Wearing and tearing: An hour of classic rockers grappling with punk and new wave

The various mass-extinction events in pop music history are greatly overstated. Hair metal wasn’t wiped from the face of the earth the moment “Smells Like Teen Spirit” roared to life; the pre-rock ’n’ roll crooners eked out a decent living in casinos and on TV after the teenyboppers turned their attentions to guitars.…

Lana Del Rey, Arcade Fire, Shabazz Palaces, and more albums to expect in July

Every Friday, dozens of new records are released into the wild. Some make big splashes, and others sink almost immediately. For most music consumers, it’s almost too much information, and save for those precious few who spend their hours glued to review sites and release calendars, it’s hard to know what’s coming out…

From Justin to terrible: 21 unfortunate cinematic pop-star vehicles

If you are a successful pop star, conquering the movies appears to be the next logical step. After all, it worked (kind of) for Elvis. And Justin Timberlake! But it turns out that Elvis and JT are the rare exceptions. Most times, when movies are crafted around a particular pop star who’s new to film, the results are…

“Thirteen” going on “30 Something”: Growing up according to pop music

Next to sex and death, there’s no more compelling subject for songwriters than the thing that happens in between those two endpoints on the cycle of life. Aging—and all the excitement, confusion, and existential dread that accompanies it—has long captivated the songwriter, whose work within a ruthlessly youth-focused…

Better Things closes out its first season by inadvertently proving how vital it is

Better Things wraps up its first season with the stellar “Only Women Bleed,” named after the Alice Cooper song that the Fox women sing at the end of the episode together. “Only Women Bleed” is a song about a woman in an abusive relationship, and on was read for as misogynist when Cooper first released the ballad that…

Rob Zombie gamely fact-checks his own Wikipedia entry for Loudwire

Part of the problem with relying on a crowdsourced online encyclopedia is that the information contained within it might not be 100-percent medically accurate. Loudwire, a publication that defines itself as “The No. 1 Source For Hard Rock + Metal,” openly acknowledges this and has been diligently separating wheat from…

Johnny Depp’s Hollywood Vampires are going on tour

The Hollywood Vampires aren’t like normal rock bands. For one thing, normal rock bands don’t usually count famous actor Johnny Depp among their ranks, even though he literally once said that it’s “sickening” when famous actors try to become musicians. That’s just how powerful the appeal of the Hollywood Vampires is,…

Vinyl suffers from Forrest Gump syndrome in an episode with too many famous people

Like Vinyl, Terence Winter’s Boardwalk Empire regularly featured its fictional characters rubbing elbows with historical figures, so much that gangsters Al Capone, Lucky Luciano, and Meyer Lansky were all part of the main cast. And that’s to say nothing of Bugsy Siegel, J. Edgar Hoover, and politicians such as Harry…

Lemmy to get the Johnny Depp-led Grammys tribute he would have wanted

As befits the legacy of a the fallen king of heavy metal, Motörhead frontman Lemmy will receive a tribute at this year’s Grammys, as performed by a bunch of guys in spooky eye makeup and goofy hats who like to pretend that they’re creatures of the night. Yes, Johnny Depp, Alice Cooper, and Joe Perry—also known as the…

Johnny Depp’s band teams up with Paul McCartney and Dave Grohl for its first album

The last time we heard from Hollywood Vampires, the rock band started by Johnny Depp, Alice Cooper, and Aerosmith’s Joe Perry, the group was just a wonderful, beautiful dream created by a famous actor who hates it when famous actors are in bands (a fact that we keep bringing up only because it’s really funny). Back…