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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.




Another Look At Bootlegging: Part 1

On December 24, 1877, Thomas Edison filed a patent for a new invention he referred to as a “talking machine”…for the first time ever, audio could be captured, played back, stored, shared, and analyzed… When asked what the point of his machine was, Edison listed some future possibilities…. His phonograph (as he called it) would eventually be used as a method of preserving great speeches….it could also be used for making audio letters, giving dictation, a talking clock, a telephone answering machine, and remote learning…and way down the list was “reproduction of music”… That original talking machine technology has evolved greatly over the years and the “capture and reproduction of music” has moved way up on Edison’s original list of uses…the recorded music industry is now worth tens and tens of billions of dollars… But the phonograph also gave birth to a new type of music industry…when it first went on sale, copyright laws weren’t ready…they had been drafted and enforced with the printed word in mind, not with audio recordings…this meant that people began making recordings that weren’t exactly authorized in the proper ways… This gave birth to another industry, one that worked in the shadows of record labels, music publishers, performing rights organizations, and all the rest of the legitimate record music industry… What started with secretly recorded Edison phonograph cylinders progressed through reel-to-reel tape recordings, unauthorized vinyl records, cassettes, CDs, and digital files freely traded online…you may have some of these recordings in your collection—and you may not even know it… The original name of such recordings is “bootlegs”…here are a few things about them that you might wanna know… Learn more about your ad choices. Visit


Rock Firsts By Black Artists

We would not be sitting here talking about rock music if it weren’t for people of African descent…if you start in the present and begin to trace things backward to important innovations and accomplishments, nine times out of ten, you’ll end up exploring something from black culture… And we can go way, way back—right to 1619 when the first slave ship arrived in north America at the British colony of Virginia carrying about 20 captives… Over the centuries that followed, the people of Africa, consisting of many different communities, nations, tribes, and cultures, were brought to the west by force creating wounds that have yet to heal… But more than just bodies made the trip across the Atlantic…these were human beings with identities, history, traditions—and music…and these songs and rhythms helped sustain them during those brutal times… There were work songs, protest songs, satirical songs, songs meant to be sung in the fields and streets, songs that were games in themselves…some had regular rhythms while other contained syncopated beats from traditional dance… Over the centuries, the music evolved, mutated, and spread…spirituals and gospel…blues and boogie-woogie…ragtime and jazz…rhythm and blues and bebop…and in the early 1950s, this music with its rich history and traditions was incorporated with country, western, hillbilly, r&b, and a few other ingredients to become what we call “rock and roll”… Along the way, there were many musical firsts, and landmark contributions by black artists that changed everything…without them, what we call “rock” today and so much of its culture would simply not exist… These people and their accomplishments need to be recognized; commemorated, and celebrated…this is an episode on rock firsts by black artists… Learn more about your ad choices. Visit


UFOs, UAPs, and Rock

I really, really want to believe…there are trillions of galaxies in the observable universe, each containing billions of stars…there’s gotta be something out there…we can’t be alone… Organisms floating in the acid clouds of Venus…remains of bacteria in the Martian soil…creatures swimming in vast oceans below the ice of Europa…something lurking in the methane lakes of Titan…and that’s just the start… Roswell…the “wow” signal…fast radio bursts…the possibility of a Dyson sphere around “Tabby’s Star”…hints of something on the hydrogen line frequency of 1.42 405 755 117 gigahertz…and now both nasa and the U.S. government have admitted that they don’t know what’s going on with those strange objects that have been buzzing the planet… Our culture has absorbed these mysteries and possibilities…and our music reflects that…this is UFO, UAP’s, aliens, and rock… Learn more about your ad choices. Visit


Uncharted "Sneak Peak" - Episode 7: The Linkin Park Cyberstalker

Hey It's Alan...and I want to introduce you to my brand new, one-of-a-kind true crime podcast called Uncharted: Crime and Mayhem in the Music Industry. On this podcast I take you inside unbelievable stories of murder, plane crashes, court battles, and even run-ins with the mob! In this podcast you'll hear all about the dark side of world of music. We're releasing new episodes every two weeks, so search for and follow Uncharted: Crime and Mayhem in the Music Industry wherever you get your podcasts. I hope you enjoy this sneak peak of Episode 7 "The Linkin Park Cyberstalker" Episode Link: Show contact info: X (formerly Twitter): @AlanCross Website: Email: Learn more about your ad choices. Visit


