Tag: Commentary

Alan Cross: The Tragically Hip contributed to a ‘sea change’ in music, 30 years ago this month – National
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Alan Cross: The Tragically Hip contributed to a ‘sea change’ in music, 30 years ago this month – National

There are periods in life when you somehow know that you’re in the middle of something grand and world-altering. If you’re of a certain vintage, you’ll remember feeling that something was in the air musically when the calendar ticked over to 1991.World events had a lot to do with it. Optimism was high as the Soviet Union was melting away and would be gone by the end of 1991, two years after the fall of the Berlin Wall. Nelson Mandela was finally out of prison. And although most of us weren’t aware of it yet, the foundations of the World Wide Web had been laid. Read more: The Tragically Hip’s Rob Baker says possible album of unreleased music in the works On the other hand that year, there was a brutal worldwide recession, the hangover from the first Gulf War, and the beg...
COMMENTARY: Alan Cross on why he treasures the magic of AM radio – National
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COMMENTARY: Alan Cross on why he treasures the magic of AM radio – National

Many years ago, someone asked singer Tom Waits about his favourite sounds. He replied, “a baseball game on an AM radio on a warm summer night.” He’s not wrong. To generations of radio listeners, there’s something mystical about the tinny, crackly sounds of an AM radio broadcast.AM radio (or if you’re from certain parts of the world, mediumwave, which accounts for the “MW” marking on some radios) has been with us since the earliest days of wireless transmission more than 120 years ago.After governments loosened the restrictions in civilian use of wireless communication after the Great War, AM radio turned into a profitable commercial enterprise after 1920, spreading all across the world. Read more: (May 3, 2020) As radio officially turns 100, Alan Cross explains how Canada was ...
COMMENTARY: Why Alan Cross thinks classic rock may be a threat to the music of the future – National
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COMMENTARY: Why Alan Cross thinks classic rock may be a threat to the music of the future – National

Call it the revenge of the boomers.Music publishing is both the new gold rush and a speculative play involving a specific commodity — in this case, the continuing ability of great songs to reliably generate money.Hold on. Back up. What is music publishing and why is it such a big deal? Read more: Music legend Bob Dylan sells song catalogue to Universal Music It’s … complicated, but what we’re focused on here is the actual music created by an artist — the dots that you can put down on paper as sheet music. In fact, that’s where the term originated 150 years ago. You wrote a song, put it on paper, and then acquired a publisher who would then print out the song on sheet music. Story continues below advertisement It was then the publisher’s job...
The English language could use some new musical terms, Alan Cross says – National
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The English language could use some new musical terms, Alan Cross says – National

The English language has been evolving for centuries. Each year, new words are added while obsolete words fall from common use.For example, the Oxford English Dictionary, the ultimate arbiter in words with its 20 printed volumes and 21,739 pages, declared at the end of 2020 that adulting — “to become, be, or behave as an adult; (now) esp. to carry out the mundane or everyday tasks that are a necessary part of adult life” — is now officially part of the everyday lexicon.On the other hand, while it’s still in the OED, when was the last time you used brabble in a sentence? (Brabble: To bicker loudly about trifles or nothing at all.) Commentary: The Guess Who deserve a spot in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Alan Cross says Story continues below advertisement ...