Ongoing History of New Music

By Curiouscast

Listen to a podcast, please open Podcast Republic app. Available on Google Play Store.

Category: Music History

Open in Apple Podcasts

Open RSS feed

Open Website

Rate for this podcast

Subscribers: 1146
Reviews: 4

 Sep 29, 2020

 Nov 6, 2019

 Sep 19, 2018
Loving this podcast but can't rate it 5/5 as they cut off the music. The stories are great, but not nearly as awesome without the tracks.

 Jul 19, 2018
I've loved you since the nineties, Mr. Cross, when I used to listen to you on Rock 101 CFMI in Vancouver :)


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.

Episode Date
Piano Heroes
Rock’n’roll is built on the electric guitar...well, mostly...and not really in the fact, the electric guitar as we know it, didn’t have much to do with the birth of rock at all... The earliest rock evolved out of rhythm & blues the early 50s, many of them featured some kind of electric guitars...but the honk and rhythm came from saxophones and pianos which were slowly pounded into matchsticks... The piano contributed bits of jazz, boogie-woogie, barrelhouse, and juke-joint energy...and even through the 1950s, the construct known as the “guitar hero” was largely absent from the world of rock’n’roll—outside of chuck berry, of course...  Instead, the early pioneers were piano heroes...Little Richard...Jerry Lee Lewis...Fats Domino...Ray Charles...Huey “piano” Smith...  But when guitars got louder, started sounding dirtier, and began to wail more powerfully, the number of rock’n’roll piano heroes were outgunned and began to recede into the background...not entirely, though... Again, I’m talking just about pianos...none of this fancy synthesizer stuff... Elton John, Billy Joel, and Carole King have had massive careers based largely on piano songs...the Beatles—especially Paul McCartney—served the cause...Freddie Mercury of Queen wrote much of their greatest songs on piano... There are others...Leon Russell, Mike Garson (who played with Bowie for years), Chuck Liddell (a favourite of the Rolling Stones), Dr. John, Billy Preston, Stevie Wonder, Ray Manzarek of The Doors, Rick Wakeman of Yes, Keith Emerson of Emerson Lake and Palmer... But you notice what’s missing from that list?...any piano heroes from the world of alt-rock...does even such a thing exist?...actually, yes...they’re a bit hard to spot, but they’re out—let me show you... Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Nov 30, 2022
Introducing "Canadian History Ehx"
From 1964 to 1966, The Beatles played only a handful of shows in Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal. Each show was pandemonium but the story of the Beatles in Canada goes far beyond that. From their first visit to Canada in Winnipeg, to the famous Bed-In in Montreal in 1969. Support: Donate: Donate: (Click Donate) E-mail: Twitter: Tiktok: YouTube: Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Nov 24, 2022
Michael Hutchence: 25 Years Later
Being a music fan was much different in the era before the traveled slowly often passed through many filters—so many filters, in fact, that a tremendous amount of information was either stripped out or drastically altered by the time it reached us... This was never more true in cases when something awful happened—like, say, someone dying...think back to all the confusion and speculation and conspiracy theories that popped up in the wake of Kurt Cobain’s death... Three years later, we encountered something was another suicide—maybe...and for much of the world, this death was treated as a tabloid story because of some speculative and some very lurid details involving the three key elements: sex, drugs, and rock’n’roll.. But for others, especially in Australia, this death was a very big deal and extremely had such an impact that a quarter of century later, fans are still talking about what may (or may not) have happened in a luxury hotel suite in Sydney on November 22, 1997...  This is the story of inxs and the death of Michael Hutchence... Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Nov 23, 2022
Musicians Battling Disease Part 2
In the old days before the internet, musicians had an aura of mystique about them...we only knew what they wanted us to know or what music writers could ferret was an era of secrets and information that was kept quiet... Now, though, things are different...because of social media and our always-on culture, information is everywhere...artists have never given up as much personal information as they do today...too much information, sometimes...  We don’t want our heroes to be life size...the reason we admire them in the first place is because they seem to operate on a plane higher than us...they’ve got a special talent that affects us not just emotionally but occasionally, spiritually...  What, then, do we make of things when we hear our favourite artist is human and fallible like the rest of us and suffer from health problems?...I’ve seen two reactions...  One is a disbelief that they’re mortal...don’t they have some kind of superpowers that keep them free from sickness and disease?...we might have a hard time accepting that...  The second reaction is that such challenges humanize them... You know: “hey, they’re like the rest of us...I can relate”...perhaps this knowledge intensifies our relationship with that person...  And if the artist is open and honest about their condition, it can be inspiring...maybe even by talking about what they’re facing, they can help other people with the same challenges keep moving forward...this, I think, is the real value in the personal health information they share...  Here is part two of a program featuring musicians who have had to deal with disease... Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Nov 16, 2022
Musicians Battling Disease Part 1
The human body is a wonderful thing, a marvel of evolution, biology, chemistry, and more than a few bits—like consciousness—we don’t understand...and for the most part, this meat bag of water and chemicals works pretty well... But it’s not perfect...we will continue to age as long as we can’t figure out how to improve the reproduction of telomeres, those little strands of special proteins at the end of our chromosomes...after many, many reproductions, they become ratty and degrade, which has a bad effect on our DNA and leads to the symptoms of aging... We’re susceptible to infections by bacteria and invasions by viruses...and sometimes there are things within our own bodies that turn on us, resulting in cancer and other diseases... However, this is all part of’s still we gotta deal with...and because musicians made of the same stuff as us, we often hear of the health issues that befall this sense, they are just like you and me... What we’re going to do is look at 25 musicians who have health issues, how these challenges have affected their music, and how they’re managing to keep on keeping on, despite the difficulties... There are some stories of bravery and inspiration here—and maybe, just maybe, these stories will help someone...this is part one of musicians battling disease... Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Nov 09, 2022
Driven By Her: Women of the 21st Century
There’s no way to sugarcoat it: the music industry has a reputation of being unkind to has been a struggle from the beginning...and even after decades of work, things have evolved to the point where less than a quarter of the acts on some music charts are women... The actual figure for the billboard hot 100 is around 22%...and it’s been stuck at that level for over a decade... I found a few more stats...if we look at that same decade-long period, women made up only 13% of songwriters...and if we look at female producers and engineers, the number is less than other words, gender parity is a long way off... So yeah, it’s tough out there and it needs to get better...fortunately, there have always been women driven to make it regardless of the obstacles and difficulties in their way...they want to remake the world of music to make it more inclusive and, in some cases, have forced it to bend to their will...this has been true since the dawn of recorded music until today... In fact, what today’s female artists lack in sheer numbers, they make up for in power and’s tally up some of the women who are changing the game in the 21st century... Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Nov 03, 2022
The History of Distortion and Feedback
Once upon a time not that long ago, all music was expected to sound clean and clear. Pure, accurate, right in tune. And lo, it was…fine.  But with the introduction of the electric guitar and the amplifiers that went with them, some intrepid players started experimenting with ways to toughen up that sound. They wanted more power, more growl, more rawness. And over a period of about 20 years, the clean, pure sound of the original electric guitars gave way to something dirty, distorted, filled with harmonics, and various amounts of feedback and noise.  What was once considered undesirable, irritating, excruciating noise is now looked upon as beauty.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Nov 02, 2022
Rock Explainer 2
There’s the La Tomatina festival that happens on the last Wednesday in August in Spain...this is the largest public tomato fight in the world...first of all, why would you do this on a Wednesday?...and second, this seems like an awful waste of food... No one is really sure where this tradition began, either...we think it started in 1945 when there was a brawl in the main square and one of the few weapons available were the tomatoes on carts of the vegetable stands... They do something weird in Denmark, too...if you’re 25 years old and it’s Valentine’s Day and you’re single, your family and friends are supposed to throw cinnamon at one really knows why or when this started...but it is a thing... And how about this...there’s a temple called Sir Saneswar in India...there is a tradition whereby parents who were married at this temple throw their newborn babies from the top of the’s a 50-foot drop...the baby is caught by people holding a big cloth below...I’m sure there are reasons for this, but they all escape me... Let’s segue to this...rock music has been around long enough—three-quarters of a century—that some we’ve developed some weird habits and behaviors, things that we do just because... We engage in this behavior or do these things because everyone else is doing it...and if you were to ask around a reason why, no one would have a good just accept this thing—whatever it is—as part of the culture... But what if you really, really want to know?...what if you just can’t take someone’s word that this is what’s supposed to be done?...that’s where this program comes in...This is another edition of something I call “the rock explainer”... Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Oct 26, 2022
Rock's Greatest Disasters
Humanity has always been set by disasters, whether they’ve been acts of god or something we somehow brought on ourselves...war, disease, earthquakes, famine, floods, volcanic eruptions, fire, plane crashes, industrial accidents, sinking ships, extreme weather... The worst disaster of all time?...probably the influenza epidemic of 1918 to’s possible that up to 100 million died during that three-year period... Then again, world war ii was some estimates, the death toll was 120 million...and the black death of the 14th century was may have claimed up to 200 million lives or about 20% of the population of the planet... Then there the kinds of things that happen when people are supposed to be having fun...on February 14, 2004, the roof of an indoor waterpark in Moscow collapsed, killing 28 people... On December 8, 1863, up to 3,000 people were killed in a fire at a church celebration in Santiago, Chile... Or how about this: sometime around the year 283, a wall at Circus Maximus, the chariot-racing stadium in Rome’s said that 13,000 spectators died...and that happened about 150 years after a previous collapse where there were around 1500 deaths... The universe is gonna do what the universe is gonna can be as careful as humanly possible yet still get caught up in something awful... This applies to the world of rock, has seen its own situations where there has been loss of life...they need to remembered and memorialized to we can minimize the chances of these things ever happen again... This is a list of rock’s greatest disasters... Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Oct 19, 2022
Hidden Tracks and Other Sundry
This is a program about the hidden audio that lurks in your music collection. You don’t know about it…you didn’t ask for it…you maybe didn’t even want it…but it’s there…and it needs to be exposed… And it’s more than just hidden songs, too…there’s all kinds of weirdness tucked away—if you know where to look…and when I say “weird”, I mean “super weird” Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Oct 12, 2022
Driven By Her: Guitar Heroes
Once upon a time, musical instruments were divided into two groups: those appropriate for women to play and everything else...  That first group was very small...playing the piano was considered feminine...the violin?...yes, providing it was done gently and with ladylike comportment...and then—well, that’s about it... Drums?...forget it...too physical and sweaty...brass instruments were fact, so were all wind instruments, not even the flute...however, the acoustic guitar was wasn’t very loud and produced tones delicate enough to be appropriate for a young lady to play...  This, of course, was silly...women had been doing amazing things with guitars stretching back to the invention of what became the modern acoustic guitar back in the early 1800s..and we can go back through the stringed instruments in history: the lute, the kithara, the chartar, the tanbur, the oud, the mandolin, the cittern, and so on...women played all of them—although we know almost nothing about them... That’s the way it was for decades...and let’s not even talk about the electric guitar...even as late as the 1980s, there was this sexist attitude that girls just couldn’t play like the boys...they did not know how to rock out with a Les Paul or a strat or whatever... In 2003, Rolling Stone published a list of the 100 greatest guitarists of all know how many women were on that list?...two...two! Today we know that’s crazy...there are plenty of excellent guitars with double-x chromosomes...and thanks to them, people are exploring the history of the guitar heroine, women advanced the cause of the six-string, public preconceptions be damned...   This is a look back at the women who made the guitar sing... Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Oct 06, 2022
The Roots of the 90s CanRock Explosion
There was a time in this country when Canadians didn’t really care about Canadian, wait...let’s start over... There was a time in this country when Canadians didn’t like Canadian music and did whatever they could to ignore it and pretend it didn’t exist...yeah, that’s more accurate... There was one exception to this rule: if a Canadian artist received some kind of validation from outside the country—preferably the united states—then suddenly, they were worth paying attention to at home... It was a mix of insecurity and what I believe are Canada’s two unofficial mottos...the first is “why can’t you be happy with what you have?”...the other is “who do you think you are? think you’re better than everyone else?”... That’s harsh, but it’s true...and for years, ambitious, talented Canadian musicians flowed south to seek their fortune in America...Paul Anka...Neil Young...Joni Mitchell... And yes, there were those who remained in Canada—Gordon Lightfoot is one...The Guess Who is another—but they really weren’t fully accepted at home until they had a hit in America...suddenly, the attitude swung 180 degrees?... “them?...oh, yeah they’re one of us!”... This is the way it was for several decades—a frustrating situation for countless musicians... But then things started to warm up a bit in the 1980s...and by the time the 90s arrived, attitudes towards homegrown talent had swung in the other direction...not only were Canadian music fans loving Canadian bands, Canadian music being heard all over the world...wait—let’s try that again, too...Canadian music was in demand all over the world... Some have called this the great Can-Rock revolution of the 1990s...and it changed’s how it all started... Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Oct 05, 2022
The Long Strange Trip of John Frusciante Part 2
If there’s one thing I’ve learned in all my years dealing with musicians, there are artists and then there are’s how I tell them apart...Artists make art, but they also have other interests, pursuits and abilities...Bono is an example of an artist...he’s the front man of U2 but is also involved in politics, activism, tech, and a load of other things...and everything he does is done with an artistic flair and the soul of a performer... Artistes also make art...but it’s all they fact, it’s all they can do...they live to create art and are often not very good at anything fact—to put a fine point on it—they may be hopeless at life in general... That’s not a judgment or a’s just how their brains are wired...they are on this earth with an almost supernatural ability to do nothing but create beauty through art... But this power comes with pitfalls......they might have trouble with day to day tasks like handling money, shopping for groceries, keeping a schedule, or being able to deal with everyday social situations... They may suffer from depression, anxiety, bi-polar disorder...they may be on the autism spectrum...and they may be prone to addictions: alcohol, drugs, sex...and if they managed to become well-known for their art, the insane pressure, crazy schedules, hedonistic lifestyle, and living in a bubble of fame can exacerbate things until—well, until things get very, very bad... I’ve met a few such artistes in my life—and in my experience, there is no better example than John Frusciante, who, of course, is best known for his work in the Red Hot Chili Peppers... His life, both in and out of the band—and he’s joined three times and quit twice—has been very long and strange...this is part two of that journey.... Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Sep 28, 2022
The Long Strange Trip of John Frusciante Part 1
And if I’m sitting with my taxonomy flowchart, this is where I write the name “John Frusciante,” the occasional guitarist of the Red Hot Chili Peppers... And I use the word “occasional” deliberately because he’s been in and out of the band a number of times over the last 30 I write this, he’s “in”—but who knows for how long... And I’m classifying him as periplaneta americana because despite everything he’s been through, he’s still alive...I mean, he’s live a hard life...drugs, various health problems both of the physical and mental variety—even dabbling in the occult...yet through it all, he’s been able to help the Chili Peppers create the best music of their career... This is the long, strange trip of John Frusciante... Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Sep 21, 2022
Mind-blowing Facts about Music, the Brain, and the Body
The most powerful and strangest lump of organic material in the known universe is sitting inside your skull...the human brain weighs about three pounds—call it about 1400 grams if you’re feeling metric—and contains about 10 billion neurons...a piece the size of a grain of sand contains 100,000 neurons and over a billion synapses... At the same time, it uses only about 10 watts to function...that’s ten times better than your laptop...and one brain (we think) is equivalent to at least 100,000 laptops when it comes to computing power...  Even then, it can do things no computer can do, no matter how big...that thing in your head could have a storage capacity of perhaps up to 2.5 petabytes, although no one knows for sure fact, the capacity of the brain might be unlimited...not bad for something that’s 60% fat... There is no obvious biological reason for it, but our brains seem to be hardwired for music...there are special areas of the brain devoted just to deal with music... Maybe this is a result of our ancient ancestors trying to imitate could be related to language...maybe it has something to do with storytelling...details are sometimes easier to remember if they’re put to music...or maybe music developed along with religious rituals and chants... Because the way music is wired into the brain, it’s a very useful tool when it comes to figuring out how that 10-watt lump of fat in our skulls work...and sometimes we learn things that are completely unexpected and almost always totally wonderful... Let me show are some mind-blowing facts about music, the brain, and the body... Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Sep 14, 2022
Driven By Her: Unsung Heroines
Have you ever heard of a woman named Rosalind Franklin?...probably not, but you can draw a line from today’s covid vaccines all the way back to her in the 1950s...she conducted some serious research into the makeup of rna molecules... Rosalind also did some groundbreaking research into the structure of DNA molecules...without her, Jim Watson and Francis Crick may not have discovered how DNA was constructed...they’d go on to win the Nobel prize in 1962...was Rosalind ever given the credit she deserved? What about grace hopper?...ring any bells?...back in the 1940s, lieutenant Grace Hopper invented some computer programming techniques used by the army during World War II…this was the basis of Cobol, the compute language still used by business, finance, and administrative software today... Let’s try Susan’s the one who came up with the trash can icon and the command key on mac computers...she was integral to making the mac operating system as user-friendly as possible... Okay, here’s a name you may know: Hedy Lamar...famous actress from old Hollywood in the 30s and 40s and one-time date of Howard Hughes, right?...but she also worked with a guy named George Antheil to come up with a radio “frequency hopping” technology that made today’s Wi-Fi, cellular phones, Bluetooth, and gps communications fact, some call Hedy Lamar “the mother of Wi-Fi”...but does she get the appropriate credit for that?...nope... Those are just a few unsung heroines of technology...their work changed the world...and there are so many more in other fields, too...back in the late 1800s, Nellie Bly became the first investigative female journalist...effa Manley was the first woman to own a sports team...that was back in the 1930s...Beulah Henry was nicknamed “Lady Edison” because she was such a prolific inventor... And while we all know about Joan of Arc, what about Matilda of Tuscany?...she had a 40-year military career who successfully led troops against the Holy Roman Emperor again and again almost a thousand years ago...these are just a few unsung heroines from history... There are similar stories from the world of music: women who changed so much but have been given so little credit...let’s see if we can’t do a little bit to fix that... Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Sep 08, 2022
The History of Alt Rock Chapter: 15
If the doomsayers are correct, something monumental–something transformative–is going to happen on December 21, 2012...this is the day the b’ak’tun cycle ends... The Mayan long count calendar runs out...after 5,125 years, it comes to an end date...what will happen next is up for debate... It could be the end of the world...Earth may collide with Nibiru, its long-hidden nemesis planet...some say a black hole may swallow us up...a catastrophic shift in the polar magnetic fields... Others believe we will achieve some kind of spiritual enlightenment, which will usher humankind into a new era of peace... Or maybe nothing will happen...okay, so maybe we’ll get another bad John Cusack movie on the subject...that’s not good and the prospect is admittedly frightening–but it’s just a movie... History has shown that humans are really, really bad at predicting the apocalypse with any degree of certainty... I, however, have another theory...I believe that there may be a fundamental shift on planet earth around the time of December 21, 2012...and it has to do with rock music... No, no–stay with me on this...I’m not crazy...or at least, I might not be...I hope not... This is the fifteenth and final chapter of a series I call “the complete history of alt-rock”... Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Sep 04, 2022
The History of Alt Rock Chapter: 14
To fans of any kind of rock, may 18, 1999, seemed like the end of the world...the Backstreet Boys released their new cd called Millennium...on that first day, it sold more than 500,000 the end of the week, it had sold 1,134,000, a new all-time sales record... And those are just the u.s. Numbers...add in the rest of the world and the total was much higher... And it was only going to get twice as bad...just 308 days later, ‘N sync–another blood boy band–set an even scarier the end of its first week in the stores, their No Strings Attached sold 2.4 million copies... And just 56 days after that, Britney Spears sold half a million copies of Oops!...I Did It Again on day one and 1,319,193 in its first seven days.... When the dust cleared at the end of 2000, it was clear that vacuous pop music had taken over the universe...these CDs weren’t just selling by the tens of millions....they were selling by the hundreds of millions... In second place was rap and hip-hop, thanks to people like Eminem, Nelly and Dr. Dre...the biggest selling rock records of the year were from Sreed, Santana and a Beatles r compilation that featured songs that were more than 35 years old... The prognosis wasn’t good...if rock–all rock–wasn’t dead, it was at least very, very ill...and unless somebody did something, it looked like it was all over... This is chapter 14 of the complete history of alt-rock... Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Aug 31, 2022
The History of Alt Rock Chapter: 13
If you were around in the early 90s, you probably remember it as a time of awesome new seemed that every single day, there was a cool new band, a great new sound, a scene you didn’t know about... Grunge was king with nirvana and Soundgarden and pearl day and offspring had brought punk back...Manchester led into Britpop with Oasis and the Stone Roses Nine Inch Nails, Ministry, Chili Peppers, Beastie Boys, Tool, Stone Temple Pilots, Smashing Pumpkins, all these bands and more grabbed everyone’s metal was dead!....classic rock?  Over!....Lollapalooza was the coolest event of the year... The alternative nation had triumphed! more bad, boring, mainstream pop and rock!... Well, hang on...rock music has always run in a series of cycles that can be traced back to the 1950s...we’ll get into that later, but all I need to say is “what goes up must come down”...and the alt-rock party came down...hard...and it hurt... This is chapter 13 of the complete history of alt-rock... Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Aug 28, 2022
Remembering The Beastie Boys: Part 2
It is almost impossible for anyone from a lightweight boy band to transition to serious, respected artist…it can be done—we can look at Justin Timberlake and, um…well, we can look at Justin Timberlake…. And as tough as that is, it’s even more difficult to move from being pigeonholed as a novelty act to one that carries gravitas and serious artistic merit…yet that’s what the beastie boys managed to do… No one took them seriously for the first eight years of their career…they were spoiled, snotty frat boys writing goofy songs and making funny videos… “Licensed to Ill” was a parody of hip hop…a good one, but a still a parody…let’s not forget that “Rolling Stone” described the album as “three idiots make a masterpiece”… But then something changed…The Beastie Boys grew up…they grew as artists…they grew as businessmen…they grew as humans… They took risks…they experimented…they branched out…they sought to make a difference—not just in music but in the world…and by the time it all came to an end with the death of Adam Yauch in the spring of 2012, The Beastie Boys had cemented a reputation as one the most important bands of not one but at least two generations… This is remembering The Beastie Boys, part 2. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Aug 24, 2022
The History of Alt Rock: Chapter 12
The British music scene has always operated at warp speed...songs and bands and sounds have always come and gone very quickly, even before the age of the internet... This is what happens when you have a lot of people crammed onto an island linked together by a huge and obsequious national broadcasting network and goaded by a hyper-competitive music press... But every once in a while–maybe once a decade–something sticks...a movement takes root, grows organically and then suddenly explodes to the point where everyone is talking about even goes international with its songs and sounds and fashion and politics.. In the 60s, it was the British invasion, led by the Beatles and the the 70s, it was the British spin on punk rock with the Pistols and the Clash...the 80s began with all those telegenic British bands on MTV which set off the music video revolution...and in the 90s–well, that’s where it gets a bit complicated... Not complicated in a bad way...i mean in an interesting was an explosion of pride in British-ness that we hadn’t really seen since February 7, 1964, when Pan Am flight 101 from London landed at JFK airport in New York carrying a band called the Beatles... This is chapter 12 of the complete history of alt-rock–and it’s all about the thing they called “Britpop”... Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Aug 21, 2022
Remembering The Beastie Boys: Part 1
For an entire generation of music fans—two generations, really—The Beastie Boys were always there…and now that they’re no longer with us, there are a lot of people who feel like there’s a void in music… But we’ll always remember their contributions…and there were a lot…this is part one of “Remembering The Beastie Boys”… Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Aug 17, 2022
The History of Alt-Rock: Chapter 11
One of the great indirect heroes of modern rock’n’roll was born on March 21, 1865...his name was brigadier general George Owen Squier....he was an Army officer with a PhD in electrical science and a thing for music....he invented a technology to designed to compete with a new thing called “radio”.... Wireless radio, he figured, was was prone to static and fade-outs and just didn’t sound very good...his idea was to run wires into homes and businesses, just like we have with cable TV today or as they were beginning to do with telephones back then...he called the concept “wired radio”.... Just before he died in 1934, he came up with a new name for his invention.....playing with the words “music” and “Kodak,” he came up with “Muzak”... The whole thing with “wired radio” didn’t take off with consumers, but businesses were into it...closed circuit music, specifically tailored to their environment, 24 hours a day without interruption or static?...that’s brilliant....and shopping malls and elevators haven’t been the same since....Muzak became the world’s biggest supplier of elevator music... So where am I going with this...great question... By the 70s, Muzak corporation was earning more than $400 million a year by distributing this type of music all over the world from its headquarters in was used for crowd control, a management tool and something to fill the empty silence of a department store or dentist’s office... And for a time, the Muzak executives thought this was a good unofficial slogan: “boring work is made less boring by boring music” bored yet?... Fifty-two years after the George Squire died, a new type of music started coming from the back room of Muzak headquarters in Seattle......but it wasn’t exactly elevator music.... The music came from the shipping room where a Muzak employee named Bruce Pavitt spent his coffee breaks running a new independent record label devoted to the local music fact, Muzak’s payroll supported at least half a dozen local musicians......and while no one could have possibly known what where this was going to lead, the decidedly non-muzak music these people were into would eventually change the world of rock’n’roll forever..... This is the complete history of alt-rock, chapter 11... Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Aug 14, 2022
Mysterious Lost Albums
We're digging back into the original Ongoing History vault and have found this requested show on lost albums. Sometimes an artist will work on, and almost finish an album. But for whatever reason...creative concerns, fear it is too "out there", misplaced master tapes...the album never sees the light of day. Why is that? How many times has it happened in alt-rock? And to who? Well...we're glad you asked. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Aug 10, 2022
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 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 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... Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Aug 06, 2022
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. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Aug 04, 2022
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. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Aug 03, 2022
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 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...     Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Aug 01, 2022
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… Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Jul 27, 2022
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 was like a plague–but a profitable 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 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 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 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 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 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 slowly mutated and evolved into something very unique---very powerful...this is the complete history of alt-rock, chapter 8... Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Jul 24, 2022
10 Unusual Things About Pearl Jam
Pearl Jam is one of the most-documented bands of the last 30 years…even before the internet came along, fans were obsessive about cataloguing everything the band did…tour schedules, setlists, bootleg recordings, news stories… Pearl Jam encouraged this, too…a big part of their long-lasting appeal has been this relationship—this covenant—they’ve had with their fans about collecting and archiving stuff… The band understands this because they’re collectors, too…all you have to do is look at the 20th anniversary box set for the “Ten” album that came out in 2009…it came with things like a replica of Eddie’s notebook at a cassette designed to be just like the one Eddie used to audition for the band back in 1990… The band’s stories have been told many times, but you get the sense that the history of Pearl Jam is so deep that there still must be more to learn about theme…imagine what it might be like for a fan to dig through all kinds of Pearl Jam emphera to see what unusual things can be found there… That’s been done…and i’m here to report back… Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Jul 20, 2022
The History of Alt-Rock: Chapter 7
Before we go any further with our history of alt-rock, a lesson in cosmology is in order...sometime around 16 billion years ago, there was this infinitely dense and infinitely tiny thing called a “singularity”...don’t ask where it came from or who made it...that’s just asking for trouble... The best anyone can tell is that one day–well, there weren’t “days” back then because time didn’t exist (again, let’s not go there)–this thing just exploded...astronomers call this “the big bang”... This explosion moved outward in all directions, stretching space (well, creating space–but that makes the brain hurt)....then started to cool, got lumpy and clumpy and eventually coalesced into stars, planets, people and goats... Everything we see and perceive is the result of that big bang...sorry, creationists...the world isn’t flat, either...and don’t send me emails... Now it’s time for a wild but very apt analogy...if we look at the punk rock of the middle 1970s, we can think of it as a musical big bang...the ideas and attitudes it generated spread out in all directions and eventually began to coalesce into new ideas and attitudes...they were all made up of the same basic elements, but they combined to form totally new life forms...and there were probably goats involved somewhere, too... This is the story of some of those new life’s chapter seven of the complete history of alt-rock... Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Jul 18, 2022
10 Unusual Things About Nirvana
Nirvana is one of those bands where it seems we know everything…when they broke through with the “Nevermind” album in 1991 and 1992, there was a rush to learn everything we could about them…and then we Kurt died—which happened roughly at the same time the internet began to be a thing with the general public—that interest exploded… Now, in the decades since nirvana ceased to exist, study of the band, its history, its individual members and its influence can best be described as scholarship…that’s how deep we are into the band…so what’s there left to learn, really… While, you might be surprised…here are ten unusual and little known things about one of the best documented bands in the history of rock… Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Jul 13, 2022
The History of Alt-Rock: Chapter 6
In the late 1950s and early 1960s, a group of young French film makers decided to mess things up...they insisted on more artistic control and less meddling by the studios......this free-form attitude, they said, was necessary to advance the art of film.....                          It worked...lots of praise and success.....and in the process, their movement acquired a name: “nouvelle vague” historians now say that this style and attitude was one of the most important developments in the history of motion pictures..... Punk rock was had burned itself out after just a couple of years...but its legacy was still valid: that a free-form attitude towards music was the only way to advance the art of rock’n’roll..... It was “nouvelle vague” all over again.....only this time, they used the English translation....they called it “new wave”...This is chapter six of the complete history of alt-rock... Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Jul 11, 2022
Driven By Her: History of Female Drummers
In this episode of "Driven By Her," presented by our friends at Porsche Canada, Alan Cross and Ongoing History of New Music explore a subject that has fascinated Alan since he saw Karen Carpenter play a drum solo in the band's first television special in 1976. Turns out Karen considered herself a drummer who could sing and she had to fight to prove her legitimacy and talent to the rest of the world, especially in the male-dominated music industry. But if there was one woman who could play this well, there had to be others? were there more? During the mid-70s the answer was "not really" but there were a few and in the decades that followed, more and more appeared, and today, female drummers are everywhere comprising a worldwide sisterhood some have called "chicks with sticks". They were drummers, driven by that one thing that they needed more than anything else in the world. The one thing they were truly passionate about... in all cases it was the one thing that made them feel truly free. It's what drove them to singularly focus on crafting their unique talent and chase their dreams down whatever road it led them.  But the road wasn't easy... there were a lot of roadblocks, plenty of skepticism, and loads and loads of sexism... Barriers that needed to be broken, attitudes that needed to change abilities that needed to be proven time and time again... This is the story of women with rhythm who changed the way we look at music.  In partnership with Porsche Canada. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Jul 07, 2022
The Ongoing History Book of Firsts
I started thinking about “firsts” the other day, so I started looking things up…the first McDonald’s was in san Bernardino, California…the first guy to literally walk around the world on foot was Dave Kunist…it took him four years to walk 14,452 miles …the first person to be killed in an automobile accident was Bridget Driscoll of Surrey, England…in 1896, she was hit by a car traveling at 4 miles per hour…the first porn film?...”Bedtime For The Bride,” 1895… We can get weirder…the first thing ever sold on ebay was a broken laser pointer for $14…the first video on YouTube is still up there…it’s called “Me At The Zoo”…the first person with a Facebook account outside the company who wasn’t a friend of Mark Zuckerberg was a guy from India named Sachine Kumar… The more I looked at famous firsts, the more I started wondering about firsts in music…. Who was the first person to perform on a guitar run through an amplifier?...the first song downloaded from iTunes?...who was the first to drop an intentional f-bomb on record?...what was the first song to fade out instead of having a definite ending?... You see where I’m going with this, right?...I started compiling a list of “firsts” in music—and then I set out to find some answers…which I did…prepare yourself…this could be the first time you hear about this stuff… Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Jul 07, 2022
The History of Alt-Rock: Chapter 5
Every once in a while, humankind has one of those pivotal years where everything changes... 325 AD and the council of Nicea...1215 and the signing of the Magna Carta...the discoveries of 1492..The revolutions of 1789...1919 and the Treaty of Versailles...the great stock market crash of 1929...the dark days of World War II in 1942...the unrest of 1968...the fall of the iron curtain in 1989... In there somewhere is 1977...okay, so to say it was as important to world history as some of these other years might be stretching it...but still, a lot happened... On January 3, a new company called “Apple Computer” was incorporated and the Apple ii went on sale that October, Atari released the ground-breaking 2600 video game console...and in November, boffins running a computer network called Arpanet successfully test something called “tcp/ip” which lay the foundation for the internet... As for music, most of the planet took notice when Elvis Presley died that summer...a big story, yes–but it’s not the music story that I’m thinking of...for that, we have to go to England where a perfectly good royal celebration was sullied by four clots called The Sex Pistols...and for that, we should be very grateful... This is the complete history of alt-rock, chapter 5... Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Jul 03, 2022
The History of Nerd Rock
Nerd…noun…a foolish or contemptible person who lacks social skills or is boringly studious…definition 2: a single-minded expert in a particular technical field...example: a computer nerd… It’s an old word, too…the, er, nerds at google have a thing called “the ngram viewer” which scans the text of books going back to 1500…in other words, pretty much right back to the inventing of the printing press… According to these nerds, “nerd” (the word) shows up for the first time in an book called “a true discourse of the assault committed upon the most noble Prince, Prince William of Orange, County of Nassau, Marquesse De La Ver & C,” by John Jarequi Spaniarde: with the true copies of the writings, examinations, and letters for sundry offenders in that vile and diuelifh (i have no idea what that word is) attempt”… I can’t tell you what “nerd” referred to in that book because it’s written in old Spanish and i couldn’t be bothered to find a translation…I’d need a real etymological nerd for that… The word fell into disuse after about 1725 returning into the popular lexicon thanks to Dr. Suess in 1950…to him, a “nerd” was some kind of creature found in a zoo… But the following year, Newsweek magazine reported that “nerd” was being used in Detroit to describe an awkward sort of dude who wasn’t very cool…it kind of lingered in the slang world for the rest of the 50s and into the 60s before it really took off in 1974 with the TV series “Happy Days”…Fonzie was always calling Richie and Potsie “nerds” for being uncool dorks…so props to Henry Winkler… By the end of the 70s—and coinciding with the rise of the culture around the personal computer, consumer technology and “Star Wars” and other science fiction pursuits—the use of “nerd” became even more widespread…remember the “Revenge of the Nerds” movies in the 80s?... But now in our technological society, being called a nerd is a compliment…people aspire to be like Bill Gates and Elon Musk and Mark Zuckerberg…look at shows like “The Big Bang Theory” and “Silicon Valley”…we’re actually celebrating nerddom…people want to be nerds ‘cause—well, it’s kinda cool…the geeks have truly inherited the earth… This brings me to music…nerdishness is now so widespread that nerds even have their own genre of music…and as you might guess, it falls squarely in the world of alternative music… This, then, is a short history of what we unreservedly, unashamedly and unironically call “nerd rock”… Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Jun 29, 2022
The History of Alt-Rock: Chapter 4
In the middle 1970s, Britain was a the rest of the west, the country was blindsided by the Arab oil was a recession that just wouldn’t end... And to make matters worse, everyone seemed to be going on strike; from coal miners to gravediggers...unemployment was high, especially amongst young people... The once mighty British Empire was in big trouble...there was a sense that it was all over...done...there was no future... Complicating this was the class system...those at the top (including the Monarchy) kept on doing whatever they wanted to do while everyone else–well, let them eat cake, essentially...(I know I’m getting my countries and monarchies mixed up, but you get the point)... Something had to blow, especially with the young...and when it did, it blew up real good... This is the complete history of alt-rock, chapter 4... Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Jun 26, 2022
Stop Me If You've Heard This One Before
A few years back, the Ongoing History took a "break". It's a long and somewhat complicated story, but we eventually picked up where we left off.  This episode is the start of OGH v2.0 and a catch up from Alan's "Walk about" in the 3 years between the original radio episodes 691 and 692 of which this Podcast is based on.  So please don't be confused if the radio episodes and podcast episode numbers don't add up. We're just digging into our vault to see what we can find and share.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Jun 22, 2022
The History of Alt-Rock: Chapter 3
The early 70s were like a bad hangover from the 60s...the hippie generation had its victories–civil rights, women’s rights, the pill, the end of the draft and the Vietnam war–but it there was also a sense that the whole “peace and love” approach to social change had played itself out... Meanwhile, the 60s generation had grown up, graduated, moved on, settled down and basically got on with the business of being adults and dealing with the first oil crisis, inflation, recession, the cold war, unemployment, the shootings at Kent state and a corrupt American president who was forced to resign... Rock music–which had been a big part of these sweeping social changes–was tired...the good vibes of Woodstock were destroyed by the violence of Altamont...the Beatles had broken up...Jim, Jimi and Janis were dead...and the last thing that people seemed to want was music with any kind of message... But underneath this sombre, conservative mood, something radical was happening...sometimes things have to get really, really bad before someone says “right!  That’s enough!  I’m going to do something about it!”....and that’s exactly what happened.... This is the complete history of alt-rock, chapter 3... Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Jun 19, 2022
The Last Hours Of...
