Ongoing History of New Music Podcast

Ongoing History of New Music

A Music, Society and Culture podcast
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The Rise and Fall and Rise of Blink 182 Part 1
After grunge blew up in the early 1990s, the walls between mainstream rock and the alternative universe crumbled completely…what other music had been hiding in the plain sight?... There was goth and industrial and various forms of electronica…and there was all this punk rock…tons of it…all different flavours, too…pop punk, punk-funk, hardcore, garage punk, glam punk, queercore, riot grrrl, ska-punk… Punk had always been there, waiting to be discovered by a whole new generation…and finally, the time was right… There was green day, offspring, rancid…then there was sublime, no doubt and 311…NOFX, Pennywise and Bad Religion…some of these bands were brand new…others had been doing their thing for a while… Alot of the big action seemed to be centred in California…orange county, the bay area…but down in the skatepark suburbs of San Diego, something began brewing that would end up being responsible for selling 35 million records… These guys went from zero to worldwide superstars and then almost back to zero again before clawing back… This is part one of the rise and fall and rise of blink 182…
Lost Canadian Bands 3
There are a lot of things wrong with Facebook—don’t get me started—but there’s no denying that it can be addictive… The best thing for me is finding out where people from my life have ended up…high school, university, my home town, other places I’ve worked…and with over 2 billion active monthly users, there’s an excellent chance that almost everyone you’ve ever known as a Facebook account… But the “where are they now” thing doesn’t have to be restricted to people you know…you can lurk on Facebook and Instagram and LinkedIn to track down the current whereabouts of just about anyone…that includes musicians and bands that seem to have dropped off the radar… For example, where are some of these Canadian alt-rock artists of the past?...what are they doing now?...I’ve been doing some lurking—and here’s what I’ve found out…
The Rise and Fall and Rise of Blink 182 Part 3
Some years ago, I had a conversation with Don Letts, the DJ, filmmaker and confidant of The Clash…and he said something that stuck with me: “the average lifespan of a band is seven years…that’s enough for them to form, get big, become stars, develop creative differences and break up” … He’s not wrong…the clash did their best work from ’76 to ’83…The Beatles from ’63 to ’70…Nirvana was around from ’87 to ’94…  But then there are the exceptions, groups that have survived multiple seven-year cycle…U2, the Stones, Oasis, Green Day, Foo Fighters…and if we’re going to make a list, we must include Blink-182…this is a band who had a big rise and then a big fall before clawing back again…  This kind of roller coaster career can be really hard on a band—and there are often casualties…you’ll see what I mean as we get into part three of the rise and fall and rise of Blink-182…
The Rise and Fall and Rise of Blink 182 Part 2
It’s rare that a band has a career with two acts…it’s not impossible…the survivors of Joy Division managed to do quite well as new order…the Barenaked Ladies were once written off before roaring back to life…and how many times has Black Sabbath risen from the ashes?... I’ll give you another one…Green Day…they’d run out of gas by the end of the 90s and contemplated breaking up for good…but then they reinvigorated themselves with their “American idiot” period and continue to do well… And then there’s the story of Blink-182…by 2000, they’d made it to the top and were selling albums by the tens of millions…but then things slowly started to go sideways—badly… However, like Green Day, Blink-182 was able to recover from that career nosedive—but not before having to enduring some serious—and literal—casualties…this is part two of the rise and fall and rise of Blink-182…
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…
Rock And Roll Myths
Myths and legends come in all sizes…Atlantis…that’s a big one that we can’t seem to wrap our heads around…but maybe homer was just yanking our chain… “feed a cold, starve a fever”…turns out that’s wrong…depriving yourself of calories may make it harder for your body to fight off that infection or virus… “we only ever use 10% of our brain”…wrong…neuroscience has proven that to be false…the right number may be 20%--but there’s a lot of dispute over that… Here are some other myths I’ve run across…don’t feed pigeons uncooked rice or they’ll blow up…the great wall of china isn’t the only man-made object that can be seen from space…and you can’t certainly see it from the moon… Oh—and the “fact” that men think about sex every seconds…untrue…it happens a lot every day, but there’s no basis in any scientific literature that it happens every seven seconds…we’d never get anything done… There are also myths and legends in music, too…Robert Johnson’ pact with the devil at the crossroads…Gene Simmons of Kiss did not have a cow tongue grafted onto his…Jim Morrison, Biggie, Tupac and Elvis are most certainly very dead…but Paul McCartney is still very much alive… But what about the alt-rock word?...what kind of myths and legends lurk there…stick around…you may be very, very surprised…
