Weekly survey: What music have you discovered (or re-discovered) during the lockdown?

If you didn’t have to work, that was one of the longest long weekends ever. There were interminable periods where time just seemed to…stop.

To battle the boredom and disorientation that comes with this reality and time distortion, you might have turned to music. But what music?

Here’s the question for the week: What music have you discovered (or re-discovered) during the lockdown? Have you sunk into:

  • New artists that you’ve found online?
  • Albums that you didn’t pay much attention to the first time around?
  • A genre that you previously ignored?
  • Older artists that you missed?
  • Rediscovering older music and artists that haven’t been top-of-mind for a while?

Be specific when it comes to artists, albums, and even individual songs. Remember, you’ll be helping other people in this time of enforced idleness.

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.

21 thoughts on “Weekly survey: What music have you discovered (or re-discovered) during the lockdown?

  • April 13, 2020 at 9:22 am
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    Following the the sad untimely death of Adam Schlesinger, I’ve re-discovered Fountains of Wayne. Perfect power pop that’s criminally under appreciated. I was hip to them when Radiation Vibe came out. So much more to them than Stacy’s Mom

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  • April 13, 2020 at 9:37 am
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    A podcast I’ve discovered in the last few weeks and really been enjoying is Andrew Hickey’s A History of Rock Music in Five Hundred Songs. I have a basic familiarity with the popular music of the 1950s, but this really has me digging into 40s R&B, Jump Blues, Western Swing and all the music that shaped the genre in its formative years. Highlights include the episodes on “This Train” by Rosetta Tharpe and “How High The Moon” by Les Paul and Mary Ford. It’s a great complement to your podcast.

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  • April 13, 2020 at 10:46 am
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    Superdrag. Still listen to them, some great albums.

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  • April 13, 2020 at 11:10 am
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    I’ve gone back and working my way through David Sylvian’s catalogue…as well as Peter Murphy’s albums. Both offer some upbeat tracks but many tracks are atmospheric and quiet, seems to be perfect for an audience of 1!

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  • April 13, 2020 at 12:31 pm
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    I have really been enjoying all the CFNY playlists from the 80s. The Cure, The Cult, The Smiths, New Order, Depeche Mode, Yaz, Violent Femmes, Jesus & Mary Chain, REM, U2, Erasure, Housemartins, Pet Shop Boys, Love & Rockets, Echo & The Bunnymen, Bauhaus, OMD, Joy Division, English Beat & General Public. Great stuff. This COVID-19 pandemic is just terrible but at least I have time now to reminisce & get nostalgic about listening to some of the best tunes of the 80s. Making a few playlists myself as well. Hey Alan, quick question… I can’t recall but have you ever done an episode on the music of the CFNY Video Roadshows of the 80s? Particular favourites, remixes and setlists?

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    • April 13, 2020 at 5:19 pm
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      Hi Christopher,

      Can you expand on what CFNY is? You and I have quite a long in common musically and it sounds like something I would want to have more knowledge of. I’ve seen most of the artists you listed in concert. I’m waiting with baited breath to hear what is to become of the PSB/NO tour. I’ve got tickets in BC which could be problematic because I live in the states. Border Control does NOT understand that some people will travel five+ hours to see a concert, especially if it happens in a different country.

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      • April 13, 2020 at 6:22 pm
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        Hey Ruins,

        CFNY is an alternative rock station in Toronto that started in the late 70s. It was originally called The Spirit of Radio but is now called 102.1 The Edge. You can listen to it online as well now. It was based roughly on a Los Angeles alternative rock station KROQ that started in 1975. Both stations were one of the few that played punk rock and new wave in the 70s and continued to do so into the 80s.

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CFNY-FM

        When the station got popular in the mid 80s CFNY started a large mobile video dance party called the CFNY Video Roadshow. It was hosted by Martin Streek, who joined the station as a DJ and on-air personality in 1984. This event regularly toured throughout southern Ontario and expanded the station’s influence well beyond its actual broadcast range.

        I started listening to CFNY in the 80s and went to their video roadshows in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada at a rollerskating rink that turned into a club. The CFNY playlists I refer to are on Spotify. Just search CFNY and there are lots. Many of them replicating the best end of the year playlists that CFNY use to publish in the Toronto Sun.

        Alan Cross used to be a DJ for CFNY and I believe he started the History of New Music as a segment on that station.

        For more info on the history check out this CFNY fan website. http://www.spiritofradio.ca/

        Here is good place to start on Spotify A collection of what they played in the 80s and early 90s. (CFNY 1991 – Top 1002 Of All Time):
        https://open.spotify.com/playlist/1WjTXfG2AyQmA3iqwSq9fA

        Hope that helps. Good luck with your concert/border issue. I have tickets to see Green Day/Fall Out Boy/Weezer/Interrupters in Toronto in August but have a feeling they are going to have to postpone.

        Cheers
        Chris

        Reply
        • April 14, 2020 at 7:15 pm
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          You’re a gem! I don’t do spotify but where there’s a will there’s a way. I have exactly ONE Live 105 (Bay Area in Northern California) top 100 list. I should go searching and see if anyone has archived those. That would be a very good find.

          I was VERY fortunate that I lived in a town where we had a fantastic scene, lived next to a town that had a fantastic scene – all with high school AND college radio and then lived close enough to SF to go to shows there and in Berkeley. Then you aa sister who lived in SoCal and that adds 91x and KROQ via new wave neighbor to my sister who introduced me to her music scene. Let’s add 99X and the house/duplex of retro pleasure streaming in the early 90s and I’ve been very lucky that I’ve had so much exposure to brilliant music.

