Web Video / The Needle Drop

"Hi, everyone. Anthony Fantano here, the internet's busiest music nerd."

The Needle Drop is a web and radio based review show hosted by Anthony Fantano (self-described as "the Internet's busiest music nerd"), that was started in 2007 (although video reviews didn't start until 2009). Besides Anthony, there are also various cameos by his bizarre roommate/alter ego Cal Chuchesta, who has gained an immense following in Anthony's fanbase to the point of releasing his own mixtape (much to Anthony's chagrin).

The music he reviews is within a range of "rock, pop, electronic, metal, hip hop and experimental music", although he often reviews indie or underground albums, with bigger names dropping in due to demand or relative acclaim. Anthony uses a 0-10 scale, with the unique trait of the accompanying adjectives "light", "decent", and "strong".

Anthony is highly infamous for his at-times-controversial scores that are usually far lower and harsher than the audience wants, and has a penchant for giving albums a 6/10 rating (one of the most infamous examples being the universally acclaimed My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy). He has only given four albums a perfect 10: Death Grips' The Money Store, Swans' To Be Kind, Kendrick Lamar's To Pimp a Butterfly and Cal Chuchesta's The New Calassic.

He has also has a number of series on his channels besides reviews that include:
  • YUNOREVIEW (pronounced "why you no review"): Anthony touches base on a few albums released in a certain month that he didn't get to do full reviews on.
  • It Came from Bandcamp: A monthly series where Anthony gives short reviews of unique musical projects released on Bandcamp.
  • Great Albums: A monthly series that is Exactly What It Says on the Tin.
  • Not Good: An occasional series where Anthony talks about an album that he flat-out doesn't like.
  • Vinyl Update: A series where Anthony shows the new LPs that he's added to his extensive collection.
  • Let's Argue: A weekly series on his side channel where he responds to and gives his thoughts on music-related discussions submitted to his Twitter.

The show is highly popular on 4chan's music board, partially due to the fact Anthony also is a /mu/tant, and has birthed a great Fountain of Memes that Anthony whole-heartedly supports.

His YouTube channel can be found here, and his side channel (which contains op-eds concerning music news and responses to articles) can be found here.

Tropethany Tropetano:

