Waves for nearly a year and a half. I can’t describe how much fun it is to play music for you each week, and I hope to do it for as long as I can and get even more guests, interviews, and great tunes. Unlike other radio stations, I’m able to run Particles and Waves with very few restrictions and minimal advertising. CFUV is a non-profit station funded through student fees, government grants, and—most importantly—generous donations from listeners.

Each year in March we hold a week-long fundraising extravaganza that we call Fundrive. The aim is to raise money which goes toward equipment upgrades and purchases, which enables us to keep rocking out over the airwaves. CFUV has been active for thirty amazing years, and we want to go for many more. Fundrive 2015 will be taking place March 13th to 20th, and every show has a minimum donation quota to meet in order to achieve our goal.

What does this have to do with me?
Excellent question, reader! As with last year, Particles and Waves has been tasked with raising a total of $230, and pre-pledges are now open. You can donate as much or as little as you’d like, but we’ve got some really fabulous prizes if you live in Victoria and the promise of a tax receipt if you donate $25 or more.

BUT HERE’S THE DEAL: Just like last year, I am going to sweeten the pot. If you donate $20 or more before March 14th (that’s the date of my Fundrive show), I will make you a custom music playlist. It’ll be either through Dropbox or through Spotify—we can discuss the nitty-gritty later—but it will be a custom curated mix, with a combination of old favourites as well as songs that have never been played on Particles and Waves. $20 is two albums on iTunes; it’s a few coffees at Starbucks, or a couple of drinks out on the town. But for us at CFUV, it means a lot.


Just go to the donate page on CFUV’s official site, and click link to donate using UVic’s secure server. Leave the “Designation” section as “CFUV Fundrive” and–this is important–specify that you’re donating for Particles and Waves in the comments section. Once you’ve done that, get in contact with me either on twitter @MiaSteinberg or by emailing me through mia [at] miasteinberg [dot] com, to let me know that you’ve donated and discuss getting your custom mix CD!

Thank you, in advance, for whatever you’re able to donate. If you’ve felt like you’ve discovered even one artist thanks to my show, please consider throwing in a few bucks; it keeps the computers running and the microphones sounding sharp.

– Mia

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Jan 6, 2015

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The 9 Best Albums of 2014

I am terrible at getting these sorts of lists out; I waffled on last year’s so badly that I ended up only doing a writeup of my number one pick, when I actually had a lot to say. 2014 marks the first full year that I’ve had my radio show, so I was up to date on the music releases throughout all twelve months and had a fairly reasonable grasp of what came out and what I liked. Looking over my picks, I think it’s clear where my head was at in 2014. I wanted a lot of simple, well-made pop/indie that made me bounce a little more and brood a little less. Such is life, it seems.

Unfortunately I haven’t had the chance to listen to things like Black Messiah by D’Angelo, LP1 by FKA Twigs, or Run the Jewels 2. I have no doubt that those albums deserve to be on best-of lists, and my goal for 2015 is to listen to a wider variety of music and try to expose myself to more genres and artists. I also couldn’t come up with a tenth album to put on the list. Consider the tenth slot filled by Portugal. The Man’s albums, because I’ve been listening to them way more than many of the new releases I should have paid attention to.

But in the end, I’m relatively proud of this list; I put a lot of work into it, and I look forward to rereading it next December and wondering what the heck I was thinking. Without further ado, here are my top 9 albums of 2014:

9: Broken Bells, “After the Disco”

I’m a little shocked that this one is on here, and it’s probably the entry I’ll most regret in a year. James Mercer is the king of music which starts out really interesting but gets less and less good the more I listen—that’s precisely what happened with Broken Bells’ first album, and The Shins before it. Back in 2010 I wanted so badly to love his collaboration with Danger Mouse, but I just…didn’t. Now comes After the Disco, which improves on the formula; it presents tighter compositions and a better sense of energy. While there’s no “Ghost Inside” on this album, the overall quality is higher when averaged across all eleven tracks. The first three songs are almost perfect, and high-energy tracks like “Medicine” and “No Matter What You’re Told” keep the momentum consistent so that the slower songs never drag. After the Disco is on this list in part because it was such a pleasant surprise to find that six, seven, or ten months later, it’s still quite fun to listen to.

8. West My Friend, “When the Ink Dries”

This Canadian quartet won’t show up on many other lists, which is sad; When the Ink Dries is one of the most original folk albums I’ve heard this year—and 2014 was the year that I my interest plateaued when it comes to folk music. West My Friend describe themselves as “Cascadian third-wave indie prog chamber folk-roots”; I describe them as “the most intelligent lyricists I’ve ever heard”. With tracks featuring Sylvia Plath, multicoloured tattoos, baleen whales, and much more, West My Friend makes fun, intellectually stimulating music that will make you very happy. Highlights include the delightful “Missing You”, and the exquisite seven-and-a-half-minute “Cat Lady Song”, which might just be my favourite single song released this year; it’s the story of two boy cats who fall in love and conspire to get their respective cat ladies to fall in love too, so that they can all live together and hang out. Amazing.

