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Ongoing History of New Music

Curiouscast

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.

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.

Location:

London, ON

Description:

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.

Language:

English


Episodes

Hobbies of Musicians

5/5/2021
What do you for fun?...hobbies, pastimes—things that you do just for you, away from your job and all your other responsibilities?... I’ve got my dogs…my wife and I like to travel…and I’ve always had this thing about the JFK assassination…I’ve read all the books, seen all the documentaries…I’ve even been to Dallas and the grassy knoll, and the book depository…I can’t explain it, but I just find it interesting… Maybe you’re into sports…collecting hockey cards or wine or rare scotches…video...

Duration:00:28:16

Big Bands from Small Towns

4/28/2021
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...

Duration:00:27:39

The Post-Punk Explosion Part 7: All the rest

4/21/2021
The original punk rock explosion of the 1970s was two things…first, it was a major reset for rock’n’roll…think of it as a great musical decluttering… Punk of the 70s wasn’t revolutionary…it was reactionary…the music was stripped back, and everyone went back to the basics…very important… Second, there was an attitude shift…one of the central tenets of punk was that if you had the guts to say something, then do it…and if no one wanted to help you, well, then do it on your own… Taken together,...

Duration:00:21:04

The Post-Punk Explosion Part 6: Ska

4/14/2021
Every once in a while, music enters a state of flux where the direction of everything is, shall we say, undefined…we see and hear change but we’re not quite sure what it all means just yet…something is coming—but what?... All bets are off, the rulebook has been declared invalid, and everyone is off doing their own thing… I’ll give you an example…in mid-to-late 1950s Britain, popular music was evolving and mutating very quickly…in the midst of imported American rock’n’roll records, the...

Duration:00:24:05

The Post-Punk Explosion Part 5: Goth

4/7/2021
On April 10, 1815, a volcano erupted in the central part of the Indonesian archipelago…Mount Tambora blew up, ejecting nearly 200 cubic kilometres of debris into the atmosphere…all that dust circled the earth, blocking out a significant amount of sunlight… That blockage was so severe that the average temperature dropped almost a full degree…the result was that 1816 has gone down in history as “the year without a summer”… There were food shortages and famines and outbreaks of disease…and not...

Duration:00:23:23

The Post-Punk Explosion Part 4: Alt-Dance

3/31/2021
Dancing is as old as the human race…not long after we started walking on two legs, we found a groove and have been moving to the music ever since… Fast-forward several million years and we find that wherever there’s music, there’s dancing that goes along with it…okay, maybe they didn’t exactly bust a move to medieval hymns in the gothic cathedrals, but there had to be at least some swaying going on… We can’t help but move to the music….scientists have documented connections between the aural...

Duration:00:21:09

The Post-Punk Explosion Part 3: Industrial

3/24/2021
By the time we got to the mid-70s, rock had organized itself so that were rules…you did things this way and not that way…then came punk… One of the great gifts of punk rock was a reminder that you didn’t always have to follow the rules…once this attitude took hold, things began to fragment, metamorphosize and mutate at an increasingly rapid rate… The stratification and segmenting was astonishing…once punk began to cool, the environment it created coalesced into what became known as new wave,...

Duration:00:23:40

The Post-Punk Explosion Part 2: Techno-Pop

3/17/2021
For the longest time, the sounds of rock were made with voice, guitars, bass, drums, and keyboards like piano and organ…there were plenty of ways to manipulate the sounds of those instruments: effects pedals, studio tricks, happy accidents that happened when you least expected them… And for a couple of decades, this was plenty to work with…we discovered all sorts of techniques to create sounds that no one had ever heard before… But when engineers started messing with electricity in new ways,...

Duration:00:20:46

The Post-Punk Explosion Part 1: New Wave

3/10/2021
If you’ve been around enough, you may remember those special times when you know that you’re in a middle of music history being made… You might be old enough to remember the early 90s…so much new and cool music—led by grunge but supported by all manner of alternative music—came out in ’91, ’92, ’93, ’94, and ’95 that you just knew you were in the midst of a very special time… It felt that not a day went by without there being a new song, a new artist, a new sound, and a new scene worth...

