Ongoing History of New Music

Ongoing History of New Music Podcast

Ongoing History of New Music looks at things from the alt-rock universe to hip hop, from artist profiles to various thematic explorations. It is Canada’s most well known music documentary hosted by the legendary Alan Cross. Whatever the episode, you’re definitely going to learn something that you might not find anywhere else. Trust us on this.

Musicians With Disabilities
The human body can be both very strong and very fragile…given its complexity, it generally works pretty well…but there are those among us who face challenges because of various disabilities… Some of these are genetic…others come as the result of accidents, trauma or some other kind of misfortune…then there’s the effect of disease… It can be very rough…there can be discrimination…and there can be a lot of misunderstanding… At the same time, though, there are opportunities for learning, compassion, and dia...

Lost Canadian Bands 3
There are a lot of things wrong with Facebook—don’t get me started—but there’s no denying that it can be addictive… The best thing for me is finding out where people from my life have ended up…high school, university, my home town, other places I’ve worked…and with over 2 billion active monthly users, there’s an excellent chance that almost everyone you’ve ever known as a Facebook account… But the “where are they now” thing doesn’t have to be restricted to people you know…you can lurk on Facebook and Inst...

Golden Age of Synths as told by OMD
There have been many times over the last one hundred years where technology has changed the way we make music… Take the microphone, for example…before it came along, singers had to be naturally louder than the orchestra…they needed to have a voice that could reach the back rows of the theatre…but when the microphone came along, certain singers like Bing Crosby, realized that you could use it to create a whole new mood for singing by getting up close and personal… Amplification was another game-changer…at ...


Weird and Shocking Rockers
Here’s a warning right from the outset: this is going to be a weird program…the performs and the music we’re going to talk about are famous because of their weird, shocking behaviour…they set out to get our attention—and they did… Some of us appreciated what they were doing…but the vast majority didn’t get them at all…they were branded as sick, deviant, sociopathic, psychopathic, and even criminal… Yet all found some measure of fame within certain corners of the rock universe…their antics may seem tame no...

Weird and Shocking Rockers
Here’s a warning right from the outset: this is going to be a weird program…the performs and the music we’re going to talk about are famous because of their weird, shocking behaviour…they set out to get our attention—and they did… Some of us appreciated what they were doing…but the vast majority didn’t get them at all…they were branded as sick, deviant, sociopathic, psychopathic, and even criminal… Yet all found some measure of fame within certain corners of the rock universe…their antics may seem tame no...

The Sum 41 Story As Told By Deryck Whibley: Part 2
You don’t need me to tell you that being a rock star isn’t a normal kind of job…you live in a bubble that’s as far removed from the regular 9-5, Monday-to-Friday thing… You spend a lot of time living in hotel rooms…there’s a lot of downtime between gigs which can get really, really boring…and your working hours are almost completely opposite to your natural circadian rhythms… A lot of people will end up coping with bad food, drugs, alcohol and self-destructive behavior—anything to alleviate the boredom…or...


The Sum 41 Story As Told By Deryck Whibley: Part 1
If you’ve ever seen Sum 41 perform live, they seem larger than life…big…loud…brash…in your face…very punk rock…and out front is Deryck Whibley…he’s like a man possessed….it all makes for a great show… But in person, Deryck is life-sized…he moves carefully and takes care to sit up straight because of a chronically bad back…the tea he likes to drink can make him almost appear delicate… But when it comes to conversation about Sum 41 their career, he’s super-engaged…as the only permanent member in the history...

The Sum 41 Story As Told By Deryck Whibley: Part 1
If you’ve ever seen Sum 41 perform live, they seem larger than life…big…loud…brash…in your face…very punk rock…and out front is Deryck Whibley…he’s like a man possessed….it all makes for a great show… But in person, Deryck is life-sized…he moves carefully and takes care to sit up straight because of a chronically bad back…the tea he likes to drink can make him almost appear delicate… But when it comes to conversation about Sum 41 their career, he’s super-engaged…as the only permanent member in the history...

Solo Noel Gallagher
It all came to an end on august 28, 2009, with a plum thrown against the wall…after eighteen years, the most volatile band in the world came to an end… Noel Gallagher and Liam Gallagher had always fought, but never like this time backstage five minutes before a show in Paris…words were exchange, the plum was thrown, violence was threatened, and a guitar was destroyed.... Two hours later, Noel issued a statement: "it's with some sadness and great relief to tell you that I quit Oasis tonight. People will wr...


Riot Grrrls - A Primer
There is no question that the vast majority of rock history involves dudes…it’s been a very male thing…not always, but most of the time… There was a time when it was “common knowledge” that girls just couldn’t rock…they didn’t have the feel…they were built wrong…it just wasn’t in their DNA like it was with guys… That’s crap, of course…but it took a long, long time for those prejudices to be defeated—dead and buried… The original punk rock of the mid-70s was a great help, thanks to the movement’s dogma th...

A Guide to Genres: Part 2
I’m trying to imagine what it might be like to design an Amazon warehouse…a typical fulfillment centre is at least a million square feet filled with a zillion kilometres of shelving… And given that amazon is all about speed—the company is always trying to cut down the time between the time you click “checkout” and when the package shows up at your door—they’re always looking for the most efficient ways to find whatever you ordered on those shelves and stuff it into a box… The logistics of this is mind-bog...

A Guide to Genres: Part 1
Humans have always tried to make sense the world by putting things into neat little piles and filing them away somehow for further reference…it just makes things easier…   If you study biology, you’ll know about kingdoms, phylum’s, classes, orders, families, geneses, and species…libraries organize books with things like the Dewey decimal system and the universal decimal classification….and when you go grocery shopping, there are signs directing you to the right aisle or department…   This applies to mus...


Ultra-Deep Background on Dave Grohl: Part 3
Whenever you’re having a bad day, I want to think of this number…the probability of you existing—that you’re this sentient being, alive in this vast universe—is exceedingly small…in fact, it’s about zero… Your mom and dad have to meet…they have to stay together long enough to have kids…then that egg and that sperm have to connect, and so on… A guy by the name of Dr. Ali Binazir has calculated the odds of you being you…by that number is 1 followed by 2,685,000 zeroes… By way of analogy, here’s how he desc...

Ultra-Deep Background on Dave Grohl: Part 2
When you reach a certain level of fame, you can expect that everything you do will be recorded somewhere…it’s out of your control…fans will do it…your management team will do it…your social media people will make sure that it gets done…probably someone at your label…and they’ll just keep doing it… Your life becomes one ever-expanding Wikipedia page…not that this is a bad thing…it’s just something certain famous people have to live with… This brings me to Dave Grohl…he is one of the best-documented guys in...

Ultra-Deep Background on Dave Grohl: Part 2
When you reach a certain level of fame, you can expect that everything you do will be recorded somewhere…it’s out of your control…fans will do it…your management team will do it…your social media people will make sure that it gets done…probably someone at your label…and they’ll just keep doing it… Your life becomes one ever-expanding Wikipedia page…not that this is a bad thing…it’s just something certain famous people have to live with… This brings me to Dave Grohl…he is one of the best-documented guys in...


Ultra-Deep Background on Dave Grohl: Part 1
A couple of years back, i was invited to 606 studios, which is the headquarters of all things Foo…it’s the house of foo… This is where the Foo Fighters rehearse and record…it’s where they have band meetings…and it’s where they store a lot of their stuff…i had all five guys to myself for an interview…and there was no other way to describe them as a bunch of others… Taylor Hawkins took the lead on this…and the whole time Taylor was talking, Dave Grohl was sitting there with a big smile on his face…he knows ...

History of Shoegaze
Every once in a while, a form of music comes along that makes it its mission to break with the traditions of rock n roll. Okay...well maybe the instrumentation is largely the same...but it's the way they are used. And it's usually done by people who don't know there are rules when it comes to rock and people just want to get together and play. And this happened in the late 80's when we were first introduced to the idea of Shoegaze. The result was a wall of sound with atmospheres and harmonics.  And It wa...

The History of Vinyl: Part 2
As we looked at in part 1, Vinyl is making a comeback.  But how did this happen? Will it last? And what lies ahead for the future of one of the oldest forms of recorded music?This is the History of Vinyl...Part 2...


The History of Vinyl: Part 1
Vinyl. It's one of the oldest formats that you can listen to music on. And a few years ago everyone was talking about its death: First thanks to the CD and then the MP3. But a funny thing has happened over the last decade or so. Vinyl is making a comeback.  But what is exactly is Vinyl....how did it come to be? Why did it disappear? And how have things changed for it to be back on the radar?This is the History of Vinyl...Part 1...

The Influencers - Springsteen
Once upon a time, music was incredibly tribal…once you picked a tribe, you had to conform to serious and rigid rules…whatever the prevailing dogma dictated was your reality…snobbery abounded…. For example, in the 70s, 80s, and well into the 90s, rock was divided into two camps…on one side were the mainstream rockers, fans of the artists that occupied most of the attention: radio airplay, record sales, concert tickets…they were on top of the Rock’n’Roll zeitgeist…  On the other were the alterative kids…the...

What's The Big Deal About The Stooges?
If you were to ask a contemporary group like say The White Stripes or The Hives about which band influenced their sound they would probably list off a bunch of names including The Stooges. If you were to go back to the 90’s and ask the same question to Nirvana or Janes Addiction, one of the bands they would inevitability mention would be The Stooges. Slip back to 80’s and ask Sonic Youth and they would probably say The Stooges… If you travel back to the 70’s and ask The Sex Pistols or The Ramones and the...


Etymology: Part 1
The study of word origins and word meanings is called Etymology.  And rock music has it's own branch of Etymology and we can give you lots of examples. In fact over the course of the next two Podcasts we will break some of these terms down. Why do we call it Punk music? And how did we come up with New Wave? Or Grunge? Or Post Modern? Answers to those and more as we explore Etymology in Alt Rock...

Stories Behind Songs
Every song has a story behind it. Maybe the way it was created, what it is about, who it is about, where it was written...there are literally a million reasons and ways a song was born. But have you ever wondered how musicians came up with some of their best known songs? How did Nirvana arrive at Smells Like Teen Spirit? What was Blur doing when they came up with Song 2? Why was it so complicated to finish Fairytale of New York? Well wonder no more...we have answers to those and a whole lot more as we onc...

The Reunions: Some Lasted....and Sadly, Some Didn't | Part 3
This is "The Reunions: Part 3" The final part of a series that first aired in 2009 and we thought it was time to revisit it...see what bands did survive a reunion and which ones have not. Now something to note about this series. Some bands have since broken apart again or gone off in an entirely different direction. And some are no longer together because a member has since passed on....


Kirk Hammett’s Movie Poster Collection | Bonus Podcast
Everyone needs a hobby, something to distract from the job…something that’s just for you…something that allows you to pursue a passion that maybe only you understand… For example, Flea is big into chess…when the Chili Peppers on the road, he’ll often challenge people to games, including grand masters who are invited backstage for the purpose of playing flea… Geddy Lee of Rush used to be very, very big into signed baseballs, especially those from the old Negro League… Neil Young finds model trains very re...

