Ben Westhoff

  • Blogs

    April 22, 2014

    Coachella 2014's Best Moments, Weekend Two

    Billie Joe Armstrong Joins The Replacements Early in The Replacement's Friday night set, Paul Westerberg welcomed Green Day's Billie Joe Armstrong as their honorary member. Armstrong, matching the rest of the band in plaid suits, seemed beyond giddy to be onstage with his idols, joking "Dreams real ... More >>

  • Blogs

    April 21, 2014

    Coachella 2014's Worst Moments, Weekend Two

    Trash While you were busy basking in the Coachella sun, the festival's fleet of custodians -- many of whom looked to be in their teens -- were running around the grounds, soaked in sweat, picking up your trash. We talked to a few, and not only do these guys get paid poorly, they get paid by the bag. ... More >>

  • Blogs

    April 15, 2014

    Coachella 2014's Worst Moments

    Coachella's first weekend was amazing this year! Except when it wasn't. Here are the parts of the festival that rubbed us the wrong way. Saturday Night dust storm Conditions may not have been as bad as they were during last year's Red Hot Chili Peppers set, but Saturday night's dusty conditions we ... More >>

  • Blogs

    April 14, 2014

    Coachella 2014's Cutest Couples

    There are certainly plenty of single people wandering around the Coachella grounds; the volume of Craiglist "casual encounters" can attest to that. But there are also tons of couples, the vast majority of whom are completely adorable. Here are the cutest we saw. See also: Coachella 2014: Funniest ... More >>

  • Blogs

    April 15, 2013

    Coachella 2013: Five Worst Moments of Weekend One

    Daft Punk Fake-Out Friday and Saturday, all anyone could talk about was if Daft Punk was going to show up during Phoenix's set. Why? Because we were fucking teased. On the main stage before the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, a long commercial for their new album played, and then we found out that members of the ... More >>

  • Blogs

    April 23, 2012

    Top Ten Dance Moves at Coachella 2012 in Animated GIF!

    See "Crossfade's Top Ten Dance Moves at Ultra Music Festival in Animated GIF!" -- plus LA Weekly's West Coast Sound for tons more Coachella 2012 coverage. At Coachella, folks come from all over the world to lose themselves in the music. They'll employ almost anything in this quest. But mostly drugs ... More >>

  • Blogs

    April 16, 2012

    Coachella 2012: Snoop Dogg, Dr. Dre, and Other Top Moments From Sunday, April 15

    See the video of Tupac Amaru Shakur's resurrection-slash-performance at Coachella; a six-point recap from Friday, April 13; and the top moments from Saturday, April 14 -- plus "Top Ten Awkward Coachella Dance Move GIFs." Wow, that was fast! In a whirlwind of top-notch performances from legends and ... More >>

  • Blogs

    March 19, 2012

    The Worst Moments from SXSW 2012

    The last few days, Village Voice Media's indefatigable music staff has been regaling you with stories of the best from SXSW 2012. In the midst of these discoveries, we've been culling another list: the worst shit. The acts that ranged from huge bore-fests to downright lame. Below, you'll find our cr ... More >>

  • Blogs

    March 18, 2012

    The Best of SXSW Music: Saturday 3/17/2012

    So, we come to it: the end of all things. Four days of madness, Doritos, Skrillex and finally, St. Patrick's Day. Before we bid SXSW 2012 farewell, allow us to share our favorite moments from SXSW day four. Later, we'll let you know which shows weren't so hot. Find our favorites below, and if there ... More >>

  • Blogs

    March 17, 2012

    The Best of SXSW Music: Friday 3/16/2012

    If you're familiar with chaos theory, which in its basic form is the attempt to find patterns in the random acts of shit on Earth, then you may understand the difficulty that comes with describing a full day at SXSW. To break down the chaos, Village Voice Media's roving music editors have selected t ... More >>

  • Blogs

    March 16, 2012

    The Best of SXSW Music: Thursday 3/15/2012

    If you're familiar with chaos theory, which in its basic form is the attempt to find patterns in the random acts of shit on Earth, then you may understand the difficulty that comes with describing a full day at SXSW. To break down the bright, scintillating chaos, Village Voice Media's roving music e ... More >>

  • Blogs

    March 15, 2012

    The Best of SXSW Music: Wednesday 3/14/2012

    ​If you're familiar with chaos theory, which in its basic form is the attempt to find patterns in the random acts of shit on Earth, then you may understand the difficulty that comes with describing a full day at SXSW. To break down the bright, scintillating chaos, Village Voice Media's roving musi ... More >>

