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American music critic and net personality

Anthony Fantano

Fantano in 2016

Personal information
Born Anthony Fantano

October 28, 1985
(age 36)

Connecticut, U.S.

  • YouTuber
  • music critic
Website The Needle Driblet
YouTube data
Also known as
  • Cal Chuchesta[one]
  • The Internet’s Busiest Music Nerd[2]
  • Melon[3]
  • theneedledrop
  • fantano[seven]
  • TNDstreams
  • thatistheplan (inactive)
Years active 2009–nowadays
  • 2.62 one thousand thousand (theneedledrop)[4]
  • 1.52 meg (fantano)[5]
  • 113 g (TNDstreams)[six]
Total views
  • 866 million (theneedledrop)[four]
  • 428 million (fantano)[5]
  • 15 meg (TNDstreams)[6]

Creator Awards

YouTube Silver Play Button 2.svg 100,000 subscribers 2012
YouTube Gold Play Button 2.svg 1,000,000 subscribers 2017
The Needle Drop
The Needle Drop logo.png

Blazon of site

Music reviewing
Bachelor in English
Commercial Yes
Launched 2007; 15 years agone
Current status Active

Last updated:
Feb 12, 2022

Anthony Fantano
fan-TAN-oh; born Oct 28, 1985) is an American music critic and YouTuber who runs the YouTube channel
The Needle Driblet
and its tie-in website. His website and YouTube videos discuss and review a variety of music genres.

Early life


Fantano was born in Connecticut and is of Sicilian American descent. He spent his teenage years in Wolcott, Connecticut.[8]
As a teenager, Fantano became interested in politics through the work of the musician Jello Biafra, former lead vocalist of the hardcore punk band Dead Kennedys, calling him “pretty much my political idol”.[9]



Fantano started his career in the mid-2000s as a music managing director for the Southern Connecticut State University higher radio station.[10]
In 2007, Fantano started working at Connecticut Public Radio (WNPR), where he hosted
The Needle Drop.[11]
That same year, he launched
The Needle Drop
in the form of written reviews, eventually launching his series of video reviews on the YouTube channel of the same proper name in January 2009, starting with a Jay Reatard tape.[viii]
Fantano has said that his review for Flight Lotus’ 2010 album
actualization next to other Flight Lotus videos in YouTube’s “Featured Videos” section gave him the “hint” to go on making video reviews.[eleven]
In 2010, Fantano removed older reviews that contained music clips in gild to avoid violations of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.[eight]
At the fourth dimension, he was working on
The Needle Drib
at the higher radio station, as well every bit at a pizza restaurant. In tardily 2011, he decided to pursue
The Needle Drop
full-time, but kept affiliation with WNPR until 2014.[x]
Fantano was offered an album review show on Developed Swim but declined.[eight]

In social club to earn enough money to pay his editor Austin Walsh, by Nov 2016, Fantano had recorded more regularly on a secondary YouTube channel, “thatistheplan”, on which he reviewed memes and recorded “oft irreverent videos that don’t fall into the record review format”, according to
This secondary channel came into question and controversy in Oct 2017, when an article published in
The Fader
accused Fantano of promoting alt-right sentiments in videos on “thatistheplan”. Fantano was criticized for the use of Pepe the Frog memes (which had recently been labeled an alt-right symbol) and targeting feminists.[14]
After the article was released, multiple scheduled dates of “The Needle Drop” U.S. tour were cancelled, with at least ane ticket booking site for a Brooklyn tour appointment stating that their cancellation was due to the

Fantano produced a video response calling the critical article a “hit job”. He disputed accusations of sympathizing with the alt right and stated that the videos in question were satirical. The article was after deleted past
The Fader, with both parties saying that the claims were settled.[17]
In a later interview, Fantano best-selling that in that location had been some “grubby, closed-minded, young, aggressive male” viewers on the “thatistheplan” channel and disavowed what he saw as the “toxic and problematic” side of internet humor, stating that the incident had led him to exist more vocal in his advancement for social justice issues.[18]

By the cease of 2017, Fantano had reached a million subscribers and diversified his content to include weekly “rail roundup” videos, livestreamed Q&As, and video think-pieces alongside his album reviews.[13]

