Posts Tagged ‘Alan Cross’

Orwells cover
Alan Cross asks on his blog today, “Does Alternative Radio Need to Rock More?”

He says that today’s alternative radio is more akin to the original spirit of alternative music than maybe people give it credit for…because grunge.

AC had read Sean Ross’ bit in Billboard which got the wheels turning.

Sean is great because he comes from the school of “stats don’t lie.”  He talks in facts and offers insight into the world of trends.  I love this line, “So does alternative radio need to rock? A little more. But only a little.”

He goes to to explain the history of the format, and how the textures and songs fit into the narrative of alternative radio, and ultimately to ratings success.

One song that Sean pulled out to illustrate a song that “rocks” in that traditional sense but is also melodic for mass appeal is actress Taylor Momsen‘s band The Pretty Reckless.

Personally, not my style but I can get behind the appeal.  Reminds me a bit of a Joan Jett for the year 2014.

A rock band that has been turning my crank for the past couple weeks is a group called The Orwells.

While getting ready for the day this morning, I punched up KEXP in Seattle, and John in the Morning dropped the needle on this cut.  So good.

Go with yourself.

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Hamilton fuzz rockers WTCHS are doing a lot in music that I am currently interested in (minus the taking vowels out of your band name…but that’s me getting nit-picky).  Their own bandcamp page offers a good description of what you’ll hear.

Strange sounds upon strangewinds emerge from a newly born Steeltown oasis. The strangled snare of gnarled guitars harken upon the nethersteps of Haligonia, but it’s the hooded nihilism of WTCHS’ droning vocals that yield unlimited satisfaction. Hope comes in a multitude of flavour. Hand-stamped package complete with 6-minute tape-only drone-out. Grip sicc widdit.


Lots of interesting stuff to take away.  I think when you’re a rock band and use descriptions like, gnarled guitars and droning vocals…. right away, to me, you say… “we don’t care about being pop stars.”  Then you put your record out on cassette… hand made.  That says, “I  like being a music nerd and I like this kind of work.”

This isn’t for everyone…but its for me.  I’ll have to put this noise on my iPhone.

Thanks Alan Cross for the heads up!  Good pick.

Go with yourself.

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I don’t know why, but I love 45s.  I think because they’re little, and old… they don’t make any sense and they’re annoying as fuck to play at home.  You can’t just hit go.  You have to sit there at the record player and flip’em over and change the disc all.the.time.

At the same time… its kinda fun to play DJ, and sit there and listen to music.  I love them during all vinyl DJ sets.  Man, two record players going at the same time is heaven with 45s.  Those stupid spindle/spider 45 adapter things in the middle are a pain.  God bless Simon for giving me that yellow one pictured above.  I had like three of them at one time, but during a DJ set at Smiths I lost a bunch.  If not for this one that Simon gave me, I’d be begging for more.  Finding a puck is impossible in 2012.  I wish I had a bead on how to make my own.  I think that would be a good cottage industry. Selling record pucks online.  The Morning After Show needs a commemorative puck! Or the Zone!

On Saturday I went record shopping with Mads and we bought three new 45s for the collection.

I saw the 4 Seasons and bought that one for Coral.  She saw the Jersey Boys play in London with Alix and has always had a spot in her heart for the music.  I saw the record and thought we needed that one in the collection.

I love the Zombies.  I have another Zombies 45, but not “She’s Not There.”

And the final one is a weird record.  I remember Alan Cross blogging about it back when he stilled worked at Explore Music.  Penny and the Quarters were a discovered R&B group that cut a demo in the early 70s.  but the record never saw the light of day… says the legend.  The man with the studio that recorded it had the original demos stuffed away on a box till he passed away.  Upon his passing, all of the tapes were sold whole-sale to some company that buys such things, I guess mining for forgotten musical treasure.  They “released” this song on a compilation of forgotten soul and R&B.

Actor Ryan Gosling heard the song and brought it to the attention of the music supervisor or director of the film Blue Valentine.  And here we are.

Neat story.  AC had a hunch that it could be a cooked up stunt from a Hollywood publicist.  But I mean… it could be real? and I hope it is.  The song is adorable.

