It is with many hard feelings and mixed emotions that Catherine and Anna announce that we are retiring from Venus and will be leaving the collective and the show at the end of 2013.
We have hosted the show for ten (Catherine) and thirteen (Anna) years and this is a big deal to us. Venus is a part of our lives. Sometimes it feels like it is our lives. But we have new things planned, for ourselves and for the show. We have faith that the show will continue to be a source of inspiration and support for feminist music for equally as long as we’ve been part of it, and beyond.
In the year 2000 I (Anna) was an awkward twenty-year-old who approached CKUT about doing a jazz show (seriously) but was assigned to Venus because the show needed a host and I was a giant keener. Thirteen years later I can say confidently that I’m no longer scared of the soundboard and that Venus has been one of the best things I’ve done, hands down, in Montreal and in life.
I’ve learned so much from this show, about music but also about collective organizing and listening and respect and feminist politics. The discussions we’ve had about the show’s mandate have been some of the most important and life-shaping political/philosophical conversations I’ve had, because they’ve been about something real that happens in my life every week.
And I’ve learned so much from CKUT as an organization – about doing what you love for no money, about beating the odds, about commitment and giving a shit and walking the walk and making hard decisions and taking a hit when you have to. And about valuing the local, the independent and the small in a society that’s all about expansion, acquisition, and imperialism. I came of age at CKUT in a very real way and I learned everything I know about community because of it.
I did the math and figured out that I’ve spent at least one thousand hours on the air at CKUT, most likely more. That’s forty-two days. That’s six weeks straight, no sleep, of playing music I love with people I love, trash-talking and gossipping and analyzing and listening and putting on really long songs (thank you Godspeed) so I could run to the bathroom or eat a granola bar in the hallway. Six weeks of answering calls from fans and strangers and weirdos and people looking for Butcher T, of theme shows (hand claps, answering machines, breakfast, horses, revenge, the 90s, witches, prison) and weird DJ games (Six Degrees of Patti Smith, Step Up To This), of interviewing my heroes and people I just heard about two days before, of saying “indeed” and “interesting” way too much, of puns and bad jokes and making fun of song titles and moments of total panic when the CD won’t play or when I realized the band I just played didn’t have a woman in it, just a dude named Lindsay. Could you ask for a better way to spend your twenties and part of your thirties? Doubt it.
Thirteen years is a long time. It’s not the longest someone has ever done a community radio show for, but it’s getting up there. I will miss the show and CKUT’s presence in my life intensely; Thursday has been Venus day for as long as I can remember, and I can’t imagine what my week is going to be like without it. But the other side of it is that Venus has always been a collective effort, about variety and breadth and fresh air, and it’s time for new voices to make themselves heard. And it has been so heartwarming to see the response to our call for new recruits and to meet the rad and fierce and passionate people who will be programming and hosting the show in the new year. They’re going to take it to a new level of amazing and we can’t wait to hear it.
Our last show together will be December 19th, and I will host a final solo Venus goodbye on December 26th. Tune in for memories, jokes, archival material, tears, Ani Difranco.
Love, and smash the patriarchy, and LONG LIVE VENUS.
VENUS RADIO ESSENTIAL TOP TEN(ish) LISTS!!!!!!!!!
ALBUMS THAT WE HAVE LOVED FOREVER AND WILL NEVER HEAR WITHOUT THINKING OF VENUS RADIO:
1. Le Tigre – Le Tigre
2. E.S.G. – A South Bronx Story
3. Sleater-Kinney – One Beat
4. Thee Headcoatees – The Sisters of Suave
5. Yo La Tengo – I Can Hear the Heart Beating as One
6. The Shocking Blue – The Shocking Blue
7. Missy Elliot – This is Not a Test!
8. Stereo Total – My Melody
9. Lesbians on Ecstasy – Lesbians on Ecstasy
10. The Gossip – Movement
11. Nu Sensae – TV, Death, and The Devil
12. Kleenex/Lilliput – 1977-1983
13. UN -UN
14. Gina X – Nice Mover
15. Os Mutantes – Os Mutantes
CATH’S PERSONAL FAVORITE ALBUMS TO PLAY ON VENUS RADIO:
1. Gang Gang Dance – God’s Money
2. M.I.A. – Arular
3. The Knife – Silent Shout
4. Siouxsie and the Banshees – Kaleidoscope
5. Miriam Makeba – Makeba!
6. Selda – Selda
7. The Cowboy Junkies – The Trinity Sessions
8. Paula Frazer – A Place Where I Know
9. Dead Moon – Echoes of the Past
10. Indian Jewelry – Totaled
11. Azealia Banks – Fantasea
12. Pj Harvey – Let England Shake
13. Anika – Anika
14. Fatima Al Qadiri – Desert Strike
15. The Raincoats – Raincoats
MUSICIANS I CAN’T BELIEVE WE’RE INTERVIEWED (SO FAR):
BEST VENUS RADIO EXPERIENCES:
1. Making the most amazing friends ever. Over and over.
2. Putting on shows and inviting our community: La Sala Rosa 2006 (SKORTS!), Casa del Popolo 2010 (Panty Ho’s, Wombraider, Gardens of Heat), Divan Orange 2011 (Dekoder, UN, Many Mental Mistakes), Royal Pheonix 2012 (dirtyboots, UN, plus a roster of killer djs).
3. Starting the Venus Radio blog at the beginning of 2012 and feeling more connected than ever to a global community of feminist music fans.
4. Receiving mysterious gifts of chocolate and cheese in 2005, delivered to us in the MCR at CKUT, during the show.
5. RADIOKEEEEEE!!! 2007-2013
6. Being named the #1 Best Radio Show in Montreal by Cult Mtl’s readers in 2012.
Of course, the show will go on and we have lined up an exciting roster of DJs to take over programming at Venus Radio. I can’t wait to go from Venus Radio host to Venus Radio’s number one Super Fan!!!! xoxoxo
If you have any special Venus memories or recollections from the past ten years, please post them here!