Author Archives: Alan Cross

And the World’s Most Valuable Album Cover Art Is…

November 4th, 2011 | by Alan Cross

In the Olden Days, album cover artwork was a big deal.  Artists has a 12 x 12 canvas on which to create something marvelous.  Gatefold sleeves offered exponentially more space.

Then along came the compact disc, reducing the workspace to just 5 x 5.  Sure, you can do things with the booklet, but it just wasn't the same.

MP3s?  Forget it.  Despite efforts to include artwork with downloads and through various tagging, album artwork will never be what it once was.

But there will forever be a place in rock history for these works. And an interesting collector's market has emerged.

Detroit Lions Fans to Nickelback: “You Suck!”

November 4th, 2011 | by Alan Cross

Few things in America are as cherished as Thanksgiving football. It's one of the NFL's best weekends, especially for Detroit, where they always host a game on that Thursday. It's a tradition that goes back to 1934.

However, things are not well in the Motor City, despite the Lions being off to their best start in decades. The problem is the band signed to perform the halftime show.


Fans have launched a petition demanding that Nickelback be replaced.

Book on Mint Records

November 3rd, 2011 | by Alan Cross

Over the years, Canadians have been awful at documenting the history of the domestic rock’n’roll. Happily, though, that started a change several years ago and we’re now building up a very good library of books that tell the musical stories of various Canadians.  

And a few of these books are pretty specialized.

The Secret History of Rock Welcomes a New Station

November 3rd, 2011 | by Alan Cross

This is good!  I've always wanted to be on HTZ-FM.  The press release:

97.7 HTZ-FM Welcomes the Godfather of Modern Rock,

Alan Cross to the on-air line-up

Niagara, ON – Southern Ontario’s heritage rock station, 97.7 HTZ-FM is proud to announce that Alan Cross will be joining the on-air team with The Secret History of Rock beginning Saturday, November 5th, 2011.

The Secret History of Rock with Alan Cross, offers the perfect combination of music and storytelling. Written and hosted by Alan Cross, this 2-hour weekly feature focuses on the roots of the hits from the 70s, 80s and 90s.  Cross brings the stories and personalities from the music scene to life with his incredible amount of history, knowledge and excitement to HTZ-FM.

How Smartphones Are Luring Kids Away from Radio

November 3rd, 2011 | by Alan Cross

Here's another reason the radio industry needs to move toward IP delivery of their product and content. Pretending that the industry will always be a vital and indispensible over-the-air analogue is sheer folly.

Radio CAN compete in the digital world.  It just won't be through just AM and FM.

From Brandchannel:

It’s no secret that how consumers spend their time on media varies with age, so it’s fascinating to look at two recent studies (US and UK) to get a bead on how the generational shift in media consumption is advancing.

According to the latest Generational Strategies study from Frank N. Magid Associates, during the 9-5 workday more consumers use Facebook than watch television. The sole exception is Boomers, who prefer TV to Facebook, although 26% of those surveyed use the social network during work hours.

Bandcamp Targets MySpace

November 3rd, 2011 | by Alan Cross

Yes, MySpace is still around.  No, we're not sure how the new owners plan to resurrect it. Meanwhile, MySpace keeps taking punches from all sides.  The latest hit to the head comes from Bandcamp.  

This is from Bloomberg.

Four years ago, Ethan Diamond underwent an ordeal trying to buy an album online that a band had self-released: First the website crashed, then the download failed and left him struggling to find a link to report the problem.

Eventually the band’s singer e-mailed him a link to the songs, which were low-quality audio files with no titles or track information. “Every one of those problems was something I felt like I could solve,” says Diamond, a programmer whose previous venture was bought by Yahoo! (YHOO) and became Yahoo Mail.

He left Yahoo in 2007 and started Bandcamp the next year to create an easy way for bands to publish and sell music online.

Europe is Burning. Greece is Imploding. Italy’s in Peril. Better Delay the Album.

November 3rd, 2011 | by Alan Cross

Silvio Berlusconi is quite the rogue.  Not only is he governing a country with bibical debt woes, he's also facing legal action because he's accused of paying for sex for an alleged underage hooker. And he's still trying to explain what a "bunga bunga" party is.  

It's understandable, then, that Silvio has decided to delay the release of his new album.

Berlusconi has released three previous albums and has a fourth wtih guitarist and, er, parking lot attendant, Mariano Apicella. 

I am not making this up.

New Film on Punk Rock Dads: “The Other F Word”

November 3rd, 2011 | by Alan Cross

Punk rock documentaries are usually filled with some pretty extreme stuff.  This one is a little different.

The Other F Word focuses on what happens to punk rockers when they grow up and have families.

Can you image what it might be like to be child of Mark Hoppus of Blink-182?  

What if your dad is Flea from the Chili Peppers?  Chances are you might have some question about his behaviour.  

If you're in Rancid, how do you explain all those tattoos?  

And I'm trying to imagine how I might view my dad if he was Fat Mike.

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