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…
U2 and The Joshua Tree at 30 with Daniel Lanois Part 2
Whenever an artist goes into the studio, they hope for the best but expect the worst…you want it the album to sell and turn you into a global superstar with all the rights and privileges thereto…but there is no way to predict how the public will react to what you release… You can throw all the money you want a song, an album, a band and there is zero guarantee that it will be successful…yet people will always try because every once in a while, something remarkable happens… An album is a critical success…it turns into a commercial smash…and every once in a long, long while, it turns into a cultural phenomenon with an impact that lasts years, maybe decades… This is what happened to U2 and “The Joshua Tree”…before the record came out, everyone expected that the band was going to deliver the goods on a very good album…they did that… But then the record went on to sell somewhere beyond 25 million albums and is now considered to be one of the most significant rock releases of all time… This is beyond just lightning in a did they do it?...for some of the answers, i turned to one of the people who co-produced the album…that would be Daniel Lanois…this is U2 and The Joshua Tree, thirty years later, part 2… Whenever an artist goes into the studio, they hope for the best but expect the worst…you want it the album to sell and turn you into a global superstar with all the rights and privileges thereto…but there is no way to predict how the public will react to what you release… You can throw all the money you want a song, an album, a band and there is zero guarantee that it will be successful…yet people will always try because every once in a while, something remarkable happens… An album is a critical success…it turns into a commercial smash…and every once in a long, long while, it turns into a cultural phenomenon with an impact that lasts years, maybe decades… This is what happened to U2 and “The Joshua Tree”…before the record came out, everyone expected that the band was going to deliver the goods on a very good album…they did that… But then the record went on to sell somewhere beyond 25 million albums and is now considered to be one of the most significant rock releases of all time… This is beyond just lightning in a did they do it?...for some of the answers, i turned to one of the people who co-produced the album…that would be Daniel Lanois…this is U2 and The Joshua Tree, thirty years later, part 2…
Chris Cornell: 6 Degrees of Separation
There’s a misconception that it takes a lot of people to come together to create a viable music scene…not true… The original punk scene in New York consisted of a few dozen weirdos who hung out at places like CBGB, the mudd club and Max’s Kansas city in the uglier end of town… The UK punk scene started with a similar number in the fall of 1976, pretty much every London punk fit into a single club on oxford street for a two-night music festival…capacity at the 100 club was official 350, but there was plenty of room to move around… The start of the english technopop scene focused around the few people who hung around the blitz club in Covent Garden… The same can be said for a dozen other scenes that resulted in sounds that eventually spread around the world…that includes grunge… Grunge started with maybe a dozen people in and around Seattle…that’s it…but within a few years, it expanded to became the dominant sound of western rock for much of the 90s… To become this in such a short period of time, this required a swift and steady change reaction…among those dozen or so people were artists who were not only to form successful bands but multiple successful bands…and every one of these groups exploded with a force great enough to prompt other neighbouring music to do the same… To prove my point, i would like to trace one of those chain reactions…and for the purposes of this show, we will call the singularity of this chain reaction “Chris Cornell”…a lesson in grunge physics coming up…
Billy Talent In Their Own Words: Part 1
The best way to construct a profile on an artist is to round up everyone together, put them in a studio and get them to tell their story themselves… But that can be difficult, especially with a band…beyond touring and recording schedules, everyone has their own lives and may even live in different cities…putting everyone in the same place could be impossible… It took a while, but we did it…i have all four members of Billy Talent in one place…and they’re here for one purpose: to tell their story in their own words…
The Last Hours Of...