At some point, all of us will shuffle off this mortal choir and join the choir invisible…doesn’t matter who you are, how much money you may have or how famous you might be…in the end, we’re all mortal… This really hits home when musicians we love disappear forever…it’s not like we personally know these people, but because their music helps us know ourselves, a little piece of us dies with them… The circumstances of their passing’s vary…misadventure, accidents, overdoses, suicide…some can be explained away while other deaths will forever remain a mystery… With that in mind, let’s take a look back on the last hours of some of those musician’s who have left us… Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Jun 15, 2022
The History of Alt-Rock: Chapter 2
As rock’n’roll approached its sweet 16 birthday in the early 1970s, it was obvious that it had grown up quite a bit...with each passing year, rock was becoming more sophisticated in both sound and execution...the first wave of rockers from the 50s and 60s had grown up.....they were now better musicians and could do more than play simple three-chord songs.... Rock was also becoming more complicated because it had the the early 70s, a four-track recording studio was hideously antiquated...people wanted to use studios with 16- and 24-track consoles and big tape recorders and racks of machines that could add cool effects to music... Guitar amplifiers were bigger and more powerful, allowing for fatter chords and longer sustains and cooler feedback...and guitarists now had a huge array of foot pedals and other gear to help them create individual signature sounds... And let’s not forget about everyone at home...home stereo systems began to improve... “hi-fi” wasn’t just for electronics geeks anymore...everyone was looking to get big amps with huge speakers... You could even listen in the car...yeah, 8-tracks were clunky, but for the first time, you didn’t have to depend on the radio for music when you were on the road... But then again, your city might have been lucky enough to have a progressive FM rock station.....imagine: music on the radio that was in stereo... But for some, things were getting a little too sophisticated, the musicianship a little too accomplished, the recording a little too slick......there were those who felt that the road to technical perfection was not a good one.... something had been was time to get primal again...this is the complete history of alt-rock, chapter 2... Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Jun 12, 2022
Gorillaz - A History
Everything is virtual these days…outside of the stuff you’ve got in your pocket, money is nothing but a bunch of zeroes and ones…we shop online at virtual stores…we read virtual books on our tablets… Even our relationships have gone that way because of Facebook and twitter and Instagram… A lot of our music is virtual, too…it’s been that way since we started ripping our cds and trading mp3s online...then came stores like iTunes with its digital tracks and albums and metadata… So it stands to reason, that we should have virtual artists, performers that don’t exist in real life…sure, there’s some human component, but the stay in the background where we rarely (if ever) see them… Back in the 60s, we had the Archie’s, who were followed by Josie and the Pussycats…then Dr. Teeth and the Electric Mayhem on “The Muppets” … Dethklok, The Chipmunks, Prozzak, Crazy Frog, The Banana Splits….Mistula is from the Philippines and represented by a bunch of female dools…the bots are all cg creations…Hatsune Miku is a Japanese hologram…then there’s Jen and the Holograms… They all have their appeal, but there is one virtual group that eclipses them all…not only have they had hit singles and multi-platinum albums, but they also tour…they’re even listed in the Guinness Book of World Records as the most-successful virtual band of all time… This is the story of The Gorillaz… Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Jun 08, 2022
The History of Alt-Rock: Chapter 1
Today, we can choose from an infinite array of music...there are so many songs and so many artists from so many genres over so many years that none of us will ever come close to experiencing it all... But that’s okay because most of us have a favourite style of music...we tend to find a sound we like and stick with it over all others...for all kinds of very personal reasons, it becomes our favourite brand of music... For example, if you’re listening to me right now, you’re probably a big fan of rock music...more specifically, you’re listening to this show on this station because at least some of your preferences lie in the realm of new rock, modern rock, alt-rock, indie music, alternative music–whatever you want to call it...there is a specific aesthetic and sensibility when it comes to rock music that seems to, well, move you... But what, exactly, is that aesthetic? did these sensibilities and styles develop?...where did they come from?...why do we consider one band “alternative” and another one to be something else entirely?...and why are we so tribal when it comes to our choices in music?... These are complex questions...and the answers can only be found by examining 60 years of rock history....this is the complete history of all-rock, chapter 1... Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Jun 05, 2022
I Did Not Know That
It's another trip back into the Ongoing History vault to find this episode all about things you many not have known about some of your favourite Alt-Rock musicians.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Jun 01, 2022
Deep Dark Secrets of Nine Inch Nails
This time, we take a trip way back into the Ongoing History vault and dig out a show from April of 2000.What follows is the story of the trials and tribulations of the early days of Nine Inch Nails, and up to the release of the Broken/Fixed EP's. And a lot of this story is told by Trent himself. These are the deep, dark secrets of the early days of Nine Inch Nails. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
May 25, 2022
The Trews: In Their Own Words
When a band forms, there’s little expectation that this could be a long-term endeavour...I mean, being a professional musician is hardly a sure many things could go wrong... But sometimes, a group will gain a little bit of traction...suddenly, a year passes and things are still happening...then two...then five...then ten...and if things are just right when it comes to the music and the audience and the industry and technology and plain stupid luck, the band might wake up one day to find that they’ve been professional musicians for 25 years... This is exactly what happened with The Trews... A band’s silver anniversary is cause for celebration...that’s a long time to be in it’s a good time to get everyone together to tell some stories...this is The Trews in their own words... Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
May 18, 2022
Using Music as a Weapon
Music is one of the greatest gifts the universe has bestowed on 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 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 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... Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
May 11, 2022
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, synthesizers, and driving beats from acts like Nine Inch Nails, Marilyn Manson, and Ministry... A third option is punk 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 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... Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
May 04, 2022
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… Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Apr 27, 2022
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? 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… Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Apr 20, 2022
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? do I get them to listen to my music? do I get my songs on the radio? 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…. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Apr 13, 2022
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 was a 1981 release called “Fun in Space”...what was that doing here?... Taylor came alive... “Roger Taylor, man! 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... Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Apr 06, 2022
From Broken Record: The Red Hot Chili Peppers Reunite
We’re thrilled to share a special preview of the Broken Record podcast from Pushkin Industries. In honor of the Red Hot Chili Peppers new album, Unlimited Love, the band members sit with their legendary producer Rick Rubin to share exclusive insights about the band’s dynamic. In this preview,  Rick, John, and Anthony discuss John rejoining the band after a 10 year hiatus and how right it felt to be playing together again. You can hear the full episode, and more from Broken Record at Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Apr 05, 2022
The Rock Explainer
I’m going to explain why you might get frustrated at spellcheck on your phone or computer…and the answer has to do with a guy named Noah… no, not that Noah from the bible with the ark…another one… Noah was annoyed…as a proud new American, he believed that his new country needed to set itself apart from its former colonial masters in every way possible so they new nation could truly be different and independent and separate… By 1828, there was no need to take up arms anymore, so Noah picked up his pen…as an author of schoolbooks, his annoyance had to do with the way the British spelled some of their words…why could “colour” have that extra “u?”…the proper way to spell “centre” was “c-e-n-t-e-r,” not “r-e”…everywhere he looked, he saw what he believed to be nonsensical spellings… He made a list of such annoyances…and in 1828, at the age of 70, Noah Webster published his “American dictionary of the English language”…and it was a hit—largely because Noah was already that guy with all the spelling books being used in school… And so came to pass that Noah’s preferred spellings—again, modifications to the original British versions of these words—became adopted by America…and these spellings are what’s accepted today as correct in the U.S… That means if you have a computer or a phone or whatever and you have your default language set to “English,” it’s most often means “American English” by default…and that means if you try to spell certain words the British or the Canadian or Australian way, you get a squiggly line underneath… That really annoys me (and maybe you, too)—almost as much as when my iPhone insists that I mean to spell “ducking”…but that’s another story…but this story does explain why your device seems to hate your spelling skills…it goes back to grumpy Noah Webster and his nationalistic demands on language… Rock music has been with us since the early 1950s…that’s long enough for many things to become entrenched, familiar, and basically just part of the scenery…there are so many things about rock that we just accept and don’t really question or wonder about… But just like the spellcheck on your phone, if you start thinking about some of these things, you might wonder where they came from, why we do it, or who came up with the idea in the first place…let’s see if I can help…I call this episode “the rock explainer”… Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Mar 30, 2022
Billy Talent In Their Own Words: Part 3
It’s hard being in a band…all that time close together, day and night, in cramped vans and crappy dressing rooms…record company issues, personal issues, personnel problems and the general fragile state of the human condition…it’s no wonder so many groups break up...after a while, it’s just too much trouble. But there are exceptions, bands that somehow manage to stay together in the same form forever, no matter what happens… the Radiohead that we know today is really the only Radiohead there’s ever been…U2 hasn’t had a lineup change since 1978… ZZ Top has been the same three guys since 1969… And here’s another one to add to the list: Billy Talent…same four guys since 1993…how have they managed that?...well, if you want the truth, go to the source… This is Billy Talent: in their own words, part 3 Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Mar 27, 2022
The Concept of Selling Out: Part 2
Artists make art because they have it…there’s something in their hearts that forces them to turn what they feel inside into something the rest of us can see and hear and feel ourselves… It supposed to be this pure thing…the pursuit of beauty for beauty’s sake…undistilled human emotion designed to create a reaction, to spread a profound messages, to make the universe a better and wiser and more joyful place… Yeah…those are nice thoughts…but the universe being what it is, things don’t work that way… Artists need to eat…they need to pay the rent…they need tools and supplies…they may need to travel from place to place…and they may need help from others—people that demand payment… In other words, artists need money to survive…they may find that money from donations…maybe they have a patron…but in the modern world, what they really need is a regular income… It used to be that musicians would play gigs and sell their music to the public…if they got it on the radio, then that was revenue stream…then came selling t-shirts and other merchandise… But around the turn of the 21st century, things began to change…economic realities surrounding the evolution of the music business forced musicians to look at different ways of bringing in income… What was once considered compromising artistic principles and destruction of your integrity of music by prostituting yourself to soulless multi-national corporations (and the like) started to look like not just like a pretty good idea but a very necessary one… Oh, sure, you can reject the evil lure of money to maintain the purity of your music, but that’s not going to take you far if you’re homeless and hungry…and after a while, you realize that the shame levied upon you for finding new ways of making a living is actually the result of the audience’s idea of artistic purity…the audience expects you to do what they believe is the pure thing for their entertainment… Whoa…these are complicated concepts…let’s proceed with part two of “the concept of selling out”… Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Mar 23, 2022
Billy Talent In Their Own Words: Part 2
I’ve done hundreds of interviews with individual artists over the year…it’s relatively easy...all you have to do is get one person in a room, turn on the recording devices and you’re set… When it comes to interviewing a band, you’re lucky to get two members in the same place and the same time…  But getting every member of a band in the same place at the same time for an interview is next to impossible…I’ve only managed to be so lucky a couple of times… U2, Kings of Leon, Foo Fighters, Green Day, Blink-182—and that’s about it… And lemme tell you something: each of these interviews required extraordinary efforts under extraordinary circumstances… Such circumstances miraculously presented themselves with Billy Talent…all four guys around the same table in the same studio…the purpose? get them to tell the story of the band in their own words…this is part two of our conversation… Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Mar 20, 2022
The Concept of Selling Out: Part 1
One of the worst insults you can throw at an artist is to accuse them of “selling out”…the most basic definition is when the pursuit of money compromises, corrupts or otherwise interrupts the pursuit truth and beauty and all the purity and goodness that is supposed to flow from art… But that’s an awfully broad definition which can be applied in a billion different highly subjective ways…at one extreme, some people believe that taking money for any kind of art is perverse…at the other, anything and everything has its price, high or low, depending on the circumstances… And the world has changed…making any kind of art costs money…competition for attention among artists have never been greater…and we’d like to thing that great art inevitably and naturally rises to the top, but it just doesn’t…in a true meritocracy, it would…but we all know that’s not true… And ever since the internet started shaping the way we find and consume music, the value ascribed to it—that is, how much we’re willing to pay for it—has dropped to near zero…thanks to streaming and YouTube, almost all the music ever created in the history of humankind is available for free… But there are costs to making music…musicians (and those associated with its creation) have a right to make a living…where does the money come from?... From a lot of different places, as it turns out…the sources of this working capital may be distasteful to some, but if you want to be a working musician these days, some creative and philosophical compromises need to be made… What I’m trying to say is that “selling out” ain’t what it used to be….here…let me show you Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Mar 16, 2022
Billy Talent In Their Own Words: Part 1
The best way to construct a profile on an artist is to round up everyone together, put them in a studio and get them to tell their story themselves… But that can be difficult, especially with a band…beyond touring and recording schedules, everyone has their own lives and may even live in different cities…putting everyone in the same place could be impossible… It took a while, but we did it…i have all four members of Billy Talent in one place…and they’re here for one purpose: to tell their story in their own words… Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Mar 13, 2022
Infamous Hotels and Hotel Rooms
In the days before Covid, I was always on the road…if it wasn’t a music conference in Singapore, it was an interview in London, the Juno’s in—wherever, or a concert in Los Angeles…this means I have seen more than my share of hotel rooms—everything from five-star luxury spots to sub-one-star establishments that come with a complimentary dead hooker under the bed… This means I’ve developed a certain attitude toward hotels… First thing you do when you get into the room is ditch the bedspread…they are never, ever cleaned…just tear it off, pile it in the corner, and then wash your hands…then try not to imagine what’s happened on that couch… At night, there’s the sound of the air conditioning, the noises coming from the hallway…and what are they doing in the room next door?... Then in the restaurant and the bar and the fitness room, you run into fellow guests…who are they?...what are they doing here?...what’s their story?...occasionally, I’d find out—like the time I ran across a Nobel prize winner who was living in this Asian hotel because he was too ill to fly back home… Hotels are fascinating places where things happen that don’t happen anywhere else…strangers come together from everywhere to do things that they might not do anywhere else…no wonder so many books and TV shows and movies are set in hotels…I am fascinated with these places… Here’s the segue: rock stars spend a lot of time on the road, meaning that they spend a lot of nights in hotels…and some of the rooms they stay in end up become part of rock’n’roll history…let’s take a look at some of them, shall we?... Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Mar 09, 2022
Modern Rock Feuds
There are some people who just can’t get along…it could be the result of politics, religion, philophies, property, honour, a personal slight, a perceived insult, or—well, a million things, really… The most famous feud in history might be the Hatfield’s and the McCoy’s who fought each other along the border between Kentucky and West Virginia in the late 1800s…it started over a hog…did it belong to Floyd Hatfield or Randolph McCoy? the end more than a dozen people were killed on both sides of the feud, largely over a pig… Here’s something a little more relatable…German brothers Adolf and Rudolf Dassler co-founded a shoe company in their mother’s basement…when U.S. sprinter Jesse Ownes used their shoes for the 1936 Berlin Olympics, sales blew up… But the brothers couldn’t deal with the success and kept fighting and fighting and fighting…finally, in 1948, they couldn’t take it anymore and the company split in two…Adolf called his company “Adidas”…Rudolf named his “Puma”…   And this is a good one…R2D2 and C3PO never liked each other…Anthony Daniels (C3PO) was a classical trained actor and never really like the fact that he had to play this robot…meanwhile, Kenny Baker, the little guy inside R2D2 was a circus performer…Daniels never, ever let Baker forget that he’d never been in the same league as him… And that’s just one of many different feuds to be found in the performer arts…when artistic types have a beef, it can get very, very weird… The Beatles vs. The Stones (although that was a manufactured fight…they were actually very good friends…but after the Beatles broke up, Paul and John scrapped a lot in the media…Ray and Dave Davies in The Kinks…no love lost there…David Gilmour vs. Roger Waters in Pink Floyd…Brian Love and Mike Wilson in The Beach Boys… And think of all the rap beefs…Biggie vs. Tupac, Kanye vs. Drake, Nas vs. Jay-Z…that list is endless… But what about more contemporary rock feuds, fights that have happened over the last couple of decades?...thanks for asking because here they come. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Mar 02, 2022
History Concert Sound
Ever been to a concert and wondered "How do they make all of this work?". "How have I not gone deaf?" or "Why does the dude on stage wearing what looks like a pair of ear-buds?"Well we're here to answer those questions and more as we delve deep into the history of concert sound... Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Feb 23, 2022
The Story of the Electric Guitar - Part 3
In assessing popular music in the last half of the 20th century, rock music was a massive cultural phenomenon…initially driven by young baby boomers, rock grew bigger and stronger, starting in the middle 60s, eclipsing all other genres…and central to this conquest was the electric guitar… That sound, with all its power and distortion and infinitely diverse tonalities, can still drive music fans into ecstasy, For many, the electric guitar is a symbol of rebellion and liberation…it was a new vehicle for freedom of expression…and it opened the doors to new types of creativity…and it was because of the electric guitar that rock went global… Its history is a complicated one involving musicians, inventors, tinkerers, happy accidents, big multinational companies and lone wolves…some names are well known while others, despite their contributions to the decades-long evolution of instrument, languish in obscurity, known only to guitar geeks and obsessives… And while there have been many occasions where pundits have declared that rock (and by extension, the tools to make this music) is dead, the electric guitar has proven to be extremely adaptable and has (so far) been able to take on all comers, especially when placed in the hands of radicals and rule-breakers… If a power chord played through a Marshall stack has ever given you chills, then you’re in the right place…this is the history of the electric guitar, part 3… Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Feb 16, 2022
The Story of the Electric Guitar - Part 2
For centuries, music was nice and clean…while different instruments gave notes different timbres, the frequencies of those notes was expected to be clear and pure…yes, you could add a little umph by playing fortissimo, but the dogma was “let’s not overdo it”… But sometimes the situation called for overdoing things…banging a piano turns a melody and a beat into some stompin’ boogie-woogie…a raspy, hard-blown saxophone brings energy to a performance… But creating pleasant distortion with either of these  instruments—and we can name a few others—is limited to the abilities of the human body…volume and distortion and all the energy that comes with playing this way is restricted by how hard you can hit or blow into something… The electric guitar has no such limitations…it can be played so that the notes are pristine…or you can summon all demons of hell with volume, distortion, power, and glory and that is cool… The electric guitar is one of humankind’s greatest musical inventions…starting in the 1950s, it revolutionized many types of popular music: country, the blues, jazz, and most of all, rock…after it appeared, nothing was ever the same—and the sound of music changed forever…it’s impossible to imagine what today’s music would sound like had the electric guitar not been invented… But how did we get here?...let’s pick up the story….this is the story of electric guitar, part 2… Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Feb 09, 2022
The Story of the Electric Guitar - Part 1
There are few instruments more powerful than the electric guitar…when the first primitive models appeared in the 1920s, no one gave them much thought…the electric guitar was brand new, unproven, and completely lacking in any of the kinds of traditions and gravitas enjoyed by the piano, the violin, or any number of brass instruments… Besides, unlike all the other musical instruments in use, these required electricity, a concept that was still quite new…electric household appliances were just starting to catch on…and having a radio was still a novel thing… But over the next 30 years, the electric guitar found its place in music, helped along by technology, the need for volume, changing social conditions, and the ever-evolving musical tastes of the public… By the 1960s, the electric guitar was regarded as one of the most powerful musical inventions of all time…it was the sound behind rock’n’roll and all the social and cultural changes it created…it was the sound of freedom, power, rebellion, joy. heartache, aggression, and more… In short, the electric guitar defined music for the latter half of the 20th century…it’s still an essential part of popular culture…and despite several challenges to its supremacy over the decades, it’s not going away anytime soon… But how did a semi-obscure acoustic instrument get electrified in the first place? Who were the inventors and promoters? What technological innovations were needed? And of all the noisemakers you could choose, how did it become the foundation of rock’n’roll?... This is the story of the electric guitar, part 1… Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Feb 02, 2022
Rock'n'Roll Tattoos
The human body is a remarkably good piece of construction…it has its quirks and shortcomings, but for the most part is a pretty cool thing: functional, durable, and to other humans, attractive… But there’s always room for improvements and modifications and decorations…archeologists have found mummified remains that are thousands and thousands of years old that’s sport tattoos… There’s a guy named Otzl that was found in the Swiss Alps when a glacier melted…he’d been there for over 5,000 years—and the dude had 61 tattoos… Egyptian mummies plus pacific islanders, members of ancient African communities, bodies dating to iron age Britain, early Japanese societies, and the Indigenous people of North and South America have all engaged in this kind of body art… Tattoos have also been used to identify prisoners and slaves, to display religious connections, and associations with armies, navies, bikers, and criminal gangs…and for many people tattoos still carry some kind of stigma…only deviants and weirdos got tattoos… But that’s changed a lot in the last 60 years—especially since the beginning of the 21st century…tattoos have long gone mainstream…in fact, in some circles, if you don’t have any ink, you’re the outsider and the weirdo… This brings me to the world of rock’n’roll…tattoos are everywhere…and almost no one stops with one or two…the last time anyone counted, Travis Barker of Blink-182 has 117 different and distinct tattoos from the top of his head right down to his toes… We’ll get to Travis in a bit…but let’s begin with a look at the history—the whole phenomenon—of rock’n’roll tattoos… Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Jan 26, 2022
14 Important Canadian Punk Bands
We’ve all heard the stories about where punk came from…the New York Dolls and a few other bands start playing in a crappy area of New York that attracted musicians, artists, and degenerates with low rent… This leads to the opening of CBGB, a club that becomes the centre of a music scene that gave a home to bands like television, Blondie, The Talking Heads, The Heartbreakers, and, most importantly, The Ramones… In July 1976, The Ramones fly to London and play a show attended by curious kids who then either continue on with their punk plans—that would be The Sex Pistols, The Clash, and a few others—or inspire others to form their own groups…and from there, punk spreads across the world… That’s a nice succinct look at punk’s origin story…what’s missing is Canada’s involvement—and believe me, the great white north had a lot to say about punk in those early days…and I mean, a lot… Toronto was like the third leg of a punk triangle that extended to New York and London…ideas and trends and music was constantly exchanged…meanwhile, out on the west coast, there was a fierce Vancouver scene that worked mostly along north-south routes into the U.S. And then across the country, there were pockets of punk that had their own influence… This history needs to be told…and we’re going to do it by looking at the stories of 14 incredibly important Canadian punk bands from back in the day… Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Jan 19, 2022
More Musical Offspring
Whether we want to admit it or not, each of us is product of our parents…we are like mom and/or dad…and that may manifest itself in different ways… Maybe one of them was a great cook and that’s led to a life-long love of food…maybe they introduced to travel and now you spend all your extra money on airfare…or maybe one of them had some kind of craft that you gravitated towards…carpenter, knitting, gardening… And chances are if you have musical parents, you’re going to end up musical, too—at least to some extent…it’s again that combination of nature and nurture… Now imagine that your mom or dad is a famous musician…cool people are always dropping in…there are tours and time spent in the studio and parties and industry events…for anyone else, that would be mind-blowing…but for you, it’s just how life is… And because that’s how your life is, you just fall into the lifestyle…you learn to play and write and perform…and because the parents have some connections and relationships, you might have the inside line on establishing a career… Others without famous parents will cry foul, but that’s just the way it is…you’re a member of the lucky sperm club… Some of these sons and daughters have actually done very well for themselves…Sean and Julian Lennon, son of John…four of five of Frank Zappa’s kids have had musical careers…R&B singer Stella Santana, daughter of Carlos…Norah jones is the daughter of Ravi Shankar, the Beatles’ favourite sitar player… and more recently, we have Wolfgang Van Halen, son of Eddie… Here’s one that you may have missed…Redfoo of lmfao (he’s the one with the afro and the big glasses) is the son of Berry Gordy, the founder of Motown…think he was able to parlay dad’s contacts into something?...and here’s one I missed for years…Gary Lewis and the playboys was a big 60s pop group…Gary is the son of Jerry Lewis, the comedian… What other parent-children connections are out there?...let’s have a look…this is another edition of musical offspring… Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Jan 12, 2022
What's The Big Deal About Elvis Costello
With the way the music industry operates, this guys career should have been dead and buried long ago. I mean no offense…but look at this dude. Even when he was young, he looked dorky. Bad glasses and poor posture. This was a guy who was a computer programmer for a cosmetics company. And in the age of Punk when everyone had safety pins stuck to their clothes, and leather jackets….this guy insisted on wearing a sport coat. Yet he’s still here…still making music…and not only does he have the respect and admiration of many generations of fans, he’s collaborated with everyone from Paul McCartney to Burt Baccarat. He’s delved into punk, sting quartets, jazz ensembles, and more…so how does he do it. And what’s the big deal about Elvis Costello? Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Jan 05, 2022
What's The Big Deal About The Smiths
Although they were around really for just 4 years, The Smiths succeeded in becoming the most influential British indie band of the 1980's. They hastened the deal of tech-pop, and laid the foundation of what was to become Britpop.  But how exactly did that happen and really, what is the big deal about The Smiths?   Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Dec 29, 2021
Joe Strummer: A Remembrance
Back in the day, they called The Clash "the only band that mattered" and few voices are more important or influential in the history of rock than that of Joe Strummer. Without Joe and The Clash, we wouldn't have a fraction of the bands and musicians that we do today. Put simply;  Joe Strummer is one of the most significant musicians in the history of rock. Full stop. December 22nd, 2021 marks the 19th anniversary of Joe's sudden passing at just 50 years old. To mark the occasion, and honour Joe, we go back into the Ongoing History achieves and present our profile of Joe that first aired in the spring of 2003.  This is our tribute to the legend of Joe Strummer... Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Dec 22, 2021
60 Mind-Blowing Things About Music: 2021 Edition
Is it really almost the end of 2021?...if I’m honest, it’s all been a blur, almost like 2020, with covid on my mind 24/7…it’s just reality… You know how I’ve been spending my time?...I’ve spent almost two years in my office, throwing myself into work…I think i’ve read a record number of books…my iPad tells me that my screen time is up 23%...and I’ve posted somewhere around 2500 stories on my website… Now that the end of the year is approaching and we’ll soon be into the holidays, it’s time for the annual office clean-up… There are post-it notes everywhere with little tidbits of information I’ve found…i’ve bookmarked a ton of sites…there’s a little journal filled with scribblings…books with pages turned down and e-books with passages highlighted… Much of this has already been turned into (or will be turned into) “ongoing history” programs and posts…but there’s also all kinds of fascinating stuff that I couldn’t use…they just didn’t fit in with anything that I’ve done in 2021…it’s orphaned material… But I can’t throw out any of stuff…it’s too interesting, too important, to ignore…this information needs to be disseminated to the public at large…knowledge is power, right?...this material needs to be set free… So once again it’s time for the annual data dump known as “60 mind-blowing things about music in 60 minutes”… Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Dec 15, 2021
Alt-Rock's Most Mysterious Musicians
Once upon a time, before social media and the internet, all musicians were mysterious…outside of seeing them live, our only connections with them were through their music, the liner notes and album artwork, and stories in music magazines… Yes, there were the occasional tv appearances, but those were quite rare…in fact, it wasn’t really until music videos started to be a thing in early 80s that fans began to grasp what their idols looked like in a major way… And consider this: it wasn’t until MTV and MuchMusic started interviewing musicians that we began to discover what their speaking voices sounded like… Today, though, there are no more secrets…artists are in constant touch with their fanbase through social media…fans are constantly trading news online…camera phones are everywhere…we live in a world of oversharing and tmi… Hell, even kiss—a band that spent its first decade hiding behind makeup as a way of creating myth and legend and essentially invented the concept of the mysterious, unknowable rock star—gave up on that idea in the 80s… However, I’m happy to report that there are still some mysteries, artists who have managed to main a degree of anonymity…some have successfully obfuscated their identifies through disguise and subterfuge…others have disappeared into a hermit-like existence where they remain beyond the reach of the general public while still releasing material and maintaining a fanbase… Who are these artists?...and how did they managed to stay out of the limelight?...these are alt-rock’s most mysterious musicians… Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Dec 08, 2021
The Strokes
