Blog Archive

Weirdest. Concept. Album. Ever.

October 13th, 2011 | by Alan Cross

WARNING: May cause bacon revulsion and pork chop psychosisBritish electronic musician Matthew Herbert spent a lot of time with a particular pig on a British farm.  Call it Morrissey's worst nightmare:  an album made of the sounds of the birth, life, death and subsequent feasting upon of a real pig.

One Pig not only features sample oinks, but drums with skins made of, er, pig skin and a wind instrument that somehow uses pig blood.  No wonder PETA was all over this guy.

The official press release video is below.  But if you just want to skip to a stream of the album, go here.

The Wife Says: Happy Couples?

October 12th, 2011 | by Alan Cross

Win and Regine of Arcade Fire are among the latest couples to collaborate successfully. Snatching seconds as inspiration strikes. Home’s a musical Narnia where melody meets while making the beds.


A big fan of the husband’s work. Not in a fawning aren’t-you-wonderful-my-big-strong-creative-man kind of way. But coz sweat and talent is inherently irresistible.

We bounce ideas. Poke. Prod. Hopefully inspire. But I only ask for a serious opinion once braced and if not having a bad hair day. 

The History of the Term “Rock and Roll,” Part 3

October 12th, 2011 | by Alan Cross

Wait!  To get started, you need to check out Part 1 and Part 2.

First, it was an African-American slang term for “sex.”  From there, "rock and roll" it was used as a euphemism for sex in a series of songs in the 20s, 30s and 40s.  And then, in 1948, a singer named Wynonie Harris had a hit with a song called “Good Rockin’ Tonight,” which inspired a a bunch of new songs featuring the word “rock” in the title or in the lyrics. 

The next step of this etymylogical revolution begins on July 11, 1951, when a white radio DJ from Cleveland named Alan Freed began to establish himself as a promoter of rhythm and blues the new name for recordings made by black artists.

Weekly Music Sales Report – 12 October 2011

October 12th, 2011 | by Alan Cross

Was it a good week or not?  Well, it all depends on how you spin it.  Yes, there were three debuts in the Top 10 in Canada.  Yes, sales are 8% higher than they were for the same week last year.  But after last week's nice numbers, overall album sales are down 9%.  

All in all, though, the industry is happy that sales are still pacing ahead of last year.  Just by 1%, mind, you, but at least that's in the "plus" column

Canadian Lyrics Site Gets Bought by CBS Interactive

October 11th, 2011 | by Alan Cross

The reason publishers, labels, artists and managers have always cracked down on websites that offer song lyrics is because they've long known that there's money in these rhymes.  People--and not just music fans--will pay good money to access lyrics in a proper database.

Vancouver's Metrolyrics is very good at making these databases.  They're all legal and licensed, too.  That's why CBS Interactive just bought them for a big whack of dough.

Katie Moore Wins SOCAN’S 2011 ECHO Songwriting Prize

October 11th, 2011 | by Alan Cross

From the press release:

SOCAN today announced that the winner of the English 2011 ECHO Songwriting Prize competition is Katie Moore with her song “Wake Up Like This”. Katie Moore beat Arcade Fire, Austra, Handsome Furs, and PS I Love You to claim the $5,000 cash prize. The results were based on online public votes received from September 1 to 30 on  

A History of Rocktober

October 11th, 2011 | by Alan Cross

Well, Bart, maybe there is...For me, the month of October will forever be associated with a month-long record sale at a record store chain called Crazy Kelly's in Winnipeg.  Every year, they'd stage their Rocktober sale, slashing prices on virtually everything in the store.  

I'd spend all of my disposal income (and a lot of money that should have gone to things like textbooks) adding to my record collection.

But there was much more to the notion of Rocktober than just a record sale in Winnipeg.  Check this out.

The History of the Term “Rock and Roll,” Part 2

October 11th, 2011 | by Alan Cross

Late to the party?  Start with Part 1.

"Rock and roll" was originally an Africa-American euphemism for sex.  With the rise of rhythm and blues and jazz in the early 20th century, the term inevitably made its way into music in the 20s, 30s and 40s.

The big breakthrough came when a New Orleans songwriter named Roy Brown wrote something he called "Good Rockin' Tonight," which he then gave to a blues singer named Wynonie Harris.

College Radio Fights Back

October 11th, 2011 | by Alan Cross

From USA Today: College radio stations, which have long given a first break to little-known musicians and offered a voice

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