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Anthony Fantano
Personal information
BornOctober 28, 1985 (age 35)
Connecticut, U.S.
Spouse(s)Dominique B. Boxley
YouTube information
Also known as
  • Cal Chuchesta[1]
  • The Internet's busiest music nerd[2]
  • Melon/Melonhead[3]
Years active2009–present
Subscribers2.35 million (theneedledrop)
1.28 million (fantano)
46.8 thousand (TNDstreams)
Total views713 million (theneedledrop)
302 million (fantano)
2.6 million (TNDstreams)
100,000 subscribers2012
1,000,000 subscribers2017
The Needle Drop
Music reviewing
Available inEnglish
Created byAnthony Fantano
Launched2009; 12 years ago
Current statusActive
Updated: April 23, 2021
  • Christian Moms Against Anthony Fantano. 5,284 likes 12 talking about this. Save the children from this monstrosity.
  • Let’s allow F to represent Anthony Fantano’s head — the object we’re determining is or is not a melon. an=tanθ To start off, we’re going to say that the angle of repose for Fantano’s head, fan, is explicitly equal to whatever the angle of repose is by utilizing the given formula of tangent theta, the coefficient implied by friction between the inner fruit (the stuff you eat).

Anthony Fantano (/fænˈtæn/fan-TAN-oh; born October 28, 1985) is an American music critic, YouTuber and internet personality known for his music-related YouTube channel The Needle Drop and its companion website. His website and YouTube videos discuss and review a variety of music genres.

The latest tweets from @firecrank.

Early life

Anthony Fantano Twitter

Fantano was born in Connecticut and is of Sicilian descent. He spent his teenage years in Wolcott, Connecticut.[5]

Anthony Fantano Twitter Reddit


Fantano in February 2010

Fantano started his career in the mid-2000s as a music director for the Southern Connecticut State University college radio station.[6]

In 2007, Fantano started working at Connecticut Public Radio, where he hosted The Needle Drop.[7] That same year, he launched The Needle Drop in the form of written reviews, eventually launching his series of video reviews in early 2009, starting with a Jay Reatard record.[5][8] Fantano's review for Flying Lotus' 2010 album Cosmogramma appearing next to other Flying Lotus videos in YouTube's 'Featured Videos' section gave him the 'hint' to continue making video reviews.[7] In 2010, Fantano removed older reviews that contained music clips in order to avoid violations of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.[5] At the time, he was working on The Needle Drop at the college radio station, as well as at a pizza restaurant. In late 2011, he decided to pursue The Needle Drop full-time, but kept affiliation with WNPR until 2014.[6][5][7]

He was interviewed at South by Southwest in 2011 about the rise of music vlogging, along with Matt Galloway of the Rock It Out! blog and Michael Roffman, president and editor-in-chief of Consequence of Sound.[9] In March 2011, he was featured in an article from The Guardian also about the rise of music vlogging.[10] The Needle Drop won the 2011 O Music Awards in the 'Beyond the Blog' category.[11][12] Fantano was offered an album review show on Adult Swim but did not go through with it.[5]

According to New York Times culture correspondent Joe Coscarelli, Fantano has successfully brought an 'old art to a new medium' and has revitalized the record review format for a younger generation of music consumers.[13] Fantano had a cameo in Lil Nas X's video for the Young Thug and Mason Ramsey remix of 'Old Town Road', appearing as a worker for the Area 51 military installation (a reference to the 'Storm Area 51' meme).[14] In 2019, Fantano curated a charity compilation, The Needle Drop LP, which consists of 'artists that have either been featured on the site or reviewed favorably in the past', including Open Mike Eagle, Polyphia, Xiu Xiu, & Zeal & Ardor, among others.[15][16] Profits from the album were donated to The Immigrant Legal Resource Center non-profit.[16]

Response from other media

In order to earn enough money to pay his editor Austin Walsh, by November 2016, Fantano had recorded more regularly on a secondary YouTube channel, 'thatistheplan', on which he reviewed memes and recorded 'often irreverent videos that don't fall into the record review format', according to Spin.[5] This secondary channel came into question and controversy in October 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.[17] After the article was released, multiple scheduled dates of 'The Needle Drop' U.S. tour were cancelled, with at least one ticket booking site for a Brooklyn tour date stating that their cancellation was due to the Fader article.[18][19]

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 later deleted by The Fader, with both parties saying that the claims were settled.[20] In a later interview, Fantano acknowledged that there 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 be more vocal in his advocacy for social justice issues.[13] Although most of his videos feature some degree of internet-friendly humor, his tone and presentation have varied depending on subject matter; for example, he refrained from making jokes and took a serious approach while reviewing A Crow Looked at Me by Mount Eerie because the album's lyrical contents center on the recent death of the artist's wife.[21]

When asked about the merits of Fantano's reviews, Robert Christgau said in 2019, 'he seems to have arrived at a plausible brand of 21st-century rockcrit...Fantano seems to have figured out a way to make some kind of living by disseminating his own criticism in the online age. That's an achievement.'[22] In September 2020, writing in The New York Times, Joe Coscarelli noted that Fantano is 'probably the most popular music critic left standing'.[13]

Personal life

Fantano met his wife, Dominique Boxley, online in 2008.[5][23] They reside in Middletown, Connecticut. He is an atheist[24] and a vegan, having swapped to the diet after first going vegetarian in his late teens.[6] Fantano also plays the bass guitar, and is frequently seen playing it during introductions to his 'Let's Argue' and 'Let's Agree' episodes on his second channel. Fantano endorsed Bernie Sanders in the 2020 United States presidential election.[25]