  • Accent On The Wrong Syllable: A frequent habit of Cal's, along with Mondegreens.
  • Adorkable: Anthony when he gets excited.
  • Alter-Ego Acting: Cal Chuchesta constitutes the Type 1 variety.
    • This is most evident as Anthony currently claims that Cal is dead and yet doesn't drop the act, still treating Cal like he's a different person.
  • April Fools' Day: See Mind Screw below.
  • Ascended Fanboy: Anthony works in radio and is an NPR contributor.
  • Aww, Look! They Really Do Love Each Other: During the "Cal is in Hell" arc, Anthony showcased that he really does love Cal Chuchesta, even admitting to it when tried to replace Cal with a cat, calling it Cat Chuchesta.
  • Berserk Button: Steven Wilson fans pushed it after his review of The Raven That Refused To Sing. Also, Childish Gambino seemed to push it in his lyrics on his Camp album, which got one of the lowest scores Anthony had ever given... at the time.
    • Current progressive metal/rock music seems to be this for him, as most of his reviews involving bands that tinker with that genre result with lower scores and Anthony spending most of his time talking about how much he doesn't like it.
  • Breakout Character: Anthony has even acknowledged that a portion of his viewer base is there because they only watch his videos to see Cal, and so has That Poppy, of all people.
  • Beware the Silly Ones: Cal is a funny, Adorkable guy, but after Anthony gave a bad review to his mix tape, well..let's just say Anthony learned this the hard way in the next review.
  • Broken Record:
  • Broke the Rating Scale: He gave G-Eazy's When It's Dark Out a rating of whitegirlturnupmusic/10.
  • Brown Note: The cover of Born This Way causes Anthony and Cal to throw up.
    • Amusingly, Cal then chose Born This Way as one of his favorites albums of 2011 (so far), and when called out by Anthony on the fact that it made them throw up, he replied by stating that it was the most fun he'd had throwing up all year.
  • The Bus Came Back: "Top 10 Music Memes of 2017", a preamble to 2017's List Week, was hosted by Anthony's "thatistheplan" persona, several months after the channel's shutdown, complete with orange beanie, shades, white tank top, and a huge load of bizarre Stylistic Suck.
  • Catch-Phrase:
    • "Anthony Fantano here, the Internet's busiest music nerd."
    • "Forever."
    • "...I hate Cal Chuchesta."
    • "Tran - sition!"
    • "Best teeth in the (fucking) game."
    • "Hey everyone! This new [artist] album... it's not good." (Explosion)
  • Caustic Critic: Although his more infamous reviews often have him painted as this by the public, it's genuinely averted as he tends to be quite calm and collected even with music he dislikes, managing to point out its strengths as well as its flaws. That said, he usually avoids the other extreme, Gushing About Shows You Like, giving a balanced look into both the strengths and weaknesses of the albums he reviews.
  • Cloud Cuckoo Lander: Once again, Cal.
  • Color Motifs: It's now common knowledge that...
    • If Anthony's got on a yellow flannel, the album he's reviewing is great.
    • If Anthony's got on a red flannel, the album he's reviewing is bad.
  • Couch Gag: The tree.
  • Dead Artists Are Better: invoked
    • Anthony has averted this mindset on several occasions.
      • In light of Linkin Park frontman Chester Bennington's suicide, many saw the overwhelmingly negative reaction to the band's most recent album One More Light as a factor. As Anthony was a part of that crowd (he gave the album a NOT GOOD), he eventually had to publicly state that as much of a tragedy as his death was, it did not change his opinion on the album. He did however pay his respects to Bennington and his family.
      • Lil Peep was another artist on the receiving end of a NOT GOOD from Anthony for his album Come Over When You're Sober, Pt. 1. Three months later, he died from an accidental drug overdose. Following his death, Anthony took to Twitter to state that the fact that Peep deserved life and happiness like any other human transcended any opinion Anthony could have on his work.
    • Anthony also humorously points out how stupid it is that David Bowie had to DIE to finally win a Grammy.
  • Deadpan Snarker: When reviewing bad albums or usually in general.
  • Deal with the Devil: Implied as to why Cal's in hell, as he made a deal with the "Damon". Fans have debated he made this deal after Anthony gave The Powers That B a 9/10 instead of the assumed 10/10 rating.
    • Later on it was a proven that Cal's deal was to "get his mixtape out".
  • Department of Redundancy Department: In his video debating messages in music, Anthony asks the audience "And what about people who're in my position? In every review, do I have to throw in a footnote that says 'Anthony Fantano does not necessarily agree with the ideology of the artist he is currently reviewing in this review?'"
  • Doo-Wop Progression: The jingle at the end of all his reviews follow this progression, a fact he lampshades when reviewing In the Aeroplane Over the Sea
  • Early Installment Weirdness: His pre-2010-to-2011 videos, recorded with much more meager means, don't feature Cal, and are recorded against a black background instead of in front of his apartment walls as they are in later videos.
  • Gainax Ending: The Born This Way review. Anthony decides to take the time to simply stare at the album cover with the audience. After a few moments pass, Anthony and Cal spontaneously throw up (Anthony even smears the vomit on his face). Anthony then looks at the camera with a grin and says, "You can't judge me. I was born this way."
  • Gentle Giant: Despite his very buff and intimidating appearance, he's a vegan and known for his very kind, calm, and Adorkable demeanour.
  • Happily Married: Around 2011 and 2012, Anthony made a brief collection of videos with his at-the-time girlfriend Dominique, and in the comments of a 2014 Instagram post he confirmed that she was now his wife. As of now, their relationship has stayed considerably private for the most part, as Dominique no longer appears in his videos.
  • Hypocritical Humor: In his review of Pink Season by Pink Guy, he calls Filthy Frank "a YouTuber famous for playing these depraved, obnoxious, offensive characters because he's too much of a loser to just be himself" right before Cal shows up.
    Cal: Gotta learn to love yourself, buddy!
  • Fan Vid: There are a few odd remixes of reviews and livestreams.
  • Intentionally Awkward Title: Anthony did a short miniseries in his Vinyl Update series where he showed his collection of 7-inch LPs. What did he call said miniseries? My 7-Inches.
  • Jerk Ass: Anthony to Cal, ten-fold.