The Reunions: Some Lasted....and Sadly, Some Didn't | Part 2
This is "The Reunions: Part 2" A series that first aired in 2009 and we thought it was time to revisit it...see what bands did survive a reunion and which ones have not. Now something to note about this series. Some bands have since broken apart again or gone off in an entirely different direction. And some are no longer together because a member has since passed on....

The Reunions: Some Lasted....and Sadly, Some Didn't | Part 1
Sometimes, a band can survive their entire career without a line-up change...looking at you Radiohead, Coldplay, U2....others have members leave, hello Oasis, or get kicked out. See The Clash. Meanwhile some bands just decide that it's time to pack it in. Call it a day. Stop the train and get off. There could be any number of reasons for this; you grow apart, you don't have anything else to say, you can't stand each other anymore...that sort of thing. And when a band does break up, many fans ask the same ...


Mumford and Sons
This time we take a deep dive into the history of Mumford and Sons...the earliest and mostly unknown aspects of their career.  If you're a superman...you might already know some of this. Or maybe not! Lots to digest in this episode....

Ongoing History introduces Wait, There's More
Wait, There’s More is a daily Global News podcast released every afternoon just in time for your commute home. On this episode, protests have erupted in Hong Kong as tens of thousands of people speak out against legislation that would allow the territory’s citizens to be extradited to Mainland China. Demonstrators tried to storm government buildings and police responded with tear gas and rubber bullets. Host Tamara Khandaker explores Hong Kong’s precarious relationship with China since the end of British g...

The Rise and Fall of Britpop
We're taking a look back at the glorious days of Britpop. That incredible time in the 90's which lasted about  6 years where it seemed Cool Britannia ruled the airwaves and everyone was having a great time! London was swinging again and British acts were selling tens of millions of albums the world over. It was fresh, it was fun, and it was cool. And then it was over...collapsed by the weight of over exposure, boredom, and drugs. Lots and lots of drugs. Let's take a look back to see how this all happened...


Franz Ferdinand: In Their Own Words
Welcome to another episode in our series of having bands and musicians tell their history in their own words. This time we go back to our interview in 2009 for the amazing Franz Ferdinand!...

Health Issues of Musicians
The human body is basically a bag of water with a bunch of chemicals mixed in…that’s an over-simplification, of course, but it’s an accurate description of the squishy bits that make up us… It’s also true that every once in a while, something—or maybe a lot of things—go a little wonky with these squishy bits…yeah, we often hear of some guy up in the Ural Mountains who’s 117 years old who credits his longevity to bacon and unfiltered cigarettes…but that’s the exception… The rest of us have to constantly be...

Catching Up With Twenty One Pilots
Not all bands hit it out of the park right away…they need a few albums and a couple of long tours before things start to fall into place… Take the Red Hot Chili Peppers, for example…their career really didn’t start to blossom until their fourth album…same thing with Muse—at least in North America…they might have been playing arenas in Europe…but when it came to their fourth album, they were still playing clubs on this side of the Atlantic… Same thing with R.E.M...they had a strong cult following through f...


Rise and Fall of the CD
On the afternoon of October 1, 1982, Sony introduced a new home stereo gizmo… it was the world’s first compact disc player… they called it the CDP-101… Weird name, but if you take it apart, it makes sense…”CDP” stands for “compact disc player…and “101” is binary notation for the number 5…that’s because the head of the audio division considered this first model to be in the middle of Sony’s future lineup of cd players…so “5” on a scale of one to ten, I guess… Sony had been working on compact disc technolog...

Musical Offspring
It runs in the family…like father, like son (or mother like daughter…or some variation of that)…the apple never falls far from the tree… All these sayings have something to do with some sort of hereditary characteristics or learned abilities passed down from parent to child… I suppose if you grow up in a creative household, something is gonna run off, whether it be something in your genes or just because of what goes on around you as you’re growing up… Take the case of Patrick Schwarzenegger, son of Arno...

Music Industry Glossary: Part 2
Every industry has its own language…think about what it’s like to be a doctor and all the terms and phrases you must learn if you’re going to communicate with your patients and other medical professionals…what’s the difference between and otolanryingolist and a nephrologist?...iatrogenic and idiopathic?...hypotension and hypertension?... What if you’re working in the world of finance?…you need to know about things like “shorts” and “yield curves” and my favourite, “ebidta”—earnings before interest, taxes, ...


Legendary Gigs
Maybe it was the first time you saw your favourite musical. Maybe they played a set list that you thought was perfection. Maybe you were front and centre and the singer crowd surfed right over your head! So sure...an absolutely legendary gig! But what about those gigs that redefined alt-rock? Those concerts or shows that stand out as legendary for what came after them? The bands they inspired or the lasting legacy of that show on the audience? Well we're going take a look at 8 of them and try to explain ...

Music Industry Glossary: Part 1
I’m really bad with jargon…I hate it…jargon is by its very nature exclusive…if you don’t know the language, don’t know the codes, don’t know the usage rules, then you’re locked out of the discussion… I remember one financial guy who wanted to talk to me about a retirement savings plan…and his schpiel went something like this: “When it comes to diversification of your asset classes, consider taking out some warrants on pink sheet stocks on the vix, backing them up with shorts on fang stocks for a few month...

Nine Inch Nails and "Year Zero"
Back in 2007, Trent Reznor did something a little different with the release of "Year Zero". He essentially created a game...a mystery...a unique marketing campaign. This was an incredibly complex campaign with clues buried all over the world.  Basically all of this was done because Trent was bored. He wanted to shake things up with his music, his concerts, his fans...and with his image.  This is the story behind Year Zero...


Alexisonfire - In Their Own Words Podcast
A band is like a plant…stay with me on this…like a plant, a band grows from seeds to maturity, bursts for with new seeds and then eventually withers and dies…it’s the cycle of life, you know?... But like plants (or animals or any other living thing), the lifespan of bands varies greatly…you could last as long as rehearsal—kinda like, what, a dandelion?…or you might find yourself on some kind of 50-year-anniversary tour—the equivalent of a bristlecone pine tree that can live as long as 5,000 years… Okay, I...

Murder!
There are a lot of songs about Murder...but what about actual events where there are real killings involving real personalities in music?Well we've gathered a bunch. Actions are motivated by jealousy or sex or fear or revenge or anger...or someone just gets very unlucky. And in the end...someone ends up dead!...

Kurt Cobain: 25 Years Later
There was nothing particular special about April 8, 1994…I came to work as usual, saw the usual people, and prepared for my radio show in the usual way…I made note that the Toronto Blue Jays were playing a sold-out home game…one of the stories in the news was that American troops were upset about a smoking ban that had come into effect on some military bases…that was about it… But at about 1:45—fifteen minutes before airtime—Anita, who was working in the newsroom—popped her into the studio… “Just a heads-...


Moonlighting
Just because you're a successful musician or are in a band doesn't mean you don't want to try something else. Maybe you want to open up your own side business in something related to music. Maybe it's in a completely different part of the economy.  Whatever the case...you want to try something different while still doing your day-job. In this podcast we look at various side business that musicians have tried over the years. Now granted this show was done a number of years ago, and some of these business ...

Matt Good: In His Own Words - Part 2
Like we said before, from time to time we have the opportunity to get a band or a musician into a studio and have them walk us through their career. What comes out of these interviews can be  honest and pure conversations about the ups and downs, trials and tribulations, and challenges that come with being a musician trying to keep it all together in the madness and chaos of recording, touring and living. On this second episode we pick up the story with Matt from the last days of the Matthew Good Band thro...

Matt Good: In His Own Words - Part 1
From time to time we have the opportunity to get a band or a musician into a studio and have them walk us through their career. What comes out of these interviews can be  honest and pure conversations about the ups and downs, trials and tribulations, and challenges that come with being a musician trying to keep it all together in the madness and chaos of recording, touring and living. What you hear from Matt Good is one of the most honest and true conversations you might ever hear from a musician. This is...


New Rock Hair
Maybe this isn't a topic you thought about in New Rock, but it's time for us to take a look at New Rock Hair. Seriously... We've dug back into the archives and found this one from 2006 where we have a dive into the hairstyles of New Rock. Dreadlocks, Mullet's, Punk, Bowie...and of course Robert Smith among others. This is a good one! Trust us......

The 00s Part 5: Technology
Let’s make a list of all the things we did not have on January 1, 2000…ready?...iTunes, iPods, iPhones…YouTube, Facebook, Twitter…Snapchat, Spotify, smartphones… There was no Netflix (at least as we know it now)…no MySpace…no Instagram Well, what didwe have?...dial-up modems…Windows 98 (if you were lucky) or Windows 95 (if you weren’t)…Apple?...still mostly a corporate basket case…even Google was less than 18 months old… If we look at music, we were mad for compact discs…they were selling by the hundreds...

Ongoing History Introduces you to Crime Beat
Crime Beat” is a new investigative podcast series hosted by Crime Reporter Nancy Hixt. She's been covering cases for over the past 20 years and knows her hometown by the crime scenes she's been to. Journey deep inside some of Canada’s most high-profile criminal cases. Each bi-weekly episode will take you inside the story to give you details you didn't hear on the news.   Here’s a sneak peek from episode 2 of the series…. and while you’re listening, search and subscribe to “Crime Beat” for free at Curiousca...


The 00s Part 4: Variety Returns
Music is always evolving, mutating, and modifying itself…enough people may agree on a certain direction for a new sound to become a new sub-genre…and in time, sub-sub-genres may spring from that offshoot, multiplying things even more… Think about it…in the 50s, you had rock, pop, country, and R&B…most everything that was released back then could be classified under one of those four headings…today, Spotify has organized things into nearly 2,000 different categories… There’s music with names like “dark psy...

25 Random Facts About Depeche Mode
They've been around since the early 80's and still recording and touring. It's really incredible considering how self-destructive Depeche Mode has been over that time.  Really....it is amazing what has happened to them over the years. And that includes the time Dave Gahan was essentially dead. Well we had a request recently wondering "If we've ever done a profile of Depeche Mode". And while we have done a number of things over the years, the is perhaps our most interesting show on the band. So from mid 2...

The 00's Part 3: The Return of Rock
In times of crisis, we start to look for a leader, someone who can get us out of trouble…this is a trope of every comic book universe movie and half all the action-adventure stuff… But it’s true…when things are bad, we first look to people with experience, with knowledge, with strength to lead us away from whatever is wrong… There was a lot of this sort of talk among rock fans at the end of the 90s…pop, electronica, and hip-hop had taken over…rock itself had fallen into the doldrums and every fan was hopi...


