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When it comes to music, arguments can get passionate -- and even heated. In our Soundcheck Smackdown series, guests square off on new releases, controversial artists, or polarizing trends – and we take your calls and comments.

Recently in Smackdown

In the Arts it's Rookies versus Veterans

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

If it's too loud, you're too old. That's the old rock ‘n’ roll saying. But many believe veteran experience counts in running arts organizations. Others say fresh blood is needed at a time when the arts need to reach younger audiences. In this week's "Soundcheck Smackdown," Lee Rosenbaum, a veteran ...

Comments [11]

Soundcheck Smackdown: Baby Boomers vs. Generation X

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

The poet and philosopher George Santayana once said, "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it." To ensure that future generations don't forget the triumphs and tragedies of pop music's past, we host another Soundcheck Smackdown over the musical legacies of baby boomers and Generation X. Joining ...

Comments [43]

Soundcheck Smackdown: Madonna: Diva or Done?

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Like Janet Jackson and Whitney Houston, Madonna will spend 2008 attempting to reclaim the diva crown she once held. Her new album out today, "Hard Candy," is either the Material Girl's return to dance-pop form, or an aging star's sad trip down memory lane. (Either way, collaborators Justin Timberlake, Timbaland ...

Comments [30]

Soundcheck Smackdown: Clinton vs. Obama

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

With today's Democratic showdown in the Pennsylvania primary, we stage a battle of our own: Which of the two Democrats has the best music on their side? Obama has inspired musical tributes, and his Facebook page says that he listens to Bob Dylan, The Fugees and J.S. Bach. Clinton recently ...

Comments [35]

Mariah Carey - Bimbo or Brilliant?

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Soundcheck Smackdown: Mariah Carey – Bimbo or Brilliant? The pop star just surpassed Elvis Presley for most singles on the top of the charts and is releasing today her new album “E=MC²”. Pop music critic Jody Rosen and freelance writer Evelyn McDonnell square off to debate Mariah’s singing style and ...

Comments [59]

Soundcheck Smackdown: Herbert Von Karajan

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

The powerful conductor Herbert Von Karajan ruled over major orchestras and released more than 800 recordings. Once a member of the Nazi party, he also possessed a dangerous ego and ambition like no other artist. British music critic Norman Lebrecht and Pulitzer Prize-winning classical music critic Tim Page engage in ...

Comments [7]

R.E.M.'s Shiny, Happy New Album

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Soundcheck Smackdown: Music critic and author Michael Azerrad claims R.E.M.'s fourteenth album, "Accelerate," is their hardest-rocking ever. Chicago Sun-Times music critic Jim DeRogatis is not convinced. In the first of a new weekly series of musical debates we have both on to discuss the return of one of the most ...

Comments [13]