Jess Harvell

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Why The Misfits Are The Most Mythic Of All New Jersey Artists

misfits_81Creation Records founder/Guardian music scribe Alan McGee thinks that Bon Jovi should be among New Jersey’s musical/cultural ambassadors to the world. Well, Bon Jovi is better than The Sopranos, by which I mean Bon Jovi has given us more emotional/historical signposts to cling to than Tony et al. But Bon Jovi is hardly the emblematic New Jersey band of the ’80s, let alone the one that should continue to represent the state into the new millennium. Because the greatest New Jersey bands of the last few decades have worked in an idiom laid down by the quartet that made art from the Garden State’s late 20th-century ability to turn anything into junk food: the Misfits. More »

misfits_81Creation Records founder/Guardian music scribe Alan McGee thinks that Bon Jovi should be among New Jersey’s musical/cultural ambassadors to the world. Well, Bon Jovi is better than The Sopranos, by which I mean Bon Jovi has given us more emotional/historical signposts to cling to than Tony et al. But Bon Jovi is hardly the emblematic New Jersey band of the ’80s, let alone the one that should continue to represent the state into the new millennium. Because the greatest New Jersey bands of the last few decades have worked in an idiom laid down by the quartet that made art from the Garden State’s late 20th-century ability to turn anything into junk food: the Misfits. More »

Idolator Asks: What Was the Last Pop Moment That Made You Feel Your Age?

So this weekend, while getting my breakfast at a local coffee shop, Semisonic’s “Closing Time” came on the radio. The girl behind the counter, whose age I’d have pegged at 17 tops, quickly turned it up: “Oh, I love this song!” Somewhere between fishing my $3.13 out of my pocket and walking out the door with my bagel and coffee, three thoughts occurred to me: No. 1, “This girl was just entering kindergarten when this song was new.” No. 2, “Holy crap…where has the last decade gone?” And knowing I would be blogging this week No. 3, “I can’t be the only Idolator reader experiencing this sensation on a semi-regular basis these days.” Right?

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So this weekend, while getting my breakfast at a local coffee shop, Semisonic’s “Closing Time” came on the radio. The girl behind the counter, whose age I’d have pegged at 17 tops, quickly turned it up: “Oh, I love this song!” Somewhere between fishing my $3.13 out of my pocket and walking out the door with my bagel and coffee, three thoughts occurred to me: No. 1, “This girl was just entering kindergarten when this song was new.” No. 2, “Holy crap…where has the last decade gone?” And knowing I would be blogging this week No. 3, “I can’t be the only Idolator reader experiencing this sensation on a semi-regular basis these days.” Right?

More »

People Missed Phish (Sometimes A Lot)

Our look at the closing lines of the week’s biggest reviews continues with several enthused recaps of this weekend’s shows from reunited jam band giants Phish. Actually it’s more “choice lines” than “closing lines,” since a lot of the closing lines were actually set lists.

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Our look at the closing lines of the week’s biggest reviews continues with several enthused recaps of this weekend’s shows from reunited jam band giants Phish. Actually it’s more “choice lines” than “closing lines,” since a lot of the closing lines were actually set lists.

More »


Asher Roth: Can/Will 2009 Go Lower Than “I Love College”?

Y’all are familiar with this doofus and his shtick right? Young and preppy white dude rapper with enough post-alt appeal and self-awareness to avoid instantly being binned as straight-up novelty. Wrote a dopey-ass song called “I Love College” — his alma mater happens to be in my home town — so chillax in its bro-friendly stoopidity that it makes the Uncle Kracker oeuvre sound like a gabba remix of “Brass Monkey.” Extols virtues of watery domestics, poor but vigorous dancing, and capturing frat ragers and/or sex with sorority sisters on cell phone cameras. My pal Michaelangelo Matos recently wrote of Roth’s probable (currently No. 22 and rising) hit: “Let’s hope these remain [the year’s] longest four minutes.” Now I am no fan of Mr. Roth’s. But it’s only the second week of March. Surely we can come up with a stinker worse than “I Love College.” Right? Five ideas for possible 2008 hits that would have me instantly covering my ears/spinning the dial/putting my fist through the TV* after the jump.