The 00's Part 2: The Indie Revolution
At the end of the 90s, rock music was deep in the doldrums…fans were genuinely worried for its future…and it did look bleak, especially in contrast to how exciting things had been earlier in the decade… But in ’98 and ’99, rock was under assault on three sides…pop music was king and the whole world had gone crazy for those sounds…then there was rap and hip-hop, which kept getting more popular and stronger every month…and then there was electronica, which was siphoning away rock fans to go dance in a wareho...

The 00's Part 1: The Sad State of Rock
How long should we wait before we write the history of a decade?...we can write things down as they happen, but that’s only the first draft…time has to pass before we can wrap our heads around exactly what happened, what it all meant, and the lasting effects of those ten years… Something that may have appeared to be insignificant at the time turned out to be a really big deal…it was only after many years passed and the ripples from that thing or that event played out do we realize “holy crap!...that was hi...

A Deep Dive Into Vinyl Trivia
There are people who still believe that the resurrection of vinyl is a fad, a passing trend, something of which people will tire and we’ll all move on… This, frankly, is insanity…total insanity… Vinyl LP sales have been going up by double digits year-over-year since 2008…and that’s just new releases…these figures don’t include the sales of used records in record shops, at record sales, or online through eBay or sites like discogs.com… The numbers also don’t include vinyl sold at the merch table at gigs…a...


Arkells - In Their Own Words: Part 2
When you’re in a band and things begin to take off, life starts to move pretty fast…days start to blur as you move from gig to the studio, from the studio to the van, and back from gig to gig… Unless you have someone document what’s happening, you run the risk of forgetting a lot of what you go through—both the good stuff and the bad… One way to combat that is through talk therapy—or at least my version of it…this involves getting the entire band together at the same time and getting them to talk about th...

Ongoing History Introduces you to: Russia Rising
“Russia Rising” is a new investigative podcast series hosted by Jeff Semple, the former Europe Bureau Chief for Global News. This series hopes to unravel the giant mystery behind Putin’s Russia with the help of those who know her best - Russian Trolls, Hackers, Putin Supporters, and even a former Russian K.G.B. agent.  Join Jeff on the journey to unravel how Russia has gone from tenuous ally, to a potential global threat. Here’s a sneak peek from episode 2 of the series…. and while you’re listening, searc...

Arkells - In Their Own Words: Part 1
When you’re in a band, you want to make sure the public record is correct…but you’re often at the mercy of someone else when it comes to creating that record… First, there’s your publicist and anyone at your record label dealing with marketing…they issue bios and press releases where the writer seems to have been paid by the word…they’re paid to fill a page or two in 10-point font, so they revert to lots of flowery language signifying nothing…frankly, I find most official band bios close to useless because...


The 500th Show!
Every once in a while we will pull a show from the vast Ongoing History of New Music Archives that is a bit of a time capsule. It captures a moment in time that seems somewhat forgotten...distant...calmer... This show takes us back to October of 2006 when we aired our 500th original episode of the Ongoing History. A lot had happened in the world of Alt-Rock up to that point in time...and a lot has happend since. I mean we are at show number 845 and counting!  So, let's take a trip back 12+ years...and 3...

Modern Guitar Heroes 2: The Women
It’s been a rough decade for the electric guitar…sales of new instruments have dropped by a third, from 1.5 million globally to around just one million… Why?...generations brought up on electronics are opting out of creating music with traditional instruments like the guitar…instead, they use laptops, iPads, gear like Ableton Live an any number of programmable keyboard devices… Most guitars are being bought and sold by older players…and there are fewer and fewer of them each year… All this has hurt manuf...

Modern Guitar Heroes: The Men
What is a guitar hero?...yes, yes, it’s a video game that vaguely simulates playing a real guitar…what else?... Yes, yes, it means someone who can rock the “expert level” at guitar hero, the video game…but before that, it meant something totally different… A guitar hero was a guy—and it was almost always a guy—who had achieved a seemingly supernatural mastery of the electric guitar…they were so good that other experts looked to them to learn and for inspiration… Chuck Berry…Jimi Hendrix…Eric Clapton…Jimm...


You're Fired!
Chances are, at some point in your life you are going to lose your job. If you're lucky it will be a layoff situation and you'll get some sort of severance or package. But it's possible that something happens that gets you fired. Sacked, canned, blown out, axed, dismissed with cause...and involuntarily discharged from your duties.  You then find yourself unemployed. Between Jobs, on the dole, on the beach, on the bench, and out of a job. Hey it happens and whether we like it or not, it's and employers ri...

History of Concert Sound
Ever been to a concert and wondered "How do they make all of this work?". "How have I not gone deaf?" or "Why does the dude on stage wearing what looks like a pair of ear-buds?"Well we're here to answer those questions and more as we delve deep into the history of concert sound......

What’s with Florence + the Machine?
One of my favourite movie lines of all time comes from a 1982 Peter O’Toole film called “My Favorite Year”… O’Toole plays a movie idol named Alan Swann who is reduced to appearing on a variety tv show of the 1950s… a junior writer named Benji Stone is put in charge of babysitting Swann… “just keep him out of trouble,” his bosses say… Naturally, it doesn’t go well and they have a fight when Swann grows angry when Benji insists on the hero worship…then Benji replies: Whoever you were in those movies, those ...


Kings of Leon in Their Own Words: Part 2
This is the second part of our "In Their Own Words" conversation with all four members of the Kings of Leon: Caleb, Nathan, Jared, and Matthew Folllowill. It's the conclusion of ours in depth and honest interview with the band that told their story from their very early days, and up to the summer of 2009. This is Kings of Leon...in their own words part 2...

Kings of Leon in Their Own Words: Part 1
Back in 2009, we sat down with all four member of the Kings of Leon: Caleb, Nathan, Jared, and Matthew Folllowill. What followed was a very in depth and honest interview that told their story from their very early days and up to the summer of 2009. This was the first in a now ongoing series of inviting bands and musicians to tell us their story...in their own words. This is Kings of Leon...in their own words part 1...

10 Things That Really Annoy Me
I'm a normally pretty reserved person, but like anyone else there are some things that really, really bug me: drivers who don't use their turn signal, people who use the word "irregardless", anti-vaxers, creationists, email with no subject line, high-end restaurants that charge for bread and tap water. That sort thing.   As it turns out, there are a bunch of things about music that really annoy me too. At least 10 things in fact. So...let me tell you about them...


60 Mind-Blowing Facts in 60 Minutes: 4th Edition
One of the occupational hazards of my job is I run across all kinds of facts, bits of data, and pieces of knowledge that don’t have any immediate practical application… For example, I ran across this piece of royal etiquette…the British royals are forbidden to play “monopoly”—as in the board game… I have no idea why, but this is apparently a hard and fast rule… If you have a cat, you know all about hairballs…the technical term for one of those is a “bezoar”… Still with animals, there’s a psychological di...

Bush: The Post-CD Band Featuring Gavin Rossdale
Once upon a time, not that long ago and in a land not that far away, musicians—not all, but some—could become very, very rich… Their riches came by selling pieces of plastic to those who enjoyed their music…those pieces of plastic were very, very precious because they were this was the only way musicians could distribute recordings of their art and their supply and their price was strictly regulated by the lords of the music industry… Eons earlier, the oracles had foretold that this plastic would come dow...

Radiohead - A History: Part 3
When you sign your first record deal, it’s usually for around seven albums…theoretically; this is to protect both sides… First, it offers the artist a degree of security…it gives the artist a few records to develop and mature so if they don’t score big with the first album, they’ll a little longer to establish their career and reputation… Second, the label has a chance to see if their investment in this act pays off…the label puts all kinds of money into the artist up front and therefore needs the artist ...


Radiohead - A History: Part 2
When you think about it, it’s quite an accomplishment to become a one-hit-wonder...sure, your career is essentially over after one song–but hey, at least you made it that far...think about all the bands who have worked for years and years and years and never managed to enjoy even the briefest taste of success... Still, no one likes that label...it’s demoralizing, knowing that you’ve gone down in history as a band with just one good song... It’s hard to imagine it now that they’re considered to be one of t...

Alt Rock Shrines | From the Archives
When I say the word "Shrine"...what comes to mind? Lords? A temple in the Himalaya’s? Something secular...like a war memorial? They could be something makeshift like flowers placed on the side of the road where someone died.  Shrines appear in pop culture too. Any place that has been deemed important because of its history or associations...can be considered a shrine. It's a place people visit so they can see things for themselves.  Now rock n roll has many shrines. The field where Buddy Holly's plane cr...

Radiohead - A History: Part 1
Is it just me or has there been an uptick in the number of one-hit-wonders over the past couple of years?...think about all the hot bands who have had just one good album–or even just one good song–before they’re forgotten... In the old days, a group developed and evolved over a series of albums...three, four, five, six records, even...it was slow and look a lot of patience and a lot of fighting to keep things together, but more often than not, it paid off...look at U2...or REM...or Blur...or Depeche Mode....


Death as a Career Move | From the Archives
Here's the thing. As a musician you can spend thousands and thousands of hours, days, weeks working to be a success. You know, make enough money to pay the bills, have a living, and make a career...provide for yourself and the family. And maybe if you work hard enough, catch the right breaks, make the right moves...you will make that happen. You'll be successful and it will all seem worth it. Other times...just when you are on the way up, about to have that big break...or maybe you already have...you end u...

Lost CanRock Bands of the 90s: Part 2
Before 1971, there really wasn’t much of a Canadian music industry…sure, there were record labels and recording studios and promoters and agents, but we didn’t have what you’d call a “first-world” industry… Canada was a backwater, a place where the big labels had branch offices…anyone who wanted to make it big had to leave the country, usually for the United States… But then came the Canadian content laws in January 1971…overnight, it became law that Canadian radio stations had to devote 30% of their play...

Lost CanRock Bands of the '90s: Part 1
If you came of age musically in Canada in the 1990s, you’ll remember that it was an extraordinary time…there was this mass embracing of homegrown music…it was part nationalism and part patriotism, but it was also something else… A vast generation of young people simultaneously said, “Canadian music is as good as anything the rest of the world has to offer and we want more of it”…and we got it… More acts were signed to the big labels and made records…radio played those records…MuchMusic ran the videos…ther...


Indigenous Alternative
Over the last decade, there has been some very, very long overdue attempts at reconciliation with the First Nations and Indigenous Peoples of North America…there’s still a long, long way to go, but at least the process as begun… The treatment of Indigenous people makes for ugly history…but it has also been enlightening in positive ways… For example, we’ve been learning more about First Nations music and the role people who identify as Native Canadians and Americans have played in the world of rock…some ar...

Groups That Changed Their Front-Person and Survived
Building and maintaining a band is a lot like building and maintaining a sports team…you struggle and wheel-and-deal and trade and sometimes steal to put together just the right lineup… And it’s not just sound and talent…it’s chemistry…leadership…stamina…all those intangible things that goes into making the whole greater than the sum of its parts… The perils are the same, too…your star quarterback goes down…that guy on the second line has tons of talent but he’s a cancer in the dressing room…the person yo...

