music & arts: The Ongoing History
By Nick Corsi
What is alternative rock?
I have always been a big Alternative Rock fan. What is alternative rock? Well, you could categorize it using a number of sub-genres such as grunge, punk, indie, hardcore, metal, or any off-shoot that isn’t completely mainstream. The last 40 years have provided an explosion in the amount of genres rock n roll has to offer. Classifying, categorizing, and placing different artists in the proper labels is incredibly difficult. But I know a guy who can give you a little help if this is something you want to tackle…
The History of … The Ongoing History
The short of it goes, Alan Cross was working at the Canadian Radio Station 102.1″ The Edge” in Toronto around 1992. An idea had arisen for a project that would make sense of this of the grunge and other alternative rock movements of the early 90s. Alan Cross, being the recently graduated history major was appointed the task, to do research, and prepare a one hour radio program that incorporated a thesis driven history as well as playing the accompanying music. To date, the Ongoing History of New Music has over 500 episodes and according to their website, it is syndicated on nearly all of Canada’s rock music radio stations. Read a great overview of the show here, from the transcript of the 500th Ongoing History Episode.
Whats on the show?
The show is typically one hour long and from the beginning selects a specific topic to focus on. It is NOT a talk show, it is a very well thought out and scripted lecture that is pre-recorded and then aired. Some shows have multiple episodes in order to fit all the information in. Alan digs through music databases of all formats, and being a self-proclaimed music geek tends to find a lot of rare, unreleased and exclusive live recordings of some of the most popular as well as the most unheard of alternative rock bands and artists. Any given episode picks one band, album, artist, concert, movement, geographical location, music ideology, sub-genre, anniversary, top-10 list, etc, and provides a fascinating stories and unheard analysis for the everyday alt-rock fan. Alan also breaks down many trends in the music industry such as formatting, promotion dynamics, concerts, culture movements, producing, band naming, music collecting, music playing technology, underground secrets and a lot more.
Great Sunday Morning Enjoyment
On my favorite radio station FM96 from London, Ontario, The Ongoing History typically plays a new episode and a repeat on Sunday mornings. You can always check out and listen to and read the transcripts of past shows all the time on Ongoing History of New Music Home Page. I strongly encourage even the non-alt rock listeners to take a listen, the connections from genres rock past to rock present may surprise you. What could be better than listening to cool music and learning all at the same time right? Enjoy!
Nick Corsi lives in Erie, PA and works for Raven Sound as a sound engineer. He is receiving a BS in marketing from the University of Pittsburgh as well as a history minor. His past posts have all been rooted in the synthesis of two topics. Combining and exploring two influences in one’s life can open up a whole new door of possibilities. Take music and take history and you can open up a can of worms in terms of the possibilities. What two things can you combine?
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