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Madonna, Sleigh Bells, Rick Ross, Lana Del Rey, and Grimes highlight early 2012 releases; plus, a concert sampler

There's nothing particularly apocalyptic about the releases thus far slated for 2012: perhaps this is the way that the music world melts down, with a whimper rather than a bang, right?
Winter forecast
By DANIEL BROCKMAN  |  December 30, 2011

2011 goes pop

The Chinese curse "May you live in interesting times" alludes to eras of upheaval and tumult. But what if that tumult happens too slowly to seem interesting?
The music climate is as frigid as the business
By DANIEL BROCKMAN  |  December 23, 2011