Author Archives: Alan Cross

The Wife Says: Happy Birthday to Me

October 22nd, 2011 | by Alan Cross

Something about "Happy Birthday" makes my sphincter pucker. Hated it past the age of eight. Dates back to the 1890’s (the song, not me) and recoups millions in royalties each year for Warners.

You are supposed to pay royalties for singing it in restaurants. As if. Been there. Done that. One not-so-fine night a record six times. Always some Idol-wannabe on staff doing jazz hands or trying for harmonies. Selling the damn tune, tip or no.

The Shatner Tour Diary: Day 3 (Regina)

October 22nd, 2011 | by Alan Cross

Rehearsal in VancouverIt's just before 1am and William Shatner is sitting across a table from me.  Between us are 32 empty beer glasses.  All of them were once full.

To be fair, there are three other people at the table with us and the glasses only hold five ounces each.  But everyone has been used to sample a giant flight of beer at this brew pub called Buskwakkers.

Wait.  Back up.

It’s Good to be a Rich Rock Star

October 21st, 2011 | by Alan Cross

Dexter Holland, singer for the Offspring, is a serious fanatic about airplanes.  Ever since he was a kid, he wanted to have a pilots’ license.

But if you’ve ever had that dream, you’ll know that it’s a pretty expensive pursuit–unless you want to join the Air Force, which is not an option for most people.  But because the Offspring has sold tens of millions of albums, Dexter can now indulge in this dream.

The Recommendation Project Part 15: WTF Songs

October 21st, 2011 | by Alan Cross

I'm currently on tour with William Shatner as part of his How Time Flies production.  One part of the show is devoted to his music career.  One of the stories he tells is the time he performed "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds" from his Transformed Man album on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson.

Carson apparently turned to Ed McMahon and mouthed "WHAT.  THE.  F*CK?"

This got me thinking:  what are some of the greatest WTF musical moments of all time?  What a perfect theme for a playlist!

Here are the rules for The Recommendation Project.

New Sony After Market Car Stereo Unit Keeps with the Times

October 21st, 2011 | by Alan Cross

Given what automobile manufacturers are installing as standard equipment in many of their cars, you have to think that the after market people are worried.  Who would want to rip out a complicated highly-integrated factory system and possibly void all kinds of warranties?

But not all cars come with state-of-the-art dashboards.  There's still room to grow--at least according to Sony, which has just introduced the new DSX-310BTX head unit.

The Mormons Use a Killer to Boost PR

October 21st, 2011 | by Alan Cross

The fact that this is happening isn't a surprise.  What's shocking is that it's taken this long for it to happen.

From The Independent:

Facing a sceptical public that still has questions about whether their faith is a religion or a cult, the Mormon Church is turning to one of its least stereotypical adherents to win them over: Brandon Flowers, the lead singer of the rock band The Killers.

 A four-minute video clip distributed online via YouTube is a reminder of the public relations struggle The Church of of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints feels it faces overcoming negative perceptions among many Americans. Among them is the misconception that it tolerates plural marriages, a practice it disavowed a century ago.

"There are lots of connotations that come along with popular music or rock music, and it's usually very sex-driven or money-driven, and I realised early on that that wasn't the road for me," Flowers says in the clip which shows him and his band recording.

Read the rest of the story here.  Watch the video after the jump.

The Shatner Tour Diary: Day 3 (On the Bus)

October 21st, 2011 | by Alan Cross

[SOMEWHERE EAST OF SWIFT CURRENT SK] - I’ve never travelled by tour bus before.  After last night, though, I have new respect for anyone who does.  We left Vancouver at 1pm PDT on Wednesday.  Here it is 11am Saskatchewan time Tuesday, having traversed the Rockies almost nonstop.

Some things that everyone should know about travelling by tour bus:

The Awesome News of the Day: Deftones’ Chi Cheng is Awake!

October 20th, 2011 | by Alan Cross

The night that Barack Obama was elected president, Deftones bass player Chi Cheng was in a car accident.  No seat belt.  

It was very, very bad.

Cheng ended up in a coma in intensive care for months.  The emotional and physical toll on his family and bandmates was beyond intense.

Where Are All the Classic Alternative Stations?

October 20th, 2011 | by Alan Cross

If you take a look at the album charts, you'd be forgiven if you feel a little time-warped back about fifteen years given all the alt-rock acts that have staked their space.  Pearl Jam, Jane's Addiction, the Foo Fighters, the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Blink 182 and Social Distortion are all present and accounted for.

Dig a little deeper and you'll find albums and/or tours from Soundgarden, Courtney Love, the Stone Temple Pilots and the Smashing Pumpkins.  Against all odds, Rage Against the Machine is still with us.  U2 grossed a quarter of a billion dollars on their 360 Tour.  OMD is back.  Depeche Mode will probably make another record.  

An Early Review of Apple’s iCloud

October 20th, 2011 | by Alan Cross

From Billboard:

Syncing music from your iPhone or iPad across computers has got to be one of the least enjoyable experiences in Apple's computing ecosystem. The advent of iCloud was meant to lift the headaches of this cord-reliant process into the upper atmosphere and usher in what the late Apple guru Steve Jobs called the post-PC world.

The main problem until now: You can have different songs on different computers and devices, and they never seem to be where you want them.


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