A thank you note for Lenny

lenny and meLenny and me: from Lenny’s awesome Polaroid camera

Now that Lenny Wu’s WildWorks radio show on CKCU FM is coming to an end, I just wanted to extend a big thank you to host Lenny for all of his support for musicians over the years.

It’s college station deejays like Lenny that help indie musicians get their start, while also exposing the public to a whole new world of underground music. When I was in high school, Napster was still a new thing and Youtube wasn’t around, so the main way a young teenage girl in the suburbs could be exposed to non-mainstream music was by listening to college radio. As teens, my friends and I used to stay up late, listening to 93.1 CKCU FM. (Side note: Lenny and I went to the same high school – but I was a shy ninth grader while he and his brother Ming were mature seniors too cool to hang out with me!)

On a more personal note, Lenny’s Wildworks show was one of the first radio shows to play our songs over the radio; it was also my first on-air music interview experience, which helped me become more comfortable (and sound less stupid) on air.  He’s even let me co-host some of his shows as a guest, which was very generous of him.

I especially appreciated his Asian Heritage Month shows in May, where every year he showcased indie bands with musicians of Asian descent.  Asian musicians still have to fight for their place in the Canadian indie scene, as we are still an under-represented minority that too many people aren’t used to seeing on stage.  Lenny’s attempts to connect these Asian-Canadian musicians to create a sort of sense of community pride was always touching.  I also always got a kick out of the way he would play the Darcys, immediately followed by Cantopop.  It takes guts – and a certain sense of “I don’t care what you think is cool” – to do that, which is exactly the same reason why I started listening to college radio in the first place.

We’ll be sad to see you go off the air, Lenny.  But we’ll be looking forward to your podcast. You’ll have at least one listener in Nunavut.

Lenny and me (and my awful bangs!)

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