Our music critic's picks for the season's hottest concerts
It's in today's New York Daily News, in an article by Nicole Lyn Pesce centering on a panel coming up dealing with Madonna vs. Gaga. (I'm not on the panel, but I managed to get my views out in the article anyway.) Said I:
Kellie Pickler brings the country to long Island
She's at it again! Sir Elton John doesn't care for the antics of Madonna, his fellow British pop star, lol, and he's not afraid to flap off his mouth about it. "Her career's over," Elton stated in an incendiary interview. "Her tour's been a disaster. And it couldn't happen to a bigger cunt.
After Kelly Clarkson went to No. 1 on Billboard's Country Songs chart last year with the Jason Aldean duet "Don't You Wanna Stay," I wondered hopefully if the Texas-born pop star would finally go country with her next album. So I was a little disappointed a few months later, when she debuted the bla ... More >>
I'll list some currently alive siblings (or semi-siblings) and I'll highlight my favorite of each bunch by putting them in boldface. You tell me your own personal faves in these same groupings. Break the rules and you're no sister of mine. Toni Braxton....Her sisters Joey Luft.....Lorna Luft, ... More >>
The latest rumor about how the Olympics will close themselves out next month comes from The Sun: "[Oasis's Liam Gallagher] will perform a new arrangement of... 'Wonderwall' with bandmates Gem Archer, Andy Bell and Chris Sharrock." 12. All of the track & field competitors dress up like Benny Hill a ... More >>
When Adam Lambert was on American Idol in 2009, he grabbed viewers' attention with his octave-leaping voice and startling reworkings of talent-show standbyswhile he came in second that season, he was certainly that year's most rock-star-like contestant, and he made even more headlines when he ... More >>
If you're on the Internet you might have heard of Klout, a pseudo-scientific way for measuring the slippery ideal of "online influence." Taking into consideration a variety of factors, it has (despite its often being utterly gameable and as a result off the mark) turned into a way for people online ... More >>
"I think I'm done with the sad-gay man drama," writes film critic John DiLeo in his new book of essays. Mind you, DiLeo raved about Brokeback Mountain, loved Sean Penn's performance in Milk, and admired a lot about A Single Man. But he's right in pointing out that it would be nice to also have mor ... More >>
Michael Jackson: Immortal Madison Square Garden Wednesday, April 4 Better than: Ringling Bros. Cirque du Soleil's take on Michael Jackson's catalog, Michael Jackson: Immortal, is certainly ambitious. The twoish-hour set has a live band, aerialists and fireworks, flips and flops, a dancing sequined ... More >>
Who's that girl?
This week Madonna's 12th studio album and dive into the deep end of the EDM pool, MDNA, came out. I didn't like it very much. But what I like even less is the sexism-tinged age-baiting that the record seems to be inspiring in so many critics. Forbes was likely the worst offender of the bunch, going ... More >>
Sound of the City's monthlong tournament to determine the quintessential New York City musician (since 1955, the year of the Village Voice's founding) is taking over our site all March. The full schedule and results (as of March 23) below; you can also follow along with our bracket.
by Chris Gray "What I want from each and every one of you is a hard-target search of every gas station, residence, warehouse, farmhouse, henhouse, outhouse and doghouse in that area." Tommy Lee Jones, The Fugitive You don't have to spend much time at South By Southwest to know that all of ... More >>
This is the only ballot you'll need at your viewing party
Whitney Houston, the big-voiced belter who dominated radio in the 1980s and '90s and whose cover of Dolly Parton's "I Will Always Love You" spent 14 weeks at the top of the Hot 100, passed away tonight at the Beverly Hilton, where Clive Davis's annual pre-Grammy party was about to take place. (Her c ... More >>
Maybe it's all that misguided Year of the Woman chatter that dominated year-end roundups, or the slow, agonizing creep of Fashion Week, or the coming apocalypse, but hoo boy has there been a lot of terrible writing about female musicians in the past few weeks. The latest offender is the New Y ... More >>
And that's good because it'll take some of the heat off Gaga vs. Madonna. But who do you think will win the Grammy for Album of the Year?
For the last twenty years, the award for Album of the Year, the biggest Grammy honor of them all, has tended to go to two types of people: young women and old men. Female solo artists under 30 (Lauryn Hill, Taylor Swift) and male veterans over 40 (Tony Bennett, U2) have dominated the category for tw ... More >>
As part of this year's larger reduction in genre-specific awards, 2012 will see the country portion of the Grammys streamlined to just four categories: Best Solo Performance (which swallows Male and Female Vocal Performance), Best Duo/Group Performance (which swallows Best Duo/Group Vocal Performanc ... More >>
53. Phil Collins, "Another Day in Paradise"  52. The 5th Dimension, "Up, Up and Away"  51. Olivia Newton-John, "I Honestly Love You"  50. Celine Dion, "My Heart Will Go On"  49. Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass, "A Taste of Honey"  48. Bobby McFerrin, "Don't ... More >>
Celebrate love day with love songs
The nominations will be announced tomorrow morning, but you might as well just go by this list, which has been officially certified by the Dionne Warwick Psychic Hotline. BEST PICTURE (Ranked in descending order of likelihood) 1--The Artist 2--The Descendants 3--The Help 4--Hugo 5--Mo ... More >>
Kelly Clarkson returns to New York
Madonna had just won Best Song for cowriting something that pops up in the February release W.E.. Sir Elton (who's British royalty just like Dame Madge herself) hadn't won for "Hello Hello" from the animated movie about lawn gnomes in love.
