213 épisodes

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

    • Histoire de la musique

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.

    Airplanes!

    Airplanes!

    People often ask me where I come up with ideas for this program…my answer is always the same… you know that feeling when it’s Sunday night and you promise yourself you’ll start on that assignment that’s due the next morning as soon as “the Simpsons” is over?...

    Yeah, that’s me…every week…and after more than 700 of these one-hour assignments stretching back to 1993, I hit a wall…total writer’s block…

    I started to panic…there are hard deadlines…I have a contract…I’m expected to deliver another new show…there are radio stations all over the place that need new programming from me…what the hell am I gonna talk about this time when I got nothin’?...

    I mean, this is the seven hundredth and forty-sev—

    Wait…show number 747?...that’s the same as the airliner…what about stories of alt-rock and airplanes?...

    And so I started go back through all my files—and sure enough, there’s tons of stuff on the subject…plane crashes, near-misses, air rage, terrorist bombings…

    Well, that settles it…show number 747 will be able civil aviation and alt-rock…there…that wasn’t so hard, was it?...

    Dodged that bullet for another week…

    • 29 min
    Alt Rock Revivals Part 5: New Wave

    Alt Rock Revivals Part 5: New Wave

    It is a fact of life that there are periods where everything old is new again…if you look at Broadway, for example, old productions are always being brought back…

    Take “West Side Story,” for example…it first premiered in 1957 and was brought back in 1960, 1964, 1980, 2009, and 2020…that’s five revivals…the Gershwin musical “Porgy and Bess” has been brought back seventimes…

    Movies are always being rebooted… “Ghostbusters,” “Planet of the Apes,” “King Kong,” “Robocop,” “Willy Wonka,” “Halloween,” “Spider-Man”…“A Star is Born” first appeared in 1937 and was remade in 1954, 1976, and 2018…

    Then there are all the tv remakes…”MacGyver,” “90120,” “Dynasty,” “Lost in Space,” “Roseanne,” “Twin Peaks”…“Star Trek,” of course…

    And then there are musical reboots, scenes and sounds that are brought back by people who are sometimes generations removed from when this music first appeared…

    Maybe it starts with people who stumble on some old records…or maybe they independently discovered sounds and styles that they thought they were new…

    Whatever the cause or source, music is constantly being recycled and renewed…and that’s what we’re looking at with this series of shows…this is “alt-rock revivals: part 5”…and the focus is New Wave…

    • 20 min
    Alt Rock Revivals Part 4: Garage Rock

    Alt Rock Revivals Part 4: Garage Rock

    Take a look in your closet…are you the kind of person who won’t throw out anything because you’re sure it’ll come back into style one day?...

    I am…long after this stuff have ceased sparking joy, it’s still hanging in my closet…I have these sport coats and suits that I paid good money for…and even though I haven’t worn any of them for years, I can’t bring myself to throw them out…

    “yeah, they look a little dated, but one day”…maybe…hope springs eternal…none of them will fit, but that’s beside the point…

    For support, I look at my vinyl collection…there was a time when vinyl was considered nothing more than toxic landfill… “the future is digital!” We were told… “free yourself from all those bulky, dusty, crackly vinyl records…throw them out!...throw them out!”…

    For some reason, I didn’t fall for that…I kept my vinyl…and now that the format has been revived, I look like a genius…

    Bottom line, though, is that even though many things in this universe come in cycles, we’re not always sure when something old will become new again…

    At some point, everyone enjoys a comeback, a resurrection, a re-establishment, a re-introduction…but you never rush these things, especially in music…

    Something has to happen where a significant number of people in different areas simultaneously come to the conclusion that it’s time to revisit some older music and put a modern shine on it…

    This is what happened with garage rock at the very end of the 90s and the early 2000s…after laying low for a couple of decades, it roared back so strong that it set the agenda for much of modern rock for years to come…

    Let’s look at this….it’s alt-rock revivals chapter 4: garage rock…

    • 27 min
    Alt Rock Revivals Part 3: Emo

    Alt Rock Revivals Part 3: Emo

    We hear this phrase all the time: “once in a generation”…fine, but how long is a generation?...according to Wikipedia, it’s about 30 years, which is the time it takes children to be born, grow up, become adults and then start to have children of their own…

    The international society of genetic genealogy sets the length of a generation between 29 and 31 years…

    But that’s if we’re talking about the child-parent-child cycle of human existence…we can also use the word “generation” to describe other cycles—like music…let’s try to do that…

    We all go through a period of “coming of age” with music…this is the period in our lives when music is central to everything we do…we use music to figure out who we are…we use it to bond to other like-minded people…and we use music to project our identity to the world… “thisis who I am!”

