Ongoing History Daily: Pearl Jam bootleg overload

Back when Pearl Jam was at their height, they had the clout to do anything they wanted. Anything.

On September 26, 2000, the band released 25 double CD live albums—what they referred to as “official bootlegs”—featuring performances from virtually every show they played on European tour in support of their Binaural album. Of those 25, five immediately made the top 200 album chart. This was the first time any act ever saw more than two new albums show up on the chart in the same week.

Two other sets just missed the cut. Had they made the charts that week, Pearl Jam would have joined The Beatles, The Monkees, and U2 as the only acts to that point with seven albums on the charts at the same time.

This was decades before Taylor Swift came along.

© 2023 Corus Radio, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Ongoing History Daily: Babies and live music

A question from new parents: “Should I expose my baby to live music?” The answer is “yes.”

A recent study at the University of Toronto revealed that infants have longer attention spans when experiencing live music. Sure, you might want to give them an iPad to stare at, but that apparently doesn’t work as well as live music. Videos don’t captivate them a whole lot but live music elicits physiological changes like a synchronization of heart rate to the music.

The final conclusion? “Findings suggest that performer–audience interactions and social context play an important role in facilitating attention and coordinating emotional responses to musical performances early in life.”

The big caveat? Volume. The live music cannot be too loud for those delicate little ears.

© 2023 Corus Radio, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Ongoing History Daily: The weirdness of the Flaming Lips

The Flaming Lips are certainly unconventional and experimental. One of their weird projects was a very, very long song called “7 skies H3” which, in its original form, ran for 24 hours.

It consisted of several separate pieces, each running anywhere from 25 minutes to seven hours. If that wasn’t enough, just 13 copies were released on flash drives that were encased in actual human skulls. They went on the market (appropriately) on Halloween 2011 and cost $5,000. And yes, they sold them all. If you can’t find your own copy—imagine that—they also set up a website with the song on a continuous loop.

And if you would rather have a physical copy, there is an edited version that runs 50 minutes and was released for Record Store Day 2014.

© 2023 Corus Radio, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Ongoing History Daily: The cruelty of dance marathons

Back in the 1930s during the Great Depression, there was a phenomenon known as the dance marathon. Basically, couples would take up a challenge to see who could remain dancing longer than anyone else. They were held in ballrooms and auditoriums and could continue for not just hours, but days and even weeks.

Spectators paid to watch, too. The longer the marathon went on, the higher the admission price. Couples had to stay in motion continuously resulting in blisters, injuries, and collapse from exhaustion.

Why would anyone subject themselves to such a thing? Like I said, it was during the Depression. Many people signed up for these marathons because it meant food, shelter, and a place to sleep, even if it was just a few minutes an hour. Those who won were given a cash prize. Hey, the Depression was rough. People were willing to do anything to survive.

© 2023 Corus Radio, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Ongoing History Daily: The Ramones vs. cancer

All the original Ramones are no longer with us. While Dee Dee died of a heroin overdose, his three bandmates suffered from different forms of cancer. Joey died of lymphoma. Johnny? Prostate cancer. Tommy suffered from bile duct cancer. Coincidence? Maybe not.

Some suspect these cancers are the result of the conditions of a loft on East 2nd Street where the Ramones rehearsed and printed t-shirts. It was the former home of a plastic flower factory and some believe that the toxic residue left over from the chemicals used in their manufacture. They permeated the entire building.

Oh, and one more thing: Arturo Vega, the Ramones’ art director and the guy who designed and pressed up all those t-shirts in that loft? He also died of cancer.

© 2023 Corus Radio, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

The Ongoing History of New Music, episode 990: The History of the 2010s, Part 3

It must have been so easy to write about rock back in the 1950s. Well, comparatively easy to today, I mean. Everything was so new that that’s all you had to pay attention to. There wasn’t exactly anything called “rock history” back then because the music had no history.

What began as a spark in the early 50s turned out to be the musical equivalent of the cosmological Big Bang. And as the years and decades passed, this music—which began as a fresh take on the 12-bar blues template—separated, segmented, stratified, mutated, evolved—with increasing speed.

New genres began to appear yearly, monthly, and sometimes even weekly. Today, it seems like every single day results in some kind of derivative spin-off sub-sub-sub-sub-genre.

The new sound and approach may gain traction and stay with us for some time, perhaps even carving out its own permanent space in the rock universe. More likely, though, a new genre will have a half-life shorter than hydrogen 7. And to save you from looking that up, that’s a tiny, tiny fraction of a second: a decimal point followed by 23 zeroes.

But there’s no stopping the fission and fusion of rock. We’re always going to get new sounds…keeping up with them all is another matter.

This is part of what makes writing a musical history of the 2010s so challenging. The number of iterations rock went through in that decade was insane. But if we’re going to understand what happened to rock during that time, we’re going to have to at least try.

This is the history of the 2010s, part 3.