Earlier today, Maura offered a list of the 47 songs on her "2011 Awesomeness" Spotify playlist; to complement that, here are the 53 songs from my less cleverly named playlist, "2011." As is the usually the case with these mega-lists, I compiled mine a bit haphazardly, throwing together a substantial ... More >>
The Song: Rihanna, "S&M" The Crimes: Dressing a bloodless ode to kink up by saying it's actually about the media? Na na na na na na, come on, girl. Pop stars need their personas as much as they need the songs that take them to the top of the chartsand lest you think that need exists in a va ... More >>
More reasons to turn off the radio
One of the most frustrating things about discussing the Billboard singles charts is how a song's peak positionthe highest spot it occupied on a chart during its runis almost universally regarded as the permanent measurement of its success or popularity. Any song that reaches No. 1 is e ... More >>
*A toast to Marcus Bachmann: "Bottoms up!" *Lindsay Lohan living behind bars instead of dancing on top of them. *Mothers who keep tiaras off their toddlers.
Kanye West at Occupy Wall Street; confused woman. Sound of the City's year-end roundtable, with contributions from Tom Ewing, Eric Harvey, Maura Johnston, Nick Murray, and Katherine St. Asaph, continues. Follow along here. ... More >>
In Albert Nobbs, Glenn Close (above) convincingly plays a woman who dresses like a man in order to nab some employment in 19th-century Ireland. But it's the kind of stunt that can also nab you awards consideration.
Last night's Grammy nominations show was full of pomp, eyeliner, and people on Twitter becoming very confused. Here's the complete list of nominees; below, 20 questions that we're still wrestling with some 14 hours after the broadcast signed off. 1. "Super Bass": Robbed or totally robbed? 2. Now t ... More >>
The big news to emerge from yesterday's New York Film Critics Circle voting--held early this year to scoop the other year end awards--is, of course, the second coming of homeboy Harvey Weinstein. Not only was The Artist voted best picture and its director Michel Hazanavicius anointed Best Director ... More >>
The two big formats that have long ruled over popular music are the single and the album. They have a great duality between them: the song and the collection; the sliver and the whole; the appetizer and the main course. Albums are the full-length format long considered pop music's ultimate a ... More >>
Tina, Cher, Michael, Janet, Beyonce, Madonna, Gaga, Katy, and then some. They're all onstage at the Times Square Snapple Center (1627 Broadway at 50th Street), every Friday and Saturday at 11 PM. And they're men! Even Michael! Icons is the D'Angora Entertainment-produced drag show which wa ... More >>
The forthcoming album from will.i.am, lead Black Eyed Pea and tireless trend-rider, is called #WILLPOWER, and yes, the pound sign is intentional; apparently he's so interested in willing (ha!) himself into the Internet-enabled public consciousness, he's named his album in the style of Twitter ... More >>
Last night, country music's biggest stars (not to mention welcome outsiders like Lionel Richie and Kenny Loggins, who joined Male Vocalist of the Year Blake Shelton for a performance of "Footloose") convened in Nashville for the CMA's annual awards show. By the time hosts Brad Paisley and Carrie Un ... More >>
Coming to an arena near you this weekend: Jay-Z and Kanye West. Kanye West and Jay-Z's grandiose Watch The Throne tour comes to the New York City area tomorrow, and sticks around through next weekthe pair perform at the Izod Center on Saturday and Sunday, and at Madison Square Garden o ... More >>
Her career would be over! WTF would she have to sing about? "I met the man of my dreams and he loves me right back"? Blech. Boring. That would go down the charts with a bullet. And here are some other potential career killers for top music stars:
The lady sitting atop both of Billboard's major lists this week has made enough news in 2011 that I'm tempted to rename this column "This Week in Adele." The British thrush is certainly making enough sad news these days, canceling her tour and preparing to undergo much-needed throat surgery. ... More >>
Scotty McCreerywinner of the 10th edition of American Idol, and owner of the new No. 1 title on Billboard's album chart, Clear as Daysets a handful of chart records this week that certainly sound impressive. As Billboard reports, McCreery is the first country act to debut at No ... More >>
Have you bought your copy yet? (Give it time.) You can have your Grammys and your Mercury Prizes and your Polaris Prizes and whatever other musical prizes honor things like "talent" and "artistry"the most honest awards show in pop music, though, is undoubtedly the American Music Awards ... More >>
I always assumed I was the only Italian-American only child in creation -- those people tend to procreate a lot -- but it turns out Al Pacino is one, too! I'm not alone! And I did a little research (and glanced at Us magazine) and found some other famous folk who have gone through life without sib ... More >>
I know that's mere pocket change with that group, but still, it bears mentioning in case any of you are thinking about purchasing an engagement ring for some TV cutie in the near future. Says Ira Weissman from TruthAboutDiamonds.com: "Most men are clueless when it comes to diamonds and end up payi ... More >>
Just like it's already Christmas in certain department stores, the Oscar predix business happens to be in full swing, with goldderby.com asking us pundits for our premature (I mean extremely mature) guesses as to who will get nominated. Here are mine as of this very moment. Bear in mind tha ... More >>