DiscoverOngoing History of New Music
Ongoing History of New Music

Ongoing History of New Music

Author: Curiouscast

Subscribed: 25,656Played: 593,827


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.

362 Episodes
Let me ask you many times have you heard a song and said "Hey that song sounds just like something I heard last month. That guitar riff is really familiar....don't they realize those chords were used in a song years ago?!?!?!" This sort of thing happens all the fact it happens more than most people realize. Sometimes quiet deals are worked out behind the scenes and the public never knows, other times things get ugly.... These are true stories of plagiarism and unfortunate sonic coincidences in the world of Alt-Rock...part 1 Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
We’ve all been for a concert you really, really want to see are set to go on sale at exactly’re on the Ticketmaster site as the clock ticks toward the appointed time... 9:59:57...9:59:58...9:59:59...ten o’clock! time... Enter...nothing...refresh refresh refresh the try mashing the f5 button a bunch hit control-r a couple of times...still nothing...but then, one last time and you’re in!...except you’re 10:01 and 17 seconds, the show you so desperately wanted to see is sold out... What did everything could so many tickets get sold so fast?...hello, what’s this? are already for sale on the secondary market?...and the price is double the face value?...what just happen This is just one ticket-buying scenario...maybe you were able to get in only to discover that tickets were already selling for quadruple the original price—and that’s through the primary seller—in this case, Ticketmaster... You’re the act’s biggest fan! should be able to get tickets to at least one of their shows...and you’ve been shut out in less than 90 seconds...hello?...ever get the feeling you’ve been cheated?... Hold on...back up...there’s a lot to process here and it can get pretty emotional...buying concert tickets can be one of the most frustrating of all retail experiences...and a big part of the problem is that the average person doesn’t understand how it works... Wait...that sounds condescending, but I don’t mean it to be...getting a ticket to a concert should be simple—but it’s not...the complexities of buying and selling concert tickets today would drive Einstein insane... Stick around and I will do my best to unravel everything for you and by the time we’re done, I won’t have made it any easier to get a ticket, but maybe you’ll understand why you can’t get one...this is the weird history of concert tickets, part 2... Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Let’s define a “concert ticket” is a contract between you, an act, a promoter, and a venue that allows you admission to specific event at a stated time and place...seems simple enough...let’s continue... A concert ticket can cost money that goes to covering costs and making a profit for those staging the concert...or in some cases, it can be free and is used mainly for tracking attendance... Fair enough...a concert ticket can be pre-printed on card can be printed by a machine when you buy can be a bar or QR code on a piece of paper you print out at may have a little hologram thingy on it or some other sort of security device...that ticket may be tied to the credit card used to buy the ticket—or it may not...and when you go through the door, a person may take your ticket, tear your ticket in half, or just scan it... But maybe you don’t have a physical ticket at have an e-ticket which has been living on your phone for poke through a bunch of screens until you finally find it, holding up everyone in line and thinking to yourself you should have really called it up earlier because you couldn’t remember where you stored it and then get that scanned... Fine...that’s a concert ticket...but who are the people behind issuing and redeeming all these tickets?...what entities get to determine how much we have to pay? come we have to buy so many tickets through Ticketmaster?...and what about these services charges and dynamic pricing and scalpers who somehow get their hands on tickets in second if not before tickets go on sale to the general public? And here’s a bold statement: everything you know about concert tickets is probably wrong... Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Once upon a time, it was illegal—criminal—to be another other than heterosexual...any hint that you may be something other than straight could get you into all sorts of trouble—and career suicide was the least of your worries... In 1895, the famous English playwright, Oscar Wilde, was put on trial for homosexual practices...he was found guilty and sentenced to two years in jail...he never recovered from the ordeal and died soon after his release... In 1959, Liberace, the famous pianist, sued the London Daily Mirror for libel for implying that he was went to trial and on the stand and under oath, Liberace stated that–this is 1959, remember–he had never indulged in homosexual practices...the judge believed him and he won $24,000... In 1982, a former male bodyguard sued him for palimony–and this time, Liberace had to pay out $95,000...finally, in 1987, he died of AIDS–and the Daily Mirror came calling, looking for a refund of their $24,000... And look at Elton John...despite the fact that he married a woman in 1984, the rumours of his homo- and bisexuality helped erode his fan base in the late 70s...he had to hide it for decades, something that took a serious emotional toll... When you put everything into this kind of context, you can see how far things have come today...if someone comes out, this admission is greeted by most with a’s like “”... And not only that, but sexual orientation is protected by law in much of the world...for example, in late 2004, the French parliament adopted legislation that could get a person one year in jail for insulting homosexuals...this law treats anti-gay and sexist comments in the same way other laws treat racist and anti-Semitic insults...say something homophobic in France and you could end up with 12 months in the clink plus the equivalent of a $75,000 fine... But it wasn’t always this way, including in the world of new rock, which was supposed to be so progressive, liberal and of some stories of brave people who took a lot of arrows for who they were. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
I vividly remember sitting down to write the first-ever episode of “The Ongoing History of New Music”...I was in my living room with a blank yellow note pad...and I was terrified... To be brutally honest, I did not want this gig...but the powers-that-be decreed that this was my new job...if didn’t want to do it, that would have been cool...I was told I’d receive a manila envelope containing a modest severance package... That wouldn’t work...I’d just gotten married and I’d just bought a house with a 12 ½ per cent mortgage...and I’d done radio all my adult life, so I didn’t really have a lot of skills for any other line of work... So I told the bosses that “okay, I’ll do it”...what other choice did I have?... So there I am, sitting looking at this blank yellow note pad this was before the internet and before anyone started writing books on the history of alternative music... ...where to start? to organize everything?...and how could I come up with something every single week?... What’s that quote from the ancient Chinese philosopher, Laozi?... “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step” I just started scribbling notes... A few days later, I had a script for the first episode of “The Ongoing History of New Music”...I decided that the best way to begin was to make a pilot, a show that laid out what the program would be...I was a total guess...I had no idea...none... I figured I’d do the show for a couple of years and then move on...people would get tired of it, it would outlive its usefulness, or I’d just end up getting fired—for real, this time... But here we are, 30 years later, and I’m still doing “Ongoing History” shows...and as I sit here, it’s February 2023, we’re about 30-ish episodes from Ongoing History show number one thousand...that’ll happen sometime in November... Things have changed a lot since I wrote and recorded that first episode, things that we’ll get into when we get to show number one thousand...but for now, to mark 30 years since the first episode aired, we’ve pulled the recording from the archive and are making it available for the first time as a Podcast...God, the concept of Podcasts was still years away when we started this... So just for fun, let’s take a listen to that very first program, broadcast on February 28, 1993...I hope this isn’t too cringey... Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Black History Month 2023