I remember being in London in the summer of 2001…I made my usual pilgrimage up to the original Rough Trade records store on Talbot Street, off Portobello Road in Notting Hill… I was a little bummed out with music at the time, so I was hoping for some inspiration…the mainstream was awash in pop music…spice girls, backstreet boys, Britney Spears… And alt-rock had kinda lost its way after grunge burned out…the big acts were searching for direction…there were far too many one-hit wonders…and nu-metal, the biggest thing at the time, was very, very polarizing…you either were really into it or you hated it… It also seemed that this new genre dubbed “electronica” was siphoning off a lot of rock fans…music made the old-school way with guitars, bass, drums, and vocals seemed old-fashioned, out of date, and played out… But that couldn’t be true, could it? the past, every time rock was declared dead, someone or something came along and breathed new life into everything… I told this story to Nigel, the guy at the desk of the tiny shop… “Give me something that is exciting, new, and fresh,” I said… “Give me hope”… Nigel reached under the counter and pulled out a cd single… “Here, mate,” he said, “This should cure all your ills”…it was a song from The Strokes. Turns out he was right…The Strokes were one of the very, very first new bands behind the indie-rock revival that began at the tail end of the 90s and blew up over the next couple of years…nice one, Nigel… But why The Strokes?...where did they come from?...and why was this guy in London telling me about a band from New York?...this requires some explanation… Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Dec 01, 2021
Album Artwork
This time we go deep into the vaults for an episode about the now seemingly long lost concept of "Album Artwork". We'll look at some of the most famous of all time, and look into why this concept has all but faded away.   Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Nov 24, 2021
23 Points About Streaming: Part 2
Once upon a time many centuries ago, someone came up with the idea of taking all the world’s available knowledge and storing it one place…that way everyone who had questions had somewhere to go to get the answers…and thus the concept of the library was born… Considerably later, this same concept was applied to recorded music and governments, public broadcasters and companies began collecting together as much of humankind’s recorded audio as they could… The BBC famously has hundreds of kilometers of shelving for physical media…there’s a guy in Brazil named Zero Freitas who is on a quest to create a private collection of all the records ever made…he has at least 8 million records and more than 100,000 compact discs… Nice…but this still doesn’t cover everything… In the 80s, some people started to conceive of a giant computer somewhere that could hold humanity’s music in digital form…if you needed a song—any song—it would be available from that computer instantly… In 1994, a law professor named Paul Goldstein popularized the term “celestial jukebox”…in his mind, this would be networked database available to anyone with a connection or this thing called the “internet”… Five years later, napster went online...suddenly, it seemed that you could download any song you wanted—however illegal that might be… Then, in 2003, came the iTunes music store…starting with several hundred thousand songs, it has since expanded to about 60 million tracks that are all for sale…but that still doesn’t quite cut it because it still involved buying this music… Today, we have streaming…all the platforms draw from a digital music library that contains at least 75 million songs—and more are being added every day…and we can access this music anytime we want, from wherever we are, using whatever device we happen to have…and the price?...given what we’re able to do, it’s negligible…in fact, it can even be totally free… Think about that: we can listen to virtually any song ever recorded in seconds and pay nothing…we now have theoretical celestial jukebox, something that was considered science fiction not that long ago…question: how well do you know how all this works?...this is 23 points you might not know about streaming, part 2”… Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Nov 17, 2021
23 Points About Streaming: Part 1
Once upon a time, all music was sold to us on pieces of plastic…we had to travel through time and space to hand over hard-earned money to purchase those pieces of plastic…and there was a financial limit to the amount of plastic we could buy…bloody things were expensive… Part the reason they were expensive was because baked into the purchase price was our ability to listen to that music an infinite number of times without ever having to pay for it again—unless of course you wore it out, damaged it, or somehow lost it… It was hard to share this music, too…you could make a copy on tape, which took a long time…later, you could burn a cd, which was quicker but still took effort…and the ring of people with which you could share something was fairly limited…again, we’re dealing with issues of time and space… What else can we say about the old days?...cost aside, our access to music was limited…we could only buy what was available in the store…and the store only stocked what it could acquire from a limited number of record labels…and only a very tiny percentage of people who made music had deals with record labels… In other words, the supply of music was severely constrained…that’s another reason for the expense…there were many, many filters a song had to pass through before it even had a chance to landing in a record store…this created an artificial scarcity of music and the channels through which you could access the little that was available was limited and tightly controlled… Wow….from where we are today, that sounds positively medieval, doesn’t it? it’s all about streaming, the ability access virtually any song ever recorded from everywhere on earth with just a few poke at your phone…and the price?—or something very close to it… That’s all that most people know about how streaming works…but if you’re listening to this program, you probably need to know more about what we’ve all got ourselves into…here’s a deep dive into the whole business of streaming music, part 1.. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Nov 10, 2021
People Who (Almost) Died
Being a rock star comes with all sorts of privileges: money, fame, plenty of sex, drugs…but those things can also be very dangerous. Take the case of slash…in September 1992, Guns N’ Roses was on tour with Metallica…Slash and the band were staying in San Francisco ahead of a show across the bay in Oakland…and after the gig, Slash died… Some drug dealers showed up at his hotel room at 5 am with all kinds of stuff… Slash took everything, including a powerful speedball, which is a combination of heroin and cocaine… He wandered out into the hallway where he encountered a maid…he tried to ask her where the elevator was—and wham!...he was out…she freaked out and called for help…meanwhile, Slash lay there on the floor… Paramedics arrived and gave him the old adrenalin-needle-to-the-heart trick and he was saved…when he came to, he was told that he’d been technically dead for eight minutes due to cardiac arrest…that seems like a long time, but that’s his story… He was transported to the hospital but quickly signed himself out and was onstage for the next gig in L.A. two days later…about a decade later, though, he was diagnosed with heart disease and ended up with a pacemaker in 2004… Slash is far from the only person who came back from the dead—or, at the very least, came awfully close to going into the light…here are some examples of rock stars who very nearly checked out long before their time… Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Nov 03, 2021
Key Alt-Rock Movie Soundtracks
There was a time when movie soundtracks were the lifeblood of the recorded music industry…the lp record, which was introduced in June 1948, was developed at least partially at the behest of movie studios and Broadway show producers looking a better listening experience. The first movie soundtrack to be released as a record seems to have been “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” in 1938…but the problem was that everything was divided up over multiple 10-inch 78 rpm records…every four minutes, you had to get up and either flip the record over or change it entirely…the same thing happened with “The Jungle Book” in 1942. That all changed in the summer of 1948 when the 33 1/3 rpm lp allowed up to 22 minutes of audio per side…movie studios bought in and the marketplace was flooded with not only movie soundtracks but original cast recordings of Broadway shows throughout the late 40s, all through the 50s and into the 1960s. Movie soundtracks were seen as “serious” music for adults…the kids and their rock’n’roll had their 7-inch singles…even as late as the middle 60s, movie soundtracks often did the biggest business. Take “The Sound of Music”…it was a top 10 record in the U.S. for 109 weeks between May 1, 1965 and July 16, 1967…it was the best-selling album in the UK in 1965, 1966, and 1968…for years, the Guinness Book of World Records listed it as the best-selling album of all time…the best guess we have is that it sold 20 million copies—a very big number, especially back in the day. As the years passed, it became standard practice to release a soundtrack album with your movie…in many cases, it was just the score, the incidental music written for the title credits, the closing credits and scenes in between. In others, the records featured songs from the movie, some original, some licensed for the purpose…and some of these soundtracks went on to sell very, very well. Prince’s “Purple Rain,” 25 million copies…“Titanic,” 30 million copies…“Dirty Dancing, “ 32 million…“Grease,” 38 million…“Saturday Night Fever,” 40 million…“The Bodyguard,” 45 million…even “Space Jam” from 1996 sold six million. By the 90s, every movie had a soundtrack as part of its business plan…they were cheap to compile and the margins were fantastic…they even launched a career or two. Let’s take a look at some of the key alt-rock-based movie soundtracks of all time… Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Oct 27, 2021
The Unsung Heroes of Music: Part 2
In the winter of 1417, a young man named Poggio Braciolini was searching through a library when it found an odd manuscript sitting on a shelf…it was a thousand years old—the last surviving copy of a poem by a roman philosopher named Lucretius… What Lucretius said in this poem was radical—heretical, in fact…what it contained was against all the teachings of God and men…it was called “On The Nature of Things”… First, he posited that the universe operated without Gods and that matter was made of tiny, tiny, particles that were in constant motion… Despite the danger—this was explosive stuff in 1417—Bracciolini translated the poem…copies were carefully distributed over the next couple of hundred years…and the intellectual impact on Europe was incalculable… Lucretius’ notions inspired new ways of thinking, leading to the renaissance, the enlightenment and all that followed…Bracciolini’s translation of “On The Nature of Things” quite literally changed the course of humanity… Scholars have argued that because of him, the world became modern…that everything we take for granted today in terms of culture and thought happened because Bracciolini happened to find that one-and-only manuscript… Yet have you ever heard of Poggio Bracciolini?...probably not…he is one of the great unsung heroes of history… Now let’s apply the same sort of thinking to the history of rock…are there similar such people—people who did something that altered the course of this music yet we don’t know about them?...absolutely…and it’s time to give them some credit…this is part two of great unsung heroes of rock… Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Oct 20, 2021
The Unsung Heroes of Music: Part 1
Not everyone who managed to change the world is famous…it is possible to do something absolutely, monumentally world-shaking and not receive any recognition for it… I’ll give you a name: Vasyli Arkipov…it’s possible that this guy is the only reason any of us are still alive…seriously… October 27, 1962…it’s the height of the Cuban missile crisis…the soviets had nukes in Cuba aimed at the u.s. and more were on the way…John Kennedy responded by setting up a blockade around the island… The USS Randolph was one of the ships in charge of enforcing the blockade…they spotted a Soviet sub that was sent to protect the flotilla of Russian ships approaching the island with more missiles on board…this one particular sub—a Foxtrot class b-59—was armed with nuclear missiles…Arkhipov was the second in command… The Randolph began dropping depth charges in an effort to get the sub to surface…b-59 suffered damage…the crew couldn’t breathe…they wanted to fight back…the sub commander tried to raise soviet command for permission to fire—but he couldn’t reach them… Because they’d been cruising submerged for days, they hadn’t heard anything from Soviet high command…but they had been monitoring American civil broadcasts which offered non-stop coverage of the crisis…and now they were under attack…maybe the war had finally begun…if that was the case, shouldn’t they launch their missiles?... Captain Valentín Savitsky was in favour of an attack…so was political officer Ivan Maslennikov…but in order to launch the nukes, Stavisky and Maslennikov also needed agreement from Arkhipov…“what do you say, Vasyli? we engage the Americans with our special weapon?”… Vasyli took a breath and replied “nyet…we do not fire…we have no proof that we are at war…what if we’re wrong?...if we launch, we risk starting an all-our nuclear war and  wipe out all life on the planet”… The commander wasn’t happy with that, but rules were rules and he ordered that the crew stand down…no nuke would be fired that day…and when the sub did surface, it was confirmed that hostilities had not broken out…this is why Vasyli Arkipov is widely regarded as the man who single-handedly prevented a global nuclear war on October 27, 1962…yet how many people know his name?... Now let’s take a big pivot into music…what kind of unsung heroes might we find there?... Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Oct 13, 2021
Bond...James Bond...Music
When a movie is successful, someone somewhere wants more…that’s when we get a sequel…if that follow-up does well, then the sequel gets a sequel…and if that film has traction, well, then you reach the level of franchise… We’ve seen many movie franchises over the decades, Star Wars and Star Trek being among the most famous…but then we have all the Fast and the Furious films, Harry Potter, Rocky, Mission Impossible, Planet of the Apes, Toy Story, Lord of the Rings, and so on… And I haven’t even mentioned the marvel cinematic universe, which has something like three dozen movies and the dc extended universe, which has almost 30… Studios and producers love movie franchises because they’re reliable sources of revenue forever…fans will flock to any new release while they’re still bingeing on all the older movies…and don’t even get me started on things like merchandising… What’s the oldest movie franchise?...that would probably be King Kong…the first Kong movie came out in 1933…the first Alice in Wonderland movie came out the same year… The Wizard of Oz fits our definition…there have been four films since 1939…that counts…Godzilla…first one was 1954…and then we finally get to James Bond… There have been 27 Bond films, starting with Dr. No in 1962…box office grosses are now around $14 billion U.S. dollars…that is just the movies… Then we have the music…there are few crossover points between music and film that are more prestigious than being tapped to do the theme for a James Bond movie… Every time a new chapter in the franchise is announced, tenders go out for someone to do the theme…and the competition is furious… Sounds like there’s some interesting music history here—and there is… Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Oct 06, 2021
The History of Portable Music: Part 2
There are three moments when I remember looking at something in my hands and realizing that this was going to change my life… The first time was on my sixth birthday when my grandmother gave me a portable transistor radio…I was still awfully young, but I somehow knew that I could now control not only what I listened to but where and when… The second time was in 1999 when I was given a prototype of a device called an RCA Lyra…it was an early digital music player, capable of holding up to an hour’s worth of music…no matter how hard I shook it, the music would not skip…for someone who liked to go running to music, that was a big deal… And the third time was when I searched for—and found! —an obscure song on my iPhone…I had just installed the long-gone Rdio app and was still very skeptical about this whole new streaming thing…the idea that you just paid for access and not to own the music?...rubbish—until that day when I figured it out… We’ve come such a long way when it comes to making music portable, especially in the 21st century…what was once science fiction is now reality…taking our music with us is so easy right now, we forget how long it took to get us to this point—and how much technology we had to go through to get here… This is the history of portable music, part 2… Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Sep 29, 2021
The History of Portable Music: Part 1
One of the many great things about music is that we can enjoy it anywhere…I’m talking about the recorded kind…everyone has a smartphone, and every smartphone has the capability of playing music, whether you’re listening to tracks stored in its memory or streaming something from a service like Spotify or apple music…as long as your device has juice, you can enjoy listening to music anywhere you are… Take this program, for example…in its radio show form, it’s being heard in homes, cars, offices, and workplaces either over the air or through a stream…if you’re listening to the podcast, you might have downloaded it to a phone, a tablet or a laptop which you can fire up anywhere at your convenience… But imagine for moment that you couldn’t take your music with you…if you wanted to listen to your favourite songs, you had to be present in a specific place and you couldn’t move from it…and that usually meant music inside the home—or perhaps someplace with something like a jukebox… This might sound absolutely awful to you…I mean, we’re so used to conjuring up music whenever we want and wherever we are…we take it with us everywhere…it’s hard to imagine life without that ability… That’s the way it was for most of human history, though…for centuries and centuries, the only way to make music portable was to bring a musical instrument with you and play it yourself… The idea of making recorded music portable—at least in a way that is convenient, cheap, and reliable—is more recent than you might think…and it went through way more incarnations than you may realize… What do you say we take a look at the history of portable music?... Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Sep 22, 2021
Studio Stories with David Botrill
Long before I started doing this for a living, I had the notion that I was going to be a record producer…after all, I loved music and the idea of being able to help record it would be a great job… So as high school wound down, I started to look around for schools that taught music production…and that’s when reality set it…all of them asked for a portfolio of past work…I was 18 years old and from a small prairie town…how was I supposed to have a portfolio of past work?... They also made it clear that I had to be musically adept…I was a pretty good drummer, but that wasn’t enough…and I had seven years of accordion lessons, but that didn’t really cut it…I couldn’t play guitar or any other type of keyboard… Long story short, I gave up on that dream after a few rejection letters and here we are…but I’m still fascinated by the talent and equipment that goes into making records—which is why anytime I get a chance to talk to anyone who does that, I’m in… David Botrill is one of those guys…he’s a Canadian record producer who has worked with took, muse, peter Gabriel, the smashing pumpkins, rush, and a ton of others…he’s got three Grammy’s and has worked in some of the most famous recording studios from here to the UK. And I’ve got a chance to talk to him about being a record producer?...let’s go… Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Sep 15, 2021
The Amazing Year That Was 1991
When it comes to music, not all years are created equal…listen, every year features some great new songs from great new bands…but over the long term, this music isn’t equally distributed…sometimes—maybe once a decade, but usually less—we run into what can only be described as an embarrassment of riches… What i mean by that is that we go through a period where every week—even every day—seems to bring something amazing… Like when?...1955, maybe…Elvis…Chuck Berry…Little Richard….Bo Diddley…Bill Haley and the Comets…they all exploded into public consciousness…it was the birth of rock’n’roll… 1965…The Beatles and everything they were doing…the rise of The Rolling Stones with “Satisfaction”…Bob Dylan releases “Like A Rolling Stone” for “Highway 61 Revisited” after going electric… Actually, rock’s most prolific years—at least when it came to being an agent for social change and a driver of western culture—were 65, 66, 67, 68 and 69… After that, we might consider 1977…punk, the beginning of new wave, the era of post-punk and all that came with it… But then there was a long fallow period…lots of disco, lots of pop, lots of hair metal—which was great if you were into that, but not exactly music that changed the world… But then came one particular year…if you look back on it, it’s astounding at what happened, what was released and the music we’re still talking about…by the time the calendar turned, everything—and i mean everything—was different… This is the amazing year that was 1991… Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Sep 08, 2021
U2 and The Joshua Tree at 30 with Daniel Lanois Part 2
Whenever an artist goes into the studio, they hope for the best but expect the worst…you want it the album to sell and turn you into a global superstar with all the rights and privileges thereto…but there is no way to predict how the public will react to what you release… You can throw all the money you want a song, an album, a band and there is zero guarantee that it will be successful…yet people will always try because every once in a while, something remarkable happens… An album is a critical success…it turns into a commercial smash…and every once in a long, long while, it turns into a cultural phenomenon with an impact that lasts years, maybe decades… This is what happened to U2 and “The Joshua Tree”…before the record came out, everyone expected that the band was going to deliver the goods on a very good album…they did that… But then the record went on to sell somewhere beyond 25 million albums and is now considered to be one of the most significant rock releases of all time… This is beyond just lightning in a did they do it?...for some of the answers, i turned to one of the people who co-produced the album…that would be Daniel Lanois…this is U2 and The Joshua Tree, thirty years later, part 2… Whenever an artist goes into the studio, they hope for the best but expect the worst…you want it the album to sell and turn you into a global superstar with all the rights and privileges thereto…but there is no way to predict how the public will react to what you release… You can throw all the money you want a song, an album, a band and there is zero guarantee that it will be successful…yet people will always try because every once in a while, something remarkable happens… An album is a critical success…it turns into a commercial smash…and every once in a long, long while, it turns into a cultural phenomenon with an impact that lasts years, maybe decades… This is what happened to U2 and “The Joshua Tree”…before the record came out, everyone expected that the band was going to deliver the goods on a very good album…they did that… But then the record went on to sell somewhere beyond 25 million albums and is now considered to be one of the most significant rock releases of all time… This is beyond just lightning in a did they do it?...for some of the answers, i turned to one of the people who co-produced the album…that would be Daniel Lanois…this is U2 and The Joshua Tree, thirty years later, part 2… Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Sep 01, 2021
U2 and The Joshua Tree at 30 with Daniel Lanois Part 1
On March 9, 1987—a little more than ten years after a bunch of kids met up in a Dublin kitchen—U2 released their fifth album…expectations were running pretty high…after establishing themselves with their first two albums, there was a leap ahead with the “War” album in 1983… But then came “The Unforgettable Fire” in 1984…that represented another leap forward…things seemed more sophisticated, stronger, bigger, better…much of the credit has to go to the new production team of Brian Eno and Daniel Lanois, guys who found new ways to bring new things from the band… The partnership worked so well that everyone agreed that they should work together on the next record, too…maybe they could take things even further, built up the band even bigger… The result was “The Joshua Tree”…it has sold somewhere north of 25 million copies, making one of best-selling albums of all time…it became a number one album in two dozen countries…five of the eleven songs were released as singles, several of which sold more than a million copies on their own… The tour in support of the record had to grow from arenas to stadiums…it resulted in a live record called “Live From Paris” and a documentary film called “Rattle and Hum”…and it earned U2 two Grammys: album of the year and group of the year… “The Joshua Tree” set the band up as one of the biggest in the world…and over the coming decade, they would become the biggest band in the world….the album has been studied at all levels of academia…its songs covered thousands of times…the material has even been adopted as hymns for modern church services… And later, in 2014, the album was added to the us library of congress as a recording considered to be “culturally, historically and aesthetically significant” … Wow…that’s a lot stuff to think about when it comes to just one single album…. doesn’t it make you curious about what went into making it?...that’s how I felt…so I thought I’d talk to one of the guys who was there with the band the whole time…let’s get his story on the making of “The Joshua Tree”…. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Sep 01, 2021
The Tragically Hip's Fully Completely Reissue With Rob Baker
“Even though it was the middle of summer, it was cold and wet,” Rob Baker remembers, “and after a full day in the studio, there was nothing to do but go back to where we were staying and watch the Olympics that were happening in Barcelona…and they were still talking about Canada and what happened with Ben Johnson four years earlier.” The Tragically Hip were in the UK, recording what would be their third full studio album at Battery Studios, a facility protected from the rest of the surrounding grimy north west London neighborhood of Willesden Green by a big metal gate…after recording the last two albums away from home—Up To Here was done in Memphis and Road Apples required to move to New Orleans—a trip to London had seemed like a good idea, a chance to get away from all the distractions back home in Kingston, Ontario. It may have been dreary on the outside, but the building itself was full of history…Pink Floyd, Paul McCartney, Black Sabbath, Rod Stewart, The Cure, The Who and dozens more had all made classic albums here.  And when The Hip wrapped up the sessions for the album that would be called “Fully Completely,” they had an idea that they had created something extraordinary.  But what they didn’t know is they were about to enter the imperial phase of their career, a time when almost everything went right…. The album would eventually sell a million copies in Canada alone…and here’s how it happened. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Aug 25, 2021
Oasis At War: Part 2
How well do you get along with your siblings?—assuming you have any, of course…brothers and sisters can be a pain, especially when you’re always in close quarters…and when you have to work with them, too—gawd, that can be ugly… We’ve talked about musical feuds before… Madonna did not get along with her brother, Christopher Ciccone, especially after he published a memoir about growing up with her…things seem to be okay right now… The Everly brothers, Don and Phil, did not get along…after a speed-fueled breakup in 1973, the talked to each other just once in the following ten years…that was at their father’s funeral… Ray and Dave Davies of The Kinks…that’s a bad one…John vs. Tom Fogerty of Credence Clearwater Revival…Barry and Robin Gibb of the Bee Gees…Chris and Rich Robinson of the Black Crowes…and then there was John and William reed of the Jesus and Mary Chain…they’d even fight onstage in the middle of a show… And I know they weren’t really brothers, but joey and Johnny Ramone didn’t talk to each other for years after Johnny stole and then married joey’s girlfriend… But the most famous sibling rivalry in all of music has to be—has to be—Noel and Liam Gallagher…this is part 2 of “Oasis at war” … Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Aug 18, 2021
Oasis at War: Part 1
Siblings can be a pain in the butt…just because you’re related to someone doesn’t mean you’re going to get along…not everyone can be Venus and Serena Williams…here: lemme give you some examples… Ann Landers and Dear Abbey were real people—and they were sisters: Eppie and Pauline Lederer…despite having newspaper columns were famous for dishing out all sorts of relationship advice to readers, they didn’t apply that wisdom to themselves…they spent their lives antagonizing each other… Adolf and Rudolf Dassler were good young Nazis who owned a show company…but Rudolf was a little more into national socialism than Adolf…after World War II, their company split in two…they became Adidas and Puma… There are lot of family feuds in show business… Olivia de Havilland and Joan Fontaine had a legendary ugly relationship… Julia and Eric Roberts… And there have been plenty of intense sibling rivalries in music…Ray and Dave Davies of The Kinks…that one has been going on forever…the weirdness that is the Jackson family…and it hasn’t always been chocolate and unicorns for the Followills in Kings of Leon… But the champion brawlers have to be Liam and noel Gallagher…sure, these guys have always fought with each other—we all know that…but are you aware of the depth and scope of this war?...when it comes to dysfunctional brotherly relationships, it doesn’t get much more intense than this… Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Aug 11, 2021
Christian Rock
There's been a lot of talk and the Christian Rock scene....especially in new rock. And many feel the bands don't get their due. They are looked at preachy do-gooders. But that's not always the case. And many bands are crossing over.  So let's have a better look and clear up many misconceptions.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Aug 04, 2021
The Rock Snob
This is a course in Rock Snobery. To help you understand why some terms exist in music and what they actually mean.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Jul 28, 2021
Alt-Rocks Great Bass Players
This week we look at one of the most under appreciated and underrated members of any rock band...the bass player.  These are the most influential bass players in the history of alt-rock.   Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Jul 21, 2021
The Kings of Quirk
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder—or in the case of music, the ear…what’s pleasant to one person is nothing but noise to someone else… This is where it’s good to have some patience…there are some forms of art whose beauty isn’t obvious at first…you need to stick with it…and after you’ve given it a chance and you’ve decided that it’s not for you, fine… But what about those times where something happens—suddenly or slowly and either on your own or with the prompting of someone else—and you realize that the weird music you’re listening to is actually pretty good?... This is the payoff…yeah, you really had to work for it—but it was worth it…with me so far?.. “beauty” doesn’t mean “perfect”—at least in the technical sense…sometimes imperfection makes something more beautiful…or at least more interesting… Which brings me to the topic of singing voices…this is a very subjective area…how many times have you said “listen to that guy!... I can’t stand his voice! did he ever get a record deal?...i mean, listen to him!” But then others hear the same thing and go “wow…that’s really different…really expressive…it’s full of character and emotion…what a bold move giving this dude a chance to real millions of people…i love this guy!”… These are the kind of singers we’re about to review:  guys with some of the most unusual voices in the history of alt-rock… Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Jul 14, 2021
The Queens of Quirk
For a very long time—too long—women were locked in very defined roles when it came to rock’n’roll…girls were expected to look pretty and do little more than sing…okay, maybe shake a tambourine or something…but that was about it… And when it came to singing, “just stick with conventional stuff, dear…don’t get any crazy ideas in your head…this is a woman’s role in rock and you should stick to it…that’s a nice little lady”… But then along came punk rock in the 1970s…punk did many things for rock—including knocking down a lot of heretofore inviolable gender roles…the central tenet of punk was that anyone should have the right to say anything in any matter they want regardless of who they are…that included women and their right to self-expression… The result was fantastic…freed from all the old expectations, women were free to reinvent themselves as musicians in a million different ways…and that led to a wonderful array of female performers… Some of my favourites are the ones who decided to spit in the face of virtually ever rock’n’roll convention—women who (before punk came along and liberated everyone from the tyranny of “the way things ought to be”) developed styles that were different, unique and utterly unlike anything the world had ever heard before… Yes, some of them were an acquired taste and took a little getting used to…but once people figured out what they were trying to do and what they were all about, it was inevitable they became addicted, enchanted, inspired…  We’re going to look at ten of these women…i call them “The Queens of Quirk”… Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Jul 07, 2021
The Tribes of Alt-Rock
One of the most useful things about music is that it can be used to tell the world who you are…we’ve all done it…it is a symbol of our individuality and belief in personal freedom…it proclaims our identity to the world… Once you start doing that, you inevitably find that there are people just like you…once you’re drawn together by a love of a common sort of music, you find that you have other shared interests… You start hanging out, maybe at a specific place…maybe you begin to talk about other things, like politics, social issues, fashion…more people join in, some in the same physical space, others franchsing your ideas because they heard about it somewhere… It’s comforting, this little club, this tribe…it sets you apart…maybe others want to join in, looking to fit in with something they admire and desire…that makes you feel kinda cool, right?... And if the circumstances are just right, you and your new friends—the ones you see and the ones you never met—find yourselves part of a musical subculture… This sort of thing has been happening for decades…and in the next hour, we’ll visit a few of the more interesting, long-lasting and intense musical subcultures in rock… Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Jun 30, 2021
9 Amazing Things About Your Brain and Music
There is absolutely no need for music—speaking in terms of evolution, anyway… As far as scientists can tell, there’s no compelling reason for humans to make and enjoy music…neurologically, we could get along quite well without it…sure, our world would be very dull, but we’d be fine as a species… Yet for some reason, the human brain seems to be hardwired for music…and it looks like even the non-human brain was constructed this way…archeologists found a flute made out of bone constructed by neanderthals that was almost 90,000 years old… why?... Here are a couple of theories…music was invented because humans (or neanderthals) wanted to imitate birdsong…music was invented as part of some kind of religious ritual or ceremony…or music began as vocalizations on the way to developing spoken language…. Whatever…the origins of music are a mystery—and so is much of what goes on in our brains when it comes to these sounds… Let’s explore…here are nine things about your brain and music… Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Jun 23, 2021