Songs heard on this show:

    • Lana Del Rey, Video Games
    • Billie Eilish, Bad Guy
    • Girl in Red, I Wanna Be Your Girlfriend
    • 2814, Recovery
    • Spiritbox, The Mara Effect Part 1
    • Public Service Broadcasting, Go!
    • 100 Gecs, Money Machine
    • Strumbellas, Spirits
    • Horror 333, Burn It


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


© 2023 Corus Radio, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

New Music Friday: 11 releases worth your time this weekend (22 Sept 2023)

The third week of September is traditionally be a busy time for new releases and 2023 is no exception. Here’s a dozen releases out this New Music Friday. Note the heavy Canadian representation.


1. City and Colour, Hard, Hard Time (Still/Dine Alone)

Dallas Green’s mellow Alexisonfire side project is about to set off on a European tour before he returns to Canada for a cross-country tour with Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats and Ruby Waters. This is the latest single from his seventh album, The Love Still Held Me Near.

2. Steve Miller Band, I Don’t Mind (UMe)

Yes, that Steve Miller. And yes, it’s box set season. This is a previously unreleased song from the sessions that date as far back as The Joker album from 1973. Called J50: The Evolution of The Joker is a sprawling re-releases that includes 26 other unheard recordings.

3. The Breeders, Divine Mascis (4AD)

Not only is it box set season, it’s also the time for anniversary re-releases. The Breeders are in that category with a new version of Last Splash, the band’s big hit from 1993. This previous unheard song (one of two on the record and taken from the original analogue tapes) features J Mascis of Dinosaur Jr, a guy revered by the Deal sisters.

4. Econoline Crush, Locked in Your Stone (Independent)

The return of Trevor Hurst and Econoline Crush continues with yet another single from his When the Devil Drives album, a record that also comes with a documentary film about Hurst’s time as a psychiatric nurse working with First Nations patients in Manitoba. Both will be out later this year. The video for this single was created using AI.

5. Phil Selway, Picking Up Pieces (Bella Union)

Since there’s no sign of a Radiohead album (although we have been promised one “in a couple of years”), each of the members are off doing their own thing. The includes drummer Phil Selway who released a solo record called Strange Dance back in February. This song is from a companion piece entitled Live at Evolution Studios that features Phil collaborating with a string quartet. The entire collection of recordings will be available December 8.


1. Arkells, Laundry Pile (Universal Music Canada) 

After dripping out a series of singles since the beginning of the year, Arkells have finally released what frontman Max Kerman calls “our most raw and intimate record yet. There are imperfections on the album, but that was kind of the point. We wanted to make the album simply feel as honest as possible.” It’s an accidental record, too. The band never really set out to make another album, but it just kind of…happened. Hey, when the songwriting muse visits, you welcome it with open arms. The new single is the album’s closer.

2. Will Butler + Sisters Squares, Will Butler and Sister Squares (Merge)

It was about a year ago that Will Butler announced that he was leaving Arcade Fire. Shortly after that, the sexual allegations scandals around his brother broke, sending the band into a weird kind of limbo from which they’ve yet to recover. Will started releasing new material back in the spring and the full album is available now. This is the latest single.

3. Kevin Drew, Aging (Arts & Crafts)

Speaking of bands with no plans to record anytime soon, Kevin Drew has taken time away Broken Social Scene–I mean, why not?–to release an album recorded at The Tragically Hip’s Bathhouse studios back in 2021. Working with collaborator Nyles Spencer, Kevin thought he was going to record a children’s album. It didn’t quite work out that way. Physical versions of Aging are available now. A digital version will appear on November 3.

4. Teenage Fanclub, Nothing Lasts Forever (Merge)

This is the 13th album from the Scottish alt-rock darlings. The last record (2021’s Endless Arcade) had a melancholy tinge since the record came in the wake of the dissolution of frontman Norman Blakes marriage and his attendance at too many funerals. This one, says Blake, is far more optimistic, and is centered on accepting life as it comes.

5. Andy Taylor, Man’s a Wolf to Man (BMG Rights Management)

And on the topic of accepting what life gives you, Duran Duran’s Andy Taylor is still battling a serious case of prostate cancer, although at last word, the prognosis had improved. This is his third solo album and his first in 30(!!!) years. Given the circumstances, Durannies are most interested in what he has to say.

6. Sierra Pilot, Phantom Pains (Independent)

Sierra Pilot has been teasing this debut album for some time now with several advance singles that show guitar rock is alive and well and living in Canada. They thought they were going out on the road with Skid Row and Buckcherry next month, but that has been pushed to March because of health issues within Skid Row. This creates an opportunity for some solo headliner gigs this fall.


© 2023 Corus Radio, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Ongoing History Daily: The accidental millionaire lyricist

If you go back to the turn of the millennium, you’ll run across a band called American Nightmare who released some pretty powerful punk and hardcore material, largely written by vocalist Wes Eisold.

