1. Ashley Monroe Kicks Off 'The Blade' Tour In New York City: Live Review

    October 28, 2015 8:08 PM EDT 0 0 0 The country singer Ashley Monroe offered a caveat near the beginning of her show Tuesday night at the Bowery Ballroom. “I usually write a lot of sad, depressing records,” she declared. But the performance, the first stop on a tour in support of a ne ...

  2. 'Stretch and Bobbito: Radio That Changed Lives' Doc Looks Back at the Radio Show That Helped Launch Nas and Jay Z: Film Review

    October 26, 2015 2:22 PM EDT In the early days, hip-hop didn’t have a separate underground scene; the entire genre was outsider by default. But when a true rap underground finally coalesced in New York in the late 1980s and early ’90s, it was at an unexpected place: Columbia ...

  3. Kacey Musgraves Makes History at the Apollo Theater: Live Review

    October 25, 2015 6:15 PM EDT 0 0 0 Kacey Musgraves made an impressive declaration early on last night (Oct. 24) during the New York stop of her Rhinestone Revue tour. “Apparently I'm the only country act to headline the Apollo,” she noted. “Sold it out, too,” she added proudly. ...

  4. Smashing Pumpkins' 'Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness' at 20: 10 Most Melancholy Moments

    October 25, 2015 3:07 PM EDT 0 0 0 It was too good a phrase not to use. Billy Corgan knew it in 1991, when the title Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness popped into his head during a walk through then-decrepit Coney Island. The words promise a heartbreaking, fantastical journey -- ...

  5. Chance the Rapper Joined by D.R.A.M., Ja Rule and More in NYC, Jay Z and Beyonce in Attendance: Live Review

    October 24, 2015 3:30 PM EDT 0 0 0 Chance the Rapper  knows how to put on a good show, and if you give him an hour and a half, he just might prove it. Joined by opening acts Metro Boomin,  D.R.A.M. , Towkio and  Hiatus Kaiyote , the Chicago native brought true meaning to his Family M ...

  6. 5 Seconds of Summer Goes From Boy Band to Men With 'Sounds Good, Feels Good': Album Review

    October 23, 2015 2:56 PM EDT 16.865 k 462 51 For its sophomore album, Sydney quartet 5 Seconds of Summer tasked itself with resolving the “boy band vs. rock band” conflict that has plagued the group since it became a superstar by touring with One Direction . Sounds Good Feels Good ne ...

  7. Carrie Underwood Mixes Country's Past and Present on 'Storyteller': Album Review

    October 23, 2015 2:16 PM EDT 0 0 0 Don't look now, but  Carrie Underwood , at 32, already has a decade of stardom behind her. Much has changed in the country landscape during that time, its center nudged noticeably closer to pop by hitmakers lifting vocal styles and production v ...

  8. Blur's First-Ever Hollywood Bowl Show Brings Fred Armisen Surprise: Live Review

    October 21, 2015 8:32 PM EDT For Blur fans, Tuesday was a historic night. After all, it had been 16 years since the original members of the British band performed together in Los Angeles, and it was their first-time ever at the Hollywood Bowl. For a group that never quite ac ...

  9. U2's 'Boy' at 35: Classic Track-by-Track Album Review

    October 20, 2015 7:47 PM EDT Even U2 had to start somewhere. Before they were stadium-storming men of the world, Bono, David “The Edge” Evans, Adam Clayton and Larry Mullen Jr. were four Dublin lads with a love of punk rock and a drive far outweighing their nascent talents. ...

  10. Foo Fighters Send SoCal Love Ride Off With a Party: Live Review

    October 20, 2015 6:00 PM EDT 0 0 0 When the Foo Fighters took the stage at 2:45 in the afternoon Sunday at Southern California’s Castaic Lake, it marked the beginning of two endings. “Today is the last show of our American tour,” Dave Grohl announced. “So we gotta have a good time.” ...

