Urbanite

The Beatles' Top 50 songs

The Beatles perform on Jan., 17, 1964 their

(Credit: AFP/Getty Images)

Feb. 7, 2014, marks half a century since the Beatles first touched down in New York City.

Children have become grandparents in that time, but they can likely still recall seeing four sharp-dressed men turn the Ed Sullivan Theater into the navel of the world for one indelible evening. It's one of our few moments of shared national glee, as opposed to the many tragedies visited since, and that...

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Album review: Marissa Nadler, 'July' -- 3 stars

Marissa Nadler

(Credit: Big Hassle Media)

"Was it a dream/or something sinister," sings Marissa Nadler on "Was It a Dream," one of the most lingering tracks on this, her sixth album. As she proves most ably, it can certainly be both, especially when the object is love lost.

A union undone can quickly seem like an apparition, a strange quality of memory that Nadler divines with exacting poise.

Though her spectral acoustic style...

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Q&A with Andrew Marr of Brooklyn indie band Ski Lodge

Ski Lodge

(Credit: Ski Lodge)

Featuring an irresistible tension between layers of elegant, English-leaning guitar pop and core member Andrew Marr's often melancholy (and yes, Morrissey-moping) vocals, Brooklyn band Ski Lodge is tapping into famously murky channels, but brightening them with the same breezy, surf aesthetic that powers locals peers such as Real Estate and Beach Fossils.

Recorded in Los Angeles by Marr with...

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Album review: '7 Days of Funk' by Dâm-Funk & Snoopzilla -- 3 stars

Dam-Funk & Snoopzilla

(Credit: "7 Days of Funk" by Dâm-Funk & Snoopzilla)

Forget five golden rings – ’tis the season of funk. So declares the Cali connection of DJ/ producer Damon Riddick  (aka Dâm-Funk) and Snoop Lion -- billed here as Snoopzilla -- who team up here for a selection of cosmic, George Clinton-worshipping cuts of classic, trunk-rattling West Coast funk, complete with hand-drawn jacket art that cries out "1992." From the sternum-shaking,...

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Holiday Cheer for FUV: The ballad of Sam Beam

Sam Beam

(Credit: Sam Beam, aka Iron and Wine)

A soft-spoken man with a Stonewall Jackson beard, singer-songwriter Sam Beam has spent the past decade recording as Iron and Wine, blossoming along the way from bare acoustic numbers into fully realized arrangements that draw from musical traditions both near and far.   Tuesday evening, Beam, backed by frequent collaborators Calexico, will headline a lyrical army of fellow artists and songwriters...

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Album review: 'Jetlag' -- Milosh: 3 stars

Milosh "Jetlag"

(Credit: "Jetlag" by Milosh)

As the vocal half of reclusive duo Rhye, whose early-year debut "Woman" reminded everyone how great smooth, steely, Sade- adjacent soul can sound, Mike Milosh confounded listeners just by being a man with a high, sensual voice, but as a solo artist he's been actively releasing nakedly emotional electronica for years. Fortuitously timed to his preferred down-tempo heartache sound being...

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'Doctor Who': What you need to know about the U.K. sci-fi series

"Doctor Who"

(Credit: Matt Smith, left, and David Tennant in "Doctor Who: Day of the Doctor")

A strange man in a box.

It's a simple premise, but one that has sustained "Doctor Who" for decades. Since first airing in 1963, the endearing sci-fi series about a time-traveling stranger spanning the stars in his TARDIS, a spacecraft in the form of a blue British police box, has become a cultural institution, but one that had largely faded from view before its massively successful...

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Album review: Heidecker & Wood -- 2.5 stars

Heidecker & Wood

(Credit: Heidecker & Wood)

"Some Things Never Stay the Same" Heidecker & Wood

In their return as soft-rock troubadours Heidecker & Wood, Tim Heidecker of "Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job!" and Davin Wood, that show's composer, continue their ridiculously faithful send-up of arguably rock's most ridiculous era. Mining the bleary-eyed line between '70s indulgence and '80s uncertainty,...

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Album review: M.I.A.'s 'Matangi' -- 2.5 stars

M.I.A.

(Credit: M.I.A. (Getty))

"There's a thousand ways to meet you now/ There's a thousand ways to track you down" sings M.I.A. on "Come Walk With Me," a pop cut that neatly marks the ambivalence of the social living era. Technology is inescapable, and the music of English-Sri Lankan firebrand Maya Arulpragasam likely wouldn't exist without it. Since her '05 debut "Arular," she has built an identity...

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