The Ongoing History of New Music, Episode 790: The Tribes of Alt-Rock

One of the most useful things about music is that it can be used to tell the world who you are. We’ve all done it, too. We’ve used music as a symbol of our individuality and belief in personal freedom. It proclaims our identity to the world.

Once you start, you inevitably find that there are people out there just like you. You seek out these others, drawn together by a love of a common sort of music. Then you find you have other shared interests. This is where things get extra- interesting.

You start hanging out, maybe at a specific place. Maybe you begin to talk about other things: politics, social issues, religion, fashion. Others are drawn into your orbit, some in the same physical space, others franchising your ideas because they heard about it somewhere.

It’s comforting, this little club, this tribe of yours. It sets you apart, gives you a feeling of belonging. And as others want to join up, it makes you feel kinda cool, right? And if circumstances are just right, you and your new friends–the ones you see and the ones you’ve never met–find yourselves part of a musical subculture.

This sort of thing has been happening for decades. This show explores some of those tribes relevant to the history of alt-rock.

Songs on this show:

Echosmith, Cool Kids

Teencats, ‘Cause I’m a Teddy Boy

Prince Buster, One Step Beyond

The Jam, Down in the Tube Station at Midnight

Richard Hell and the Voidoids, Blank Generation

Sex Pistols, Pretty Vacant

David Bowie, Ashes to Ashes

Duran Duran, Rio

Siouxsie and the Banshees, Christine

My Chemical Romance, Welcome to the Black Parade

Goldfinger, Here in Your Bedroom

Official Compilier of Playlists, Eric Wilhite, has this for your listening pleasure.

Don’t forget that you can get the podcast version of this podcast through iTunes or wherever you get your on-demand audio.

The Ongoing History of New Music can be heard on the following stations:

We’re still looking for more affiliates in Calgary, Kamloops, Kelowna, Regina, Saskatoon, Brandon, Windsor,  Montreal, Charlottetown, Moncton, Fredericton, and St John’s and anywhere else with a transmitter. If you’re in any of those markets and you want the show, lemme know and I’ll see what I can do.


Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

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