What A Drag It Is Getting Old (Musically)

Decades ago, I was the best man for my buddy Charlie and was in charge of driving the bridal car from the church to the reception…the happy couple were in the back seat…next to me up front was the bride’s sister-in-law… When I started the car, “Welcome To The Jungle” started playing on the radio…the sister-in-law freaked out… “What is this garbage?...turn it off!”…I looked at Charlie…he looked at me and shrugged… no sense in making waves…I switched to a pop station…but the sister-in-law’s violent reaction to the gunners stayed with me… Then not long ago, I was in the car with a friend when rage against the machine’s “Bulls On Parade” came on the radio…I instinctively turned it up…awesome song, right? But my friend shrieked… “What is this [bleep]?” She said…”it’s awful!…you can’t possibly like this…” I was slightly taken aback…we go back a couple of decades and she came from an alt-rock radio background, too…her life used to be filled with this kind of music…how could she not like Rage Against The Machine?... “I don’t know,” she said… “Maybe I’m just getting old…I prefer softer stuff these days”… Ah…there it was again: an example of how someone’s musical tastes evolve with age… it’s just something that happens with most people… most of take that as a given…not me, though…this is something that’s always fascinated me…there has to be some science behind why we listen to different types and styles of music as we go through life… So I tracked down this science and I have some answers…we’ll call this episode “what a drag it is getting old—musically”… Learn more about your ad choices. Visit


2023 In Memoriam

A year ago, I began what will unfortunately be a regular series of these programs from now on…it’s an annual look back on the musicians we lost in the previous year… Rock star deaths have been on our mind since late 2015 when Scott Weiland of the Stone Temple Pilots died, followed a few weeks later by Lemmy of Motorhead…then the floodgates opened in 2016: Bowie, Prince, Leonard Cohen, Glenn Frey of the eagles, both Keith Emerson and Greg Lake from Emerson Lake and Palmer, and George Michael—just to name a few… And since then, it seems we hear about a rock star death every couple of weeks…Tom Petty, Chris Cornell, Chester Bennington, Gregg Allman, Walter Becker of Steely Dan, Chuck Mosley of Faith No More, Andy Fletcher of Depeche Mode, Mark E. Smith of The Fall, Charlie Watts The Rolling Stones…it’s been a lot to take in… Some of these deaths have been of natural causes, disease, and old age…others have involved drugs, alcohol, years of hard living, misadventure, and suicide… Here’s the hard truth: rock has been around for about seventy years…many of the people who have provided us with our favourite music and some of the greatest songs of all time are reaching the end of their lives… No one is getting any younger...and over the next decade, we’re going to lose some of the personalities who have always been with there for us over the last 30, 40, 50, or even 60 years... With that grim reality in mind, I think we need to continue with an annual retrospective at those whom we’ve lost in the last 12 months…they may be gone, but we need to recognize and celebrate their contributions to the world of music...this is 2023 in memoriam... Learn more about your ad choices. Visit