At some point, all of us will shuffle off this mortal choir and join the choir invisible…doesn’t matter who you are, how much money you may have or how famous you might be…in the end, we’re all mortal… This really hits home when musicians we love disappear forever…it’s not like we personally know these people, but because their music helps us know ourselves, a little piece of us dies with them… The circumstances of their passing’s vary…misadventure, accidents, overdoses, suicide…some can be explained away while other deaths will forever remain a mystery… With that in mind, let’s take a look back on the last hours of some of those musician’s who have left us…
10 Unusual Things About Nirvana
Nirvana is one of those bands where it seems we know everything…when they broke through with the “Nevermind” album in 1991 and 1992, there was a rush to learn everything we could about them…and then we Kurt died—which happened roughly at the same time the internet began to be a thing with the general public—that interest exploded… Now, in the decades since nirvana ceased to exist, study of the band, its history, its individual members and its influence can best be described as scholarship…that’s how deep we are into the band…so what’s there left to learn, really… While, you might be surprised…here are ten unusual and little known things about one of the best documented bands in the history of rock…
The Ongoing History Book Of Firsts Volume 2
There’s a first time for everything…we know who the first man on the moon was…Edmund Hillary was the first to the top of Mount Everest…the first movie with talking in it was “The Jazz Singer”…and so on… I started thinking about “firsts” the other day, so I started looking things up…the first McDonald’s was in san Bernardino, California…the first guy to literally walk around the world on foot was Dave Kunist…it took him four years to walk 14,452 miles …the first person to be killed in an automobile accident was Bridget Driscoll of Surrey, England…in 1896, she was hit by a car traveling at 4 miles per hour…the first porn film?...”Bedtime For The Bride,” 1895… We can get weirder…the first thing ever sold on ebay was a broken laser pointer for $14…the first video on YouTube is still up there…it’s called “Me At The Zoo”…the first person with a Facebook account outside the company who wasn’t a friend of Mark Zuckerberg was a guy from India named Sachine Kumar… The more I looked at famous firsts, the more I started wondering about firsts in music…. Who was the first person to perform on a guitar run through an amplifier?...the first song downloaded from iTunes?...who was the first to drop an intentional f-bomb on record?...what was the first song to fade out instead of having a definite ending?... You see where I’m going with this, right?...I started compiling a list of “firsts” in music—and then I set out to find some answers…which I did…prepare yourself…this could be the first time you hear about this stuff…
Scott Weiland: Part 1
The layout of a tour bus is standard…first, you have the driver’s compartment…behind that is an area where everyone can hang out…a couple of tables, some seating, a fridge, a stove, a microwave and an audio-video system connected to a big-screen TV… Next is a hallway lined with sleeping bunks, usually about three per side…after that, a bathroom and maybe some shower facilities…and finally, we come to the rear bedroom… Here you’ll find a double bed, more seating, another TV and few more amenities… Sometime on December 3, 2015, Scott Weiland entered the back bedroom on his tour bus, which was parked outside a country inn and suites hotel northwest of Minneapolis…he wanted to rest up before that night’s show at the medina ballroom that night…he never came out alive… After 8:00 that night, police were called…there were reports of an unresponsive male, perhaps suffering from an overdose…it was Weiland—and by the time help arrived, he was long dead… The fact that scot weiland had died wasn’t the biggest surprise…it was that he had managed to live to 48…the man lived—and let’s be charitable—a colourful life…unfortunately, those colours were pretty dark… And he was well aware of it…this is a guy who published an autobiography until the title “not dead yet and not for sale”…the first-ever stone temple pilots single was called “dead & bloated,” which features the lines “I am smellin’ like the rose that someone gave me on my birthday deathbed”…Scott was always well aware that he wasn’t living the safest kind of life… At the same time, though, Scott Weiland was one of the great voices to emerge out of the 90s…he was up there with Kurt Cobain, Layne Staley and Eddie Vedder… But who was he?...and how did it eventually come to end in the back of a tour bus in snowy Minnesota?...let’s do what we can to find out…
Remembering David Bowie: Part 2
