Author Archives: Alan Cross

Worst Use EVER of a Smiths Song

November 11th, 2011 | by Alan Cross

How many kids--many even you--wept in their room at night, bereft overt...something while listening to the Smiths' "Please, Please, Please Let Me Get What I Want"?  Millions must have taken solace in those words. It is this kind of song that make the Smiths so enduring and their lyrics so universal. "Please" can be useful in so many emotional situations.

I'm pretty sure, however, that Morrissey didn't have crass Christmas consumerism in mind when he wrote the song.  Yet what the f*ck is the deal with this new commercial campaign in the UK?

Five Songs for Remembrance Day

November 11th, 2011 | by Alan Cross

[This is my column in today's Metro newspapers. - AC]

The solemnity of November 11 should never be forgotten.  Our thoughts turn to the fallen and to the families they left behind.  Here’s a playlist of songs that commemorate this day beyond the traditional playing of “The Last Post.”

 “Sky Pilot” by Eric Burdon and the Animals:  With the Viet Nam War at its peak 1968, the Animals released this seven-and-a-half minute, three-movement song about a chaplain who blesses the troops before they leave on a mission.  Although it doesn’t feature any obvious anti-war lyrics, the imagery and the era in which it was released have caused it to be categorized as a protest song. 

Congrats to 54-40

November 11th, 2011 | by Alan Cross

54-40 has been slugging it out for over 30 years now.  In fact, they’ve been around for a lot longer than just about any other Canadian band you care to mention, including the Tragically Hip.  

And if you want to measure things in terms of continuous recording and performing–and when I say that, I mean a band that has never taken a break from their regular schedule–they’re about the oldest continuously performing band in the country.

Facebook Becomes a Force in Streaming Music

November 10th, 2011 | by Alan Cross

It's only been in effect since September 22, but already Facebook users have shared/streams songs 1.5 billion times using the various integrated apps.  This. Is.  Huge.

From Audio4cast:

Facebook wanted to integrate music sharing and discovery and make it a more meaningful part of the facebook experience. It’s certainly been that for their partner services, which have experienced growth ranging from doubling their active users to increasing their user base 2 – 10 times.

Here’s a list of highlights, pulled from the post, of the growth some of the services have seen:

Metallica: Lulu’s a Stiff. Now What?

November 10th, 2011 | by Alan Cross

After months of hype and teasing, the Metallica/Lou Reed collaboration called Lulu had landed with a splat. The biggest metal band in the world has an even bigger turkey on their hands than St. Anger.  

Usually, any Metallica release is rapturously greeted by the faithful who immediately go out and buy it.  Not this time.  Lulu is a stiff.  In its first week, it sold 13,000 copies in all of America.  A THIRTEEN THOUSAND COPY DEBUT FOR A METALLICA ALBUM!  

Life is no better for them in Canada where the record managed a sickly debut at #26.  I don't have the figures, but from what I know about Canadian album sales, I'm guessing that puts the record in the 2,000 unit range.  Ouch.

So what went wrong?

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