Black History Month 2023


A couple of years back, I did an episode called “The Diversity Show” ran in February as part of Black History Month...the goal was to salute the contributions of people of African descent to the world of rock... It was quite the list...Jimi Hendrix...we had to talk about Jimi, one of the greatest guitarists of all time...then there was Death,  a criminally overlooked band from Detroit called Death who were about 20 years ahead of their time... We talked about Bad Brains, the great hardcore band from DC...we moved to English for discussions about Ska stars The Specials and The English beat...the punk-funk of Fishbone, the metal crunch of both Living Colour and Ice-T’s and BodyCount And we included Lenny kravitz, Bloc Party, Bakar, Kenny Hoopla, and more... But the list was incomplete, of course...there was only so much time and there are so many people and events we need to talk let’s spread the recognition around a little more for Black History Month 2023... Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
More Vinyl Stories

More Vinyl Stories


At the dawn of the 21st century, vinyl was dead, dead, dead...we were all going digital and there was no point in keeping this ancient format...vinyl records were dusty, scratchy, and noisy...they took up too much storage space...they warped and got water damaged... But the biggest knock against vinyl was that it wasn’t portable...MP3s were a brand-new thing back then and the idea of being able to carry around a thousand songs on a device that could fit in your pocket was pretty sexy... While vinyl never went out of production, fewer and fewer records were manufactured...pressing plants shut down and the machinery either sold off for parts or scrapped entirely...and if you happen to need a new turntable or a cartridge, good luck...try and find one... Two groups of people stood between vinyl and its extinction: hardcore collectors who never bought into all the digital promises and djs who preferred spinning records instead of mixing CDs... Vinyl was doomed...but then it wasn’t...starting in 2008, a weird thing some zombie in one of those old Italian horror movies of the early 80s, the format rose from the dead... And today, vinyl is doing something it hasn’t done since the early 90s: generating more revenue than cds...the world still buys more compact discs, but because vinyl sells at a premium, it brings in more money than CDs... Despite supply chain issues, shortages of polyvinyl chloride, back-ups at pressing plants, and higher and higher prices, more people are getting into vinyl every day...that’s why I thought it was time that we explored a few more stories about a format that refuses to go away... Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Like Homer Simpson, I love my TV...without my local, network, cable, on-demand, and streaming shows none of us would have made it through the pandemic...  The downside is that in order to remain distracted and entertainment, I became over-subscribed...mixed with my perpetual fear of missing out, I’ve ended up paying for more cable channels than I need and subscribing to channels I don’t even watch...  I’m just too lazy to go through my credit card statements, find the offending charges, and then go through the hassle of calling customer service and cancelling my subscription...I gotta do that...  But I’ve been a TV junkie since I was a kid...and one of the things that’s always fascinated me are TV theme songs...some are bespoke compositions commissioned specifically for a show...others are formerly standalone songs that licensed for a program...  In both cases, being the writer of a theme song can be extraordinarily lucrative, especially if the show is a hit and goes into syndication...every time the theme you wrote gets played on TV—broadcast or streamed—anywhere in the world, you get paid...every...single...time...  And since having your song played as part of a TV show, you’re constantly advertising its existence to the world...if you’re lucky, it’ll blow up into something even bigger...and although it doesn’t happen much anymore, your label might decide to release your TV theme as a single...and if it becomes a hit that way, wow....  What I’d like to do is look at the history of some of these TV themes, focusing on rock bands who made some very good money—sometimes-insane money—from somehow ending up being associated with television...  This could very well alter the way you listen to TV from now on... Learn more about your ad choices. Visit



