224 episodes

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 Curiouscast

    • Music History
    • 4.9, 2.8K Ratings

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.

    Trying to be a Superstar in the 21st Century

    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 continue to do what they do well into their pension years, all the power to them…

    Part of the reason so many people are still into these groups is because their bodies of work are incredibly strong and still sound great….most of The Beatles music is still brilliant even though much of it is more 50 years ago…

    The other reason these acts still attract attention is because there hasn’t been much of anyone to replace them…where are all the superstar rock acts of the 21st century?...

    This isn’t to say that they don’t exist because they do—but the stars seem to have gotten, well, smaller—not to mention fewer and further between…

    Wait…perhaps i should clarify what I mean by “superstar”…I’m talking about an act that sells music by the millions and millions of units…I’m talking about concerts by acts for which tens of thousands of people will crawl over broken glass to get tickets…

    I’m talking about acts who manage to great a deep catalogue of hits released over a period of years…and I’m talking about acts where there’s consensus by millions of people that they are great and worthy of everyone’s love and devotion…

    But thanks to changes within the music industry—and because we music fans are now consuming music differently—everything has been turned upside down…we need to look at things this way: why is so much harder to be a superstar rock act in the 21st century…

    • 29 min
    The Original Ramones

    The Original Ramones

    Friday, August 16, 1974, was a hot summer day in New York City…it was 31 degrees, but the humidity made it feel a lot hotter…and if you were down in the Bowery amidst all the concrete, it was hotter still...and it smelled…

    This part of the city was, to be honest, rather uncivilized…it was a slum…lots of garbage, broken windows, abandoned buildings, drug addicts and homeless people…but there were also businesses and places to hang out—like a dive bar at 315 Bowery at Bleeker called CBGB…

    Even though it was a Friday night, there was almost no one in the bar…there was the owner, the owner’s dog, two people from a transvestite band from San Francisco called The Cockettes, the manager of another band called television and an artist from the neighhourhood who had moved up from Chihuahua, Mexico, and a scenester named Leggs McNeil …that’s it…

    And sometime around 9:00, four guys in leather jackets, t-shirts, torn jeans and converse high-tops got up on the tiny stage…

    “They counted off this song,” he remembers, “and it was just this wall of noise…they looked so striking…these guys were not hippies…this was something completely new”…

    Fifteen minutes after their set started, it was over…they had blown through all their songs—and had also found time to fight about which song was next and to struggle with broken guitar strings…it scared the crap out of the owner’s dog…

    When it was over, the owner said to the band “nobody’s gonna like you, but I’ll have you back”…

    And he did...the band came back the following night…and again…and again….and again…by the end of 1974, the group had played cbgb a total of 74 times…

    But back to August 16th…that was the night music began to change forever…you’d never have guessed it, but when the bass player counted in that first song, it was the equivalent of “let there be light”…

    • 31 min
    The Second Voice

    The Second Voice

    when you’re the lead singer in a band, you’re pretty much guaranteed to get all the attention…after all, you are the visual and audio focal point for pretty much everything…

    Yeah, there might be a hot guitarist or someone else flashy in the group, but for the 99% of the time, the spotlight is on you…which is fine if you’re the lead singer…

    But if you’re not?...what if you’re the schlep on bass or drums?...what if you’re the newest member of the band and you haven’t earned the right to claim any of the glare…maybe you have something to say…or maybe you have something to sing…

    Chances are you’ll get shouted down, ignored or buried…but not always…i’ve found some very, very good songs where the second voice in the band—or the third or the even the fourth has stepped-up big-time to grab centre stage, even for just one single song…and here’s the thing: you might not even know it…

    This is a look at some times when the lead singer took a step back and handed the mic to a second voice

    • 19 min
    Good Goth: Part 2

    Good Goth: Part 2

    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. 

    • 17 min
    Good Goth: Part 1

    Good Goth: Part 1

    Goth has always had a bad rap and that's not fair to the music, the fans and the fashion so we're going to try to clear everything up with our deep dive.

    Don't worry...no one's going to get hurt.

    We examine the Alt-Rock scene from the early 70's and take it right up to today.

    This is "Good Goth"

    • 17 min
    Fashion

    Fashion

    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!

    • 22 min

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5
2.8K Ratings

2.8K Ratings

Steele Davis ,

As good as it musically gets

If you’re a music fan and curious about how it all happens and comes together, this is the absolutely best podcast out there. Alan Cross provides amazing detail and enthusiasm for all things music. Wait no longer, subscribe, and enjoy the musical ride.

Cadgr ,

Meh

Not what it used to be. Typical Canadian celebrated mediocrity

Superscope68 ,

Alan’s music educational

As a teenager growing up in a little town east of Toronto in the early 90’s, I would tune my radio to CFNY 102.1 and eagerly await Alan Cross and The Ongoing History of New Music. I believe the show was on every Sunday and I would be introduced to a whole new world of music and the history of the different genres. I would have to give credit to Alan for expanding my musical taste!

An amazing Podcast for any music lover!

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