In June 2019, Fantano had a cameo in Lil Nas X’southward video for the Young Thug and Mason Ramsey remix of “Erstwhile Boondocks Route”, actualization as a security guard for the Area 51 military installation (a reference to the “Tempest Area 51” meme).[19]
Afterwards that year he curated a clemency compilation,
The Needle Drop LP, which consists of “artists that have either been featured on the site or reviewed favorably in the past”. Profits from the album were donated to The Immigrant Legal Resource Middle non-profit.[21]



The Needle Driblet won the 2011 O Music Awards in the “Across the Blog” category.[22]
In 2014, Nick Veronin of
said of Fantano “Instead of deploying ten-dollar words to depict a riff or synth tone, Fantano relies on gestures, clenching his fists or contorting his elastic, expressive face up. It gets at some of the more ephemeral qualities of music that written words can’t begin to touch.”[2]

When asked virtually the merits of Fantano’s reviews, veteran music critic Robert Christgau said in 2019:

[Fantano] seems to accept arrived at a plausible brand of 21st-century rockcrit taste that runs toward what I’ll call dark prog […] Nowhere near as insensible to hip-hop/r&b as dark proggers tend to exist, merely note that very few female artists crack his superlative 10s, which in 2018 was actually missing the activeness. Fantano seems to have figured out a way to make some kind of living by disseminating his own criticism in the online age.

In his 2019 book
Perfect Sound Whatsoever, comedian James Acaster called Fantano’s best albums of 2016 list “a real music fan’due south Tiptop fifty” and said of Fantano “perhaps more than everyone else, he appreciates how the reviewer’s role has changed since the internet became a affair […] The chore of a reviewer used to exist telling people what’s worth their money but at present it’s telling people what’s worth their fourth dimension.”[thirteen]
In September 2020,
New York Times
culture contributor Joe Coscarelli described Fantano as “probably the about popular music critic left standing”. According to Coscarelli, Fantano has successfully brought an “quondam art to a new medium” and has revitalized the record review format for a younger generation of music consumers.[xviii]

Personal life


Fantano was married for some time to Dominique Boxley,[25]
and resides in Connecticut.[viii]
He is a vegan, having swapped to the diet after first going vegetarian in his belatedly teens.[10]

In March 2018, Fantano told
that he is a “free speech communication purist”.[26]
Fantano endorsed Bernie Sanders in the 2020 United States presidential election.[27]




  • Taiga
    (as bass actor)
  • Anthony FanFiction Vol.one

Guest appearances

  • “21 & Jaded” on
    Never Forget Where You Came From
    by Goody Grace (2021)[29]
    (every bit bass player)
  • “Every Drug at Once” on
    by Lil Texas (2022)[30]

equally Cal Chuchesta


Fantano as his change-ego Cal Chuchesta[1]


  • The New CALassic


  • “Cal 2 B” (2013)
  • “Mykey Come up Back” (2015)
  • “Panda (Remix)” featuring Pink Guy and NFKRZ (2016)
  • “Coin Star” (2018)
  • “Don’t Talk to Me” featuring Fellatia Geisha (2018)
  • “Slap Chop” (2018)
  • “On Deck Freestyle” (2018)
  • “I’m in the Club (Lookin’ for Some Love)” featuring Joycie (2018)
  • “Advice” featuring Rob Scallon (2018)
  • “Rubber Duck (Pickup Truck)” (2019)
  • “Best Teef?” (2019)
  • “Eastward (Remix)” (2020)



  1. ^



    Ingham, Tom (March 23, 2014). “Interview: Anthony Fantano (The Needle Drop)”.
    The Mancunion.

  2. ^



    Veronin, Nick. (February 18, 2014). “The Hardest Working Critic in Show Business Never Stops Hunting for New Music”.

  3. ^

    “Anthony Fantano Responds To Alt-Correct & Racist Accusations”.
    Impale Your Stereo
    . Retrieved
    May 29,

  4. ^



    “Most theneedledrop”.
    . Retrieved
    August 23,

  5. ^



    “About fantano”.
    . Retrieved
    August 23,

  6. ^



    “About TNDstreams”.
    . Retrieved
    August 23,

  7. ^

    Lefevre, Jules (October 5, 2017). “A Primer On The Almighty Shitstorm Surrounding The Needle Drop’s Anthony Fantano”.
    Junkee Media.

