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Music

In this July 12, 2014 photo, Motown legend Smokey Robinson poses for a photo, in Los Angeles. Robinson's his latest album, “Smokey & Friends,” comes out Tuesday, Aug. 19, 2014. The collection of Robinson tunes pairs the Motown veteran with Elton John, Mary J. Blige, James Taylor, CeeLo Green, Miguel, and Steven Tyler. (Photo by Katy Winn/Invision/AP)

Smokey and Friends

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Los Angeles — After five decades in show business, the man who shaped Motown with instantly recognizable hits like My Girl and Tears of a Clown said he can’t stop writing. Smokey Robinson said he scribbles down lyrics on a pad or leaves a fragment of a tune on his own voice mail whenever inspiration hits. “I write on the …

At MTV Video Music Awards, Expect Surprise Performances

Sunday, August 24, 2014

With a legacy that includes Madonna tongue-kissing Britney Spears, Beyonce announcing her pregnancy and Howard Stern’s bare behind, the MTV Video Music Awards has never had trouble generating buzz. But this year’s ceremony, which will be shown Sunday night at 9, has a special challenge: How do you compete with Miley Cyrus’ twerking …

Who Should Win — And Will Win — Top Awards

Sunday, August 24, 2014

The MTV Video Music Awards have always been less about the awards and more about the performances. (What got more attention last year? Justin Timberlake’s Mirrors winning video of the year or Miley Cyrus’ twerking? Case closed.) However, this year’s nominations do try to make the fan-voted categories more of a fair fight, …

Woods Takes Helm Of Bel Canto Singers

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Lebanon — Jane Woods, former choral director for Hanover High School and Richmond Middle School, is returning as music director of the Bel Canto Chamber Singers, the group announced recently. Woods, who previously led the ensemble from 1991 …

Clapton Says Thank You to JJ Cale

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Nashville, Tenn. — For Eric Clapton, the early 1970s were filled with drug addiction, personal difficulties and growing dissatisfaction with music. Singer-songwriter JJ Cale rescued him and gave him a direction, though the man known as the main …

Opera North’s ‘Street Scene’ Is Magnificent

Thursday, August 14, 2014

After hearing Kurt Weill’s epic Street Scene , which is being given a remarkable production by Opera North at the Lebanon Opera House, I’m staggered that it hasn’t been revived on Broadway since it opened in 1946, and that it isn’t as well known by the general public …

WRJ Venue Splits With Tupelo

Thursday, August 14, 2014

White River Junction — While the beat will go on at the music stage next door to the Elixir restaurant on South Main Street, the venue will go by a new name: Freight House Hall. Citing “creative differences” with the management of Tupelo Music Hall in Londonderry, N.H., …

Kiss’ Gene Simmons Is Not So Mean, Well, Maybe

Thursday, August 14, 2014

No surprise: Gene Simmons ate up a lot of our interview time singing the praise of his biggest fan. Yep, Gene Simmons. More surprising, Kiss’ tongue-wagging, demon-faced co-founder also had nice — or at least not entirely antagonistic …

Tom Ellis Gains Attention as Renegade Doctor on ‘Rush’

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Beverly Hills, Calif. — Ever since he was born, Welsh actor Tom Ellis has entertained an audience. “I have a twin sister and when we were born in Cardiff at the University of Wales hospital — it’s a …

Yahoo Streams Daily Live Concert

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Los Angeles — Sometimes the struggles of an industry can bring music to your ears. And your screens. Live Nation’s partnership with Yahoo to stream one live concert every day is a rare win for music fans. The …

Opera North Opens Season With a Sparkling ‘My Fair Lady’

Thursday, August 7, 2014

My Fair Lady , the Lerner and Loewe musical based on George Bernard Shaw’s 1912 play Pygmalion , is one of those perfect works with which it’s impossible to find fault. And you might think that having led with that sentence that a “but” was on its way. …

‘La Traviata’ Suffers From Tepid Staging, Chemistry

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Giuseppe Verdi’s La Traviata (in English, a close approximation would mean “the fallen woman”) was based on Alexandre Dumas the younger’s La Dame aux Camellias , the story of Violetta, a consumptive courtesan who falls deeply in love with a young man , Alfredo. She renounces him at …

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers Rock on Latest Album, ‘Hypnotic Eye’

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Los Angeles — Before easing into a conversation about his new album with the Heartbreakers, Hypnotic Eye, the longtime Malibu beach-dweller Tom Petty has a score to settle. It’s in response to an old Los Angeles Times survey …