Penny and the Quarters – “You and Me

There I am at Ditch records… see this title and go… “where do I remember this band from?” The legend floods back to me and I go, “huh…” then bought it.

“You and Me” is such a pretty and romantic song.  If the legend surrounding the song is true, it just adds so much more to the drama.  I’ll take this one on faith and chose to believe till I read otherwise.

Go with yourself.

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I was reading Alan Cross’ website yesterday and he found a great article with a very poignant quote.

“I remember the first record I ever bought. Do you remember your first download?” – The Young Person’s Guide to Vinyl

I remember the first three records I bought, on Compact Disc, with my own money, that earned working for the man.

The summer of 1996 I got a job working at a Subway.  At the time my music collection could be considered anemic. I had some tapes, some CDs I had acquired, that was about it.  To hear “good” music I would hang out at friend’s houses or rocked the radio.  When I got steady work at Subway I was making the most money I had ever earned in my life… some pay-cheques were over $100!

My first pay-cheque I dumped in my Leo Young Savers account and headed off to Lougheed Mall.  I found the Music World and plunked down close to $80 for three records.

01) Alice in Chains – Alice in Chains
02) Metallica – …And Justice for All
03) Seven Mary Three – American Standard

Of the three albums, I don’t really listen to any of them front to back anymore and maybe only Alice in Chains is a band I still regularly enjoy.  But back in 1996, they all got heavy play… and though I was late to the party when it came to collecting music, I played a serious game of catch-up, and now I have more CDs than I know what to do with.

It only makes sense that my obsession is drifting over to collecting vinyl records, which admittedly I don’t have a ton of.

I did find a couple blogs I am enjoying these days.

Analog Apartment
Fuck Yeah Vinyl

Go with yourself.

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Walked into the Zone today.  Seeing as it was so nice and Coral and I didn’t have a chance to do our weekend hike.  On ym way in, i rocked my one armed backpack which is quickly becoming my second fave purchase (the hiking shoes being number 1!).

I using this backpack for all sorts of stuff, lunch kit seems to be the best use.  But it is also my handy dandy diaper bag when out with Madelyn.  Diaper bags are the most emasculating invention ever.  Its bad enough its a purse type bag.  If it were filled with gun powder and musket balls, then I could at least handle it… but then its filled with baby powder and diapers.  No fun central.

This handy little bag, way smaller, out of the way, frees my hands.  Plus I think it’ll be a godsend at the Sasquatch Festival this year (If I can get there!).

If there is one thing I hate, its being encumbered with stuff.  I want to be free.  The flip is, free equals cold, or hungry or thirsty.

This year, I’ll have a little pack, outta the way.  Next, I’ll need some hipster pants that let me zip off the legs during the day to make shorts, then at night, zip them back on.  Plus some sort of sweater that can be tucked into this pack and pulled out when I when Coral gets cold at night.

This year I applied for a proper media pass.  I hope to get a chance to record the shenanigans for a kickass podcast.  My little pack might be big enough for an audio recorder too.  I’ll let the photog haul around the visual apparatus.

With the laptop and the motor home, I can produce up a show every night for broadcast. Go technology!


Stone Temple Pilots s/t album cover

The Stone Temple Pilots record cover looks pretty groovy… man.

The new record is supposed to have a 60s vibe.  really?  I’d believe that.

We all go through a classic rock phase at some point, I am glad that Scott and the rest of the boys are going through theirs.

STP released their first new single since… 2003? on Friday night.  Pretty weird, but the stunt worked.  According Alan Cross over at Explore Music, the single was spun over 500 times in a 60 hour period across North America.  Not bad.

Now if you really want to dive into some syrupy, 60’s acid rock from California, get involved with this band, Best Coast.  The song “When I’m With You” is rad (scroll down to the bottom of the player).  “When I’m with you I have fun.”  Oh very lo-fi a dirty.  Looks like the jumping off point for this week’s mix.  Plus I’ll tuck into some “Best New” tracks and music from Pitchfork and a couple other faves.  We’ll see what plays out.  Its hard to say before I am in pajamas standing in front of the blinking lights of my rig.  I kinda want to play “Show My Ass” (MP3) but uh, yeah that might not be my style.   Coming at you tonight or tomorrow.

Go with yourself.

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