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Creator and Artist Stories

Music Tuesday: The Needle Drop, fresh faces and more

By Sarah Bardeen

Music Community Manager

It’s been a busy few weeks on We celebrated the July 4 weekend in the U.S. with a playlist of music to BBQ by and took a look at the women of Americana. Last Tuesday we were wooed by indie rockers YACHT, who made a completely adorable video introducing their curation of the YouTube homepage. We also paid homage to the Latin Alternative Music Conference, a gathering for Latino buzz bands that took place in NYC last week. Then it was on to a haunting new genre of music, and a look at the latest in live performances on YouTube.

Introducing The Needle Drop

This week we debut a new monthly series from Anthony Fantano, the DJ and music critic otherwise known by his channel name, The Needle Drop. Anthony quickly became one of our favorite music reviewers on YouTube for his witty and perhaps nerdy insights into a broad range of music. Sure, he skews indie, but as he admits himself, that’s only when he’s not reviewing major label releases, hip-hop or metal. His serious engagement with the music is matched only by his entertaining screen personality, and this week he begins a monthly round-up for us of his favorite releases, complete with music videos and reviews.

Fresh Faces: July
Oodles of under-the-radar musicians find a home for their work on YouTube, and every month we feature four of them on the homepage. Today we profile four very different artists who bring strong, distinct perspectives to their work. Shankar Tucker is a young clarinetist who got obsessed by Indian classical music, with awesome results. Jayanti’s now-burgeoning career got started when a friend took a video of her singing a song at dinner one night. LaTosha Brown is a crazily talented singer who actually stopped performing eight years ago and now heads the Gulf Coast Fund, a social justice philanthropy organization. (San Francisco micro-label Porto Franco Records caught one arresting video of her singing recently, and we decided it deserved a feature.) And we just liked Faded Paper Figures’ style.

Kurt Vile “Baby’s Arms”
Vile’s deceptively simple song gets its power from its stripped-down aesthetic, and it’s bolstered by an extraordinarily lo-fi video which was shot entirely on a smartphone. This is the kind of one-two punch you have to love.