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Ongoing History of New Music

Ongoing History of New Music

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.

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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? See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
2022-01-19
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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? See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
2022-01-12
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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? See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
2022-01-05
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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?   See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
2021-12-29
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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... See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
2021-12-22
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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?? See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
2021-12-15
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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? See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
2021-12-08
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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?...in 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? See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
2021-12-01
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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.   See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
2021-11-24
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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?? See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
2021-11-17
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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?...now 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?...free?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.. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
2021-11-10
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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? See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
2021-11-03
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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? See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
2021-10-27
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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? See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
2021-10-20
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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?...do 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?... See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
2021-10-13
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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? See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
2021-10-06
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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? See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
2021-09-29
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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?... See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
2021-09-22
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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? See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
2021-09-15
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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? See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
2021-09-08
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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 bottle...how 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 bottle...how 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? See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
2021-09-01
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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??. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
2021-09-01
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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. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
2021-08-25
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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? ? See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
2021-08-18
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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? See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
2021-08-11
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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.  See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
2021-08-04
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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.  See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
2021-07-28
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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.   See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
2021-07-21
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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!...how 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? See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
2021-07-14
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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?? See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
2021-07-07
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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? See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
2021-06-30
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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? See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
2021-06-23
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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? See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
2021-06-16
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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? See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
2021-06-09
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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? See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
2021-06-02
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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? See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
2021-05-26
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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?...here is their requiem? See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
2021-05-19
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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? See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
2021-05-12
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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? See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
2021-05-05
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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? See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
2021-04-28
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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?   See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
2021-04-21
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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? See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
2021-04-14
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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? See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
2021-04-07
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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? See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
2021-03-31
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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? See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
2021-03-24
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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? See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
2021-03-17
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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?? See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
2021-03-10
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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?? See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
2021-03-03
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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? See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
2021-02-24
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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? See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
2021-02-17
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