Back in the late 70s, the BBC debuted a science education show called “Connections”...the host was James Burke, an affable, professorish guy, usually dressed in a beige polyester leisure suit who gave the term “interdisciplinary” a whole new meaning... His thing was to take disparate developments in science and technology and show how they were actually interconnected in ways that led to our modern world...nothing, he demonstrated, existed in isolation over the long term... One show connected the invention of the cannon to the first movie project in the late 1800s...there were obviously a lot of steps in between, but Burke was able to draw a very clear line...another demonstrated the few degrees of separating between drinking gin and tonics to astronomers discovering the true size of the universe... “Connections” remains one of my all-time favourite TV shows...and to be honest, more than a little of this program is inspired by the way James Burke was able to tie things together... I’ve always wanted to create a proper “connections”-type show, but it’s been hard because so much knowledge and research and analysis and synthesis is required...and if I’m honest, what you’re about to hear has taken years to pull together...I hope I can do things justice... Here is my attempt to create some connections between rock music and some seemingly unconnected inventions, events, and discoveries from the past... Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
The History of Remixes

The History of Remixes


When humans first started making audio recordings of music, they were limited as to how long those recordings could be... An original Edison cylinder could maybe hold two minutes of music, therefore any songs committed to the format had to be two minutes or shorter—otherwise you’d run out of space... When Emilee Berliner came along with his flat rotating disc that spun at 78 rpm, capacity increased a little now had around three minutes for a song before you ran out of everyone who wanted to make audio recordings adapted to the limitations of the technology... And this, more than anything else, standardized the length of songs in modern popular music to around three minutes, something that persists even long are most songs?...somewhere in the neighbourhood of three minutes... Another thing: in the old days, there was just one version of a wrote it, you recorded it, it was manufactured, sent to the stores—and that was it... But in the 1960s, this, too, began to change with the rise of the stations loved their three minute songs because it meant they could get in more songs per hour...but with the extra space provided by albums, songs grew longer than the standard three minutes...the only way to get a great (but long) song on an album onto am radio (which dominated at the time), you made to make that long song shorter... This gave birth to the first radio edits...there was the shorter single version and the longer original album version...sometimes there was serious butchery involved, but hey: radio wanted things down to around three minutes... But why stop there?...couldn’t you have multiple versions of the same song destined for different uses?...why couldn’t, for example, a short song be made longer?...or made more interesting with different mixes and instrumentation and arrangements?...the original song is the’s just that you could add (or subtract) or re-arrange things from the original recording and release that, perhaps expanding the market and reach for the song and the artist... This gave birth to the remix, an artistic and technological development that took what were once finished single static songs and turned them in to something entirely different.... This is the history of the remix... Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Couples in Music

