325 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 Ongoing History of New Music

    • Music
    • 4.9 • 3.2K Ratings

Listen on Apple Podcasts
Requires subscription and macOS 11.4 or higher

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.

Listen on Apple Podcasts
Requires subscription and macOS 11.4 or higher

    The History of Alt-Rock: Chapter 10

    The History of Alt-Rock: Chapter 10

    Once upon a time, all music was made mechanically...something had to be hit with a hand or a stick...or strummed or plucked...or air had to be forced over a reed or through a valve...
    Then along came electricity...it took a while, but electricity was tamed so that it could not only power new forms of musical instruments, but the energy itself could be made musical...
    By the beginning of the 1980s, the people of planet earth were most pleased at what they had accomplished...but in the background, some people knew that there was still more work to be done....
    They began asking “what if anything could be made into music?”...others still mused “what if we could take existing music, chop it up and reassemble it into something brand new?”...
    Some used the old ways, chopping up these sounds mechanically using proven machinery like turntables and tape machines...but others learned to use new inventions called “computers” and “samplers”...
    And so it came to pass that all through the 80s, people began to experiment with electricity and the new machines...and by the time the decade ended, there was plenty of new and interesting music to go around...music was being made by machines, orchestrated by computers and programmed by punks...and things would never be the same again. 
    This is the complete history of alt-rock, chapter 10...

    • 34 min
    Driven By Her: Women Who Rocked The 90's

    Driven By Her: Women Who Rocked The 90's

    Women helped changed the face of ROCK as hair metal from the 80’s gave way to brand new sounds and VERY different attitudes in the 90's. On this episode of "Driven by Her" presented by our friends at Porsche Canada we're showcasing amazing, driven women like Alanis Morrissette, Ani DiFranco, and Bikini Kill. They carved their own path and created the seismic shift in music that came with Generation X because the 90's couldn't have rocked at the level they did without their influence along with the other women who helped define a generation.

    • 28 min
    Listener Email

    Listener Email

    Okay, stay with us as this could get a bit confusing.
    Since the Ongoing History takes the summer months off to write and research new shows, we dig into the vault to post older episodes that first aired on radio from 1993 onward.
    Some still sound relevant, and others...not so much.
    This episode is "Radio episode 601" (aired in 2009-ish) but "Podcast Episode 345.
    So if some of the content seems a bit "dated" this could be the reason.
    But we feel the material is still relevant.

    Enjoy and please continue to send in your questions to Alan so we can keep doing episodes like this one.

    • 26 min
    The History of Alt-Rock: Chapter 9

    The History of Alt-Rock: Chapter 9

    It had taken a few years, but by the middle 1980s, the underground music scene in north America had reached some kind of a tipping point...enough people had discovered punk, new wave and all the sub-genres associated with both so that things started to become really interesting...
    Campus radio stations began to have more clout...the more support they gave to these non-mainstream bands, the more they were appreciated and the more power they wielded...
    And as these stations began to communicate with each other through publications and charts and conventions, their influence and reach grew even more...turns out that a surprising number of people were really tired of whatever the mainstream rock industry was pumping out...each day, the “alternative” scene–that’s what we were calling it by the mid-80s–attracted more fans who were only too happy to evangelize the epiphanies that led to their conversion...
    Yes, college radio helped...so did all the bands willing to tour alt-friendly clubs...and so did independent record stores which set themselves apart from the big chains by stocking more of the weird stuff....
    But we can’t forget the roll of MTV and any channel or show that played videos from all those weird, new telegenic bands from the UK...
    If you spent any time at all watching music videos in the middle 80s, it was obvious that as interesting as the growing alt-rock scene was in north America, there was something just as interesting happening on that cold, rainy rock in the north Atlantic...and it was all happening so fast...
    This is the complete history of alt-rock, chapter nine...

    • 23 min
    Songs of Protest

    Songs of Protest

    Sometimes people get so pissed off or so inspired by something that they just have to sing about it…this is the protest song and it’s been with us for centuries…
    It’s music that encourages political and social change… and if done right—and if circumstances are correct—the song can mobilize people to take action, lift spirits and annoy (or even scare) authorities of the establishment…
    Protest music comes in all forms: classical, folk, reggae, pop, hip hop and, of course, rock…it can rail against war, demand social justice, call out politicians and petition for greater rights for women, minorities, labour and the marginalized…
    The singers and musicians behind this music may be regarded as thought leaders, social influencers and even prophets—and least for a time…
    What i’d like to go is go through the history of protest in song from the world of alt-rock, those times when a loud guitar becomes tool for making things better—for everyone…

    • 29 min
    The History of Alt-Rock: Chapter 8

    The History of Alt-Rock: Chapter 8

    When punk rock first appeared in the middle 1970s, the major record companies in north America really didn’t care...they were happily making millions and millions of dollars from big rock bands like Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, Fleetwood Mac and The Eagles.....

    And there was millions more coming in from disco...which was sweeping the world....it was like a plague–but a profitable one...so why would they bother with this weird stuff bubbling up from tiny, scary clubs on both sides of the Atlantic?...they were too busy going to big stadium shows and getting down at Studio 54...

    But this new music wouldn’t go away...so when Led Zeppelin broke up and the Stones and The Eagles and Fleetwood Mac disappeared up their own buts and the disco bubble finally burst the record execs tried to tame it......marketing the gentler and less intense bands under the umbrella of something they called “New Wave”.

    Oh, they tried with punk, but they got it really, really wrong...you gotta wonder what was going through that executive’s head when The Ramones were picked to open shows for toto....

    No, seriously...The Ramones were the opening act for Toto on one tour...I swear I didn’t make that up...it happened in Lake Charles, Louisiana...January 26, 1979...they were also paired up with Foreigner and Blue Oyster Cult...

    But we have to be fair....the general public just didn’t get punk....when The Sex pistols appeared on the cover of Rolling Stone magazine in the fall of 1977, it was one of their poorest-selling issues, ever....mind you, the headline read “rock is sick and living in London”...the story began with a quote from Isaiah 3:24: “instead of perfume, there will be rottenness”....

    After that, most Rolling Stone writers were instructed to stop writing about this music...it was bad for business...really bad...

    But there were people who got it....and frankly, fans of non-mainstream music were quite happy to be left alone...they were into this new music precisely because they hated the mainstream...and over the next dozen years, the musical underground was allowed left to gestate undisturbed......it slowly mutated and evolved into something very unique---very powerful...this is the complete history of alt-rock, chapter 8...1

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5
3.2K Ratings

3.2K Ratings

kang_a_ji ,

Alan’s Voice is the Comfort of Home

I’ve been listening to Alan on the radio for years and years and always feel engaged by not only the well researched and excellent content, but his voice is like a friend in my head.
I’m no longer in Canada and live on the other side of the world, but Alan’s voice gives me a slice of home. This podcast is a great comfort and so interesting every time.

TheSkipr ,


History of vinyl and electric guitars is info hitting way above weight. Keep that Nerd Edge. Keep coming back for more.

pnowen ,

Can’t Get Enough!

I’m always pumped to see a new episode drop. I’m endlessly fascinated by all the stories, trivia and backstage scoops Alan presents on this show. He’s also a master storyteller and communicator. Can’t get enough! 🤘

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