  11. The Replacements' 'Tim' at 30: Classic Track-by-Track Album Review

    October 18, 2015 9:30 PM EDT 0 0 0 When the Replacements signed with Sire Records in 1985, fans must’ve feared the major label gears would grind away all the amateurish charm that made these guys great. This was, after all, a gang of four Minneapolis goofballs as famous for their boo ...

  12. The Wonder Years and Pop-Punk Comrades Kick Off Gloriously Uncool Tour in NYC: Live Review

    October 18, 2015 3:31 PM EDT Photo credit:  Mitchell  Wojcik Depending on who you ask, there may be an emo revival going on. Lifers will insist the music never really went away -- just that tastemakers stopped paying attention -- but at least they got a hashtag-friendly tit ...

  13. Bruce Springsteen's 'The River' at 35: Classic Track-by-Track Album Review

    October 17, 2015 9:50 PM EDT 1.226 k 269 85 Maybe it’s the lack of a great backstory that makes Bruce Springsteen ’s fifth album, The River --  released 35 years ago today, on Oct. 17, 1980 -- such an overlooked and underappreciated set of songs. Bruce Springsteen to Release Long Awa ...

  14. Skrillex Surprises at Intimate Brooklyn CMJ 2015 Show: Live Review

    October 17, 2015 2:00 PM EDT 0 0 0 “Let's get some motherf---ing energy in here,” Skrillex demanded after coming on stage to an unrepentant air-raid siren around 1:15 a.m. Friday night (Oct. 16) as the surprise closing act at the Fader Fort presented by Converse, which has becom ...

  15. Janet Jackson Doesn’t Miss a Beat at Hits-Filled L.A. Forum Concert: Live Review

    October 17, 2015 11:54 AM EDT 0 0 0 There's a lot to get through tonight. Mainly hits. Approximately 94 percent of Janet Jackson 's 90 minutes onstage at the Forum in Los Angeles is Terry Lewis - and Jimmy Jam -packed with hits. For a split second during “Together Again,” it ...

  16. Is Ciara's 'Paint It Black' a Bewitching Cover? Plus More of the Week's Best and Worst Singles

    October 16, 2015 3:57 PM EDT 0 0 0 Kacy Hill “Arm’s Length” Good Music/Def Jam Kacy Hill, signed by Kanye West after a stint as his backup dancer, mines a haunting James Blake vibe all over debut EP Bloo . But Bloo ’s “Arm’s Length” is more Adele, with Hill’s crystalline voice flying ...

  17. Elvis Costello’s ‘Unfaithful Music & Disappearing Ink’ Is Too Clever for Its Own Good: Book Review

    October 16, 2015 2:29 PM EDT 0 0 0 Publisher Blue Rider Press touts Elvis Costello’s Unfaithful Music & Disappearing Ink as on par with Patti Smith’s Just Kids and Keith Richards’ Life , widely considered (along with Bob Dylan’s Chronicles ) as the best rock memoirs. The brainy C ...

  18. Lorde-Approved Duo Majical Cloudz Finds Beauty in Raw Honesty on 'Are You Alone?': Album Review

    October 16, 2015 2:24 PM EDT 0 0 0 When Majical Cloudz were handpicked by Lorde to open a month of dates on her 2014 North American arena tour, the Montreal duo, with its handheld mic and a keyboard perched on an ironing board, was almost comically dwarfed by the venues and the headl ...

  19. Christine & The Queens' Heloise Letissier Reimagines Her French Debut for Stateside Appeal: Album Review

    October 16, 2015 1:44 PM EDT 0 0 0 After minting herself as pop royalty in her native France and earning praise from Madonna and Mark Ronson with 2014 debut LP Chaleur Humaine , Christine & The Queens (alter ego of singer-songwriter Heloise Letissier) spent the bulk of 2015 court ...

  20. The Game Proves He's Still Relevant With 'The Documentary 2' and '2.5': Album Review

    October 16, 2015 1:37 PM EDT 0 0 0 The Game works best when left for dead. See his classic debut, 2005’s The Documentary , where Compton, Calif.’s Jayceon Taylor survived a homicide attempt to become rap’s T-1000, an android assassin shape-shifting to channel past West Coast greats. ...

