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Ongoing History of New Music


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.


London, ON


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.




The History of the 2010s Part 2: The Role of Indie Rock

Traditional wisdom says that the recorded music industry is dominated by the major labels...there used to be a bunch of them, but over the last 25 years, their number has been whittled down to just three companies: universal (the biggest), Sony, and warner music... Here’s something you may not have last estimate, about 95,000 songs are uploaded to the streaming music services every day...of that number, only about 4% are from those three majors...the rest is from indie labels and do-it-yourself musicians... Let me flip that around: 96% of all new music comes from independent musicians...the market share of indie labels has been rising by double-digits for almost 25 years now... Indie music—or at least material from bands not directly signed to one of the three majors—was an important aspect of the 2010s...major label acts were still important, but without the indies, it would have been a pretty empty decade...but thanks to the sheer volume of new music and some crafty distribution by indie-friendly companies, we got to hear a lot of it... The width and breadth of indie over those ten years was staggering...and without the influence of independent musicians, styles, and trends, major label mainstream rock would have been much different... Let’s examine that...this is part two of the history of rock in the 2010s... Learn more about your ad choices. Visit


The History of the 2010s Part 1: Rock Struggles Again

We never know we’re living through history as it happens...for example, if we’re trying to assess what happened in a particular decade, we can’t really do it justice if we attempt to analyze things day to need a break, a little time for things to settle into place when it comes to the grand scheme of things... Take the 60s, for example...this sounds a bit weird at first, but they didn’t end when the calendar flipped over to January 1, 1970...decades have momentum—sometimes a hangover—that carries things forward for a year or two or even three afterwards... For example, the 50s carried on until probably took the assassination of JFK to really kick off the new decade...historians have made convincing arguments that the 60s didn’t end until 1972-ish... The 70s may have ended relatively on time, brought about by things like the death of disco, a terrible recession, the election of Ronald Reagan, and other markers that said the “me decade” of 70s were done... I’d say that the 80s ended by the end of 1991, thanks to the first gulf war, another awful recession, and a wholesale sea change in music as we quickly transitioned from a world awash in hair metal to the new alternative generation... I’d put the end of the 90s in 2001..buried by 9/11 and the retaliation that followed, the rise of the internet, the bursting of the dot-com bubble, and the end of the traditional music industry, the introduction of the iPod... The aughts?...that’s another decade that I feel ended on much came to a screaming halt with the financial crisis—the great recession in 2008—and by the time the clouds parted, we were done with that decade... This leaves us at the dawn of the 2010s which was one of the few decades that started right on time...and for the next 10 years, we saw everything from prosperous economic growth to the rise of authoritarism...and technology? 2010s saw more people get into tech and gadgets than at any time in phones, the explosion of social media, cord-cutting... Which brings us to music...when we look back on that decade, what happened?...what did we learn?...and how were trends and styles and consumption different than earlier decades?... Let’s find out...this is the history of the 2010s, part 1... Learn more about your ad choices. Visit


The More Things Change Part 2

Continuing to dive into the Ongoing History of New Music archives, here's a show for 2016 that we are surprised has not been posted yet! At some point in your life, you said “I’m never going to become like my parents”…yes, you did…don’t lie…we all did… We vowed that we’d never become old and stodgy and boring and stuck in their ways and closed to new ideas… Do not panic…this is totally natural…this cycle of life has been going on since the invention of music—and it only accelerated with the birth of the recording industry in the late 1800s… Every generation has its thing…and every generation thinks that the people who came before them and comes after them are weird and wrong… This is part two of the more things change, the more things stay the same… Learn more about your ad choices. Visit