Couples in Music


Have you ever had to work together with your significant other?...and I don’t mean anything like housework or parenting or anything like that...I’m talking about a job—your primary source of income—where the two of you have to work on the same things under the same circumstances in the same place?... This can go one of two ways...first, the bond between you grows stronger because you have shared interests, goals, and frustrations...your combined knowledge and talents can make things proceed more efficiently and perhaps in directions two uninvolved people might never think to take... Or things can go work-life balance...disagreements on how the work should be done...this can led to lots of unhappiness, fights, and maybe a it worth it?... When it comes to the history of rock, there are a lot of couples working in the same bands...sometimes things work out great....other times, these arrangements annoy others in the group...if the couple breaks up, does the band break up, too—or does everyone suck it up and keep going?... And then there’s the worst case scenario when one member of the couple de-couples with one member of the band and then couples up with someone else within the group...what happens then?... Time for a little couples therapy...let’s see if we can sort through everything from wedded bliss to horrible divorces and break-ups... Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Sometime around 2016, I got the sense that we were entering into a new era of rock history: a period when the musicians we loved and admired began to die... Listen, there had been many deaths before then, but they seemed reasonably few and far between...but 2016 seems to have been the year—for me, anyone—when I realized that many of our most beloved musicians were getting older and starting to die off... That one year alone we lost David Bowie, Glen Frey of The Eagles, Prince, Leonard Cohen, and George Michael....we lost both Keith Emerson and Greg Lake of the prog band Emerson, Lake, and Palmer...Paul Kantner of Jefferson Starship...Maurice white of Earth, Wind, and Fire...Beatles producer George Martin...and that’s only a partial list... In 2017, it was Gord Downie, Tom Petty, Gregg Allman, Chris Cornell, ac/dc’s Malcolm Young, Walter Becker of Steely Dan, and Chuck Berry, among others.... The following year, we lost Dolores O’Riordan of The Cranberries, Mark E. Smith of the fall, Avicii, Aretha Franklin, and Pete Shelley of The Buzzcocks. Then in 2019, Keith Flint of The Prodigy, Mark Hollis of Talk Talk,  Ranking Roger of The English Beat and General Public, Ric Ocasek of The Cars, drumming legend Ginger Baker...I could go on, but you get the idea... The one thing that binds all humans on this planet together is that some day, we’re all gonna shuffle off into the great beyond... No one is getting any younger...and over the next decade, we’re going to lose some of the personalities who have always been with there for us over the last 30, 40, 50, or even 60 years... With that grim reality in mind, I think the time has come for an annual look back for those whom we’ve lost in the last 12 months as a way to recognize their contributions to the world of music...this is 2022 in memoriam... Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Rhythm Sections

Rhythm Sections


In most rock bands, we hear most about the singer and the know...those two up front tend to get the most attention, and the most adoration. That leaves the bass player and the drummer to do the best that they can. This is often extremely unfair as they form the foundation of any bands sound....the bass and the beat. You can have the greatest lead singer on the planet, and the flashiest guitarist around...but if you ain't got that ain't got a thing. So we're gonna salute the people at the back of the stage. The people who lay down the groove so the singer and guitarist have something to work with. These are new-rocks greatest rhythm sections. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Outsider Music

Outsider Music


When it comes to what you are about to hear, there is nothing wrong with your equipment or how it was produced...this music is exactly as it was intended to be. It is exactly as it was record, and exactly as it was to be presented to the universe. We are now ready to dive into some of the most alternative music you will ever hear. Welcome to the ultra strange world of Outsider Music. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
A few years ago, there was a revival. A rediscovery of a sound that we used to call Techno-Pop. Some people loved it...some people hated it. But whatever the opinion, it was a very important part of Alt-Rock history. So what was Techno-Pop? Who were the main artists? Where did it come from? And where did it go? Let's explore... Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Well, it’s that time again...another year is almost at an end—and once again, we have been subjected to the whims of the universe and human stupidity through 2022... It got better with covid but then we have the war in Ukraine...politics are more polarized than ever no matter where you media is still making us stupider...and try as he might to leave the planet, Elon Musk is still here... When it comes to the world of music, we lost Taylor Hawkins, Andy Fletcher of Depeche Mode, Paul Ryder of The Happy Mondays, Mark Lanegan, Dallas Good of The Sadies, Meat Loaf, Ronnie Hawkins, Coolio, Olivia Newton-John, and Ronnie Spector, among others... It’s still hard to make a living from streaming, artists are getting burned out on the road, and inflation is killing everyone... That’s a lot to deal’s hoping that 2023 will be better...we gotta think that because otherwise, we’d go crazy... This is also the time of year I try to clean up the home office where I do all my “ongoing history” research and writing and production...I’m always looking for interesting and cool stuff to talk about when it comes to anything related to music...when I have enough material on a particular subject, I can write a new episode... But there’s also a lot of orphaned material—research that has gone unused because I couldn’t find a place for it for whatever would be a shame for all this knowledge and trivia and factoids to go to waste, so it’s time for the annual purge... So watch out...a lot of information is about to dumped on your...this is the 2022 edition of 60 mind-blowing facts about music... Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
It was a classic battle between good and evil and it gave us one of the greatest toys of all time. Today, we journey back to revisit the history of the iconic Transformers. From their early days in Japan to dominating TVs and toy shelves in North America, this is another defining 1980s toys franchise that was also a masterclass in marketing. So hit play and let's roll out! Support the show and get bonus audio content at Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
When Joe Strummer died on December 22, 2002, no one could believe it...first of all, the guy was only 50...second, this was a guy who ran marathons...third, he’d been strict vegetarian since 1971...  And fourth, it was Joe Strummer, one of the toughest and most uncompromising musicians in the history of not just punk, not just alternative, but rock period, full stop...  Yet it happened in his kitchen in Somerset, England, just after he finished walking the dog...cause of death?...heart attack, caused by an undiagnosed defect in his heart that had been there all along...sudden heart failure...he immediately lost consciousness and never woke up... To be specific, he suffered from an “intra-mural coronary artery”...this is when one of the main vessels supplying blood to the heart ends up growing inside the heart muscle as the person grows is an exceedingly rare condition with fewer than 100 fatal cases recorded worldwide in the last 50 years... That’s what took Joe from us?...what are the odds?...I guess I just told you... But even though Joe has been gone for 20 years, he’s still remembered and still revered as an iconic figure—and someone whose work has been discovered by generations since he died... To help that along—and to commemorate 20 years since his passing—I’ve come up with something I call “20 short stories about Joe Strummer”... Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Piano Heroes