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Y’all are familiar with this doofus and his shtick right? Young and preppy white dude rapper with enough post-alt appeal and self-awareness to avoid instantly being binned as straight-up novelty. Wrote a dopey-ass song called “I Love College” — his alma mater happens to be in my home town — so chillax in its bro-friendly stoopidity that it makes the Uncle Kracker oeuvre sound like a gabba remix of “Brass Monkey.” Extols virtues of watery domestics, poor but vigorous dancing, and capturing frat ragers and/or sex with sorority sisters on cell phone cameras. My pal Michaelangelo Matos recently wrote of Roth’s probable (currently No. 22 and rising) hit: “Let’s hope these remain [the year’s] longest four minutes.” Now I am no fan of Mr. Roth’s. But it’s only the second week of March. Surely we can come up with a stinker worse than “I Love College.” Right? Five ideas for possible 2008 hits that would have me instantly covering my ears/spinning the dial/putting my fist through the TV* after the jump.

More »

Eminem and Pals are S.O.L. When It Comes to Song Royalties

As you may recall, F.B.T. Productions, the company which handles Mr. Marshall Mathers’ still profitable back catalog, recently went to court with Universal Music Group over digital royalties. F.B.T. claimed that the ability to mass produce digital copies from a single download meant that F.B.T. were entitled to a larger royalty rate for a song sold online than what they’re currently getting. Like…up to 50 percent. But F.B.T., Eminem, and UMG’s other artistes can apparently go kick rocks according to a Los Angeles jury, which decided the claims were bunk.

More »

As you may recall, F.B.T. Productions, the company which handles Mr. Marshall Mathers’ still profitable back catalog, recently went to court with Universal Music Group over digital royalties. F.B.T. claimed that the ability to mass produce digital copies from a single download meant that F.B.T. were entitled to a larger royalty rate for a song sold online than what they’re currently getting. Like…up to 50 percent. But F.B.T., Eminem, and UMG’s other artistes can apparently go kick rocks according to a Los Angeles jury, which decided the claims were bunk.

More »

The N.W.A. Biopic: Will It Surpass Bone Thugs-n-Harmony’s “I Tried”?

Because any cultural phenomenon can now go from “destroying the fabric of polite society” to “ready for the multiplex” in two decades or less, the epic journey of gangsta rap pioneers N.W.A. is supposedly being condensed to 120 minutes of fun as I type this post. Hip-hop biopics have quite the ignoble history, with “enjoyably schlocky” being the best thing you can say about 95 percent of them. (Not that musical biopics as whole have a much better strike rate.) But at least Straight Outta Compton seems to have N.W.A.’s creative core on board, which gives one at least a teensy bit of hope.

More »

Because any cultural phenomenon can now go from “destroying the fabric of polite society” to “ready for the multiplex” in two decades or less, the epic journey of gangsta rap pioneers N.W.A. is supposedly being condensed to 120 minutes of fun as I type this post. Hip-hop biopics have quite the ignoble history, with “enjoyably schlocky” being the best thing you can say about 95 percent of them. (Not that musical biopics as whole have a much better strike rate.) But at least Straight Outta Compton seems to have N.W.A.’s creative core on board, which gives one at least a teensy bit of hope.

More »


An important update from M.I.A. via her MySpace… More »

An important update from M.I.A. via her MySpace… More »

M.I.A.’s Baby Not Named “Ickitt”

An important update from M.I.A. via her MySpace… More »

An important update from M.I.A. via her MySpace… More »

U2: They Have (Some) Tour Dates Now

Though if you live in North America, care that much about U2 at this late date, and actually have the scratch for stadium rock tickets, you’ll still have to wait for the full U.S./Canadian itinerary to plan your early autumn fun. As of right now, the band has only announced dates for Chicago, Toronto, Boston, and New York in September, with further gigs on this continent to be announced…soonish. Tickets will also be “on sale soon,” but if you happen to be in Milan or Amsterdam or Gothenburg, they’ll be on sale…this weekend! OMG. Etc. All the Euro/U.S. dates we have at the moment after the jump if you dare.

More »

Though if you live in North America, care that much about U2 at this late date, and actually have the scratch for stadium rock tickets, you’ll still have to wait for the full U.S./Canadian itinerary to plan your early autumn fun. As of right now, the band has only announced dates for Chicago, Toronto, Boston, and New York in September, with further gigs on this continent to be announced…soonish. Tickets will also be “on sale soon,” but if you happen to be in Milan or Amsterdam or Gothenburg, they’ll be on sale…this weekend! OMG. Etc. All the Euro/U.S. dates we have at the moment after the jump if you dare.

More »


Coolio was busted for suspicion of having a… More »

Coolio was busted for suspicion of having a… More »


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