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2011 Stories by Maura Johnston

Archives: 2012 | 2011 | 2010
  • The 11 Most Infuriating Songs of 2011

    published December 28, 2011

    In 2011, it was pretty easy to make a splash with a bad pop song—just Google "Rebecca Black" for a primer. These 11 songs, however, leapt... More >>

  • The 10 Best Live Shows of 2011

    published December 21, 2011

    Here are the 10 best shows I saw in 2011, a year filled with enough lousy stuff to make these delightful nights stand out even more... More >>

  • Lady Gaga, Born Superstar

    published December 14, 2011

    On Friday, the music-industry bible Billboard released its year-end charts, setting the conversational bullet points for any discussions... More >>

  • Lana Del Rey Hides in Plain Sight

    published December 7, 2011

    In James Wolcott's rip-roaring 1970s memoir Lucking Out (Doubleday), the Vanity Fair columnist and former Voice music... More >>

  • Avoiding the Holiday's Most Cloying Carol

    published November 30, 2011

    No sooner were the turkey leftovers stored in the fridge than the sound of sleigh bells and other things that should not be on the radio were,... More >>

  • People Love Nostalgia, So Why Doesn't MTV Go All In?

    published November 23, 2011

    Last week, MTV announced that it would pay homage to Yo! MTV Raps, the hip-hop show that aired from 1988 to 1995. The retrospective,... More >>

  • We Love to Hate Nickelback (and Lulu)

    published November 16, 2011

    Last week, the NFL put out a defensive-sounding press release that had nothing to do with the conduct of its players or the outcome of a game.... More >>

  • Kelly Clarkson: Miss Independent

    published November 2, 2011

    When American Idol started in the early naughts, it had an almost public-accessish charm about it—there was a "let's raise a barn"... More >>

  • The iPod Turns 10

    published October 26, 2011

    This past Sunday marked the 10th anniversary of Apple's digital-music player the iPod, though you'd be forgiven if you thought it were older.... More >>

  • The CMJ Music Marathon: Big Hype

    published October 19, 2011

    This week, the CMJ Music Marathon invades the city's clubs, bars, and event spaces, with hundreds of artists from all over the globe performing... More >>

  • Portishead and Deadmau5 Shift the Focus

    published October 12, 2011

    At a live music event, your eye naturally is drawn to what's happening onstage: guitarists thrashing and sawing at the air, vocalists preening... More >>

  • Maura Johnston

    The Music Buzz

    published October 19, 2011

    Trying to describe “music in New York” in 2011 is like trying to throw one’s arms around a wriggling, slippery, ever-expanding... More >>

  • Facebook + Music: Most People Are DJs

    published October 5, 2011

    At the end of September, Facebook announced its grand plans to hook itself into as many aspects of its users' lives as possible. Information... More >>

  • R.E.M.'s Reckoning

    published September 28, 2011

    On Wednesday, the pioneering jangle-pop band R.E.M. announced that they were breaking up, some 30 years after the release of their first single... More >>

  • Yelawolf's Gritty Performance

    published September 21, 2011

    Pirates skulked up and down Bleecker Street on Saturday night—some laughing, some crying, some more wasted on spirits than others. It was... More >>

  • Adrian Sherwood and Wild Flag Show The Kids How It's Done

    published September 14, 2011

    Thursday night, as the free-cocktail-stained chaos of Fashion's Night Out was just starting to descend upon lower Manhattan, I clambered up the... More >>

  • Gabriel Kahane's Open Arms

    published September 7, 2011

    "I'm feeling like a true workaholic right now; my life is unmanageable," the Brooklyn-based composer and singer Gabriel Kahane says while... More >>

  • Ke$ha Is Having a Ball

    published August 24, 2011

    The concert lap dance is something of a recent tradition with female pop stars, a mutation of the "pull a fan out of the audience and see what... More >>

  • Kenny Chesney and Beyonce Pull Their Audiences Close

    published August 17, 2011

    To call a concert "intimate" is one of the best forms of praise in the music lexicon, implying as it does a rare bond between performer and... More >>

  • Toxic Shock

    published August 10, 2011

    Even those people going into a Britney Spears show cold, like some Unfrozen Caveman Lawyer-type who had been put into the deep freeze sometime... More >>

  • Maura Johnston

    Hot Music for Long Nights

    published July 13, 2011

    In the summertime, even in the age of the Hype Machine and hyperpersonalized iPod listening, the streets and parks of New York City swell with... More >>

  • Lloyd: Expletives Embraced

    published July 6, 2011

    A throwback hook, a wrenching performance from an R&B showman, a deliciously profane chorus thrown at a straying paramour—that formula... More >>

  • Ellen Willis, Anthologized

    published April 27, 2011

    Ellen Willis was the first person to be given the pop-music beat at The New Yorker, and five years after her death in 2006, some of her... More >>

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