Music Questions People Almost Never Ask
I think one of the greatest gifts humans have is a sense of curiosity…the ability to question things around to learn why things are the way they are pushes us forward… Here are my three favourite questions that i think everyone should ask…are we alone in the universe?...who really killed JFK?...and what do dogs dream about when they twitch in their sleep?... But there are plenty of questions we don’t ask that we probably should…let me give you a few examples… When a prisoner about to be executed by lethal injection, why does the doctor swab the iv site with alcohol first?... Why doesn’t Tarzan have a beard?... And how about this: what’s the size of a fart … But you see what I mean…these are questions that probably should have answers?...if you must know, it ranges between the size of a bottle of nail polish and a soft drink can…you’re welcome After discussing important stuff like this with some friends, I got to thinking: can we find the same sorts of unasked questions in the world of music?...turns out we can…this is stuff we should be curious about…and are there answers to these questions?...let’s find out… Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Jun 16, 2021
The Beginners Guide to Vinyl
So you’ve decided to go all retro and dive into vinyl…no more digital for you…you are going back to the future…it’s all about analogue, baby… Buh-bye, mp3s and digital downloads—except maybe for the songs you want to load on your phone…but that’s the one and only exception…other than the songs you want to play through your car’s entertainment system…that’s two exceptions and no more…unless we count the songs you want to send to friends…those three situations cover off everything—except for the digital tracks you’ll stream… But other than those three—four!—specific needs, you’re going to give up music encoded into zeroes and ones…binary is dead…no more pathetic sampling rates resulting in harsh-sounding square waves…not counting all the cds you own, of course…those are digital files, aren’t they?...i mean, you aren’t going to throw them out, are you?...probably just rip them into my computer… But beyond those five situations, you’re done with digital…mostly…except when you can’t avoid it…which will be 90% of the time… Still, you want to experience what everyone has been telling you about vinyl—and not only the sound but the whole experience of buying, unwrapping and playing it… If you’re of a certain age or technology persuasion, getting back into vinyl is like riding a bike…the first time you try it again, you might be a bit wobbly…but what if you’ve never ridden that bike?... Gather ‘round, friends…let’s get you started…this is your Ongoing History beginner’s guide to vinyl… Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Jun 09, 2021
RocknRoll Rehab
Sometimes, the pressures of life become a little too much and the methods of escape you choose to cope with them aren’t exactly the best ones…over-indulgence with and reliance upon drugs and/or alcohol is never, ever a good thing…and once you get so far down this road, you need help… When you’re a musician, you have to deal with a whole new set of circumstances…long days, weird hours, bad food, poverty…or maybe you’ve struck it rich and you can’t handle the fame… Or maybe you love the fame a little too much…you like living in your bubble of unreality where people are afraid to tell you “no” and are only too happy to let you indulge in whatever you want, no matter how crazy… Sometimes people seek help on their own…sometimes they need a little, er, encouragement to get the help they need….what you’re about to hear are some rehab stories about artists who took their lives to the edge…some were able to step back….and some—well, you’ll see… Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Jun 02, 2021
The Tragically Hip's "Saskadelphia"
On Saturday, August 20, 2016, tens of millions of Canadians watched and listened to the final Tragically Hip concert from Kingston…given Gord Downie’s illness, we knew that was the last time we’d see the band perform together live… That was followed by one of the saddest days in the history of Canadian music…. October 17, 2017, the day Gord Downie died…one tweet summed up everything: “Canada closed: death in the family”… So that was it, then…after more than 30 years, the most Canadian rock band of all time was done…all we had were the music and the memories… But what if we were wrong about that?...what if, somewhere, there was a trove of unreleased material that no one knew existed?...and what if a strange confluence of events led to that cache of music—songs that no one (even the band) had heard for decades—being found and released?...and what if those long-lost songs were really, really good?... To answer those questions: yes, there was a stash of unheard songs…yes, their rediscovery was the result of an accident…and yes, they are really, really good… The result was essentially a brand new Tragically Hip album that brings fans back to the band’s glory years of the early 90s…it’s like a time machine…the hip are together playing great—and Gord is back… The new record is called “Saskadelphia”…we’ll hear all these once-missing tragically hip songs: how they were made, what happened to them, and how they were finally found… Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
May 26, 2021
A Requiem for Daft Punk
It takes a special kind of band to obscure their appearance…but if you can do it right, then it moves from being a silly gimmick to an important piece of your identity, image, and brand.… When Kiss came along in the early 70s with their Japanese kabuki-inspired makeup, it wasn’t that far out…they came from New York where there was a glitter scene that had a lot of guys wearing make-up…kiss just took it to an extreme: The Demon, Star Child, Spaceman, and Catman… It worked--eventually…Kiss has sold 100 million albums…there was that period after 1983 when they wiped off the greasepaint and showed their faces to everyone, but that’s not what the fans wanted, and they eventually brought it all back… A more contemporary example is Slipknot…their masks have been an essential part of their identity since the band started up in 1995…it started with the clown wearing a clown mask for the band’s first gig shortly before Halloween that year…the rest of the guys thought it was dumb at first, but then they all joined in… Fans now keep close tabs on each member’s mask, parsing what each new iteration—and they can change or be updated almost yearly—might mean… There are other mask-wearing bands: the residents with their eyeball heads…any number of dark metal bands from Scandinavia like Ghost and Lordi…Pussy Riot (largely to keep their identity hidden from the authorities)…then there’s Gwar, who have taken it to a completely different level entirely with their alien costumes…and deadmaus has had his big mouse head for years…there are tons of others, but you get the idea… This brings me to Daft Punk…from 1993 until their breakup in February 2021, they acted like robots with elaborate helmets that completely obscured their identity…we knew they were French, and we knew their real names…but beyond that, they were a cool mystery that we played along with… Now that they’re done, though, it’s time to dig through their history…what the hell was Daft Punk all about?...and why did they matter so much? is their requiem… Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
May 19, 2021
The History of the Record Store
Before we begin, I am very aware that there are people listening to this program who have never, ever set foot in a record store…they came of age musical after the Internet changed everything about how we hear about, acquire, and consume music… But remember this: for over a hundred years, the only way you could hear music on-demand was to own it…you had to purchase a piece of plastic for x dollars and for that price, you could listen to that music an infinite number of times for no additional charge… You made not just an emotional investment in that music, but a financial one as well…and dammit, you were going to make sure you listened to that piece of plastic until you wrung out possible bit of enjoyment you could from it…otherwise, you’d have to come to terms with the fact that you wasted your money… There was another aspect to this emotional investment, too…in order to acquire this music, you had to leave your home, find your way to a record store, and search through all the shelves hoping the find something…if you were looking for something specific and it wasn’t in stock, you had to special-order it, which was a whole new level of emotional investment… And while you were at the record store, you interacted with records that you didn’t know about…just flipping through the racks looking at albums was an education in itself…maybe you’d go with a couple of friends, fan out across the store and then compare finds… Maybe you’d meet a stranger and strike up a conversation…and if you were a regular, it’s possible that the person behind the counter became a trusted source for recommendations…or maybe you’d go see an artist play live or for some kind of autograph session… Record stores are still with us, but there are fewer and fewer of them—certainly way less than the glory days of music shopping from the 60s through to the late 90s…and a lot of legendary stores and chains have disappeared forever… But while it lasted, it was pretty amazing…this is the story of the record store… Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
May 12, 2021
Hobbies of Musicians
What do you for fun?...hobbies, pastimes—things that you do just for you, away from your job and all your other responsibilities?... I’ve got my dogs…my wife and I like to travel…and I’ve always had this thing about the JFK assassination…I’ve read all the books, seen all the documentaries…I’ve even been to Dallas and the grassy knoll, and the book depository…I can’t explain it, but I just find it interesting… Maybe you’re into sports…collecting hockey cards or wine or rare scotches…video games, Japanese anime, beanie babies, souvenir spoons…no need to justify anything…it’s just something you enjoy doing…it fulfills you somehow… Now consider this….when we think of our favourite musicians, we probably imagine them being immersed in music all the time…I mean, 24 hours a day, seven days a week…all they do is think about music and make music… But the truth is, you can’t do that…no one can…everyone needs a break from whatever it is they do…you gotta rest the brain, recharge, and go on a search for new inspiration…put down the instruments and see what else is out there…become a more rounded person…that’s one aspect… Another is, “look…you’ve had some success in your career…you’ve made some money…enjoy it…indulge in those things that you’ve always dreamed of…you can’t take it with you, so spend some of that cash”… All right, so like what?...I think you may be surprised…let’s take a look at the hobbies and non-musical passions of some very famous musicians… Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
May 05, 2021
Big Bands from Small Towns
Let me say from the outset that I have nothing against small towns…I grew up in one myself…population: 2000…it was in the middle of the Canadian prairies…the nearest big city was Winnipeg…after that, you had to go at least 500 miles before you hit any major population centre… I also want to make sure to let you know that I think living in a small town is a not bad idea…it’s not…it can be a wonderful, low-stress, low-cost secure existence…a lot of the people I went to school with still live in my small town… But there are those who want out, people who want to experience more of the world…they find their lot dull, a dead-end, too far from where the action is…but how to escape?...that’s the problem… One way would be to just buy a bus ticket and hit the highway…you could join the armed forces…or maybe you could form a band, write song songs and become world famous…yeah, that’ll never happen…or could it?... There’s this old saying that all you need to change the world—your world—is three chords and an attitude…and it doesn’t matter where you’re from…you can be from the smallest town the map—even a town too small to be on a map—but if you get in with the right bunch of people and manage to pull together some good songs, who knows what might happen?... Here…let me give you some concrete examples…you don’t have to be from L.A. or London or some other big city…you can be from—wherever…these are some big, big bands who actually came from small, small towns… Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Apr 28, 2021
The Post-Punk Explosion Part 7: All the rest
The original punk rock explosion of the 1970s was two things…first, it was a major reset for rock’n’roll…think of it as a great musical decluttering… Punk of the 70s wasn’t revolutionary…it was reactionary…the music was stripped back, and everyone went back to the basics…very important… Second, there was an attitude shift…one of the central tenets of punk was that if you had the guts to say something, then do it…and if no one wanted to help you, well, then do it on your own… Taken together, these two principles resulted in what can be described as the big bang for what would later be called “alternative music”…punk set off chain reactions of new ideas, new sounds, new attitudes, new fashion, new belief systems, and generally new ways of doing things… The gloves were off, rules were broken, concepts were explored, and unintended consequences happened…we now look back on this as the great post-punk explosion of the late 70s and early 80s, an era that created so many of the basic foundations of the music we hear today… There was new wave, technopop and all its subsets…industrial music, goth, and a revival of ska…those are the major post-punk genres…but there was more…a lot more…   Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Apr 21, 2021
The Post-Punk Explosion Part 6: Ska
Every once in a while, music enters a state of flux where the direction of everything is, shall we say, undefined…we see and hear change but we’re not quite sure what it all means just yet…something is coming—but what?... All bets are off, the rulebook has been declared invalid, and everyone is off doing their own thing… I’ll give you an example…in mid-to-late 1950s Britain, popular music was evolving and mutating very quickly…in the midst of imported American rock’n’roll records, the skiffle craze, and various flavours of folk music, some young people rejected contemporary sounds in favour of something known as “trad jazz”… This was a revival of something close to Dixieland jazz from New Orleans, which emerged around the same time as world war 1…that meant music made with trumpets, the trombone, clarinet, the banjo, upright bass, and drums…the new acts mined the more pure, more authentic sounds of the past, hoping to be inspired again… And for a while, it worked…trad jazz was a thing until sometime in the 60s…everyone from pop songs to nursery rhymes were fair game for trad jazz arrangements… I’ll give you another example—and it’s tangentially related to British trad jazz…it also has its roots in Dixieland but took a detour through the Caribbean before appearing in central Britain at the end of the 1970s… That was also a time when the direction of music seemed undefined…on the bright side, it also meant that nothing was off-limits or out of bounds…it was the post-punk era…popular music had been shaken up by punk so much that people were more willing than ever to find new paths… This is part 6 of the post-punk explosion…it’s the time of Ska… Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Apr 14, 2021
The Post-Punk Explosion Part 5: Goth
On April 10, 1815, a volcano erupted in the central part of the Indonesian archipelago…Mount Tambora blew up, ejecting nearly 200 cubic kilometres of debris into the atmosphere…all that dust circled the earth, blocking out a significant amount of sunlight… That blockage was so severe that the average temperature dropped almost a full degree…the result was that 1816 has gone down in history as “the year without a summer”… There were food shortages and famines and outbreaks of disease…and not only was it cold, but huge storms battered much of Europe… That summer, four artsy types were holed up at mansion called Villa Diodati near Geneva, Switzerland…to entertain themselves on through these dark, cold, wet, rainy days, these people drank, had sex, and took opium…and they tried to outdo each other by coming up with the best horror story… One of them, John William polidori, came up with “The Vampyre” about undead bloodsuckers 80 years before Bram Stoker wrote “Dracula”…meanwhile, 22-year-old Mary Shelley, conjured up the idea of a mad scientist who created a new being by sewing together the parts of dead people…she called her story “Frankenstein”… These two stories—imagined during the year without a summer, caused by the biggest volcanic eruption in 1300 years—created the foundation of gothic fiction, a type of horror that endures today…novels, movies, comic books, fashion styles, and yes, music… In fact, the music part of this equation has blown up to the both where Goth music culture is one of the biggest musical subcultures the planet has ever seen…and that explosion happened in the wake of the original punk era of the 1970s… This is the post-punk explosion part 5: Goth… Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Apr 07, 2021
The Post-Punk Explosion Part 4: Alt-Dance
Dancing is as old as the human race…not long after we started walking on two legs, we found a groove and have been moving to the music ever since… Fast-forward several million years and we find that wherever there’s music, there’s dancing that goes along with it…okay, maybe they didn’t exactly bust a move to medieval hymns in the gothic cathedrals, but there had to be at least some swaying going on… We can’t help but move to the music….scientists have documented connections between the aural cortex and the movement centres of our brain…the millisecond we hear music, the motor cortex lights up, indicating a relationship between music, emotion, and the need to move in time with the music…in other words, we seem to be pre-wired to dance…not dancing (or at least moving to music) is unnatural… This caused some problems with some rock fans in the 1970s…dancing was seen as uncool, unless you were pogoing or slam-dancing to a punk band…and when disco came along—the most uncool music and scene of all—dancing was almost a crime…what were you, some disco weirdo?... Fortunately, that moratorium on dancing did not last long…the music and music fans needed to evolve to another level…and when that happened, dancing became not just okay but it was cool once again… This is a look at how that happened in the years immediately following the punk rock of the 1970s…it’s part four of the post-punk explosion—and it’s all about alt-dance… Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Mar 31, 2021
The Post-Punk Explosion Part 3: Industrial
By the time we got to the mid-70s, rock had organized itself so that were rules…you did things this way and not that way…then came punk… One of the great gifts of punk rock was a reminder that you didn’t always have to follow the rules…once this attitude took hold, things began to fragment, metamorphosize and mutate at an increasingly rapid rate… The stratification and segmenting was astonishing…once punk began to cool, the environment it created coalesced into what became known as new wave, an approach that redefined what rock could sound like… Then new wave itself began to fragment, thanks to technology…the new cheaper, portable, and more powerful synthesizer was a godsend…you really didn’t have to know much about music to operate one…you just fiddled around until you found some cool sounds and then organized those sounds into a song… Like the original punks, attitude and a willingness to put your music out there was more important than musical ability—except this time, you did it with this new technology…synths instead of guitars…this was the foundation of what came to be known as techno-pop, which blew up at the end of the 70s… And it didn’t take long for techno-pop to separate into different strands which appealed to different people…some burned out quickly…new variants emerged for a while and then disappeared…and then there were the mutations that turned into something robust and enduring to the point where they still exist today… This episode is about one such strand that survived the post-punk explosion of the late 70s and early 80s…we call it “industrial music”…and word of warning: this show is going to be very intense, very loud, and very heavy… Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Mar 24, 2021
The Post-Punk Explosion Part 2: Techno-Pop
For the longest time, the sounds of rock were made with voice, guitars, bass, drums, and keyboards like piano and organ…there were plenty of ways to manipulate the sounds of those instruments: effects pedals, studio tricks, happy accidents that happened when you least expected them… And for a couple of decades, this was plenty to work with…we discovered all sorts of techniques to create sounds that no one had ever heard before… But when engineers started messing with electricity in new ways, it became possible for musicians to create sounds that not only we’d never heard before but never imagined hearing…this resulted in an explosion of new, amazing music that was based mostly (if not entirely) on electronic sounds… Experimentation started in the 60s…these sounds worked their way into prog-rock in the 70s…and at the very end of that decade, the technology had become cheap enough for young musicians in the last months of the original punk rock scene to adopt these music-making machines as their own… I’m talking about synthesizers, of course…and as bands in sharp suits and skinny ties released spikey new wave pop songs, another group went all-in with synths…and in the post-punk era—which is to say the late 70s and early 80s—we had the era of era of techno-pop…here’s how that happened… Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Mar 17, 2021
The Post-Punk Explosion Part 1: New Wave
If you’ve been around enough, you may remember those special times when you know  that you’re in a middle of music history being made… You might be old enough to remember the early 90s…so much new and cool music—led by grunge but supported by all manner of alternative music—came out in ’91, ’92, ’93, ’94, and ’95 that you just knew you were in the midst of a very special time… It felt that not a day went by without there being a new song, a new artist, a new sound, and a new scene worth checking out…it was the alternative revolution—and it was awesome… and so much of it seemed directed at and just perfect just for you… But that was hardly the first time something like this happened…those who were teenagers in the middle 50s knew they were part of something special during the birth of rock’n’roll… The history of the 1960s was largely written in the music of that decade…starting with the Beatles in 1964, every day seemed to bring something new, exciting, and groundbreaking… If you were tied in with punk in the 70s, there was a sense among you and your friends that it was a really special time for music… But what i want to talk about is the era that came immediately after punk…punk changed the way people looked at music, breaking down artistic, social, and demographic barriers…basically, a new generation of musicians ripped it rock and started again…that’s punk in a nutshell… But that attitude didn’t end with the original punk rock explosion…instead, we saw an unstoppable chain reaction with resulted in sounds and styles and scenes that could not have been possible without punk… These sounds weren’t punk, but you could tell by listening that something like punk had to have happened for this music to exist… We now call this the post-punk era…and this period of time—roughly from 1978 through to the middle 80s—created the foundations for the alternative revolution in the 90s and beyond… This is the post-punk explosion part 1…and we begin with this thing called “new wave”… Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Mar 10, 2021
History of Nerd Rock
Nerd…noun…a foolish or contemptible person who lacks social skills or is boringly studious…definition 2: a single-minded expert in a particular technical field...example: a computer nerd… It’s an old word, too…the, er, nerds at google have a thing called “the ngram viewer” which scans the text of books going back to 1500…in other words, pretty much right back to the inventing of the printing press… According to these nerds, “nerd” (the word) shows up for the first time in an book called “a true discourse of the assault committed upon the most noble Prince, Prince William of Orange, County of Nassau, Marquesse De La Ver & C,” by John Jarequi Spaniarde: with the true copies of the writings, examinations, and letters for sundry offenders in that vile and diuelifh (i have no idea what that word is) attempt”… I can’t tell you what “nerd” referred to in that book because it’s written in old Spanish and i couldn’t be bothered to find a translation…I’d need a real etymological nerd for that… The word fell into disuse after about 1725 returning into the popular lexicon thanks to Dr. Suess in 1950…to him, a “nerd” was some kind of creature found in a zoo… But the following year, Newsweek magazine reported that “nerd” was being used in Detroit to describe an awkward sort of dude who wasn’t very cool…it kind of lingered in the slang world for the rest of the 50s and into the 60s before it really took off in 1974 with the TV series “Happy Days”…Fonzie was always calling Richie and Potsie “nerds” for being uncool dorks…so props to Henry Winkler… By the end of the 70s—and coinciding with the rise of the culture around the personal computer, consumer technology and “Star Wars” and other science fiction pursuits—the use of “nerd” became even more widespread…remember the “Revenge of the Nerds” movies in the 80s?... But now in our technological society, being called a nerd is a compliment…people aspire to be like Bill Gates and Elon Musk and Mark Zuckerberg…look at shows like “The Big Bang Theory” and “Silicon Valley”…we’re actually celebrating nerddom…people want to be nerds ‘cause—well, it’s kinda cool…the geeks have truly inherited the earth… This brings me to music…nerdishness is now so widespread that nerds even have their own genre of music…and as you might guess, it falls squarely in the world of alternative music… This, then, is a short history of what we unreservedly, unashamedly and unironically call “nerd rock”… Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Mar 03, 2021
50 Years of CanCon
Fifty years ago, there was no such thing as a Canadian music industry…well, at least not compared to the U.S. or the UK…we had bands that played gigs and recorded singles and albums…but there wasn’t much of an infrastructure to support a domestic scene… Too few recording studios…a lack of experienced promoters, managers, and producers…there was a tiny collection of domestic record labels…and there was a steady drain of talent to the united states…if you wanted to make it really big, you had to leave the country…that’s kind of discouraging, right? And Canadian radio stations weren’t helping…there was a perception that audiences did not want to hear much of this domestic music because, well, it wasn’t very good…it was inferior to all the music coming from America and England…this contributed to the overall opinion with the general public that Canadian music just wasn’t worth anyone’s time… At the same time, though, it didn’t seem right that our musical culture and our music scenes (such as they were) be overwhelmed by foreign powers…Canadian artists were getting smothered in the crib…something needed to be done…and five decades ago, something was done, beginning on January 18, 1971… It was difficult, expensive, and, in some quarters, wildly unpopular…but it turned Canada into a global musical powerhouse…this is fifty years of CanCon… Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Feb 24, 2021
The Diversity Show 2021
Here is a truth that some people find very uncomfortable: rock, alt-rock and indie rock are predominantly white…why is that?...the answers—and there is more than one—are complicated…there has actually been a quite a lot of study on this question… Perhaps it’s because non-white people don’t choose this music as part of the way they project their identity to the world…culturally, they just don’t identify with these forms of music, so they naturally gravitate somewhere else… Others ask how this is different from someone choosing the music of their culture and ethnicity over that of another?...if you’re Italian, for example, the chances are you will have a greater affinity to Italian music than you would, say, gamelan music of bali… Here’s another truth: any form of music tends to reflect the shared sentiments of a particular community…. compare indie attitudes with hip hop…an indie band wouldn’t think of singing about drinking Cristal in the back of a Maybach while discussing the size of the diamonds in their new grillz…. neither would a hip hop artist rhapsodically describe their new pickup...neither would a rock band, for that matter… Each form of music has its own aesthetics…if they don’t mean anything to you on a cultural or emotional or personal level, then you’re not going to be into that music… Others don’t buy into this, seeing the non-whiteness of rock as a status quo barrier to people of colour who would like to participate but feel excluded, an outsider, unwelcome…they also see countless microaggressions, covert expressions of racism and continued cultural appropriation… We’re not going to solve any of these issues on this program…but I would like to acknowledge the contribution people of colour have made to the evolution of alt-rock…alt-rock is pretty white, yes—but not always… Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Feb 17, 2021
Digital Debris Part 3: Liner Notes
When you listen to music through a streaming music service, how aware are you of what you’re listening to?...sure, you can look at the screen, but what does that tell you?...the name of the artist, the name of the song, maybe the name of the album…how much time has elapsed, how much is left in the song… But say you’re intrigued by what you’re hearing, and you want to know more…that means you’ve got to search the internet…Wikipedia is usually surprisingly accurate when it comes to learning more about a song or an album…who produced it, the engineer, the name of the studio, the supporting players, and so worth… I mean, it does the job, but it feels kinda lacking…a bit antiseptic… And then if you want lyrics, you have to search other sites…and again, these sites do a decent job, but…*sigh*… Okay, I’ll just say it…I miss liner notes…I miss being able to sort through all the printing in a cd booklet or on a vinyl record…there’s something mysteriously cool about learning something about the artist or the music by finding something buried in the liner notes… Writing and compiling this text used to be a big deal…people were paid good money and even won awards for writing liner notes…the industry has specialists for this sort of thing… But as we get deeper and deeper into the digital era, liner notes are disappearing along with the concept of B-sides and bonus tracks, and album artwork…it’s all part of the evolution of music culture… This is final part a series marking these changes…this is digital debris 3: liner notes Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Feb 10, 2021
Digital Debris Part 2: Album Artwork
A little while ago, I carved out some time to finally file some records and CD’s…I’d been procrastinating, but I finally summoned up the discipline to get it done…and honestly, it was a task that should have taken all of fifteen minutes… But it ended up taking longer than that because I kept stopping to examine the artwork and the liner notes of almost each and every compact disc and vinyl album… I’d forgotten how much I was into looking at my music collection…what was the artist trying to get across with the artwork on the front?...on the back?...on the inside?... Unless you’re still buying physical product, this is an experience that has been largely expunged from music culture…yes, there are digital liner notes and digital artwork and maybe you’re curious enough to check out the fields in the metadata after a right click on the file…but it’s just not the same… If you’re of a more recent generation, there’s a chance that you’ve never bothered with artwork and liner notes because you’ve always lived a digital life—and you have no idea what I’m going on about…but if you’re into vinyl and CD’s, you’ll understand how much things have changed… Yes, we must roll with the times, but the disappearance of old-school album artwork and liner notes has somehow diminished the music experience, just like how we’ve moved away from things like actual B-sides and bonus tracks…let me show you what I mean…this is digital debris part 2… Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Feb 03, 2021
Digital Debris Part 1: B-Sides and Bonus Tracks
We are very, very deep into the digital world when it comes to music…virtually every song we could ever want is available to us instantly no matter where we are…all we need is an internet connection and we’re good to go… The music industry loves this…in the old days, they had no choice but to manufacture, warehouse, transport, and distribute physical product by the ton, sometimes across vast distances…once these CD’s and records and tapes made it into the stores, then the labels had to collect the money from the stores plus deal with the return of unsold product…it was all very complicated and expensive… Now with streaming, there’s no physical product…all the expensive overhead and those big fixed costs are gone…digital distribution is so much more efficient and profitable on every single level… And for music fans, this way of obtaining and consuming music is not just convenient, but intoxicating… Spotify, Apple Music, YouTube, Soundcloud, Bandcamp…tens and tens of millions of songs… for older people, this still feels like science fiction… And there are also generations who have never, ever set foot inside a record store…they’ve never, ever handled something like a record or a cd or a cassette…for them, music has always delivered without any kinds of container…it’s completely ephemeral, unseen zeroes and ones that beam from somewhere… While there will always probably be a market for music on physical formats, it’s going to shrink and shrink until it’s just a very niche-y thing…so be it…there’s no stopping progress… But we are losing something…there are certainly pleasures and advantages to CD’s and vinyl…it appears, though, that many of these pleasures and advantages are also heading towards near-extinction… I call this “Digital Debris”…here…let me show you what I mean… Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Jan 27, 2021
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… Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Jan 20, 2021
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”… Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Jan 13, 2021
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.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Jan 06, 2021
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… Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Dec 30, 2020
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. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Dec 23, 2020
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… Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Dec 16, 2020
The Story of Stereo: Part 2
We are always pouring sound into our heads, whether we’re using some kinds of speakers or wearing headphones… I’m going to make a guess here, but I’m going to assume that most people demand a certain level of audio quality to what they’re listening to…you don’t want distortion and you’re hoping for a certain level of sonic realism… You want to be able to close your eyes and feel the music around you…you want to be immersed in it…these sensations, as important as they are to our enjoyment of music, are now taken for granted… But the technological journey to that led to us enjoying music this way took decades…and along the way, there were many twists and turns, false starts and dead ends, promising leads and utter failures… This is the story of stereo, part 2 Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Dec 09, 2020
Introducing: Whatever Happened To...?
