carl wilson

“Blender”: A Look Back

Well, the big story this week was probably the shuttering of Blender, the pop magazine who suffered the one-two punch of being a printed entity about music in 2009. Blender‘s overarching popism was a big influence on Idolator from the time of its launch in 2006, and even as the death spiral of ad pages resulted in its once-mighty reviews section being whittled down to a handful of 130-word blurbs, I admired its spunk and willingness to reach across the musical comfort zones that divide people more often than not these days, if not always its choices of “hot,” vaguely music-related cover subjects. After the jump, thoughts on the Blender closure from a smattering of people around the Internet, many of whom saw their bylines appear in the magazine’s pages at one time or another.

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Wilson On “Colbert” On Celine

James Franco’s name-check of Carl Wilson’s ode to Celine Dion’s Let’s Talk About Love on the Oscars’ red carpet was an unexpected brush with the mainstream for Wilson’s tome, not to mention the 33 1/3 “book-an-album” series. Las night, Wilson appeared on The Colbert Report to discuss his book, which I am anxious to squeeze into my heavy work schedule of writing one day a week, typing my grandpa’s memoirs, thinking about starting to finish my final portfolio, and playing Fable II on my Xbox 360.

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Tonight on The Colbert Report: Toronto Globe &… More »



Carl Wilson on Tonight’s ‘The Colbert Report’

Tonight on The Colbert Report: Toronto Globe &… More »


James Franco Journeys To The End Of Taste


It was a good night for Idolator faves at the Oscars last night. A.R. Rahman won twice, both for his original score and for the song “Jai Ho” from Slumdog Millionaire. But you know that already. You might not know about James Franco.

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80 ’08 (and Heartbreak): Announcing Idolator’s Year-End Extravaganza

What were the 80 most important musical recordings, artists, trends, events, and performances of 2008? What were the eight things this year that broke our hearts—or, at least, our ears? We’re happy to announce 80 ’08 (and Heartbreak), Idolator’s year-end overview. The list is below the jump.

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No. 25: John Darnielle’s “Master of Reality” And Carl Wilson’s “Let’s Talk About Love: A Journey To The End Of Taste”

Back when Continuum first announced its 33 1/3 series of short books about classic rock albums, I imagined a veritable explosion of styles and critical approaches that might emerge. Well, not exactly: though the series has included some fiction and some formal experiments, many of the books follow the same basic paths of close-reading, autobiography, or an ungainly combination thereof. But 2008’s crop includes what may be the two best titles the series will ever release—one is fiction, while the other combines close reading, autobiography, and a bit of formal experiment.

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Ann Powers And A Gang Of Bloggers Ask: Whose “Idol” Is It?

Usually, we use The Last Word to round up the all-important, all-summarizing last sentences of the biggest new-music reviews, but this week we’d like to focus attention on responses to Ann Powers’ recent L.A. Times think piece on “poptimism,” a.k.a. critics paying serious attention to mainstream pop music, a.k.a. critics doing (one of) their jobs. In particular, Powers’ discussion of covering American Idol as a music-news story has become something of a bloggers’ chew toy. Below the jump, a bit from Powers’ original piece and some choice blog responses.

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The Trouble With Indie Music

If you read just one response to Sasha Frere-Jones’ attempt to ramp up his Google Blog Search hits, make it Carl Wilson’s argument in Slate that the problem facing indie–aside from the fact that it’s a “genre” with boundaries that are seemingly defined by the biases and record collections of… More »



If you read just one response to Sasha Frere-Jones’ attempt to ramp up his Google Blog Search hits, make it Carl Wilson’s argument in Slate that the problem facing indie–aside from the fact that it’s a “genre” with boundaries that are seemingly defined by the biases and record collections of… More »


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