DiscoverOngoing History of New Music
Ongoing History of New Music

Ongoing History of New Music

Author: Curiouscast

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Ongoing History of New Music looks at things from the alt-rock universe to hip hop, from artist profiles to various thematic explorations. It is Canada’s most well known music documentary hosted by the legendary Alan Cross. Whatever the episode, you’re definitely going to learn something that you might not find anywhere else. Trust us on this.

354 Episodes



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
Being a music fan was much different in the era before the traveled slowly often passed through many filters—so many filters, in fact, that a tremendous amount of information was either stripped out or drastically altered by the time it reached us... This was never more true in cases when something awful happened—like, say, someone dying...think back to all the confusion and speculation and conspiracy theories that popped up in the wake of Kurt Cobain’s death... Three years later, we encountered something was another suicide—maybe...and for much of the world, this death was treated as a tabloid story because of some speculative and some very lurid details involving the three key elements: sex, drugs, and rock’n’roll.. But for others, especially in Australia, this death was a very big deal and extremely had such an impact that a quarter of century later, fans are still talking about what may (or may not) have happened in a luxury hotel suite in Sydney on November 22, 1997...  This is the story of inxs and the death of Michael Hutchence... Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
In the old days before the internet, musicians had an aura of mystique about them...we only knew what they wanted us to know or what music writers could ferret was an era of secrets and information that was kept quiet... Now, though, things are different...because of social media and our always-on culture, information is everywhere...artists have never given up as much personal information as they do today...too much information, sometimes...  We don’t want our heroes to be life size...the reason we admire them in the first place is because they seem to operate on a plane higher than us...they’ve got a special talent that affects us not just emotionally but occasionally, spiritually...  What, then, do we make of things when we hear our favourite artist is human and fallible like the rest of us and suffer from health problems?...I’ve seen two reactions...  One is a disbelief that they’re mortal...don’t they have some kind of superpowers that keep them free from sickness and disease?...we might have a hard time accepting that...  The second reaction is that such challenges humanize them... You know: “hey, they’re like the rest of us...I can relate”...perhaps this knowledge intensifies our relationship with that person...  And if the artist is open and honest about their condition, it can be inspiring...maybe even by talking about what they’re facing, they can help other people with the same challenges keep moving forward...this, I think, is the real value in the personal health information they share...  Here is part two of a program featuring musicians who have had to deal with disease... Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
The human body is a wonderful thing, a marvel of evolution, biology, chemistry, and more than a few bits—like consciousness—we don’t understand...and for the most part, this meat bag of water and chemicals works pretty well... But it’s not perfect...we will continue to age as long as we can’t figure out how to improve the reproduction of telomeres, those little strands of special proteins at the end of our chromosomes...after many, many reproductions, they become ratty and degrade, which has a bad effect on our DNA and leads to the symptoms of aging... We’re susceptible to infections by bacteria and invasions by viruses...and sometimes there are things within our own bodies that turn on us, resulting in cancer and other diseases... However, this is all part of’s still we gotta deal with...and because musicians made of the same stuff as us, we often hear of the health issues that befall this sense, they are just like you and me... What we’re going to do is look at 25 musicians who have health issues, how these challenges have affected their music, and how they’re managing to keep on keeping on, despite the difficulties... There are some stories of bravery and inspiration here—and maybe, just maybe, these stories will help someone...this is part one of musicians battling disease... Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
There’s no way to sugarcoat it: the music industry has a reputation of being unkind to has been a struggle from the beginning...and even after decades of work, things have evolved to the point where less than a quarter of the acts on some music charts are women... The actual figure for the billboard hot 100 is around 22%...and it’s been stuck at that level for over a decade... I found a few more stats...if we look at that same decade-long period, women made up only 13% of songwriters...and if we look at female producers and engineers, the number is less than other words, gender parity is a long way off... So yeah, it’s tough out there and it needs to get better...fortunately, there have always been women driven to make it regardless of the obstacles and difficulties in their way...they want to remake the world of music to make it more inclusive and, in some cases, have forced it to bend to their will...this has been true since the dawn of recorded music until today... In fact, what today’s female artists lack in sheer numbers, they make up for in power and’s tally up some of the women who are changing the game in the 21st century... Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Once upon a time not that long ago, all music was expected to sound clean and clear. Pure, accurate, right in tune. And lo, it was…fine.  But with the introduction of the electric guitar and the amplifiers that went with them, some intrepid players started experimenting with ways to toughen up that sound. They wanted more power, more growl, more rawness. And over a period of about 20 years, the clean, pure sound of the original electric guitars gave way to something dirty, distorted, filled with harmonics, and various amounts of feedback and noise.  What was once considered undesirable, irritating, excruciating noise is now looked upon as beauty.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Rock Explainer 2

Rock Explainer 2


There’s the La Tomatina festival that happens on the last Wednesday in August in Spain...this is the largest public tomato fight in the world...first of all, why would you do this on a Wednesday?...and second, this seems like an awful waste of food... No one is really sure where this tradition began, either...we think it started in 1945 when there was a brawl in the main square and one of the few weapons available were the tomatoes on carts of the vegetable stands... They do something weird in Denmark, too...if you’re 25 years old and it’s Valentine’s Day and you’re single, your family and friends are supposed to throw cinnamon at one really knows why or when this started...but it is a thing... And how about this...there’s a temple called Sir Saneswar in India...there is a tradition whereby parents who were married at this temple throw their newborn babies from the top of the’s a 50-foot drop...the baby is caught by people holding a big cloth below...I’m sure there are reasons for this, but they all escape me... Let’s segue to this...rock music has been around long enough—three-quarters of a century—that some we’ve developed some weird habits and behaviors, things that we do just because... We engage in this behavior or do these things because everyone else is doing it...and if you were to ask around a reason why, no one would have a good just accept this thing—whatever it is—as part of the culture... But what if you really, really want to know?...what if you just can’t take someone’s word that this is what’s supposed to be done?...that’s where this program comes in...This is another edition of something I call “the rock explainer”... Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Humanity has always been set by disasters, whether they’ve been acts of god or something we somehow brought on ourselves...war, disease, earthquakes, famine, floods, volcanic eruptions, fire, plane crashes, industrial accidents, sinking ships, extreme weather... The worst disaster of all time?...probably the influenza epidemic of 1918 to’s possible that up to 100 million died during that three-year period... Then again, world war ii was some estimates, the death toll was 120 million...and the black death of the 14th century was may have claimed up to 200 million lives or about 20% of the population of the planet... Then there the kinds of things that happen when people are supposed to be having fun...on February 14, 2004, the roof of an indoor waterpark in Moscow collapsed, killing 28 people... On December 8, 1863, up to 3,000 people were killed in a fire at a church celebration in Santiago, Chile... Or how about this: sometime around the year 283, a wall at Circus Maximus, the chariot-racing stadium in Rome’s said that 13,000 spectators died...and that happened about 150 years after a previous collapse where there were around 1500 deaths... The universe is gonna do what the universe is gonna can be as careful as humanly possible yet still get caught up in something awful... This applies to the world of rock, has seen its own situations where there has been loss of life...they need to remembered and memorialized to we can minimize the chances of these things ever happen again... This is a list of rock’s greatest disasters... Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
This is a program about the hidden audio that lurks in your music collection. You don’t know about it…you didn’t ask for it…you maybe didn’t even want it…but it’s there…and it needs to be exposed… And it’s more than just hidden songs, too…there’s all kinds of weirdness tucked away—if you know where to look…and when I say “weird”, I mean “super weird” Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
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
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