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Cassette tapes were easily tossed aside in the move to digital music formats but there is still a cult following and new releases put out on tape. These music cassetes are on the racks for sell at Burger Records in Fullerton, California, on July 22, 2010. (Wally Skalij/Los Angeles Times/MCT)

Cassettes Are Cool Again

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Steve Stepp likes to tell people his company is still around after 45 years thanks to his stupidity and stubbornness. As the owner of family-run National Audio Co., the last business to manufacture audio cassette tapes on a massive scale, the longtime Springfield, Mo., resident weathered nearly two decades of people telling him his product was obsolete. He didn’t budge: …

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 …

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 …

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 …

Motorhead’s Lemmy Dies

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

The metal community shook late Monday with news that singer, bassist and songwriter Ian “Lemmy” Kilmister from the influential British metal band Motorhead had died. He was 70. Motorhead later released a statement about Lemmy on Facebook: “There is no easy way to say this ... our mighty, …

Heirs to N.H. Poet Sue ‘Big Bang Theory’ Over ‘Soft Kitty’ Song

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

New York — The heirs to a New Hampshire teacher who wrote a poem about a “soft kitty” eight decades ago said in a lawsuit Monday that TV’s The Big Bang Theory is violating their copyrights. Edith Newlin’s daughters sued CBS and other media-related companies over the copyright …

Finding Strength in Classical Music

Saturday, December 26, 2015

In times of tragedy, classical music is automatically summoned for comfort. Giving succor after a terrorist attack, as Barber’s Adagio for Strings did in a Paris memorial to victims of last month’s terrorist attack, is unquestionably noble employment. Providing essential time and space for reflection is music’s matchless …

Unusual Sounds by Tom Jones

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Los Angeles — In his just-published autobiography, Over the Top and Back , singer Tom Jones recounts with unbridled honesty and a wicked sense of humor many of the remarkable highlights of his 50-plus-year career. But sitting in …

A Legend in the Afterlife

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Washington — The saddest part of the mostly heartwarming story of singer Eva Cassidy is that she had to die to get the renown she deserved. Cassidy, an eclectic cover artist who grew up in Bowie, Md., has …

‘The River’ Flows With More Material

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Bruce Springsteen’s 1980 release, The River, was a double album twice as long as anything he’d released previously, and the recording sessions leading up to it were just as epic. The Ties That Bind: The River Collection (Columbia), …

Famed Conductor Kurt Masur Dies

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Berlin — Kurt Masur was a conductor who knew how to use his authority. He used it to tame orchestras — notably the unruly New York Philharmonic, which he led for 11 years — and to historic effect …

Weiland Died of Accidental Overdose

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Scott Weiland died of an accidental overdose of cocaine, alcohol and methylenedioxyamphetamine, the drug commonly known as MDA. The cause of death of the former Stone Temple Pilots and Velvet Revolver frontman was confirmed Friday by the Hennepin County Medical Examiner in Minneapolis. The medical examiner’s office also …

Can ‘The Voice’ Make Jordan Smith a Star?

Thursday, December 17, 2015

No shocking twists this season on The Voice. As expected, Jordan Smith, the 22-year-old church choir leader from Kentucky and clear favorite from the very beginning, took home the crown on the Season 9 finale Tuesday night. His …