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The Grateful Dead perform at the Oakland Coliseum in December 1992. (Karl Mondon/Bay Area News Group/TNS)

How Reagan Helped the Dead

Sunday, June 28, 2015

The rise of the Grateful Dead from cult band to rock ’n’ roll juggernaut didn’t take hold until some 20 years after the group was born in Palo Alto, Calf., in the 1960s. Who led the charge? Besides Jerry Garcia and his bandmates, there was another charismatic California icon who deserves a share of the credit. Ronald Reagan. Yes, that …

The Mekons Remain a Beacon of Punk Persistence and Creativity

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Born in art school at the University of Leeds in 1977, the Mekons long ago conceded that fame and fortune were outside their grasp, and it kind of shows. The band’s fan site, while kept current, is run by a guy named Nobby and looks like it was coded in 1996. Unlike university …

Musicians Cooperative Throws a Bash

Thursday, June 25, 2015

A new musicians cooperative is kicking off the summer season with seven hours of music and food Sunday at the Old Farmers Exchange in Windsor. The BYOB event, which is being organized by Caballbreakeradio, features nine bands and solo artists on two stages, and the $20 ticket includes a four-course meal. Slated to …

Is Taylor Swift a Hero or a Hypocrite?

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Taylor Swift may currently be basking in the glory of being the artist who took on Apple and won, but to a group of photographers, she’s nothing but a hypocrite. Less than 24 hours after Swift slammed Apple …

Indie Labels Join Apple

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Shortly after Taylor Swift got Apple Inc., to change its mind on royalty payments, thousands of independent record labels have now voiced their support for Apple Music. Beggars Group, a consortium of labels, said Wednesday it endorses the new Apple Music deal. Merlin Network, which collects digital royalties …

With a New Album and Tour, Bette Midler Is a Powerhouse

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Los Angeles — Bette Midler knows what’s expected of her onstage in 2015. “I have to sing well, and I have to have a great band,” she said recently. “But my audience, they’ve known me at this point …

A Band Built on Friendship

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Sitting with her bandmate Cleo Tucker on the back patio of a coffee shop in Los Angeles, Girlpool’s Harmony Tividad remembers the jarring contrast when the acoustic pop duo arrived in Philadelphia after uprooting their lives in their …

What Will the Song of the Summer Be?

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Real quick, before school’s out forever, raise your hand if you still care about the song of the summer. Everyone should. The annual debate over which pop single will rule our hot months is the best kind of music debate. Why? Because it’s impossible for anyone to win, …

Theatrics Take Second Place on New Album

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Florence Welch flung open the door to her suite at the Chateau Marmont last month like a woman in the middle of an important task. Inside, dozens of designer gowns, maybe a hundred in all, hung on several …

Grand Ole Opry’s Jim Ed Brown Dead

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Jim Ed Brown, a longtime Grand Ole Opry member who had solo and group hits and was a prominent figure on country music television shows, died Thursday. He was 81. Brown died of cancer at Williamson Medical Center …

Jazz Legend Ornette Coleman Remembered as a ‘True Pioneer’

Friday, June 12, 2015

New York — Jazz legend Ornette Coleman, the visionary saxophonist and composer who pioneered “free jazz” and won a Pulitzer Prize in 2007, has died. Publicist Ken Weinstein says Coleman died on Thursday at 1 a.m. in Manhattan. …

At 73, David Crosby’s Still Got It

Sunday, June 7, 2015

David Crosby — who puts the cantankerous in Crosby, Stills & Nash — was in a particularly good mood the other day. “I’m in a very good space,” said the outspoken, voluble Crosby. He’s lost 40 pounds. The …

Stones Re-Release ‘Sticky Fingers’

Sunday, June 7, 2015

London — Keith Richards doesn’t keep a list of the Top 10 Rolling Stones albums. But he’s happy to place Sticky Fingers, being re-released in a deluxe edition next week, near the very top. “I put it up there,” he said in a recent interview. “I don’t No. …