  21. Indie-Rock Vets Deerhunter Break New Ground on 'Fading Frontier': Album Review

    October 16, 2015 1:31 PM EDT Over the course of five albums and multiple side projects, Deerhunter has unassumingly established itself as one of the most reliably great rock bands of the past decade. Ten years into that prolific career, the Atlanta quartet has produced its mo ...

  22. Demi Lovato Lays It All Bare on 'Confident': Album Review

    October 16, 2015 12:24 PM EDT 0 0 0 Since her emancipation from the Disney Channel’s clutches, Demi Lovato has become one of pop’s leading motivational figures, wailing songs about self-empowerment and talking to Congress about destigmatizing mental illness. Openly discussing her stru ...

  23. Martina McBride, Cassadee Pope and Raelynn Celebrate Women in Country Music at Pandora Event: Live Review

    October 15, 2015 10:53 PM EDT 0 0 0 Earlier this year, a country radio consultant named Keith Hill made a provocative declaration: “If you want to make ratings in country radio, take females out.” He also famously likened female country singers to tomatoes. His comments earned swift r ...

  24. Walk the Moon Bring Non-Stop Energy, But Also Finesse, to Miami Show: Live Review

    October 14, 2015 7:23 PM EDT “How many of you have never, ever been to one of our shows?” asked Walk the Moon singer Nicholas Petricca halfway through the band’s show at The Fillmore Miami Beach on Tuesday. There was a very scant show of hands, no surprise, considering this ...

  25. Jakob Dylan, Beck, Fiona Apple & More Honor Southern California's Classic Folk Scene: Live Review

    October 13, 2015 5:24 PM EDT For many, Southern California's 1960s folk rock scene began with the 1965 release of the Byrds’ Mr. Tambourine Man . That prolific scene, which also included The Mamas & the Papas , the Association  and  the Beach Boys , is seeing its  50 ...

  26. Tracy Morgan Performs at Comedy Club for First Time Since Crash

    October 13, 2015 2:52 AM EDT 0 0 0 Tracy Morgan is continuing his comeback. The 46-year-old 30 Rock alum, who is returning to Rockefeller Center's Studio 8H this weekend to host Saturday Night Live , tweeted Monday that he had just performed his first stand-up routine since the ...

  27. BIGBANG Confirm Their Power as a Group & Individuals at Jersey 'Made' Arena Shows: Live Review

    October 13, 2015 2:15 AM EDT 0 0 0 Nearly three years ago, BIGBANG played New Jersey's Prudential Center for the East Coast leg of their 2012 Alive tour. The K-pop phenoms opened the two shows  emerging from capsule pods and spent it riding bedazzled segues and ziplining above c ...

  28. The Darkness Highlights Tenacious D's Festival Supreme

    October 12, 2015 4:01 AM EDT Sharing the bill with comedians like  Kids In The Hall , Bill Burr,   Amy Poehler , Richard Cheese & Lounge Against The Machine  and Festival Supreme founders Tenacious D , The Darkness  took the rock stage with shouts: “Gimme a D, gimme an ...

  29. No Doubt's 'Tragic Kingdom' at 20: Classic Track-by-Track Album Review

    October 10, 2015 7:22 PM EDT 6.041 k 274 162 By the time No Doubt pogoed onto most people’s radars with Tragic Kingdom , released 20 years ago today (Oct. 10, 1995), the Orange County band had been through enough drama for two or three episodes of Behind the Music . The story begins ...

  30. Don Henley Brings a Wall of Sound to Country Cuts & Pop Hits at L.A.'s Forum: Live Review

    October 10, 2015 4:16 PM EDT 0 0 0 "This show is going to be all over the musical map," Don Henley warned the Forum crowd Friday night in Inglewood, Calif. "I don't like to live a monochromatic life." He was not exaggerating. The dozens of antique radios susp ...

