Maura Johnston

Music editor for The Village Voice

Maura Johnston appears in the following:

Scritti Politti And The Punk/Pop Inflection Point

Thursday, February 13, 2020

For "One-Hit Wonders/Second-Best Songs," veteran music writer Maura Johnston recommends "The Sweetest Girl" by the band Scritti Politti. They're known mostly for their 1985 hit "Perfect Way."


The Go-Betweens' Perfect Pop Cracked Open

Wednesday, December 04, 2019

The Go-Betweens made music that hit people's pop-pleasure receptors in an almost sneaky, definitely brainy sort of way. The band's second anthology hints at what might have been.


In Book, Andrew Ridgeley Pays Tribute To George Michael And A More Innocent Pop Era

Thursday, October 10, 2019

In WHAM!, the singer-songwriter reminds readers of Michael's songwriting genius, often overlooked by pop-averse critics and taken for granted by listeners who gorged on the hooky riches of the '80s.


'Since U Been Gone': The Crossover Pop Needed, The Anthem Rock Deserved

Thursday, August 30, 2018

The Kelly Clarkson smash wasn't just a great pop song: In 2004 it was a cultural bellwether, a sign that the walls between mainstream and underground were starting to crack.


Summer Of '93: Maura Johnston's Essential Albums

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Writer Maura Johnston talks about some of her favorite music from the summer of 1993, including The Smashing Pumpkins' Siamese Dream, PJ Harvey's Rid of Me, The Breeders' Last Splash,...


Summer Of '93: Detroit's Music Scene; !!! In The Studio; More

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Soundcheck continues its look back 20 years ago with music writer Maura Johnston, who shares a few of her favorite album picks from the summer of 1993 including alternative rock album...

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A Salute To The Art Of Music Videos

Tuesday, April 09, 2013

Maura Johnston reviews “Spectacle: The Music Video'' at the Museum of the Moving Image in Astoria.

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Music Video Memories; Lucius Wears Green; ‘Requiem for a Dream’ and ‘The Wrestler’ Composer Clint Mansell

Tuesday, April 09, 2013

In this episode: Writer Maura Johnston joins us to give her take on a new music video exhibit at the Museum of the Moving Image – and listeners tell us about the music video that first made an impression on them.

Plus: Brooklyn indie rock quintet Lucius stops by our studio – decked out in festive green – to play live.

And: We talk with composer and musician Clint Mansell, who wrote the music for films like Stoker, Requiem for a Dream and The Wrestler.

First Listen: Marnie Stern, 'The Chronicles Of Marnia'

Sunday, March 03, 2013

When people talk about Marnie Stern, they generally focus on her guitar playing. This is understandable; like Eddie Van Halen, she's an adept fingertapper, creating blindingly fast riffs that float like bubbles, even as they speed along at Malmsteenian notes-per-second. But the focus on her artistry elides the fact that ...


Oh, The Agony! The Worst Music Of 2012

Friday, December 28, 2012

Enough about the good stuff! We turn our music survey on its head and ask music critic Maura Johnston and SPIN senior editor Chris Weingarten about the music that made them writhe in ...

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Critics Look Back At 2012: The Worst Of The Year (And Some Good Stuff Too)

Friday, December 28, 2012

NPR Music critic Ann Powers joins us to look at what topped her her list in 2012, including one very sexy slow jam. Then, we turn the Soundcheck 2012 Music Survey on its head and asks...

The Boy Band Is Back

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Last week, British boy band One Direction debuted at the top of the U.S. album chart with their album “Up All Night” – a one-two punch for teen idols and British artists alike. Today, we’re joined by Village Voice music editor Maura Johnston and Slate and Rolling Stone music critic Jody Rosen to discuss the cyclical nature of boy bands… and to take an international look at the young heartthrobs singing and dancing their way into tween hearts worldwide.

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Pick Three: Holiday Edition

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Village Voice music editor Maura Johnston joins us with three must-listens for this holiday season.

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Wednesday, December 07, 2011

It’s a Christmas pop hit with such ubiquity that hundreds of people have joined a challenge this year to dodge it coming from radios, televisions and choruses this season. Today, we explore the power of The Little Drummer Boy – from its “Carol of the Drum” origins to its ability to bring together David Bowie and Bing Crosby in one very memorable performance. Village Voice music editor Maura Johnston joins us along with challenge founder Michael Peck. Plus, Emmy-winning composer and lyricist Alan "Buz" Kohan joins us to share the story of how the famous David Bowie and Bing Crosby duet of "Peace on Earth/The Little Drummer Boy" came to be.

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Waiting for the Sandman

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Lou Reed and Metallica have just released this year’s frontrunner for strangest musical collaboration: Lulu, a 10-song album inspired by the work of German Expressionist playwright Frank Wedekind. We get reactions from Maura Johnston of the Village Voice and Phil Freeman, music writer and editor of Plus, Maura and Phil help us explore unusual musical partnerships – and they offer their picks of the good and not so good.

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Smackdown: The Most Influential Person in Music in 25 Years

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Last week, in response to Steve Jobs’ announcement that he’s stepping down from Apple, our host John Schaefer wrote this on his blog: “Steve Jobs has probably had more of an impact on the music world than any other person in the last quarter century - and possibly since Thomas Edison.” Needless to say, not everyone agreed with his statement. Today, we explore just how important has Steve Jobs been to the music world – and, if he’s NOT the most influential person in music in the past 25 years … who is? Rolling Stone managing deputy editor Nathan Brackett and Village Voice music editor Maura Johnston join us to discuss. Plus, we’ll take calls from our listeners.

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Year to Remember: 1992

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

When historians reflect on the 1990s and popular music, 1991 tends to get all the glory. After all, it was the breakthrough year for Nirvana, the genre-hopping Lollapalooza music festival, and a slate of progressive hip hop artists led by A Tribe Called Quest. But Village Voice music editor Maura Johnston has another year in mind: 1992. In the next installment of our "Year to Remember" series, Johnston joins us to discuss the year that brought us not one, but three classic debuts: Pavement's "Slanted and Enchanted," Mary J. Blige's "What's the 411?" and PJ Harvey's "Dry."

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Iconic Locks

Thursday, April 28, 2011

From David Bowie's ever-evolving flaming red 'do to Justin Bieber's perfectly swooped locks, musicians often sport eclectic and trend-setting hair styles. Today, we explore the past and present of iconic hairdos with Maura Johnston, music editor for The Village Voice, and  Christina Christoforou, illustrator of the new book, "Whose Hair?" Plus, we'll be joined by hair stylist and creator of the Ziggy Stardust mullet, Suzi Ronson, and musician Mike Score of A Flock of Seagulls-- whose hair we don't quite know how to describe. 

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New Study: Narcissistic Culture Leads to Narcissistic Lyrics

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Pop lyrics seem to have taken a turn towards the "me" and "I" variety, according to a new study. The study analyzed three decades of songs, and concluded that song lyrics have become more narcissistic in recent years, reflecting current youth culture. Is that really true? Maura Johnston, music editor for The Village Voice, lends her thoughts on this topic.

We want to know: Do you believe you are narcissistic? Take this test and find out.

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American Idols Gear Up

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

American Idol's tenth season has been underway for a few weeks, but tonight the auditions have been whittled down to 24 semi-finalists. Viewers are waiting to see how the singers fare -- and they also have their eyes on this season's new judges. Popdust writer Maura Johnston joins us to explain how this new season is shaping up. Plus, she shares her early favorites.

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