Duration:00:26:14

History of Nerd Rock

3/3/2021
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...

Duration:00:24:12

50 Years of CanCon

2/24/2021
Fifty years ago, there was no such thing as a Canadian music industry…well, at least not compared to the U.S. or the UK…we had bands that played gigs and recorded singles and albums…but there wasn’t much of an infrastructure to support a domestic scene… Too few recording studios…a lack of experienced promoters, managers, and producers…there was a tiny collection of domestic record labels…and there was a steady drain of talent to the united states…if you wanted to make it really big, you had...

Duration:00:31:32

The Diversity Show 2021

2/17/2021
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...

Duration:00:22:27

Digital Debris Part 3: Liner Notes

2/10/2021
When you listen to music through a streaming music service, how aware are you of what you’re listening to?...sure, you can look at the screen, but what does that tell you?...the name of the artist, the name of the song, maybe the name of the album…how much time has elapsed, how much is left in the song… But say you’re intrigued by what you’re hearing, and you want to know more…that means you’ve got to search the internet…Wikipedia is usually surprisingly accurate when it comes to learning...

Duration:00:27:35

Digital Debris Part 2: Album Artwork

2/3/2021
A little while ago, I carved out some time to finally file some records and CD’s…I’d been procrastinating, but I finally summoned up the discipline to get it done…and honestly, it was a task that should have taken all of fifteen minutes… But it ended up taking longer than that because I kept stopping to examine the artwork and the liner notes of almost each and every compact disc and vinyl album… I’d forgotten how much I was into looking at my music collection…what was the artist trying to...

Duration:00:25:56

Digital Debris Part 1: B-Sides and Bonus Tracks

1/27/2021
We are very, very deep into the digital world when it comes to music…virtually every song we could ever want is available to us instantly no matter where we are…all we need is an internet connection and we’re good to go… The music industry loves this…in the old days, they had no choice but to manufacture, warehouse, transport, and distribute physical product by the ton, sometimes across vast distances…once these CD’s and records and tapes made it into the stores, then the labels had to...

Duration:00:22:47

Unfortunate Sonic Coincidences: The Lawsuits

1/20/2021
Okay…let’s go over this one more time…there are just twelve notes in the western scale…the ways they can be combined to form pleasing sounds are finite in number…it’s a big number, but it’s still finite… If we look at chords—which are combinations of three or more single notes played simultaneously—the number is smaller still…and there are only so many ways in which chords may be played in a sequence that makes any sense to the ear and the soul… For example, there are dozens and dozens of...

Duration:00:36:20

Theories, Thoughts, and Half-Baked Ideas

1/13/2021
One of the byproducts of doing a show like this for as long as I’ve been doing it is that it’s really hard to shut off your brain… I’m always thinking about topic ideas, ways to link facts and trivia together, reading lots of books, talking to lots of people, and otherwise trying to come up with a constant stream of things we can talk about… The result of all this researching and thinking and writing are some ideas and perspectives on music, music history, how music is made, how it’s...

Duration:00:31:47

Sid Vicious

1/6/2021
Every once in a while we come across someone who is famous and iconic for being...well let's be honest...nothing more than a monumental eff-up. There is nothing about them we should admire...but for some reason we find them intriguing...fascinating...compelling. This is the story of one monumental eff-up. Books have be written about him...movies done....his image has graces more T-shirts than you can imagine. And he was one of the least musically talented punk rockers of all time. This is...

Duration:00:38:35

Indigenous Alternative

12/30/2020
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...

Duration:00:19:32

The 2020 Xmas Show

12/23/2020
This the 23rd annual ongoing Christmas show…and yeah, I know that 2020 has been a challenging year, but let’s look at some of the good things that happened… Many of us learned to bake bread…drive-in theatres made a comeback for both movies and concerts…sweatpants are now accepted work attire… “Tiger King” was fun, wasn’t it?...and—uh…well, i’m sure there were many other nice things about 2020… Oh!..oh!...less pollution because of less traffic…dog shelters were emptied out because so many...

Duration:00:17:57