Blog Archive

LMFAO at Halftime

October 4th, 2011 | by Alan Cross

While rumours swirl that Madonna will play the halftime show at the Super Bowl, LMAFAO has already made it to

The Gulf Between Online Listening and Rock Radio

October 4th, 2011 | by Alan Cross

From the AV Club:

Like many of you (I’m guessing, since you’re here), I spend a significant portion of my waking hours online. I spend so much time on the Internet that I sometimes mistake the virtual world for the world-world. Looking through the lens of social media and frequently visited websites and blogs, it’s easy to get a distorted view of pop culture.

If I never left my house (or looked away from my computer screen), I would believe that Breaking Bad is the nation’s most popular TV show, Drive the most successful movie, and whatever Pitchfork and Stereogum are covering this week the biggest band.

More Music from the Inbox

October 3rd, 2011 | by Alan Cross

And how was your Monday?  A little rough?  Yeah, me, too.  The dog tracked mud all over the carpets just after my wife finished shampooing in them.  This was someone my fault.

Let's try and put that all behind us with a few new tunes, shall we?

The Wife Says: Another Rock Royalty Marriage?

October 3rd, 2011 | by Alan Cross

So Gene Simmons and Shannon Tweed tie the knot after twenty-two years. Whatever happened to the Rule about if he hasn’t proposed in eighteen months or seven years (which is eighteen months in dog years) you ditch him? Patience pays off for the Playmate.

Rock marriages are a strange thing. Some seem to work. Sting and Trudy with their eco causes and vineyards and tantric sex. Jon Bon Jovi and Dorthea come to mind.

I was crushed when Valerie Bertinelli and Eddie Van Halen split. They looked so much alike it would have been like Narcissus making love to his own reflection, the perfect rock star fantasy.

Jukebox Songs That Need to be Banned

October 3rd, 2011 | by Alan Cross

A billion years ago, I used to work in an ice cream parlour/pinball arcade/pool hall.  In the back near the tables was crappy Wurlitzer jukebox stocked with a variety of 45s.  Every time I went to work, this same guy would come in, rent a table for an hour and plug the damn thing full of quarters.  He'd listen to just one song over and over and over:  "Burnin' Love" by Elvis Presley.

I wasn't the only one sick of that song.  The next time the serviceman came in, the owner ordered him to pull "Burnin' Love" out of the machine.  The next time Snooker Dude came in, he discovered that Elvis had indeed left the building.  He'd been banned.

A fun story in the New York Post this morning lists songs that have been banned from ten local bars from the joints' jukeboxes.  

The Only Reason I’m Here Is Because I Had Just Enough Postage

October 3rd, 2011 | by Alan Cross

"Life can only be understood backward, but it must be lived forward." - Danish philospher Søren Kierkegaard 

So much on life hinges on the little things.  This is a story of one of those little things.

At exactly twelve noon EDT, twenty-five years ago today--October 3, 1986--I presented myself to Diane, the receptionist at CFNY-FM at 83 Kennedy Road South in Brampton.  "I'm the new guy," I said.  

Radio being what it is, I thought I'd be there for three, four years, tops.  Instead, I lasted four months short of a quarter century. 

In the process, I've enjoyed a happy and fulfilling life, marriage and career. And to think that none of it would have happened had it not been for a staggering set of strange circumstances that all occurred over a period of twelve hours.

Naming Your Band

October 3rd, 2011 | by Alan Cross

[Note:  This originally appeared as my Metro column on Friday, September 30th.  It serves as an introduction into History Television's What's in a Name? episode that talks about band names.--AC]

One of the most hideous tasks of being in a band is coming up with a name.  Consider: 

Good Commentary on the New Proposed Canadian Copyright Bill

October 2nd, 2011 | by Alan Cross

[It's called Bill C-11. This is why we all need to pay attention.  Read what Michael Geist wrote in the Toronto Star. - AC]

Last week, the government tabled Bill C-11, the latest attempt to reform Canadian copyright law. The bill mirrors its previous copyright bill and is expected to sail through the House of Commons with committee hearings that will pick up where they left off in March.

The Wife Says: Fall Rocks

October 2nd, 2011 | by Alan Cross

[Another missive from my wife.  She's got a lot to say.  Thanks for helping out. -AC]

Fall.  Not the calendar season. Apple picking. Apple cheeks. Cords and plaid and Hunter boots.

But Fall as in falling-temperatures, light levels, moods all plummet. Vitamin D supplements in overdrive.

Grey skies presage grey moods. Introspected introverts thrive. The music echoes. Rock is good for Fall. What is depression except anger turned inwards asks the self-taught expert? (One semester of Psych. Fifteen years of Oprah.)

More Music from the Inbox

October 2nd, 2011 | by Alan Cross

The unofficial mantra of this site is "Listening to bad music so you don't have to."  Because let's face it: you're busy.  There's just too much music out there and too little time.  

Here are a few songs to get you started.

Should Apple Cull the iPod Line?

October 2nd, 2011 | by Alan Cross

I won't bore you with any more iPhone 5 rumours.  Instead, though, I'd like to pose a question:  should Apple pare down its line of iPods?

If you read the tea leaves a certain way, it appears that they may be thinking this way.  In years past, Apple's fall event has been all about music and iPods.  Whatever is going to happen on Tuesday has been signaled as being focussed on a new iPhone and iOS 5.  No one has mentioned anything about iPods.  No new models.  No new features.  No new nothing.

I'm not suggesting for a moment that Apple is going to stop selling iPods--at least not the Touch.  But with iPod sales tracking down 6% year over year, someone inside the company must be thinking hard about the future of the iPod Classic, the nano and the Shuffle.  Consider:


October 2nd, 2011 | by Alan Cross

Afghani rock band Kabul DreamsThis has to be taken as some kind of progress.  Afghanistan had its first rock festival in three decades and no one was blown up.  (I'm not being facetious.  The location of the show was kept secret until the last second lest any insurgents had any suicide bomber ideas.)

They calleded it Sound Central and featured local bands as well as artists from Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Australian (the event was organized by an Australian photojournalist who invited some friends). The venue was Babur Gardens in Kabul.

The Most High-Security Recording Sessions Ever?

October 2nd, 2011 | by Alan Cross

[Note: I've seen this ship down in the Caribbean.  It has a helicopter pad and its own submarine, fer god's sake. Blofeld would kill for this boat.]

From Business Insider:

The recording session for the first album from Mick Jagger’s new supergroup SuperHeavy had to be top secret to foil music pirates and such, and apparently no recording studio on Earth was secure enough.

So the wrinkly Rolling Stone and friends took to the high seas, and laid down some tracks aboard Microsoft billionaire Paul Allen’s megayacht Octopus.

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