Blog Archive

RIP Lookout! Records

January 14th, 2012 | by Alan Cross

If you’re at all familiar with the history of Bay Area punk–and I mean pre-fame Green Day and Rancid plus

Actual Exploding White Mice

January 14th, 2012 | by Alan Cross

Remember the Ramones movie Rock ‘n’ Roll High School from 1979?  Part of the plot included mice that exploded when exposed to loud punk rock.  That may not have been far from the truth. 

Scientists of Cambridge University conducted an experiment.  They jacked up a bunch of mice on amphetamines and then exposed them to two types of music. 

Fondly Remembering Bootleg CDs

January 14th, 2012 | by Alan Cross

A million years ago, I rhapsodized about the glories of bootleg CDs during one of my radio shows.  I gushed over how much I loved to hear unauthorized live recordings along with demos and alternate takes never destined to be heard by the general public.

It wasn't that I was endorsing any kind of thievin'.  Because I already had all the authorized recordings from my favourite artists, this was the only way to get more before the next album and concert.  And I knew which independent record stores in my area would help me out with my needs.

A few days later, I received a scathing letter from the head of one of the recording industry associations. I believe the term he used when describing my "promotion of theft" was "immoral and repugnant."  That didn't stop me from collecting bootlegs.  I still do it today.

The Recommendation Project Part 23: Winter

January 13th, 2012 | by Alan Cross

We've managed to dodge winter in my part of the world up until now.  But this morning, I woke up to hideous, cold blowing snow.  I hate it.

Time to retreat inside until spring.  The challenge is to come up a playlist that will help us survive the winter, physically, mentally or both.  

I've begun things with a track from The Winter of Mixed Drinks by Frightened Rabbit.  You're free to choose whatever you'd like for the playlist--as long as it doesn't come from Sting.  Or Enya.

Here are the rules for The Recommendation Project.

So Dr. Dre and Monster Are Breaking Up?

January 13th, 2012 | by Alan Cross

Well, that didn't last long.  Last year, 51% of Dre's brand of Beats headphones was acquired by HTC for $300 million.  Monster, the people who make those ultra-expensive cables, were in charge of manufacturing. 

The whole Beats thing was so successful for Monster that they cornered 53% of the US headphone market, which meant about a $2 billion hunk of cash.  

But Monster's five-year manufacturing deal with Monster is coming to an end.

This Week’s Top 11 Playlist – 13 January 2012

January 13th, 2012 | by Alan Cross

Putting together a mixtape can be a tricky thing, especially if you're dealing with really, really new tunes. Do they all go together?  Is the flow correct?  Is one style over- or under-represented?  And will anyone like it?  Not sure.  But that's the mystery of the mixtape.  

Here's this week's selection of songs that caught my attention. Use the player in the right-hand column or just click on the link below.  

Give 'em a listen.  Comments welcome.  And thanks again to Mediazoic for the help.

More Music from the Inbox

January 13th, 2012 | by Alan Cross

I don't know about where you are, but the weather outside my office window is awful.  Winter has finally hit.  Yuck.  

Best to stay inside and sort through some new tunes, don't you think?

This installment of music recommendations is brought by Jay at That's Funky Awesome.

The Rolling Stones Liberation Front Issues Its Demands

January 13th, 2012 | by Alan Cross

Aniticipating an imminent announcement of a 50th anniversary tour, a group calling itself The Rolling Stones Liberation Front (not the Liberation Front of the Rolling Stones; that's probably another organization; same thing for the Popular Front for the Liberation of the Rolling Stones and People's Liberation Front of the Rolling Stones) has issued a set of demands.

They're demanding that the Stones change the way they tour.  If those demands aren't met, they're threatening some kind of non-violent disruption campaign.  

Looking over this list, they're not entirely unreasonable.  Perhaps when Keef full recovers from his recent eye surgery he and Mick and give this a once-over.

It’s Awards Season. Time for the Brits

January 13th, 2012 | by Alan Cross

The Brits are the equivalent of our Junos and America's Grammys.  With the ceremonies coming up about ten days after the Grammys--February 21 at the O2 arena in London--we can now debate the merits of the nominees.



  • Ed Sheeran (Watch this guy.  He might be on the verge of a worldwide breakthrough)
  • James Blake
  • James Morrison
  • Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds
  • Professor Green




  • Adele (She'll win.  But I'd like to see Kate take it.)
  • Florence & The Machine Island
  • Jessie J
  • Kate Bush (Wow.  Really?)
  • Laura Marling

And the Nominees for the 2012 Canadian Radio Music Awards Are…

January 13th, 2012 | by Alan Cross

One of the major events at Canadian Music Week is the Radio Music Awards, a ceremony which honours first-time top-charting Canadian artists as picked by members of the radio industry.  The 15th annual CRMAs will be handed out on Friday, March 23.  Here's who's up for what:


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