Like it or not, Pharell Williams' "Happy" is likely to be the top-selling single of 2014. And yes, its buoyant '60s soul vibe and simple, positive message is modern pop perfection. But scanning the rest of this year's biggest hits, one is struck by a consistent theme: All of these songs are distinct ... More >>
For more shows throughout the week, check out our New York Concert Calendar, which we update daily.
In a perfect world, jukeboxes aren't Top 40-spewing robots, those glowing ATM-like contraptions hooked up to an infinite Internet playlist that charges $2 a song and inundates you with too many choices to the point where you're just playing The Outfield's "Your Love" on repeat for the billionth time ... More >>
For more shows throughout the week, check out our New York Concert Calendar, which is updated daily.
An air-tight revue with classic songs presented as theatrical set pieces, with a minimum of superficial chatter in between them. That's not what Motown The Musical is. Instead, the story of how Berry Gordy Jr. created a dazzling black sound that managed to be upbeat, despairing, and socially relevan ... More >>
Here are the 10 best shows around the city this week, in no particular order.
In 2012, nothing was as popular as being massively boring. Frank Ocean drained the sexiness and excitement out of r&b, to widespread critical acclaim. Lana Del Rey sighed listlessly over string arrangements in a tight dress, like some kind of Kristen Wiig character who stumbled out of the Holodeck a ... More >>
Around this time last year, I saw R. Kelly at the Prudential Center, and it was one of the most impressive live spectacles I've been witness to in my two-plus decades of attending big arena shows; there was an onstage bar complete with cocktail-shaking mixologist, an acapella reworking of his 1994 s ... More >>
XXL Freshman Class 2012: Don Trip, Kid Ink, Iggy Azalea, Roscoe Dash, Macklemore, Hopsin, Danny Brown, Future, French Montana, Machine Gun Kelly Best Buy Theater Monday, April 9 Better than: Ten rappers you're completely unfamiliar with. Every year, XXL selects a group of rappers to label as "fres ... More >>
This morning, Soul Train creator and host Don Cornelius was found dead from an apparent suicide at age 75, and the outpouring of grief and nostalgia was probably best summed up by the Roots' ?uestlove, whose Brooklyn Bowl party Bowl Train is an homage to the show. He wrote passionately about how the ... More >>
The mysterious case of Soula Coaster's disappearance This isn't a surprising development, but it's an unfortunate one. There seems to be some unexplained drama with the R. Kelly life-changer Soula Coaster: Diary of Me, the cover of which made the rounds this morning. Online bookseller Indigo has th ... More >>
"It takes two, baby," as Marvin & Tammi once sang. So here are my all-time favorite twosomes -- musically, that is. (13) "Cruisin'," Gwyneth Paltrow and Huey Lewis, 2000 This cover version of the Smokey Robinson hit came from a rotten movie about karaoke, but it grabbed me, with Gwynnie's creamy ... More >>
Willis PlummerEvolfo Doofeht Lit Lounge Friday, August 12 Better than: Mourning James Brown's death while listening to old funk 45s. Last Friday, the eight members of the talented young funk band Evolvo Doofeht piled onto a Fung Wah bus to make their New York debut at Lit Lounge. The Berkl ... More >>
With an assist from Kanye, the rapper is Finally Famous
In last week's breakdown of Lil Wayne's chart ubiquity, I noted that while Lady Gaga's Born This Way and its singles seemed to be everywhere, she hasn't staked out much additional Billboard territory with collaborations. Her only charting collab of late is "3-Way (The Golden Rule)," a little ... More >>
David BlackGames was once the name of longtime pals Joel Ford and Daniel Lopatin's studio project that they collaborated on while Ford performed in Tigercity and Lopatin operated under the spellcheck-challenging noise moniker Oneohtrix Point Never. But now the duo just goes by Ford & Lopatin, ... More >>
This person has no idea what Motown is. Photo courtesy Michael Becker/ FOX. Since last we spoke, Karen Rodriguez has gone back to MySpaceLand, Steven Tyler's wardrobe has grown impressively more absurd, and Jacob Lusk has bodied the fuck out of Heart's "Alone." I missed the last week of Ameri ... More >>
No reason to be nervous. Pics by Puja, more below.Questlove Cielo Sunday, January 16 Better Than: That time Justin Bieber played the drums with Questlove on Jimmy Fallon. Around 8 p.m. on Sunday night, Questlove Tweeted that he was off to spin the "hardest DJ set of m'life." The gig was Gia ... More >>
Siobhan Magnus: hair for days. Photo by Michael Becker / FOX. Wow. Oh boy. Whoof. OK. This was definitely the worst episode of American Idol in recent memory and probably one of the worst of all time, Taylor Hicks season included. Everything was just wrong. The theme, Billboard #1s, was hopel ... More >>
Rock and Roll Hall of Fame 25th Anniversary Celebration Madison Square Garden Thursday, October 29 The first half of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's two-night benefit concert and 25th-anniversary celebration lasted six hours, ended at 1:30 a.m. and featuring star-studded sets by curators Bruce S ... More >>
Black America's eulogies for the King of Pop also let us resurrect his best self
Gambling on being satisfied by ham on wry; finding sex outside of the city.
Our man Sietsema and the Night Tripper duke it out at Brooklyn Sichuan
In case you're just joining us, a little background. Today marks the 25th installment of Hugs and Kisses, a weekly column from UK-based music writer Mr. Everett True, author of Nirvana: The Biography (da Capo Press)--one more fucking book about one of the most overrated bands of the Nineties--and pu ... More >>
Major-label hip-hop records in burying-best-tracks shocker!
A floating world of soul with honey, vinegar, and machine poetics
Nevertheless, Nas still sounds like a man who's thinking even when he'd rather not be
The political becomes the personal for Christian alt-country guitar hero Buddy Miller
Fireplace-Sex Music Seems to Hang On
One Step Forward, Two Steps Back
Dance Music's Heavy-Spirit Zone Survives at Shelter
John Singleton on Shtupping, Shaft, and Spike
City Kids and Voodoo Stank You Cant Leave Behind
It's My Party and I'll Catfight If I Want Candy