Blog Archive

Friday Music News Quick Hits

August 26th, 2011 | by Alan Cross

urricane Irene is already taking its toll on music.  As a result of the state of emergency in New York, The Roots and Gogol Bordello have cancelled shows.   Meanwhile, some Dave Matthews Band dates have been postponed.

The Arctic Monkeys have announced that they're going to take a two-year break from recording.  This comes just a couple of months after they release their Suck It and See album.  They could use some  time off, but a cynic might wonder if this is a ploy to get more people out to gigs.

Unearthing Some Canadian Hits of the Past

August 26th, 2011 | by Alan Cross

Sean Ross is a New Jersey-based radio consultant with whom I've worked in the past.  He has a love of many things Canadian.  He told me he was once stopped at customs in Edmonton because the officer didn't believe that he'd fly all that way just for a vacation.

Sean's Canadian interests extend deep into music.  Check out what he wrote in this week's Ross on Radio column.


The Physical Toll of Being a Rock Star

August 26th, 2011 | by Alan Cross

This is from my column in today's Metro newspapers:

Back on the 19th, Bono felt unwell. Decompressing from the massive 360 Tour at his villa in Eze-sur-Mer in the south of France, his heart began rattling around in his chest like a drum machine gone insane.  The palpitations and discomfort were enough for his wife to rush him to Princess Grace Memorial Hospital in nearby Monaco.

After being examined by a specialist and subjected to a battery of tests, he was sent home with orders to get some rest. Bono’s 51-year-old body is telling him something: you can’t be on a world tour for two years, pausing only for major spinal surgery and not expect to suffer some physical consequences.

The Guy Behind the Non-Human DJ Defends Himself. Screw You, Dude.

August 25th, 2011 | by Alan Cross

Dominque Garcia, the guy who's getting all kinds of publicity for introducing "Denise," the non-human radio "personality" wrote an essay explainging--and defending--himself.

The dude seems to think he's performaing a service to the radio industry.  I say he's contributing to its death.

The premise of radio is that it's always been personal, intimate and real.  Getting a computer program to do the work of a real, live, empathetic, storytelling communicator is nothing short of perverse.

Late Music News for Thursday

August 25th, 2011 | by Alan Cross

Canada finally gets 90-second song previews on iTunes.  (When did that happen?)  Go ahead and take a look.  I'll wait.

Jon Stewart will host a special program on the SiriusXM channel Lithium on September 24th--the 20th anniversary of the release of Nevermand--with Dave Grohl, Krist Novoselic and producer Butch Vig.

Best. Patent. Argument. Ever.

August 25th, 2011 | by Alan Cross

If you're following tech, you'll know that the entire industry--Apple, Google, Microsoft, Samsung, Motorola, HTC, etc.--are engaged in a giant fustercluck of patent suits and countersuits.  

"Innovation be damned!  I'm suing for patent infringement."  Great.

One of the more high-profile suits is Apple vs. Samsung over their Galaxy tablet.  "It looks too much like an iPad, the design WE came up with!"

Er, hold on, Apple.

RIM Unveils BBM Music

August 25th, 2011 | by Alan Cross

Oh, RIM.  Why couldn't you have done this sooner?  Why the Johnny-come-lately attitude?

As the Blackberry continues to lose market share to iOS devices and Android--and as Windows Phone 7 is starting to look like a player--RIM has launched a Hail Mary music play:  BBM Music.

"See?" the company says, "We're more than just a business company that offers enterprise solutions!  We can play in the consumer space, too."  Adorable.

More Comments on the Non-Human AI DJ

August 25th, 2011 | by Alan Cross



I hate the whole idea.  In fact, it makes me nauseous and scared for the future of radio.

Michael Robertson, founder of and, feels the same way.  Here's what he wrote today in his blog about Denise, the non-human $200 computer program that made its debut on a Texas radio station today.

Steve Jobs Resigns; Freakout Begins

August 25th, 2011 | by Alan Cross

I've seldom read a more ominous opening sentence of a resignation letter:

I have always said if there ever came a day when I could no longer meet my duties and expectations as APPLE’s CEO, I would be the first to let you know. Unfortunately, that day has come.

I hereby resign as CEO of APPLE. I would like to serve, if the Board sees fit, as Chairman of the Board, director and Apple employee.

My first thought was "Wow.  He must be really, really sick.  I mean, how many people survive pancreatic cancer?"

Music (and Video) from the Inbox

August 24th, 2011 | by Alan Cross


Here's a round-up of the music submissions I've received in the last few days.  These are the tracks that made the cut.

If you have something you'd like me to hear, directions on how to submit music for evaluation can be found under "Music Submissions" on the left-hand side of this page.


Is Rock Radio Dying or Not?

August 24th, 2011 | by Alan Cross

There's been much talk in the radio industry blogosphere about the health of rock radio.  (Read my concerns here).

Not everyone agrees with some of these Chicken Little assessments as consultant Sean Ross points out in his weekly newsletter.


Weekly Music Sales Report – 24 August 2011

August 24th, 2011 | by Alan Cross



First, the bad news:  this continues to be a rough summer, largely in part to the fact that there's been precious few new releases for people to get excited about. Now, the good news:  the Christmas shopping season starts Monday.

But let's stick with the present for the moment.

First, a Facebook Movie. Now One About Napster

August 24th, 2011 | by Alan Cross

Actually, it's not quite the same.  This is going to be a VH-1 documentary, not some Trent Reznor-scored lightly-fictionalized-by-Aaron-Sorkin drama.

What's interesting is that it'll be directed by Alex Winter, aka Bill S. Preston, Esq, the "Bill" to Keanu Reeves' "Ted" in the Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure movies.  



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