|“||I'm Anthony Fantano, the internet's busiest music nerd.||”|
Anthony Fantano (born on October 28, 1985) is an American music critic who reviews "rock, pop, electronic, metal, hip-hop, and experimental music" through his channel and site, The Needle Drop. Though he does album reviews very frequently, he also does a series called Track Reviews (stylized as TRKRVWZ') and occasionally a Question Of The Week or a list based video. He also runs a second channel, called thatistheplan, where he posts various miscellaneous videos and runs a series called Meme Review, where he reviews memes in a comedic and exaggerated way.
His reviews are also known for containing brief skits, usually involving his alter-ego Cal Chucesta, a musically oblivious man portrayed as Fantano's roommate.
He is known for his reviews of albums, in which he discusses the album, and gives his overall score of it at the end. Alongside his TRKRVWZ series, which is done in a similar format, but talking about individual tracks as opposed to albums. A lot of his videos feature Cal Chucesta, a character portrayed by Fantano wearing a black painted on mustache, a brown sweater, and squinting.
Fantano grew up in Connecticut and as a child had a desire to become a cartoonist, stating he was a fan of The Simpsons and that he still enjoys cartoons from today such as Adventure Time and Regular Show. Fantano was introduced to independent music in the early 2000s which eventually influenced him to start The Needle Drop. "I had a friend of mine on Livejournal–lol, I know–back in the early 00s who used to do these long writeups about certain artists and she turned me on to a few that were pretty great. It made me want to do the same, share the musical experience on the internet. It didn’t really turn into "reviews" until I tried doing YouTube in 2009, which I only did as an experiment because my blog and podcast were making much traction at the time."
Fantano started his career in the mid-2000s as a music director for the Southern Connecticut State University college radio station. He stated, "I’ve always loved music, but working there got me turned in to a lot of different styles, and got me pushing my tastes into different areas".
In 2007, Fantano started working at Connecticut Public Radio in which he hosted The Needle Drop. That same year, Fantano also launched The Needle Drop in text reviews, eventually starting as video reviews in 2009. Fantano, at the time, was working on The Needle Drop, at the college radio station, and at a pizza restaurant. In late 2011, Fantano decided to pursue The Needle Drop full-time and therefore, he had quit working at the pizza restaurant. "It wasn’t really a decision. It was just a matter of the show taking up so much of my time and making me enough money to sustain myself. I was quitting a job where I was cooking pizza, so it wasn’t that hard of a decision. I love the people who I used to work with, and I was working with a lot of them for ten years, but they understand this is my passion and my own thing that I have to pursue" he said.