Good Goth: Part 2 | From the Archives
Seeing as it's the time of the year when many people explore their inner Goth, we thought we'd dig deep into the Ongoing History archieves and pull out our 2 part series on Goth. This is the second part of out examination of the Alt-Rock scene and this time we go from mid 80's right up to today. Goth has always had a bad rap so we're going to try to clear everything up with our deep dive. Don't worry...no one's going to get hurt....


Good Goth: Part 1 | From the Archives
Seeing as it's the time of the year when many people explore their inner Goth, we thought we'd dig deep into the Ongoing History archieves and pull out our 2 part series on Goth. We examine it in the Alt-Rock scene from the early 70's and take it right up to today. Goth has always had a bad rap so we're going to try to clear everything up with our deep dive. Don't worry...no one's going to get hurt....

It's A Family Affair
Music is one of those things that can bring families together…and sometimes, that togetherness grows into a business… The BeeGees had the three Gibb brothers…baby brother Andy Gibb was also part of that universe for a while… Then there’s The Beach Boys…the original lineup included Brian, Dennis, and Carl Wilson and their cousin Mike Love…Murray Wilson—the father of Brian, Dennis, and carl—was their manager…he was terrible at it (in fact, Murray was an all-round disasters for his sons), but at least they w...

Music History Family Siblings Kongos KingsOfLeon

Rock Star Kids | From the Archives
Being a kid of a rock star isn't the easiest life to live. The celebrity, the expectations to be like your dad or mom who's a famous rock star. Everyone watching you to make a mistake. But there are times it has its rewards too. This is a look at what it's like to be a Rock Star kid...

Bush Nirvana Music History TheClash


9 Great Alt-Rock Cover Songs
There’s just something fun about learning to play one of your favourite songs for yourself…you know, learning the lyrics, figuring out the chords and the rhythm and deconstructing all the constituent parts… Then you get deeper…you begin to appreciate how everything fits together, the artistic decisions made by songwriter made, what kind of musical skill is required, the sort of production that was employed all that…and by the time you’ve learned the song, you’ve learned a whole lot of other things, too…and...

History Music EddieVedder JohnnyCash WhiteStripes Cake

Was Kurt Cobain Murdered: Part 2
For this Ongoing History bonus Podcast, we go back to the spring of 2004 to take a look at the "Was Kurt Cobain Murdered" conspiracy. These shows originally aired 10 years after the death of Cobain and looks at all the angles, all the facts, all the theories, and all the conspiracies about how Kurt dies.  And now, almost lmost 25 years from his death some people are still debating whether Kurt Cobian comitted suicide...or if he was murdered.  Lots to unpack in this 2 part series....

Music History Nirvana KurtCobain Hole Seattle Conspiracy

USS In Their Own Words: Part 2
I hope you’re ready for an interesting interview with Ash and Jay from USS…because this is another one of those occasional “in their own words” profiles where I just let the artist tell their stories in whatever fashion they choose…and if listened to part one, this talk with USS was not in anyway ordinary… When you sit down with Ash Boschultz and Jay “The Human Kebab” Parsons of USS, you end up having a conversation where you’re not sure how you arrived at this place, but there you are…so just open your mi...

History Music Canada USS


Was Kurt Cobain Murdered: Part 1
For this Ongoing History bonus Podcast, we go back to the spring of 2004 to take a look at the "Was Kurt Cobain Murdered" conspiracy. These shows originally aired 10 years after the death of Cobain and looks at all the angles, all the facts, all the theories, and all the conspiracies about how Kurt dies.  And now, almost lmost 25 years from his death some people are still debating whether Kurt Cobian comitted suicide...or if he was murdered.  Lots to unpack in this 2 part series....

Music History AlanCross Nirvana KurtCobain CourtneyLove DaveGrohl TomGrant

USS In Their Own Words: Part 1
If you’re a fan of a particular artist, you want to know everything you can about them…maybe you scour things like their official bios, their Wikipedia pages and maybe read through as many interviews and articles as you can… All that is fine…but what if there’s a way to get more?.... When it comes to telling the story of an artist, it is always best if you get the artist to tell it themselves…you get the unvarnished truth, told from the heart by the people who are actually making the music… That’s great ...

Music History USS AlanCross Conversation

9 Great B Sides
Back in the day...when singles were released on vinyl...you needed to put a song on either side of the record. Sometimes it was another version of the same song, or just the same song again, or maybe a live version...or maybe something completely different. A song that the band didn't know what to do with. Something special...something unique. What I've gathered here are 9 great B-Sides. Some are landmark singles in a bands history, some are ones you might never have heard before......


More Famous Recording Studios
I love the smell and feel of recording studios…if you’ve been inside a proper one, you’ll know what i mean… The air is kept clean and dust-free to protect the equipment…the a/c is usually cranked up to offset the heat generated by the electronics…there’s a slight whiff of ozone created by all the electrical circuits…and it’s usually very, very quiet…loads of isolation and baffling and sound-proofing… To me, a recording studio is the musical equivalent of an operating theatre; a place that’s dedicated to o...

Music History TheClash DavidBowie Studios Recording

Bent Bands
I used to be a big fan of “King of the Hill”…Hank Hill would often look at his son Bobby and say…  “that boy ain’t right” I know how he feels…you know when you encounter someone and there’s something off about them?...they’re not malevolent or evil in any way…they’re not a danger to themselves or anyone else…they’re just different… They look at the world in ways you wouldn’t think to—which is kinda cool in a lot of ways… but at the same time it might be a bit—well, maybe “unnerving” is too strong…but at ...

History Music Odd Different

Songs Based on Real Events
Streaming is a very cool way to access tens of millions of songs with a few pokes on your phone…the idea of being able to listen to virtually any song from any era of human history with such ease is something akin to magic… The downside of streaming is that it doesn’t provide any context to what we’re hearing…a continuous stream of music tells us nothing about the artist or the song…it’s just music, standing alone with nothing to anchor it to anything… It was different in the old days…if you bought an alb...

History Music TheClash U2 Nirvana PearlJam TragicallyHip Filter REM Stories


Alt Rocks Craziest People
It's another bonus episode and this one by request. Someone asked recently: "Have you ever done a show about alt-rocks really out-there people? I don't mean that they've done terrible things...just...they have their challenges?"Why yes we have...about 12 years ago in fact. This is Alt-Rocks Craziest People. Songs used in this episode: Iggy Pop - Real Wild Child David Bowie - Alladin Sane Joy Division - She's Lost Control Killing Joke - Love Like Blood The Verve - The Drugs Don't Work Nivana - On A...

IggyPop History Music Nirvana DavidBowie JoyDivision

A Brief History of Alt Psychedelic Rock
Here’s one of the most misunderstood and misused words in the English language: “psychedelic” … The word first came into use in 1956 when a psychiatrist named Humphrey Osmond was studying a new class of pharmaceuticals that had potential when it came to treating certain mental disorders… A chemical known as lysergic acid diethylamide—LSD, for short—had been extracted by a Swiss scientist named Albert Hoffman from a fungus called “ergot”…from 1943 on, medical professionals tried to figure out what it could...

history music AlanCross psychedelic podcast alternative

Drummers
When we started posting "bonus" epiosodes of the Ongoing History, lots of people began requesting topics...wondering if we had ever covered them. With 800+ shows in the vault, there is a good chance that we have. One request came to us from a drummer who asked "I'm sure you've done shows about singers and guitarists...but what about drummers? I play the drums and often am the butt of jokes because...well I play the drums". Well...good thing you asked becasue in May of 2004 we paid homage to the Drummer. ...

History music drummer AlanCross


Alt Rock Concept Albums: Part 2
Every song comes from some sort of story. Sometimes it’s just the story of a feeling…good or bad…or maybe it’s just a way of getting a point of view across. Other songs are actual stories. They have a narrative, characters, drama, beginning, middle and end. But what if you’re a composer and you have a story that is too long….too complex to fit in the standard four minute song. Well then maybe you need to think about breaking it out to its constituent parts and telling the story across multiple songs. You ...

Music history alancross GreenDay Everclear NineInchNails

Sloan In Their Own Words: Part 2
It's not easy making a living as a rock band in Canada... This is afterall the second largest country in the world. And when you consider that the Trans-Canada Highway is over 7600 kilometers long, and there is nearly 10 million square kilomters of land spead out over 6 time zones, well...it's a little daunting to say the least.  And even though 77% of Canada's 36 million people live in big cities, bands still have to work really really hard to reach everyone.   It's even harder when you factor in that w...

Music History Sloan Canada

Alt Rock Concept Albums: Part 1
There are many ways to tell a story...a book, a movie, at TV, a comic book. You also use music of course; a ballad is a story set to music,  a lot of music videos tell a story. Operas and ballet are more grand.  The other musical option is the concept album. These are records where all the songs, all  the imagery, is somehow tied togethor by some sort of unifying theme or thesis. The music, the lyrics and sometimes even the artwork come togehtor to tell a story.  These were big in the '60's and 70's but t...

Music History AlanCross DavidBowie Tool Weezer GreenDay NineInchNails


Sloan In Their Own Words: Part 1
Over the years, there have been a good number of Canadian bands that have gone on hiatus, broken up, taken time apart....and eventually reunited.  Some have made it work....others not so much. Take Sloan for example. Aside from a brief 2 year hiatus between 1994 and 1996...we'll explain...they've been putting out music since 1991 and really, can you imagine a Canadian rock music scene without them? Fortunately for us, we were able to get Chris Murphy and Jay Ferguson in a studio and we thought it best to...

History Music Sloan Canada AlanCross

Medical Mysteries of Music
Okay here is something that may shock you. As far as scientists can tell, there is no biological or evolutionary need for humans to have…music. As a species, we could get along just fine without it. Life would be much duller but we would be okay. Yet there is something about our brains…we’re hard wired to both crave and create music. Bottom line is that music is literally part of your DNA, which brings up some interesting issues. Welcome to an episode that I call “Medical Mysteries of Music”...

History Music AlanCross Mediical

Going Solo
Sometimes when you’re in a band, you have ideas and ambitions that might not line up exactly with what your band is doing. This can cause tension, friction, confusion...suspicion. So, one of two things can happen: the band can break up and use the "creative differences excuse", or you can reach some sort of agreement where the keener can do whatever it is they want and everyone can then get back down to business. Sometimes this works...and sometimes it doesn't. This is what happens when someone in a band ...

AlanCross OngoingHistory Music Podcast Podcasting


Useless information
Alright, let’s face it. My entire carrier is based on obscure information. The weirder stuff I can find out about a band, an artist, a musician, a performer…the better. However. Obscure information does not necessarily mean useful information. But I don’t think there is anything wrong with useless information.  This is the fun stuff…the bits of trivia that gives things spice. You can use it to win bar bets and I’m glad I know it because it’s just fun! So, I think it’s time that I gather this information a...

