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.…

What’s so funny?: 25 singers cracking up at their own songs

Singers laugh for various reasons, not all of them sincere. Take, for instance, the laugh that closes out Joni Mitchell’s “Big Yellow Taxi”—a giggle some people find so fake, they made their own fan edits just to cut it out. There is intentional laughter, layered in to create a wild, maniacal atmosphere (“Thriller,” “…

What’s the best musical performance you saw on a TV show?

Welcome back to AVQ&A, where we throw out a question for discussion among the staff and readers. Consider this a prompt to compare notes on your interface with pop culture, to reveal your embarrassing tastes and experiences, and to ponder how our diverse lives all led us to convene here together. Got a question you’d…

What pop culture did you eventually come around on?

Welcome back to AVQ&A, where we throw out a question for discussion among the staff and readers. Consider this a prompt to compare notes on your interface with pop culture, to reveal your embarrassing tastes and experiences, and to ponder how our diverse lives all led us to convene here together. Got a question you’d…

Which musical act have you seen live more than any other?

Welcome back to AVQ&A, where we throw out a question for discussion among the staff and readers. Consider this a prompt to compare notes on your interface with pop culture, to reveal your embarrassing tastes and experiences, and to ponder how our diverse lives all led us to convene here together. Got a question you’d…

Tom Hanks and Bruce Springsteen chatted about the good old days, tax evasion

Attendees at the Tribeca Film Festival—especially those with an abiding interest in what we’re just going to go ahead and call “dad culture”—got a real treat this weekend, when Bruce Springsteen sat down for an hour-long, in-depth interview with America’s most beloved celebrity typewriter collector, Tom Hanks. Hanks,…

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Bruce Springsteen calls refugee ban “anti-democratic and fundamentally un-American”

By this point, it’s beyond clear what Bruce Springsteen thinks of President Donald Trump. Not only did The Boss play a secret show for Barack Obama and his staff in the waning days of that administration, he’s gone on record saying that President Trump is a “moron,” that his promises to the American working class…

Bruce Springsteen played a secret White House concert for the Obamas and their staff

Long-time Barack Obama supporter Bruce Springsteen made one last gesture of solidarity with America’s outgoing president last week, with Backstreets reporting that Springsteen played a private concert in the White House’s East Room for Obama and his staff on January 12. The event occurred just a few days after the…

From St. Vincent’s latest to Drake’s playlist: Our most anticipated albums of 2017

While it’d be nice if music releases fit nicely into a year-by-year narrative, the end of 2016 proved that wasn’t the case. Even after we published our feature highlighting some of the best music of 2016, there was still more to be released for the year. In those last couple weeks before 2017 was rung in, we saw new…

Our 20 favorite books of 2016

When things get hard, you can always retreat into a good book. For all the drawbacks of 2016, the year produced some wonderful books to lose ourselves in, from extraordinary memoirs to autobiographies seeking deeper truths about the nature of fame to fantasy worlds that hold us enthralled. In no particular order, The…