  8. ^








    Gordon, Jeremy (Nov 30, 2016). “How Anthony Fantano, aka
    The Needle Drop, Became Today’s Well-nigh Successful Music Critic”.

  9. ^

    Noonan, David (June 1, 2003). “A Generation Finds Its Voice”.
    Newsweek. Archived from the original on Feb v, 2015. Retrieved
    August eleven,

  10. ^




    Elabbady, Ali (October thirty, 2013). “Interview: Anthony Fantano of The Needle Drop”.
    Greenish Room. United States. Archived from the original on May 26, 2014.

  11. ^




    MADDEN, MICHAEL (October 9, 2014). “Anthony Fantano Wants to Turn You On”.
    Result of Sound.

  12. ^

    Johnston, Maura (April 28, 2015). “Anthony Fantano brings Needle Drop to Middle East”.
    The Boston Globe.

  13. ^




    Acaster, James (August 22, 2019).
    Perfect Audio Any. Hachette United kingdom of great britain and northern ireland. ISBN978-1-4722-6032-one.

  14. ^

    “Popular music vlogger defendant of promoting alt-right sentiment – NME”.
    NME. October iv, 2017. Retrieved
    August 23,

  15. ^

    “Anthony Fantano’s Entire Tour Canceled Over Racist, Alt-Right Allegations”.
    Digital Music News.

  16. ^

    “The Needle Drop Live Shows Cancelled Amid Controversy”.
    Noisey by Vice. October 5, 2017.

  17. ^

    “Fader Removes Article Amid Settlement With Anthony Fantano”.
    Spin. March 21, 2018. Retrieved
    Baronial 23,

  18. ^



    Coscarelli, Joe (September 30, 2020). “The Only Music Critic Who Matters (if You’re Under 25)”.
    The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Archived from
    the original
    on July xx, 2021.
    The influential evangelist in question is the YouTuber named Anthony Fantano, 34, who has been speaking anthology and song reviews directly into a camera for more than than a decade on The Needle Drib, his aqueduct with 2.26 million subscribers, making him probably the about popular music critic left standing.

  19. ^

    Will, Gottsegen (July 16, 2019). “Lil Nas 10 Releases Insane Meme-Filled Video for Newest “Erstwhile Town Road” Remix”.
    . Retrieved
    February v,

  20. ^

    Spearman, Kahron (July 19, 2019). “Area 51 remix video proves information technology’s the summer of Lil Nas X”.
    The Daily Dot
    . Retrieved
    February 5,

  21. ^

    Hussey, Allison (September 13, 2019). “Open up Mike Eagle Shares New Song to Back up Immigrant Legal Resources Center: Listen”.
    . Retrieved
    June 8,

  22. ^

    WARNER, KARA (Nov one, 2011). “O Music Awards Take Over Halloween’south Largest Street Political party”.
    MTV News
    (Press release).

  23. ^

    “Robyn Wows MTV O Music Awards; Bjork & Marilyn Manson’southward Butt Win Big”.
    . Retrieved
    September 8,

  24. ^

    Christgau, Robert (Jan 15, 2019). “Xgau Sez”.
    Robertchristgau.com. Archived from the original on February 11, 2021. Retrieved
    August 12,

  25. ^

    State of Connecticut Judicial Branch Superior Court Instance Lookup. State of Connecticut Judicial Branch Superior Court Case Lookup. Retrieved
    August 8,

  26. ^

    Alexander, Julia (March seven, 2018). “Controversial YouTubers head to culling platforms in wake of ‘purge’“.
    Polygon. Archived from the original on March 7, 2018. Retrieved
    March 17,

  27. ^

    “Social Media Influencers’ Role In 2020 Candidate Endorsements”.
    NPR. February two, 2020. Retrieved
    February 4,

  28. ^

    “Taiga, by Anthony Fantano and Richard D’Albis”.

  29. ^

    “I Played Bass On This Album”“.
    YouTube. March 2, 2021. Retrieved
    March ii,

  30. ^

    “Cover Art AND TRACKLIST FOR MY Album “FASTER”“.

External links


  • Official website

    Edit this at Wikidata
  • Anthony Fantano’s channel on YouTube
  • Anthony Fantano at Discogs
  • Anthony Fantano at IMDb
  • Cal Chuchesta at Discogs
  • Anthony Fantano on Twitch

Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anthony_Fantano