Music

Politicians Strive to Speak Meaninglessly About Culture

Saturday, February 6, 2016

The presidential campaign trail always intersects with pop culture, and the 2016 race has been no exception. Scott Walker tried to use the unofficial Star Wars holiday May 4th to bolster his flagging presidential campaign. Hillary Clinton snuck into Chipotle for a burrito bowl and campaigned with Girls creator Lena Dunham, just one of the many actresses and showrunners who have turned out for her campaign. The rapper and political …

Charlie Puth: ’Tween Idol and Music Nerd

Sunday, January 31, 2016

The shrieking of little girls filled the air at Staples Center in Los Angeles when Charlie Puth took the stage last month. A baby-faced pop singer best known for See You Again, his chart-topping duet with rapper Wiz Khalifa, Puth wasted no opportunity to milk the crowd’s adoration. There was grinning. There was …

Jefferson Airplane Guitarist Dies

Friday, January 29, 2016

Paul Kantner, the Jefferson Airplane guitarist, songwriter and fixture of the San Francisco ’60s rock scene, died Thursday of septic shock and organ failure, according to his publicist, who confirmed the news with the San Francisco Chronicle. He was 74. “Paul was a key architect in the development of what became known as the San Francisco Sound,” wrote Recording Academy President Neil Portnow …

The Pros and Cons of 5 Popular Streaming Services

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Here’s a subjective rundown of five of the most popular services available in America, based on the experiences of one full-time listener. Spotify $9.99 per month; $14.99 family plan; free ad-supported version Grade: B+ Pros: Premium service offers …

Playing to the (Digital) Crowd

Sunday, January 24, 2016

For those of us whose passion or work leads us to follow the machinery and magic of recorded music, there are infinite avenues for education. Jumping from platform to platform is the norm. In bursts of listening we …

The Eagles’ Glenn Frey Spun Sun-Baked So-Cal Ballads That Will Endure

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Few bands were better at distilling the vibe of Los Angeles in the 1970s than the Eagles, and as its singer and guitarist, Glenn Frey served as a sort of mellow ambassador of the city. Just as Liverpool …

Keith Urban Plans Out Tour While Finishing Latest Album

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Nashville, Tenn. — Country star Keith Urban hasn’t finished his forthcoming album, RipCORD, but he’s already planning a new arena and amphitheater tour in 2016. The first leg of the RipCORD World Tour will start June 2 in …

Ivory Complicates Music

Sunday, January 10, 2016

It’s a mere quarter of a gram of ivory — about 1/100 of an ounce — embedded at the bottom tip of many violin bows. But because it comes from the tusks of the African elephant, its presence …

Appreciation: Pierre Boulez Reveled in Challenging the Status Quo

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Shortly after Arnold Schoenberg died in 1951, Pierre Boulez wrote a polemical essay, Schoenberg Is Dead, that instantly became infamous. The young firebrand composer accused the most influential European composer of the first half of the 20th century …

Swan Song for ‘American Idol’ After 15 Game-Changing Years

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Los Angeles — It started on June 11, 2002, with a couple of unfamiliar hosts posing in an empty theater and making an overblown declaration to TV viewers. “Live on this stage, an unknown talent will be launched …

Private Lessons Key for Fifth-Grade Flautist in Claremont

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Claremont — Balmy and damp, the day before Christmas Eve felt more like springtime than late December. But that afternoon, a band of wandering musicians brought some sounds of the season to Claremont. Walking through the downtown, instruments …

Ambitious Jazz Hits High Note in 2015

Sunday, January 3, 2016

As year-end top-10 lists continue to roll in, the one album you’ll find near the top of each is Kendrick Lamar’s To Pimp a Butterfly. It’s an ambitious, audacious album, to say the least, one that strives to …

Motorhead’s Lemmy Was a Pioneer

Thursday, December 31, 2015

A voice like shrapnel and a bass tone to match. A steady diet of rock ’n’ roll and rebellion, fueled by, until not so long ago, a bottle of Jack Daniels per day and sexual escapades too numerous to count. Plus: muttonchops. Lemmy Kilmister, singer and bass player …