Latest Articles


The Big Hurt: This week in strategic promotional partnerships

Art can't reach its full purity until it's been smelted in the crucible of commerce.
By DAVID THORPE  |  May 11, 2012

[video] Passion Pit & Yes Giantess singing along to Nickelback's 'How You Remind Me'

 We smell a future collaboration. The dudes in Nickelback have to be impressed by the unofficial side-stage sing-along provided by Passion Pit and Yes Giantess...
By Michael Marotta  |  August 11, 2010

The Black Keys | Brothers

Once just another guitar/drums garage-blues duo, Dan Auerbach and Patrick Carney have moved beyond the garage and the blues and are now making quintessentially American music that’s knee-deep in funky R&B.
Nonesuch (2010)
By ZETH LUNDY  |  June 04, 2010

The Big Hurt: Enduring the Billboard ‘Active’ chart

If you're not in the radio business, you might not know the term "Active Rock." It's not a genre, thank Heaven, but a radio format — the worst radio format.
Who charted?
By DAVID THORPE  |  June 04, 2010

The Big Hurt: What would Jesus download?

True, I may be the wrong guy to review the top tracks on the Billboard Christian Songs chart. I’m not religious, so songs about Jesus mean about as much to me as songs about Popeye.
Who charted? Billboard's Top Christian Songs edition
By DAVID THORPE  |  March 26, 2010


Interview: Michael Angelakos of Passion Pit

In 2008, Passion Pit won Best New Artist in our Best Music Poll.
Cleaning up with this year's BMP winners

The Big Hurt: Strung Out

A friend of mine is getting married soon, and she's been looking around for some classy wedding music.
Vitamin Records classes up the joint — kinda
By DAVID THORPE  |  July 31, 2009

The Big Hurt: Billboard's Hot Mainstream Rock Tracks

What a lovely concept is mainstream rock : all that subversive stuff was fun for a while, but isn't rock much lovelier now that it's straightened up and joined the hegemony?
Who charted?
By DAVID THORPE  |  June 05, 2009

'Who Charted'

Having paid my dues by wading through the alt-rock and godawful-country charts, I've earned the right to tackle the steamy stuff.
Billboard's Hot Adult Top 40
By DAVID THORPE  |  March 24, 2009

Study shows country music is still just awful

You know what I haven't done in a while, for plenty of very good reasons? Listened to the whole cotton-pickin' Billboard Hot Country chart! Yee-haw!
Who charted?
By DAVID THORPE  |  February 10, 2009


Feel the music

I personally find it comforting that the current number-one single in the country has a chorus that goes "I'll gas up the jet for you tonight, and baby we can go wherever you like."
We may be the last generation to give tangible tunes for Christmas
By DANIEL BROCKMAN  |  December 08, 2008

The Big Hurt: Confessions of a band namer

Maybe you’ve never heard the name Harold Wells, but it’s a safe bet that you’re a fan of his handiwork.
The music industry’s best-kept secret speaks out
By DAVID THORPE  |  September 02, 2008

Winning losers

Every last one of you who votes in our Best Music Poll is a treasure; but blessed are those who write-in.
Stand up for your write(-ins)
By MICHAEL BRODEUR  |  May 07, 2008

The 100 unsexiest men in the world

Welcome to the first installment of's 100 Unsexiest Men in the World.
Who would Scarlett least like to be with?
By BILL JENSEN & RYAN STEWART  |  March 27, 2008

The power of love

Carl Wilson’s recent entry into Continuum’s esteemed 33 1/3 series — a series of books by critics and musicians devoted to canonical pop albums — is framed by an irresistible concept.
A respected music critic contemplates Celine Dion and has a crisis of conscience
By CHRISTOPHER GRAY  |  March 19, 2008


Dashboard Confessional: The Shade of the Poison Trees

The people want their wimp back; he’ll meet them halfway.
By MIKAEL WOOD  |  October 08, 2007

The dark side of the rainbow

Does the simple fusion of audio to video count as high-quality entertainment?
The new medium of the YouTube mash-up
By NICK SYLVESTER  |  August 29, 2007

America Blows

The United States of America is a nation with a proud history.
Since George W. Bush took office, the United States has sunk to unprecedented lows in sports and pop-culture domination
By MIKE MILIARD  |  June 29, 2007

The 100 unsexiest men 2007: 70-61

These guys couldn't turn on a radio
By  |  April 12, 2007

Worst in breed: Music

Who are the unsexiest music men of 2007?
The 100 Unsexiest men 2007
By PHOENIX STAFF  |  April 12, 2007


Progressive party

The five members of Fluttr Effect are seated with me on folding chairs in a circle, so anybody walking into the warehouse-like back room of the Berklee College of Music practice space in Allston might assume there’s some kind of rock-and-roll therapy s
Fluttr Effect wrestle with their identity
By TED DROZDOWSKI  |  December 06, 2006

Take a penny, leave a penny

It is tiny: a piece of copper-plated zinc only 19 millimeters in diameter and 1.5 millimeters thick, weighing just two and a half grams.
Some people really want to get rid of the one-cent coin — will you get screwed if it disappears?
By MIKE MILIARD  |  October 13, 2006
Bands finding new list photo

Get musically smarter

The biggest hurdle local and independent bands face is getting you, the consumer, to try them just once.
A how-to for finding music you don’t yet know you like
By SAM PFEIFLE  |  February 23, 2006

Gratis expectations

Now is the winter of our discontent. That last heating bill nearly caused a coronary, and this month’s will only be worse.
Free booze! Free books! Free movies! Free iPods! A guide to getting something for nothing
By MIKE MILIARD  |  January 18, 2006

Wish list

[1] An MBTA Red Line station without a broken escalator. [2] Someone in the White House who at least pretends we’re still looking for Osama.
106 things the Phoenix wants to see in 2006
By  |  December 30, 2005