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
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
Comments (62)

Jeffrey Danilko

Love the shows, but way too many ads over the last year. Especially with the same ad read 3 times in a row

Jul 30th

Adam Winters

Love this show, Its hard to find quality, informative, music analysis and this show does it effectively. Its short, but its all substance, and never feels like your time is wasted. Dont know if its polite to ask - but if i may, and if deemed in the best interest of the show of course, ive been fascinated by Kate Bush, Romeo Void, Device (Holly Knight/Paul Engemann/ Gene Black), Mr Mister, solo Belinda Carslile/Jane Wiedin, Falco... Sure theres wiki, but they dont do it like the show does it. Appreciate your show.

May 13th

Genevieve Cleopatra est un site spécialisé dans la fourniture de sonneries 2022 pour téléphones. Ici, vous pouvez télécharger une liste de sonneries gratuites: Sonneries Samsung, Sonneries iPhone, Sonneries musicales, Sonneries SMS, Sonneries POP.

Feb 26th


Ad reads seem a little strange on this one, but excellent as always. I could not care less about The Tragically Hip yet here I am listening to this whole episode and loving it. Alan is the best!

Aug 25th

Phil Elliott

Did he say No Effect!?

Jun 10th

DJ Dar

As a retired on air personality, and club dj, I cant express my appreciation enough.for this pod......Thankyou

May 27th

Brady Prenzlow

iugd54sgggllllft yfftDrrr tu1gr1w51sdfft5rdfsrfr

May 1st

gary fowler

no mention of Toots Hibbert. wow.

Apr 18th

Jacqueline M

I've been waiting on an episode like this for a long, long time. Thank you :)

Feb 23rd

M Morr

this was so amazing. thank for the work that went into this. I really enjoyed thi podcasts. may even listen a second time.

Nov 1st

Stanley Pon

Great Podcast

Sep 5th

blue boot

great pod sir. love the alt rock history

Apr 9th


I love this podcast! This one was filled with random fun facts!

Feb 27th

Adam Greenwold

interesting show, I enjoy these 'join the dots' shows. We could do with another punk revival, music is a bit soft at the moment. Even listening to The Edge Alternate music station music seems to have lost it's edge, or I'm listening in the wpmg places so feel free to suggest of to new music with a bit more bite. Bad Religion's latest offering Age of Unreason is good, but what about new bands?

Feb 26th
Reply (1)

Michael George

Joe Satriani is metal??? bwahahahaha

Dec 29th

Bruce Taylor

this is awesome, I have learnt so much thank you

Nov 21st

Keith Dowling

Absolutely love this podcast. Thank you Mr. Cross.

Nov 18th

Mathew Gehlsen

Could you do a part on the life of Joe Bonmassa? He has worked and collaborated with great musicians. Love the podcast. Running out of stuff to listen to😃

Oct 12th

Glen Culbert

You've done so many genres.... What about Oi ???

Aug 25th


05:42 Wood died in 1990.

Aug 16th
Download from Google Play
Download from App Store