441 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 • 3.5K Ratings

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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

    StarsNCarsNRockNRoll

    StarsNCarsNRockNRoll

    Next to music and my dogs, my biggest obsession is cars…I’ve always been a car nut…i’m one of those people with a list of cars I’ll buy when I win the lottery…
    I’ll start with production sports cars…a Porsche 911 Turbo 4 will be my daily driver, although there will be a Lamborghini Uris SUV for those times I need to haul people and stuff…for those summer days, I think a McLaren 750s Spider would be cool…
    I’ll need a car for track days, of course…no one else in the neighbourhood would have a Koenigsegg…I’d probably order the Jekso Absolute…1600 horsepower sounds about right…
    And just to show everyone that I’m not out to completely destroy the planet, there will be at least one EV…right now, that would be a Rimac Nevera…
    That’s what? Four million dollars worth of vehicles?...not including insurance and maintenance, of course…I’m never going to win that kind of lottery, but it’s nice to dream…
    For other people, though, this is the kind of machinery sitting in their air-conditioned, highly secure underground garages…that includes a lot of rock stars…
    Eric Clapton is so well-known at Ferrari that the company built him a custom one-of-a-kind model that probably cost him upwards of five million…Neil Peart had a selection of very collectible sports cars from the 1960s, all in silver…
    Brian Johnson of AC/DC has a bunch of Bentleys, Ferraris, and some classic race cars…same with Nick Mason of Pink Floyd…he’s even written a book about this collection…
    Then there’s everything we use in the car to listen to music…radio, car audio, satellite radio, infotainment systems and all that…
    All this got me thinking about the relationship between cars and rock…the two things go hand-in-hand…I think we should look at this history, don’t you?
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    • 44 min
    The Surprising History of Surf Music

    The Surprising History of Surf Music

    Every once in a long while, a new genre of popular music emerges, evolves a little bit and then stays almost exactly the same with only the slightest of variations…not that there’s anything wrong with that…a formula is discovered…it seems to work…so why change it?...
    Old-school 12-bar blues is an example…it features one of the most common chord progressions in Western music…the style of lyrics, phrasing, structure, and duration have been pretty much standard since the days of gospel and spirituals and African-based oral traditions…an Alabama musician named W.C. Handy was the first to codify 12-bar blues playing around 1905…
    Ska might be an example…it has many different flavours, but there are common components under the hood, rooted in playing on the off-beat—the “one” and “three” instead of the “two” and “four”…
    You might say the same about Reggae and its foundations in the debow beat, although you’ll probably get a little pushback from fans…
    Lemme throw this into the mix: garage rock…two or three chords played on guitar, bass, and drums with a loose, rebellious vibe…nothing too complicated…it’s just gotta feel good…
    And here’s one more that might not spring to mind right away: surf music…it, too, can come in different forms…as a type of garage rock…it can be punky…it can be hardcore…it’s great for skateboarding or snowboarding…and yes, it’s also about the beach, the boards, and the swells…
    But it’s also more than that…it’s about guitars, amps, pedals, amps, cars, girls, beer, and parties…it can feature vocals but it might be best experienced as instrumentals….
    There’s a lot more to surf music than you might think…and its importance and influence and legacy goes far beyond the beach...…here…let me show you.

    Show contact info:
    X (formerly Twitter): @AlanCross
    Website: curiouscast.ca
    Email: Alan@alancross.ca
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    • 28 min
    More and More Medical Mysteries of Music

    More and More Medical Mysteries of Music

    I want you to take a deep breath…
    It’s only when we focus on our breathing that we realize how important it is that 21% of our atmosphere is made up of oxygen…that is the ideal amount…
    Drop too, say 15%, and it would cause all sorts of mental and physical impairment…if the oxygen levels were to increase suddenly, we’d suffer “oxygen toxicity,” meaning that our cells would oxidize, leading to exhaustion and death…
    Meanwhile, spiders, roaches, and other crawly things would grow bigger and bigger because of their biology… if you think we have a wildfire problem now, imagine if those fires had more oxygen as fuel…
    So, unless you’re hoping for a burning planet covered in spiders the size of a compact car, 21% it is…
    Music is such an integral of our lives that we have no idea how important it is…I can even tell you…a study by Deezer, the French streaming service, says that to maintain a healthy lifestyle, we should listen to 78 minutes of music per day…
    The study broke things down even further…that 78 minutes should be portioned this way for maximum benefit…
    ·      14 minutes of uplifting music to exercise your happiness.
    ·      16 minutes of calming music
    ·      16 minutes of music that counteracts sadness.
    ·      15 minutes of motivational music to help with concentration.
    ·      And 17 minutes of music that will help you deal with anger.
    A few suggestions come with the study, too. Abba’s “Dancing Queen” is an example of the sort of happy music we should appreciate…when it comes to anger management, AC/DC’s “Highway to Hell” is about perfect, although certain tracks from Rammstein and Metallica are good, too—and Mozart for some reason…
    This stuff fascinates me…and whenever I run across a study or some research that connects music and the brain and our overall mental and physical help, I bookmark it…and I’ve bookmarked so much that we can now do a full program on it…
    This is another instalment of “The Medical Mysteries of Music”

