For more shows throughout the week, check out our New York Concert Calendar, which we update daily.
Last week, Zendaya Coleman stepped out of her role as Aaliyah in Lifetime's made-for-tv biopic after a shit ton of criticism was levied by the entire internet (and Aaliyah's family). Luckily, the network that brought us modern classics like Jodi Arias: Dirty Little Secret and Grumpy Cat's Worst Chri ... More >>
"Hip-hop was set out in the dark/ They used to do it out in the park" begins MC Shan's classic 1986 single "The Bridge." Yes, it was a mere 30 years ago that the biggest hip-hop events of the year would go down in New York public parks and block parties. Fast forward a few decades and the neighborho ... More >>
The Belowrez photo app launched earlier this week. Reversing the trend towards megapixel madness, the app has a simple retro ambit: To turn camera phone pictures into pixellated images reminiscent of 8-bit video game graphics. Which seemed like a sensible cue to follow through with the standard test ... More >>
Justin Bieber plays Barclays
Last week, acclaimed movie director Dave Grohl told the 15 people who were accidentally watching him fill in as host on Chelsea Lately that Britney Spears "seems dead inside" to him. Disregarding how weird it is to discuss someone's inner-deadness on the Chelsea Handler set without talking about Ch ... More >>
The "b word" has been a staple of hip-hop for decades, although there's some linguistic shading as far as its use: women that aren't particularly awesome are called "bitches"; really awesome women are "bad bitches"; respected dignitaries like moms are "ladies" and "females"unless they're the ... More >>
Who's that girl?
Lately, when I turn on a hip-hop station, I feel like I'm being applauded, and I don't always feel like returning the favor. I'm not referring just to the default use of handclaps (sampled or, more likely, emulated by drum machines) as snare drums in beats, which has been a common practice and has b ... More >>
Forget that the latest song to be released from Madonna's upcoming album MDNA is biting its title from a noxious DVD series run by one of the worst people ever to be hailed as a "celebrity" by American culture (a pretty impressive feat, that); never mind that it rhymes "fire" and "desire" on its pre ... More >>
In this week's Voice I wrote about Skrillex, the emo-dude-gone-dubstep-auteur who's spawned a bunch of funny-Photoshop blogs and garnered five Grammy nominations. One of the categories he's nominated in is one of the Big FourBest New Artist, which seems to have shaken off its "one-way ticket ... More >>
The video for "Give Me All Your Lovin'," the first single from Madonna's MDNA, premiered in full this morning, and there is something vaguely... jeans-commercialish about the way the song sounds? I don't know if it's the stuttery beat or the electronically tweaked guitars accompanying Madge on the p ... More >>
Cage not built by BET's Standards and Practices Department. This week the Internet lit up with the news that Nicki Minaj's eye-popping new video for her Lil Kim dis track "Stupid Hoe" had been "banned by BET," a logical follow-up to the "too hot for TV" narrative kicked off by her tweeting th ... More >>
Nicki Minaj's "Stupid Hoe" is supposed to be a diss track aimed at Lil Kim, but in the tradition of diss tracks, it's pretty weak. Something like Jay-Z's "Takeover" uses specific, personal information about the people involved, going so far as to propose a mathematical equation at one point. Even Li ... More >>
Rolling down from "The Deep"
Finding the bright side of 2011
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 >>
Too much and not too soonthe ever-expanding universe of sound in the city
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 >>
Last night MTV announced the nominees for this year's installment of their annual pseudo-event extravaganza, the 2011 Video Music Awards, and once again, the nominees for Video Of The Year have three pop picks ("Rolling In The Deep," "Firework," "Grenade"), one sop to the olds in the crowd wh ... More >>
Lady Gaga.Today the radio behemoth Clear Channel announced a festival celebrating the relaunch of its online service iHeartRadio, which currently allows listeners to tune into the chain's terrestrial-radio outlets from all over the country (as well as about 150 digital-only stations) and whic ... More >>
The peppiest '60s quartet reunites, almost in full
Britney Spears' "Till The World Ends," the Ke$ha-penned second single from her album Femme Fatale, hasn't been out for very long. (Six weeks, give or take.) But already there's a splashy remix of the tune featuring both Ke$ha and Brit's future tourmate Nicki Minaj, who seems particularly ener ... More >>
In what a lot of think pieces will probably herald as the passing of some sort of "leading lady of pop" torch, Nicki Minaj has reportedly signed on to open for Britney Spears' tour this summer. (The tour hits Nassau Coliseum Aug. 2, and the Izod Center Aug. 5.) Minaj's lap-dancing, sex-toy-as ... More >>
David Letterman is no stranger to lust: This is a man who had so much sex with his female employees that people once held a rally to get him fired for being a pervert. And though he remains a national treasure, his eyes do tend to wander, even today. On Monday night, British songstress Adele ... More >>
As we're now officially in My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy's backlash stage -- a function of both ambient critical regret and the super-queasy misogyny (and alleged Dr. Dog plagiarism) of the official "Monster" video -- perhaps its time to sidestep the question of whether you can separate K ... More >>
Good luck learning all the chord changes in "Jane Says," dudeSo TV on the Radio's Dave Sitek has joined Jane's Addiction, in some unspecified bassist/songwriter/possibly-non-touring-member capacity, which is super bizarre when you first hear about it, but is, upon reflection, not the stranges ... More >>
For those who wondered in 2010 what had become of M.I.A.'s once seemingly unerring pop instincts, ViCKi LEEKX--the free mixtape she released in the middle of the night on New Year's Eve--provides a provisional answer: she did it all on purpose. Putting out your new mixtape at the precise hour ... More >>
Guess who? Photo by Rebecca Smeyne.Alright, let's do this, before I change my mind. With apologies to The-Dream, Sleigh Bells, Ted Leo, Kylesa, Swans, Zola Jesus, Marnie Stern, and all other vestiges of my punk rock past, and especially you Nicki Minaj, who missed both of my lists this year. ... More >>
F2K10 is a countdown of the 20 worst songs of 2010. Track our progress here. Your chick ain't the only thing that's bad...
