Music

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 …

Joy Rooted in Deep Sadness

Sunday, November 15, 2015

For a band known for exuding love and joy, the Polyphonic Spree rose from the ashes of great sorrow. Band founder Tim DeLaughter formed the group 15 years ago in the wake of a beloved friend’s death. The …

Vt. Music Train Draws Fans

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Bellows Falls, Vt. — Stacey Nakasone had a choice to make: fly from her home in Los Angeles to Japan to learn more about taiko drums or take a 50-mile train ride in Vermont. For Nakasone and about 50 other people this fall, Vermont it was. The destination …

Joe Jackson Tries Out a New Sound

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Making a series of short albums based on Berlin, Amsterdam, New Orleans and New York seemed like a good idea at the time. But Joe Jackson, the British singer, songwriter and pianist behind immortal new-wave hits such as …

A Strong Comeback for ELO

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Los Angeles — Before it was Jeff Lynne’s recording studio, the barn-like structure on his property in Beverly Hills housed a previous owner’s collection of vintage pinball machines. “The guy was just mad for them,” said the British …

Will Smith to Tour With DJ Jazzy Jeff

Friday, November 6, 2015

New York — Will Smith says he’s ready to get back on the road. The entertainer told Ellen DeGeneres he’s planning to launch a tour with DJ Jazzy Jeff. Smith said he really wanted to “get out there and do it for real.” The Grammy winner also said …

The Best and Worst Moments From the CMA Award Show

Friday, November 6, 2015

Chris Stapleton may not be known to a ton of mainstream country music fans, but that’s about to change after Wednesday’s Country Music Association Awards. The Kentucky bluegrass musician, who released his solo debut album Traveller earlier this …

Small Vermont Village Celebrates an Art Center to Its Own Tune

Thursday, November 5, 2015

When in doubt, think big. That could be the motto of Main Street Arts in the southern Vermont village of Saxtons River, which this weekend will host the world premiere of the Saxtons River Suite by composer, and …

‘Affair’ Star Ruth Wilson A Contrarian At Heart

Friday, October 30, 2015

New York — With her wide, pouting lips and sharply arched eyebrows, Ruth Wilson has a face that seems designed for drama. She’s put this genetic predisposition to memorable use playing intense, often troubled characters — Jane Eyre …

A Star Under the Radar

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Carrie Underwood has a voice capable of stunning people into silence. It’s a voice that launched the country singer to superstar status not long after she appeared on American Idol a decade ago and judge Simon Cowell told …

The Music of Time and Chance: For Composer Christian Wolff, Performance Is a Process

Thursday, October 22, 2015

The composer Christian Wolff likes to tell an anecdote about one of his favorite performances of his work. The occasion was the wryly-named Burdock Festival, an informal gathering of musicians that took place at his home in Royalton …