He was known by many names over the six decades he made music...and for the last 40-plus years, he was the most discussed, photographed, imitated, worshiped and admired rock star in history... No single rock and roll performer had a more profound an effect on our music as David Bowie...all of today’s best alt-rock bands all have a bit of Bowie in them …and that net can be cast much, much wider…Madonna, Lady Gaga, Prince…the list is endless... He was a singer, a songwriter, record producer, movie actor, stage performer, internet entrepreneur, artist, art critic, fashion maven, wall street investment and gay icon... He has been a trend-setter, a shapeshifter, a cultural mover-and-shaker…he’s Ziggy Stardust, Aladdin Sane, Halloween Jack, Plastic Soul Man, the Thin white Duke...and now he’s gone…he’s David Bowie—and now that he’s gone, it’s important to recognize all the contributions he’s made to our music… This is Remembering David Bowie, Part 2…
The 90's Part 2A: Solo Women
In a less-enlightened time, women were barely tolerated by the rock’n’roll establishment…they could sing, shake a tambourine and look pretty…but that’s about it…in retrospect, the sexism and misogyny was unbelievable…but back in the day, it was business as usual… Some strong women who broke through…Joan Baez, Aretha Franklin, Diana Ross, Carole King, Janis Joplin…but they were the exceptions… Sexism continued through the early- and mid-seventies…the prevailing “wisdom” was that women just couldn’t rock…it was a biological impossibility, apparently… But then along came punk rock and a sense of egalitarism…the central tennet of being a punk was that anyone with anything to say should be allowed to say it, regardless of musical ability, class, race, religion—or sex… The punk rock of the 70s opened musical doors for women more than any other era in musical history…this doesn’t mean that sexism and misogyny and abuse was over…but it did mean way more strong, powerful female musicians… Slow, steady progress was made in through the 80s…and yes, there were setbacks…but by the time we got into the next decade, the music world was flooded with women who, in many ways, set the agenda for all rock music… This is part 2 of our series on the 1990s…
The 90s Part 5b: Hip-Hop's Effects Part 2
If we look at the state of rock here in the 21st century, it is no longer the main musical driver of popular culture…hip-hop is king… This doesn’t mean it’s dead, that it doesn’t have a place in our lives, that it isn’t going to be around for decades to come…but if you’re honest, you’ll have to admit that hip-hop has extended its reach into popular culture with the strength and depth that used to belong to rock… And it’s not like rock’s appeal shrank…it’s that other genres have exploded, hip-hop being the genre with the most growth… Now let’s go back to the 1990s, the last decade where rock ruled everything…alt-rock was the thing…but if we dig through what happened in the 90s, we can see how hip-hop not only infiltrated alt-rock but how it was embraced, incorporated, and celebrated… Regions of the alt-rock universe began to evolve…the beats got bigger…the rhymes got tougher and more complicated…the vibe began to change…and it was all pretty good—but not all of it worked out well… What were hip-hop’s effects on alt-rock?...we’re going to continue with that topic on this next episode on the alternative 90s…
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”…
Legendary Recording Studios
Not that long ago, if you wanted to make an album, you needed rent a big, expensive recording studio…in addition to paying an hourly, daily, weekly or monthly rate, you need to pay for a producer, an engineer or two, all the recording tape you used and any catering that was required…it could get very expensive very quickly… But that was okay because back then, the music industry was awash in money…your label would happily advance you the money to cover your recording costs because they were just going to take it out of profits derived from the future sales of that album… Because there was so much money to be made, a lot of big, expensive recording studios were built…some were in big centres like New York, L.A., and London…others were chateaus out in the countryside or maybe on an exotic island…even a medium-sized city could boast half a dozen solid studios…. These days, it’s possible to make a very good-sounding album on a laptop in your bedroom…heck, I know of some people who have made credible-sounding records on their smart phones… But this doesn’t mean that big-time recording studios are now irrelevant…there are some things, some sounds and some needs that require a dedicated recording studio environment…but then there are those facilities that have been forced to shut down, killed by the massive changes to the music industry and the high cost of maintaining a studio when bookings are down… Still, there’s something really, really cool about recording studios, places where Legendary songs and iconic albums were created…and I’d like to take you on a tour some of these studios and listen to some of the music that was made within those walls…some of these places are still with us while some are only memories… Legendary recording studios, past and present…
60 Band Name Origins in 60 Minutes
