Author Archives: Alan Cross

Green Day’s “American Idiot” Musical Has Its Canadian Premiere

December 30th, 2011 | by Alan Cross

Who would have thought that a snot-nosed punk who used to hang out on Gilman Street in Oakland would end up becoming the guy behind an award-winning Broadway musical?  Stranger things have happened--but not many.

Back in 2004, I talked with Pat Magnarella a few days before American Idiot was to be released.  Pat is a low-key guy at the best of times, but even he was bursting.

"This record is going to be huge," he said with a quiet smile.  "There's maybe even a movie in it."

"A movie?" I said, dumbfounded.  "With all due respect, Pat, this is a band that's long past its best before date.  Aren't you a little...optimistic?"

This Week’s Top 11 Playlist: 30 December 2011

December 30th, 2011 | by Alan Cross

If you're still suffering from PTSD from all that horrid Christmas music (Why won't my local mall STOP PLAYING IT?), you may want to retune your ears with some new tracks.  

Here are eleven songs of all sizes and shapes that caught my attention during this weird period between Christmas and New Years.  

Click on the player to the right and you'll get this stream plus access to past Top 11 lists.

Thanks, as always to Mediazoic.  And while we're talking about them, you should also check out their Top Twenty for 2011.

I Like This: Hatchback

December 30th, 2011 | by Alan Cross

Whilst rummaging around the interwebs, I found an entry from Gawker entitled “Nine Awesome Songs (and One Great Mix) You

Unsolicited Advice for Music Journalists

December 30th, 2011 | by Alan Cross

A blog entry from Andrew Dubber caught my attention. Entitled "Music Journalism is the New Boring," he calls out some music journalists as lazy.  Here's an excerpt:

1) You can’t complain about a dull year in music if all you do is report on the pile of CDs that ended up on your desk as a result of public relations and major label marketing. If you were looking for urgency, relevance and innovation in that lot, you’ve misunderstood the process. No matter how much you shout “Challenge me!” at your stereo, it’s not going to oblige if you keep putting Coldplay CDs in it.

2) Even if you are looking outside the pile, chances are you’re still looking in the wrong places.

The Way Things Used to Be: Albums With Dozens of 100,000+ Weeks

December 29th, 2011 | by Alan Cross

Some interesting stats from Billboard drawing from album sales as tallied by Nielsen SoundScan:

There have been fourteen albums that have had 30 or more weeks of selling 100,000 copies in the US since the SoundScan area began in 1991.

Alanis Morissette, "Jagged Little Pill" - 64 (1995-1997)
Britney Spears, "...Baby One More Time" - 50 (1999-2000)
Creed, "Human Clay" - 49 (1999-2001)
Celine Dion, "Falling Into You" - 43 (1996-1997)
Shania Twain, "Come on Over" - 42 (1997-2000)
Hootie & the Blowfish, "Cracked Rear View" - 40 (1995-1996)
Santana, "Supernatural" - 39 (1999-2000)
Backstreet Boys, "Millennium" - 34 (1999-2000)
Usher, "Confessions" - 33 (2004-2005)
Spice Girls, "Spice" - 32 (1997-1998)
Billy Ray Cyrus, "Some Gave All" - 31 (1992-1993)
NSYNC, "No Strings Attached" - 31 (2000-2001)
Kid Rock, "Devil Without a Cause" - 30 (1999-2000)
Adele, "21" - 30 (to date) (2011-2012)

The F-U to the Beatles Hidden in Old Mac Computers

December 29th, 2011 | by Alan Cross

If you're a longtime Mac user, you may remember the System 7 OS, which arrived in the spring of 1991.

It was around this time that Apple, the computer company, was involved in the first of its many trademark skirmishes against Apple Corps, the Beatles record label.

If users went to System Preferences > Sound > Sound Effects, they'd find a file called Sosumi.  It was a short sample of a xylophone that could be assigned to any event on the machine.

This, however, was a problem.

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