7. Mother Mother, “Very Good Bad Thing”

I’ve liked Mother Mother’s previous work, but never as much as this. Very Good Bad Thing is an unabashedly sexy album, full of all the grinding beats and dirty synth riffs you’d expect from a hazy drug-and-sex-fueled rock star life. I understand that it has its faults, but I’ve really enjoyed this album every time I’ve played it—just listen to “Get Out the Way” or the title track and tell me that Mother Mother isn’t having the absolute best time of their lives being big loud rock stars. But even with all of that manic energy, there’s still room for quieter moments like the heartbreaking “Kept Down” or the effective “Alone and Sublime”. Then there’s “Reaper Man”, undoubtedly my favourite track of the lot, which merits a mention because god damn is it ever sexy and fun.

6. St. Vincent, “St. Vincent”

I finally caved. I put this on Spotify to see what all the fuss was about. I couldn’t get through the first track, “Rattlesnake”, the first two times I tried, but the third attempt proved the charm. I found Tori-Amos-on-a-mild-dose-of-Ritalin songs like “Prince Johnny”; I found hauntingly lovely ballads like “I Prefer Your Love”. I found straight-up great rock songs like “Regret” and stuff that sorta horrified and fascinated me at the same time, like “Digital Witness”. Forty minutes later I emerged, bleary-eyed, wondering where the hell I was.

This album is perfectly, gloriously, pretentiously, outrageously weird. I’d be remiss if I didn’t include it, because I have to keep my Pretentious Indie Snob cards somehow. I recognize that St. Vincent has a lot of musical talent—that’s part of how it ended up so high on this list—and that it’s the sort of thing enjoyed by people with far more refined taste than mine. I do like St Vincent, but to be perfectly honest, I’m still not quite sure: what in the fuck just happened?

5. Ages and Ages, “Divisionary”

I’ve never come across an album that’s as chameleon-like as this one. Ages and Ages manages to pull aural inspiration from Of Montreal, Buffalo Springfield, The Shins, and Mumford and Sons, all without ever sounding derivative. Divisionary was crafted as an antithesis to the typically mopey music of the Pacific Northwest, and it succeeds in that goal; it’s impossible to listen to this and not end up enjoying the rest of your afternoon. It’s an incredibly original album with nary a flaw in sight.

4. Stars, “No One is Lost”

Nothing will ever be as good as 2004’s Set Yourself on Fire, but Stars has done something truly remarkable and wondrous with No One is Lost. This is a dance album for introverts who hate dance clubs; it’s a disco album for shut-ins who have never been to a disco. Stars has assembled a fabulous collection of songs, capturing the loneliness and desperation which underlie the apparently fun club scene—but it never feels sad. Instead, it’s an album made for dance parties in your apartment—and in that sense it is full of joy. It’ll never be played on Thirsty Thursday, but if you go to your nerdiest hangout at closing time you might just hear “From the Night” or “No Better Place” as you eye that shy bearded dude reading William Gibson at the bar. It took Stars the better part of a decade to climb out from behind Set Yourself on Fire‘s shadow, but with No One is Lost they are definitively, finally back in the spotlight—and clearly loving every minute of it.

3. Coeur de Pirate, “Trauma”

I’m a sucker for a good album of covers, and so many of them are so often disappointing. However, Quebecois songstress Coeur de Pirate came along early in the year and absolutely nailed it with “Trauma”. A soundtrack to a French-Canadian TV show of the same name, “Trauma” consists of thirteen absolutely inspired song choices, ranging from classics like Tom Waits’ “Bottom of the World” to modern songs from Amy Winehouse and Bon Iver. Coeur de Pirate’s smoky, haunting voice will leave you floored on each and every one of them, as she transforms old Kenny Rogers country songs into sad, genuine tales of lost love and forces you to take another look at old Nancy Sinatra hits. Trauma is very simply produced, but it’s the very best type of simplicity. There’s nothing frivolous here; just Coeur de Pirate’s insanely gorgeous voice and enough backing instrumentation to make each song hit you square in the feels.

2. Jeremy Fisher – “The Lemon Squeeze”

“I wrote a piano pop album because I was out of guitar songs,” said Fisher during a performance in Victoria, BC. He may have switched primary instruments, but Fisher’s magnetic personality and clever songwriting skills are out in full force on The Lemon Squeeze, and the focus on piano makes him sound like an optimistic, less sardonic Ben Folds. If you’re used to albums full of meaning and deep thematic threads, The Lemon Squeeze is the best kind of treat; it’s a reminder of what pop music can be when talented people make it. From the energetic opener “I Love You…So?” through the snarkily sexy “Uh-Oh” and the clap-along “Song in My Heart”, Fisher never drops his momentum and never tries to make The Lemon Squeeze anything more than it is: a fun, well-written collection of pop songs that will bring a smile to your face and a spring to your step.

