The Ongoing History of New Music Turns 20 This Month. How Should We Mark the Occasion?

On February 28, 2016, The Ongoing History of New Music will turn 20 years old.
 
Yep. I’ve been doing this for two decades. If anyone had told me when I started this whole thing that I’d still be doing this in 2016, I would have laughed in their faces. Nothing in radio lasts 20 years, especially during a time of serious upheaval.
When I started writing and producing shows in February 1993, the following things were true:
  • Kurt Cobain was still alive.
  • Lollapalooza had been staged–twice.
  • Only hardcore nerds knew about something called “the Internet.” The term “information superhighway” had yet to be invented.
  • No Facebook, Twitter, YouTube or Instagram. Google was years from being invented.
  • MP3s were still an engineering curiosity in a lab in somewhere in Germany.
  • Record stores still stocked pre-recorded cassettes.
  • The iPod was eight years off. In fact, Steve Jobs hadn’t been rehired by Apple yet.
  • No one had ever heard of Britney Spears.
  • Justin Bieber was still 13 months away from being born.
Astute listeners will point out a problem with the math. “If I’m not mistaken, the program debuted in February 1993. That’s twenty-three years ago.”
 
True. But remember that I went on a three-year enforced walkabout during which time no new programs were produced. Hence this is the 20th birthday and not the 23rd.
 
So here’s what I’m thinking: a special one-time-only program to commemorate 20 years of this thing and what it’s become.
  • What sorts of things/information/music would you like to see included?
  • Any favourite episodes?
  • Any interviews you’d like to revisit?
  • Any questions you’ve always wanted to ask?
 It would really, really help me if we got a thread going here. After all, this show wouldn’t have lasted a month if it wasn’t for your support. How can I repay you? Lemme know, okay?

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 30+ 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.

7 thoughts on “The Ongoing History of New Music Turns 20 This Month. How Should We Mark the Occasion?

  • February 1, 2016 at 7:14 am
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    My first thought would be so a show on what you feel are the biggest thing so happen to music in the past 20 years.

    Reply
  • February 1, 2016 at 7:54 am
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    You’d probably be best with three or four episodes… Best interview, best story, maybe even the best story about how you found out a bit of info… Surely there’s enough to fill a show. I’d also say to get a few congrats from artists and influential. And of course… What has changed in music, both with how you record and the music you play.

    Reply
  • February 1, 2016 at 8:27 am
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    Congratulations. You show encompasses the rise of the Internet and its effect on music. That could be a theme.

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  • February 1, 2016 at 8:59 am
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    I imagine some of your stories would have an addendum by now, maybe someone turned things around or history was somehow re-written thanks to new evidence. It might be fun to hear you reflect on the original telling and what’s changed since.
    OR: compare how you spoke of emerging trends or groups with how they’re viewed now.

    Reply
  • February 1, 2016 at 6:11 pm
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    I would love to hear you speak with some of the radio personalities you have worked with/crossed paths with over the last twenty years, and have them comment on the impact OHNM has had on them personally and on alternative music as a whole, along with some cool stories involving you. People like Dean Blundell, Todd Shapiro, Dave Bookman, Ben Kowalewicz, Barenaked Ladies, Chris Sheppard, Barry Taylor, the Alexisonfire guys, Raine Maida, etc etc etc. Also I think it would be cool to hear some of the REALLY early stuff, year one and two shows.

    Reply
  • February 1, 2016 at 7:45 pm
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    somehow U2 will play an important role in it 😉 you and your unnatural obsession with that band

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  • February 1, 2016 at 7:49 pm
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    I think it would be cool to have some stats,

    Like OHNM has aired ___ number or episodes total ____ minutes of entertainment with ___ number of songs from ___ number of artists.

    Reply

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