250 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 • 2.9K 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.

    Unfortunate Sonic Coincidences: The Lawsuits

    Unfortunate Sonic Coincidences: The Lawsuits

    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 hit songs with the same four chords at their root…e, b, c#, and a, played in that order…

    If I haven’t lost you to music theory yet, all these songs are constructed on those chords… “With or Without You” from U2, Green Day’s “When I Come Around” and “Bullet With Butterfly Wings” from the Smashing Pumpkins, and The Offspring’s “Self-Esteem”…plus “Don’t Stop Believin'’” by Journey, “Barbie Girl” by Aqua, and John Denver, “Take Me Home Country Roads”…

    In fact, there’s a whole Wikipedia page dedicated to what’s know as the “i-v-vi-iv progression”…it can be played in different keys (for example, “bullet with butterfly wings” is in b-flat while “self-esteem” is in c-major) and the chords can be ordered differently, but the common dna is there…this is just how our scale works and how songs are constructed…

    Now listen to me: this is not a sign that any of these artists lack in creativity… no one is breaking any rules…and no one is ripping off anyone because no one can have exclusive ownership over a chord progression…

    However, there is a subset of people—lawyers, mostly—who believe that they should be able to sue artists for plagiarism if there’s any perceived similarity between two songs…the original composer needs to be compensated for this alleged theft…even the threat of a lawsuit and jury trial might be enough to scare up some settlement money…

    This is insane…and the situation has been getting worse and worse…I think it’s time we deconstructed what’s happening with these crazy lawsuits that threaten to cripple all of music…

    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    • 36 min
    Theories, Thoughts, and Half-Baked Ideas

    Theories, Thoughts, and Half-Baked Ideas

    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 consumed and distributed, and how seemingly small things have led to big changes…that’s one thing…

    Another is the opinions formed by observing the opinions of others…why do people like some things and hate others?...and another is a list of ideas that aren’t quite fully formed…it seems like I’ve almost grasped a concept but it doesn’t feel right yet—but I feel that there’s a germ of truth in there somewhere…

    I’ve also learned that when you’re not sure about something, source the crowd…you might like the answers, but it’s better than living in your own head…

    So lemme bounce a few of these things off you and you can tell me if I’m onto something or if I’m off-base—or if I’ve completely lost the plot…

    I call this episode “theories, thoughts, and half-baked ideas”…

    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    • 31 min
    Sid Vicious

    Sid Vicious

    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 the story of Sid Vicious. 

    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    • 38 min
    Indigenous Alternative

    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 are full-fledged First Nations people…others have at least some Native blood…

    Some are well-known…others have been hiding in plain sight…and I think it’s time that we go through some of these contributions…

    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    • 19 min
    The 2020 Xmas Show

    The 2020 Xmas Show

    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 people were adopting…we got out for more walks…oh—here’s a good one: Africa was declared free of polio in 2020…that’s definitely brilliant…

    2021 will be a transition year…vaccines have to be administered, COVID cases will come down, and by this time next year, we’ll in a much better place…optimism is the best cure for anxiety…

    So with that...let's dive into some our annual not-so-traditional Christmas show.

    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    • 17 min
    60 Facts in 30 Minutes: 2020 Edition

    60 Facts in 30 Minutes: 2020 Edition

    Okay…let’s start the annual office cleanup…this is the time of year when I go through all the scraps of paper, all the scribbles on various notepads and all the post-it notes hanging everywhere…then there are the computer and phone notes that contain even more information…

    The goal is to determine if anything I’ve written down or squirreled away somewhere is of any use for this program…

    See, when you do a program like this, you always need to be on the lookout of interesting stuff…arcane knowledge…bits of trivia…oddities and strange connections…it’s a practically a 24/7 thing because you never, ever know when you’re going to run across something mind-blowingly fascinating…

    The problem is that many of the cool things I discover don’t fit in with anything that I’m doing or writing about…but it seems a shame to discard or otherwise ignore any of this research because it’s still fascinating stuff…

    So I spend the year collecting all this orphan material for this specific program every December…essentially, it’s a big data dump of music-related information…I just put it out there and let you do with it what you may…

    Got that?...prepare yourself…this is the annual look at 60 mind-blowing things about music in 30 minutes…

    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    • 25 min

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5
2.9K Ratings

2.9K Ratings

hang-10 ,

The Spirit of Radio

There is only one Alan Cross, I met him briefly at a Canada day concert at Molson park. There was a new band playing that day that had just released a new record, they were called the Tragically Hip and they were pretty good. I wonder what happened to them.......

Factorbot ,

Alan Cross is a broadcasting legend

I’m old enough to remember listening to Alan Cross’ show on 102.1, and I love that he’s been able to transfer his show to a podcast format! I didn’t even know he had a podcast until a couple days ago, and I immediately subscribed and dove in. So far it’s just as entertaining and well-researched as his radio show, and I’m already seeing tons of episodes I want to download and listen to. Alan Cross is a gem!

Bunge mcfinn ,

Awesome

Have been listening to this show for half my life. Was the only radio show I ever remember being appointment listening. Now that it’s a podcast I just binge on old episodes and have brought the next generation into the fold on long drives.

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