  31. Maddie & Tae Bridge Country's Past And Present At New York's Highline Ballroom

    October 09, 2015 3:51 PM EDT 0 0 0 Maddie & Tae became an instant sensation when they released “Girl In A Country Song” in the summer of 2014. The lyrics cleverly eviscerated sexist tropes in country music by chopping and interpolating a series of recent hits from male stars, and ...

  32. Toby Keith Shows Off New Tricks (and Jimmy Buffett) on ‘35 mph Town’: Album Review

    October 09, 2015 1:11 PM EDT 0 0 0 Radio hits by country’s leading men have been criticized for relying on the usual tropes of trucks, pretty girls and six-packs. While Toby Keith certainly has drawn from these subjects during his 20-year career, his 18th studio LP, 35 mph Town , byp ...

  33. Garbage Turns Greek Theatre Tragedy Into Triumph: Concert Review

    October 09, 2015 3:56 AM EDT 0 0 0 Tonight Shirley Manson and her Garbage cohorts played just the third date of their short 20 Year Queer tour at the Greek Theatre in Los Angeles, and nothing came off as planned. Nothing. “Everything quite literally has gone to the f---ing shitter,” ...

  34. Tame Impala Brings Happy Daze to New York's Radio City Music Hall: Concert Review

    October 07, 2015 9:02 PM EDT Photo by Matthew Allen The giant green oscilloscope projected behind it and a keyboardist's knee-length white jacket might have suggested a laboratory of sound, but there was nothing sterile or scientific about  Tame Impala 's hazy, da ...

  35. Korn Plays Self-Titled Debut in NYC As Children of the Korn Keep Following Their Bagpipe-Playing Leader

    October 07, 2015 1:00 PM EDT 0 0 0 Years before Internet chat rooms enabled disenchanted youth to connect with one another, music remained one of the most prominent means of experiencing community and catharsis. This contingent, the teenage result of early '80s quality-time pare ...

  36. Janet Jackson Shows Off Her Resilience on 'Unbreakable': Album Review

    October 06, 2015 6:20 PM EDT 0 0 0 Janet Jackson ’s voice is a flute in an orchestra of trumpets and trombones. Unlike her ’80s coequals Madonna and Whitney Houston , Jackson had little success at the start of her career, especially given the expectations that came with her last name ...

  37. Dawes Unites Eclectic Lineup at L.A. Bluegrass Situation 2015: Live Review

    October 05, 2015 6:31 PM EDT 0 0 0 That rumbling you heard Saturday night in L.A. wasn’t approaching rainstorms, but rather the sound of Bill Monroe turning over in his grave at the thought of the word “bluegrass” being applied to any of the bands playing the Greek Theatre that night ...

  38. Toro y Moi Brings Chill But Not Climax to Music Hall of Williamsburg

    October 05, 2015 1:35 PM EDT 0 0 0 It's 9:45 on Friday night (Oct. 2) and the crowd at Music Hall of Williamsburg is getting antsy. The room, only half full 30 minutes prior, is now packed shoulder-to-shoulder with a slew of hipster Brooklynites standing in anticipation. The col ...

  39. Avicii Expands His Musical Reach on 'Stories': Album Review

    October 02, 2015 3:59 PM EDT 0 0 0 It’s time to stop calling Avicii EDM. If 2013’s  True was out to prove that a dance icon could ease into the pop arena, Stories is his bid for multi-format crossover. It’s also more playful and easeful than the debut, even as it expands True ’s reac ...

  40. Godspeed You! Black Emperor Storms Brooklyn, Shattering Eardrums And Psyches: Live Review

    October 02, 2015 3:30 PM EDT 0 0 0 For the uninitiated, Godspeed You! Black Emperor are a veteran instrumental octet from Montreal whose music combines such drastic extremes -- gorgeous melodies and deafening cacophony, beauty and ugliness, pin-drop quiet and innard-rattling volume, ...

