Latest Articles


SXSW 2010: British Invasion

These four bands from the UK left me hungry for more.
WFNX honcho rates his four best English bands at SXSW
By MIKE TIERNEY  |  March 26, 2010

The most famous rapper from Wells signs with Universal

A few weeks ago, we marveled at the reality of Portland's Top 40 radio station, WJBQ, playing a song by local rapper Spose called "I'm Awesome," an ironic, self-deprecating piece of pure hilarious ear candy.
No, really: Actually awesome
By SAM PFEIFLE  |  March 05, 2010

Photos: Timbaland at House of Blues

Photos from Timbaland during the Shock Value II Tour at the House of Blues
Timbaland, live at House of Blues Boston, January 19, 2010
By DEREK KOUYOUMJIAN  |  January 22, 2010

Bleep the faith

If you were young and had brain space to spare in 1985, those vacant folds were likely soon flooded with the vast audial ephemera of the Nintendo era.
The Boston8Bit collective put their chips on the table
By MICHAEL BRODEUR  |  January 08, 2010
Trent Reznor to Interscope: "Fuck you. Take that beat and shove it up Timbaland’s ass"

Trent Reznor to Interscope: "Fuck you. Take that beat and shove it up Timbaland’s ass"

We love it when the New Yorker hangs with the plebes. In the current issue SFJ goes to one of those last Nine Inch Nails...
By Carly Carioli  |  September 08, 2009

The Big Hurt: Hootie goes country, Roses stay in denial, Spector gets 'demonic'

I’m still not used to the idea that Darius Rucker (“Hootie” to you and me) is a chart-topping country superstar now.
Music news in brief
By DAVID THORPE  |  March 31, 2009


Y'all come back now . . .

I've always liked the idea of there being some weight to the "nines," meaning: if you're a year, and you're going to perch yourself at the very edge of a decade, you'd better be ready to represent.
Diminishing returns in 2009
By MICHAEL BRODEUR  |  December 30, 2008

On the racks

Nelly Furtado, Frank Black, Pearl Jam, Fatboy Slim, and Luna.
June 20
By MATT ASHARE  |  October 27, 2008

Didn’t they blow our minds this time

Last week, I offered my fragile body up for a heinous act of self-abuse in the name of science.
The Big Hurt: Just how rad is the new NKOTB album?
By DAVID THORPE  |  September 16, 2008

Mirror ball

The stirring pop hits of the day can’t help but reflect the refracting cracked mirror of our nation’s increasingly emotion-laden psyche.
Fables of deconstruction
By DANIEL BROCKMAN  |  September 08, 2008

13 shots to the dome

What to do with LL Cool J?
The 10 hours and 29 minutes of LL Cool J’s career
By RICHARD BECK  |  September 02, 2008


Izza Kizza

Kizzaland’s main draw? It’s Kizza’s elastic snake-charmer flow.
Kizzaland | Souldiggaz/Atmos
By SAM UBL  |  August 04, 2008


It’s music for summer nights of muggy confusion and post-sunset soul searching, and when Beck takes the mic, he rocks some straight-up Shiva shit.
Modern Guilt | DGC
By ZETH LUNDY  |  July 15, 2008

Who’s that girl (now)?

I’d wager that Madonna is not much of a fun person.

Madonna pulls some Hard Candy from her purse

By DANIEL BROCKMAN  |  April 29, 2008

Better than Madonna

Everybody dug Confessions on a Dance Floor , but I’m one of approximately 12 people who liked American Life , Madonna’s weirdly militant 2003 disc.

Pop stars with product to move

By MIKAEL WOOD  |  April 22, 2008

The low end

The British rave revolution of the late ’80s/early ’90s is accurately viewed as the source of the ever increasing number of dance genres in the UK.
The bassline house invasion
By RICHARD BECK  |  February 26, 2008


Britney Spears

Spears’s fifth studio album is a witchy electro-pop wonder as suspect as those prescription pills photographed in her purse a few weeks ago.
Blackout | Jive
By ELLEE DEAN  |  November 06, 2007

Chairmen of the boards

Not unlike Swedish, Tagalog, and Esperanto, music is a language, with its own conjugations and (lewdly) dangling participles.
Our critics pick the 14 producers with the fattest, meanest beats
By PHOENIX MUSIC STAFF  |  October 18, 2007

There’s something melodious and calm about’s third solo hip-hop/R&B album — but there’s also something boring about its euphonic electro-funk dolor.
Songs About Girls | A+M
By ELLEE DEAN  |  October 08, 2007

War of the words

50 Cent has a long history of initiating beefs before he releases a new album.
50 Cent versus Kanye West
By RICHARD BECK  |  September 12, 2007

Happy endings

The end is nigh! And I’m not talking about the mortgage market.
Bad news begets good tunes
By MATT ASHARE  |  September 12, 2007


Culture clash

If there were two golden rules worth following for this reviewer gig, they’d be never conflate an artist’s backstory with her product, and never read other people’s reviews.
M.I.A. confronts American pop protocol
By NICK SYLVESTER  |  September 05, 2007

Skill ride

All it took was a Godzilla sample and a simple, forceful “Simon says get the fuck up” for Pharoahe Monch to leave his mark on hip-hop history.
Pharoahe Monch’s timely return
By MATTHEW GASTEIER  |  July 17, 2007

I'm like a bore

The Nelly Furtado concert was off to a fine, Lite-Brite sort of start.
Nelly Furtado, Agganis Arena, June 5, 2007
By ELLEE DEAN  |  June 06, 2007

Extremely . . .

Björk has made a career out of exploring extremes.
Björk rewards — and punishes
By MIKAEL WOOD  |  May 21, 2007

Let’s be Frank

Despite a seemingly obvious incongruity, mainstream streets-heavy rap continues to percolate here in Portland and beyond.
Buddas declares, Loyalties a Must
By SAM PFEIFLE  |  April 18, 2007


Demon master

Boston hasn’t always been a major stop for big-league DJs. Record Shopping with Carl Craig (QuickTime)
Techno legend Carl Craig speaks . . . and spins
By DAVID DAY  |  April 17, 2007

Production lines

The guy builds songs.
Timbaland’s shockingly bad Shock Value
By NICK SYLVESTER  |  April 09, 2007


When Justin Timberlake says he’s in love with you, what is there to do but believe him? Slideshow: Justin Timberlake with special guest Pink at TD BankNorth Garden, February 6, 2007
Justin Timberlake, TD BankNorth Garden, February 6, 2007
By SHARON STEEL  |  February 07, 2007

Justify my love

Oh, Justin. Even you know that your undeniable charisma and brilliantly executed choreography somehow balance out your post-boy-band status and lack of indie cred. Justin Timberlake on Saturday Night Live, "Dick in a Box" (YouTube)
He already brought sexy back. Now can Justin Timberlake shed his boy-band image and become a music legend?
By SHARON STEEL  |  February 05, 2007