    That period—and I’m generalizing here—begins when we enter high school and ends when we get around to being adults…that’s roughly 10 years: 14 to 24, plus or minus a couple of years…

    If we consider that ten-year period to be a generation in music, the cycles will repeat much faster than the standard genealogical definition of “generation”…

    Extrapolating this reasoning (as dodgy as it might seem to some), it’s should be no surprise that we experience periodic revivals in music as age into, through, and out of that musical sweet spot in their lives…

     

    So how long are these cycles?...well, using the rules I just described, we should experience revivals every 10 to 12 years…ish…

     

    This brings me to Emo…when can we expect a revival in that area?...this is chapter 3 of a series entitled “alt-rock revivals”…

    • 22 min
    Alt Rock Revivals Part 2: Ska

    Alt Rock Revivals Part 2: Ska

    Certain types of music have been around forever…jazz, for example, has been with us for over a hundred years…classical music goes back at least six hundred years…and then there’s religious music which can date back a thousand years or even more…

    If you study this sort of thing—it’s a form of ethnomusicology—you’ll see that revivals happen all the time all over the world with all kinds of different music…

    If type of music lasts that long, it’s gotta be always there in the background…it can’t ever have actually died off…and it really helps if these old sounds experience periodic comebacks…you know, just to give things a boost from time to time…

    Music revivals can be defined as social movements where a segment of the population decides that a specific era or musical system needs to be restored…they’re tired of what’s happening in the mainstream and look for something from the good old days to soothe their souls…

    And revivals have an interesting side effect…when a form of music comes to the fore again, it has a chance to renew, to regenerate, to evolve…

    This is where we encounter one of the most durable and regenerative music of the last hundred years…this is chapter two of alt-rock revivals…and this time, we’re going to talk about Ska…

    • 23 min
    Alt Rock Revivals Part 1: Punk

    Alt Rock Revivals Part 1: Punk

    We begin this episode with Ecclesiastes, chapter 3, verses 1-3…ish:

    “to everything there is a season, a time to every purpose under the heaven…a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted…a time to rock, a time to dance, a time to head bang, and time to chill”...

    Okay, I don’t think that last part is in any edition of the standard bible…I might have made it up…

    Here’s what I’m trying to say…the universe moves in cycles…things are born, build up, peak, and fade away…but they don’t necessarily die…they just go into some kind of stasis, a type of hibernation before something triggers a rebirth…and if the conditions are right, the whole process repeats again…

    This happens with music a lot…certain genres, certain scenes, have periodic revivals…

    Lemme give you an example…in the late 50s, all the cool kids were into folk music…stuff that was a generation old suddenly became the thing all the hipsters were listening to…the Kingston trio…Peter, Paul, and Mary…

    This translated into a big boom for modern folk music that eventually manifested in Bob Dylan and everyone who followed him…

    Around the same time in the UK, the big thing was known as “trad jazz”…English hipsters who were unimpressed with this new rock’n’roll thing, decided that traditional jazz that was originally big 60 years previous was where it was at…

    Again, there was a revival with new artists like acker bilk, Kenny Ball, and Monty Sunshine…suddenly, New Orleans Dixieland was in vogue…things lasted until about 1965 before it all died away…

    In 1973, 50s rock’n’roll made a comeback... “American Graffiti,” “Happy Days,” Elton John singing “Crocodile Rock”—stuff like that…

    Alternative rock has been around long enough so that it has seen its own internal revivals…sounds from alt-rock history that have been rediscovered and advanced by a new generation of fans…

    Even the punk rock of the middle 70s was a revival of sorts…at its heart, that punk was a back-to-basics form of rock’n’roll but done with speed and a sneer…and that’s where we’ll start…this is alt-rock revivals, part one: punk…

    • 27 min

Avis des utilisateurs

the comeaution ,

A long drive

Drove from Moncton to Almonte with Alan Cross in my headphones the whole way. Not only made the drive doable but very enjoyable. What a fantastic podcast.Thank you!

Goose-a-riffic ,

Great catalog of episodes

I’ve been going through this for close to a year now and going deep into music history of genres I wasn’t even into. Very well done and always interesting.

Jim_311 ,

Enjoying the history!

Alan thanks for this podcast. I love the details you give to each band/album you discuss.

Palmarès des balados : Histoire de la musique

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