The More Things Change Part 1

Continuing to dive into the Ongoing History of New Music archives, here's a show for 2016 that we are surprised has not been posted yet! Have you every heard yourself say this? kids these days! What’s wrong with them? All their crazy music. It’s just noise! That usually leads to… music isn’t as good as it used to be. When i was younger—high school, university—music was awesome! That’s followed by a list of bands and songs you believe to be the greatest ever, a lot of which aren’t as popular as you still want them to be…and then things usually end up like this… if today’s kids would stop and listen to what we used to listen to, they’d see that i’m right! Then we’d start getting some goodnew music! Don’t worry…if any of this sounds familiar, it’s because this is totally natural… People always hate the music of the generations that are coming up behind them…and I mean always… The young are always denigrated for their music, their way of dancing, their technology and their overall disrespect for their elders and history and the way things used to be… It’s the cycle of life…and it’s been going on for not just decades, but centuries…here…let me show you… Learn more about your ad choices. Visit


The Book of World Records Version 1.0 - Part 2

This week we go back into the Ongoing history vault from 2008 and the second of two parts on world records. Most people want to leave this earth being known for... something. We want it to be at least a little memorable... to some, so that our time on this planet won't be forgotten so quickly. It's that whole sense of self my soul has self-esteem issues thing that we're all born with. Maybe you want to be known for being kind to animals. Maybe you're good at math, and you want people to remember your gift for solving difficult differential equations. Or maybe you want to be known as the only man who has ever eaten an airplane. You heard me. Michelle Lottito is also known as Massio Monge-tut, which translates as Mr. Eat Everything. He's the world record holder of the largest meal ever eaten. In this case, it's a Cessna 150. This is an airplane, and has a wingspan at just over 33 feet and weighs about 1100 pounds. It can carry two people at a maximum altitude of 14,000 feet for just over 400 miles, and this dude ate one. Apparently, he has a stomach lining that's twice as thick as it should be, which allows him to digest things like nuts and bolts and sheet metal and chain. Wonder what kind of wine goes with the prop assembly. Anyway, Michelle Lottito will be forever known as the guy who ate an airplane. A meal that size is a world record. Which is another thing that got me thinking. What are some of the superlatives and some of the weirdness that comes from the world of New Rock and alternative music when it comes to stuff like this? So I started looking, and I found out a lot. This is the Ongoing History of New Music Book of World Records, part two. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit


The Book of World Records Version 1.0 - Part 1

This week we go back into the Ongoing history vault from 2008 and the first of two parts on world records. Chances are you have at least some kind of talent. Maybe it's not something very useful, but at least it's something that you can do that no one else can. My mom used to say that everyone is good at something or at the very least, known for something that no one else is. For example, I grew up with a kid who could dislocate his thumbs at will. It was great for freaking out substitute teachers. He got to go home early a lot. Another kid could pop a wheelie on his bike and ride it all the way home like that, and he'd live more than a mile from the school. Sometime in the 1970s, though, the world discovered the Guinness Book of World Records. And that's when we realized that there were things out there much stranger than we could ever realize. Like the dude from India whose fingernails had a combined length of over 20ft. Or Elaine Davidson, the world's most pierced woman; 720 piercings, including dozens in her face. Another dude from Scotland has tattoos over 99.9% of his body, making him the world's most tattooed man. Then, in the summer of 2008, Sandy Allen died. She was the world's tallest woman. At 7ft seven inches, she lived in the same Indiana nursing home as Edna Parker, who died year earlier at the age of 115. And up until then; she had been the world's oldest woman. Now, this kind of got me thinking. Has anyone ever put together a list of world records for the world of new rock? A list of all the superlatives, the biggest, the shortest, the highest, the longest, the most expensive, all those things? And I couldn't find one. So I thought to myself, hey, there's a gap in the market. There’s got to be enough genuine and morbid curiosity out there to make it worthwhile. And who knows? Maybe a project like this might inspire someone to-do something great, or at least something weird. Which, of course, would be good, too. Therefore, ladies and gentlemen, I give you…The Ongoing History of New Music “Book of World Records version 1.0” part one. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit


Tracking Down Demos

If you're a fan of a particular artist, you want as much as you can get from that artist, you know, the albums, the singles, the t-shirts, all the downloads and all the swag and that's great when your favourite group releases an album. But with some bands going 234 or even more years between records, things get kind of dry. Now in the olden days, that was too bad distribution systems being what they were access to everything a band did was pretty much impossible. The access was tightly, tightly controlled, but the best you could hope for was for one of those rare elusive and highly legal bootleg records, unauthorized recordings issued by some shadowy label without the permission of the artist. Mostly these bootleg recordings featured live performances. After all, they were the easiest to make, but some contained stuff in the vaults that was never ever designed to be heard by anyone outside of the band's inner circle. Heck, some of this material wasn't even heard by the executives of the group's record label for years. We had this cat and mouse game between the labels and the artists and the bootleggers and hard core fans were right in the middle, waiting, hoping and praying that they could somehow get their hands on this stuff. Bootleggers moved offshore to places like Italy, Singapore and Indonesia where copyright laws were, uh shall we say a little looser? One of the great bootleg labels was called KTS. They were renowned for two things, super high quality live recordings that they got from somewhere and a wide selection of studio recordings that were never ever supposed to be released. I have a bunch of KTS releases and they are very, very good. Then along came the internet and the bootleg CD industry suddenly dried up pretty much overnight. Why bother putting out something that you had to manufacture in a Backstreet factory in China when you could just put it all online. Meanwhile, a strange thing happened with performers and managers instead of being all freaked out about this unfinished or unapproved stuff getting released into the wild by someone else, they started doing it themselves. I mean, why not use this material to forge a deeper relationship with their best customers, their biggest fans. The result has been an explosion of interesting material from some very big bands. And here's how you can track down some of it for yourself. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit


100 weirdest Things in Alt-Rock: Part 10

There’s a fine line between “wonderful” and “weird”...things that are “wonderful” tend to inspire you with feel warmth and light and awe and admiration...and you may suddenly find yourself believing in goodness and a higher power... I saw a total solar eclipse once...that’s exactly how I felt...maybe you’ve had a similar experience... But just a few centimeters from “wonderful” is how you feel when you run across something that’s genuinely “weird” might still feel awed—but you might also experience disbelief, confusion, disgust...and you may even feel a little throw-up at the back of your throat... Or you might laugh...”Weird” fan be funny....or you might think that something “weird” is really, really cool...see, there’s good “weird” as well as bad... “wonderfully weird,” if you’s all in the eye of the beholder... Let’s see where this stuff fits in with you...its part ten of “100 weird things about new rock”... Learn more about your ad choices. Visit


100 Weirdest Things in Alt-Rock: Part 9

Money is a weird thing...when you don’t have it, it’s all you can think about...when you do have it, it’s the last thing on your mind... It’s gotta be especially weird for successful musicians...99.9% of all rock performers come from very modest backgrounds...for years, they make sacrifices for their art, hoping and praying that one day, they won’t have to worry about where their next meal comes from or how they’re gonna manage to pay the rent.... But 99.99% of professional musicians will never hit the big time...they may make an okay living, but they’ll never be rich... But what about that 1/100th of 1 per cent that do hit the big time?...for them, life changes a lot and it changes fast...suddenly, they’re able to do and have things that they never even dreamed of... Some can handle it and ease into the über-rich lifestyle with elegance and grace...others–well, not so much...others still use their positions to do strange, excessive and occasionally destructive things... And, not surprisingly, things on all sides of the ledger can get quite weird... This is part 9 of “100 weird things about new rock”’s 10 tales of wealth, success and excess. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit


100 Weirdest Things in Alt-Rock: Part 8

The standard musical diet consists of three things: sex, drugs and rock’n’roll....all three of these stapes affect the same areas of the brain... We’ve talked about this before, but here’s a quick refresher course in neuroscience... In your head, you have the amygdala, the cerebellum and the nucleus accumbens...they’re involved in the process of creating and regulating dopamine, which is the hormone that makes you feel good... These regions analyze what’s going on when you have an orgasm, take cocaine or listen to a great song...dopamine is released into the bloodstream, which is a signal to the rest of the body that says, “this is good! Let’s have more!”... Needless to say, dopamine is a pretty addictive hormone...mix music and drugs and you’re heading down a slippery we’ve seen many times–including earlier this in this year–things can get very weird very quickly... But musicians taking drugs is often a very solitary and personal thing...with sex, other people are involved...most of the time...but then again, we are talking about weirdness, aren’t we? You might want get the kids and grandma to do something else for the next hour...this is “100 weird things about new rock, part 8"–and the topic what happens when new rock and alternative music mixes with weird sex... Learn more about your ad choices. Visit


100 Weirdest Things in Alt-Rock: Part 7

It is a fact of human nature that those given the power to make rules that govern the behavior the rest of us will devote their lives to making and enforcing those rules... Most of the time, that’s a good thing...if you murder someone in cold blood and you’re caught, you’ll face justice...robbery is illegal...and so is owning a pig in France and calling it “napoleon”... No,’s against the law to name your pig “napoleon” if you live in California, women may not operate an automobile while wearing a house coat...and in Canada, it’s apparently illegal to remove a bandage in public....who knew?... Then there are all the weird lawsuits–like the dry cleaners who were sued for $54 million for losing a pair of pants...or the American politician who filed a suit against god for causing natural disasters and inspiring terrorists... And then there are all the tiny legal nuances that either allow cases to proceed or have them dismissed on a technicality—hello, O.J. Simpson... The world of rock is not immune to legal foibles...crimes, felonies, misdemeanors, weird lawsuits, legal charges, jail time–the works... Which got me thinking: what are the weirdest intersections of the law and new rock of all time?...I came up with a list of ten.... This is “100 weird things about new rock, part 7: 10 stories from the legal files:... Learn more about your ad choices. Visit


100 Weirdest Things in Alt-Rock: Part 6

I think we take music for much as we love it; we also treat it like something disposable... And I don’t if we can be blamed for it...I mean, there’s just so much music out there...there’s a never-ending supply... We hear a song...we evaluate it–sometimes in less than 3 seconds–and then we either accept or reject the song...and if we accept it, we’ll listen to it only until something better comes along... We seldom stop to think about all the effort–the time, the inspiration, the emotion, the skill, the technology, the money–that went into creating that one song... While music can be written and created anywhere, you need a recording studio to preserve it, to put it into a form in which it can be duplicated and then distributed to the world so we–the fans–can finally get to hear it... And recording studios can be weird places...confining windowless rooms where time seems to lose all meaning...yet the goal is to capture the energy of a live performance... In other words, there’s a lot that can happen between the time a songwriter feels that creative flash and we finally get to hear the end result...and yes, it can get very, very weird along the way... This is part 6 of “100 weird things about new rock”...I call this episode “studio stories”... Learn more about your ad choices. Visit


100 Weirdest Things in Alt-Rock: Part 5

Some things just go together naturally... A nice sauterne is a fine companion to foie gras that is served with fruit compote...or, if that’s too rich, strawberry jam works well in a sandwich with peanut butter... And, as even the most casual observer knows that rock music often comes with side order of drugs... In case you haven’t noticed, rock and drugs often have some kind of symbiotic relationship... I mean, the self-appointed moralists who want to sanitize life for the rest of us kinda have a point...the world of rock’n’roll is filled with stories of druggy excess and the kind of misery only drugs can offer... A lot of lives have been ruined or ended by that dangerous combination of rock music and drugs...and more often than not, things can get really weird...really weird... I have ten stories where rock and drugs have intersected with very strange results... It’s part five of “100 weird things about new rock”... Learn more about your ad choices. Visit