  41. Oasis' '(What's the Story) Morning Glory?' at 20: Classic Track-by-Track Album Review

    October 02, 2015 9:30 AM EDT 0 0 0 Every few years, a British guitar band comes along and reminds everyone how bloody great British guitar bands can be. For all their wit and energy and funny haircuts, these groups tend to make crackling first albums and then flounder on the follow-u ...

  42. ‘Hamilton,’ the Best Broadway Musical in Years, Boasts an Equally Thrilling Cast Recording: Album Review

    October 01, 2015 2:33 PM EDT 1.431 k 330 21 2015’s best rap album isn’t by Drake , Kendrick Lamar or Dr. Dre  -- it’s the cast recording of Hamilton , a vital companion to the most creative, most talked-about musical to hit Broadway this millennium (read Billboard's cover story ...

  43. Pink Floyd Fans Gain Unique Insight into ‘The Wall’ with New Roger Waters Film: Review

    September 28, 2015 4:13 AM EDT 0 0 0 Between 2010 and 2013 Pink Floyd’s mastermind Roger Waters toured performing the band’s epic 1979 album The Wall . The historic outing marked the biggest worldwide tour by a solo artist and the shows were nothing short of a breathtaking feat of musi ...

  44. Irish Rockers Girl Band Bring the Noise on Powerful Debut ‘Holding Hands With Jamie’: Album Review

    September 25, 2015 6:16 PM EDT 0 0 0 Biologically speaking, the sensations of pleasure and pain are closely related, and Ireland’s Girl Band (a deliciously noisy quartet that is, naturally, all-male) straddles that line with no small amount of glee. On its full-length debut, Holding Ha ...

  45. King of Country George Strait Gets Personal on 'Cold Beer Conversation': Album Review

    September 25, 2015 4:34 PM EDT With a total of 60 Billboard No. 1 singles ( more than  Elvis Presley , more than  The Beatles ), George Strait has made it all seem effortless. His 29th studio album, which the singer co-produced with Chuck Ainlay, will likely add to that tal ...

  46. Jana Kramer Previews Country Album 'thirty one' Live in New York City

    September 24, 2015 1:45 PM EDT 0 0 0 In 1994, Alan Jackson released “Gone Country,” a track that poked fun at Nashville carpetbaggers. It’s an amusing, if not entirely accurate, song -- after all, Bob Dylan went country to record parts of Blonde On Blonde back in the ‘60s -- but it hel ...

  47. Ryan Adams’ ‘1989’ Taylor Swift Cover Record Takes 2010s Synth-Pop to Alt-Rock Past: Album Review

    September 24, 2015 11:42 AM EDT 3.113 k 176 39 Fourteen years since his biggest hit “New York, New York,” Ryan Adams’ idiosyncratic career arc takes him to “Welcome to New York,” the opening of a full-length take on Taylor Swift’s 1989 . Like Swift, the 40-year-old rocker is a Gotham tr ...

  48. One Direction’s ‘Infinity’ Review: New Ballad Limited by Lyrics

    September 22, 2015 2:00 PM EDT 4.663 k 1.843 k 49 One Direction has constructed legitimately moving power ballads before — and most memorably on its previous two albums — using the hushed verse-mammoth chorus blueprint, from “You and I” to “Ready to Run” to “Story of My Life.” “Infinit ...

  49. Slayer Still Shreds on ‘Repentless’: Album Review

    September 11, 2015 4:06 PM EDT 0 0 0 There was a time when it seemed Slayer could do no wrong. While 1980s thrash compatriots Metallica , Megadeth and Anthrax shifted musical direction or floundered commercially, the quartet persistently churned out some of the most extreme and thrilli ...

  50. Dr. Dre's 'Compton: A Soundtrack' Lives Up to Its Cinematic Aspirations: Album Review

    August 10, 2015 5:34 PM EDT 0 0 0 Not so long ago, rappers equated their albums, songs, studio sessions, even their partying with “making a movie,” as if their life moments were epic big-screen fare. But none -- save perhaps Kanye West ’s My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy  -- has ev ...

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