In March 2018, Fantano told Polygon that he is a 'free speech purist'.[26]



  • Taiga (2009) (as bass player)[27][28]
  • Anthony FanFiction Vol.1 (2015)

Guest appearances

  • '21 & Jaded' on Never Forget Where You Came From by Goody Grace (2021)[29](as bass player)

as Cal Chuchesta

Fantano as his alter-ego Cal Chuchesta[1]
Anthony Fantano Twitter

Anthony Fantano Twitter Meltdown


  • The New CALassic (2015)


  • 'Cal 2 B' (2013)
  • 'Mykey Come 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)
  • 'East (Remix)' (2020)
  • 'The Needle Drop Theme' (2010)


  1. ^ ab'Interview: Anthony Fantano (The Needle Drop)'. The Mancunion. March 23, 2014.
  2. ^Veronin, Nick. (February 18, 2014). 'The Hardest Working Critic in Show Business Never Stops Hunting for New Music'. Wired.
  3. ^'Anthony Fantano Responds To Alt-Right & Racist Accusations'. Kill Your Stereo. Retrieved May 29, 2019.
  4. ^Lefevre, Jules (October 5, 2017). 'A Primer On The Almighty Shitstorm Surrounding The Needle Drop's Anthony Fantano'. Junkee Media.
  5. ^ abcdefgGordon, Jeremy (November 30, 2016). 'How Anthony Fantano, aka The Needle Drop, Became Today's Most Successful Music Critic'. Spin.
  6. ^ abcElabbady, Ali (October 30, 2013). 'Interview: Anthony Fantano of The Needle Drop'. Green Room. United States. Archived from the original on May 26, 2014.
  7. ^ abcMADDEN, MICHAEL (October 9, 2014). 'Anthony Fantano Wants to Turn You On'. Consequence of Sound.
  8. ^Johnston, Maura (April 28, 2015). 'Anthony Fantano brings Needle Drop to Middle East'. The Boston Globe.
  9. ^'Interview at SXSW'. Archived from the original on June 11, 2011. Retrieved May 9, 2011.
  10. ^Jonze, Tim (March 18, 2011). 'SXSW 2011: The rise of the music vlogger'. London. Retrieved September 4, 2017.
  11. ^WARNER, KARA (November 1, 2011). 'O Music Awards Take Over Halloween's Largest Street Party'. MTV News (Press release).
  12. ^'Robyn Wows MTV O Music Awards; Bjork & Marilyn Manson's Butt Win Big'. Billboard. Retrieved September 8, 2019.
  13. ^ abcCoscarelli, Joe (September 30, 2020). 'The Only Music Critic Who Matters (if You're Under 25)'. The New York Times. ISSN0362-4331. The influential evangelist in question is the YouTuber named Anthony Fantano, 34, who has been speaking album and song reviews directly into a camera for more than a decade on The Needle Drop, his channel with 2.26 million subscribers, making him probably the most popular music critic left standing.
  14. ^'Area 51 remix video proves it's the summer of Lil Nas X'. The Daily Dot. July 19, 2019.
  15. ^OME promotes song
  16. ^ abneedle drop lp
  17. ^'Popular music vlogger accused of promoting alt-right sentiment – NME'. NME. October 4, 2017. Retrieved August 23, 2018.
  18. ^'Anthony Fantano's Entire Tour Canceled Over Racist, Alt-Right Allegations'. Digital Music News.
  19. ^'The Needle Drop Live Shows Cancelled Amid Controversy'. Noisey by Vice. October 5, 2017.
  20. ^'Fader Removes Article Amid Settlement With Anthony Fantano'. Spin. March 21, 2018. Retrieved August 23, 2018.
  21. ^Gonçalves, Arthur Siqueira de Campos (December 23, 2020). The Internet's Busiest Music Nerd: uma análise do vlog The Needle Drop sob a ótica da crítica musical no YouTube [The Internet's Busiest Music Nerd: an analysis of the vlog The Needle Drop from the perspective of music criticism on YouTube] (PDF) (Thesis) (in Portuguese). University of Brasília. pp. 80–81. Archived(PDF) from the original on February 6, 2021.
  22. ^Christgau, Robert (January 15, 2019). 'Xgau Sez'. Archived from the original on July 26, 2018. Retrieved January 15, 2019.
  23. ^'Anthony Fantano Wife Dominique Boxley: Their Marital Relationship'.
  24. ^fantano (November 5, 2018), LET'S ARGUE: Greta Van Fleet DOESN'T Sound Like Led Zeppelin, retrieved November 6, 2018
  25. ^'The Needle Drop's Anthony Fantano On Being A Berniecrat & Trump's Presidency'. Retrieved December 14, 2020 – via YouTube.
  26. ^Alexander, Julia (March 7, 2018). 'Controversial YouTubers head to alternative platforms in wake of 'purge''. Polygon. Retrieved March 17, 2021.
  27. ^'Taiga by Taiga'.
  28. ^'Taiga, by Anthony Fantano and Richard D'Albis'.
  29. ^''I Played Bass On This Album''. March 2, 2021. Retrieved March 2, 2021.

External links

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Anthony Fantano.
  • Official website
  • Anthony Fantano's channel on YouTube
  • Anthony Fantano at Discogs
  • Anthony Fantano at IMDb
  • Cal Chuchesta at Discogs
Retrieved from ''
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