You’ve heard the stories. You’ve felt for the people involved. But what happens after the cameras shut off and the reporters walk away? Just because a story disappears from the news doesn’t mean it’s gone. So whatever happened to the nuclear disaster at Fukushima? or the trapped Chilean Miners? And did anything actually come out of the Ice Bucket Challenge? Join Global News reporter, Erica Vella on this unique history podcast as she takes you inside these stories and talks to the people at the heart of each one to find out exactly what’s happened since. Listen now at Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Dec 04, 2020
The Story of Stereo: Part 1
 Our ears are amazing things…evolution has created an ability that allows us to tell the direction of a sound…left and right, up and down, front and back…we can tell how close something might be, whether it’s stationary or moving, and if it’s coming towards us or going away…in other words, we hear sound in 3-d…very helpful for humans on the plains of Africa who had to be worried about being eaten by a lion… This directionality also makes listen to music so enjoyable…the very same things that prevented us from being eaten allow us to appreciate music, whether it be live or recorded… With a live performance, we’re in the same space as the musicians, so our ears and eyes work together when it comes to how we interpret what’s going on in front of us…we’re able to pick out all kinds of individual details…that includes the bad stuff like unwanted echo and reverb…and we’re always at the mercy of whoever is controlling and the mixing the audio for a gig… But let’s focus recorded music…how do you create that illusion of sitting in front of a performer?...and I’m talking about the ability to close your eyes and visualize where everyone is onstage?...the singer out front…the guitarist slightly to your right…the keyboardist is slightly to your left…you can tell that the drummer is further back than everyone else, but parts of the kit are slightly spread out…and the bass player is in there somewhere, but doesn’t overwhelm the rest of the instruments… For the last 60-plus years, technology has relied on a set of principles and techniques that allow recorded music to sound exponentially better that 99% of live performances—at least in terms of audio quality…listening to music this way is a totally immersive experience… We call it “stereo”…and this is how this part of our musical lives came to be…it’s The Story of Stereo, Part 1 Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Dec 02, 2020
Even More Rock Conspiracies
The universe is a weird, random place that has little regard for what us puny humans think…this is something we find very, very hard to accept…we’re always looking for explanations for the weird, random, and sometimes evil things that befall us… Occam’s razor—the idea that the simplest explanation is usually the correct one—doesn’t cut it for some people…they believe that there are nefarious things afoot… For example, I know someone who is all-in when it comes to this QAnon rubbish…quick explanation: a government insider believes that Donald Trump is leading a secret global fight against a cabal of Satan-worshipping politicians and celebrities and journalists who are engaged in everything from child sex trafficking to cannibalism… Everything about qanon is bat-guano crazy and nothing to do with reality…yet there are people who believe that people Barack Obama, George Soros, and Tom Hanks will soon be arrested and jailed for their hideous crimes… This is more nutty than even the most out-there “JFK-was-assassinated” or “9/11 was an inside government job” theories…or the idea that the moon landing was faked…or that Sandy Hook was a false flag event…or that Bill Gates is big on vaccinations because he wants to inject miniature tracking chips into all of us… What else is out there?...chemtrails…the truth about the Denver airport…the UFO cover-up…the evils of fluoridation…flat-earthers, weather control machines, the illuminati, freemasonry… Okay, what about music?...are there any conspiracies that have taken root?...the answer is “yes…plenty”…and here’s another look down that rat hole of insanity… Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Nov 25, 2020
Hidden Figures
I’ve always been something of a nut when it comes to the space program…but even though I’ve read all the books, seen all the documentaries, and watched all the movies, I was still surprised to learn something new with the movie “Hidden Figures”… This was a 2016 film based on a book of the same name…it told the true story about black female mathematicians who worked at nasa during the hottest period of the space race… They were “computers” in the original sense of the word: people who computer things complex things like flight trajectories, re-entry methods, and landing coordinates…they were even assigned to check and correct the calculations spit out by NASA’s big ibm mainframes…their work was essential to the American space effort… But this being the 60s, these women were segregated away from the other scientists, meaning that their work was largely forgotten until the movie and book came out… This got me thinking…are there any forgotten figures in music?...I’m talking about women who did awesome and important things but have largely been ignored by the traditional history of rock?...I’m talking about people beyond Deborah Harry, Janis Joplin, Stevie Nicks, Chrissie Hynde, and Courtney Love… Well, yes…yes, there was…and we need to know about them…let’s do that now… Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Nov 18, 2020
The Return of ACDC - Power Up Premiere
2020 has been a miserable year…the pandemic…economic ruin…the crazy U.S. election, which featured an impeached President…Kobe Bryant’s helicopter crash…the death of George Floyd…murder hornets arrived in North America…swarms of locusts descended on Africa… There were so many hurricanes that they ran out of names…the Olympics were postponed...out-of-control wildfires in both North America and Australia… And we lost more musicians…Neil Peart…Eddie Van Halen…Spencer Davis and dozens of others… Yeah, it’s been rough…what we need is something to remind us of the before times, the better times, the times when we could count on certain things always being there… A time when we could just turn it up, rock out and forget all the bad stuff… That something has arrived…an event that shows us that things can turn around; even when it looked hopeless…it’s the return of AC/DC Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Nov 16, 2020
Great Alt-Rock One-Hit Wonders of the 90s: Part 2
Creating art is hard…if it wasn’t, everyone would do it—and everyone would be successful at doing it…even those who can create art—the people with the right stuff—have a finite supply of good stuff within them… Take Margaret Mitchell, for example…she wrote exactly one novel…but that novel was “Gone With The Wind”…Pulitzer Prize, a classic movie with multiple Academy Awards, 30 million copies sold, endless adaptations…it even got her face on a stamp…in short, “Gone With The Wind,” first published in 1937, was and still is, a cultural phenomenon… But that’s all she ever did…ol’ marge hit it out of the park on the first pitch and that was it…one novel…she is perhaps the greatest literary one-hit-wonder of all time… Maybe that’s all she had in the tank…or maybe she looked at all the success she got from just that one novel and said “right…my work is done her…anything else I do will just be a letdown…I’m stopping while I’m way ahead”…totally understand that… Other artists, though, keep trying after that one hit…but for whatever reason, the magical pixie dust that they managed to harness that one time disappears forever… Man, to get a taste of standing on the mountaintop only to be denied it ever again…but—and let’s be clear about this—at least they made it to the top of that mountain, even if it was just once…and if they’re lucky, that one trip can sustain them for the rest of their careers—the rest of their lives… This is another program featuring those who got to the top just one…its great alt-rock one-hit wonders of the 90s, part 2…. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Nov 11, 2020
Introducing... 13 Hours: Inside the Nova Scotia Massacre
The deadliest shooting spree in Canada’s modern history left us with far more questions than answers. Join Sarah Ritchie, a reporter for Global News in Halifax, as she tries to unravel how something like this could happen there. Sarah will take you through every hour, as it unfolded and together you’ll try and piece together what happened, what could or should’ve been done to prevent it and what we can learn to make sure a tragedy of this magnitude never happens again.  13 Hours: Inside the Nova Scotia Massacre: Listen NOW! Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Nov 09, 2020
Great Alt-Rock One-Hit Wonders of the 90s: Part 1
 Artists who manage to have only one hit are often the butt of jokes…getting tagged as a one-hit-wonder can kill your career…but let’s turn this around: how many hits do you have?... There is so much music out there, so much competition for our attention, that if you managed to break through all the noise just once, that should be considered a giant victory… And remember, too, that thanks to streaming and the tens and tens of millions of songs available at our fingertips through our smartphones, that today’s artists are not only competing with their contemporaries but with essentially humankind’s entire recorded musical history… So, yeah…being a one-hit-wonder is a genuine accomplishment…and while you may burn brightly and then quickly fade, it is possible that one song is all you need to set you up with some royalty cheques for the rest of your life…at the very least, you’ll end up as a trivia question… Some of these acts are gone forever…others have moved on to other things…and others still just keep plugging away, hoping that lightning strikes twist… Here are the stories of some alt-rock artists who hit it big exactly once… Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Nov 04, 2020
The History of Moshing
I do not dance…I’m too awkward and too self-aware of my awkwardness…I know we’re all supposed to dance like no one is looking, but when it comes to me, people will look, point, and judge… My wife realizes this…since we were married decades okay, she’s had to be content with the fact that she got that dance at the wedding and that’s pretty much it…and that’s because she’s not into dancing, either… I can feel the judgment.... stop it! This doesn’t mean that music doesn’t move me…I’ve got that involuntary need to move when the music is great…and I don’t mean tapping a toe or nodding my head, although that’s where it starts… Put it this way: I’ve done my time in the pit…I’ve been elbowed, kneed, kicked, head-butted, burn with cigarettes and joints, and doused with water (at least I hope it was water)…no problem because that’s all part of the pit experience…the only thing I haven’t done is stage dove or crowd-surfed…I’m not sure why… But here’s a question: why is there a pit in the first place?...who came up with this idea? did it spread?...and is it the same everywhere?... These are important anthropological questions…we’re deal with a type of human behavior that’s seen all over the world…I think we need to study this…here a whole hour on the history of moshing… Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Oct 28, 2020
The Great KGB Punk Conspiracy
You may be aware of a podcast that came out in the spring of 2020 that sought to get to the bottom of a certain musical mystery…it’s called “wind of change” and it explores the possibility that a metal power ballad was a contributing factor to the fall of the soviet union in the very early 90s… Stay with me… “Wind of Change” was a global hit for The Scorpions; a metal band out of Hanover in what was then WestGermany… The Scorpions sing in English…but they also recorded a Russian version under the name “Veter Peremen”…and when the song was released on January 20, 1991, it became a worldwide hit… Estimates are that it sold 14 million copies…it’s the best-selling single by any German artist…and because it was such a big hit in the USSR, the band presented Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev a gold record…even today, the song is a massive, massive hit among several generations of fans in Eastern Europe… For years, rumours have swirled about this song…it is said that it was the product of a CIA operation design to destabilize Soviet society with its message of change and revolution…it worked so well that by the end of 1991, the Soviet Union had crumbled… Did the CIA commission someone to write “Wind of Change,” get The Scorpions to record it, which somehow helped bring about the end of the USSR from within?...I’m not going to cover that here, so you’ll have to listen to the podcast… But I can tell you that this might not have been the first time rock music was used by a foreign intelligence operation to drive a wedge into a specific society…the popular music of the west—especially the music produced by the USA—was feared by Soviet bloc authorities…but the Soviets also knew that music could also be a weapon against the west… Here’s another theory…could it be that punk rock was actually KGB plot against the west?...did things also operate in the opposite direction…here’s what we know—or at least think we know… Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Oct 21, 2020
Introducing... Crime Beat - Season 3
Ride along with 25 year veteran Crime Reporter Nancy Hixt, from Global News, on her award winning podcast Crime Beat as she takes you through some of Canada’s most high-profile criminal cases. Real People, Real Crimes, Real Journalism. Each episode takes you deep inside cases she has worked to give you detail you didn't hear on the news. Season 3 is available NOW - LISTEN​ Crime Beat is the 2020 winner of the Edward R. Murrow Podcast Award (RTDNA). Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Oct 20, 2020
History of Pop Punk: Part 2
Here’s a list of words that shouldn’t go together but do…alone together…how many times did you uses that during the coronavirus pandemic?...deafening silence…I know what that means, but when you think about it, the juxtaposition is strange… Definitely maybe…good name for a Britpop album, but an odd combination of words…random order…walking dead…original copy… Here’s another one: pop-punk…you know what I mean by that…but those words should not go together…punk was originally created as an attack pop… Over the decades, pop and punk merged to create a hybrid that’s responsible for selling hundreds of millions of records and concert tickets… How did this happen?...that’s what we’re looking at…this is part two of a history of pop-punk… Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Oct 14, 2020
History of Pop Punk: Part 1
Before we get to the topic at hand, I’d like to revisit the movie “Forrest Gump,” specifically Forrest’s shrimp boat buddy, Benjamin Buford Blue—but you can just call him Bubba…he knew all the ways one could serve up shrimp… What Bubba could do for shrimp, other people can do for punk…punk rock comes in as many different varieties of shrimp…there’s hardcore punk, ska-punk, cyberpunk, synthpunk, anarcho-punk, cowpunk, gypsy punk, Christian punk, Celtic punk, art punk, garage punk, glam punk, crust punk, horror punk, street punk, melodic punk, afro-punk, skate punk, Chicano punk, folk funk, trall punk… There’s punk blues, punk pathetique, punk metal, riot grrrl, queercore, rapcore, straight edge, emo, and oi… And then we can get into all sorts of subgenres…hardcore punk includes bent edge, deathcore, pornogrind, screamo, powerviolence, positive hardcore, nard core, nintendocore…and that’s about all I know about that… Most of these punk derivatives are pretty niche and none of them have a hope in hell of growing beyond a cult following…but a few have blown up into worldwide phenomenon’s—including a version that I haven’t mentioned, which remains one of the most popular forms of punk rock of all time… This is the history of pop-punk, part 1… Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Oct 07, 2020
Where Are They Now? Part 4
At some point, you may end up being invited to your high school reunion—and you’re probably going to go because you wanna see what happened to all those people… Where’s the jock that made your life miserable?...the girl or the guy who snubbed you for that date and broke your heart…the shy, nerdy guy who was really smart…who did well?...who got what was coming to them… But—oh, wait: people at the reunion are going to be thinking the same about you…how’s your hair and your waistline and your complexion?...dammit!...what am I gonna wear?...what am I gonna say to these people?...and so the anxiety sets in… But you’ll still end up going…why?...because we’ve all got the “where-are-they-now” gene…it’s only natural to be curious about the whereabouts of people we were close to (or at least in close proximity to) during an important time in our lives… Connecting people this way was one of the first projects for the internet… went online way back in 1995…its sole purpose was the find anyone you might have gone to school with from kindergarten to university… This was also the purpose of a site called “Friendster” back in 2002…then came MySpace in 2003…anyone remember “hi 5?” showed up in 2004…then finally, Facebook in 2005… You know what we need?...a site that links together all the artists and musicians we once knew—a proper one-stop-shop where-are-they-now resource for music… As far as I can tell, such a site doesn’t exist so we have to piece together things ourselves….so let’s try to do that again…this is another look at lost Canadian alt-rock bands of the 90s and beyond… Damn…would someone get on that idea? would make doing a show like this a lot easier… Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Sep 30, 2020
Musicians Who Lost It: Part 2
Sometimes, life becomes too much…things get too weird, there’s too much pressure, too many decisions, too many wrong choices….the uncertainty builds—and then you just kinda lose it… We lose the plot, go off the rails, hit the ditch, blow a gasket, and generally freak out…sometimes, these incidents are fueled by drugs, alcohol and mental illness…other times, it’s the body and brain’s way of saying “thanks, but I’ve had enough for now…I’m going to go over here and have me a little breakdown right now”… Creative types can be especially vulnerable to these problems…maybe because they’re wired differently…or they’ve developed some bad, self-destructive habits tolerated or even encouraged by those around them…or because they can live in a bubble, they don’t exactly know “normal” is to the average person… The results can be scary…and if we don’t know the backstory to these breakdowns and freak-outs, it’s very hard to help these people in their time of need…but the more we understand how and why people find themselves in these situations, the more we can help…and maybe, the more we can learn to cope with life ourselves… This is musicians who lost it, part 2… Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Sep 23, 2020
Musicians Who Lost It: Part 1
There’s something about creative types that make them different than the rest of us…if you’ve ever spent any kind of time with any kind of artist, you’ll what I mean…they’re just different, you know?... That’s not any kind of judgment…it’s just an honest observation…they look at the universe differently, feel things in ways we don’t, and interpret life in interesting ways…that’s what makes them artists—and it’s why they’re so important to the rest of us… Sometimes, though, some of them will lose the plot…they’re so wrapped up in their bubbles that they start behaving…weird—even for them… Maybe it’s a mental health issue…maybe it has to do with drugs or alcohol…maybe they’ve just fallen in with a bad crowd, the kind that encourages bad, self-destructive behaviour… Some are able to rebound, straighten out and otherwise save themselves and those around them from any further grief…other times, well…. These are stories of musicians who lost it… Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Sep 16, 2020
New Rock Secrets
This show is going to blow the lid off some secrets and mysteries in new rock. Admittedly some you may have already have heard rumours about,  but others....well this may be the first time you are ever hearing about them.      Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Sep 09, 2020
Ongoing History Introduces you to: "History of the 90's"
In the 1990s there was a massive flood of stand-up comedians making the leap to television to star in their own stand-up sitcoms thanks in part to the success of the Cosby Show and Roseanne. Those shows were followed by other massive hits like Seinfeld, Home Improvement, Martin, Ellen and The Drew Carey Show.   All of them featured a previously established stand-up comic who had been scouted from the comedy club circuit.  But there were lots of other shows starring comics that had high expectations but went down in flames like Grace Under Fire starring Bret Butler, All American Girl starring Margaret Cho and anything featuring Andrew Dice Clay. On the next two episodes we are going to take a look back at some of the hits as well as some the failures from that decade.  On part one, we look back at the stories behind Roseanne, Seinfeld, Home Improvement, Martin and Ellen.  Contact:  Twitter: @1990shistory Facebook: @1990shistory Instagram: @that90spodcast Email: Guests: Paul Brownfield, magazine writer, former TV critic at LA Times Twitter:  @paulbrownfield Greg David, TV critic and partner at Twitter:  @greg_david Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Sep 04, 2020
The Ongoing History Book of Lasts
Everyone talks about being first at something because it’s cool to be the first to do something…but what about being last?... There’s something called “Telesphobia,” which is the fear of being last at something…but sometimes, you just don’t have a choice… The last person killed in World War 1 was George Edwin Ellison, who was shot by a sniper 90 minutes before the Armistice went into effect at 11 am on November 11, 1918… The last time a TV commercial for cigarettes ran on American TV was on December 31, 1970…it was for Virginia Slims, by the way… And the last man on the moon was Eugene Cernan…Apollo 17, December 1972… After reading through all sorts of famous “lasts,” I got to thinking:  what are some famous music lasts?’s what i managed to find out… Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Sep 02, 2020
If That Is Your REAL Name
This is a show all about fake names…sure we could spend an hour talking about how people like Courtney Love and Elton John and Madonna use fake names on hotel registers…or we could go into how Bono’s real name is “Paul Hewson” and Deadmau5 has “Joel Zimmerman” on his driver’s license and that lorde is really Ella Yelich O’Connor… We could talk about how singers and bands sometimes perform gigs under fake names to throw off the press…the Foo Fighters, The Arcade Fire, Metallica, The Arctic Monkeys, Radiohead, Franz Ferdinand, REM, Kaiser Chiefs, Led Zeppelin, The Clash and hundreds of others have done that… But no, we’re going to kick it up a big notch…we’re only interested in real bands—big bands—who have released albums under fake identities…or, at the very least, have tried to obscure their identities for whatever reason…they’re side projects, yes, but very special ones… Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Aug 26, 2020
Your questions answered
Here at the Ongoing History of New Music, we get questions....a LOT of questions. So many that it's often difficult to answer all of them. But we do.  And what we've gathered in this edition of the Podcast are some of the most asked ones we get. So if you've often had these particular questions, here are the answers! But if you still have a question, please send it along and we will get the answer. We Promise.  Send them to     Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Aug 19, 2020
Get in the Van
If you've ever wanted to be a musician, chances are you dreamed of going on tour. The romance of the road and everything that comes along with it.  But it's not as easy as you think. Not everyone is U2 and charters their own plane to get from gig to gig. Chances are you're going to be using a tour bus....or more a van. It is such a grind that kills many a band. There are the hassles, the expense, the accidents, the weirdos, the arguing, the screw ups,  and more. Murphy's law is in full effect: whatever can go wrong...will go wrong. Get in the van. Let's hit the road. You'll see what I mean. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Aug 12, 2020
The History of Power Pop
In the beginning—and I’m talking about, say, 1955—it was easy to categorize popular music…there was rock, pop, country and r&b…it was nice and simple…pretty much all mainstream music you heard could be dumped into one of these four buckets… But even back then you could get more granular…you could slice certain genres into thinner slices to include big band, Dixieland, Ska and hillbilly…and jazz…and gospel…and Broadway show music…and I guess we can’t leave out classical, can we?... And as rock’n’roll grew, it fragmented and separated and stratified with each passing year…before long, it wasn’t enough to say that you were in a “rock band”…you had to specify what kind of rock band you were… In 2014, a guy named Glenn McDonald created a project called “every noise at once”…he was able to identify 1,264 micro-genres of popular music…and new micro-genres are being invented every day…every hear of blackgaze or deep filthstep or skweee?...they exist…trust me… Some of these genres rise and fall pretty quickly…they’re “of the moment” and soon sound completely outdates…others, though, have staying power…they can be with us for decades…why?...because they just work, that’s all… And one genre that’s been working very well for over half a century is called “power pop”…this is its story… Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Aug 06, 2020
Trying to be a Superstar in the 21st Century
You may have noticed that the most of the biggest rock acts in the world aren’t that young…Green Day?...middle 40s… Dave Grohl?...creeping up on the half-century mark… Trent Reznor? we sit here right now, he’s 52…Pearl Jam: early-to-mid 50s… Average age of U2?...upper 50s…Springsteen?...68…Paul McCartney?...75…and The Rolling Stones?…do you have to ask?... I am not ragging on old rockers…this is not about ageism…i just can’t subscribe to that whole “rock is for the young” B.S.…if these acts can continue to do what they do well into their pension years, all the power to them… Part of the reason so many people are still into these groups is because their bodies of work are incredibly strong and still sound great….most of The Beatles music is still brilliant even though much of it is more 50 years ago… The other reason these acts still attract attention is because there hasn’t been much of anyone to replace them…where are all the superstar rock acts of the 21st century?... This isn’t to say that they don’t exist because they do—but the stars seem to have gotten, well, smaller—not to mention fewer and further between… Wait…perhaps i should clarify what I mean by “superstar”…I’m talking about an act that sells music by the millions and millions of units…I’m talking about concerts by acts for which tens of thousands of people will crawl over broken glass to get tickets… I’m talking about acts who manage to great a deep catalogue of hits released over a period of years…and I’m talking about acts where there’s consensus by millions of people that they are great and worthy of everyone’s love and devotion… But thanks to changes within the music industry—and because we music fans are now consuming music differently—everything has been turned upside down…we need to look at things this way: why is so much harder to be a superstar rock act in the 21st century… Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Jul 29, 2020
The Original Ramones
Friday, August 16, 1974, was a hot summer day in New York City…it was 31 degrees, but the humidity made it feel a lot hotter…and if you were down in the Bowery amidst all the concrete, it was hotter still...and it smelled… This part of the city was, to be honest, rather uncivilized…it was a slum…lots of garbage, broken windows, abandoned buildings, drug addicts and homeless people…but there were also businesses and places to hang out—like a dive bar at 315 Bowery at Bleeker called CBGB… Even though it was a Friday night, there was almost no one in the bar…there was the owner, the owner’s dog, two people from a transvestite band from San Francisco called The Cockettes, the manager of another band called television and an artist from the neighhourhood who had moved up from Chihuahua, Mexico, and a scenester named Leggs McNeil …that’s it… And sometime around 9:00, four guys in leather jackets, t-shirts, torn jeans and converse high-tops got up on the tiny stage… “They counted off this song,” he remembers, “and it was just this wall of noise…they looked so striking…these guys were not hippies…this was something completely new”… Fifteen minutes after their set started, it was over…they had blown through all their songs—and had also found time to fight about which song was next and to struggle with broken guitar strings…it scared the crap out of the owner’s dog… When it was over, the owner said to the band “nobody’s gonna like you, but I’ll have you back”… And he did...the band came back the following night…and again…and again….and again…by the end of 1974, the group had played cbgb a total of 74 times… But back to August 16th…that was the night music began to change forever…you’d never have guessed it, but when the bass player counted in that first song, it was the equivalent of “let there be light”… Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Jul 24, 2020
The Second Voice
when you’re the lead singer in a band, you’re pretty much guaranteed to get all the attention…after all, you are the visual and audio focal point for pretty much everything… Yeah, there might be a hot guitarist or someone else flashy in the group, but for the 99% of the time, the spotlight is on you…which is fine if you’re the lead singer… But if you’re not?...what if you’re the schlep on bass or drums?...what if you’re the newest member of the band and you haven’t earned the right to claim any of the glare…maybe you have something to say…or maybe you have something to sing… Chances are you’ll get shouted down, ignored or buried…but not always…i’ve found some very, very good songs where the second voice in the band—or the third or the even the fourth has stepped-up big-time to grab centre stage, even for just one single song…and here’s the thing: you might not even know it… This is a look at some times when the lead singer took a step back and handed the mic to a second voice Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Jul 22, 2020
Good Goth: Part 2
This is the second part of out examination of the Alt-Rock scene and this time we go from mid 80's right up to today. Goth has always had a bad rap so we're going to try to clear everything up with our deep dive.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Jul 15, 2020
Good Goth: Part 1
Goth has always had a bad rap and that's not fair to the music, the fans and the fashion so we're going to try to clear everything up with our deep dive. Don't one's going to get hurt. We examine the Alt-Rock scene from the early 70's and take it right up to today. This is "Good Goth" Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Jul 08, 2020
Today we go back into the Ongoing History archives to talk about Fashion. This is a request for Amy in Cambridge who asked "have you ever done a show that talks about how fashion was influenced by and through Alt Rock?"Why yes we have and here it is! From Mods, to Grunge, Goth, Punk and a whole lot more. Enjoy and thanks for listening! Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Jul 03, 2020
10 Things About Muse
There are some bands that you can take at face value, what you see is what you get. Then there are others which have backstories that go on for ever and ever. Pearl Jam is one U2 Green Day. Nirvana and also Muse. Muse is an interesting case because we here in North America, we're a little slow to catch on to what they were doing. They'd already been massive stars in the U.K., Europe and Japan before they hit North America. This sort of thing doesn't happen very often. It's like we suddenly and collectively discovered a band that was already in full flight, a deep library filled with road tested and chart tested songs. A solid live show and some very impressive musicianship. It was like we walk into a party that was already in Top Gear. North America has now embraced music every album and tours a big event. But then there's still that back story. We're still sorting through it, even though you may be a fan. How much about Muse? Do you really know? Let's find out. I call this show 10 Things about Muse.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Jun 26, 2020
Canadian Producers
We all know that Canada has created some of the biggest selling musicians in the world. I mean think about it... Celine, Alanis, Shania, Nickelback, Drake, Bieber, The get the idea. I mean by capita...does any other country really come close? But what about those behind the scenes like record producers? Canadian's shaped some of the most important and influential bands and artists in new rock history. We have a long history of production talent and we look at the legends and the new breed.  This show is from mid 2003 so since then, there are a lot more Canadians to add to the list! Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Jun 24, 2020
What's The Big Deal About Bauhaus?