          I’ll let you know if I find any Live 105 listings. Maybe 99x too….

          Reply
  • April 13, 2020 at 12:31 pm
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    90s big beat and jungle music

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  • April 13, 2020 at 5:25 pm
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    Just for this weekend, I am rediscovering Luis Miguel who is a latin pop star. (Show on Netflix about him if interested.) He has some upbeat music but it’s mostly ballads. Totally NOT my thing but I just fell for his music the first time I saw him on Telemundo. Went out that day and bought everything in his discography that I could get my hands on.

    I’m trying to stick to watching whatever punk, post-punk, new wave etc that I can find in concert mode. The jones are full on. It’s been 46 days since my last concert and I’ve a feeling that it’s going to be at least that before my next. Each cancellation breaks my heart a little bit and each reschedule eases the pain a little but then I realize how much further out that next show is..I always knew I depended upon concerts but never knew how much until they weren’t there.

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  • April 13, 2020 at 7:04 pm
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    My new old favourite song is “Ship of Fools” by World Party. I don’t remember this song getting a lot of airplay when it first came out in 1987. I only heard it maybe a couple of times back then. Now that I’ve rediscovered SOF I’m wondering why it never got more attention. Karl Wallinger’s lyrics are sharp, insightful and eerily prophetic. Listening to it today, it’s just as relevant as ever.

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    • April 14, 2020 at 7:06 pm
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      I never delved deep into World Party but I do remember reading a bit and, it just occurred to me, what I remember is that they are a bit like The Fall. Primary members with new musicians coming and going as the whim takes them (or something like that). I remember Sinead O’Connor was in it for a while. Can’t say I’m pleased with her at the moment. She toured recently. Was super excited to see the show because I missed the one for her first album – we just couldn’t afford the tickets but we drove to The City anyways and stood outside wistfully. So she tours and she sounds good. She does not do a SINGLE song from the first album. She did maybe four from the second. So infurtiating and disappointing. One measly song would have made the night transcendental and I would have been satisfied.

      World Party probably toured for Ship of Fools but I was very poor at the time.I was lucky to see one or two shows a year back then.

      Found this for you: http://www.slicingupeyeballs.com/2018/10/15/new-world-party-album-2019/

      Get that canadian (if you are!) cd sales % up a bit!

      Reply
  • April 13, 2020 at 7:25 pm
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    Been working on my house and listening to old EBM like Front 242, DAF, Nitzer Ebb, Pankow, T21, etc as well as newer stuff like Lower Tar, Silent Servant, Broken English Club, Vatican Shadow…
    I’m always looking for more suggestions!

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    • April 28, 2020 at 6:09 pm
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      UNOVIS, did you ever get into EBM-derived stuff like Covenant, Assemblage 23, Seabound to name a few? A lot of bands in the scene are known as “futurepop” or synthpop nowadays, but they typically started with a sound much closer to EBM. (So perhaps pick an early Covenant or A23 album before trying later stuff.)

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  • April 13, 2020 at 8:04 pm
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    I’ve been digging through old vinyl that I haven’t heard in 30+ years. Stuff like Graham Parker – Squeezing Out Sparks, Pat Benatar – In the Heat of the Night, Blondie – Eat to the Beat, Joe Jackson – Look Sharp, B.B. Gabor’s first album and other more obscure stuff from that era. Fun!

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  • April 13, 2020 at 8:38 pm
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    I just discovered Nuggets: Original Artyfacts from the First Psychedelic Era 1965-1968. I love 60’s psych! How come did I not know about this?

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  • April 13, 2020 at 9:58 pm
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    I had moved recently and placed some CDs on hold at my local library. I never really listened to some full length Led Zep albums and the library had some of the new reissues. They arrived just before the libraries closed and I made it there with 15 minutes to spare. So, I’ve been listening to Physical Graffiti Delux, In Through The Out Door deluxe, and Coda. Also, as Bill Withers passed on, I went on to Youtube to find out more about him. He’s got some fantastic tracks and live stuff. Wow. Then, found out about a bass player named Thundercat who has some great stuff too. On a non music front, and as we are stuck inside, I’ve been looking at 4K Travel Videos. Happy to say that I’ve been to the Eiffel Tower and Roman Colosseum this weekend. It feels that way. Shot on location, with natural sound, these vids give you a nice escape.

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    • April 14, 2020 at 11:28 pm
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      Been listening to lots of things but “The Band Of Skulls” 2009 release “Baby Darling Doll Face Honey” is making me groove and smile this week!
      On a non musical note are the 4K Travel video’s you speak of from a particular site you can share?

      Reply
  • April 13, 2020 at 10:14 pm
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    started with Bright Eyes, then on to USS ❤ I love a well written song that you just can’t help but sing along to, happy or sad.

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  • April 13, 2020 at 10:23 pm
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    For me it’s been Metz recent album of B sides Automat, the new NIN Ghosts V and VI, and a smaller stoner/prog group called Elder. Calling them stoner or prog doesn’t even begin to cover it though. Check out Reflectionsof a Floating World…

    Reply
  • April 13, 2020 at 11:37 pm
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    Currently I have discovered a YouTube channel that does metal covers of songs . And he does amazing work in both song and video . He’s called frog leap studios .

    I also learned something new that I can’t believe I didn’t know . Jonny Cash – hurt is a cover of nine inch nails -hurt , thought it was awesome that Johnny covered nine inch nails .

    I’ve also been pondering something . With watching these covers on YouTube , What’s the history of weird al and how you see him as an artist and as a musician in the industry . Not sure if you’ve done a show on him before .

    Recently discovered your podcast , binged it and now can’t wait for each episode .

    -pat

    Reply

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