  • Blogs

    March 15, 2012

    Five Attractive Strange People Working for Tips at SXSW

    ​Paying homeless people $70 a day to serve as human wifi hotspots is a bizarre way to make a buck, but it's indicative of the hustler's spirit at South By Southwest this year. Folks are grinding hard and employing increasingly-gimmicky measures to make money. But there's more to it than that. Lik ... More >>

  • Music

    May 12, 2011
  • Blogs

    May 12, 2009

    Anonymous Commenter Speaks on Ross' Connection to the Boobie Boys

    photo by Jonathan MannionMy article on Rick Ross this week has drawn a lot of comments, some of them echoing my contention that Ross's past fibs -- about serving as a corrections officer, for starters -- make him an altogether unreliable narrator. One commenter, however, has laid out a lengthy case ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 29, 2008

    Album Review: Plies, Da REAList

    Da REAList is not Plies' meditation on Platonic realism; it's mostly just demonstrably false braggadocio and sentimental hooey. (He could have eliminated this confusion by calling it Da REALest.) The main problem is that a July Hip Hop DX report showed that despite his claims to be a lifelong thug, ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 22, 2008

    The Top 10 Most Preposterous Rap Songs of 2008

    Hip-hop A-listers including Rick Ross, Akon and Plies were caught grossly exaggerating their gangster credentials this year. (Turns out they were painfully law-abiding. The horror!) But even if your favorite rapper wasn't caught in a lie, you can bet he or she put out a hilariously absurd record or ... More >>

  • Blogs

    November 26, 2008

    Kanye West's 808s and Heartbreak Excedes Expectations

    Kanye West 808s & Heartbreak (Roc-A-Fella) Despite what's been written, Kanye West's new style on his fourth album 808s & Heartbreak -- which incorporates "tribal"-style drum machines and auto-tuned vocals - doesn't sound especially shocking to the ears. Immediately satisfying singles like ... More >>

  • Blogs

    November 11, 2008

    T-Pain's New Album, Thr33 Ringz, Leaves Room For Improvement

    T-Pain Thr33 Ringz (Nappy Boy Entertainment) How has T-Pain done it? He’s not attractive, his fashion-sense leaves much to be desired (at least for those without Dr. Seuss/ LSD fetishes, in any case), and without the benefit of the computer program Auto-Tune his voice is nothing special. And yet, ... More >>

  • News

    September 11, 2008

    Letters from the Issue of September 11, 2008

    "Does it intimidate you that a black man from Queens could be compared to musicians such as Bob Dylan?"

  • Blogs

    August 6, 2008

    Rappers or Republicans?

    In May, we posited that southern hip-hop and Fox News share much in common. Possessing both an anti-intellectual streak and a populist one, they’re beloved by red-staters and hated on by the coastal elites, be they liberals, hipsters, Ghostface or Nas. The piece concluded: If you're still not con ... More >>

  • Blogs

    May 27, 2008

    Usher Grows Up on His Latest Album

    Usher Here I Stand (LaFace/Sony BMG) You really can’t fault entertainers claiming “player for life” status. At least they’re being honest; everyone from Rod Stewart to Karrine “Superhead” Steffans knows that the promiscuous can’t be reformed and that once you get the taste of the eas ... More >>

  • News

    February 7, 2008

    Letters from the Issue of February 7, 2008

    "Cycling feels more like cautious creeping to avoid being killed by speeding cars and clueless pedestrians."

  • Blogs

    December 20, 2007

    Some "Worsts" For the Year in Music

    The Worst Things In Music This Year, according to Ben Westhoff! 1. Worst Album: the Arcade Fire, Neon Bible This cerebral garbage entertained about 100 people, none of whom didn’t either live in Canada or work as a music critic. Speaking of critics, it’s hard to agree with Sasha Frere-Jones ... More >>

  • Blogs

    November 6, 2007

    CD Review: American Gangster

    Jay-Z American Gangster (Roc-A-Fella) American Gangster is one hell of a comeback album. For Diddy. Alongside his production team, The Hitmen, Sean Combs produces the album’s hottest tracks, “Pray,” and “Roc Boys (And The Winner Is),” outshining hit makers like the Neptunes and Jermaine D ... More >>

  • Music

    August 2, 2007

    Return of the Boom Bap

    The Rock the Bells tour brings a dream cast of hip-hop heroes, just for one day

  • Music

    May 24, 2007

    Anthony Hamilton

    Southern Comfort (Merovingian)