100 Weirdest Things in Alt-Rock: Part 4

From the outside, being in a famous touring rock band seems like a glamourous travel the world, playing for thousands of adoring fans night after night with your gang of buddies... Oh, the gloriousness of it all...the private jets!...the media exposure!...the excitement!...the perks!...the sites!...the sex!...the drugs!...your every whim catered to by people whose job is to, well, cater to your every whim... And that really is the reality–for maybe the top 1/10 of one per cent of groups in the world...for other 99.9%, going on the road is a trying ordeal that can get pretty uncomfortable real fast... I mean, think about it...for the entire time you’re on tour, you’re living in a bubble, going where you’re told to go, doing what you’re told to do and living out of suitcases for months on end... You can wake up in the van or the bus one morning after the gig and quite literally have no idea what country you’re in, let alone what city... Then there’s the bad food, the interviews with the same stupid questions all the time, annoying fans, the late nights, too much alcohol, too many drugs and not enough sleep... The only thing that makes it all worthwhile is the fact you get to play every night...but even that gets old after a while...all you want to do is go home, do the laundry and finally be left alone for a while... With that kind of working environment, life on the road can get pretty weird?...let us count the ways... Learn more about your ad choices. Visit


Introducing... Deadman's Curse: Slumach's Gold

This historical, true crime podcast hosted by Kru Williams from History Television's hit original series Deadman’s Curse: The Legend of the Lost Gold investigates the curse and legend surrounding the lost gold mine of Pitt Lake. On their quest they're joined by members of the Stó:lō and Katzie First Nations, historians and cultural experts of diverse backgrounds, as they sort fact from fiction and give Slumach a voice from the other side of the veil. You'll hear about how an Indigenous prospector, accused of murder set a curse on anyone who searched for his hidden gold just before he was hanged. Over a century later, a prospector, a mountaineer, a truth-seeker and a way-shower band together to walk the same paths of those who went looking for Slumach’s cursed gold and never returned find how a single bullet was the catalyst for a 150-year-old mystery. Click here to find it on your favourite podcast app. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit


100 Weirdest Things in Alt-Rock: Part 3

If you’re listening to this show, you are a music fan...any arguments?...probably not... “fan” is short for “fanatic”–a person who is extremely passionate and enthusiastic about something...could be sports, could be movies, could be music...and fans tend to be reasonably uncritical about the objects of their affection... But all “fanaticism”–and we’re using the proper dictionary terms here–is not the same...we can go from being a casual fan of something to being a devotee...but then “fan” gives away to the negative connotations of “fanatic,” all the way up to “zealot” and “militant”...this is where things get unbalanced, obsessive and dangerous... If you’re a public figure—say, a famous musician–your whole goal is to attract fans...your whole life is about finding people who really, really like what you do.... The problem is, however, that with the good come the weirdo’s...and this is where things can get very, very strange... This is part three of “100 weird things about new rock”...ten tales of fans, stalkers and the downright crazy... Learn more about your ad choices. Visit


100 Weirdest Things in Alt-Rock: Part 2

There’s an old saying that goes “he who dies with the least regrets wins”... Good words to live by because by the time we shuffle off this mortal coil, all of us are going to have done and said things that we wish we hadn’t...and chances are, we hope that no one finds out about this stuff... It’s the skeletons in the closet–pieces of our past that we try not to show (or even try to hide) from other people... But in the era of tabloid celebrity, paparazzi, Facebook, MySpace, twitter, Wikipedia, blogs,, the smoking gun and Pérez Hilton, it’s getting harder and harder to keep the bad stuff has a way of being exhumed... You know the kind of stuff I’m talking about...the rumour that Hitler’s paternal grandparent was Jewish...the alien autopsies at area 51....Angelina Jolie’s allegedly history of bisexuality [pause]...uh, sorry...where was I?... Anyway, all of this got me thinking: what are some of great secrets from the world of new rock and alternative music that today’s performers would rather we not discuss?... This is part two of “100 weird things about new rock”... Learn more about your ad choices. Visit