1. The New Pornographers, “Brill Bruisers”

Their best album since Twin Cinema. The best album of the year.

It’s tempting to just leave those cards on the table and knock off early, but I should probably say a little more than that. The thing about the New Pornographers is that I think they make some of Canada’s best music, period. It’s inevitable, considering the powerhouse lineup of talent behind the mics, but when they’re on they are fucking on. They just produce the most incredible pseudo-psychedelic indie-pop; it’s catchy and fun even on its worst day, full of emotion but never over the top. And Brill Bruisers is the New Pornographers at their very best; it bursts out of the gate with a gasp of joy and keeps going until the ever-hopeful finale, hitting bullseyes at every turn along the way.

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Mar 5, 2014

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CFUV Fundrive is Coming


Fantabulous listeners! Thanks to all who donated ahead of time. Today’s show will be a little different, with a lot of discussion on why Fundrive is important and the great stuff you can win if you donate. You can call in during the show (you may even get me on the line!), or any time during Fundrive this week, to donate on behalf of Particles and Waves.

Everyone who donated already, or donates during today’s show will be thanked on air, and local donors have a chance to grab some sweet prizes. Thank you to EVERYONE, whether you’re just an occasional listener or a regular fan; it’s an absolute honor to know there’s someone listening.   -Mia

Hey, listeners. Let’s chat for a second.

Sure, Mia. What’s up?
For about five months now, I’ve been able to hang around each Saturday, play new and wonderful music, and interview some of the insanely talented people who make that music. I have come out of the studio each week with a big smile on my face, almost without exception, because doing radio makes me stupidly happy. And every time someone says hi on Twitter or calls in to the studio during the broadcast, I get Sally-Field-level giddy that people are actually listening. I’ve been able to play the original Star Wars soundtrack on vinyl and share songs from little-known artists who deserve all the airplay I can give.

I get to do all of this without restrictions and with minimal advertising because CFUV is a non-profit station, funded through student fees, government grants, and generous donations from our listeners. And each year in March we hold a fundraising week, called Fundrive, with the aim to raise money to go towards equipment purchases and upgrades that enable us to keep bringing you a better listening experience. Fundrive 2014 is happening in two weeks, from March 14th to 21st, and every show has a minimum donation amount to meet in order to raise our overall $25,000 goal.

Okay. What’s this got to do with me?
Particles and Waves has been tasked with raising $230 for Fundrive this year, and pre-pledges are now being accepted. You can donate as much or as little as you’d like, BUT donations of $25 or more entitle the donor to either a tax receipt or one of the many amazing gifts in the CFUV prize room! The station will have CDs, vinyl albums, T-shirts, posters, gift certificates to local restaurants, and a whole lot more. Plus, you get to help fund another year of Particles and Waves, with tons more musical guests and amazing track lists for as long as I can talk into a microphone.

…I’m poor. I can’t afford to donate $25.
I am too, reader. And honestly, even $5 or $10 will help–the price of just a few songs on iTunes, or a couple of lattes at Starbucks. So I’m going to sweeten the pig a little (Desertbus joke!): listeners who pre-pledge $10-$15 to my show–that is, donate before March 16th–will receive a customized mix CD from me. More money=more songs on the mix! If you live far away, I will mail it to you. Once you’ve donated, let me know and we’ll chat about the type of songs you like, or whether you just want me to surprise you, and I’ll make you an exclusive mix of stuff which includes songs that have never been played on Particles and Waves. And if you want to donate more and grab a gift (sadly only for Victoria locals), you can totally do that too!

Sounds intriguing. How do I donate?
It is SUPER easy to donate to Fundrive! Just go to the donate page on CFUV’s official site, click the link, and donate using UVic’s secure server. Leave the “Designation” section as “CFUV Fundrive” and–this is important–specify that you’re donating for Particles and Waves in the comments section. Once you’ve done that, get in contact with me either on twitter @MiaSteinberg or by emailing me at mia.steinberg22 [at] gmail [dot] com, to let me know that you’ve donated and potentially discuss getting a custom mix CD!

Thank you, in advance, for whatever you’re able to donate. If you’ve felt like you’ve discovered even one artist thanks to my show, consider throwing in a few bucks; it keeps the computers running and the microphones sounding sharp.

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Jan 7, 2014

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Want More Opinions? Here are Some Tunes.

My very good friends Kathleen, Cam, Andrew, Bradley, and Matthew are all music snobs (and they’re legit. Like, I’m only just starting to feel like I can talk about stuff with them). We’ve set up a Tumblr to talk about our favourite albums and tracks from 2013, which you can find here:

Since I posted my top 2013 albums on this site already, I’ll likely be publishing some more specific, song-based reviews, if I can remember that these things need to happen. I’m starting to think I need to actually schedule writing and publishing times for myself because otherwise I’ll never get anywhere.

Anyhow! Go forth to Tumblr. Read amazing analyses. Learn yo shit.

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