    Show contact info:
    X (formerly Twitter): @AlanCross
    Website: curiouscast.ca
    Email: Alan@alancross.ca
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    • 33 min
    The Most Dangerous Artists in Rock

    The Most Dangerous Artists in Rock

    One of the most attractive things about rock is that it’s often dangerous…from the very beginning, rock has been about rebellion, a disregard for the rules, and thumbing its nose at the status quo…rage against the machine summed it up nicely with their song “killing in the name… f-you, I won’t do what you tell me…
    There’s an edginess to rock that’s addictive…most of us live pretty normal lives, so there’s something cathartic seeing rock stars live out our wildest, most reckless impulses and fantasies…rock stars get to do what we wish we could…
    When we go to a show, there’s always that hope we’re going to see and experience something a little unhinged, unpredictable, and primal…between gigs, we like to soak up the gossip and stories of bad behaviour from books, biopics, and social media…
    The music is fine…but we also want spectacle on and off stage…
    It’s all in good fun—until it’s not…there are limits to what we think is okay…legal lines can be crossed…and there are aesthetic, ethical, and moral areas that are just off limits…
    But here’s the thing about some artists…they don’t care…they live in their own reality where the normal rules of society just don’t hold…we might see behaviours that are thoughtless, selfish, overly audacious, negligent, self-destructive, incredibly violent, and downright criminal…
    For some, this is a lifestyle…for others, their dangerousness relates to illness, out-of-control passions, and, in some cases negligence and misadventure…
    In short, there’s a subset of rock stars who are genuinely dangerous, not to themselves but others…and once we start seeking out these people and examining their actions, what we find can be terrifying on a series of different levels.
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    • 38 min
    1994

    1994

    The 1990s was a golden era for Gen X music fans…classic and heritage artists were still a thing, but it was clear that a new generation of rock artists was in control and was releasing music that captured the hopes, dreams, wishes, anger, and aggression of young people…we hadn’t seen that kind of thing since the 70s during the punk, post-punk, and new wave times…and for a little while, pop was not dominant…it was a time for rock-with-a-capital-R…
     Things really got into gear in 1991…momentum carried over to 1992 and 1993…and by the time we got to 1994, we were living in an alt-rock world…was it the greatest year for alternative ever?...maybe…let’s explore that…
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    • 31 min
    A History of Anonymous Bands

    A History of Anonymous Bands

    Usually, the whole idea of being famous is to be, well, famous…you’re known by everyone…your face is everywhere…you’re a celebrity…and you get invited to the best parties, you get endorsements, you get free stuff…
    Sure, there’s a trade-off…your right to privacy is greatly diminished…your every move is scrutinized…it might become harder to maintain meaningful relationships…and then there’s the constant pressure to live up to this thing you’ve become…this is emotionally draining…
    After a while, you may start to resent this fame thing…the challenges and pitfalls can overshadow all the perks…
    But you can also be famous and not famous at the same time…you just have to be very, very careful about revealing who you are…
    There’s the story of Comte de Saint-German…he was some kind of adventurer in the 1700s who popped up throughout Europe…he spoke almost every language on the continent, knew a lot about chemistry, and was quite the musician….he was so mysterious and amazing that he acquired the nickname “the wonderman”…
    Remember tank man?... He’s the guy who held up that row of tanks during the crackdown on Tiananmen square in China…no clue who this dude is…
    Who is Satoshi Nakamoto?...is he the creator of bitcoin?...he disappeared from the internet around 2014 and stayed hidden…there are theories but nothing concrete…
    Let’s riff on that a little bit more…can you be a famous musician and still be able to walk through the mall without anyone knowing you are?...yes…it’s difficult and comes with its own tradeoffs, but it can be done…plus you have to work very hard to maintain the art of hiding in plain site…
    This is the history of anonymous artists from the world of rock…
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    • 35 min

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5
3.5K Ratings

3.5K Ratings

Amber403 ,

Love this show!

Alan is so knowledgeable and passionate about alternative and rock music and every show is delivered in the same enthusiastic manner. This man is a Canadian legend.

KJ in Vancouver BC ,

Such a cool show!

It's always fascinating to hear the goings on of the music industry we never really know about. Alan does a fantastick job!

dew addict ,

Love Bootlegs!

Great two-parter on Bootlegs. It brought me back to 90’s. Going downtown to Cheapies (Hamilton) on a Saturday asking for any “special releases”

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