GET TO KNOW A CFCR VOLUNTEER!
In my 11+ years as Program Director at CFCR, I’ve seen hundreds of Volunteer Hosts come through our studios. Some folks are on the air for a few weeks or months, some for a few years. But only a small handful of Hosts have been doing weekly programs for as long as Paul Pybus. Paul has recently decided to hang up the headphones on his Wednesday evening show Fake Headlines, after producing more than 1070 episodes, which is over 20 years of weekly radio shows! Paul’s off-the-cuff style of broadcasting, and indie-rock/punk-rock/pop-rock music picks have been a delight to listen to. Even when he hits a snag, it’s always entertaining!
When the COVID pandemic hit Canada in mid-March of 2020, CFCR closed its doors to the public as well as our beloved Volunteers, and the staff did most of the on-air hosting for the next couple of months. However, a few dedicated Hosts quickly mobilized, setting up home studios to record program segments from their bedrooms, living rooms, basements and closets. Paul was one of these Hosts, contributing a total of 37 home-recorded episodes of Fake Headlines, dating back to early-April, 2020.
Paul lent his talent as a visual artist to CFCR as well, by contributing work to our former “Artists For Alternative Radio” art auction, and he even did a special painting of the station’s HQ building in 2011, to commemorate the 25th Anniversary of the Community Radio Society of Saskatoon. He was also invaluable as a New Host Trainer, helping new volunteer recruits learn the ins and outs of doing a radio show. I’ll bet he trained a hundred or more new Hosts over the years, and some of those folks have gone on to become Trainers themselves!
In 2015, we featured Paul in our “Get To Know A CFCR Volunteer” web column, and in light of his final episode on Wednesday, February 3, 2021 (episode #1074, if you’re keeping score), we thought we’d post it again, with a few updates from Mr. Pybus himself. On behalf of the station staff & Board of Directors, I’d like to thank Paul for his great contributions to Saskatoon Community Radio!
-Jay Allen (CFCR Program Director)
How did you first come to learn about CFCR?
I moved to Saskatoon in the winter of 1988. I was watching television and came across CFCR audio that was playing over the Shaw cable tele-type news channel. If you had cable you could hear local radio hosts Friday and Saturday nights as unrelated news items were being typed onto a blue TV screen. I was into punk and new wave bands before moving to Saskatoon. Some older guys judged my music tastes from my t-shirts and asked me to co-host Gardening at Night the odd Saturday. A typical show would include pre-major label Dinosaur Jr, Sonic Youth, and The Smiths. I spent a lot of time working bingos for the station. It's cool to see how far CFCR has come since those early days.
Why do you volunteer? Why is CFCR important to the community?
I moved away for University and got re-involved with CFCR when I moved back to Saskatoon through my friend Krista Hayes. I do believe the value of the outsider perspective is needed more now than anytime I can remember. Non-mainstream artists and dissenting opinions are essential to combat the crap pile that passes for a lot of politics and media today. CFCR gives a voice to those viewpoints.
There's a selfish reason as well. I remember as a kid growing up in Ontario and using antenna ears to get Toronto FM rock stations where the DJ decided what was played. As a teenager, it was skating to the right part of town to be able to hear CJSW in Calgary. So I get to relive that feeling a bit each Wednesday.
What’s the craziest thing that’s happened to you on the air?
Several years ago I was talking about the up-coming Ness Creek Festival on air. I got a violent call in the studio from a mad man who said he didn't appreciate Ness Creek and he knew where I was, and who I was, and he had a knife. I freaked out and made everyone lock the station doors and I looked fearfully over my shoulder for days. At that time there was a CFCR softball team and a couple weeks later, following a game drinking pints, I told the story of my death threat. The team captain started laughing and said that it was him and he thought I had got the joke. The softball team existed for one season and never scored a single run.
What’s your favourite CFCR show(s)?
I wake up to Green Eggs and Ham weekdays, and really enjoy Third Verse.
Who is your favourite local band?
I've never been good at picking favourites but right now, it’s Kacy and Clayton.
Perhaps the hardest question ever, but I'd have to say Teenage Fanclub. Runner-ups would include Husker Du, Animal Collective, Parquet Courts. As for CanCon I'd mention Common Holly, White Lung and Young Guv.
Aside from radio, what else do you like to do?
I paint. Gardening takes up more time these days. I try to do both with a cold beer nearby. I spoil my two cats and two dogs daily…and baseball, this is the year the Blue Jays win it all!
What’s your favourite/least favourite pizza topping?
Well, it must be vegetarian, as no pizza is worth killing for, but I can't stand pineapple.
What’s the best book you’ve read/movie you’ve seen recently?
I first read it over 20 years ago but I still recommend Geek Love by Katherine Dunn to people and they always ask what's wrong with me after they finish it. A moving family story of self-mutilating freak show cultists. This year, it's been books by China Mievelle, Alistair Reynolds, and Chris Beckett. I just realized they're all British. Check them out!
I still haven't untangled what Only God Forgives by Nicolas Refn is trying to say but a it's a heck of a film experience.
And now, enjoy a playlist hand-picked by Paul:
Mew - "Satellites"
Sonny & The Sunsets - "Happy Carrot Health Food Store"
Menace Beach - "Tastes Like Medicine"
Helio Sequence - "Upward Mobility"
White Lung - "Face Down"
Who should we feature for our next Get to Know a CFCR Volunteer? Have an idea? Send it to firstname.lastname@example.org.