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The New Miley Cyrus Record Is Exhausting, But Might Be Worth It Anyway

So what we’ve got here is Miley Cyrus singing a morbid piano ballad called “Pablow the Blowfish.” She’s wearing fluffy unicorn pajamas and playing an electric piano in an ersatz cornfield; additional props include a stuffed unicorn on a stool and an inflatable Super Mario Bros. power-up mushroom. Verily, the song is… »9/02/15 12:20pmYesterday 12:20pm

Diplo And Skrillex On Charlie Rose: A Partially Fabricated Transcript

Popular music becomes harder to wrap your head around as you get older, but shit’s so weird these days that you don’t even have to be that old to find yourself flummoxed by it. The majority of people in their forties don’t get Taylor Swift, lots and lots of thirtysomethings are baffled by the success of Drake, and… »8/18/15 5:37pm8/18/15 5:37pm

Dr. Dre's Spotty Compton Is The First Record To Show His Age

Dr. Dre has enjoyed one of the most remarkable careers in hip-hop history. In music’s most youth-dominant genre, not only has he managed to roll with the changing times, he has ranked among the most powerful forces steering the direction of the rap industry for a solid two decades. Which makes it a little… »8/14/15 12:38pm8/14/15 12:38pm

We'll All Go Down Together: Billy Joel Says Goodbye To Nassau Coliseum

It’s a little after six on a sultry Tuesday evening, and the Champions sports bar nestled inside the Long Island Marriott is packed with an unusual crowd. The walls are lined with memorabilia from the New York Islanders, who up until a few days ago called the crumbling Nassau Coliseum next door home; beneath the… »8/07/15 1:39pm8/07/15 1:39pm

Take Third Eye Blind As Seriously As They Take Themselves

“Hi, we’re Third Eye Blind from San Francisco, California, and we’re high as kites.” Stephan Jenkins beams at the Blue Hills Bank Pavilion crowd from the depths of his hoodie; his legs are encompassed by shorts and a glossy cylinder of fabric that could be classified as a skirt. Behind him, the stage lights stir and… »7/16/15 4:51pm7/16/15 4:51pm

We Made More Rap-Themed Sprite Cans

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So Sprite, in conjunction with The Fader, is putting rap lyrics on its cans this summer, to honor a cultural synergy that stretches all the way from Kurtis Blow to A Tribe Called Quest to Drake. Which is a lovely tribute, sure, but the initial roster—Aubrey, Nas, Rakim, and a one-off from the Notorious B.I.G.—leaves… »6/12/15 2:27pm6/12/15 2:27pm

Those Who Cannot Be Taylor Swift, Talk Trash About Taylor Swift 

Dan Bejar is the sort of fussy, opaque, perpetually dissatisfied art-rocker type who’d delight in the fact that it’ll probably take me two paragraphs to explain him to you to anyone’s satisfaction. He hails from Vancouver and looks like the insouciant, chain-smoking, Sartre-quoting philosopher genius/doofus your… »5/26/15 5:56pm5/26/15 5:56pm

Listen To Tons Of B.B. King Today

Blues legend B.B. King died late last night, at 89, in his Las Vegas home, relatively peacefully. He’d been one of those guys who logged 100 shows a year even pushing 90, but he’d been laid up after canceling a 2014 jaunt due to dehydration, exhaustion, and other such complications of diabetes. You may be thinking of… »5/15/15 9:47am5/15/15 9:47am

The-Dream's Jewel EP Is Gonna Be Great

Man, R&B producer/singer/songwriter/legend Terius Nash, better known as The-Dream, is so, so good, even if his last full-length album, 2014’s IV Play, was not. But this year has brought us the old Radio Killa we know and love. Last month, he dropped the excellent six-song Crown EP; on July 10, he’ll follow that up… »5/14/15 3:52pm5/14/15 3:52pm

Wimpy White Dudes With Guitars Ruined American Idol

American Idol is finally dead, to the delight of those who’ve always hated it, and the relief of those who used to love it. At the peak of its reign, the show was everything to everyone: the launching pad for the pop careers of Kelly Clarkson, Carrie Underwood, and Taylor Hicks; the linchpin of the Fox prime-time… »5/13/15 12:35pm5/13/15 12:35pm

Astral Years: A Seeker's Guide To Van Morrison In The '80s 

Van Morrison has recorded the song “Irish Heartbeat” three times in the past 32 years. It appears most recently on his new record, Duets: Re-working the Catalogue, accompanied by Mark Knopfler. The arrangement and instrumentation are renewed, too; the song is structured to feel more ventilated and relaxed, like a… »4/27/15 1:49pm4/27/15 1:49pm

Young Thug Is Digging Deeper, And Getting Better

Young Thug’s The Barter VI met with mixed reactions when it surfaced online a week ago, a seeming anti-climax after months of snowballing hype and controversy. All things considered, the album is a bold move for Thug, counterintuitive as it may seem for such a low-key project. But his fans’ initial ambivalence isn’t… »4/23/15 1:36pm4/23/15 1:36pm

The "Blurred Lines" Verdict Is Bad News, Even If You Hate Robin Thicke

Thanks to the decision of a Los Angeles jury yesterday afternoon, pop-music fans have a fun, frightening new game to play: Who's Next? No, not named after the Who album—though maybe its infamous pissing-on-the-wall cover shot might now inspire a lawsuit from Andrew Loog Oldham, who as the Rolling Stones' manager… »3/11/15 1:31pm3/11/15 1:31pm

Yes, The Grammys Are Dumb, But It's Not Beck's Fault

So everyone's gonna argue about Beck for a few days, which is a mixed blessing for everyone, Beck included. And, look. He should not have won the Grammy for Album of the Year. I can think of at least nine reasons why. This is all mildly embarrassing, and yet inevitable, as we're talking about the Grammys, and the… »2/10/15 11:14am2/10/15 11:14am

Kind Of Weird: How The Köln Concert Made Keith Jarrett A Pop Star

The most improbably exhilarating record I've ever heard was recorded 40 years ago, at a special late show in the Cologne Opera House, in front of a youthful capacity crowd. It's likely the only opera-related album I've ever listened to more than once, but that's fitting, since few of the 1,400 young Germans in… »2/05/15 3:26pm2/05/15 3:26pm

Rae Sremmurd Have A Dumb Name And The First Great Pop Album Of 2015

So Rae Sremmurd are two yelping, early-twentysomething, pop-rapping Mississippian brothers who've earned a ton of comparisons to the '90s tween sensations Kris Kross, all of them unwelcome. Which is understandable: These guys are nearly twice as old (and ribald), determined to stick around for way longer, and… »1/07/15 11:38am1/07/15 11:38am

Taylor Swift's 1989 Proves That "Pop" Doesn't Mean Anything Anymore

These are trying times to find oneself still riding for Taylor Swift, the Artist. As a celebrity, as a mostly willing punchline, as a cultural nemesis, as a content generator, she's never been bigger or better—this week alone, she's made cat noises, continued stalking her own fans on social media, preened courtside ( »10/31/14 12:44pm10/31/14 12:44pm

Dance Like Everyone's Watching: The Strange, Exalted World Of FKA Twigs

Have you seen Pina? It's a dazzling 2011 documentary—a dancer's tribute, really—to the pioneering contemporary German choreographer Pina Bausch, who died unexpectedly during the film's production. Other than Mia Michaels, who choreographed and judged the first five seasons of So You Think You Can Dance, it was the… »8/08/14 4:03pm8/08/14 4:03pm