UC Observer logo
UCObserver on SoundCloud UCObserver on YouTube UCObserver on Facebook UCObserver on Twitter UCObserver's RSS Feeds

CBC Radio 2: The Signal

Program delights in treating listeners to an eclectic mix of music

By Kevin Spurgaitis

Daily 10 p.m. to 1 a.m.
Hosted by Laurie Brown (Monday to Thursday) and Pat Carrabré (Friday to Sunday)

During the late-night hours, hosts Laurie Brown and Pat Carrabré bring recorded and live contemporary music to CBC Radio 2 listeners, placing a special emphasis on homegrown Canadian performers. From new classical to electronica, from world to improvised, the songs on the program are as wide-ranging as they are unusual.

Brown really sets the tone for The Signal with her knowlege and passion for all kinds of music. A former Much-Music VJ and longtime CBC television personality, she has extensively covered music, theatre, dance, film and books. The seasoned broadcaster has also served as an advocate for the arts and artists in Canada.

On the weekends, Winnipeg-based composer Carrabré takes the helm, pushing contemporary music even closer to the edge with an eclectic mix from across the country. Carrabré joined the show after completing six years as a composer-in-residence with the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra. There, he co-curated the city’s successful New Music Festival and introduced the symphony and its audience to hip-hop, as well as new music from South America and the Pacific Rim.

On The Signal, both Brown and Carrabré delight in treating listeners to off-kilter songs by artists such as Montreal’s Jean Derome et les Dangereux Zhoms; post-rock sounds from bands such as Vancouver’s Inhabitants; and even the harder-edged musical explorations of U.K.-based Radiohead. Occasionally, audiences are entertained by astonishing — albeit unclassifiable — sounds, too, like that of French artists Didier Petit and André Minvielle, who craftily weave the noise of locomotives into melodies.

Because of the program’s mix of sounds, you never really know what’s up next: an orchestral piece or a recording from a recent indie music festival. This cultural infusion may not be to everyone’s liking, but in today’s Canada, where nearly half the population is made up of visible minorities, perhaps the time is ripe to explore new, less Eurocentric offerings.

Readers’ advisory: The discussion below is moderated by The UC Observer and facilitated by Intense Debate (ID), an online commentary system. The Observer reserves the right to edit or reject any comment it deems to be inappropriate. Approved comments may be further edited for length, clarity and accuracy, and published in the print edition of the magazine. Please note: readers do not need to sign up with ID to post their comments on ucobserver.org. We require only your user name and e-mail address. Your comments will be posted from Monday to Friday between 9:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. Join the discussion today!
Promotional Image


David Wilson%


by David Wilson

If statues could talk

Promotional Image


ObserverDocs: Stolen Mother

by Observer Staff

The daughter and adoptive mother of one of the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women share their story

Promotional Image


July 2017

From far and wide

by Various Writers

Meet 11 immigrants who are putting down new roots


June 2017

A suitcase for Cuba

by Christopher Levan

You’ll find more than giveaway toiletries and hand-me-downs in the writer's luggage. Each carefully chosen gift offers a glimpse into the lives of Cubans today.


June 2017


by Kristy Woudstra

Up to half a million people are living in Canada without official status. The ‘sanctuary city’ movement is growing, but the fear of deportation persists.


June 2017

Resisting genocide

by Sally Armstrong

In August 2014, ISIS attacked Iraq’s Yazidis, slaughtering thousands and forcing women and girls into sexual slavery. Today, the survivors are fighting for their ancient way of life.


April 2017

Dear Grandkids

by Various Writers

Six acclaimed Canadian authors write letters from the heart


March 2017

Called to resist

by Paul Wilson

Liberal Christians in the United States test their faith against a demagogue

Promotional Image