Music History Podcast Podcasting Curioscast AlanCross

Eggheads and Geeks
We're going to dispel some myths about the rock star. Over the decades, most people have come to believe that rock stars...of both sexes...are drunken, drugged out sex machines that had they not learned to play an instrument would have had a hard time holding down the worse type of minimum wage job.  But being a rock star isn't necessarily synonymous with having the intellect and manners of a caveman. Don't believe us? Have a listen and you'll see....

AlanCross Music History Podcast Podcasting

Fans and Fatalities
It's not only expensive to put on a concert or a tour, but it's also risky. There's the whole issue of liabiltiy. If a fan gets hurt or killed, the resulting lawsuits can be crippling. You need insurance. You know...just in case something awful happens.  And awful things do happen.  No one goes to or holds a concert with the idea of anyone being hurt...but...stuff happens. Well, what kind of stuff?  Well...I'm glad you asked...

Music history Podcast Podcasting AlanCross CuriosCast


A Not-So Brief History of Ska: Part 2
Ska was born in Jamaica in the 1950's. It was declared over at least twice. The first wave pettered out in the 1960's as Reggae took hold. Then in the early 1980's, post-punk Ska was suddenly deemed passe.  But on both occasions, Ska rose from the dead and came back even stronger.  Ska is not onto its 3rd wave...and that's where we are going....

AlanCross Music Podcasting AltRock History Curioscast

A Not-So Brief History of Ska: Part 1
How many of today's Ska fans...and there are millions and millions of them all across the world...realise how deep and how rich, and how complicated the history of this music really is? From first wave, through second wave, and finally the present third wave of Ska...We think it's time to check it out. This is the first part of our in depth look at the history of Ska....

AlanCross Music Podcast Podcasting

Rage Against The Machine: Part 2
On this Podcast, conclude our 2009 profile of Rage Against The Machine. Few bands in Alt-Rock are as passionate, powerful and influenctial as these four guys. We trace the roots of Rage from their earliest bands, all the way through their reunion in the late 00's. Enjoy. And turn this one up!...


The Inventors
Every walk of life has its stars...the famous people who get all the attention. In business it's the CEO's, in sports the athletes. In movies it's the actors and to some extent, the directors. And in music it's the musicians...and the singers. But to be honest, these people are just the faces of their respective industries and pursuits. Some have real power and influcence...others are just figureheads and pupets.  Whatever the case, behind them...behind the famous people...are armies of people who made it ...

Rage Against The Machine: Part 1
Few bands in Alt-Rock are as passionate, powerful and influenctial as Rage Against The Machine. On this weeks bonus summer Podcast, and by request, we dig into the archives to bring you our 2009 profile of RATM. We trace the roots of Rage from their earliest bands, all the way through their reunion in the late 00's. Enjoy. And turn this one up!...

Hidden Tracks and Sundry
This is a program about the hidden audio that lurks in your music collection. You don’t know about it…you didn’t ask for it…you maybe didn’t even want it…but it’s there…and it needs to be exposed… And it’s more than just hidden songs, too…there’s all kinds of weirdness tucked away—if you know where to look…and when I say “weird”, I mean “super weird”...

Music History Albums AlanCross HiddenTrack


The History of Power Pop
In the beginning—and I’m talking about, say, 1955—it was easy to categorize popular music…there was rock, pop, country and r&b…it was nice and simple…pretty much all mainstream music you heard could be dumped into one of these four buckets… But even back then you could get more granular…you could slice certain genres into thinner slices to include big band, Dixieland, Ska and hillbilly…and jazz…and gospel…and Broadway show music…and I guess we can’t leave out classical, can we?... And as rock’n’roll grew,...

Great Lost Albums
I hate not finishing something I start…for example, if I pick up a novel, I’m determined to finish the thing even if I hate it… But then I look around the house and I see all the jobs that I didn’t complete…organizing the basement…filing all CDs and records…that little project in the back corner of the garden that—well, I don’t even remember what I was trying to do there… Then there’s my novel…I’ve wrote two chapters in a flurry of creativity year ago—and I haven’t touched it since…it’s been so long that ...

Christian Rock
For this weeks bonus Ongoing History Podcast, we go back to January 2005 and our look at Christian Rock. In this episode we trace its history and evolution of  in the Alt-Rock world. It's not all Creed! Thankfully... Special thanks to Brad from Brampton, Ontraio who asked for Alan's thoughts on the genre. And fortunately, we had one on file!  Here it is!  Enjoy!...


You're Going to Jail!
Welcome to a show about crime—specifically crimes committed by performers in alt-rock…and i’m not talking about petty misdemeanors, bar fights, minor felonies, drug convictions or overnight stays in the drunk tank…the topic is real crime and hard time…arrests, convictions and long-term jail sentences—in some cases, sentences scheduled to last decades…robbery, murder, child abuse…there’s some scary stuff coming up here…...

Canadian Producers
It's Canada Day weekend so we thought why not celebrate some heroes of the Canadian music scene. The record producers who have shaped some of the most important and influencial bands and artists in new rock history. We have a long history of production talent and we look at the legends and the new breed.  This show is from mid 2003 so since then, there are a lot more Canadians to add to the list. Happy Canada Day!...

History of Indie Rock: Part 4
For decades, the attitude was that if you recorded for an independent label, you were in the minor leagues…after all, if you were any good or you made music that the masses were likely to enjoy, you’d have been picked up by a major label, right?... The world of indie rock—which itself was a subset within the already left-of-centre alternative rock scene—was a place to put all the extra weird misfits or those whose talent was questioned… Totally unfair…mostly…yes, there were plenty of dregs when it came to...


Green Day: From their Beginning to 2005
For this weeks bonus Ongoing History Podcast, we go back to early 2005 and our profile of Green Day. In this episode we trace their history from their very beginnings before the band even formed, right up to the release of their "comeback album" American Idiot. Special thanks to Colin who asked: "Hey Alan...have you ever done a show about the history of Green Day"?Why yes we have Colin...13 years ago. And here it is again! Enjoy!...

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The History of Indie Rock: Part 3
There was a time when indie music was ignored by most people…the thinking was that if the music was any good, then it would have been picked up and released by a major label… And there was some merit to that argument…there was a time when the major labels—back when there were six or seven of them—scooped up all the best stuff…they could afford to take those kinds of chances back then…the indie labels were, for the most part, left with the dregs… I know, I know…that sounds shortsighted, elitist and unfair…...

Fashion
All summer long we will be bringing you bonus Podcats, and today we go back into the Ongoing History archives to talk about Fashion. This is a request for Amy in Cambridge who asked "have you ever done a show that talks about how fashion was influenced by and through Alt Rock?"Why yes we have and here it is! From Mods, to Grunge, Goth, Punk and a whole lot more. Enjoy and thanks for listening!...


The History of Indie Rock: Part 2
The music industry is dominated by three major record labels: Universal, Sony and Warner…they are multi-national entities that control most of the world’s trade in music and all the revenue that goes with it…. But beyond those three companies are hundreds, thousands of labels that do their own thing…and because they are unaffiliated with the big three, we consider them to be “independent”… They are the indie labels….the musicians who record for them are indie artists…this is the universe of the non-mainst...

The History of Indie Rock: Part 1
We’re going to spend a couple of programs tracing the history of “indie rock” and why music that has come up through these ranks has become to important to not just alternative rock but today’s rock’n’roll in general… Our story is of the records and the artists—but it’s also of the labels and the people behind them…you can’t tell one part of the story and not the other… But what are we really talking about?...what, exactly, is “indie rock?”…tough one, so we’ll have to unpack this carefully…...

24 Years of the Warped Tour
In the early days of rock—and we’re talking the 1950s here—the most efficient and cost-effective way to put acts on tour was to bundle them together as a package and put them on the road… In some cases, there would be a common backing band for most of all of the artists…PA equipment—such as it was in those days—was often supplied on site… These became known as caravan tours…guys like Alan Freed, the pioneering disc jockey and Dick Clarke—you know him, right?—took all these acts on the road playing places ...


Before They Were Famous
No one is born a rock star…well, maybe in terms of their attitude but not in terms of vocation…you gotta have the talent and you need to put in the work if you want to achieve actual rock star status… But that takes a lot of time and a lot of effort…and before you get to the stage where people acknowledge your rock star-ness, there are lots of twists and turns, false starts and dead ends… Later, when you’re rich and famous, these early attempts become part of your archeological record…some of this stuff m...

The History of Nerd Rock
Nerd…noun…a foolish or contemptible person who lacks social skills or is boringly studious…definition 2: a single-minded expert in a particular technical field...example: a computer nerd… It’s an old word, too…the, er, nerds at google have a thing called “the ngram viewer” which scans the text of books going back to 1500…in other words, pretty much right back to the inventing of the printing press… According to these nerds, “nerd” (the word) shows up for the first time in an book called “a true discourse ...

The Truth About Concert Tickets
Buying concert tickets used to be easy…you show a show you wanted to see, went down to the box office, plunked down some cash and in exchange were given a couple of stiff pieces of paper with some words on them… When it came time for the show, you presented those pieces of paper to a person at the door who torn them in half—and you went inside to enjoy the gig… It really was that simple—in theory, anyway…it wasn’t, but we’ll get to that… As time went on, buying concert tickets got more complicated…throug...


Songs of Protest
Sometimes people get so pissed off or so inspired by something that they just have to sing about it…this is the protest song and it’s been with us for centuries… It’s music that encourages political and social change… and if done right—and if circumstances are correct—the song can mobilize people to take action, lift spirits and annoy (or even scare) authorities of the establishment… Protest music comes in all forms:  classical, folk, reggae, pop, hip hop and, of course, rock…it can rail against war, dema...

Airplanes!
People often ask me where I come up with ideas for this program…my answer is always the same… you know that feeling when it’s Sunday night and you promise yourself you’ll start on that assignment that’s due the next morning as soon as “the Simpsons” is over?... Yeah, that’s me…every week…and after more than 700 of these one-hour assignments stretching back to 1993, I hit a wall…total writer’s block… I started to panic…there are hard deadlines…I have a contract…I’m expected to deliver another new show…ther...

The 90s Part 9: The Festivals
I don’t know if you realize this, but the music festival isn’t a modern creation…people have been gathering in fields to hear music for centuries…and in some cases, those original festivals are still happening… Ever hear of Fiera Della Frecagnola?...it started in the village of Cannalonga, up in the mountains in the south of Italy…as far as we’ve been able to tell, the first gig was in 1450…and it’s still happening today… There are other long-timey festivals in Germany, England, India, Latvia…so this isn’...


The 90s Part 8: The CanRock Revolution
Canada is now the sixth-largest music market in the world…only the US., Japan, the UK, Germany and France are bigger…not bad, considering that we’re living right next door to the biggest exporter of popular culture in the known universe—and considering that unlike Japan, Germany and France, most of our domestic music industry isn’t isolated and protected because of language… I mean, the whole world consumes English-language music…what’s the market for Japanese music outside Japan?...or German music outside...

