Piano Pop Best Bet: Ben Folds/GR Symphony

Written by Lindsay Patton | Tuesday, 23 September 2014 15:55 |

There isn't really anyone on this planet that can make a song about abortion as endearing as Ben Folds can. Likewise, Folds is one of a few musicians on this planet that can make the suburbs sound exciting. (The other being Arcade Fire.)

Folk Best Bet: Ani DiFranco

Written by Emma Kat Richardson | Tuesday, 23 September 2014 15:54 |

Oh, Ani. Fair-weather fan followers of the Lilith phenomenon may have long since stopped swooning at the sound of your name, but we, the faithful, have never wavered in our loyalty to our queen.

Punk Best Bet: X

Written by Emma Kat Richardson | Monday, 25 August 2014 13:44 |

Any true-blue punk rocker worth his or her weight in metal-studded leather cuffs has to be trembling with anticipation over this most unlikely of reunions. Oh sure, seminal West Coast punk band X has been touring again as a united force since the early 2000s, but after a series of lineup changes and its eventual disbandment in the ‘90s, many hardcore fans had given up hope of ever seeing X’s original members ruling the punk-rock realm together on the same stage.

Rock Best Bet: The Black Keys

Written by Emma Kat Richardson | Monday, 25 August 2014 13:39 |

For such a tiny band, The Black Keys sure are capable of producing a massively huge sound. And that’s exactly the thing the group’s fans love it for – the keen, sly ability to create so much with so little.

Indie Best Bet: Owen Pallett

Written by Emma Kat Richardson | Monday, 25 August 2014 13:37 |

With the obvious exception of anybody and anything associated with Justin Bieber and Nickelback, all Canadians are awesome. It’s practically a law of physics. (Call it the Kindly Canuck Theory of Charming Relativity, if you must.) That’s why we’re so excited for Owen Pallett’s forthcoming Calvin College show.

Comedy Best Bet: Mike Birbiglia

Written by Emma Kat Richardson | Monday, 25 August 2014 13:35 |

Comedian Mike Birbiglia has been on the roll to end all rolls for the last several years. It all started with his critically acclaimed one-man show, Sleep Walk With Me, and cascaded right into his current touring pièce de résistance, Thank God for Jokes.

Jazz Best Bet: Chick Corea

Written by Emma Kat Richardson | Monday, 25 August 2014 13:30 |

 One problem our planet faces every day is a definitive lack of truly great jazz keyboardists. Is this dearth of instrument-specific talent a greater threat to the survival of humanity than, say, the clean water shortage? Well, probably not, but still, it’s nice to look at accomplished members of our society to gauge just how far we’ve come as a species. And that’s where Chick Corea comes in.

Indie Best Bet: Rodrigo y Gabriela

Written by Emma Kat Richardson | Friday, 25 July 2014 15:10 |

Now, here’s a combination as peculiar as salt and pepper on top of chocolate ice cream: jazz, metal and world music fusion. But one particular ingredient serves to spice up this delectable array of oddly paired musical genres, and that’s the sweet sounds of an acoustic Spanish guitar.

Pop Best Bet: Katy Perry

Written by Emma Kat Richardson | Friday, 25 July 2014 15:07 |

We all remember back when Katy Perry was experiencing her first same-sex kiss, couldn’t wait to tell the world with a giggle, a flourish of blushing, hair twirling and that she’d actually liked it.

Rock Best Bet: Halestorm

Written by Emma Kat Richardson | Friday, 25 July 2014 15:05 |

Amid a sea of sweaty dude bros and popping jugular veins, it’s more than a little refreshing to encounter a ballsy female fronting an aggro-rock muscle band. The front-woman in question here is Elizabeth “Lzzy” Hale, and along with her band Halestorm, she’s been spending the past decade-plus carving out some pretty badass territory for herself.

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