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The Big Hurt: Heeding the commands of the Billboard Hot 100

From twisting and shouting to taking Eddie Money home tonight to fucking the police, pop music has always loved to boss us around.
Who Charted: The Pop Gauntlet
By DAVID THORPE  |  September 07, 2012
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Review: Celeste and Jesse Forever

What's social climbing Celeste (co-writer Rashida Jones) to do when her affable go-nowhere husband (Andy Samberg) starts to feel like an anchor?
Lee Toland Krieger's divorce rom-com
By JAKE MULLIGAN  |  August 17, 2012
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The Big Hurt: This month in big-brand comeback singles

It’s easy to read Muse’s official Nazi marching song for the 2012 London Olympics as an overt piece of comedy, but at this point, how can we even tell when Muse is trying to be funny?
Current releases
By DAVID THORPE  |  July 27, 2012
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The pop wilderness of Beat Connection

Jordan Koplowitz's life — I'm disappointed to discover — was not forever changed by a momentous round of beer pong.
Garden variety
By REYAN ALI  |  July 06, 2012

Young London pops Boston's rock bubble

It's a sentiment as old as the faded memories of the glory days at clubs like the Rat, Bunratty's, and the Channel: Boston is a rock-and-roll town.
Dance to the underground
By MICHAEL MAROTTA  |  October 21, 2011
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The Big Hurt: Ke$ha, 'That Girl in Pink,' and Mongo Slade make 'news'

This week, another ill-fated jog down the dark alley of music biz press releases. . . .
Hard pressed
By DAVID THORPE  |  September 16, 2011


Ladybug Transistor in Boston with Hallelujah The Hills

The Ladybug Transistor create a new pop shade

Brooklyn might not be the first place that comes to mind when thinking about overgrown blooms and country air. But for the past 16 years, Gary Olson of the Ladybug Transistor has made the city parks and street-lined canopies of Flatbush his own private g
Growth spurts
By JONATHAN DONALDSON  |  July 01, 2011
Boston concert photos of Kylie Minogue

Photos: Kylie Minogue at Agannis Arena

Kylie Minogue | Agannis Arena | April 29, 2011
 Pop diva Kylie Minogue performed at Agannis Arena in Boston on April 29, 2011
By DEREK KOUYOUMJIAN  |  May 06, 2011

Basking in Justin Bieber's Never Say Never

Our nation is still reeling from Bieber's inexplicable Grammy loss — have the judges gone mad? Did Bieber and Drake split the vote? Is this yet another shocking example of the Grammys' longstanding prejudice in favor of jazz bassists?
Afterglow
By DAVID THORPE  |  February 25, 2011

Robyn at the State Theatre, January 29

With each of her three 2010 Body Talk EPs armed with a single-of-the-year contender (in the just-slightly-ironic, pop-chart-averse blog-critic sense), it's been hard to ignore Swedish pop star Robyn's status as in indie icon these past 12 months.
Music seen
By CHRISTOPHER GRAY  |  February 18, 2011
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Jeff Beam navigates the Flying Trapeze

Talk about a high-wire act. On his fourth full-length album in as many years, young songwriter/performer/engineer Jeff Beam has set out to make an important album that's listenable, a record that both challenges ideas about pop music and embraces them.
Without a net
By SAM PFEIFLE  |  December 10, 2010


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Photos: 3OH!3 and Cobra Starship at House of Blues

Cobra Starship and 3OH!3, live at House of Blues Boston, May 9, 2010
Cobra Starship and 3OH!3, live at House of Blues Boston, May 9, 2010
By ANNE WERMIEL  |  May 14, 2010
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Living in the Now

There’s no denying the ongoing presence of what we’ll call melodic pop acts here in Rhode Island, bands comprised of guys in their mid-20s with a serious knack for penning sugary-sweet hooks and harmonies.
Shryne’s ‘honest but polished’ pop-rock
By CHRIS CONTI  |  May 14, 2010
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The New Pornographers | Together

Once a group of Canadian unknowns masquerading as a supergroup, the New Pornographers are no longer entirely Canadian or unknown, and neither are they the same cavalier bunch who redefined left-field power pop for the Naughts.
Matador (2010)
By ZETH LUNDY  |  May 07, 2010
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Harvard virginity conference pops its cherry

