306 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 • 396 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

    Using Music as a Weapon

    Using Music as a Weapon

    Music is one of the greatest gifts the universe has bestowed on humanity...it provides so much joy and comfort and inspiration and enjoyment and motivation... It’s used in ritual and worship...and it allows us to communicate when words fail us...

    Every culture we’ve ever known has had music...an existence without music?...inconceivable...

    But like everything in this life, even the best things can be perverted and corrupted for malevolent purposes...and that includes music...

    It can be something as simple as your brother or sister annoying you by playing their awful music at high volume...or music can be employed as a weapon, a tool of war, an instrument of torture, a form of intimidation, and a way of inflicting pain and distress...

    And to be fair, it can also be used as gentle non-lethal retaliation against some kind of incursion or attack...no bullets may be fired, but a point will be made...

    This use of music in these ways is almost as old as music itself...and this history isn’t pretty...welcome to the story of using music as a weapon...warning: this could get loud...

    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    • 25 min
    The History of Hardcore

    The History of Hardcore

    One of the things that makes rock great is the energy and the power that comes with the music..and depending where you go, that energy and power varies from place to place...

    If you’re looking to exorcise a little aggression and anger and frustration, you have several choices...there are various flavours of metal that can serve your purpose, ranging from the melodic (Metallica’s “Enter Sandman,” for example) along with Sabbath and Ozzy to the straight-from-hell insanity of black and death metal...

    Industrial music is another option...guitars, synthesizers, and driving beats from acts like Nine Inch Nails, Marilyn Manson, and Ministry...

    A third option is punk rock...it comes in many flavours, so there’s almost something for everyone...

    But if you really want pure adrenalin, something aggressive, something super-physical, something primal, and something that can be dangerous and violent, there’s one particular part of the punk world that you’ll find very attractive...

    It’s a space where things can’t be too hard, too fast, or too angry... And for many people, it’s become a lifestyle and even a lifesaver...it isn’t for everyone, but as we’ll see, its influence has extended far, far beyond just a bunch of guys yelling over loud guitars...misunderstood?...maybe...important?...definitely...this is the history of hardcore...

    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    • 27 min
    Late Bloomers

    Late Bloomers

    It’s never too late to follow your dreams…here are a few inspiration examples…

    Anna Mary Robertson was born in New York in 1860…for years, she worked as a housekeeper before moving to farm work with her husband, Thomas Moses…they had ten children…

    When Thomas died, Anna needed something to occupy her time, so she took up painting…she was 78 years old…Anna became known as “Grandma Moses” and is one of the most celebrated American painters of the 20th century…she’s also held up as an example of never being too old to follow your dreams…

    Then, early in 2022, I ran across the story of Ruth Slenczynska…she was the last surviving pupil of classical legend Sergei Rachmaninov…Ruth first met him when she was declared a child prodigy many, many, many decades ago, back in the 1920s…

    She recorded some classical records for Decca in the 50s and very early 60s, but that was it…the contract lapsed and wasn’t renewed—that is until early 2022 when she signed a brand new record deal with Decca for a solo album entitled “my life in music”…Ruth Slenczynska got this record deal at the age of 97…

    This got me thinking…rock is supposed to be for the young…new artists are almost always in their teens or early 20s…but not always…sometimes it takes a little longer and a lot more work before certain artists were able to get their big break…some had to wait until their 30s—ancient by any measure when it comes to the contemporary music business…

    And given the ageism that persists throughout contemporary music, these accomplishments are all that more impressive…

    Let’s take a look at the late bloomers of rock’n’roll…

    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    • 24 min
    18 Bands Who Changed Lead Singers

    18 Bands Who Changed Lead Singers

    When someone in your band decides to leave, gets fired, or heaven forbid, dies, you have a problem…this is an issue if any member leaves, but if we’re talking about your singer, that’s a hurt on an entirely different level…

    Your front person is an integral part of your sound…it’s the voice of your music…and there is nothing important to your music than its voice…

    It gets worse, too…your front person often provides the central image of your band…that person is the one out front…that person takes centre stage live…that person is the one the camera follows in a video…that person is the one photographers focus on…and chances are, it’s that person’s name that comes to mind first with fans…

    So what do you do when that person bails?...you have two choices…fold your tent and go home and maybe come back in a different form with a different name…or you suck it up and risk replacing that singer with someone else…

    That is hard on so many levels…again, I go back to the notion of “voice”…you could find a sound-alike like we’ve seen with journey, a period of time with Judas Priest, and perhaps Queen…but the fans know you’ve just plugged that whole with a reasonable facsimile at best or a out-and-out fake at worst…

    Instead, it’s probably best to focus on skills and chemistry…so maybe the new person does sound like the old one…but maybe they bring something new to the table, some intangible talent that not only dressed the wound but makes the body as a whole stronger?...