60 Mind-Blowing Facts About Music in 60 Minutes: The 2023 Edition

I’m not gonna lie…I’m addicted to listicles…not the click-baity ones that have sub-headlines like “and you won’t believe #6!”…I’m only interested in the ones that offer interesting or weird facts…usually that means Buzzfeed, Bored Panda, Upworthy, Laughing Squid—you know the kind…“today I learned” and “I was today years old when I discovered”…that sort of thing… Here's one…there is a species of moth that lives in the amazon jungle that drinks the tears of sleeping birds…it’ll sit on a bird’s neck, stick a long proboscis under the bird’s eyelid, and slurp away the tears…I know! Right?... Here’s another: until the 1800s, polite people didn’t eat bananas because their shape made them an “immoral fruit”…importers had to hire women for ads showing them eating bananas to prove that there was nothing wrong with them… Okay, okay…one more…and I’m sorry if this is going to trigger you…if you take public transit, approximately 15% of the air you breath contains human skin…all those floating specs you see in the sunlight?…gross, but I love this stuff… A big part of my job is searching for facts, although most of what I’m looking for involves music…I’ve heard that if you play hip-hop to a wheel of cheese as it’s maturing, the cheese will have a stronger flavor and aroma…as late as 1948, you could win an Olympic medal for music…and if you want to play music for you dog, choose Reggae…scientists have proven that that’s the music they like the most… Over the course of the year of researching and writing this program, I run across all kinds of weird facts…most I can incorporate into various shows…others, not so much… But these orphaned facts need a home…so once every 12 months, I devote a program to clearing out all this information from post-it notes, highlighted passages in books, pages torn from newspapers and magazines, and various files on my computer and throw them all into one program…what you do with this stuff is up to you…this is the annual show I call “60 mind-blowing facts about music in 60 minutes”… Learn more about your ad choices. Visit


Uncharted "Sneak Peak" - Episode 5: The Satanic Panic

Hey It's Alan...and I want to introduce you to my brand new, one-of-a-kind true crime podcast called Uncharted: Crime and Mayhem in the Music Industry. On this podcast I take you inside unbelievable stories of murder, plane crashes, court battles, and even run-ins with the mob! In this podcast you'll hear all about the dark side of world of music. We're releasing new episodes every two weeks, so search for and follow Uncharted: Crime and Mayhem in the Music Industry wherever you get your podcasts. I hope you enjoy this sneak peak of Episode 5 "The Satanic Panic" Episode Link: Show contact info: X (formerly Twitter): @AlanCross Website: Email: Learn more about your ad choices. Visit


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 manufacturers like Gibson, who filed for bankruptcy in 2018…it’s hurt music stores, both big and small…it’s hurt music teachers who have fewer students… Sounds dire, right?...maybe…but there’s one bright spot: there has been a steady rise in the number of young women taking up the electric guitar… According to fender, women now make up at least 50% of all the beginner guitar players in North America and the UK…in South East Asia, that number is more like 70%... That’s interesting, given that it wasn’t all that long ago that it was accepted fact that a girl could not play an electric guitar—not as good as a guy, anyway… That attitude abounded through the 70s and 80s…today, that’s no longer the case…the intimidation factor is gone…women are marching right into male-dominated music stores and buying guitars…some take traditional lessons, but others are using online tutorials so they can avoid any hassles and harassment… And most importantly, we’re seeing more female guitar heroes…you no longer have to be a dude to be a guitar role model…and those are the people we’re going to explore on this episode…this is modern guitar heroes: the women… Learn more about your ad choices. Visit


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…Jimmy Page…Pete Townshend… Jeff Beck…they were among the first to be declared guitar heroes…they pushed the limits of what could be done with the instrument, amplifiers, and effects pedals… More followed…Eddie Van Halen…Angus Young of AC/DC…The Edge from U2…Slash…Stevie Ray Vaughn…Randy Rhoads… All excellent players…this got me thinking about guitar heroes from the world of alt-rock, specifically from when things exploded in the early 90s?... They aren’t betterthan the first generation of guitar heroes…just different, you know?...let’s make a list, shall we?... Learn more about your ad choices. Visit


OGHONM 1000th Episode: The Q&A From the Live Recording

Hey it’s Alan and this week we’re going to do something a bit different for the podcast… When we recorded our 1000th episode of the ongoing history at Corus Quay…we ended up with a lot of content that we couldn’t fit into the radio show. If you caught last week’s podcast, you will have heard the story of how the ongoing history came to be, and how we got to 1000 shows. You also would have heard part of the Q&A session we did with the Q107 morning show, and our live audience. But…there was so much recorded…and we didn’t want it to go to waste…that we thought, “why not do a second podcast, of just that part of the night” So…here is the full q and a session from the 1000th episode of the ongoing history of new music, recorded live at Corus quay on December 5th 2023…I think you’re going to enjoy this… Learn more about your ad choices. Visit