They only exhisted for barely 4 years and released just 4 albums but without them would there be a Smashing Pumpkins? Nine Inch Nails? Marilyn Manson? White Zombie? This is a program in the "what's the big deal series?". An occasional look at why todays music sounds like it does and this time it's one of the most influcential bands of the 80's We ask: "What's The Big Deal About Bauhaus?!?" Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Jun 17, 2020
The Oral history of "Madchester": Part 2
This is part 2 of our Oral History of Madchester as told by someone who was there to see it and make it happen. Gaz Whelan of the Happy Monday's!   Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Jun 12, 2020
The Oral history of "Madchester": Part 1
This week it's the Oral History of Madchester as told by someone who was there to see it and make it happen. Gaz Whelan of the Happy Monday's! This really is something else... Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
May 28, 2020
Ian Thornley - In His Own Words: Part 2
The problem with so many interviews is that they can come across as interrogations…” I have a list of questions I must get through in the allotted time so let’s begin”… Depending on the circumstances, that’s sometimes the route you have to take…but there’s nothing more human than sitting down for a simple chat…if you can get some people in a room and just get them talking, then everyone forgets they’re being interviewed for something… They get into a groove and start remembering things and telling stories that aren’t included in any official bios or Wikipedia entries…this is the whole purpose of these occasional episodes I call “in their own words”… Not only do we learn about the artist, but we get to see them as proper human beings…we get to really know them in ways we otherwise might not…and that’s fantastic… I had a chance to chat with Ian Thornley…he’s one of Canada’s great guitar players, session guys, and performers…let’s hear more of what he had to say…this is Ian Thornley, in his own words, part two…   Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
May 20, 2020
Ian Thornley - In His Own Words: Part 1
Recently, I had a chance to sit down with Ian Thornley to talk about his career in our ongoing series of “in their own words” shows And this time we cover everything…and I mean everything…. This is Ian Thornley, in his own words, part 1… Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
May 13, 2020
100 Years of Radio: Part 2
One of the most robust creatures on the planet is the cockroach…gross things, but you have to admire ability to survive…I mean, they’ve been around for 280 million years… Not only can a cockroach hold its breath for 40 minutes, live for a month without food and run up to three miles per hour, but one can live for up to a week without its head…I repeat: without its head! Impressive, but there’s a tiny creature known as a tartigrade that’s even toucher…one of these things are about half millimeter long, but they’re almost impossible to kill… They can survive temperatures of -273.15 Celsius, which is absolute zero…you physically can’t get colder than this…that means a tartidgrade can survive in the vacuum of space and will get back to business if you warm them up… At the under end of the spectrum, a tardigrade can handle pressures six times greater than what you find at the bottom of the ocean…that’s about 30,000 time more than the atmosphere around us… You can even boil one of these little buggers in alcohol and it’ll be fine…and if things dry up, a tardigrade will shrivel into a little ball and can stay that way without water for years… This is the only creature to survive all five of earth’s great extinctions… So why am I going on about tardigrades and cockroaches?...because we’re about to get into more of the history of the longest-living electronic media we’ve ever known…many attempts have been made it kill it, but yet it’s still here…this is 100 years of radio, part two… Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
May 06, 2020
100 Years of Radio: Part 1
This episode begins shortly after 9 am on the Saturday I turned 6…for reasons that will forever remain mysterious, the present from my grandmother was a Lloyds portable transistor radio…model tr-62…made in Taiwan…built with 6 transistors… This thing revealed a wider world to me…I grew up in a small town with three tv stations (one of which was in French) and the only radio I heard was what mom and dad listened in the kitchen or in the car… But now that I had my own radio, I discovered that there were many, many, many other stations out there…and in the wintertime, when the atmosphere turned into a giant reflector for distant am signals, I started to listen to stations from Minneapolis, Denver, Chicago, Louisville, and many others… At some point, I decided that I wanted to be part of this world of news and information and entertainment and music…and to make a long story short, here I am…. ‘course, you may be listening to this as an internet stream or a podcast…but the original construction of the program was for traditional, terrestrial over-the-air FM radio… Radio is everywhere:  the clock radio, the kitchen, the stereo in the living room, the car, the office, the gym, the store…in fact, there are so many radios that they outnumber people in North America…there are thousands of FM stations and thousands of am stations…. But because radio is so ubiquitous, most people don’t give it much thought…it’s always been there, and it’s always been free and it’s so easy to use…radio has become so tightly integrated in our lives that we don’t notice it perhaps as much as we should… And then there are those who maintain that radio is dead and that no one listens anymore…that’s rubbish, of course…I could cite you all kinds of all kinds of statistics to prove that radio is still very popular, powerful, and profitable—like almost 90% of the population listens to radio over the course of a week—but just take my word for it… But radio is in a period of transition as new technologies come into play…however, the radio industry is very aware of what’s going on… These are all reasons why I want to talk about radio….plus this will give me an excuse to play some great songs about the medium… Oh—did I mention that radio has now officially been around for 100 years?....yes…yes, it has—and here’s its story… Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Apr 29, 2020
Big Picture Stuff: Part 2
In the olden days of newspapers—and I’m talking decades ago—there was a specific way printing photographs…photos were given to the printer who copied the picture using a special camera that converted everything to something known as “half-tone” so it could be put in the paper… If you looked closely at the resulting picture, you’d see that it was made up of a pattern of dots…each one was a different size and proportional to the blackness of the original photo in that particular location of the photograph… Viewed at a distance, it looked like a normal picture…but if you got up close, all you saw was the dots… Wait…try this…have you ever sat up close to a tv?...I mean really close…so close that you can see the individual pixels…that’s kind of cool because you get to see the tiniest components of the video that’s being broadcast… But looking at a pixel or two isn’t helpful when you’re actually hoping to understand anything that’s been broadcast…you’re too close…there’s no perspective to anything… Sometimes to really understand things, you need to sit back—waaaaaay back—in order to perceive things, to understand things, to appreciate things and why they are the way they are…in other words, you need the big picture…   To torture this metaphor even more, the same principles can be applied to music before certain things come into focus…and that’s what we’re about to do…this is part two of a program called “big picture stuff”… Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Apr 22, 2020
Big Picture Stuff: Part 1
When it comes to music, it’s so easy to get lost in the weeds…to become distracted by all the minutiae and trivia… There’s nothing wrong with that, of course…it’s the study of exactly this kind of granular stuff that pays my salary…however, there is a “can’t see the forest for the trees” angle to all this… Sometimes, we need to stand way back—and I mean way back—before some vital things come into focus… I’m not talking about just learning not just to see the trees but the forest, but the whole of the countryside…no, wait…more than that…we need altitude…not just for a 35,000-foot view, but maybe all the way up into geosynchronous orbit so we can assess everything about a certain subject… Wait…this metaphor is getting out of control…what I’m trying to say is that if we step back far enough, we can learn some really interesting things about why music is the way it is…   What you’re about to hear may change the way you think about the history of music…this is big picture stuff—really big stuff—part 1… Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Apr 15, 2020
9 Great B Sides
Back in the day...when singles were released on needed to put a song on either side of the record. Sometimes it was another version of the same song, or just the same song again, or maybe a live version...or maybe something completely different. A song that the band didn't know what to do with. Something special...something unique. What I've gathered here are 9 great B-Sides. Some are landmark singles in a bands history, some are ones you might never have heard before... Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Apr 14, 2020
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… Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Apr 02, 2020
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… Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Mar 25, 2020
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… Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Mar 18, 2020
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”… Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Mar 11, 2020
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… Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Mar 04, 2020
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… Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Feb 26, 2020
Ongoing History of New Music - Trailer
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. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Feb 24, 2020
Secrets of Queens of the Stone Age: Part 2
There are some bands that are very consistent with their sound—and fans love them for it…no two records are never exactlythe same, but whenever a new album is announced, we have a pretty good idea of what to expect… And when we get into the album, there’s a sonic linearity to the songs…nothing wrong with that… Then there are bands who like to take chances, take risks, from record to record…the last thing josh homme and whatever his crew is in queen of the stone age want to do is repeat themselves…that requires not only imagination and creativity but guts… But while they acknowledge that this approach can confuse people and maybe alienate fans from release to release, they also know that a certain percentage—a solid one at that—love that the band likes to use the curve ball Heck, it goes beyond that…we never know who’s gonna appear on a queens album…people in, people out, contributions here, contributions there…no wonder things change up all the time… And then there are all the side projects that are different still…so, yesit’s confusing…and i think that’s exactly what josh likes…keep ‘em guessing…   Let’s get deeper into all this with part two of “Secrets of Queens of the Stone Age”… Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Feb 19, 2020
Secrets of Queens of the Stone Age: Part 1
How old is rock’n’roll now?...if we use 1955 has some kind of abritary ground zero, rock is now eligible for all kinds of senior’s discounts…. That’s a long time…and the older rock gets, the more difficult it becomes to stick out, to find distinctive approaches and to be unique in an ocean of other acts… How many bands of the last, say, 20 years, can you name that has a sound so distinctive that you know exactly who they are within just the first couple of seconds? I have one: Queens of the Stone Age…there’s something about what they do that sonically sets them apart from everyone else… But it’s more than just guitar sounds, arrangements and lyrics…the elements required to create this uniqueness are complex and varied—and, I think, worthy of study…in fact. You can’t separate the sounds of Queens from their history—which is also very, very complex…let’s see if we can untangle everything… These are some secrets of Queens of the Stone Age, part 1…. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Feb 12, 2020
Studio Stories with Chris Birkett
Like a lot of music fans, I’m fascinated by what goes on in the kitchen…how is music made and recorded?...who is responsible for doing what?... You may have wondered what a producer does or what’s the difference between a producer and an engineer? have things changed over the decades when it comes to recording technology?...and what’s the difference between the attitude towards recording music back in the day vs. What’s happening now?... The only way to get proper answers to these questions is to call in an expert…I found Chris Birkett, a producer, engineer, musician, and songwriter who has seen things evolve over a number of decades… Let’s get into some studio stories… Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Jan 30, 2020
Headstones: In Their Own Words Part 2
Our memories are shaky constructs…we remember things wrong or forget things altogether…I’ve found—and other people agree with this—that if you want to dig through your brain to recover things that have gone missing is to just start talking…   The more you talk, the more will come back…and if you have a group of people with a shared history and they all start talking, it’s amazing what comes flooding back…it can be cathartic, therapeutic, nostalgic and just plain fun…hold that thought…   The longer a band exists, the more hazy the memories become…maybe it’s just age…maybe it’s because drugs and alcohol were involved…maybe some members die, taking their stories with them…   In far too many instances, we’re forced to piece together a group’s stories from second- and third-hand accounts: friends and associates, press coverage from back in the day, and various other imperfect recollections told either in person or documented online…but hey, it’s better than nothing, right?...   But what if you could get a band with a billion of these stories together in a studio and get them to talk things through?...what memories and feelings will emerge then?...   This is exactly what I did with The Headstones: Hugh Dillion, bass player Tim White and guitarist Trent Carr in the same place, talking about how they got there…this is The Headstones in their own words, part 2… Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Jan 22, 2020
Headstones: In Their Own Words Part 1
At one time, The Headstones were the scariest band in Canadian music…they scared audiences, scared record companies—hell, they scared themselves… There were other words to describe them…intense…self-destructive…but I think the word the group liked the most was “furious” But  that doesn’t been to tell the story of The Headstones…strap in…this is a good one… The Headstones In Their Own Words…Part 1… Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Jan 15, 2020
Remembering Neil Peart
Over the decades, drummers haven’t received a lot of respect…all the jokes…the running gag in “Spinal Tap”…the issues so many groups seem to have finding the right drummer… But there are also those who stand out and are not only admired but worshipped…and not just by music fans, not just by other drummers, not by just other musicians, but by everyone has a chance to hear them play…they’re that good, that special… I’ve been a drummer since I was in high school…I later played in bands and worked as a drum teacher to get my way through university…and I still play today…and you know why?...Neil Peart of Rush… My first exposure to him was a stereo salesman who was demonstrating a pair of speakers by playing “By-Tor and the Snow Dog” from Rush’s “Fly By Night” album…I was immediately sucked into it by Neil’s playing…and when the song gets to those three drum breaks, I was hooked for life… Later, someone played the “Overture” from “2112” for…and that’s when I decided I needed to learn how to play the drums…same thing for millions of other kids… For someone who played so hard and so loud, Neil was the quiet one, the introvert, the reluctant drumming institution…interviews with Neil were rare…meet’n’greets with fans were always handled by Alex and Geddy…it was just understood that Neil didn’t do these things… I’ve probably seen rush in concert more than any other artist…I’ve traveled to different countries to see them…I’ve worked on Rush projects for their record label and their management company…I know all the people behind scenes…I’ve hung out with Alex and worked with Geddy…but I never got a chance to meet Neil… I, like so many others, have unending respect for his abilities as a drummer, a lyricist, and a writer…he was a thinker, articulate, and extremely well-read…he also had a wicked sense of humour… Stay with me as we remember Neil Peart… Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Jan 13, 2020
Deconstructing the Arctic Monkeys
I love trying to figure out why things are the way they are…it’s a need to understand, you know?... Take a guy like Jack White, for example…if you go deep into his background, you have a much better understanding of why he is the way he is and why his music sounds the way it does… Another example is the Beastie Boys…how did they grow to what they became…if you look at Green Day’s upbringing, you get them even more… Same goes for Kurt Cobain, Dave Grohl, Eddie Vedder—they all have life experiences unique to them and crucial to the music they end up making… Lemme give you another name: The Arctic Monkeys…you may, like me, have always found something different about these guys…they rock pretty good, but their songs are constructed in a distinctive fashion….and lyrically, they’re above and beyond so many bands… And they started so young…they got it while they were still teenagers…and the way they became famous was completely antithetical to the way you’re supposed to do things in the music business… To put it another way, The Arctic Monkeys are unusual—and I mean that with the utmost admiration…tell you what: let’s see if we can deconstruct the band to see what makes them tick…then maybe we’ll figure how why they are the way they are… For a total of $70 off your first three weeks of Hello Fresh, go to and enter the code “OngoingHistory70”. That’s and enter the code “OngoingHistory70”. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Jan 08, 2020
Catching Up With The Black Keys
It is so hard to have a hit record these days…hell, with all the music out there it’s nearly impossible to attract any kind of attention…all the noise and distractions and competition… If you’re a new band with a debut record, you’ve got anywhere from six to thirteen weeks to make an impression once that first single comes out….if you fail to achieve significant traction with radio and retail and with fans during that short window, you’re in trouble…and if your record label doesn’t make it happen for you with the second single—well, I hope you didn’t quit your day job… It wasn’t always like this…back in the day when music was harder to come by, a record label could afford to wait for a band to develop and mature through two, three, four, five albums… Look at U2…they stumbled through their first two records before settling down with “War”… Look at the Red Hot Chili Peppers…warner brothers let them discover themselves through three albums before they could deliver the a little breakthrough with “Mother’s Milk” and then the big breakthrough with “Blood Sugar Sex Magick”… And look at REM…they released five indie records, each better than the last, before they were signed to a big major record label deal…that was hard…they were on a treadmill of recording and touring and recording and touring with little downtime…but they wanted it bad, so they did what they had to…it’s a long way to the top if you wanna rock’n’roll, y’know?... You can say the same of the Black Keys…a lot of people might think that these guys have what, three records in their catalogue…nope… They have eight full albums, two eps, one live album and close to two dozen singles…and unless you’re a longtime or hardcore fan, you may not know about some of the stuff they’ve done…  Let’s fix that for all the latecomers…this is catching up with the Black Keys… Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Dec 27, 2019
60 Mind Blowing Facts in 60 Minutes: The 5th Edition
I have a long list of music-related facts that came to my attention this year…many of them were incorporated in various “ongoing history” programs over the last 12 months…but there’s also a lot of orphaned stuff—material that is interesting and fascinating but didn’t make it into any program for whatever reason… Maybe they didn’t fit into any of this year’s topics…maybe it was too off-brand…maybe they were just too “out there”… But this research will not go to waste…i have distilled this information to a tight list of 60 so i may present them to you…this is the fifth annual edition of “60 mind-blowing facts in 60 minutes”…. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Dec 18, 2019
Unfortunate Sonic Coincidences
Here are a couple of musical terms you may have heard of… Earworm: that’s when a clip of a song keeps running through your head on a loop over and over and over again. Mondegreen: a misheard lyric…a great example is in Jimi Hendrix’s “Purple Haze”…he sings “’scuse me while i kiss the sky”…some people hear that as “’scuse me while i kiss this guy”…there are lots of mondegreens in popular music… I propose we need a third term…it’s that opinion that overcomes us when we believe one song sounds almost exactly like another… I know you know what i mean…you hear a new song and a brief sense of déjà vu fills your head as your brain tries to correlate its musical database with what you’re hearing…and when all the processing is completely, you might think (a) “hey! Someone ripped off [artist x]!”…or (b) “someone’s gonna get sued!”… But you know something?’s not that simple…far, far from it…welcome to the murky world of unfortunate sonic coincidences… Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Dec 11, 2019
Musicians With Disabilities
The human body can be both very strong and very fragile…given its complexity, it generally works pretty well…but there are those among us who face challenges because of various disabilities… Some of these are genetic…others come as the result of accidents, trauma or some other kind of misfortune…then there’s the effect of disease… It can be very rough…there can be discrimination…and there can be a lot of misunderstanding… At the same time, though, there are opportunities for learning, compassion, and dialogue about what some of our fellow humans need in this life—and, just importantly, what special things they can offer back… Musicians are just like the rest of us, subject to the whims and frailties of this bag of water and chemicals we inhabit…these are some of their stories…   Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Dec 04, 2019
Lost Canadian Bands 3
There are a lot of things wrong with Facebook—don’t get me started—but there’s no denying that it can be addictive… The best thing for me is finding out where people from my life have ended up…high school, university, my home town, other places I’ve worked…and with over 2 billion active monthly users, there’s an excellent chance that almost everyone you’ve ever known as a Facebook account… But the “where are they now” thing doesn’t have to be restricted to people you know…you can lurk on Facebook and Instagram and LinkedIn to track down the current whereabouts of just about anyone…that includes musicians and bands that seem to have dropped off the radar… For example, where are some of these Canadian alt-rock artists of the past?...what are they doing now?...I’ve been doing some lurking—and here’s what I’ve found out… Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Nov 27, 2019
Golden Age of Synths as told by OMD
There have been many times over the last one hundred years where technology has changed the way we make music… Take the microphone, for example…before it came along, singers had to be naturally louder than the orchestra…they needed to have a voice that could reach the back rows of the theatre…but when the microphone came along, certain singers like Bing Crosby, realized that you could use it to create a whole new mood for singing by getting up close and personal… Amplification was another game-changer…at one point, you needed a dozen or more people in a band to fill the room with music…with amps, you needed fewer people to make as much noise… Magnetic tape and multitrack recording made it possible to create entirely new soundscapes, the kind you could never get in the real world…the studio became an instrument for new sonic frontiers… And then we had developments like the electric guitar—and I don’t need to tell you how much that changed everything… This is how things were for the late 50s, all through the 60s, and into the 1970s…amps and mics and electric guitars and multi-track recording gear…those were the tools for making music… But then there was another change in that started to really be felt in the mid-70s…a new era featuring electronic machines that made sounds that had never been imagined anywhere in the universe… So many new possibilities opened up during an era that’s become known as “the golden age of synthesizers”…everything changed—and changed fast… If you’re into any flavour of today’s electronic music, you will find this fascinating… Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Nov 20, 2019
Weird and Shocking Rockers
Here’s a warning right from the outset: this is going to be a weird program…the performs and the music we’re going to talk about are famous because of their weird, shocking behaviour…they set out to get our attention—and they did… Some of us appreciated what they were doing…but the vast majority didn’t get them at all…they were branded as sick, deviant, sociopathic, psychopathic, and even criminal… Yet all found some measure of fame within certain corners of the rock universe…their antics may seem tame now, even quaint…but if we put these images and behaviors in the context of the times, it seemed like that antichrist’s musicians were on earth, ready to lead the young dancing and singing towards the apocalypse… So, if you’re listening to this program, please look around and asked yourself this question: “won’t someone please think about the children?”… This is a look at some of the weirdest and most shocking rockers of all time… Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Nov 13, 2019
The Sum 41 Story As Told By Deryck Whibley: Part 2
You don’t need me to tell you that being a rock star isn’t a normal kind of job…you live in a bubble that’s as far removed from the regular 9-5, Monday-to-Friday thing… You spend a lot of time living in hotel rooms…there’s a lot of downtime between gigs which can get really, really boring…and your working hours are almost completely opposite to your natural circadian rhythms… A lot of people will end up coping with bad food, drugs, alcohol and self-destructive behavior—anything to alleviate the boredom…or the pain…or the loneliness…or the insecurities… And because you’re a rock star, there aren’t many people who are going to tell you to smarten up and sort out your life…in fact, your bad behavior is more likely to be encouraged than police… And it can be even worse when you get off the road…suddenly, any day-to-day structure you had on tour is gone…and all that’s left you in your house with your bad habits… I bring all this up because this is where we’re going to pick up the story of Deryck Whibley and Sum 41… The band burned very hot and very bright from 1996 through to 2005…and finally, something had to give…and it got real scary… This is the Sum 41 story according to front man Deryck Whibley, part 2… Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Nov 06, 2019
The Sum 41 Story As Told By Deryck Whibley: Part 1
If you’ve ever seen Sum 41 perform live, they seem larger than life…big…loud…brash…in your face…very punk rock…and out front is Deryck Whibley…he’s like a man possessed….it all makes for a great show… But in person, Deryck is life-sized…he moves carefully and takes care to sit up straight because of a chronically bad back…the tea he likes to drink can make him almost appear delicate… But when it comes to conversation about Sum 41 their career, he’s super-engaged…as the only permanent member in the history of Sum 41, he is the band…so when I wanted to talk about where this group came from and how things have evolved over a quarter century, he’s really the only guy I needed to talk to…and man, we talked… This is the Sum 41 story according to front man Deryck Whibley, part 1… Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Oct 30, 2019
Solo Noel Gallagher
It all came to an end on august 28, 2009, with a plum thrown against the wall…after eighteen years, the most volatile band in the world came to an end… Noel Gallagher and Liam Gallagher had always fought, but never like this time backstage five minutes before a show in Paris…words were exchange, the plum was thrown, violence was threatened, and a guitar was destroyed.... Two hours later, Noel issued a statement: "it's with some sadness and great relief to tell you that I quit Oasis tonight. People will write and say what they like, but I simply could not go on working with Liam a day longer." Noel had left Oasis before…but this time he meant it…and since then, he’s kept his word…no amount of money or demands from fans or passive-aggressive pleading from Liam will changed his mind… Instead, Noel has gone his own way, both professionally and personally…and the impression I get is that he’s never been happier, more relaxed, or more confident with the way his life is going… Let’s get caught up with solo Noel by having a chat with the man himself…. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Oct 23, 2019
Riot Grrrls - A Primer
There is no question that the vast majority of rock history involves dudes…it’s been a very male thing…not always, but most of the time… There was a time when it was “common knowledge” that girls just couldn’t rock…they didn’t have the feel…they were built wrong…it just wasn’t in their DNA like it was with guys… That’s crap, of course…but it took a long, long time for those prejudices to be defeated—dead and buried… The original punk rock of the mid-70s was a great help, thanks to the movement’s dogma that anyone with anything to say should be able to say it, regardless of musical ability, social class, race, or sex…lots of women were able to get on board with that… But there was some backsliding in the 80s…for example, hardcore punk was among the most testosterone-drive bro-rock ever…women were pushed to the back…and when grunge came along in the early 90s, it was again very dude-heavy… Even though parts of the grunge world were down with feminist causes and ideals—Kurt Cobain and the guys in Pearl Jam pretty woke and sympathetic, the scene as still very much a boy’s club…very male… This time, though, a group of women were determined to carve out their own space…music that would be about them and for them…music that would speak to issues that they cared about…and music that could rock just as hard and be just as abrasive as what the guys were doing…sometimes even more so…a lot more… They became known as “riot grrrls”…and this is their story… Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Oct 16, 2019
A Guide to Genres: Part 2
I’m trying to imagine what it might be like to design an Amazon warehouse…a typical fulfillment centre is at least a million square feet filled with a zillion kilometres of shelving… And given that amazon is all about speed—the company is always trying to cut down the time between the time you click “checkout” and when the package shows up at your door—they’re always looking for the most efficient ways to find whatever you ordered on those shelves and stuff it into a box… The logistics of this is mind-boggling…not only do you have to categorize millions of items but you have to group them in such a way that things that are in the demand the most don’t create choke points for the robots that grab the stuff off the shelves… Music is a lot like an Amazon warehouse, except in some cases, it’s worse…not only do we have to categorize everything to a very granular detail, but we also have to make it possible for us to fortuitously stumble over something you might like… This is when we get into the whole idea of genres…at last count, Spotify has organized things into 2,424 different genres…there’s also website called “every noise at once” that lists about 2,000… This is both terrifying and fascinating…and it deserves study…this is a guide to genres, part 2… Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Oct 09, 2019
A Guide to Genres: Part 1
Humans have always tried to make sense the world by putting things into neat little piles and filing them away somehow for further reference…it just makes things easier…   If you study biology, you’ll know about kingdoms, phylum’s, classes, orders, families, geneses, and species…libraries organize books with things like the Dewey decimal system and the universal decimal classification….and when you go grocery shopping, there are signs directing you to the right aisle or department…   This applies to music, too…we like to organize music into categories called “genres”… This used to be fairly easy…at the turn of the 20th century, we basically had popular songs of the day (vaudeville, show tunes and the like), folk and traditional music, religious music, and material from classical composers… Music has always separated and stratified and evolved, leading to sub-categories…within classical music, for example, we had baroque, chamber music, choral, and so on…. But as the population changed and as the recorded music industry began to take hold and more people began to buy records, music this fragmentation began to speed up… Jazz showed up in the 1910s and soon splintered into a bunch of different sounds…by the 1920s, we were hearing the origins of what eventually became all the flavours of country and western music…the blues records of the 20s and 30s was the forerunner of rhythm and blues… And then when rock’n’roll came along in the 50s, things started simply enough—it was a vaguely defined sound that you knew when you heard it…but the more time went by, the more complicated rock became…genres, sub-genres, sub-sub-genres, sub-sub-sub genres…derivations, offshoots, spin-offs, outgrowths, branches, by-products… And now that we’re all about streaming algorithms—things that require many, many different data points if they’re going to work properly, the number of genres has exploded…people are confused… That’s why we’re going to do this: strip back all the terms used to describe rock in order to understand the natural order of things when it comes to organizing things…this is the ongoing history guide to genres… Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Oct 02, 2019
Ultra-Deep Background on Dave Grohl: Part 3
 Whenever you’re having a bad day, I want to think of this number…the probability of you existing—that you’re this sentient being, alive in this vast universe—is exceedingly small…in fact, it’s about zero… Your mom and dad have to meet…they have to stay together long enough to have kids…then that egg and that sperm have to connect, and so on… A guy by the name of Dr. Ali Binazir has calculated the odds of you being you…by that number is 1 followed by 2,685,000 zeroes… By way of analogy, here’s how he describes it… Imagine there was one life preserver thrown somewhere in some ocean and there is exactly one turtle in all of these oceans, swimming underwater somewhere.  The probability that you came about and exist today is the same as that turtle sticking its head out of the water — in the middle of that life preserver. On one try. Mind-boggling, right? let’s get even weirder…add in the chances of you getting into a band that becomes successful…and not just successful, but a group that becomes world-changing…add another six zeroes to that last number… Now consider this: what if you got into a second successful band that stays together for decades and also becomes one of the biggest things rock has ever seen…that’s good for, what, three more zeroes?... So in this completely unscientific extrapolation of Dr. Binazir’s estimation of the uniqueness of existence, the chances of Dave Grohl being Dave Grohl is approximately one in two quadrillion, 685 trillion…give or take…   This is the third and final part of our ultra-deep look at the guy… Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Sep 25, 2019
Ultra-Deep Background on Dave Grohl: Part 2
When you reach a certain level of fame, you can expect that everything you do will be recorded somewhere…it’s out of your control…fans will do it…your management team will do it…your social media people will make sure that it gets done…probably someone at your label…and they’ll just keep doing it… Your life becomes one ever-expanding Wikipedia page…not that this is a bad thing…it’s just something certain famous people have to live with… This brings me to Dave Grohl…he is one of the best-documented guys in music…everything he’s ever does and continues to do is written down somewhere… There’s the Foo Fighters, of course…we know a lot about the Dave and the Foos…there was his time in Nirvana before that…a little bit has been written about them… Then there are the side projects, the guest appearances…the documentary work…the soundtracks…. we’ve even been introduced to his mom, who wrote a book about raising rock stars… Seriously…with all this attention, what else is left to tell?...well, you might be surprised…this is part two of a program I call “ultra-deep background on Dave Grohl”… Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Sep 18, 2019
Ultra-Deep Background on Dave Grohl: Part 1
A couple of years back, i was invited to 606 studios, which is the headquarters of all things Foo…it’s the house of foo… This is where the Foo Fighters rehearse and record…it’s where they have band meetings…and it’s where they store a lot of their stuff…i had all five guys to myself for an interview…and there was no other way to describe them as a bunch of others… Taylor Hawkins took the lead on this…and the whole time Taylor was talking, Dave Grohl was sitting there with a big smile on his face…he knows he’s among the luckiest humans alive…sure, he’s talented and ambitious, but so many things completely beyond his control had to go right for things to turn out the way they have…it’s really amazing… Dave’s career has been extremely well documented—but there might still be a number of things that you don’t know about him—especially from the early, early, early years…let’s dig into that, shall we? Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Sep 11, 2019
History of Shoegaze
Every once in a while, a form of music comes along that makes it its mission to break with the traditions of rock n roll. Okay...well maybe the instrumentation is largely the same...but it's the way they are used. And it's usually done by people who don't know there are rules when it comes to rock and people just want to get together and play. And this happened in the late 80's when we were first introduced to the idea of Shoegaze. The result was a wall of sound with atmospheres and harmonics.  And It was truly unique.   Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Sep 04, 2019
The History of Vinyl: Part 2
As we looked at in part 1, Vinyl is making a comeback.  But how did this happen? Will it last? And what lies ahead for the future of one of the oldest forms of recorded music?This is the History of Vinyl...Part 2 Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Aug 26, 2019
The History of Vinyl: Part 1
Vinyl. It's one of the oldest formats that you can listen to music on. And a few years ago everyone was talking about its death: First thanks to the CD and then the MP3. But a funny thing has happened over the last decade or so. Vinyl is making a comeback.  But what is exactly is did it come to be? Why did it disappear? And how have things changed for it to be back on the radar?This is the History of Vinyl...Part 1 Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Aug 19, 2019
The Influencers - Springsteen
Once upon a time, music was incredibly tribal…once you picked a tribe, you had to conform to serious and rigid rules…whatever the prevailing dogma dictated was your reality…snobbery abounded…. For example, in the 70s, 80s, and well into the 90s, rock was divided into two camps…on one side were the mainstream rockers, fans of the artists that occupied most of the attention: radio airplay, record sales, concert tickets…they were on top of the Rock’n’Roll zeitgeist…  On the other were the alterative kids…they were the outsiders, the weirdos, the misfits—and they were very happy with their position…alt-rockers were content with their own musical universe… But here’s the thing: during this period, these two tribes were locked in a cold war…it was a war of musical ideology, musical outlook, and musical aspirations…and woe to any tribe member who tried to change tribes…you might as well try to take a stroll across the DMZ between North and South Korea…things could be that rigid… And there was more…if you were a mainstream rock fan, you couldn’t admit to your fellow tribe members that you liked music from the other side…same thing if you were an alt-rocker…to admit that you liked Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, or Van Halen was nothing short of heresy… I recall one time when Billy Corgan admitted that some of the Smashing Pumpkins sound was influenced by Judas Priest…shock and horror!...treason!...if social media had been around back then, he would have been trolled to death—even though if you listened to the pumpkins, you could hear that kind of metal influence coming through…it just didn’t make sense… Today, though, those rigid tribal groups have broken down…we have entered an era when we’re very ecumenical about music…more and more, the prevailing philosophy is “respect all music, listen to what you want”… This is healthy because it opens up new vistas for music—for listening andfor influences when it comes to making new music… Here…let me show you what I mean… Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Aug 07, 2019
What's The Big Deal About The Stooges?