The 90s Part 7: The Other Genres
One of the great things about the alt-rock revolution of the 1990s was its diversity… The sounds from this part of the rock universe had always been varied…that’s because the idea of “alternative music” was so amorphous…if it was (a) non-mainstream and ignored by most radio stations; (b) a little left of centre in terms of aesthetics; and (c) considered weird by the majority, then it qualified as “alternative” by default, simply because the was no other way to categorize it…and humans love to organize thin...

The 90s Part 6: The Punk Revival
The early 90s were an amazing time for music…generation x, a powerful demographic force, reached the age where they were in a position to demand music that reflected their needs and wants and wishes and desires and fears… The biggest sea change came with the rise of grunge, thanks to Soundgarden, Pearl Jam, Alice in Chains, and, of course, Nirvana…but that music was just the kick-start for the alternative nation that came to dominate most of the 90s…. For many, grunge was alternative music with training w...


The 90s Part 5b: Hip-Hop's Effects Part 2
If we look at the state of rock here in the 21st century, it is no longer the main musical driver of popular culture…hip-hop is king… This doesn’t mean it’s dead, that it doesn’t have a place in our lives, that it isn’t going to be around for decades to come…but if you’re honest, you’ll have to admit that hip-hop has extended its reach into popular culture with the strength and depth that used to belong to rock… And it’s not like rock’s appeal shrank…it’s that other genres have exploded, hip-hop being the...

The 90s Part 5a: Hip-Hop's Effects Part 1
There are some things you should never mix...oil and water...nitro and glycerin...tequila and—well, it’s not a good idea to mix tequila with anything other than salt, lemon and maybe some fruit juice… They used to say this about rock and rap music, too...and they were pretty adamant about that… When rap and hip-hop started seeping into the mainstream in the middle 1980s, it immediately polarized people...those who didn’t (or refused) to get it, were aggressively dismissive of what rap brought to the table...

The 90s Part 4: Britpop
I want you to think about fashion for a moment…fashion is one of the most disposable of all the artistic endeavours…much of what’s created isn’t designed to last more than a season…once the season is over, time to toss out all the coture and buy new stuff… But there are cycles in fashion…after a certain amount of time, old styles might come back into favour again…this, in a way, makes fashion a renewable resource… Music is also like that…trends and sounds and styles come along and then disappear…but then ...


The 90s Part 3: Grunge
Up until the 1990s, the section of the rock universe known as “alternative” was all over the place…there wasn’t what anyone could call a defining sound…if it was left of centre, weird to mainstream music fans and ignored by the media, then it was “alternative”... If you were around the late 80s—the decade where the word “alternative” began to be used to describe a certain attitude in rock—you’ll remember that this was an umbrella term for so many different types of artists… If you couldn’t categorize a so...

The 90's Part 2B: Front Women
In 1967 during the summer of love, anything seemed possible…civil rights issues were being addressed…the war in Vietnam could be stopped…drugs and free love were in the air…and women were being liberated… Amongst all this was Jimi Hendrix who became a fan of an all-female rock band from San Francisco called “the ace of cups”… Wait a second…an all-girl rock band?...who wrote their own songs?...who had a chick out front that could shred like a man?...and a girl playing drums?... Even in 1967, that was radi...

The 90's Part 2A: Solo Women
In a less-enlightened time, women were barely tolerated by the rock’n’roll establishment…they could sing, shake a tambourine and look pretty…but that’s about it…in retrospect, the sexism and misogyny was unbelievable…but back in the day, it was business as usual… Some strong women who broke through…Joan Baez, Aretha Franklin, Diana Ross, Carole King, Janis Joplin…but they were the exceptions… Sexism continued through the early- and mid-seventies…the prevailing “wisdom” was that women just couldn’t rock…it...


The 90's Part 1: Foundational Changes
Writing history takes a very long time…sure, you could write down everything as it happens, but that’s really only like writing a diary…you only have a record of events—which is fine…but real history, meaningful history is something more… To understand what happened in the past, more time has to go by so that we can observe the ripples events have the world…it’s only by examining those ripples that we begin to understand what’s happening in the present and what could happen in the future… It’s often helpf...

RocknRoll Scientific Nomenclature
How would you like to be remembered when you’re gone?...most people make do with a tombstone or some such other grave marker…maybe a few photographs and other detritus from a life… But maybe you’ve done something exceptional, something that extends beyond just your family and friends…my dad was mayor of my tiny hometown on the Canadian prairies and was instrumental in the development of a tourist area…for that, he had a street named after him…very nice… Others have schools named after them…buildings…airpo...

Trying to be a Superstar in the 21st Century
You may have noticed that the most of the biggest rock acts in the world aren’t that young…Green Day?...middle 40s… Dave Grohl?...creeping up on the half-century mark… Trent Reznor?...as we sit here right now, he’s 52…Pearl Jam: early-to-mid 50s… Average age of U2?...upper 50s…Springsteen?...68…Paul McCartney?...75…and The Rolling Stones?…do you have to ask?... I am not ragging on old rockers…this is not about ageism…i just can’t subscribe to that whole “rock is for the young” B.S.…if these acts can conti...


Gorillaz: A History
Everything is virtual these days…outside of the stuff you’ve got in your pocket, money is nothing but a bunch of zeroes and ones…we shop online at virtual stores…we read virtual books on our tablets… Even our relationships have gone that way because of Facebook and twitter and Instagram… A lot of our music is virtual, too…it’s been that way since we started ripping our cds and trading mp3s online...then came stores like iTunes with its digital tracks and albums and metadata… So it stands to reason, that ...

Remembering David Bowie: Part 2
He was known by many names over the six decades he made music...and for the last 40-plus years, he was the most discussed, photographed, imitated, worshiped and admired rock star in history... No single rock and roll performer had a more profound an effect on our music as David Bowie...all of today’s best alt-rock bands all have a bit of Bowie in them …and that net can be cast much, much wider…Madonna, Lady Gaga, Prince…the list is endless... He was a singer, a songwriter, record producer, movie actor, st...

Remembering David Bowie: Part 1
The sound of a text coming through woke me up at 2:15 in the morning…what was so important that it couldn’t wait until later?...it was either a wrong number—or it was bad news… It was bad news…a friend in L.A. had just heard some awful information: David Bowie had died… This wasn’t supposed to happen…Bowie was supposed to be one of the immortals, someone who would always be with us….after all, he’d been making music through six decades… And yes, he’d been almost entirely out of sight for a decade, but we...


Who the Hell is Arcade Fire? Part 2
Let’s just say it: Arcade Fire is weird…just about everything they’ve done in their career has been not only unconventional but against the rules… They rarely give interviews…they won’t license their music…they’d rather spend weeks working with the people of Haiti than lounging by a swimming pool somewhere…they won’t even stay on the stage when they perform… Yet whatever they’ve done has worked…junos, Grammy’s, Brits, The Polaris Music Prize…members have had their work nominated for an academy award…human...

Who the Hell is Arcade Fire? Part 1
The music world went a little weird on February 13, 2011…and I remember it very, very well because I was in a hotel room in Vancouver with nothing to do but watch TV…I think I was coming back from a speaking thing in Victoria and my flight home had been cancelled… I ordered up a club sandwich from room service and lay on the bed watching the 53rd Grammy awards…all the usual suspects were there…lady gaga, whose album “the fame monster” had been, well, a monster…six nominations, including best album… Katy P...

Scott Weiland: Part 3
If you’ve ever been responsible for managing a group of people, you’ll understand when I say, “humans are complicated” …as much life experience you may have, you will always, always encounter folks who have gone through lives that are much different from yours… You consider your life normal…they consider their lives normal, too…but the gulf between these senses of what’s “normal” can be huge… It all depends on your upbringing, your current environment, your family life and your state of mind…no judgements...


Scott Weiland: Part 2
We all react differently when we hear that a celebrity has died…if it’s someone whose work has managed to touch us in a particular way, the loss can really hurt… Our idols aren’t supposed to be life-sized…they’re something bigger than that…maybe not immortal, but somehow not subject to the day-to-day things we have to deal with…. It really, really bothered me when Joey Ramone died…it hurt when Kurt killed himself…and when Amy Winehouse OD-ed, it affected me even though I wasn’t what you’d call a big fan… ...

Scott Weiland: Part 1
The layout of a tour bus is standard…first, you have the driver’s compartment…behind that is an area where everyone can hang out…a couple of tables, some seating, a fridge, a stove, a microwave and an audio-video system connected to a big-screen TV… Next is a hallway lined with sleeping bunks, usually about three per side…after that, a bathroom and maybe some shower facilities…and finally, we come to the rear bedroom… Here you’ll find a double bed, more seating, another TV and few more amenities… Sometim...

60 Mind-Blowing Facts About Music in 60 Minutes: 2017 Edition
One of my great accomplishments of the year was the construction of a new home office…after 12 years working on this program in a converted bedroom, I built a full-feature workspace in the basement… Oh, it’s lovely…for the first time since I started doing this program in 1993, all my stuff is in one place…all the computers, all the CD’s and vinyl and books and magazines are all together…it’s a marvelously efficient workspace… This, however, was not an easy project…renovations being what they are, it took ...


Joe Strummer: A Remembrance
Back in the day, they called The Clash "the only band that mattered" and few voices are more important or influential in the history of rock than that of Joe Strummer. Without Joe and The Clash, we wouldn't have a fraction of the bands and musicians that we do today. Put simply;  Joe Strummer is one of the most significant musicians in the history of rock. Full stop. December 22nd, 2017 marks the 15th anniversary of Joe's sudden passing at just 50 years old. To mark the occasion, and honour Joe, we go back...

Remembering Chester Bennington Part 3
If anyone were to look at Linkin Park around 2011, there no reason to think that anything was going wrong… In the ten years since the band was formed, they’d sold over 80 million albums…they had millions of fans all over the world…they were in firm control of their career, planning to release a new album every 18 months or so, a schedule they, not the record label, set out… Plus they had time to indulge in all kinds of side projects, some musical, some not—like remix albums, soundtracks, even movies…DJ Jo...

Remembering Chester Bennington Part 2
When a musician dies, there’s a light that goes out in fans…it’s not like we knew this person, you know, personally…but it might feel that we did…that’s because the art they created expressed feelings and concepts and thoughts that we couldn’t articulate ourselves…it’s through their music that we are able to learn more about ourselves…that’s why we need artists… And we often don’t realize how deeply their music affected us and in what ways it has worked into our lives and psyches until that person is gone…...


Remembering Chester Bennington Part 1
When the news first came down on the afternoon of Thursday, July 20, 2017, maybe your reaction was the same as me… “another celebrity death hoax…it’s gotta be because this doesn’t make sense”…but it as the minutes ticked by, it was soon obvious that it wasn’t a hoax…but it still didn’t make sense… By the end of the day, everything was confirmed…Chester Bennington, vocalist with Linkin Park, was not only dead, but dead by his own hand…what?... This guy was the frontman for a band that has sold somewhere ar...

