Author Archives: Alan Cross

Why There Are Only Two Songs Up for “Best Song” At This Year’s Oscars

January 24th, 2012 | by Alan Cross

There are many reasons why I absolutely HATE the Academy Awards, this just confirmed by opinion that the people involved in staging and promoting this pointless TV program are idiots.

If you're confused and bewildered by how the National Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences comes up with their nominations for the Oscars, join the club.

How many Best Picture noms this year?  Ten?  And how many Best Original Song nominations?  Just two? TWO?  WTF?

This came as something of a surprise.  But it can be conveniently explained away.


CBC Dismantling Music Archives

January 24th, 2012 | by Alan Cross

There were two instances where I watched music history being destroyed.

The first was sometime in 1989 when the giant music library at CFNY became too big for its location at 83 Kennedy Road South in Brampton.  

After more than a decade of hoarding virtually every record that came through the door, all the music libraries were full.  Anything more and all that shelving would have fallen into the roti shop downloads.

Admittedly, a lot of these records were, well, junk, the kind of stuff no one--even the most committed musicphiles on staff--didn't want.  

A three-step solution was reached.  


New Releases This Week – 24 January 2012

January 24th, 2012 | by Alan Cross

What's in stores and online today?  Glad you asked.

Chairlift/Something:  US indie darlings produced in part by Alan Moulder.

Cloud Nothings/Attack on Memory:  Can the indie kid from Cleveland move the ball down the field?

Craig Finn/Clear Heart of Full Eyes:  Hold Steady frontman's solo album.  Great dude, too.

Gotye/Making Mirrors:  Just in time to claim all that "Somebody I Used to Know" momentum.

Lacuna Coil/Dark Adrenaline:  Features a killer version of REM's "Losing My Religion."


More Music from the Inbox

January 24th, 2012 | by Alan Cross

Now it's starting to get interesting.  After more than a month of a mere trickle of new releases, things are starting to power up for 2012.  

As usual, you'll find plenty of recommendations coming from me on a daily basis but there's also the material Juliette Jagger helps me sort through.

Here, then, are more recommendations from all the stuff that's flooded into my inbox over the last week.


Helpful List of Canadian Releases in 2012

January 24th, 2012 | by Alan Cross

CBC Radio 3 is an important resource when tracking releases by Canadian indie artists.  Here is their most recent list of what's coming up when:

Jan 24 - Actual Water The Paisley Orchard (Unfamiliar)
Jan 24 - Bidiniband In The Rock Hall (Pheremone)
Jan 24 - The Darcys Steely Dan's Aja (Arts and Crafts)
Jan 24 - deadmau5 Meowingtons Hax 2k11 Toronto DVD (Ultra)
Jan 24 - The Diodes Action/Reaction (BongoBeat)
Jan 24 - The Holiday Crowd Over the Bluffs (New Romantic)
Jan 24 - Imaginary Cities s/t EP (Turnout/Atlantic)
Jan 24 - John K. Samson Provincial (Epitaph)
Jan 24 - K'Naan More Beautiful Than Silence (Universal)


No Oscar for Trent Reznor This Year. But a Conchord Might Make It.

January 24th, 2012 | by Alan Cross

The nominations for the Academy Awards were announced this morning (The Artist for Best Picture?  Really?  I fell asleep.  Twice.) and sadly, the Trent Reznor/Atticus Ross score for The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo failed to make the cut.  But that's okay.  They've got their Oscar, their Golden Globe and their Grammy.  Best concentrate on getting the Emmy and Tony so they can complete the EGOT.

On the other hand, Madonna didn't get nominated for anything from W.E., although she won at the Golden Globes.  That's fine by me.  And Bret McKenzie, one half of Flight of the Conchords, has a nominated for "Man or Muppet" from recent Muppets movie.  

The good news is that he has a 50-50 chance of winning because there are only TWO songs nominated for Orginal Song this year.

Yay, Bret!  Band meeting!  Let's discuss!


Ozzy Won’t Sing at Son’s Wedding

January 24th, 2012 | by Alan Cross

Years ago, I had a chance to speak with Paul McCartney.  It was shortly after his wedding to future ex-wife, Heather Mills which came with a lavish reception attended by rock'n'roll royalty from all over the planet.

"Congratulations on your marriage," I said.  "But I have a question.  At the reception, did you have a DJ or a band?"

Sir Paul looked at me a little funny.  "A band, of course.  A local outfit."

"Do you think they were a little, you know, intimidated with the gig?"

The cute Beatle cocked his head and said with genuine puzzlement "Why would be they have been intimidated?"

I'm not sure what the entertainment will be at the Osbournes when young Jack, Ozzy's kid, marries Lisa Stelly.  We do know that Ozzy won't be singing.  


Kanye Vs. Soundgarden in Oz

January 24th, 2012 | by Alan Cross

January is the height of the Australian summer, a time when bands from the northern hemisphere escape winter by touring across the country, playing events such as the Big Day Out.

A bit of a hate war has developed between Kanye West and Soundgarden, two BDO performers.  

It began with a very loud soundcheck from the stage where Kanye was set to play.  It was so loud that it could clearly be heard between songs at the stage where Soundgarden was in the middle of their set.

Chris Cornell:  "Sounds like there’s children playing music there, retarded children, retarded as in held back. There’s no other word for it."  That led to a round of booing from the SG crowd.


Outgoing Chairman: “Canada Needs to Reinvent the CRTC”

January 24th, 2012 | by Alan Cross

Konrad von Finckenstein's five-year term as the head of the CRTC ends this week.  On his way out the door, he's offering some unvarnished opinions about where the Canadian regulator of broadcasters needs to go.  Think of it as a warning to his still-unappointed successor.

A quote from the Globe and Mail:

“We have now moved into an era where the consumer is in control, and where thanks to the Internet and mobile devices, you cannot control access any more."

Traditional media under the CRTC's purview--radio, TV, telecommunications--no longer govern as cultural and technological gatekeepers.  


Whoa, Whoa, Whoa! Is SOPA-Like Legislation Coming to Canada?

January 24th, 2012 | by Alan Cross

Uh-oh.  This doesn't look good.  From Michael Geist's blog:

The Internet battle against SOPA and PIPA generated huge interest in Canada with many Canadians turning their sites dark (including Blogging Tories, Project Gutenberg Canada, and CIPPIC) in support of the protest. In writing about the link between SOPA and Canada, I noted that the proposed legislation featured an aggressive jurisdictional approach that could target Canadian websites.

Moreover, I argued that the same lobby groups promoting SOPA in the U.S. are behind the digital lock rules in Bill C-11.


This Guy Hates the Sound of Today’s Music, Too. But He Feels Like an Old Man.

January 23rd, 2012 | by Alan Cross

From Wired:


Neil Young Hates the Sound of Today’s Music

January 23rd, 2012 | by Alan Cross

Wait!  It's not some grumpy old man harrumphing about the kind of music the kids are making today.  He means its sonic quality.  I'm SO with him on this.  From an interview with MTV:

I'm finding that I have a little bit of trouble with the quality of the sound of music today.  I don't like it. It just makes me angry. Not the quality of the music, but we're in the 21st century and we have the worst sound that we've ever had. It's worse than a 78 [rpm record]. Where are our geniuses? What happened?"



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