Last Night’s Show: Florence and the Machine @ Terminal 5

When Florence Welch floated onstage last night to begin the first of two sold-out shows at NYC’s Terminal 5, it was clear she’d arrived — in more ways than one. Thanks to a show-stopping performance at this year’s MTV VMAs, Welch has suddenly transformed from “just-under-the-radar alt pop ‘It’ girl” to “that redheaded chick who sings that song from that Julia Roberts movie.” Needless to say, the anticipation was high. … Read More

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Meet the New Ladies of the 2010 Lilith Fair Tour

It has been over ten years since Lilith Fair, the all-female music tour, hit festival stages across the country and, like its namesake, the tour has experienced a significant fall from grace. Unlike the Lilith Fair of the late 1990s, the 2010 version has reportedly suffered from low ticket sales, griping about less-than-stellar lineups, and date cancellations. In an era where female acts, both mainstream and indie, have gained much more exposure and respect, is there really a need for a festival devoted solely to women performers? … Read More

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10 New Women in Music Who Should Be on Your iPod

Girl power has never looked (or sounded) as good now that these 10 ladies have arrived on the scene. From the synth-pop stylings of Class Actress to the dancehall beats of Lady Chann, we’re bringing you a list of our favorite new female-fronted music acts, along with a few free downloads. As always, we made a few comparisons to help give you an idea of what each sounds like — and point you toward the ones that you’ll want to have on your iPod stat. … Read More

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Live Blog: American Idol Season 9 Finale

We’re not sure if we’re sad or relieved about tonight’s American Idol finale. On the one hand, we (and almost everyone else) have been moaning and groaning for the better part of four months that the contestant pool — with the exception of the amazing Crystal Bowersox — has been seriously lacking. But, on the other hand, this is the last night we’ll ever see Simon Cowell on Idol‘s stage (and probably the last season of the show we’ll watch in its entirety).

So, to celebrate the finale (and Simon’s swan song), our Idol fanatics Brian Underwood and Lauren Marsh will be live blogging the entire two-hour episode. Tune in with us here beginning at 8 p.m. EST and tell us what you think in the comments.

Update: And the winner is Lee DeWyze. Ew. … Read More

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A Preemptive Strike: Our American Idol Eulogy

What can we say about you, American Idol, other than you’ve been a close and constant companion these past eight years. Toward the end, you became sick — very sick — and lost most of what made you great. When Simon Cowell deserted you after the conclusion of season nine, you tried to muster up the courage to continue. You fought bravely, but soon, you simply became too weak to go on.

Your illness had actually taken hold years earlier in a series of events that left you wan, feeble, and a shell of your former self. We all knew something wasn’t right when David Cook and David Archuleta advanced to the finals at the end of season 7. Adam Lambert kept your strength up for much of season 8, but when Paula Abdul left, it was almost too much for you to bear. Your twilight years, beginning with season 9, were ones filled with boring contestants, eroded ratings (heck, Dancing With The Stars started beating you), and Ellen DeGeneres’s sad clown struggle to try to seem relevant behind the judges table.

But we don’t want to dwell on the negative. Instead, let us celebrate the great moments that made you one of the highest-rated television shows in history. … Read More

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Who Should Win Season 9 of American Idol — And Who Will

With its ratings slowing eroding and the people that are still tuning in griping that the contestants are sub-par, it could be the beginning of the end for American Idol. Simon, the only voice from the judging table that really matters, won’t be returning and the high hopes we all had for Ellen as a replacement for Paula haven’t quite panned out. But we argue that, with the exception of Tim Urban, this season’s contestants are some of the most genuinely talented. A large majority of them actually play an instrument (in some cases, several) and, as a whole, their voices are quite good.

Unfortunately, they aren’t very exciting — and in the world of reality TV excitement is easily confused with talent. There is no Adam Lambert this year. But there are a few hopefuls that could — and should — have careers in the music industry, no matter who wins. With just three contestants left standing, we’ve decided to break down each of their odds of taking the title (and give you a few reasons why they may not too). … Read More

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American Idol Power Rankings: The Top 4

It was a dismal night on American Idol as the contestants took on songs from Hollywood films with Jamie Foxx as the evening’s guest mentor. Song choice was where most of the Idol hopefuls went wrong this week — many were simply uninspired. In addition to their solo performances, each contestant was also required to sing a duet (Crystal was paired with Lee, and Michael sang with Casey) and, thankfully, the duets helped many of the singers gain back some of the ground they lost with their disastrous solo performances.

Crystal was able to bounce back after a few weeks of harsh criticism from the judges. Hers was the only performance of the evening that garnered the unanimous praise of the judging panel and proved, once again, that she’s the rightful heir to the Idol crown. Read on for our complete Top 4 power rankings. … Read More

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American Idol Power Rankings: The Top 5

And then there were five. With just under a month to go before the season finale, the remaining Idol hopefuls took to the stage last night to tackle the songs of Frank Sinatra. For the most part, it was an abysmal showing. Even the untouchable Crystal Bowersox had trouble delivering a performance that didn’t leave us in a come thirty seconds in. We blame Idol’s producers for choosing such a lame theme and then forcing the contestants to perform them in front of a full band, leaving them no opportunity to do anything interesting with the arrangement. Harry Connick Jr. was an above-average guest mentor but even he couldn’t coax a gem out of some of the Idol wannabes. Read on for this week’s full power rankings. … Read More

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American Idol Power Rankings: The Top 7

The theme of last night’s Idol was “inspirational songs” and, overall, the show was short on inspiration. Most of the contestants seemed to have phoned it in, choosing trite, cheesy songs that did little to disprove naysayers who claim this season is seriously lacking in talent.

The one bright spot: Crystal Bowersox, whose moving take on “People Get Ready” proved she is worthy of the hype surrounding her prospects of winning. Like Carrie Underwood, Idol’s last big success, Crystal seems very in touch with who she is as a performer (and it probably won’t hurt that she’s turning out to be a true genre artist). Read on for our top 7 power rankings. … Read More

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American Idol Power Rankings: The Top 9 (Redux)

Last night on Idol, the remaining nine contestants (yep, there’s still nine of ‘em; Michael Lynche was saved from the jaws of defeat by the judges) took on the songs of Elvis Presley. Like The Beatles’ songbook, tackling Elvis’ catalog can be tricky. Many of these songs are so iconic that it can be difficult to reinterpret them. As a result, there was a whole lot of karaoke cum Glee happening on the Idol stage last night.

With a few exceptions, many of the contestants’ performances came off as boring and completely uninspired. The biggest shocker of the evening was Tim Urban’s phenomenal take on “Can’t Help Falling In Love.” This had “disaster” written all over it (after all, it’s one of the King’s classics), but Tim managed to totally update the song and really make it his own. Did your Idol fave make the top of this week’s power rankings? Read on to find out. … Read More

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