60 Band Name Origins in 60 Minutes
As someone who churns out tens of thousands of words a week—everything from emails to blog posts to business documents to these radio scripts—I’ve developed a fascination with words and, for whatever reason, names…especially the origins of names… The study of word origins is “etymology”…and the study of name origins is “onomastics”… Take, for example the name Ignatius…this is an ancient name dating back to the Etruscans, the civilization before the romans…a lot of dudes were named “Ignatius” over the cent...

Legendary Recording Studios
Not that long ago, if you wanted to make an album, you needed rent a big, expensive recording studio…in addition to paying an hourly, daily, weekly or monthly rate, you need to pay for a producer, an engineer or two, all the recording tape you used and any catering that was required…it could get very expensive very quickly… But that was okay because back then, the music industry was awash in money…your label would happily advance you the money to cover your recording costs because they were just going to t...


Gord Downie: A Remembrance Part 2
This is part two of our remembrance of Gord Downie… We left off last time with The Hip in their golden years—a glorious run of singles, albums, tours, festivals (like edgefest, their own “another roadside attraction festival, edenfest) along with appearances on radio, TV and in movies—plus things like Junos and Much Music video awards… “Day For Night” was followed by “Trouble At The Henhouse” in 1996, which spun off five singles…the concert album, “Live Between Us” was recorded that year at Cobo Hall in D...

Gord Downie: A Remembrance-Part 1
Here is how we’re going to do this…we all know how important Gord Downie and The Tragically Hip have been to Canadian music, Canadian culture and Canada, period…we’ll take that as read… And when Gord died on October 18, 2017, it seemed like the whole country went into mourning…the best tweet I saw read “Canada closed…death in the family” …those six words summed things up better than anything else I saw... What I’d like to do is remember and celebrate Gord and The Hip, filling in some blanks along the way…...

The Kings of Quirk
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder—or in the case of music, the ear…what’s pleasant to one person is nothing but noise to someone else… This is where it’s good to have some patience…there are some forms of art whose beauty isn’t obvious at first…you need to stick with it…and after you’ve given it a chance and you’ve decided that it’s not for you, fine… But what about those times where something happens—suddenly or slowly and either on your own or with the prompting of someone else—and you realize that t...


The Queens of Quirk
For a very long time—too long—women were locked in very defined roles when it came to rock’n’roll…girls were expected to look pretty and do little more than sing…okay, maybe shake a tambourine or something…but that was about it… And when it came to singing, “just stick with conventional stuff, dear…don’t get any crazy ideas in your head…this is a woman’s role in rock and you should stick to it…that’s a nice little lady”… But then along came punk rock in the 1970s…punk did many things for rock—including kn...

The Tragically Hip: A Retrospective
I’d just landed at Pearson airport in Toronto after a long flight from the far east…as soon as we left the runway, I turned on my phone…the texts and the emails came one after another…blam: Gord Downie was dying…blam: brain cancer…something called “neuroblastoma”…blam: and the prognosis wasn’t good…the condition was terminal…one year, maybe two—five at best… But that same news conference also announced that The Hip was going on tour again…the Man Machine Poem tour…that turned into a massive national celebr...

The Beginners Guide To Vinyl
So you’ve decided to go all retro and dive into vinyl…no more digital for you…you are going back to the future…it’s all about analogue, baby… Buh-bye, mp3s and digital downloads—except maybe for the songs you want to load on your phone…but that’s the one and only exception…other than the songs you want to play through your car’s entertainment system…that’s two exceptions and no more…unless we count the songs you want to send to friends…those three situations cover off everything—except for the digital trac...


What's The Big Deal About Bauhaus
For this Friday bonus Podcast of the Ongoing History of New Music we dig deep into the OGH archieves to the spring of 2005 and have a look at one of the most influcential bands of the 80's They only exhisted for barely 4 years and released just 4 albums but without them would there be a Smashing Pumpkins? Nine Inch Nails? Marilyn Manson? White Zombie? This is a program in the "what's the big deal series?". An occasional look at why todays music sounds like it does.  This time we ask "What's The Big Deal ...

The Ongoing History Book of Lasts
Everyone talks about being first at something because it’s cool to be the first to do something…but what about being last?... There’s something called “Telesphobia,” which is the fear of being last at something…but sometimes, you just don’t have a choice… The last person killed in World War 1 was George Edwin Ellison, who was shot by a sniper 90 minutes before the Armistice went into effect at 11 am on November 11, 1918… The last time a TV commercial for cigarettes ran on American TV was on December 31, ...

The Oral History of Manchester Part 2
It's a Friday bonus Podcast of the Ongoing History of New Music. We dig deep into the OGH archieves to bring you episodes that you want to hear again. This time in Podcast form. This week it's the 2nd part of the Oral History of Madchester as told by someone who was there to see it and make it happen. Gaz Whelan of the Happy Monday's!...


The Ongoing History Book Of Firsts Volume 2
There’s a first time for everything…we know who the first man on the moon was…Edmund Hillary was the first to the top of Mount Everest…the first movie with talking in it was “The Jazz Singer”…and so on… I started thinking about “firsts” the other day, so I started looking things up…the first McDonald’s was in san Bernardino, California…the first guy to literally walk around the world on foot was Dave Kunist…it took him four years to walk 14,452 miles …the first person to be killed in an automobile accident...

The Oral History of Madchester Part 1
It's a Friday bonus Podcast of the Ongoing History of New Music. We dig deep into the OGH archieves to bring you episodes that you want to hear again. This time in Podcast form. This week it's the Oral History of Madchester as told by someone who was there to see it and make it happen. Gaz Whelan of the Happy Monday's!...

The Tool Odyssey
As we sit here together, it’s been about 11 years and five months since Tool released their last album, “10,000 days”…that record came out on April 28, 2006…  Let’s put that into perspective…the last time we tool gave us a record of new material, the introduction of the iPhone was still more than a year away…Bob Barker was still hosting “The Price is Right”… And this is my favourite: that was the year when NASA launched the new Horizons Probe towards Pluto…it has since flown past Pluto and is well into th...


10 Unusual Things About Nirvana
Nirvana is one of those bands where it seems we know everything…when they broke through with the “Nevermind” album in 1991 and 1992, there was a rush to learn everything we could about them…and then we Kurt died—which happened roughly at the same time the internet began to be a thing with the general public—that interest exploded… Now, in the decades since nirvana ceased to exist, study of the band, its history, its individual members and its influence can best be described as scholarship…that’s how deep w...

The Last Hours Of...
At some point, all of us will shuffle off this mortal choir and join the choir invisible…doesn’t matter who you are, how much money you may have or how famous you might be…in the end, we’re all mortal… This really hits home when musicians we love disappear forever…it’s not like we personally know these people, but because their music helps us know ourselves, a little piece of us dies with them… The circumstances of their passing’s vary…misadventure, accidents, overdoses, suicide…some can be explained away...

Unfortunate Sonic Coincidences
Here are a couple of musical terms you may have heard of… Earworm: that’s when a clip of a song keeps running through your head on a loop over and over and over again. Mondegreen: a misheard lyric…a great example is in Jimi Hendrix’s “Purple Haze”…he sings “’scuse me while i kiss the sky”…some people hear that as “’scuse me while i kiss this guy”…there are lots of mondegreens in popular music… I propose we need a third term…it’s that opinion that overcomes us when we believe one song sounds almost ex...


Deconstructing the Arctic Monkeys
I love trying to figure out why things are the way they are…it’s a need to understand, you know?... Take a guy like Jack White, for example…if you go deep into his background, you have a much better understanding of why he is the way he is and why his music sounds the way it does… Another example is the Beastie Boys…how did they grow to what they became…if you look at Green Day’s upbringing, you get them even more… Same goes for Kurt Cobain, Dave Grohl, Eddie Vedder—they all have life experiences unique ...

Catching Up With The Black Keys
It is so hard to have a hit record these days…hell, with all the music out there it’s nearly impossible to attract any kind of attention…all the noise and distractions and competition… If you’re a new band with a debut record, you’ve got anywhere from six to thirteen weeks to make an impression once that first single comes out….if you fail to achieve significant traction with radio and retail and with fans during that short window, you’re in trouble…and if your record label doesn’t make it happen for you w...

Spectacular Acts of Self Sabotage
You probably know someone like this: a guy (or a woman) who through having loads of talent or tons of luck or both has become successful…they have everything anyone could ever hope to have…money, notoriety, stuff…access to all kinds of pleasure and adventures and opportunity...everyone you know wishes they cold be this person… And then they screw it all up…not by bad luck or illness or any other misfortune, necessarily…they just make some bad decisions or questionable moves that damage or destroy their car...


The Amazing Year That Was 1991
When it comes to music, not all years are created equal…listen, every year features some great new songs from great new bands…but over the long term, this music isn’t equally distributed…sometimes—maybe once a decade, but usually less—we run into what can only be described as an embarrassment of riches… What i mean by that is that we go through a period where every week—even every day—seems to bring something amazing… Like when?...1955, maybe…Elvis…Chuck Berry…Little Richard….Bo Diddley…Bill Haley and the...

9 Amazing Things About Your Brain
There is absolutely no need for music—speaking in terms of evolution, anyway… As far as scientists can tell, there’s no compelling reason for humans to make and enjoy music…neurologically, we could get along quite well without it…sure, our world would be very dull, but we’d be fine as a species… Yet for some reason, the human brain seems to be hardwired for music…and it looks like even the non-human brain was constructed this way…archeologists found a flute made out of bone constructed by neanderthals tha...

Chester Bennington and Linkin Park
The last few years have been rough for music fans…Scott Weiland, David Bowie, Prince and a dozen more have left us…2017 has also had its share of loss…Chuck Berry…Gregg Allman…Chris Cornell—and now Chester Bennington of Linkin Park…  A new ongoing history show about Linkin Park is on the schedule for the fall…but in light of the events of the past week, we’ve pulled out an older show dating to 2008…this tells the story of Chester and Linkin Park to that point…...


Inside The Foo Fighters
Being in a band seems straightforward…you pick up some instruments and start playing…but it’s much more complicated than that…the music that you end up making is influenced by so many outside forces…where you grew up…what music you listened to as a kid…what music you listen to now…the city in which you’re writing songs…the city in which you’re recording those songs… All these factors (and more!) Affect the music you make…but how?...and fans love this stuff…they love to know what other bands influenced thei...

If That Is Your REAL Name
This is a show all about fake names…sure we could spend an hour talking about how people like Courtney Love and Elton John and Madonna use fake names on hotel registers…or we could go into how Bono’s real name is “Paul Hewson” and Deadmau5 has “Joel Zimmerman” on his driver’s license and that lorde is really Ella Yelich O’Connor… We could talk about how singers and bands sometimes perform gigs under fake names to throw off the press…the Foo Fighters, The Arcade Fire, Metallica, The Arctic Monkeys, Radiohea...

