Author: Maura Johnston

  • On “iZombie,” The Undead Are People Too

    The 21st century has been a boom time for those in search of brains — at least to eat. Zombies beget zombies — the Danny Boyle–directed thriller 28 Days Later gave us the prestige-TV horror franchise The Walking Dead; the British zinger-fest Shaun of the Dead cleared space for the Jane Austen reboot Pride and […]

  • Bad Boys Bell Biv DeVoe Return Smoother Than Ever

    It’s been sixteen years since we’ve heard new music from Bell Biv DeVoe, so it makes sense for the r&b trio to reiterate their mission statement on the cover of the new Three Stripes: “Our music is mentally hip-hop smoothed out on the r&b tip with a pop feel to it.” That’s the credo BBD […]

  • In a World of ‘Lemonade,’ Misogyny Creeps Onto the Pop Charts

    Male entitlement is a crucial part of rock’s DNA, and the pop charts — which, in 2016, were ruled largely by the likes of electro-bro duo the Chainsmokers and the grown-and-sullen Justin Bieber — reflected that reality loudly. The way the curdled view of women espoused by giant hits like Bieber’s “Love Yourself” (No. 1 […]

  • Rick Astley’s Comeback Is No Joke

    Say the name Rick Astley in 2016 and you’ll probably get a reply involving his 1987 smash “Never Gonna Give You Up,” a brightly spangled devotional transformed into an internet punchline somewhere in the late 2000s. Its overwhelming sincerity helped make it a perfect “got your nose”–type fake-out — its beamed-in drums, high-gloss synths, and Astley’s […]

  • Watch The Brand-New, Emotion-Fueled Video For Hospitality’s “Eighth Avenue”

    The Brooklyn indiepop outfit (and 4Knots Music Festival alums) Hospitality have been at the forefront of the city’s indiepop resurgence since their formation at the end of the naughts. The video for “Eighth Avenue,” from their self-titled debut on Merge, pairs well with lead singer Amber Papini‘s plaintive coo and the song’s insistent thrum; the […]

  • This Week In the Voice: The VMAs Fizzle; Unlocking The Truth Go To Metal School

    In this week’s Village Voice, out now: Despite the aerial hijinks of P!nk (above) and lots of sex talk, I get underwhelmed by MTV’s Video Music Awards; and Jonah Bromwich hangs out with the hard-rocking kids who make up Unlocking The Truth, who you might be able to catch playing Times Square sometime soon.

  • MTV’s Video Music Awards Enters The Post-Music-Video Era

    MTV’s annual music bacchanal, the Video Music Awards, took place on Thursday night in the Staples Center in Los Angeles, and despite its history of taking a magnifying-glass look at pop excess—Madonna in the wedding dress, Britney Spears on the path to glassy-eyed ruin—this year’s edition of the show seemed curiously inert to those watching […]

  • Win A Pair Of Tickets To See Cult Of Youth At Public Assembly

    Multiinstrumentalist Cult Of Youth frontman Sean Ragon is a home-recording fiend, and he laid down the tracks for the second Cult Of Youth album, Love Will Prevail, in a self-built studio located behind his Bushwick music shop Heaven Street. The music he crafts is rooted in folk, but it’s a sort of expansive folk that […]

  • Live-Blogging The 2012 Video Music Awards: We Are Never Ever Ever Gonna Use Tonight As A Bellwether

    Has the live-blog been obliterated by Twitter? Let’s find out on MTV’s biggest night of the year, the Video Music Awards, which this year will feature Taylor Swift (in business casual on the double-decker red carpet right now), Frank Ocean, Rihanna, and Green Day, among others, as well as honors to various clips designed to […]

  • This Week In The Voice: Ne-Yo’s Spin On Pop; TEEN’s Sibling Revelry

    In this week’s Village Voice, out now: I listen to the shifting sounds of pop music in 2012 as epitomized by the R&B singer Ne-Yo’s recent releases; and Chris Chafin talks to the sister act TEEN.

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