The 1000th Episode of the Ongoing History of New Music

On Tuesday December 5th, in front of a live audience at Corus Quay, the Ongoing History of New Music recorded the 1000th episode of the radio program. What some people don't know is that this Podcast started out as a radio show in February 1993 on 102.1 The Edge in Toronto. It has taken over 30 years to reach out 1000th episode! This is a podcast of that evening complete with part of the Q&A that took place. Next week there will be a "Part 2" Podcast containing everything not included in this episode. There was a lot of content! Enjoy the 1000th episode of the Ongoing History of New Music, and thank you for your continued support. Show contact info: X (formerly Twitter): @AlanCross Website: Email: Learn more about your ad choices. Visit


Alt-Rocks Great Bass Players

With over 300 OGH podcasts to choose from, we know that sometimes older episodes get lost in the library. So, here is a topic we had a request to dig up again...and this episode first aired on radio in November of 2010 as we look at one of the most under appreciated and underrated members of any rock band...the bass player. These are the most influential bass players in the history of alt-rock. Next's the 1000th episode of the Ongoing History of New Music Learn more about your ad choices. Visit


The Great KGB Punk Rock Conspiracy

You may be aware of a podcast that came out in the spring of 2020 that sought to get to the bottom of a certain musical mystery…it’s called “wind of change” and it explores the possibility that a metal power ballad was a contributing factor to the fall of the soviet union in the very early 90s… Stay with me… “Wind of Change” was a global hit for The Scorpions; a metal band out of Hanover in what was then WestGermany… The Scorpions sing in English…but they also recorded a Russian version under the name “Veter Peremen”…and when the song was released on January 20, 1991, it became a worldwide hit… Estimates are that it sold 14 million copies…it’s the best-selling single by any German artist…and because it was such a big hit in the USSR, the band presented Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev a gold record…even today, the song is a massive, massive hit among several generations of fans in Eastern Europe… For years, rumours have swirled about this song…it is said that it was the product of a CIA operation design to destabilize Soviet society with its message of change and revolution…it worked so well that by the end of 1991, the Soviet Union had crumbled… Did the CIA commission someone to write “Wind of Change,” get The Scorpions to record it, which somehow helped bring about the end of the USSR from within?...I’m not going to cover that here, so you’ll have to listen to the podcast… But I can tell you that this might not have been the first time rock music was used by a foreign intelligence operation to drive a wedge into a specific society…the popular music of the west—especially the music produced by the USA—was feared by Soviet bloc authorities…but the Soviets also knew that music could also be a weapon against the west… Here’s another theory…could it be that punk rock was actually KGB plot against the west?...did things also operate in the opposite direction…here’s what we know—or at least think we know… Learn more about your ad choices. Visit


Life After Music

If you are a professional musician—that is, you’re being paid to write and perform music and can actually make a living from it—you’re part of an infinitesimal quintile of people who are able to do that… you are living the dream… This, in fact, may be the only career you’ve ever known…you’ve never had a “real” job…maybe you’ve had a chance to see the world because of music…and if you love what you’re doing and the money works, you want this to go on forever…but it won’t…at some point, the music stops… It might not be your fault…the music industry moves fast…one day you’ve got it all figured out, working from immediate deadline to immediate deadline and from gig to gig…and then everything stops… Maybe it happens quickly…maybe it happens slowly then all at once…music changes…the industry changes…trends change…technology changes…and what you offer—what you can do—is no longer in demand… It’s like captain Jean-Luc Picard has said: “you can do everything right and still lose…that’s not weakness…that’s life”… So what’s next?...if you exit the world of music—be it voluntarily or by force—what do you do next?... Maybe it’s best to study what some other musicians have done to transition from rock star to civilian life…this is a look at examples of life after music… Learn more about your ad choices. Visit


Remembering Sinead O'Connor

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Music vs Technology Over The Years