The Tragically Hip's Fully Completely Reissue With Rob Baker
“Even though it was the middle of summer, it was cold and wet,” Rob Baker remembers, “and after a full day in the studio, there was nothing to do but go back to where we were staying and watch the Olympics that were happening in Barcelona…and they were still talking about Canada and what happened with Ben Johnson four years earlier.” The Tragically Hip were in the UK, recording what would be their third full studio album at Battery Studios, a facility protected from the rest of the surrounding grimy north ...


10 Terrible Career Moves
We’ve all done something that we’ve later regretted...it seemed so right at the time, you know? In hindsight, though, it turned out to be really, really dumb… Maybe we were misinformed or lacking all the information we needed…maybe it was emotion or ego that prompted us down that path… or maybe we just disobey what our gut was telling us… “Hey! What’s that big wooden horse outside the city gates! Let’s bring it inside!”…that kind of thing… Prohibition…New Coke…the Ford Edsel…the U.S. invasion of Iraq…. ...

RockNRoll Drugs
There are many ways to clear or expand your mind to allow creativity to flow, stress to dissipate and peace to descend on the mind and body…exercise, meditation, prayer…but that takes exertion, practice and devotion…what if there was a simpler way? Well, there is…drugs…it’s not the smartest way to solve your problems, but for centuries and centuries, drugs have worked for artists… We can go all the way back to cave paintings made in France, Spain, Italy, southern Africa and the Americas 50,000 years ago t...

Remembering the Beastie Boys Part 2
It is almost impossible for anyone from a lightweight boy band to transition to serious, respected artist…it can be done—we can look at Justin Timberlake and, um…well, we can look at Justin Timberlake…. And as tough as that is, it’s even more difficult to move from being pigeonholed as a novelty act to one that carries gravitas and serious artistic merit…yet that’s what the beastie boys managed to do… No one took them seriously for the first eight years of their career…they were spoiled, snotty frat boys ...


Remembering the Beastie Boys Part 1
For an entire generation of music fans—two generations, really—The Beastie Boys were always there…and now that they’re no longer with us, there are a lot of people who feel like there’s a void in music… But we’ll always remember their contributions…and there were a lot…this is part one of “Remembering The Beastie Boys”…...

The Tribes of Alt-Rock
One of the most useful things about music is that it can be used to tell the world who you are…we’ve all done it…it is a symbol of our individuality and belief in personal freedom…it proclaims our identity to the world… Once you start doing that, you inevitably find that there are people just like you…once you’re drawn together by a love of a common sort of music, you find that you have other shared interests… You start hanging out, maybe at a specific place…maybe you begin to talk about other things, lik...

10 Unusual Things About Pearl Jam
Pearl Jam is one of the most-documented bands of the last 30 years…even before the internet came along, fans were obsessive about cataloguing everything the band did…tour schedules, setlists, bootleg recordings, news stories… Pearl Jam encouraged this, too…a big part of their long-lasting appeal has been this relationship—this covenant—they’ve had with their fans about collecting and archiving stuff… The band understands this because they’re collectors, too…all you have to do is look at the 20th anniversa...


Chris Cornell: 6 Degrees of Separation
There’s a misconception that it takes a lot of people to come together to create a viable music scene…not true… The original punk scene in New York consisted of a few dozen weirdos who hung out at places like CBGB, the mudd club and Max’s Kansas city in the uglier end of town… The UK punk scene started with a similar number in the fall of 1976, pretty much every London punk fit into a single club on oxford street for a two-night music festival…capacity at the 100 club was official 350, but there was plent...

U2 and The Joshua Tree at 30 with Daniel Lanois Part 2
Whenever an artist goes into the studio, they hope for the best but expect the worst…you want it the album to sell and turn you into a global superstar with all the rights and privileges thereto…but there is no way to predict how the public will react to what you release… You can throw all the money you want a song, an album, a band and there is zero guarantee that it will be successful…yet people will always try because every once in a while, something remarkable happens… An album is a critical success…i...

U2 and The Joshua Tree at 30 with Daniel Lanois Part 1
On March 9, 1987—a little more than ten years after a bunch of kids met up in a Dublin kitchen—U2 released their fifth album…expectations were running pretty high…after establishing themselves with their first two albums, there was a leap ahead with the “War” album in 1983… But then came “The Unforgettable Fire” in 1984…that represented another leap forward…things seemed more sophisticated, stronger, bigger, better…much of the credit has to go to the new production team of Brian Eno and Daniel Lanois, guys...


The Diversity Show
Here is a truth that some people find very uncomfortable: rock, alt-rock and indie rock are predominantly white…why is that?...the answers—and there is more than one—are complicated…there has actually been a quite a lot of study on this question… Perhaps it’s because non-white people don’t choose this music as part of the way they project their identity to the world…culturally, they just don’t identify with these forms of music, so they naturally gravitate somewhere else… Others ask how this is different ...

Rock N Roll Rehab
Sometimes, the pressures of life become a little too much and the methods of escape you choose to cope with them aren’t exactly the best ones…over-indulgence with and reliance upon drugs and/or alcohol is never, ever a good thing…and once you get so far down this road, you need help… When you’re a musician, you have to deal with a whole new set of circumstances…long days, weird hours, bad food, poverty…or maybe you’ve struck it rich and you can’t handle the fame… Or maybe you love the fame a little too mu...

Music Questions People Almost Never Ask
I think one of the greatest gifts humans have is a sense of curiosity…the ability to question things around to learn why things are the way they are pushes us forward… Here are my three favourite questions that i think everyone should ask…are we alone in the universe?...who really killed JFK?...and what do dogs dream about when they twitch in their sleep?... But there are plenty of questions we don’t ask that we probably should…let me give you a few examples… When a prisoner about to be executed by let...


Oasis At War: Part 2
How well do you get along with your siblings?—assuming you have any, of course…brothers and sisters can be a pain, especially when you’re always in close quarters…and when you have to work with them, too—gawd, that can be ugly… We’ve talked about musical feuds before… Madonna did not get along with her brother, Christopher Ciccone, especially after he published a memoir about growing up with her…things seem to be okay right now… The Everly brothers, Don and Phil, did not get along…after a speed-fueled bre...

Oasis At War: Part 1
Siblings can be a pain in the butt…just because you’re related to someone doesn’t mean you’re going to get along…not everyone can be Venus and Serena Williams…here: lemme give you some examples… Ann Landers and Dear Abbey were real people—and they were sisters: Eppie and Pauline Lederer…despite having newspaper columns were famous for dishing out all sorts of relationship advice to readers, they didn’t apply that wisdom to themselves…they spent their lives antagonizing each other… Adolf and Rudolf Dassler...

Big Bands from Small Towns
Let me say from the outset that I have nothing against small towns…I grew up in one myself…population: 2000…it was in the middle of the Canadian prairies…the nearest big city was Winnipeg…after that, you had to go at least 500 miles before you hit any major population centre… I also want to make sure to let you know that I think living in a small town is a not bad idea…it’s not…it can be a wonderful, low-stress, low-cost secure existence…a lot of the people I went to school with still live in my small town...


Why Punk Happened
Every once in a while, something extraordinary happens in rock’n’roll…I hate the use the cliché of “a perfect storm,” but that’s exactly what I’m talking about…a bunch of things involving culture, politics, demographics, economics and technology all collide and mix in just the right way for something totally new and unexpected to be created… Lemme give you some examples…Elvis came along in the 1950s just as million post-war kids—these new constructs that were now called “teenagers”—began gravitating to new...

Rock And Roll Myths
Myths and legends come in all sizes…Atlantis…that’s a big one that we can’t seem to wrap our heads around…but maybe homer was just yanking our chain… “feed a cold, starve a fever”…turns out that’s wrong…depriving yourself of calories may make it harder for your body to fight off that infection or virus… “we only ever use 10% of our brain”…wrong…neuroscience has proven that to be false…the right number may be 20%--but there’s a lot of dispute over that… Here are some other myths I’ve run across…don’t feed...

Billy Talent In Their Own Words: Part 3
It’s hard being in a band…all that time close together, day and night, in cramped vans and crappy dressing rooms…record company issues, personal issues, personnel problems and the general fragile state of the human condition…it’s no wonder so many groups break up...after a while, it’s just too much trouble. But there are exceptions, bands that somehow manage to stay together in the same form forever, no matter what happens… the Radiohead that we know today is really the only Radiohead there’s ever been…U2 h...


Billy Talent In Their Own Words: Part 2
I’ve done hundreds of interviews with individual artists over the year…it’s relatively easy...all you have to do is get one person in a room, turn on the recording devices and you’re set… When it comes to interviewing a band, you’re lucky to get two members in the same place and the same time…  But getting every member of a band in the same place at the same time for an interview is next to impossible…I’ve only managed to be so lucky a couple of times… U2, Kings of Leon, Foo Fighters, Green Day, Blink-182...

Billy Talent In Their Own Words: Part 1
The best way to construct a profile on an artist is to round up everyone together, put them in a studio and get them to tell their story themselves… But that can be difficult, especially with a band…beyond touring and recording schedules, everyone has their own lives and may even live in different cities…putting everyone in the same place could be impossible… It took a while, but we did it…i have all four members of Billy Talent in one place…and they’re here for one purpose: to tell their story in their o...

The Rise and Fall and Rise of Blink 182 Part 3
Some years ago, I had a conversation with Don Letts, the DJ, filmmaker and confidant of The Clash…and he said something that stuck with me: “the average lifespan of a band is seven years…that’s enough for them to form, get big, become stars, develop creative differences and break up” … He’s not wrong…the clash did their best work from ’76 to ’83…The Beatles from ’63 to ’70…Nirvana was around from ’87 to ’94…  But then there are the exceptions, groups that have survived multiple seven-year cycle…U2, the St...


The Rise and Fall and Rise of Blink 182 Part 2
It’s rare that a band has a career with two acts…it’s not impossible…the survivors of Joy Division managed to do quite well as new order…the Barenaked Ladies were once written off before roaring back to life…and how many times has Black Sabbath risen from the ashes?... I’ll give you another one…Green Day…they’d run out of gas by the end of the 90s and contemplated breaking up for good…but then they reinvigorated themselves with their “American idiot” period and continue to do well… And then there’s the st...

The Rise and Fall and Rise of Blink 182 Part 1
After grunge blew up in the early 1990s, the walls between mainstream rock and the alternative universe crumbled completely…what other music had been hiding in the plain sight?... There was goth and industrial and various forms of electronica…and there was all this punk rock…tons of it…all different flavours, too…pop punk, punk-funk, hardcore, garage punk, glam punk, queercore, riot grrrl, ska-punk… Punk had always been there, waiting to be discovered by a whole new generation…and finally, the time was ri...