  • Killed Off for Real: Cal Chuchesta as of the "Changing some scores to '10'" video, although fans think it could be a long Running Gag.
  • Large Ham: Anthony in any of his "RESIST" videos, complete with No Indoor Voice.
  • Laugh Track: Accompanies him in his review of Eminem's Revival as he reads some of the album's cringiest lines, usually to accentuate how rudimentary the wordplay is.
  • Mad Libs Catch Phrase: Anthony has had a lot of fun with the variations of his name (Slamthony Dunktano, Shmoney Dancetano, Symphony Concerto, etc.), as have his fans. He's made so many of them that there have even been several shirts made with lists of the mutations.
  • Malaproper: Cal Chuchesta somewho marriages to duh this with evening the moist bassist wards.
  • Mind Screw: His 2014 April Fool's joke had him do two reviews of the same album, but one gives it a 0/10 and one gives it a 10/10. Well the joke itself isn't confusing, the way he delivers both reviews in his usual style makes it hard to tell which of his reviews is serious, which is a joke, how much of it is a joke, and all that.
  • Mondegreen: Cal with lyrics and names.
  • No Indoor Voice: Anthony's default in any of his "RESIST" videos.
  • N-Word Privileges: He has outright stated that he does not have them.
    • In his review of Death Grips' Niggas on the Moon, he never once refers to the album by its name.
    • He once described Kanye West and Jay-Z's "Niggas in Paris" as "the song about them being in Paris".
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: Usually, Anthony tries to have some fun with the bad albums that he reviews, but when he gets to a project that is just that bad, his genuine anger for having to sit through it will come through as he talks about it. Examples of this include his immortally scathing reviews of Corey Feldman's Angelic 2 the Core (which he did an MST on instead of an actual review) and Kid Cudi's Speedin' Bullet to Heaven (which he gave an incredibly rare 0/10).
  • Out-of-Character Moment: In his 2015 April Fool's video, Anthony reveals that Cal Chuchesta died and that he won't appear in any videos. What makes it so unnerving is when Anthony first impersonates the fan's interpretations over "killing off Cal", which leads to Anthony furiously telling his audience to shut up, saying he "has his own problems to deal with" and such. For Anthony, this is pretty confusing and strange for him.
  • Overly Long Gag:
    • His review of Gold Cobra basically consists of Anthony eating food.
    • His review of B.o.B's Ether is him staring at the camera sighing for almost seven solid minutes. He only speaks at the beginning and ending, and during the silent midsection he breaks the silence once to talk to his offscreen wife.
  • Plucky Comic Relief: Cal Chuchesta.
  • Rapid-Fire Comedy: Anthony's "Resist" videos on his second channel: loud, aggressive, surreal, and—most of all—very fast-paced.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Anthony delivers one towards Cal at the end of "Cal Chuchesta's Fav LPs of 2011 (so far)".
    Anthony: This was... terrible. It was... a bad idea. You're the most terrible person on the face of the planet, you have absolutely no taste, you're an idiot, you're a fool, you're a piece of garbage. I don't even know how you manage to breathe when you wake up in the morning - how do you even have the brain power to feed yourself on a regular basis!? I HATE YOU!
  • Rescued from the Scrappy Heap: In-Universe examples.
    • After about three years of mediocre and disappointing releases, he regained interest in OFWGKTA with the release of Wolf and Earl's 2013 output. Even moreso with the release of Flower Boy, which he somewhat infamously rated higher than DAMN., something which nobody thought would happen.
    • Though he's still not anything close to a fan, he likes Childish Gambino's more recent work muuuuuuch more than Camp. It became a lot better when he happily praised Gambino's later album Awaken, My Love!.
  • Running Gagged: Cal's death has elements of and is treated like this.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: Anthony ends his review of Kid Cudi's Speedin' Bullet to Heaven by hastily leaving in a huff after giving the album a 0/10, even cutting Cal off when he starts complaining.
  • Signing Off Catchphrase: "Anthony Fantano...[artist]...[album]...forever."
  • Sound-Effect Bleep: Anthony formerly bleeped himself out when he swore. When Anthony first started his reviews he was not averse to swearing, then sometime in 2010 he started censoring any curse words that popped up, and as of 2012, he let the occasional "goddamn" or even the occasional "fuck" slip out without censoring it.
  • Stylistic Suck:
  • Surreal Humor: His editing gags, Cal's segments, and the tree.
  • Story Arc: Implied after the events of the April Fool's "episode" where Cal dies. After Cal dies, Anthony tries to move on, only to be tormented by Cal's screams of terror, crying out that he is on fire. Anthony tries to assume he just misses Cal, until Cal begins appearing on the "Whack Cal Zone" wall screen in the "Tyler the Creator - Cherry Bomb" review. It's finally revealed in both the "Colin Stetson and Sarah Neufeld - Never Were the Way She Was" and "Blur - The Magic Whip" review that Cal is in hell after making a deal with "The Damon". Since the blur review, Anthony has been trying to banish the "damon" in order to save Cal, but for a while, this hadn't been solved. However, with the help of Creationist Cat and the power of jazz, Fantano freed Cal from hell, and Cal made his triumphant return in Anthony's review of Hudson Lantern's Mohawk.
  • Take That!: Anthony's typically very conservative and respectful to artists, even when giving critical or scathing reviews of their projects, but his section on Jake Paul's "It's Everyday Bro" in "10 Worst Singles of 2017" is just as much a harsh critique on the song as it is on Jake Paul himself.
    "Generic trap beat... terrible rapping... garbage bars... mediocre everything... mediocre people..."
  • Vomit Indiscretion Shot: The ending of the Born This Way review.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: Anthony and Cal, mainly Anthony. He absolutely loathes Cal, but during the "Cal is in Hell" arc, he showed to actually miss him and wanted to later on save him.
  • Wham Episode: While the "Changing some scores to '10'" video starts off like a traditional April Fools' Day prank video, Fantano reveals near the end that Cal Chuchesta is dead. Unlike the other stuff in the video, this fact is not part of the joke and Cal is still treated as dead in future videos.
  • Widget Series: Anthony's now-defunct side channel "thatistheplan", which started as a normal hub for extra content but progressively mutated into an incredibly strange channel dominated by memes.