• Marina and the Diamonds crammed The Fillmore full of elated fans, then promptly demonstrated why this Welsh pop group has such an adoring following: Marina's appeal is like Madonna meets Kate Bush — but without the pretension and with a flawless, wide-ranging voice. She's also sweetly charming enough to criticize Hollywood in a roomful of Americans.
• We spoke with S.F. rapper Aesop Rock about his new album, Skelethon, which he wrote and produced alone over five years. Turns out Aes has a love-hate relationship with live shows: He's thrilled to have the audience, but also loves being free to express his ideas in a room alone. "Somewhere along the line my job description got all fucked up," he jokes.
• Midi Matilda is an S.F. band you need to know about now: The duo's new single and video "Love and the Movies" is one beautifully effective little dose of pop-rock about a dysfunctional romance, impeccably polished and produced by the capable hands over at Tiny Telephone and Different Fur recording studios. It's got hit written all over it.
• We rounded up the 10 most disappointing albums of the year, a list that includes a few decent records that didn't live up to their hype, and others that utterly bombed. Included are releases from Madonna, Neil Young, Damon Albarn, Beach House, Joey Ramone, and the Shins; check out the full list online.
• Because some 52 million Facebook fans and 26 million Twitter followers aren't enough, Lady Gaga enlisted a Bay Area company to help her build her own social network. LittleMonsters.com combines elements of popular sites like Facebook and Pinterest; unfortunately, though, its users are pseudonymous — and likely obsessed to an unhealthy degree with the Queen Monster.
• Country singer Hank Williams Jr. has really big balls, as he demonstrated in an interview with Rolling Stone last week, making assertions that any reasonable (smaller-testicled) person would avoid. Such as: Obama hates America; Hank's endorsement has a huge effect on the success of Republican candidates; and the real test of a man is whether Hank'd go duck-hunting with them. But your testes probably aren't big enough to understand.