As someone who churns out tens of thousands of words a week—everything from emails to blog posts to business documents to these radio scripts—I’ve developed a fascination with words and, for whatever reason, names…especially the origins of names… The study of word origins is “etymology”…and the study of name origins is “onomastics”… Take, for example the name Ignatius…this is an ancient name dating back to the Etruscans, the civilization before the romans…a lot of dudes were named “Ignatius” over the centuries… When Spanish came along, it morphed into Ignacio, which was often abbreviated to “Nacho”…fast-forward to 1943…Ignacio Anaya lived in Piedras Negras, which is just over the border from Eagle Pass, Texas, home to a U.S. military base… One night some American soldiers came to his restaurant looking for something to eat…with almost nothing in the kitchen, he wiped something up featuring deep-friend tortillas cut into triangles, covered in cheese and served pickled jalapeno peppers…the soldiers loved the improvised snack so much that they named it after their host: Ignacio “Nacho” Anaya… But there’s another part to the Ignatius story….back over in Europe in Bavaria, Ignatius transformed into Ignatz…the short form for that was “Nazi”…this is how “Nazi” came to denote a backwards peasant from the Bavarian countryside… This is the same part of Germany that gave rise to a political party called “nationalsocializmus” led by a guy called Adolph Hitler….those who thought Hitler was a clown, abbreviated “nationalsocializmus” to “Nazi” as a way of calling the party a bunch of boobs…it was a taunt, an insult… But Hilter and his crew turned everything around and took the term “Nazi” as their own and—well, things turned out badly for the planet… But isn’t that kind of cool?...there’s a connection between something as diverse as German fascists and a plate of junk food that’s great for hangovers… What if we apply this sort of scholarly etymological and onomastical research to the names of musical groups?...let’s do that…hang on…a lot of data is about to come your way…
Remembering Chester Bennington Part 1
When the news first came down on the afternoon of Thursday, July 20, 2017, maybe your reaction was the same as me… “another celebrity death hoax…it’s gotta be because this doesn’t make sense”…but it as the minutes ticked by, it was soon obvious that it wasn’t a hoax…but it still didn’t make sense… By the end of the day, everything was confirmed…Chester Bennington, vocalist with Linkin Park, was not only dead, but dead by his own hand…what?... This guy was the frontman for a band that has sold somewhere around 100 million records...he was drafted in to sing for Stone Temple Pilots for a couple of years…he having fun with a couple of side projects…he dabbled in acting…and he had a loving family with six—six—kids… What happened?...and even though the news came during a long string of musician deaths, this one was one of the most shocking…totally unexpected… Let’s see if we can’t sort out what we can…and as we do, we’ll remember Chester Bennington…this is part 1…
Eggheads and Geeks
We're going to dispel some myths about the rock star. Over the decades, most people have come to believe that rock stars...of both sexes...are drunken, drugged out sex machines that had they not learned to play an instrument would have had a hard time holding down the worse type of minimum wage job.  But being a rock star isn't necessarily synonymous with having the intellect and manners of a caveman. Don't believe us? Have a listen and you'll see.  
Useless information
Alright, let’s face it. My entire carrier is based on obscure information. The weirder stuff I can find out about a band, an artist, a musician, a performer…the better. However. Obscure information does not necessarily mean useful information. But I don’t think there is anything wrong with useless information.  This is the fun stuff…the bits of trivia that gives things spice. You can use it to win bar bets and I’m glad I know it because it’s just fun! So, I think it’s time that I gather this information and give it to you as one bit glob and data dump. Use it however you would like…I call this The Completely Useless Information Show.
Rage Against The Machine: Part 1
Few bands in Alt-Rock are as passionate, powerful and influenctial as Rage Against The Machine. On this weeks bonus summer Podcast, and by request, we dig into the archives to bring you our 2009 profile of RATM. We trace the roots of Rage from their earliest bands, all the way through their reunion in the late 00's. Enjoy. And turn this one up!
The Inventors
Every walk of life has its stars...the famous people who get all the attention. In business it's the CEO's, in sports the athletes. In movies it's the actors and to some extent, the directors. And in music it's the musicians...and the singers. But to be honest, these people are just the faces of their respective industries and pursuits. Some have real power and influcence...others are just figureheads and pupets.  Whatever the case, behind them...behind the famous people...are armies of people who made it possible for these folks to do what they do.  This is the kind of stuff I want to explore on this program. The people deep behind the music and who never got the credit. Until now...
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Podcast Details
Jan 31st, 2017
Latest Episode
Jan 22nd, 2020
Release Period
No. of Episodes
Avg. Episode Length
26 minutes

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