If you were to ask a contemporary group like say The White Stripes or The Hives about which band influenced their sound they would probably list off a bunch of names including The Stooges. If you were to go back to the 90’s and ask the same question to Nirvana or Janes Addiction, one of the bands they would inevitability mention would be The Stooges. Slip back to 80’s and ask Sonic Youth and they would probably say The Stooges… If you travel back to the 70’s and ask The Sex Pistols or The Ramones and they would likely say…The Stooges… Or ask David Bowie…and you’d get The Stooges… Alright then so The Stooges seem to be on everyone’s list but hold on….this is a band that hardly sold any records in their day and were so messed up that their singer ended up in an asylum. So, I guess the question must be asked…what’s the big deal about The Stooges? Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Jul 30, 2019
Etymology: Part 1
The study of word origins and word meanings is called Etymology.  And rock music has it's own branch of Etymology and we can give you lots of examples. In fact over the course of the next two Podcasts we will break some of these terms down. Why do we call it Punk music? And how did we come up with New Wave? Or Grunge? Or Post Modern? Answers to those and more as we explore Etymology in Alt Rock Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Jul 29, 2019
Stories Behind Songs
Every song has a story behind it. Maybe the way it was created, what it is about, who it is about, where it was written...there are literally a million reasons and ways a song was born. But have you ever wondered how musicians came up with some of their best known songs? How did Nirvana arrive at Smells Like Teen Spirit? What was Blur doing when they came up with Song 2? Why was it so complicated to finish Fairytale of New York? Well wonder no more...we have answers to those and a whole lot more as we once again look at the stories behind songs. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Jul 22, 2019
The Reunions: Some Lasted....and Sadly, Some Didn't | Part 3
This is "The Reunions: Part 3" The final part of a series that first aired in 2009 and we thought it was time to revisit it...see what bands did survive a reunion and which ones have not. Now something to note about this series. Some bands have since broken apart again or gone off in an entirely different direction. And some are no longer together because a member has since passed on.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Jul 15, 2019
Kirk Hammett’s Movie Poster Collection | Bonus Podcast
Everyone needs a hobby, something to distract from the job…something that’s just for you…something that allows you to pursue a passion that maybe only you understand… For example, Flea is big into chess…when the Chili Peppers on the road, he’ll often challenge people to games, including grand masters who are invited backstage for the purpose of playing flea… Geddy Lee of Rush used to be very, very big into signed baseballs, especially those from the old Negro League… Neil Young finds model trains very relaxing…Iggy Pop paints…Bob Dylan does sculpture…Bryan Adams is into photography…Slash collectors pinball machines…guy Berriman of Coldplay has an incredible collection of cars, ranging from classic Porsche’s to a Bugatti Veyron…and then there’s Stephen Morris of New Order…he collects old military vehicles, including tanks… Hey, if you have the interest and the money, why not?... This brings me to Kirk Hammett of Metallica…Kirk is a fan of horror memorabilia…but his biggest passion are posters from old horror movies…his collection is so big and so comprehensive and so well-preserved that it’s the subject of exhibitions at major museums, including the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto…why movie posters?...I sat down with kirk to find out… Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Jul 10, 2019
The Reunions: Some Lasted....and Sadly, Some Didn't | Part 2
This is "The Reunions: Part 2" A series that first aired in 2009 and we thought it was time to revisit it...see what bands did survive a reunion and which ones have not. Now something to note about this series. Some bands have since broken apart again or gone off in an entirely different direction. And some are no longer together because a member has since passed on. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Jul 07, 2019
The Reunions: Some Lasted....and Sadly, Some Didn't | Part 1
Sometimes, a band can survive their entire career without a line-up change...looking at you Radiohead, Coldplay, U2....others have members leave, hello Oasis, or get kicked out. See The Clash. Meanwhile some bands just decide that it's time to pack it in. Call it a day. Stop the train and get off. There could be any number of reasons for this; you grow apart, you don't have anything else to say, you can't stand each other anymore...that sort of thing. And when a band does break up, many fans ask the same question: "So when are you getting back together?!?!" And many times band do! For a variety of reasons...and many reasons that come back to money. Anyhow, this is the first of a series we did a number of years ago on bands that had reunited. Now something to note about this series. Some bands have since broken apart again or gone off in an entirely different direction. And some are no longer together because a member has since passed on. This is "The Reunions: Part 1" Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Jul 03, 2019
Mumford and Sons
This time we take a deep dive into the history of Mumford and Sons...the earliest and mostly unknown aspects of their career.  If you're a might already know some of this. Or maybe not! Lots to digest in this episode. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Jun 24, 2019
Ongoing History introduces Wait, There's More
Wait, There’s More is a daily Global News podcast released every afternoon just in time for your commute home. On this episode, protests have erupted in Hong Kong as tens of thousands of people speak out against legislation that would allow the territory’s citizens to be extradited to Mainland China. Demonstrators tried to storm government buildings and police responded with tear gas and rubber bullets. Host Tamara Khandaker explores Hong Kong’s precarious relationship with China since the end of British governance in 1997 and what the implications of such a major change will mean for the safety of its citizens with the help of Crystal Yeung, a Canadian human rights lawyer living in Hong Kong; Grace Yeung, a Hong Kong resident, who has taken to the streets to protest; and BBC journalist Vincent Ni. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Jun 21, 2019
The Rise and Fall of Britpop
We're taking a look back at the glorious days of Britpop. That incredible time in the 90's which lasted about  6 years where it seemed Cool Britannia ruled the airwaves and everyone was having a great time! London was swinging again and British acts were selling tens of millions of albums the world over. It was fresh, it was fun, and it was cool. And then it was over...collapsed by the weight of over exposure, boredom, and drugs. Lots and lots of drugs. Let's take a look back to see how this all happened. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Jun 19, 2019
Franz Ferdinand: In Their Own Words
Welcome to another episode in our series of having bands and musicians tell their history in their own words. This time we go back to our interview in 2009 for the amazing Franz Ferdinand! Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Jun 17, 2019
Health Issues of Musicians
The human body is basically a bag of water with a bunch of chemicals mixed in…that’s an over-simplification, of course, but it’s an accurate description of the squishy bits that make up us… It’s also true that every once in a while, something—or maybe a lot of things—go a little wonky with these squishy bits…yeah, we often hear of some guy up in the Ural Mountains who’s 117 years old who credits his longevity to bacon and unfiltered cigarettes…but that’s the exception… The rest of us have to constantly be vigilant about our health, eating right, sleeping enough, reducing stress—all that sort of stuff…but not everything is preventable…bad genes…disease…accidents… These same rules apply to the musicians we follow…they’re human, just like us…and every once in a while, we hear about their health challenges...and quite often, they’re very open about their issues…they want to be honest with their fans—and maybe by bringing attention to their situation, they can encourage awareness or those with similar health problems to seek treatment… In other cases, we only found out there was a problem after the fact…that knowledge has helped us understand what happened… So, without betraying any confidences or digging into private health records, here are some musicians who have battled their bodies and their brains, just like us regular folk… Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
May 29, 2019
Catching Up With Twenty One Pilots
Not all bands hit it out of the park right away…they need a few albums and a couple of long tours before things start to fall into place… Take the Red Hot Chili Peppers, for example…their career really didn’t start to blossom until their fourth album…same thing with Muse—at least in North America…they might have been playing arenas in Europe…but when it came to their fourth album, they were still playing clubs on this side of the Atlantic… Same thing with R.E.M...they had a strong cult following through four records before they were able to cross over into mainstream consciousness… And for The Black Keys? took until albums number six for them to have their big breakthrough… These success stories underscore the need for patience and foresight on behalf of record labels, managers, and everyone else associated with the welfare of a particular artist…if you honestly see potential, then you gotta play the long game, one that may stretch out over years… And then you gotta look at things from the artist’s perspective…is the band prepared to live through some lean and dark times on their way to some kind of success?... This brings me to Twenty One Pilots…they blew up with the “Blurryface” album in 2015…but before that were six years of really hard slogging when almost no one knew who they were…let’s get caught up on that part of their story, shall we?... Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
May 22, 2019
Rise and Fall of the CD
On the afternoon of October 1, 1982, Sony introduced a new home stereo gizmo… it was the world’s first compact disc player… they called it the CDP-101… Weird name, but if you take it apart, it makes sense…”CDP” stands for “compact disc player…and “101” is binary notation for the number 5…that’s because the head of the audio division considered this first model to be in the middle of Sony’s future lineup of cd players…so “5” on a scale of one to ten, I guess… Sony had been working on compact disc technology with a Dutch company called Philips for a number of years, which released their own machine, the cd100, about a month later… Compact disc technology was rolled out worldwide in march 1983…and for the next seventeen years, the recorded music industry experienced a boom unlike it had ever seen before…music fans were convinced to buy all their favourite albums again…and as the popularity of vinyl and cassettes waned, the cd became the currency of the realm… And lo, it was good…insane amounts of money were made year after year after year… But nothing lasts forever and in about 2000, the bloom started to come off the cd rose…and now, cd sales are in a total free-fall as streaming becomes the way most people access music… The compact disc isn’t dead yet, but it’s never going to be the juggernaut it once was…what happened?...and how?’s actually a fascinating story… This is the rise and fall of the CD… Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
May 15, 2019
Musical Offspring
It runs in the family…like father, like son (or mother like daughter…or some variation of that)…the apple never falls far from the tree… All these sayings have something to do with some sort of hereditary characteristics or learned abilities passed down from parent to child… I suppose if you grow up in a creative household, something is gonna run off, whether it be something in your genes or just because of what goes on around you as you’re growing up… Take the case of Patrick Schwarzenegger, son of Arnold…not only has he done some acting, but he’s got a clothing company called #project360 that donates a chunk of profits to charity… Duncan Jones is the son of David Bowie…he’s a really good film director…Sasha Spielberg is the daughter of Stephen and Kate Capshaw…she’s become quite the screenwriter…Ben Stiller is the son of Jerry Stiller…most people know Jerry as George’s father on “Seinfeld”… What about music?...Johnny Cash and daughter Roseanne…Billy Ray, dad of Miley Cyrus…Norah Jones is the daughter of Ravi Shankar….Jason Bonham is the son of Zep drummer John…he’s not only been in a bunch of bands of his own, but he’s sat in for his dad on drums a couple of times when Jimmy Page and Robert Plant needed someone to keep time… Okay, this is fun…how many other parent-sibling combinations can we name—if we just focus on the world of alt-rock…sounds like it’s time to make a list… Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
May 08, 2019
Music Industry Glossary: Part 2
Every industry has its own language…think about what it’s like to be a doctor and all the terms and phrases you must learn if you’re going to communicate with your patients and other medical professionals…what’s the difference between and otolanryingolist and a nephrologist?...iatrogenic and idiopathic?...hypotension and hypertension?... What if you’re working in the world of finance?…you need to know about things like “shorts” and “yield curves” and my favourite, “ebidta”—earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization… Or maybe you’re a coder…think of all the jargon you use when you’re working on a project… I have a list of coder slang in front of me…I’m told these are real terms used in that world… “rubber ducking is a discussion with other engineers to solve a problem…a “jimmy” is a new and clueless new member of the team…and a “hydra” is a bug that can’t be fixed because every time you try something, two or more new bugs pop up… So you see what I’m saying about jargon and a language created by the people who work in a certain area… This applies to the music industry…and if you’re not familiar with the terms that are always thrown about, you might excluded, out of the loop, or a little dumb… I’ll say it again: that’s wrong…and you shouldn’t be afraid to ask what some of these terms mean…that’s brings us to part two of our music industry glossary… Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
May 01, 2019
Legendary Gigs
Maybe it was the first time you saw your favourite musical. Maybe they played a set list that you thought was perfection. Maybe you were front and centre and the singer crowd surfed right over your head! So absolutely legendary gig! But what about those gigs that redefined alt-rock? Those concerts or shows that stand out as legendary for what came after them? The bands they inspired or the lasting legacy of that show on the audience? Well we're going take a look at 8 of them and try to explain why they are so legendary in the history of alt-rock Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Apr 29, 2019
Music Industry Glossary: Part 1
I’m really bad with jargon…I hate it…jargon is by its very nature exclusive…if you don’t know the language, don’t know the codes, don’t know the usage rules, then you’re locked out of the discussion… I remember one financial guy who wanted to talk to me about a retirement savings plan…and his schpiel went something like this: “When it comes to diversification of your asset classes, consider taking out some warrants on pink sheet stocks on the vix, backing them up with shorts on fang stocks for a few months before rebalancing your portfolio through dollar-cost averaging”…I have no idea what I just said… Now let’s switch to music…if you do any exploring of how the music business works, you inevitably run into words that seem important, but you don’t know what they mean…you could ask, but then it might show that you’re, err, lacking in knowledge… “Newbie!...ignoramus!...rookie!”…no one wants that, so you just keep it to yourself…no one wants to be made fun of…and if someone does deign to explain things to you, there’s always the risk that they’ll be condescending…so you say to yourself “I’ll figure it out…eventually…I hope”… But that’s not right…music should be for everyone…if you’re interested in how things work with the recorded music industry, your curiosity should be rewarded…and that’s what we’re going to do right now…this is an audio glossary of music industry terms…and once we’re done, you’ll be able to converse with the best of them… Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Apr 23, 2019
Nine Inch Nails and "Year Zero"
Back in 2007, Trent Reznor did something a little different with the release of "Year Zero". He essentially created a game...a mystery...a unique marketing campaign. This was an incredibly complex campaign with clues buried all over the world.  Basically all of this was done because Trent was bored. He wanted to shake things up with his music, his concerts, his fans...and with his image.  This is the story behind Year Zero Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Apr 21, 2019
Alexisonfire - In Their Own Words Podcast
A band is like a plant…stay with me on this…like a plant, a band grows from seeds to maturity, bursts for with new seeds and then eventually withers and dies…it’s the cycle of life, you know?... But like plants (or animals or any other living thing), the lifespan of bands varies greatly…you could last as long as rehearsal—kinda like, what, a dandelion?…or you might find yourself on some kind of 50-year-anniversary tour—the equivalent of a bristlecone pine tree that can live as long as 5,000 years… Okay, I think we’ve tortured this metaphor long enough… Then we have bands that form, rise to a peak, hit something of a downhill slope, and break-up, only to reform again for—well, there could be any number of reasons…and this leads into completely new second act…and thus things begin again—and maybe even under better circumstances than anyone thought possible… Let’s do a case study…let’s have a specific band deconstruct their journey from formation to breakup to reunion…this is the history of Alexisonfire—in their own words… Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Apr 17, 2019
There are a lot of songs about Murder...but what about actual events where there are real killings involving real personalities in music?Well we've gathered a bunch. Actions are motivated by jealousy or sex or fear or revenge or anger...or someone just gets very unlucky. And in the end...someone ends up dead! Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Apr 15, 2019
Kurt Cobain: 25 Years Later
There was nothing particular special about April 8, 1994…I came to work as usual, saw the usual people, and prepared for my radio show in the usual way…I made note that the Toronto Blue Jays were playing a sold-out home game…one of the stories in the news was that American troops were upset about a smoking ban that had come into effect on some military bases…that was about it… But at about 1:45—fifteen minutes before airtime—Anita, who was working in the newsroom—popped her into the studio… “Just a heads-up,” she said, “something’s going on in Seattle…it looks like it has something to do with Kurt Cobain”… If I’m honest, most of us were prepared for some bad news…we knew that Kurt had his issues…his health problems…his heroin addiction…his crazy marriage to Courtney Love…the canceled European tour…and, of course, an apparent suicide attempt in a Rome hotel room about a month earlier… Still, all that was abstract, gossip, stories in magazines…but over the next 90 minutes, everything resolved into harsh, terrible, awful, reality… If you were around then, you probably remember exactly where you were and what you were doing when you heard the news… it was one of those rare, rare moments, the same sort of thing felt with the assassination of John Lennon on Monday, December 8, 1980, and the death of Elvis on Tuesday, August 16, 1977…. Was that really 25 years ago?...yes, it was…if you were there, let’s revisit things…if you weren’t, here’s how dramatic and sad it was…this is Kurt Cobain, 25 years after he died… Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Apr 08, 2019
Just because you're a successful musician or are in a band doesn't mean you don't want to try something else. Maybe you want to open up your own side business in something related to music. Maybe it's in a completely different part of the economy.  Whatever the want to try something different while still doing your day-job. In this podcast we look at various side business that musicians have tried over the years. Now granted this show was done a number of years ago, and some of these business may no longer exist, but what it shows is how musicians have taken on more than just touring over the years. These are musicians who moonlight.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Apr 03, 2019
Matt Good: In His Own Words - Part 2
Like we said before, from time to time we have the opportunity to get a band or a musician into a studio and have them walk us through their career. What comes out of these interviews can be  honest and pure conversations about the ups and downs, trials and tribulations, and challenges that come with being a musician trying to keep it all together in the madness and chaos of recording, touring and living. On this second episode we pick up the story with Matt from the last days of the Matthew Good Band through the start of his solo career.   This is Matt his own words. Part 2 Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Mar 31, 2019
Matt Good: In His Own Words - Part 1
From time to time we have the opportunity to get a band or a musician into a studio and have them walk us through their career. What comes out of these interviews can be  honest and pure conversations about the ups and downs, trials and tribulations, and challenges that come with being a musician trying to keep it all together in the madness and chaos of recording, touring and living. What you hear from Matt Good is one of the most honest and true conversations you might ever hear from a musician. This is Matt his own words. Part 1 Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Mar 27, 2019
New Rock Hair
Maybe this isn't a topic you thought about in New Rock, but it's time for us to take a look at New Rock Hair. Seriously... We've dug back into the archives and found this one from 2006 where we have a dive into the hairstyles of New Rock. Dreadlocks, Mullet's, Punk, Bowie...and of course Robert Smith among others. This is a good one! Trust us...   Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Mar 25, 2019
The 00s Part 5: Technology
Let’s make a list of all the things we did not have on January 1, 2000…ready?...iTunes, iPods, iPhones…YouTube, Facebook, Twitter…Snapchat, Spotify, smartphones… There was no Netflix (at least as we know it now)…no MySpace…no Instagram Well, what didwe have?...dial-up modems…Windows 98 (if you were lucky) or Windows 95 (if you weren’t)…Apple?...still mostly a corporate basket case…even Google was less than 18 months old… If we look at music, we were mad for compact discs…they were selling by the hundreds of millions, ensuring that the music industry was drowning in money… Vinyl?....dead, dead, dead…the only thing that was keeping that format on life support were club djs who still preferred the feel and action of records over CDs in the booth… We had MP3s and we’d begun to trade music files online, but that was still a clunky and frustrating experience for most people—unless you’d discovered this new thing called “Napster” that had been out for about six months… Now fast-forward ten years to December 31, 2009…everyone was getting smartphones…global CD sales had dropped from a high of 26 billion U.S. dollars in 2000 to around 9 billion in 2009 with no end in sight…the number would get much smaller yet… Meanwhile, vinyl was starting to come back…everyone was using digital music files…streaming music services were starting to catch on…and Apple and Google and Facebook were among the most powerful companies in the world… The recorded music industry was in complete disarray, bleeding money, laying people off, dropping artists, and still trying to litigate their way back to their former glory… The first decade of the 21stcentury was an era of massive technological disruption…how did our music adapt?...let’s examine that…this is the oughts, part 5…   Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Mar 20, 2019
Ongoing History Introduces you to Crime Beat
Crime Beat” is a new investigative podcast series hosted by Crime Reporter Nancy Hixt. She's been covering cases for over the past 20 years and knows her hometown by the crime scenes she's been to. Journey deep inside some of Canada’s most high-profile criminal cases. Each bi-weekly episode will take you inside the story to give you details you didn't hear on the news.   Here’s a sneak peek from episode 2 of the series…. and while you’re listening, search and subscribe to “Crime Beat” for free at or wherever you’re enjoying this podcast Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Mar 14, 2019
The 00s Part 4: Variety Returns
Music is always evolving, mutating, and modifying itself…enough people may agree on a certain direction for a new sound to become a new sub-genre…and in time, sub-sub-genres may spring from that offshoot, multiplying things even more… Think about it…in the 50s, you had rock, pop, country, and R&B…most everything that was released back then could be classified under one of those four headings…today, Spotify has organized things into nearly 2,000 different categories… There’s music with names like “dark psytrance” to something called “stomp and flutter”…you might be into “vapor soul” or “fussball,” “gymcore” or “catstep,” “footwork” or “sleaz33e rock”…seriously….these are all actual Spotify genre classifications…. Now let’s circle back to alt-rock in the early 2000s…after a decade of things staying fairly close to a certain set of specs, it began to mutate again…yes, guitars were still important, but not essential…and there were certain shifts in attitude and outlook, created by world-shaking global events—because as we’ve learned, the sound of an era’s music is always just a little downstream from what’s happening in society at large… Let’s deconstruct this concept a little further…this is alt-rock in the oughts, part four. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Mar 13, 2019
25 Random Facts About Depeche Mode
They've been around since the early 80's and still recording and touring. It's really incredible considering how self-destructive Depeche Mode has been over that time. is amazing what has happened to them over the years. And that includes the time Dave Gahan was essentially dead. Well we had a request recently wondering "If we've ever done a profile of Depeche Mode". And while we have done a number of things over the years, the is perhaps our most interesting show on the band. So from mid 2006, this is a trip back the time...25 Random Facts About Depeche Mode. Enjoy! (the non-silence) Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Mar 11, 2019
The 00's Part 3: The Return of Rock
In times of crisis, we start to look for a leader, someone who can get us out of trouble…this is a trope of every comic book universe movie and half all the action-adventure stuff… But it’s true…when things are bad, we first look to people with experience, with knowledge, with strength to lead us away from whatever is wrong… There was a lot of this sort of talk among rock fans at the end of the 90s…pop, electronica, and hip-hop had taken over…rock itself had fallen into the doldrums and every fan was hoping, praying that someone or something would come along and inject new life into the genre… And as hopeless as some people felt at the time, sometimes you just gotta be patient…a couple of things inevitably happen when it seems that rock is on the ropes… First, a new generation of young people decide to take matters into their own hands and kick-start things themselves…we saw this with the indie rock revolution that started taking hold in the very late 90s and then exploded for the next decade… Second, trends and cycles in music and demographics inevitably start to work in favour of the music you like…for the previous 50 years, when rock was on the descent, pop was on the ascent—and vice versa…in the early 2000s, it was time for that polar shift in the public’s tastes… And third, sometimes the old guard needs a little time to catch their breath, to take the lay of the land, and to figure out what their next moves should be…and if they do it right, their careers move into a new phase, a new act… This exactly is what happened in the first half of the first decade of the 21stcentury…and the results were amazing…this is the history of the oughts, part 3: the return of rock… Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Mar 06, 2019
The 00's Part 2: The Indie Revolution
At the end of the 90s, rock music was deep in the doldrums…fans were genuinely worried for its future…and it did look bleak, especially in contrast to how exciting things had been earlier in the decade… But in ’98 and ’99, rock was under assault on three sides…pop music was king and the whole world had gone crazy for those sounds…then there was rap and hip-hop, which kept getting more popular and stronger every month…and then there was electronica, which was siphoning away rock fans to go dance in a warehouse somewhere… Like I said, it was dire…and lots of rock fans were despondent…it was around then, when rock music was deep in the doldrums, that I wrote a newspaper op-ed…it was a pep talk of sorts…it was called “Britney Spears, the end is nigh”… Basically, I said “there are cycles in music that go back to the 1950s…they describe a fight between rock and pop…when one is at its height, the other is at its low in terms of popularity…yes, pop is hot right now, but rock will come back…and of you look at the history of these cycles, rock should be ready for a big comeback in about two years”…   Turns out I was right…and the artists to lead the comeback were a bunch of young unknowns with fresh ideas…   This is part two of our look at the music of the oughts…I call this episode “the indie revolution”… Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Feb 27, 2019
The 00's Part 1: The Sad State of Rock
How long should we wait before we write the history of a decade?...we can write things down as they happen, but that’s only the first draft…time has to pass before we can wrap our heads around exactly what happened, what it all meant, and the lasting effects of those ten years… Something that may have appeared to be insignificant at the time turned out to be a really big deal…it was only after many years passed and the ripples from that thing or that event played out do we realize “holy crap!...that was history!”… When it comes to the history of music, it’s often convenient to break things down into decades because that seems to be the natural order of things…music is a great barometer of the life and times of a decade because it’s so intertwined with society: politics, economics, demographics—everything to do with culture…understand the music of a decade and you’ll have a better understanding of what happened during that time… The 50s marked the birth of rock’n’roll…the 60s brought us The Beatles, the rise of the album, and the mega rock festival…in the 70s, we got punk, metal, disco, and rap…the 80s?...techno-pop, hair metal, and the era of classic rock…the 90s were all about grunge, the Lollpalooza generation, Britpop… That takes us to the end of the 20thcentury…and as transformative and disruptive as the 90s were—the Internet, cell phones, sampling—that was only a warm-up for the next ten years…by the time it was over, everything had changed… This is a history that first decade of the 21stcentury, which we’re going to call “the oughts”…this is part 1… Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Feb 20, 2019
A Deep Dive Into Vinyl Trivia
There are people who still believe that the resurrection of vinyl is a fad, a passing trend, something of which people will tire and we’ll all move on… This, frankly, is insanity…total insanity… Vinyl LP sales have been going up by double digits year-over-year since 2008…and that’s just new releases…these figures don’t include the sales of used records in record shops, at record sales, or online through eBay or sites like… The numbers also don’t include vinyl sold at the merch table at gigs…and it doesn’t include the millions of younger people who have been raiding their parents’ collections… People are deep into vinyl and are embracing (or re-embracing) the format more and more with every passing week…why?...maybe it’s a reaction to the digital age…people want something physical, tangible, something they can hold in their hands… Maybe it’s the idea that vinyl is inconvenient when compared to digital formats…listen to a vinyl record requires physical presence and care…or maybe it’s the warm, real sound of the audio… Whatever…I’m always getting email from people who want to know more about vinyl as people want to have a closer relationship with their music collections…okay…you asked for it…here’s more about vinyl that you ever need to know… Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Feb 13, 2019
Arkells - In Their Own Words: Part 2
When you’re in a band and things begin to take off, life starts to move pretty fast…days start to blur as you move from gig to the studio, from the studio to the van, and back from gig to gig… Unless you have someone document what’s happening, you run the risk of forgetting a lot of what you go through—both the good stuff and the bad… One way to combat that is through talk therapy—or at least my version of it…this involves getting the entire band together at the same time and getting them to talk about their experiences…once everyone starts to reminisce, the memories start to come back… That’s what I was hoping for with Arkells when all five guys gathered for a long talk…this is part two of “Arkells: in their own words”… Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Feb 06, 2019
Ongoing History Introduces you to: Russia Rising
“Russia Rising” is a new investigative podcast series hosted by Jeff Semple, the former Europe Bureau Chief for Global News. This series hopes to unravel the giant mystery behind Putin’s Russia with the help of those who know her best - Russian Trolls, Hackers, Putin Supporters, and even a former Russian K.G.B. agent.  Join Jeff on the journey to unravel how Russia has gone from tenuous ally, to a potential global threat. Here’s a sneak peek from episode 2 of the series…. and while you’re listening, search and subscribe to “Russia Rising” for free at or wherever you’re enjoying this podcast. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Feb 04, 2019
Arkells - In Their Own Words: Part 1
When you’re in a band, you want to make sure the public record is correct…but you’re often at the mercy of someone else when it comes to creating that record… First, there’s your publicist and anyone at your record label dealing with marketing…they issue bios and press releases where the writer seems to have been paid by the word…they’re paid to fill a page or two in 10-point font, so they revert to lots of flowery language signifying nothing…frankly, I find most official band bios close to useless because they don’t really tell me anything about the band… A site like does better, but often all the writer has to work with are those official bios… Then there’s Wikipedia…it has its drawbacks, but for the most part, Wikipedia entries can be very good because editors incorporate information from a variety of sources, including lots of feature stories and interviews… In my opinion, though, nothing beats getting every member of the band together in a room at the same time and getting them to tell their own story…it’s hard, given the schedules musicians keep, but with a little persistent persuasion, it can be done… So, Wikipedia editors, listen up…if you want to make additions and changes to the entry on Arkells, here’s your chance…this is a conversation between me and all five members of the band…it’s their story, in their own words…start taking notes…here are all the citations you need… Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Jan 30, 2019
The 500th Show!
Every once in a while we will pull a show from the vast Ongoing History of New Music Archives that is a bit of a time capsule. It captures a moment in time that seems somewhat forgotten...distant...calmer... This show takes us back to October of 2006 when we aired our 500th original episode of the Ongoing History. A lot had happened in the world of Alt-Rock up to that point in time...and a lot has happend since. I mean we are at show number 845 and counting!  So, let's take a trip back 12+ years...and 345 shows ago.   Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Jan 28, 2019
Modern Guitar Heroes 2: The Women
It’s been a rough decade for the electric guitar…sales of new instruments have dropped by a third, from 1.5 million globally to around just one million… Why?...generations brought up on electronics are opting out of creating music with traditional instruments like the guitar…instead, they use laptops, iPads, gear like Ableton Live an any number of programmable keyboard devices… Most guitars are being bought and sold by older players…and there are fewer and fewer of them each year… All this has hurt manufacturers like Gibson, who filed for bankruptcy in 2018…it’s hurt music stores, both big and small…it’s hurt music teachers who have fewer students… Sounds dire, right?...maybe…but there’s one bright spot: there has been a steady rise in the number of young women taking up the electric guitar… According to fender, women now make up at least 50% of all the beginner guitar players in North America and the UK…in South East Asia, that number is more like 70%... That’s interesting, given that it wasn’t all that long ago that it was accepted fact that a girl could not play an electric guitar—not as good as a guy, anyway… That attitude abounded through the 70s and 80s…today, that’s no longer the case…the intimidation factor is gone…women are marching right into male-dominated music stores and buying guitars…some take traditional lessons, but others are using online tutorials so they can avoid any hassles and harassment… And most importantly, we’re seeing more female guitar heroes…you no longer have to be a dude to be a guitar role model…and those are the people we’re going to explore on this episode…this is modern guitar heroes: the women… Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Jan 23, 2019
Modern Guitar Heroes: The Men
What is a guitar hero?...yes, yes, it’s a video game that vaguely simulates playing a real guitar…what else?... Yes, yes, it means someone who can rock the “expert level” at guitar hero, the video game…but before that, it meant something totally different… A guitar hero was a guy—and it was almost always a guy—who had achieved a seemingly supernatural mastery of the electric guitar…they were so good that other experts looked to them to learn and for inspiration… Chuck Berry…Jimi Hendrix…Eric Clapton…Jimmy Page…Pete Townshend… Jeff Beck…they were among the first to be declared guitar heroes…they pushed the limits of what could be done with the instrument, amplifiers, and effects pedals… More followed…Eddie Van Halen…Angus Young of AC/DC…The Edge from U2…Slash…Stevie Ray Vaughn…Randy Rhoads… All excellent players…this got me thinking about guitar heroes from the world of alt-rock, specifically from when things exploded in the early 90s?... They aren’t betterthan the first generation of guitar heroes…just different, you know?...let’s make a list, shall we?... Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Jan 16, 2019
You're Fired!
Chances are, at some point in your life you are going to lose your job. If you're lucky it will be a layoff situation and you'll get some sort of severance or package. But it's possible that something happens that gets you fired. Sacked, canned, blown out, axed, dismissed with cause...and involuntarily discharged from your duties.  You then find yourself unemployed. Between Jobs, on the dole, on the beach, on the bench, and out of a job. Hey it happens and whether we like it or not, it's and employers right to terminate an employee...if they follow the labour rules of course.  And being fired is a universal happens in all forms of business. Including being in a band or being associated with a band.  What do you have to do to get fired from your group? There's gotta be two sides to every firing right?Let's investigate...           Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Jan 14, 2019
What’s with Florence + the Machine?