    That’s really, really, hard…but it can be done…and here are 18 examples of bands who have done just that…

    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    • 28 min
    Imagine Dragons

    Imagine Dragons

    I get a lot of email from young musicians looking for advice…they all ask pretty much the same questions: how to do I get more people to know about my music?...how do I get them to listen to my music?...how do I get my songs on the radio?...how do I get a record deal?...listen, if I had the definitive “silver bullet” answers to any of these questions, I’d not only be rich, I’d be worshipped as a God—which, come to think of it, would be kinda cool…

    It has always been hard to make it in the music business…you need to not just be good but great…and—never discount this—you have to be lucky, to be in the right place in the right time with the right sound and image and attitude…

    And since the internet disrupted everything, it’s become even harder…at the moment, there’s a split when it comes to artists…the majority of them made their bones and established their reputations before the internet hit the music industry around 2000—and everyone else…

    The internet—free-flowing digital files, streaming, social media, YouTube, and all that ilk—has not only made music more accessible to everyone, but it’s also increased competition amongst musicians exponentially…it has never been harder for a new act to be heard about the noise of everyone else…

    Here’s an exercise: name all the rock bands who have emerged since 2000 who are capable of filling an area as a headliner today…Arcade Fire, for sure…Muse, is another…Linkin Park, although they’re no longer with us…White Stripes and Jack White…and after that, you start to run out of names…

    Here’s one more: Imagine Dragons…they were formed in 2008 and have since become a major alt-rock band…and yes, they can fill an arena…how did they do that?...let’s investigate….

    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    • 23 min
    Remembering Taylor Hawkins

    Remembering Taylor Hawkins

    Back in 2014, I was invited to the foo fighters headquarters...this is 606 studios, the band’s hangout and nerve centre in Van Nuys, California...I was there to talk about the new album and TV series, “Sonic Highways”...

    I got there before anyone from the band arrived...first to roll up was Taylor Hawkins...he was driving the same beat-up 1986 Toyota 4 x 4 pick-up truck that he bought for $400 when he was in high school...he could have taken his other truck, which was a 2005 Subaru Baja...

    “not a very rock star ride,” I said when he got out...Taylor smiled—of course, he smiled—and said “it gets the job done”...Taylor was never much for the trappings of rock stardom... Here’s a quote: if you want to play music, play because you want to play music, not because you want to be rich and famous”....

    We went inside where I noticed a poster on the wall for an obscure solo album by Queen drummer, Roger Taylor...it was a 1981 release called “Fun in Space”...what was that doing here?...

    Taylor came alive... “Roger Taylor, man!...my favourite drummer ever!...Queen was my first concert and I’ve always been a fan of the guy...I mean, just the way he plays”...

    And that’s how the conversation went until everyone else arrived and we had to start the interview...but during those 15 or 20 minutes, Taylor made me feel at home, a welcome guest in this sacred and very private Foo Fighters space...

    I forgot that was talking to the drummer of one of the biggest bands on the planet...he was just this goofy, fun surfer dude who wanted to talk about music...I think he even made me an espresso...

    That’s what I thought of when I heard that Taylor had died...he wasn’t just the Foos’ drummer and a beloved member of the band, he was a nice, normal guy, who wanted to do nothing more than be a dad and play rock’n’roll...

    Let’s spend some time remembering Taylor Hawkins...

    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    • 27 min

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5
396 Ratings

396 Ratings

WilliamJ2021 ,

Love it

Best podcast I have found. I am halfway through the 300+ episodes.

Drpomo ,

My favorite

Can’t find a better podcast ❤️

topheradollar ,

THE BEST

No better music history podcast!

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