At what moment are you no longer a virgin? When you get a blowjob? Give one? Give 30 ? When someone fingers you? Oral sex? Anal sex? Enjoyment? Orgasm?
Roe v. Wait Dept.
By NINA MACLAUGHLIN  |  May 07, 2010
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Championship vinyl

You have a better chance of hearing Taylor Swift songs banging out of Kanye’s tinted windows than you do of hearing either of their pop asses on the Good Life speakers during Fever.
Flavorheard, Frank White, and Mister Jason are Fever  
By CHRIS FARAONE  |  April 02, 2010


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Review: The Last Song

Bestselling novelist Nicholas Sparks ( The Notebook , Dear John ) and effervescent ’tween queen Miley Cyrus hook up for one of Sparks’s patented tearjerkers.
Emotional kidney punches involving arson, divorce, and sea turtle eggs
By TOM MEEK  |  April 02, 2010
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Not teens, not dreams

“The abstract has been very good to us.” I am communicating via e-mail with the two members of Baltimore’s dreamy pop choir Beach House, and to be honest, I don’t know which one of them made that statement.
Beach House avoid the literal
By DANIEL BROCKMAN  |  March 26, 2010
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Goldfrapp | Head First

The case can be made that artists like Goldfrapp function like pop music’s doormat, showing artists the way to commercial success while not necessarily passing the threshold themselves.
Mute (2010)
By DANIEL BROCKMAN  |  March 26, 2010
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Donwill | Don Cusack In High Fidelity

It's hardly extraordinary that Donwill should cry a disc inspired by the Nick Hornby book and subsequent John Cusack film.
Interdependent (2010)
By CHRIS FARAONE  |  March 12, 2010
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The Big Hurt: Lightfoot lives!

Last week, the world was gripped in the terror of a GORDON LIGHTFOOT death scare when a realistic-looking Twitter obit was picked up by several Canadian papers.
Plus Weezy tweets and Mayer backpedals
By DAVID THORPE  |  March 05, 2010


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Photos: Black Eyed Peas at TD Garden

The Black Eyed Peas bring "The E.N.D." to Boston
Black Eyed Peas, live at TD Garden, February 26, 2010
By DEREK KOUYOUMJIAN  |  March 05, 2010
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Ride that wave

Like a killer wave or a lousy metaphor, success can really sneak up on you.
Are Surfer Blood the only band from Florida?
By MICHAEL BRODEUR  |  February 26, 2010
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jj | jj N° 3

Secretly Canadian's new acquisitions (and future touring partners of the xx) continue to harness dualities that leave them smack dab between savvy-kitschy and kitschy-kitschy.
Secretly Canadian (2010)
By CARRIE BATTAN  |  February 26, 2010
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Swede heart

Few contemporary singers achieve as perfect a confluence of sound and image as Sarah Assbring. It's deeply reassuring to hear mournful, stylized '60s pop coming out of a melancholic beanpole who resembles a recently bereaved Edie Sedgwick.
El Perro del Mar cheers up — a little
By EUGENIA WILLIAMSON  |  February 19, 2010
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Excerpt: Evening’s Empire by BIll Flanagan

In this chapter, "The Drugs Don't Work," aging rock star Emerson Cutler and his manager, Jack Flynn, are seeking inspiration — and desperately trying to jumpstart his career.
An excerpt from Bill Flanagan’s new novel, Evening’s Empire , the true story of a band that never existed
By BILL FLANAGAN  |  February 05, 2010


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The Big Hurt: Everybody hurting

The music industry's response to the Haiti disaster has been pretty great, since it's given some huge names a chance to complete the vital circuit between the public's heartstrings and their wallets.
Warning: Scorpions content
By DAVID THORPE  |  February 05, 2010
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Photos: Mariah Carey at the Wang Theatre

Photos of Mariah Carey on her 2010 world tour
Mariah Carey, live at the Citi Wang Theatre, January 31, 2010
By LUCY SHERMAN  |  February 05, 2010
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Review: Carolina Chocolate Drops at Somerville Theatre

The Carolina Chocolate Drops introduced the penultimate song of their Saturday night Somerville Theatre show as from 2001, "which is about 100 years ago in pop music."
Review: Carolina Chocolate Drops at the Somerville Theatre, January 23, 2010
By JON GARELICK  |  January 29, 2010

The Big Hurt: Falling down the rabbit hole

Lee, Hoppus, Wentz, Avril, and 3OH!3 fall down the rabbit hole
Music news in brief
By DAVID THORPE  |  January 22, 2010