In the mid-15th century, France was ruled by Louis XI, otherwise known as “Louis the Prudent”...but he was always known as “Louis the Cunning” and “The Universal Spider” because he was always spinning plots and looking for conspiracies...when it came to dissent and wars, he was a brutal sort... Being a despot is hard work and sometimes you need cheering up...that’s why he challenged Abbe De Baigne, a builder of things, to create a brand new musical instrument for his amusement... The result was the piganino, a keyboard that required a number of pigs of varying sizes...each was laid out on a flat surface, smallest to largest...above the hind end of each pig was a spike connected to a piano-like pressing a key, the corresponding pig would be spiked, resulting in an oink of a certain was thus possible to play a tune by poking the pig... It didn’t sound very good, but it worked and Louis XI found it very funny...the pigs did not... Music and technology have always had an interesting relationship...sometimes it’s harmonious and wonderfully...other times—like with the piganino—there’s a hideous clash... ...however, the piganino, invented 600 years ago, was the forerunner of future music-related technologies like sample, sequencing, and synthesis...the tech—or at least some of the concepts—would eventually win out... If we step back and look at the history of science, math, and engineering and the practice of creating the art music, we’ll see that every time the two intersect, technology almost always comes out the winner...and that’s okay... Something that seems radical, evil, transgressive, impure, and corrupting turns out to be a pretty good deal and music is the better for it... Here are some stories about the clashes between tech and music...I’ll lay out the facts and you decide if these were good things or bad... Learn more about your ad choices. Visit


Gord Downie - Canada's Rock Poet

It was Tuesday, May 24, know how when you land the flight attendant says it’s now permissible to “use transmitting and receiving functions your portable devices” while you’re taxiing to the gate?... I’d just landed on a 14-hour flight from Hong Kong...and as soon as I flicked my phone out of airplane mode, it blew up...emails and texts all about one thing: The Tragically Hip had just announced that their singer, Gord Downie, had brain cancer... At first, this didn’t make sense...had the jet lag kicked in already?...was this some kind of hoax?...I mean, this was Gord...he was practically a Canadian superhero...nothing like this was supposed to happen to him... But it was true...the emails and texts kept popping up...dozens, hundreds of them...and we all know how the next 18 months played out... When Gord left us in October 2017, it was really rough...the best tweet I saw that day was “Canada closed: death in the family”...the country spent the next week trying to explain to the rest of the world how a singer of a rock band had brought an entire nation to tears—even the Prime Minister...where else in the world does something like that happen?... The answer is you have to be a special kind of person: artist, writer, thinker, activist, and poet… this is the story of Gord Downie, Canada’s own rock poet… Learn more about your ad choices. Visit


Introducing... Black and Blue: Behind the Badge | Catching Hell

It’s 1986 and Michael Morrison is offered the opportunity of a lifetime. A chance to leave his life of poverty in Newark and start afresh. It’s a job offer he can’t afford to refuse. Michael has no idea what this new job has in store. But he soon realizes: he’s just joined ‘the biggest gang in America’. Join Seren Jones to hear Michael’s story and find out what it means to be both Black and Blue. Want to hear more? You can follow along on your favourite podcast app here: Learn more about your ad choices. Visit


The Last Moments Of - Part 2

When someone dies, our first reaction is disbelief...we’re stunned...that’s immediately followed by a need to know what’s only natural...we need information to help us process the news and the emotion that comes with it... The next stage is might be “could anything have been done to prevent this?”... “Could someone have helped or intervened?”...In some cases, the case of health issues, maybe not... And finally, there’s this:... “could what happened to that person happen to me?”...again, totally normal... When it comes to the death of a famous musician, there’s an additional aspect to processing the news...chances are we never knew this person as, you know, a person...our only relationship with them has been as a why does their death affect us?... Here’s a possible answer...although we never knew them, it was through their music that we learned more about ourselves...and in a way, when they die, a little of us dies, too... This might only cause us to go deeper into what happened...we just need to know, to make sense if it, and to put everything to rest the best we can...yes, some people get very nosey and gossipy and intrusive, but there’s always a way to handle what’s known through the public record: family statements, doctors’ accounts, police reports, coroners’ testimony, toxicology examinations, and autopsy results.... And we often can’t look away because we just need to know...this is “the last moments of, part 2”.... Learn more about your ad choices. Visit