Interview with Bayside frontman Anthony Raneri

Anthony Raneri found himself in familiar territory last Saturday at the Music Hall of Williamsburg. The New York-born singer/songwriter is constantly on the road with Bayside, but his January has consisted of the 4th annual “Where’s the Band?” acoustic tour, alongside like minded-frontmen Ace Enders, Evan Weiss, Matt Pryor, and Chris Conley. Armed with his musical comrades and his debut solo release New Cathedrals, the beloved crooner is getting ready for an intimate evening of inspiring sing-alongs for his music old and new.

Popping in and out of their small backstage dressing rooms, Raneri and his tour brethren, all close to or in their thirties, enjoyed each others company with the exuberance of new college roomates. With a cigarette in hand and a big smile, Raneri sat down with me to talk about New Cathedrals, as well as what it’s like to be on a musical road trip with some of your best friends.

Essential Tracks for Your New Year's Eve Mix

2012 is upon us. It may be our last year on Earth if we believe the Mayans (and that awful John Cusack movie), but that won’t put an end to the preparation, partying, and regretful resolutions that come with the turning of a new page on the calendar. Whether you plan on ordering pizza and watching Dick Clark with mom, or you want to hit the clubs and forget there was a 2011 altogether, here are some jams to have on your New Year’s Eve mix.

U2 – “New Year’s Day”

The driving basslines and searing guitars of this New Year’s classic will instantly pull the triggers of nostalgia in many of us. It’s easy to relate to the lyrics of Bono, who would rather ignore all of the NYE hubbub and spend the night with his lady.

Madonna Set to Play Super Bowl Halftime Show

From Janet Jackson's infamous wardrobe malfunction in 2004 to The Black Eyed Peas' incredibly auto-tuned "performance" this year, the Super Bowl's Halftime Show has seen music's biggest names take the stage with mixed results. Hopefully, this February's mid-game entertainment won't make your twitter feed explode with rage, as pop legend Madonna will headline the annual show.

The news broke last night during the Lions-Saints matchup, and according to Billboard, Madonna's Super Bowl performance will likely coincide with her forthcoming 2012 record. The seminal entertainer is reportedly working with the Cirque du Soleil creative team to make her pigskin performance a visually unforgettable one. Please guys, just don't Tron-ify everything like B.E.P. did last year. Thanks.

Are you excited to see the Queen of Pop take the biggest stage in sports? Or will you be flipping to the Puppy Bowl during halftime?

Spotify Launches New App Platform

If you haven't noticed by now, Spotify has taken the world by storm. And why shouldn't it have? Nothing beats an endless library of free streaming music that you can easily share with the world, or at least your tight circle of Facebook buddies.

According to Mashable, music's biggest new destination just got even bigger, as Spotify just announced it's own series of internal apps. With partners such as Rolling Stone, Billboard, and Fuse, Spotify's apps are meant to integrate news, lyrics, and deeper overall interactivity with the streaming service's massive library of tunes.

Fedde le Grand Launches Sirius XM Show

Dance heads have reason to rejoice, as renowned DJ Fedde le Grand has landed his own show on Sirius XM radio. The Dutch producer will satisfy the appetites of electronic music fans across the nation with an hour block of tuneage on Friday at 9pm EST and Monday at 10pm EST.

“Like everything I do, I’ve made sure that the show is absolutely perfect before I signed it off," said Fedde in a press release. "I’ll be giving this show 110%, giving listeners a unique experience each time they tune in and delivering the biggest and freshest music I can get my hands on."

Our Picks for Music Events in December

'Tis the season for family, reflection, and hours of stressful shopping. Of course, if you're in New York City and need an escape from the glowing wreaths and alluring holiday sales on every corner, there's no shortage of great concerts this December. Whether you want to see the best in indie, pop, or even want to test your own skills on the mic, here are some of your best musical options for escaping the frigid air.

The Hood Internet @ The Knitting Factory - Dec. 3rd (tickets)

50 Cent Urges You To 'Stop Crying' In New Single

50 Cent fans eager for some new tuneage from the rapper-turned-businessman are in luck today. The Queens-bred MC dropped his menacing new track "Stop Crying" off his upcoming The Big 10 mixtape, which celebrates the 10-year-anniversary of 50's appropriately named 2002 mix 50 Cent is the Future.

Complemented by some artwork of a demon-ized Curtis Jackson, "Stop Crying" is a declaration of the rapper's endurance and toughness. A noticeably more gruff-sounding Fiddy spits lines like "You know attempted murder was the case that they gave me/ 9 bullet wounds know, now I’m half crazy." And while hearing 50 urge you to "stop your bloodclot crying" might make you chuckle, you likely won't want to laugh in his face by the time the song is over.

The Early November's Reinvigorating Reunion

Nostalgia is a powerful, inexplicable beast. Images, movies, and even words can instantly take you back to the most memorable portions of your life in vivid detail, evoking just about every type of emotion. And while Saturday night at Starland Ballroom looked and sounded as it did during any other musical evening at the venue, the screams, chills, and tears of everyone present for The Early November’s reunion show proved just as vital to the night's energy as the band's own sounds and words.

The night began with a diverse bill of opening bands who all fit nicely into the musical realm that The Early November were once at the forefront of. The folky, honest pop-rock of Young Statues held the crowd’s attention just as much as the progressive, dazzling indie of A Great Big Pile of Leaves. Ohio pop-punkers Hit the Lights have been a staple in their scene for years, and the audience’s shouty reaction to their material old and new proved that they still are.

5 New Tracks To Get You Out of the Thanksgiving Rut

We know you’re still recovering from the stress of a trying weekend. The comatose turkey naps, the awkward in-laws, the exhaustion of sifting through Black Friday deals on your MacBook until you find the perfect 32-inch TV. Welcome back to the real world. Here are five sweet tracks to cure your holiday edition case of the Mondays.

Drake – “Take Care”

Already making “Headlines” with his swaggering, finger-raising first single, the title track of Drizzy’s newest effort shows the softer side of Mr. Graham. Aided by the intoxicating croon of Rihanna (whose new music you can read about below), Drake delivers an honest, imperfect love story over a bouncy, club-ready beat.

Some Sweet Black Friday Music Deals

The annual celebration of violent consumerism...er...Black Friday is only two days away! Whether you're going to be surfing through crowds in the streets of Manhattan or shopping from the comfort of home on the heels of your Turkey-induced coma, there's no shortage of sweet deals for the music obsessed.

As they typically do year-round, Amazon has some excellent savings this week. Ranging from $5 digital CDs to deeply discounted box-sets, there is a ton of cheap tuneage to sift through. Amazon's "lightning deals" are changing by the hour, so be sure to check the site frequently!