CJSR Fundrive 2010: The Corby Lund Story

The package arrived in the afternoon mail with no distinguishing characteristics, not even a return address. A humble offering. I’m a little hard-pressed to attach a date to it, but the station was still up on the second floor of SUB and I would have thought the smalls were still together at the time, but I guess that doesn’t exactly make sense. Predictably enough, the cassette doesn’t exist in CMT’s discography, which says Modern Pain came out in 1995, so…late 1993 or thereabouts? Anyway, the package contained exactly one (1) cassette tape, no letter, no biographical materials, no nothing. Just a cassette with Corb Lund Band printed on the cover and maybe an illustration of a horse, or an owl. “Huh,” said I.

Given that we all basically knew Corby as the bass player in a metal band, the cassette’s opener, “We Used to Ride ‘Em,” was both surprising and revelatory. But was it problematic? Hell no. I put it in Gnu Wax and within a couple of weeks, it was topping the charts. The rest, as the cliche goes, is history. Sixteen or seventeen or however many years it is later, the dude’s a star.

Did CJSR* make Corb Lund a star? Hardly. We haven’t got that kind of firepower, and even if we did, we’re a little too skeptical of the values behind such notions to send a friend down such a slippery path. We did, however, like him both as a person and as an artist, and so we sure as shit got behind the guy – playing his records, plugging his shows, going to his shows and cheering our asses off, and generally rooting for him as his star rose higher and higher. We don’t even hold his current stardom against him. Fact is, I saw some weird show on some TV channel about a week ago, one where they didn’t even have anything new to add, just a bunch of snippets of interviews and videos stitched together into a Frankensteinian half-hour feature. I sat and watched and it reminded me of that cassette.

This represents a fundamental principle of CJSR: we love who we love, and we  get behind them when we do. And we don’t choose just one or two tracks by one or two bands to focus the spotlight on for a week or whatever. We love our local, independent artists, unconditionally, every day. Does anybody else need to like them or approve of them in some way first, before we do? Nope. Is there some sort of focus group that deems them a good enough ‘fit’ with our ‘format’ to get airplay? No, not that either.

I should point out though – in case you’ve not ever noticed – not everybody goes on to be a famous, award-winning artist like Corb Lund. Hardly anyone does, in fact. But that doesn’t stop us from liking them and playing them, because you don’t have to be a star, baby, to be in our show.

*CJSR’s in Day 2 of our 2010 Fundrive. We’re trying to raise $125K by November 6, 2010. If this story speaks to you in some way, maybe you should dial 780 492 2577 extension 1 and pledge a little bit of dough, or click on the link up above to the station’s website and donate online. If you wanted to wait until between 3 and 5 to donate during the 68Comeback Special, that’d be coolio of youlio, but I’m not going to tell you how to live your life.

Hey, you could also help out by reposting this story it or tweeting it or linking to it on your own blog or whatever. Much obliged, pardner.

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  1. November 1st, 2011

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