One of my favourite movie lines of all time comes from a 1982 Peter O’Toole film called “My Favorite Year”… O’Toole plays a movie idol named Alan Swann who is reduced to appearing on a variety tv show of the 1950s… a junior writer named Benji Stone is put in charge of babysitting Swann… “just keep him out of trouble,” his bosses say… Naturally, it doesn’t go well and they have a fight when Swann grows angry when Benji insists on the hero worship…then Benji replies: Whoever you were in those movies, those silly heroes meant a lot to me! what does it matter if it was an illusion? it worked! so don't tell me this is you life-size. I can't use you life-size. I need Alan Swanns as big as I can get them! That’s how a lot of us feel about our heroes… and I include our musical heroes in that number… Music is an escape for us…it’s also a fantasyland populated by exotic creatures who do and say things far, far beyond what we could ever dream of doing… but at the same time, we want these creatures to be at least a little accessible, so we can make that all-important personal connection… It’s a tricky balance…we want heroes and heroines, but we also want to know that they’re real… keep the fantasy but open the door a crack, you know?... And it’s more difficult with some artists than others…how, for example, do you handle like someone like Florence Welch of Florence + the Machine?... much of her success is based on a kooky, quirky, fantastical image, like someone who looks like they just stepped out of a renaissance painting or out of a book of Grimm’s fairytales… And then you learn she’s not a natural redhead…I’m sorry, but she’s not… she’s dark-haired and dyed it as a kid…did that just ruin something for you?... It did?... oh, dear… this could be a rough show for you, then… Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Jan 06, 2019
Kings of Leon in Their Own Words: Part 2
This is the second part of our "In Their Own Words" conversation with all four members of the Kings of Leon: Caleb, Nathan, Jared, and Matthew Folllowill. It's the conclusion of ours in depth and honest interview with the band that told their story from their very early days, and up to the summer of 2009. This is Kings of their own words part 2 Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Dec 31, 2018
Kings of Leon in Their Own Words: Part 1
Back in 2009, we sat down with all four member of the Kings of Leon: Caleb, Nathan, Jared, and Matthew Folllowill. What followed was a very in depth and honest interview that told their story from their very early days and up to the summer of 2009. This was the first in a now ongoing series of inviting bands and musicians to tell us their their own words. This is Kings of their own words part 1 Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Dec 30, 2018
10 Things That Really Annoy Me
I'm a normally pretty reserved person, but like anyone else there are some things that really, really bug me: drivers who don't use their turn signal, people who use the word "irregardless", anti-vaxers, creationists, email with no subject line, high-end restaurants that charge for bread and tap water. That sort thing.   As it turns out, there are a bunch of things about music that really annoy me too. At least 10 things in fact. So...let me tell you about them Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Dec 24, 2018
60 Mind-Blowing Facts in 60 Minutes: 4th Edition
One of the occupational hazards of my job is I run across all kinds of facts, bits of data, and pieces of knowledge that don’t have any immediate practical application… For example, I ran across this piece of royal etiquette…the British royals are forbidden to play “monopoly”—as in the board game… I have no idea why, but this is apparently a hard and fast rule… If you have a cat, you know all about hairballs…the technical term for one of those is a “bezoar”… Still with animals, there’s a psychological disorder called “Boanthropy”…this is when a person believes they are a cow and tries to live their lives accordingly… What do you think the most popular item sold at Wal-Mart is?...bananas…Wal-Mart sells more bananas than anything else in its inventory… Astronauts cannot burp is space…that’s because the lack of gravity means all the gases in your stomach get mixed with the liquids and the solids instead of separating out…if you tried to burp, everything would come up at the same time…so where do gastric gases go?...out the other end… And before you ask, no you cannot use that to propel yourself through the international space station…Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield tried that and he reports that the thrust produced isn’t enough to produce the requisite Newtonian shift in vector… I have more, but I think you get the idea…this brings me to the topic of this program…when researching “ongoing history” episodes and my blog, I always come across pieces of information that are, if not useless, very close to being so… But much of this stuff is just too weird, too fascinating, too fun to ignore…so once a year, it has become my habit to conduct a big data dump of this information…what you do with this what I’m about to tell you is completely up to you…. This is the annual show I called “60 mind-blowing facts about music in 60 minutes”…. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Dec 19, 2018
Bush: The Post-CD Band Featuring Gavin Rossdale
Once upon a time, not that long ago and in a land not that far away, musicians—not all, but some—could become very, very rich… Their riches came by selling pieces of plastic to those who enjoyed their music…those pieces of plastic were very, very precious because they were this was the only way musicians could distribute recordings of their art and their supply and their price was strictly regulated by the lords of the music industry… Eons earlier, the oracles had foretold that this plastic would come down—but that never seemed to happen…the overlords enjoyed their immense wealth and were loathe to do anything that might jeopardize the power of their kingdoms… Meanwhile, musicians—not all, but some—also reaped huge riches as millions and even tens of millions of people handed over money for the privilege of owning certain pieces of plastic…the musicians never made as much as their overlords, but plenty just the same…and it was good… In fact, it was very good…there were lavish parties, obscene luxuries and plenty of indulgences on a scale unimaginable by the good citizens of the regular world… Yeah, it’s not like that anymore…new artists know this…but what if you are one of those acts who had a taste of the good life—the old record industry—and then had to adjust to the new realities?... Let’s talk to one of those artists—someone who has adjusted to life in the post-cd world…how was it then—and what’s it like now…really… Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Dec 16, 2018
Radiohead - A History: Part 3
When you sign your first record deal, it’s usually for around seven albums…theoretically; this is to protect both sides… First, it offers the artist a degree of security…it gives the artist a few records to develop and mature so if they don’t score big with the first album, they’ll a little longer to establish their career and reputation… Second, the label has a chance to see if their investment in this act pays off…the label puts all kinds of money into the artist up front and therefore needs the artist to turn profitable as soon as possible so they can make that money back and start seeing a return… But a record deal is like a marriage…sometimes things go well and everyone lives together happily ever after…and sometimes (and for whatever reason), one party wants out…a divorce is in order… It was this second scenario in which Radiohead found itself at the beginning of 2005…they had fulfilled their end of the bargain to EMI Records: six studio albums, a live album, half a dozen EP’s along with at least four video releases…and now they wanted out… they had no wish to resign with EMI … But were their options?... Option (a): negotiate a killer deal with EMI with the hopes of signing a contract that addressed every single one of their concerts…but EMI was in trouble, the smallest and weakest of the major labels…the internet was killing the company and management didn’t seem to have a clue…it looked like they were determined to drive the label into the ground no matter what they did… Option (b) sign with another major label when it looked like the entire recording industry was melting down, again thanks to rampant piracy and the disruption brought about by the other words, a contract with another major might be no better than signing with EMI … But then there was option (c):  go it alone and redefine what it would mean to be an “independent artist”…after thinking long and hard about it, Radiohead went with option (c)… Crazy idea…then again… Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Dec 12, 2018
Radiohead - A History: Part 2
When you think about it, it’s quite an accomplishment to become a one-hit-wonder...sure, your career is essentially over after one song–but hey, at least you made it that far...think about all the bands who have worked for years and years and years and never managed to enjoy even the briefest taste of success... Still, no one likes that’s demoralizing, knowing that you’ve gone down in history as a band with just one good song... It’s hard to imagine it now that they’re considered to be one of the most influential groups of a generation, but this is exactly the sort of thing Radiohead faced early in their career… But with the help of producer John Leckie and a tour opening for Alanis Morisette (who was on her way to selling 30 million copies of “Jagged Little Pill”), they were able to overcome the pressure of following up the potential one-hit-wonder-ness of “Creep”… Let’s pick up the story there…this is a history of Radiohead, part 2… Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Dec 05, 2018
Alt Rock Shrines | From the Archives
When I say the word "Shrine"...what comes to mind? Lords? A temple in the Himalaya’s? Something a war memorial? They could be something makeshift like flowers placed on the side of the road where someone died.  Shrines appear in pop culture too. Any place that has been deemed important because of its history or associations...can be considered a shrine. It's a place people visit so they can see things for themselves.  Now rock n roll has many shrines. The field where Buddy Holly's plane crashed, the site of the first Woodstock in 1969, Elvis' Graceland....doesn't get much bigger than that. But what about in the modern era of rock? There must be places where people make pilgrimages. Well of course there are....and here are a bunch of them.    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Dec 03, 2018
Radiohead - A History: Part 1
Is it just me or has there been an uptick in the number of one-hit-wonders over the past couple of years?...think about all the hot bands who have had just one good album–or even just one good song–before they’re forgotten... In the old days, a group developed and evolved over a series of albums...three, four, five, six records, was slow and look a lot of patience and a lot of fighting to keep things together, but more often than not, it paid off...look at U2...or REM...or Blur...or Depeche Mode...or Nine Inch Nails... None of these bands was what you’d called immediate, instant, hit-it-out-of-the-park successes...each group was allowed to build a career the old-fashioned way: slowly and carefully...and most importantly, they were allowed to make mistakes along the way... Oh–you know who we missed in that list of bands?...Radiohead... They started slow–really slow...they’ve made a bunch of mistakes...they’ve conducted a lot of experiments–some successful, some failures...but because they’ve stuck together, because they’ve always believed in their mission, and most of all, because they all happen to be exceptional musicians, Radiohead has become one of the most revered, most influential and most analyzed groups in the history of alt-rock… And that’s not all…along the way, they’ve managed to rewrite a lot of the rules about what a band is and isn’t supposed to do… This is the story of Radiohead got to where they are today… Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Nov 28, 2018
Death as a Career Move | From the Archives
Here's the thing. As a musician you can spend thousands and thousands of hours, days, weeks working to be a success. You know, make enough money to pay the bills, have a living, and make a career...provide for yourself and the family. And maybe if you work hard enough, catch the right breaks, make the right will make that happen. You'll be successful and it will all seem worth it. Other times...just when you are on the way up, about to have that big break...or maybe you already end up dying.  And that sucks... But...weirdly,  in some cases you end up being up more successful in death then you were in life. You end up making far more money after you shuffled off this mortal coil then you did on it.  And that's not really fair now is it? Here's a look at some cases where death turns out to be an interesting career move. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Nov 23, 2018
Lost CanRock Bands of the 90s: Part 2
Before 1971, there really wasn’t much of a Canadian music industry…sure, there were record labels and recording studios and promoters and agents, but we didn’t have what you’d call a “first-world” industry… Canada was a backwater, a place where the big labels had branch offices…anyone who wanted to make it big had to leave the country, usually for the United States… But then came the Canadian content laws in January 1971…overnight, it became law that Canadian radio stations had to devote 30% of their playlists to Canadian artists…this created an artificial demand for this music which a lot of people screamed bloody murder about… But this demand needed to be serviced, so a modern music industry grew up around it—all the infrastructure required to have a proper domestic scene…that meant more record labels, more recording studios, more promoters, more agents… A domestic star system began to emerge…Canadians started buying more music by Canadian artists…and those artists who didn’t want to bolt for the united states found that they could make a decent living by staying in Canada… It took about 20 years for our music industry to mature into something truly world class…and by the time we got to the 1990s, there was a sense that our best could compete with anyone in the world… That’s when everything exploded…Canadian generation Xers not only embraced the alt-rock that was coming from the States—grunge, industrial, punk, whatever—but also the homegrown stuff…walking into a record store in, say, 1995, meant being faced with racks of Canadian product right up front…and people were mad for it… This is our second half of our remembrance of some great Can-Rock bands of the 90s… Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Nov 20, 2018
Lost CanRock Bands of the '90s: Part 1
If you came of age musically in Canada in the 1990s, you’ll remember that it was an extraordinary time…there was this mass embracing of homegrown music…it was part nationalism and part patriotism, but it was also something else… A vast generation of young people simultaneously said, “Canadian music is as good as anything the rest of the world has to offer and we want more of it”…and we got it… More acts were signed to the big labels and made records…radio played those records…MuchMusic ran the videos…there were tours and festivals…record stores stacked this new stuff up front…and over a few short years, a brand new star system emerged… Some of those stars are still with us…Our Lady Peace, Matthew Good, The Barenaked Ladies, Sloan …they’ve all had fruitful mult-decade careers that began in either the very late 80s or early 90s… The Tragically Hip became a juggernaut…Alanis Morissette had the biggest-selling album from female artist of all time…and let’s not forget that a couple of the “Big Shiny Tunes” compilations from MuchMusic—which were heavy on the Can-Con—sold more than a million units just in this country… Like all eras of music, there was attrition as bands came and went, passing into the realm of memories…that’s the music business…there are some long-term survivors, but most of it is evanescent… So what happen to the rest of acts?...did they really break up?...are they still doing stuff?...where are the members of these bands today?... Let’s try to track down some of the CanRock groups of the 90s, part 1… Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Nov 13, 2018
Groups That Changed Their Front-Person and Survived
Building and maintaining a band is a lot like building and maintaining a sports team…you struggle and wheel-and-deal and trade and sometimes steal to put together just the right lineup… And it’s not just sound and talent…it’s chemistry…leadership…stamina…all those intangible things that goes into making the whole greater than the sum of its parts… The perils are the same, too…your star quarterback goes down…that guy on the second line has tons of talent but he’s a cancer in the dressing room…the person you thought was healthy and strong turns out to have some kind of issue that’s getting worse and worse…or someone just might die on you… When everything goes pair-shaped, you have two choices: give it all up and call it a day…or you rebuild…. With a sports team, there are enough players out there that you can find a replacement…a trade, some cash, a draft pick, a free agent and you’re back in business…or maybe someone on the team steps up and unexpectedly fills that hole with talent and leadership… The same kind of thing can happen with a band, too—but not always…when a star departs—especially a lead singer and front person—that can create a fatal vacancy that can never be filled and so the band breaks up… Sometimes…but not always…here’s a study of groups who ended up changing their front person—and survived… Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Nov 01, 2018
It's A Family Affair
Music is one of those things that can bring families together…and sometimes, that togetherness grows into a business… The BeeGees had the three Gibb brothers…baby brother Andy Gibb was also part of that universe for a while… Then there’s The Beach Boys…the original lineup included Brian, Dennis, and Carl Wilson and their cousin Mike Love…Murray Wilson—the father of Brian, Dennis, and carl—was their manager…he was terrible at it (in fact, Murray was an all-round disasters for his sons), but at least they were all together…or something like that…three brothers, their father and a cousin… We have The Cowsills…this was a 60s pop group from Rhode island who had a series of hits…six siblings: Bob, Bill, Barry, John, Paul and Susan…they ranged from 8 to 18…and then there was mother Barbra…this arrangement was the inspiration for the TV show “the partridge family”…that’s seven people, which later became eight when Bob’s twin brother Richard joined up for a bit… And we have to talk about the Jackson 5: Michael, Jackie, Tito, Jermaine, and Marlon…when the group left Motown, Jermaine was replaced by randy… So that’s six members of the Jackson 5… then we have Janet, LaToya and Rebbie…that’s nine and everything was run by father Joe Jackson—another abusive disaster…so the count is up to 10… All this got me thinking: are their equivalents in the world of alt-rock?...what are the biggest family affairs the genre has ever seen?...let’s take a look… Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Oct 24, 2018
Rock Star Kids | From the Archives
Being a kid of a rock star isn't the easiest life to live. The celebrity, the expectations to be like your dad or mom who's a famous rock star. Everyone watching you to make a mistake. But there are times it has its rewards too. This is a look at what it's like to be a Rock Star kid Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Oct 22, 2018
9 Great Alt-Rock Cover Songs
There’s just something fun about learning to play one of your favourite songs for yourself…you know, learning the lyrics, figuring out the chords and the rhythm and deconstructing all the constituent parts… Then you get deeper…you begin to appreciate how everything fits together, the artistic decisions made by songwriter made, what kind of musical skill is required, the sort of production that was employed all that…and by the time you’ve learned the song, you’ve learned a whole lot of other things, too…and you’re probably a better musician as a result…this is why learning to play other people’s music is so important… Now let’s look at it from the other side…if a song can be interpreted multiple times by many different people and it still sounds good, then that is a great song… The best compositions not only sound great when played by a full band, but also sound great when performed by one person around a campfire… And finally, there’s the fan aspect of all this…people love to hear songs done in different ways by different artists…sometimes the cover is even better than the original—or, at the very least, is revealed to be something more in the hands of someone else… With all this in mind, I’ve assembled a list of cover songs…and we’re going to go through with them to determine what makes them (and the original) great… Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Oct 17, 2018
Was Kurt Cobain Murdered: Part 2
For this Ongoing History bonus Podcast, we go back to the spring of 2004 to take a look at the "Was Kurt Cobain Murdered" conspiracy. These shows originally aired 10 years after the death of Cobain and looks at all the angles, all the facts, all the theories, and all the conspiracies about how Kurt dies.  And now, almost lmost 25 years from his death some people are still debating whether Kurt Cobian comitted suicide...or if he was murdered.  Lots to unpack in this 2 part series. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Oct 14, 2018
USS In Their Own Words: Part 2
I hope you’re ready for an interesting interview with Ash and Jay from USS…because this is another one of those occasional “in their own words” profiles where I just let the artist tell their stories in whatever fashion they choose…and if listened to part one, this talk with USS was not in anyway ordinary… When you sit down with Ash Boschultz and Jay “The Human Kebab” Parsons of USS, you end up having a conversation where you’re not sure how you arrived at this place, but there you are…so just open your mind, sit back and take it all in… It’s part two of USS: in their own words… Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Oct 10, 2018
Was Kurt Cobain Murdered: Part 1
For this Ongoing History bonus Podcast, we go back to the spring of 2004 to take a look at the "Was Kurt Cobain Murdered" conspiracy. These shows originally aired 10 years after the death of Cobain and looks at all the angles, all the facts, all the theories, and all the conspiracies about how Kurt dies.  And now, almost lmost 25 years from his death some people are still debating whether Kurt Cobian comitted suicide...or if he was murdered.  Lots to unpack in this 2 part series. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Oct 07, 2018
USS In Their Own Words: Part 1
If you’re a fan of a particular artist, you want to know everything you can about them…maybe you scour things like their official bios, their Wikipedia pages and maybe read through as many interviews and articles as you can… All that is fine…but what if there’s a way to get more?.... When it comes to telling the story of an artist, it is always best if you get the artist to tell it themselves…you get the unvarnished truth, told from the heart by the people who are actually making the music… That’s great in theory, but it’s awfully difficult to get everyone in one place at one time, what with touring schedules, recording commitments and life…but if there’s just two people, then it’s a little easier… With a little bit of wrangling, I managed to get Ash and Jay from USS into the studio…has their story been told before?...yes, of course…but not like this… This is USS in their own words, part 1… Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Oct 03, 2018
More Famous Recording Studios
I love the smell and feel of recording studios…if you’ve been inside a proper one, you’ll know what i mean… The air is kept clean and dust-free to protect the equipment…the a/c is usually cranked up to offset the heat generated by the electronics…there’s a slight whiff of ozone created by all the electrical circuits…and it’s usually very, very quiet…loads of isolation and baffling and sound-proofing… To me, a recording studio is the musical equivalent of an operating theatre; a place that’s dedicated to one thing and one thing only…and what goes on within the walls is deadly serious… Okay, I’m not saying that recording a song is the same as a heart transplant or something, but there is the same sort of vibe… There used to be dozens and dozens of these places around the planet…people would travel thousands of kilometers to work there because they were thought to be magical in some way… But that’s when you needed a full-equipped recording studio to make a record…today, you can do a pretty good job with a laptop in your bedroom… Many of the legendary studios are gone, a victim of the changing economics of the music industry…a few of these behemoth still exist… This is another look at the world’s legendary recording studios, both past and present…   Songs in this Episode: David Bowie - Life on Mars Sex Pistols - Holiday in the Sun The Verve - Bittersweet Symphony Mumford & Sons - Believe The Clash - The Magnificent Seven The Black Keys - Tighten Up The Tragically Hip - Poets Bob Marley and the Wailers - No Woman, No Cry Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Sep 26, 2018
Bent Bands
I used to be a big fan of “King of the Hill”…Hank Hill would often look at his son Bobby and say…  “that boy ain’t right” I know how he feels…you know when you encounter someone and there’s something off about them?...they’re not malevolent or evil in any way…they’re not a danger to themselves or anyone else…they’re just different… They look at the world in ways you wouldn’t think to—which is kinda cool in a lot of ways… but at the same time it might be a bit—well, maybe “unnerving” is too strong…but at the same time, you’re not really sure what’s going on or how you should react… This happens a lot with music…you encounter artist who has a complete unexpected attitude to towards the universe…this is to be expected…art can comes from a strange, uncharted place in the soul…and since all souls are different, you’d expect that some weird will leak out from some of the weirder souls… And because alt-rock has a history of being open to different forms of expression, some of these souls have found homes in this province of rock’n’roll…and some of those have even had hit records… Maybe we should look at some of these musical outliers…it’s a tense world…maybe this will help loosen us up…and hey, who doesn’t like a bent sense of humour from time to time? Buckle in…this is about to get weird…and at some point, you will be thinking “that boy ain’t right” Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Sep 23, 2018
Songs Based on Real Events
Streaming is a very cool way to access tens of millions of songs with a few pokes on your phone…the idea of being able to listen to virtually any song from any era of human history with such ease is something akin to magic… The downside of streaming is that it doesn’t provide any context to what we’re hearing…a continuous stream of music tells us nothing about the artist or the song…it’s just music, standing alone with nothing to anchor it to anything… It was different in the old days…if you bought an album, dammit, that was an investment…you paid money for it, which created a fiscal relationship with the artist…that meant you were more likely to stick with an album and get deeper into the artist and the songs…otherwise, you had this nagging feeling you had wasted your money… Context means so much to the enjoyment of music—which is probably a reason you’re listening to me right now…you want more than the notes that make up a song… Yeah, sometimes a song is just a song…you know, it’s got a good beat, you can dance to it and maybe sing along…it doesn’t really mean anything more than that… But some songs are very deep…they actually form some part of a historical record…they tell the story of real people, real events and the things that came after… That’s where we’re going with this show: everything we’re about to hear is based on fact, on history, on actual events…and you may be shocked by the truth beyond songs that you’ve been digging all your life…this isn’t anything you’re gonna get from a stream…trust me… Songs in this episode: The Clash - White Riot Boomtown Rats - I Don't Like Monday's U2 - Sunday Bloody Sunday REM - What's the Frequency Kenneth? Pearl Jam - Jeremy Nirvana - Polly The Tragically Hip - Wheat Kings Filter - Hey Man, Nice Shot!     Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Sep 19, 2018
Alt Rocks Craziest People
It's another bonus episode and this one by request. Someone asked recently: "Have you ever done a show about alt-rocks really out-there people? I don't mean that they've done terrible things...just...they have their challenges?"Why yes we have...about 12 years ago in fact. This is Alt-Rocks Craziest People. Songs used in this episode: Iggy Pop - Real Wild Child David Bowie - Alladin Sane Joy Division - She's Lost Control Killing Joke - Love Like Blood The Verve - The Drugs Don't Work Nivana - On A Plain Courtney Love - Mono The Vines - Highly Evolved The Libertines - Up The Bracket Pre) Thing - Faded Love   Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Sep 16, 2018
A Brief History of Alt Psychedelic Rock
Here’s one of the most misunderstood and misused words in the English language: “psychedelic” … The word first came into use in 1956 when a psychiatrist named Humphrey Osmond was studying a new class of pharmaceuticals that had potential when it came to treating certain mental disorders… A chemical known as lysergic acid diethylamide—LSD, for short—had been extracted by a Swiss scientist named Albert Hoffman from a fungus called “ergot”…from 1943 on, medical professionals tried to figure out what it could be used for…it was even marketed commercially for a while under the brand name “delysid”… Then the CIA got involved, thinking that LSD could be used for things like interrogation, chemical warfare and mind control…but that’s a whole other story... Because the chemical resulted in people entering an altered state of perception, some started using it recreationally… artists discovered its properties and started taking acid trip, looking for inspiration and new creative roads… Then other psychedelics went mainstream, including mescaline (which comes from the peyote plant) and psylocybin (which you get from certain mushrooms) before just about all of these drugs were made illegal… Meanwhile, “psychedelic”—which means “soul-revealing” in Greek—became an adjective…it describes anything that could be described as mind expanding, anything that alters the way we perceive reality… Naturally, this quickly extended to music…psych became a thing in the 60s—that sound, feel, vibe, attitude continues today with alt-rock… This is a quick history of psych in the world of alternative music…   Songs used in this episode: Kula Skaker - Tattva The Soft Boys - Give It To The Soft Boys Teardrop Explodes - Sleeping Gas Echo and the Bunnymen - Bring on the Dancing Horses Siousxie and the Banshees - Dear Prudence Spaceman 3 - Revolution The Bangles - Hero Takes A Fall My Bloody Valentine - Soon The Verve - Slide Away Tame Impala - Elephant Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Sep 12, 2018
When we started posting "bonus" epiosodes of the Ongoing History, lots of people began requesting topics...wondering if we had ever covered them. With 800+ shows in the vault, there is a good chance that we have. One request came to us from a drummer who asked "I'm sure you've done shows about singers and guitarists...but what about drummers? I play the drums and often am the butt of jokes because...well I play the drums". Well...good thing you asked becasue in May of 2004 we paid homage to the Drummer. And here it Podcast form. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Sep 10, 2018
Alt Rock Concept Albums: Part 2
Every song comes from some sort of story. Sometimes it’s just the story of a feeling…good or bad…or maybe it’s just a way of getting a point of view across. Other songs are actual stories. They have a narrative, characters, drama, beginning, middle and end. But what if you’re a composer and you have a story that is too long….too complex to fit in the standard four minute song. Well then maybe you need to think about breaking it out to its constituent parts and telling the story across multiple songs. You do this over enough songs and you create a concept album. A record where a story or a variety of themes tie everything together front to back and back to front. Your four-minute short story has turned into an hour-long novel. This is part 2 of the history of the concept album in alt-rock. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Sep 05, 2018
Sloan In Their Own Words: Part 2
It's not easy making a living as a rock band in Canada... This is afterall the second largest country in the world. And when you consider that the Trans-Canada Highway is over 7600 kilometers long, and there is nearly 10 million square kilomters of land spead out over 6 time zones,'s a little daunting to say the least.  And even though 77% of Canada's 36 million people live in big cities, bands still have to work really really hard to reach everyone.   It's even harder when you factor in that we live right next door to the largest exporter of pop-culture in the universe.  Geography has chewed up the domestic careers of countless bands...but some have it figured out. They've got the routine and fanbase all figured out. They may not be rich, but they are making a solid and respectable living as rock stars in Canada. Sloan is one of those bands. They've been around since 1991and have become somewhat of a Canadian institution.  This is Sloan in Their Own Words...Part 2. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Sep 02, 2018
Alt Rock Concept Albums: Part 1
There are many ways to tell a story...a book, a movie, at TV, a comic book. You also use music of course; a ballad is a story set to music,  a lot of music videos tell a story. Operas and ballet are more grand.  The other musical option is the concept album. These are records where all the songs, all  the imagery, is somehow tied togethor by some sort of unifying theme or thesis. The music, the lyrics and sometimes even the artwork come togehtor to tell a story.  These were big in the '60's and 70's but they were seen as old rock and needed to be expunged from popular culture.  But then a funny thing happened. They started to make a comeback...the stigma vanished, and they even found a place in Alt-Rock. Here...let me show you. Songs in this episode: Green Day - American Idiot, David Bowie - Ziggy Stardust, Kraftwerk - Computer Love, Husker Du - Pink Turns to Blue, Nine Inch Nails - Hurt, Smashing Pumpkins - Bullet With Butterfly Wings, Weezer - No Other One, Tool - Stinkfist, Marilyn Manson - Beautiful People     Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Aug 29, 2018
Sloan In Their Own Words: Part 1
Over the years, there have been a good number of Canadian bands that have gone on hiatus, broken up, taken time apart....and eventually reunited.  Some have made it work....others not so much. Take Sloan for example. Aside from a brief 2 year hiatus between 1994 and 1996...we'll explain...they've been putting out music since 1991 and really, can you imagine a Canadian rock music scene without them? Fortunately for us, we were able to get Chris Murphy and Jay Ferguson in a studio and we thought it best to get them to explain the history of their own words.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Aug 26, 2018
Medical Mysteries of Music
Okay here is something that may shock you. As far as scientists can tell, there is no biological or evolutionary need for humans to have…music. As a species, we could get along just fine without it. Life would be much duller but we would be okay. Yet there is something about our brains…we’re hard wired to both crave and create music. Bottom line is that music is literally part of your DNA, which brings up some interesting issues. Welcome to an episode that I call “Medical Mysteries of Music” Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Aug 22, 2018
Going Solo
Sometimes when you’re in a band, you have ideas and ambitions that might not line up exactly with what your band is doing. This can cause tension, friction, confusion...suspicion. So, one of two things can happen: the band can break up and use the "creative differences excuse", or you can reach some sort of agreement where the keener can do whatever it is they want and everyone can then get back down to business. Sometimes this works...and sometimes it doesn't. This is what happens when someone in a band says, "Screw you...I'm going solo!"     Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Aug 19, 2018
Useless information
Alright, let’s face it. My entire carrier is based on obscure information. The weirder stuff I can find out about a band, an artist, a musician, a performer…the better. However. Obscure information does not necessarily mean useful information. But I don’t think there is anything wrong with useless information.  This is the fun stuff…the bits of trivia that gives things spice. You can use it to win bar bets and I’m glad I know it because it’s just fun! So, I think it’s time that I gather this information and give it to you as one bit glob and data dump. Use it however you would like…I call this The Completely Useless Information Show. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Aug 15, 2018
Eggheads and Geeks
We're going to dispel some myths about the rock star. Over the decades, most people have come to believe that rock stars...of both sexes...are drunken, drugged out sex machines that had they not learned to play an instrument would have had a hard time holding down the worse type of minimum wage job.  But being a rock star isn't necessarily synonymous with having the intellect and manners of a caveman. Don't believe us? Have a listen and you'll see.   Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Aug 13, 2018
Fans and Fatalities
It's not only expensive to put on a concert or a tour, but it's also risky. There's the whole issue of liabiltiy. If a fan gets hurt or killed, the resulting lawsuits can be crippling. You need insurance. You know...just in case something awful happens.  And awful things do happen.  No one goes to or holds a concert with the idea of anyone being hurt...but...stuff happens. Well, what kind of stuff?  Well...I'm glad you asked Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Aug 10, 2018
A Not-So Brief History of Ska: Part 2
Ska was born in Jamaica in the 1950's. It was declared over at least twice. The first wave pettered out in the 1960's as Reggae took hold. Then in the early 1980's, post-punk Ska was suddenly deemed passe.  But on both occasions, Ska rose from the dead and came back even stronger.  Ska is not onto its 3rd wave...and that's where we are going. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Aug 08, 2018
A Not-So Brief History of Ska: Part 1
How many of today's Ska fans...and there are millions and millions of them all across the world...realise how deep and how rich, and how complicated the history of this music really is? From first wave, through second wave, and finally the present third wave of Ska...We think it's time to check it out. This is the first part of our in depth look at the history of Ska. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Aug 01, 2018
Rage Against The Machine: Part 2
On this Podcast, conclude our 2009 profile of Rage Against The Machine. Few bands in Alt-Rock are as passionate, powerful and influenctial as these four guys. We trace the roots of Rage from their earliest bands, all the way through their reunion in the late 00's. Enjoy. And turn this one up! Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Jul 30, 2018
The Inventors
Every walk of life has its stars...the famous people who get all the attention. In business it's the CEO's, in sports the athletes. In movies it's the actors and to some extent, the directors. And in music it's the musicians...and the singers. But to be honest, these people are just the faces of their respective industries and pursuits. Some have real power and influcence...others are just figureheads and pupets.  Whatever the case, behind them...behind the famous people...are armies of people who made it possible for these folks to do what they do.  This is the kind of stuff I want to explore on this program. The people deep behind the music and who never got the credit. Until now... Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Jul 25, 2018
Rage Against The Machine: Part 1
Few bands in Alt-Rock are as passionate, powerful and influenctial as Rage Against The Machine. On this weeks bonus summer Podcast, and by request, we dig into the archives to bring you our 2009 profile of RATM. We trace the roots of Rage from their earliest bands, all the way through their reunion in the late 00's. Enjoy. And turn this one up! Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Jul 23, 2018
Great Lost Albums
I hate not finishing something I start…for example, if I pick up a novel, I’m determined to finish the thing even if I hate it… But then I look around the house and I see all the jobs that I didn’t complete…organizing the basement…filing all CDs and records…that little project in the back corner of the garden that—well, I don’t even remember what I was trying to do there… Then there’s my novel…I’ve wrote two chapters in a flurry of creativity year ago—and I haven’t touched it since…it’s been so long that the file was written in WordPerfect…I hope I can still open it…I’ll get around to checking that…. All this unfinished business really bothered me—until I saw something that made me feel so much better… It was in china...north of Beijing is a giant amusement park that from the highway looks a lot like Disneyland…it’s called wonderland…it was supposed to attract millions of visitors from all across the country… But then in 1998, investors pulled out…120 acres of half-finished, abandoned, fairytale-themed amusement park…it was so weird…all this time and money and labour put into something only to never see it actually work out… Which brings me to this…just because you start on an album doesn’t mean you’ll ever finish it…and even if you do, it doesn’t mean it’ll ever get released… There are dozens and dozens and dozens of “lost” albums sitting in vaults and on hard drives all over the world…who made them?...and what happened?...let’s take a look—and maybe even a listen… Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Jul 11, 2018
Christian Rock
For this weeks bonus Ongoing History Podcast, we go back to January 2005 and our look at Christian Rock. In this episode we trace its history and evolution of  in the Alt-Rock world. It's not all Creed! Thankfully... Special thanks to Brad from Brampton, Ontraio who asked for Alan's thoughts on the genre. And fortunately, we had one on file!  Here it is!  Enjoy! Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Jul 10, 2018
You're Going to Jail!
Welcome to a show about crime—specifically crimes committed by performers in alt-rock…and i’m not talking about petty misdemeanors, bar fights, minor felonies, drug convictions or overnight stays in the drunk tank…the topic is real crime and hard time…arrests, convictions and long-term jail sentences—in some cases, sentences scheduled to last decades…robbery, murder, child abuse…there’s some scary stuff coming up here… Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Jul 04, 2018
History of Indie Rock: Part 4
For decades, the attitude was that if you recorded for an independent label, you were in the minor leagues…after all, if you were any good or you made music that the masses were likely to enjoy, you’d have been picked up by a major label, right?... The world of indie rock—which itself was a subset within the already left-of-centre alternative rock scene—was a place to put all the extra weird misfits or those whose talent was questioned… Totally unfair…mostly…yes, there were plenty of dregs when it came to indie rock…but this is also the universe where people took chances…and every once in a while, something great inevitably happened…a new sound…a new trend…a new band…even just a new song… And when things got weird with the music establishment in the era of music piracy and illegal downloads, it was the indie world that was forced to step up and figure what everyone needed to do… This is part four of our history of indie rock… Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Jun 27, 2018
Green Day: From their Beginning to 2005
For this weeks bonus Ongoing History Podcast, we go back to early 2005 and our profile of Green Day. In this episode we trace their history from their very beginnings before the band even formed, right up to the release of their "comeback album" American Idiot. Special thanks to Colin who asked: "Hey Alan...have you ever done a show about the history of Green Day"?Why yes we have Colin...13 years ago. And here it is again! Enjoy! Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Jun 25, 2018
The History of Indie Rock: Part 3