100 Weirdest Things in Alt-Rock: Part 1

I have a fascination with the strange...what seems ordinary at first glance is–well, isn’t ordinary at all.... Once you get in the habit of looking past the obvious, the universe opens up in some interesting, unexpected and really cool ways... For example, if you’re ever in Albania and you agree with what someone says, shake your head from side-to-side...if you disagree, other words, do the opposite to what you would do at home...that’s just the way it is in Albania... Here’s many different characters have been featured on The Simpsons?...those who have the time to count those sorts of things say the number is 320... One more: the highest possible score on an old-style Pac-Man game is 3,333,360 at the end of level that point, the game suffers what can be best described as a “nervous breakdown” and the display goes all over... Stuff like this got me thinking...would it be possible to compile a list of the weirdest things ever from the world of new rock and alternative music?... Of course it would...prepare for wonderment... Learn more about your ad choices. Visit


10 Things About Chris Cornell

It’s always a shock when we hear that a rock star has died...but when the news about Chris Cornell came out on May 18, 2017, it was extra-jarring... The overall impression was that he was a guy who had it good...he’d been a central fixture of the grunge era as the front man of Soundgarden...there was an totally unexpected hit with the Temple of the Dog project...then a solid three-album run with Audioslave... His solo recordings were hit-and-miss, but given everything else he’d done, fans gave him a pass when he stumbled... Then came the Soundgarden reunion, which began in 2010 and ran for almost eight years...there was a new album—“King Animal” in 2012—and sold out tours...there were also plans for a second post-reunion record for which Chris had already recorded some vocal takes... But then he gone by his own hand in that hotel room in Detroit...another member of the grunge brigade, joining Kurt Cobain, Andrew Wood, and Layne Staley...and it’s possible that Chris’ fate had a fatal effect on his good friend, Chester Bennington, who took his own life two months later... Chris may be gone but we’re still talking about him, still listening to his music, still marveling at that with all great artists, the fascination continues... Let’s take a dive into Chris’ world with ten interesting things about the man that you may not know... Learn more about your ad choices. Visit


Rock Explainer 3

This universe is very weird, in fact, that we often don’t question its weirdness even though it’s right in front of us...we’re completely caught up in it... For example, when someone takes a group picture, there’s always that person that demands that everyone “say cheese”....that’s a way to get everyone to can’t help but smile when you say “cheese”. No one is really sure who was first to employ the “cheese” trick for photography... In the early days of the camera, it was considered undignified to be captured with any kind of grin...the command from the photographer used to be “say prunes”...that’s why so many old photos have people doing duck lips... The earliest reference to “say cheese” comes from a Texas newspaper report in October 1943...Joseph E. Davies, a former ambassador to Moscow, was interviewed gave away his secret to look pleasant no matter what the circumstances... “just say ‘cheese’”, he advised...Davies wasn’t the inventor of the phrase, though...he says he learned it from some politician... Let’s try something more current...when we enter the full address of a website in a browser, we go http://www. Whatever”...that’s a bit unwieldy...the story of the URL is very complicated, but it breaks down like this... The “http” stands for “hypertext transfer protocol,” the set of rules that govern transferring files over the internet...the “www” is “world wide web,” which is where the url lives...but what’s with “//”?...that’s a holdover from the computer code that was written for the Apollo missions to the moon... And by the way, the guy who first put all this together is Tim Berners-Lee back 1992...he’s really, really sorry for all the confusion and if he had it his way, he’d go back and come up with something better... Since we’re on the topic of rockets, why is there a countdown to launch?...seems obvious, right?...tick down the seconds until the engines fire...but get this: nasa took this idea from a 1929 silent film called “frau im mond”—which translates as “women in the moon”’s considered to be one of the first serious sci-fi films...for its rocket launches, it features a countdown from “six”...6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, now!” Again, this is stuff right in front of our faces that we’ve just accepted as part of life without ever really questioning what’s going let’s extend this to the world of music...there are many strange things that we just accept as fact and protocol...but why?...let’s find out... Learn more about your ad choices. Visit