Well, folks, there was a solid 20 minutes there when Lil Wayne had us all convinced he was doing a show here with Nicki Minaj on Thursday, but he's apparently fallen victim to some sort of Twitter hack -- a lot of that going around today.
In the week we began our countdown of the 20 worst songs of 2010, we celebrated by mocking efforts from the Far East Movement, Ringo Starr, Godsmack, Trade Martin, and Lil Wayne. Where will Susan Boyle fall? Tune in next week and suffer more abuse until you find out.
As previously noted with regards to Nicki Minaj, this is an absolutely terrible week to put out a record if you are anyone other than Kanye West, who with his 10.0 reviews and $3.99 Amazon sales will be hogging every last bit of the spotlight in his (failed, ultimately, probably?) quest to ou ... More >>
We are all Jay-Z's children,. Photo by Jori Klein.In the week we told you why you can't hate Kanye West and love My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy at the same time, we made similarly bold claims about Girl Talk--ten worst moments on that record, right here--and the Beatles, who along with a c ... More >>
Everybody just stop yelling, OK? Photo by Daniel Snyder.In the week we talked about Odd Future, kidnapping and murder, and why we sometimes like the things that repel us, we also saw the group live--alongside every other music critic in the city. They struck a weird balance to the other big r ... More >>
The above clip is of the headache-giving variety. In it, a woman raps, speaks and cries (loud tears) about the recently widened rift between female rappers Lil' Kim and Nicki Minaj. Kim, the woman says, is like her mother, Nicki is like her step-mother and rap music is her father; she just want ... More >>
Behold the amazing talents of Ryan Dombal.In the week someone introduced us to the term "rap sabbatical," we got investigative, bringing news of the newfound hip-hop ban at Savalas (which sent DJ Ayres packing), HARD Fest's harsh words for M.I.A., Lil Wayne's prefe ... More >>
Just how awkward will the awkwardly staged moment between Kanye West and Taylor Swift be? Will Eminem deign to smile? Which uncomfortable pop star will B.o.B choose to bring up on stage with him? And how will your hosts, Pitchfork's Ryan Dombal and eMusic's Sean Fennessey, make it to midnight withou ... More >>
Drake debuts, Trey Songz gyrates, and DJ Khaled wins at the hip-hop event of the year
It's true that Christina was a bit more interesting back when everyone thought this was her, but to be fair, this tune, pledged to her upcoming Bionic, is better than the last track to surface, though no less libidinous: "Woohoo" refers to a part of the female anatomy, you see. ("You don't even ne ... More >>
This snippet of "All Night Long," the next song to leak from Drake's forthcoming Thank Me Later, seems to be missing at least a Bun B verse if not--as rumor has it--one from Lil Wayne himself. Not missing? Drake sort of proposing to his Young Money comrade in arms, Queens rapstress Nicki Minaj. Th ... More >>
When not explicating the mores of the Insane Clown Posse to befuddled internet denizens, critic and SOTC pal Jonah Weiner has an entertaining sideline asking musicians ridiculous questions for Details. Like this one, posed to cabaret icon Rufus Wainwright: "You own lederhosen custom-made by a ... More >>
Tough times for Ms. Carey -- last year's Memoirs of a Perfect Angel (which is not terrible!) has sold significantly fewer copies than, uh, the Glitter soundtrack, and now its guest-star-heavy remix disc, Angel's Advocate, which is responsible for that daffy Nicki Minaj team-up, has been scrap ... More >>
From friend-of-SOTC and Fader boss Julianne Shepherd comes the deepest, most thoughtful piece yet on Queens' own gleefully deranged rap heroine Nicki Minaj, who explains somewhat her hurricane of goofy/lascivious voices: "Anybody that knows me knows that I have a very, very bipolar persona ... More >>
Skip forward to 2:15 or so when you get tired of Luda's timely Venus/Serena jokes. Such a warm, pleasant feeling, my budding Nicki Minaj obsession. I get the feeling like the face she makes at the very end of this video might end up being the highlight of my week. It is Monday. At 8:15 a.m. And I' ... More >>