For the past dozen years, Arctic Monkeys songwriter Alex Turner has reigned as one of pop’s best lyricists, from his band’s early records, on which he sardonically documented after-hours pub life in Sheffield, England, to its new one, Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino, a concept album about a resort on the moon. Backstage before a […]

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Country Music Hall of Famer Harlan Howard famously boiled the philosophy of country songwriting down to a simple phrase: “three chords and the truth.” The meaning of the oft-repeated slogan may seem self-evident, but there’s more than meets the eye behind those five monosyllabic words. Howard made half a dozen albums between the early 1960s […]

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Growing up is hell. Your body changes so quickly you can almost sense it happening. Your hormones trip off thoughts you can barely manage or understand. In adolescence, before we settle into the people we are going to be, pop music serves a dual purpose: It is a beacon for teenage friendships and romances. It […]

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Taylor Swift has entered Chicago. Pedicabs swirl around Millennium Park blasting her hits as thousands of midwestern pop-music fans make their pilgrimage to Soldier Field, where they will be treated to glittery flights through the air, towering inflatable snakes, and an exploding mansion. But before they can see all that, they’re going to see Charli […]

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