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Idol Season 9 Finale: Idol Jumps Shark

Michael Giltz | Posted 05.25.2011 | Entertainment
Michael Giltz

In what even ardent fans must admit was the least musically exciting, least dramatic finale in Idol history, Crystal Bowersox received nothing but praise.

The Justin Bieber Phenomenon - Social Media on Steroids

Sheila Shayon | Posted 05.25.2011 | Media
Sheila Shayon

Justin Bieber is arguably the biggest pop star ever launched by YouTube. Bieber's personal brand has leveraged social media to new heights...or is it lows?

Does America Also Need Cultural Health Care?

Rob Patterson | Posted 05.25.2011 | Entertainment
Rob Patterson

The majors were an almost ghostly presence at SXSW 2010. The indies have now seized the day within the leading-edge music market.

Idol Season 9: Top 11 -- Paige Making Top 10? Only Against All Odds

Michael Giltz | Posted 05.25.2011 | Entertainment
Michael Giltz

American Idol week now begins on Mondays, when the contestant who just left the show appears on the Late Show With David Letterman.

"Bruises Over My Body" @ SXSW

Marianne Dissard | Posted 05.25.2011 | Entertainment
Marianne Dissard

I made my way through an interview that went on way too long but I needed to talk to deafen the hum of the festival, talk to be heard, even if by one person.

Tearing Down the Walls: In Praise of Joe Henry

Leonce Gaiter | Posted 05.25.2011 | Entertainment
Leonce Gaiter

If you don't know him, check out Joe Henry. He is a shockingly talented man making music that can make you giddy. He is a shockingly talented man who can break your heart.

Idol Season 9: Top 12 -- Rolling Stones Night

Michael Giltz | Posted 05.25.2011 | Entertainment
Michael Giltz

American Idol moved to a bigger stage this week as the Top 12 tackled the Rolling Stones. Ryan stared down Simon, Simon gave Crystal Bowersox some helpful tips and the kids were alright.

Sharon Jones Made It The Hard Way

Michael Giltz | Posted 05.25.2011 | Entertainment
Michael Giltz

Soul singer extraordinaire Sharon Jones is on top of the world. A recent duet on Saturday Night Live with Michael Buble was so anticipated that her Da...

Idol Season 9: Top 4 -- Big Goodbye for Big Mike

Michael Giltz | Posted 05.25.2011 | Entertainment
Michael Giltz

So is it clear cut that Crystal and Lee will be the finalists, or can Casey sneak in there? And is it foolish to think Crystal is a lock when last season most people thought the same about Adam Lambert?

Idol Season 9: Top 4 -- Crystal Back in Action

Michael Giltz | Posted 05.25.2011 | Entertainment
Michael Giltz

It was movie night on American Idol and Crystal Bowersox appeared in her own production of A Star Is (Re)Born. Any questions as to whether she would make it to the winner's circle are over.

Take on She: My Wife's Obsession With A-Ha And How I Got Sucked Into the Madness

Tony Sachs | Posted 05.25.2011 | Entertainment
Tony Sachs

If you're American, you know a-ha -- if you know them at all -- as the purveyors of the bubbly and infectious 1985 synth-pop hit "Take On Me."

Idol Season 9: Top 16 Elimination: Meet The Top 12

Michael Giltz | Posted 05.25.2011 | Entertainment
Michael Giltz

Four more contestants were eliminated on American Idol. So this is the Top 12, the performers who get to go on tour and get a shot at a career of some sort.

Idol Season 9: Top 16 -- The Women

Michael Giltz | Posted 05.25.2011 | Entertainment
Michael Giltz

Half of Idol's women are vulnerable and only two have to go home, with Katie Stevens almost certain to be one of them.

Green Concert of the Year: Dave Matthews Headlines Music Bash to End Mountaintop Removal

Jeff Biggers | Posted 05.25.2011 | Green
Jeff Biggers

"The green rolling hills of West Virginia Are the nearest thing to heaven that I know But someday I'll go back to west Virginia To the green rolling h...

Idol Season 9: Top 20 -- The Elimination

Michael Giltz | Posted 05.25.2011 | Entertainment
Michael Giltz

Last night's show began with another godawful lip-synced group performance. The group performances, with 20 folks crowding the stage, invariably have a painful 'Up With People' aura about them.

Exclusive: Midlake On "The Courage Of Others"

Michael Giltz | Posted 05.25.2011 | Entertainment
Michael Giltz

The bandmembers of Midlake have finally emerged almost four years after their last CD with The Courage Of Others, a quieter, moodier and genuinely beautiful album.

Idol Season 9: Top 20 -- The Women

Michael Giltz | Posted 05.25.2011 | Entertainment
Michael Giltz

The women took to the stage and after a very strong Crystal Bowersox, so many of the women crashed and burned that the not-bad women towards the end seemed pretty good in comparison.

Idol Season 9: Top 20 -- The Men

Michael Giltz | Posted 05.25.2011 | Entertainment
Michael Giltz

A good improvement for a number of men this week on American Idol ... but then, so many of them had so much room for improvement.

Idol Needs Me, Says Producer Steve Lillywhite

Michael Giltz | Posted 05.25.2011 | Entertainment
Michael Giltz

What began as an off-handed comment by a fan on Facebook has blossomed into a full-blown campaign to replace Simon Cowell with legendary British producer Steve Lillywhite.

Idol Season 9: Top 24 -- The First Elimination

Michael Giltz | Posted 05.25.2011 | Entertainment
Michael Giltz

American Idol contestants faced their first possible elimination on Thursday night and no wonder so many of them looked freaked: very, very few of them have given performances that stand out.

Idol Season 9: Top 24 -- The Men

Michael Giltz | Posted 05.25.2011 | Entertainment
Michael Giltz

The judges touted the women but the men on American Idol offered a little more positive news in their first live performances.

Idol Season 9: Top 24 -- The Women

Michael Giltz | Posted 05.25.2011 | Entertainment
Michael Giltz

Crystal Bowersox was an instant standout from the moment she began singing. She was her own woman, and there was a harmonica break!

American Idol Season 9: Top 24 Named, Part 2

Michael Giltz | Posted 05.25.2011 | Entertainment
Michael Giltz

One storyline is clear in this season of American Idol: happy thoughts. In the midst of a recession, the producers clearly believe people want to hear good news.

Idol Season 9: Top 24 Named, Part 1

Michael Giltz | Posted 05.25.2011 | Entertainment
Michael Giltz

It remains frustrating how little of the performances we actually see. If Lost can launch an entire university online devoted to its backstory, why can't Idol post every single audition that snags a golden ticket?

The Best CDs of 2009: It's Never Too Late to Hear Great Music

Michael Giltz | Posted 05.25.2011 | Entertainment
Michael Giltz

It's never too late to get a recommendation for great music. So here are my picks for the best albums of 2009.