Author Archives: Alan Cross

M for Montreal 2011, Day 2: Putting Music In TV Shows

November 18th, 2011 | by Alan Cross

You know how TV shows feature bits of actual songs to help create atmosphere and move along the story? The person responsible for that is called the music supervisor.  It's his/her job to listen to music, suggest songs to the producer and/or director, acquire the necessary licensing, make the appropriate payments and then help create edits so the song fits the scene perfectly.

One of the best music supervisors today is Thomas Golubic.  If you've ever seen Breaking Bad or Six Feet Under, you've heard his work.  Thomas was the keynote speaker at an M for Montreal luncheon yesterday--and he was fascinating.

M for Montreal 2011, Day 2: The Night of the Living Drummers

November 18th, 2011 | by Alan Cross

As I've written before, I really like attending M for Montreal each November because there are always surprises in the line-up.  I always see several performers that pleasantly shock the hell out of me.

Last night, for example, I wanted to see a band called Absolutely Free, descendents of an experimental math-rock collective called DD/MM/YY.  And yes, they were very good, even though this was their very first live gig.  You'll seldom see such intricate rhythms played on live drums.  

The band has two kits onstage and sometimes features two guys bashing at the same time.  No standard 4/4 fare for these dudes.  Very tight, very cool.

But the real surprise came with the first act of the night.

This is Fun: Slayer’s Concert Rider

November 18th, 2011 | by Alan Cross

The concert rider is the part of the contract between performer and promoter that stipulates what needs to be provided before, during and after a gig, including dressing room amenities.  

Some riders make for some of the best reading in rock'n'roll.  For example, this is where the legend of Van Halen's "bowl of M&M's with all the brown ones taken out" demand. They weren't really serious.  This was just a test to see if the promoter was, in fact, reading their rider as he was supposed to.

Greggory sent me this Slayer rider which is most memorable for its demands and request.  They include:

Air Rage

November 18th, 2011 | by Alan Cross

What do the following people have in common: Courtney Love, Ian Brown of the Stone Roses, Liam Gallagher of Oasis, Rob Collins of the Charlatans UK and Peter Buck of REM?  

Answer: they’ve all been arrested for doing dumb things on airplanes.

Ian Brown had an air rage incident on a British Airways flight from Paris and ended up in jail for the better part of a year.  Liam Gallagher is banned from all Cathay Pacific flights after an incident aboard a 747 flying from Hong Kong to Australia in May 1998.

Yes, There’s Too Much Bad Music

November 17th, 2011 | by Alan Cross

Here's the final version of an article written for the Sherdian Sun (Sheridan College's newspaper).  And yes, I was interviewed for it.  Good thought-starter, this.

“Blame it on human nature, man’s destiny. Blame it on the greediocracy.” So spews Fat Mike from the band NOFX on the band’s epic track "The Decline." The music industry has lost touch with the artist. Like any art, business has a way of stepping on creativity’s toes. It’s the nature of the beast.

M for Montreal 2011, Day 1: The Wednesday Surprise

November 17th, 2011 | by Alan Cross

One of the reasons I love coming to this festival (3 of the 6 years!) is that I'm always surprised.  Every night, there's always a band I've never heard of (or paid much attention to) that makes me sit up and wonder Helloooooooo....

Last night--the opening night of M--I saw CLAASS, a three-piece electro-something band which can be best described as Interpol strained through a very angry Underworld.  No drummer, just a rhythm track that sounded like an unhinged Roland 808.  Even through I was up in the balcony, the waves of bass off the stage rippled my pantlegs like flags.

A Mandated FM Chip in MP3 Players? Never Gonna Happen

November 17th, 2011 | by Alan Cross

Most people aren't aware--and nor do they care--that US broadcasters have been pushing for an FM radio chip to be included in every MP3 player-like device sold in the country.  And yes, that includes all cell phones.

The problem is consumers don't seem to be interested.  The whole reason we carry our music with us is so we can program things for ourselves.  And now that more cloud-based services are coming online, we'll soon be able to take more of our content with us with more ease than ever before.

Read what consultant Mark Ramsay says in his blog today:


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