When the band broke up in 2004, everyone, including Eisold, thought that was it. But in 2007, stories began to circulate about a weird relationship involving Fall Out Boy. Eisold found out that the band used some of the lyrics he wrote for American Nightmare for their album Infinity on High and had failed to ask permission.

This resulted in some behind-the-scenes legal action that ultimately saw Eisold receiving writing credits on three songs on the album. He now receives a stream of revenue courtesy of Fall Out Boy and has allegedly made over a million dollars.

© 2023 Corus Radio, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

First Nation in B.C. says 158 children died at three residential school sites, hospital

Warning: This story deals with disturbing subject matter that may upset and trigger some readers. Discretion is advised.

An investigation into unmarked graves and missing children by British Columbia’s Sto:lo Nation has revealed at least 158 deaths, most of them at an Indigenous hospital.

The nation’s researchers say archival documents about three residential schools in Mission, Chilliwack and Yale, as well as the First Nation hospital, suggest most of the children died of disease and some died from accidents. Other causes of death are unknown.

The investigation has spanned 18 months but officials said Thursday this is just the beginning.

“The heaviness can’t be summed into words,” David Jimmie, president of the Sto:lo Nation Chief’s Council said in a press conference.

The First Nation has learned of many atrocities that took place at the sites after speaking with some survivors, Jimmie added, describing St. Mary’s Indian Residential School in Mission as a place of punishment and starvation, of physical, mental and emotional abuse, and of intentional confinement and child labour.

He also said sexual abuse was rampant at the institution of assimilation.

St. Mary’s opened in 1863. It was relocated in 1882 and a new school was built in 1933. It closed in 1984, making it the last operating residential school in B.C.

In 2004, a former employee of the school was convicted of 12 counts of indecent assault in connection with his time at the school and sentenced to three years in prison.

The Sto:lo Nation’s findings are the latest of many residential school investigations that have taken in place since May of 2021, when Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc announced the possible remains of more than 200 children had been found at the former Kamloops Indian Residential School. The news sent shockwaves of grief and anger across Canada, and forced its citizens to reckon with the insidiousness of the country’s colonial past.

Other First Nations searching their own former residential school sites with ground-penetrating radar have now revealed more than 2,000 possible burial sites.

Between the 1800s and mid-1990s, Canada’s residential school system aimed to “eliminate parental involvement in the intellectual, cultural and spiritual development” of Indigenous children, according to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

The state- and church-run institutions removed more than 150,000 First Nations, Métis and Inuit children from their families and imprisoned them in schools where many were physically, sexually and spiritually abused. Some were starved as part of scientific experiments on the effects of malnutrition. Many became ill with smallpox, measles, influenza, tuberculosis and other unknown illnesses due to lack of proper care.

Thousands died and many parents were never told what happened to their children. The harrowing system of assimilation created intergenerational trauma that has had a deep and lasting impact on survivors, their children, relations and communities.

To this day, governments have failed in many ways to meaningfully repair or compensate for what Pope Francis has affirmed was a genocide.

— With files from Janet Brown, Elizabeth McSheffrey and The Canadian Press

The Indian Residential Schools Crisis Line (1-800-721-0066) is available 24 hours a day for anyone experiencing pain or distress as a result of their residential school experience.

© 2023 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Hamilton food bank partners seeking $1.25M as annual donations drop rapidly

Food banks in Hamilton, Ont. are sounding the alarm and seeking investment from the city to compensate for a significant decrease in food donations.

The Emergency Food Strategic Planning Committee, which represents a collective of 16 hunger-relief programs, have submitted a request for $1.25 million in annual funding to purchase bulk food to ensure they can continue to meet demand.

Hamilton Food Share’s Karen Randell says the agencies didn’t make the decision to seek city help “lightly” insisting they are getting “very close” to not being able to keep doors open for everyone.

“We were bringing in just over 300,000 pounds of food prior to the pandemic as a result of community food drives, and last year that number was only 83,000,” Randell explained to councillors during an Emergency and Community Services Committee on Thursday.

Jamie Vanderberg from the Welcome Inn Community Centre says over the past year city food banks have been seeing a combined 33,000 visitors each month, a year-over-year increase of some 40 per cent while donations plunged between 60 to 80 per cent.

“As an example, Welcome Inn’s food bank was visited 11,000 times prior to the pandemic; this past year we (had) 24, 353 visits to our foodbank,” he revealed.

He says the startling part is an increase in visits from seniors, which climbed 24 per cent in March to just under 2,000 visits during that month.

With a lack of donations, Food Share’s purchasing has grown by 624 per cent over the last four years moving from $193,326 in 2019 to $1.4 million in 2023.

Half of the $1.25 million ask from the city would be earmarked for food purchasing with the other part covering staffing and infrastructure expenses via grants.

Councillors have asked staff to report back in October with options for meeting the emergency funding request.

© 2023 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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