Maura Johnston

Music editor for The Village Voice

Maura Johnston appears in the following:

Chart Wars

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Who determines a hit? Last week, the Billboard charts met a new challenger. The Ultimate Chart ranks artists and singles not just by sales and airplay, but also by their status on streaming services and social networks. In a Soundcheck Smackdown, critics debate whether any pop chart can quantify success in the digital age. Later, Norwegian singer songwriter Sondre Lerche plays songs from his latest album, "Heartbeat Radio," live in our studio.


The Best of 2010...So Far

Thursday, July 08, 2010

With 2010 halfway over, Soundcheck's music critics have selected the top 10 must-listen recordings of the year so far. Joining us to look at the period from January through June are Maura Johnston, freelance music writer, and Steve Smith, music editor of Time Out New York.

Comments [18]

Smackdown: Reunion Fever

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Dormant rock acts like Pavement, Soundgarden and Faith No More are reuniting for summer tours. But as music writer Michael Azerrad explains, not all fans want their favorite musicians...

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The Kids Are Alright

Monday, April 19, 2010

The current No. 1 album in America is the work of an elfin youth barely old enough to shave. Today, we hear about the Justin Bieber juggernaut from Los Angeles Times staff writer Amy Kaufman. Then, we look at the history of teen idols in pop music with Howie Dorough ...

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This song is brought to you by...

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Lady Gaga's new music video for "Telephone" is raising product placement to a grotesque degree: Ten brands appear in the 9-minute video, including Virgin Mobile, Hewlett Packard, and Chevrolet. While that may be an extreme example, many artists are increasingly selling their image and songs to products. Some say these ...

Comments [42]

Google: Music's Friend or Foe?

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Google is poised to become a major player in the music industry. But the company with the “don’t be evil” motto is drawing criticism for its relationship with major labels and copyright detectives. Jon Healey of the Los Angeles Times explains Google’s rapid expansion into music. Then, writer Maura Johnston ...

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Smackdown: The Halftime Show

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Lampooned and celebrated in equal measure, Super Bowl halftime shows are a lightning rod. Some of the biggest stars in music take the stage -- but not without controversy. Performances can be underwhelming, predictable and even censored. (Or not, in the case of Janet Jackson's wardrobe malfunction in 2004.) As ...

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Music Industry Selling More Tracks, Fewer Albums

Friday, January 08, 2010

The music industry hit a peak in the '90s, but never quite recovered from the advent of mp3s and online filesharing. Yesterday, Nielsen, the company that keeps tabs on physical and di...


Critics' Week: The Decade in Pop Music

Monday, December 14, 2009

Today, Soundcheck launches Critics' Week, an in-depth survey of the past decade in music. We begin by exploring how pop music reacted to the age of iTunes, Youtube and the 99-cent single. Joining us with her reactions is the freelance music writer Maura Johnston. Also on the show: Julian Lennon. ...

Michael Jackson Site Launches New Single: 'This is It'

Monday, October 12, 2009

He died in June, but Michael Jackson is still selling lots of music. Early this morning went live with the new single, "This is It." How long will Michael Jackson's...


Celebrity Tastemakers

Monday, September 14, 2009

Oprah Winfrey is kicking off her show's fall season with sit-down interviews with pop stars like Jay Z, Mariah Carey and Whitney Houston. Another talk show host, Ellen DeGeneres, will determine the fate of contestants on the next season of American Idol. Today, a look at how media celebrities outside ...

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Is One Song Enough?

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

The world's four biggest music companies are set to face off with Apple in a war of competing "digital album" formats. But Radiohead's Thom Yorke, leader of one of the most influential bands in rock, says making albums can be "creative hoo-ha." Today: Maura Johnston of music blog Idolator and ...

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Streaming Music on the Internet

Thursday, July 23, 2009

In the last 20 years the music industry has changed a lot: from vinyl to tapes to CDs and now streaming. Streaming is free music available online, but it is not downloaded so you don'...

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Soundcheck Smackdown: Music magazines: elite or obsolete?

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Hip-hop and R&B magazine Vibe shut down last week, the latest victim in a series of music magazines like Blender, Harp, No Depression and Jazz Times that have folded in recent months. Some say that is a huge loss for in-depth music writing. Others argue they became dinosaurs in a ...

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State of the Art: The Music Video

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Not long ago, MTV and major labels dropped music videos. Now, videos are experiencing a renaissance online as artists -- and their fans -- take control of the medium. In our second broadcast from the Jerome L. Greene Performance Space, we debate the state of music videos with Rik ...

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Must-See Summer Concerts

Thursday, May 28, 2009

One of the best things about summer in New York City is the music. Blonde Redhead (pictured) are just one of the many acts playing free concerts in the city in the coming months. We preview don't-miss concerts, including festivals like River to River, Celebrate Brooklyn, and Central Park's SummerStage ...

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Soundcheck Smackdown: Kelly Clarkson

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Kelly Clarkson has claimed to have broken up with the American Idol machine that spawned her - to the point of rebelling against mogul producer Clive Davis and titling her second album "Breakaway". On today's Soundcheck Smackdown, Ricardo Baca, pop music critic for the Denver Post, and Maura Johnston, editor ...

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Live Albums on Life Support

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Back in the swingin’ ‘70s, Peter Frampton won his fanbase on the strength of "Frampton Comes Alive." Today's concert recordings and DVDs don’t pack the same punch -- they often round out "deluxe editions" and pad record contracts. In another Soundcheck Smackdown, we debate the live album format with writer ...

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