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Music News, Reviews, and Gossip on Idolator.com

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    The disadvantage of being an “actual college student” while covering CMJ is that you have to, you know, go to college. When I got home from the Beach House show at 2:30 a.m. Thursday, I had to write my recap post then and there because I had class starting at 9:30. Which means that I…

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    After much begging, pleading, questioning of press credentials, and discussion of karma, the doorman at The Annex mercifully let me–and my hands, each of which was decorated with a massive “X”–into Friday’s “Sounds of Spain” showcase. I went in expecting to find mostly mediocre psychedelia and mumbly alt-rock (Spain’s genres of choice), and came out…

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    Saturday’s Daytrotter/Take the Handle/SnowGhost Music showcase at Brooklyn’s Glasslands Gallery had two things going for it: Wye Oak was on the bill, and it was in the afternoon. Hoping it might end my CMJ coverage on a much-needed high note, I camped out for most of the afternoon and heard some genuinely recommendable music at…

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    This weekend, Jimmy Buffett will strap on his boat shoes and head down to Tampa so he can play a free concert in support of Barack Obama‘s attempt to take the crucial swing state of Florida on Election Day. But what will the slogan for this show be? Oh wait, I know. …

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    I spent part of my summer traveling around the country and talking to bandom writers (bandom, in case you are lucky enough to be out of the loop, is fan fiction about emo bands). The overwhelming consensus among my subjects was that the characterization of Panic at the Disco’s Ryan Ross (not the lead singer,…

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    If there’s one thing you can be absolutely sure of, it’s that Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” will never, ever die, thanks to awesomely crappy early-oughts pop-punk, bad rom-coms, and silly world record attempts. So it’s no surprise that rumors are now surfacing about Thriller: The Musical!

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    Well, I no longer live in student housing, Rilo Kiley is unfortunately not in the building, and I’ll play the modesty card and argue that I’m not nearly as hilarious as Maura suggests, but yes, here I am again in the mtvU blogging pit (of doom). Oh, it’s not all that bad. The music is…

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    What is it about the spooky shell of a human known as Michael Jackson that inspires people to make such monumentally misguided decisions? Some people entrusted their children to him; now comes word that someone had the genius idea to advance him huge sums of money for an album he never produced and was never…

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    It’s been four years since Blink-182 petered out after their peculiar Robert Smith phase (which was not terrible, but just something of a death rattle). In the interim Mark Hoppus has been blogging heavily and producing generic pop-punk, while Tom DeLonge has dedicated himself to exploring the deepest depths of nauseating self-importance. It seemed for…

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    It used to be that you had to lurk on fan sites and wait for someone to post a concert bootleg to hear unreleased material from your favorite bands, but that process has since been boiled down to a single YouTube search. Case in point: “I Want for Nothing,” an unreleased track by Baltimore’s Wye…

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    In addition to choosing our 80 favorite musical recordings, people, places, movements, and events of the year, Idolator has also chosen eight of its least favorites of 2008. In the first Heartbreak, Kate Richardson looks at a movie that misses an opportunity to immortalize Sweden’s greatest pop group—and its greatest ’70s fashion plates—on the big

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    In the era of Autotune, Jenny Lewis went analog. Acid Tongue is a testament to the sheer power of true musicianship. An organic, forceful album that feels like the upswing of a good beer buzz, it hops from folk to country to blues with impressive ease and effortless charm, and the title track is its…

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    2008 will go down as the year that fan fiction and tribute videos finally realized their inevitable, terrifying synthesis. “Jobromance” is a generic term for a mashup of sorts, one made of a video consisting of Jonas Brothers content (which could consist of a picture, several pictures, or a video clip) and a corresponding narrative…

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    “L.E.S. Artistes” may be the punchy, widely hyped lead track on Santogold’s self-titled debut, but the real gem of the album is “Lights Out.” There’s an effortless appeal about the song that both enhances and downplays its greatness. Singer Santi White’s breezy vocals drift over the hefty bass line, while other hooky background elements—a fuzzy…

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    Let’s face it: Wonky Pop has not exactly moved mountains in the past year. America has not yet gone down to its collective river to pray to the shiny Nordic purveyors of high quality throwback pop, and at this point it appears as if this country likely never will be saved by scary-good Scandinavian music.

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    It seems that the understandably pallid career trajectory of nobody’s favorite tweensploitation group, the Clique Girlz, is maybe, finally going to pick up with a promotion deal for Baby Bottle Pop, aka “nipple-shaped candy.” But one fan site is disseminating the rumor that Ariel Moore (the blonde one (haha!)) plans on leaving the group before…

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    Recently the New York Times ran a feature about working-class Mexican immigrants using their cell phones rather than iTunes to buy and listen to music, which, as you can imagine, has sent both music and telecommunications types into a tizzy. The poster children of this new era of regional Mexican cell phone music are the…

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    Amigos, it’s been two months since our first expedition south of the border in search of Mexican music. Now that we’ve shaken off the mezcal hangover, it’s time to return to Mexico lindo y querido to have a look-see at two smart alt-rock bands that defy the multiple Mexican stereotypes I (impressively, no?) have managed…

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    Houston band Wild Moccasins will be playing two shows in Brooklyn this weekend: Friday at Death By Audio and Saturday at Union Hall. I wrote a feature about them last summer in relation to local music scenes, and it seems that a year later they’ve shed the cocoon and are flying like beautiful butterflies across…

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    Andy Stack and Jenn Wasner of Wye Oak are either two of the most talented musicians currently out there right now, or they’re aliens from a distant planet where all beings are born with the inherent ability to produce songs that are equal parts intelligent, emotional, challenging, and fun. Quite frankly I’m starting to think…

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