When Bono Met Eugene

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Rock stars and theologians generally inhabit separate spheres of influence. But every now and then, their orbits intersect in unexpected ways. Such is the case with Bono, frontman for U2, and Eugene Peterson, the pastor and theologian who wrote The Message paraphrase. Bono has long been a fan of Peterson’s work translating Scripture not only […]

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What Lady Gaga Got Right—and Wrong—at the Oscars

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Lady Gaga is one of Hollywood’s most enigmatic entertainers. One minute she’s wowing us with a heartfelt salute to legend Julie Andrews, the next she’s shocking us by wearing a meat dress or, in American Horror Story, wearing hardly anything at all. Her latest splash in the Hollywood spotlight came at last week’s Oscars, where […]

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Beyoncé Sparks Unlikely Red Lobster Stampede

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How much real-world influence does a popular entertainer really exercise? Normally, that’s an incredibly tricky question to try to answer. Why? Because there are just so many variables in play that it makes proving air-tight causal links between pop culture and real-world behavior virtually impossible. Besides that, artists and entertainment creators often try to downplay […]

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Musical Musings 2015: Adam Holz’s Year-End Picks

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After a surprisingly positive 2014, this year was a bit thinner when it came to positive stand-out tracks and albums. But I’ve still managed to sift out five terrific musical moments (some albums, some tracks) that span quite a bit of stylistic and thematic territory. (They’re listed in no particular order.) Twenty One Pilots, Blurryface: […]

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What a Rock Star’s Tragic Death Has to Do With Us

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When celebrities die tragic, premature deaths due to addiction and excess, popular culture has a way of lionizing them as something akin to martyred heroes. From Marilyn Monroe to Jim Morrison, Elvis Presley to Kurt Cobain, Corey Monteith to Heath Ledger to Philip Seymour Hoffman, the sad story is so sadly similar: a blazing life […]

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Naked and Assimilated

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Back in October, singer and actress Selena Gomez gave an in-depth interview with the website refinery29.com. She talked at length about transitioning from what the magazine describes as her “safely PG” Disney days to a young adult artist who’s now shedding the restrictions and prohibitions that come along with the Mouse House mantle. Selena’s latest […]

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The State of Teens, Tweens and Screens

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It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to notice how screen and media time continues to grow for so many of us, young and old, these days. Televisions, computers, e-readers, tablets and smartphones offer unprecedented opportunities to engage in all manner of entertainment media. But just how much of this entertainment do our teens and tweens […]

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P!nk Unleashed

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P!nk got in touch with her inner Tipper Gore—the woman most responsible for getting parental advisory stickers slapped on music albums—after this year’s MTV Video Music Awards. Even though the singer (real name: Alecia Beth Moore) is hardly a stranger to racy, enveloping-pushing songs and videos herself, P!nk didn’t think much at all of this […]

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Rock’s Not (Quite) Dead … and Why That Matters

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Last September, KISS bassist, entrepreneur and reality TV star Gene Simmons became the latest in a long line of voices to loudly lament, “Rock is finally dead!” In many ways, Simmons may very be correct. Rock music doesn’t enjoy the cultural omnipresence it wielded from the 1960s through the ’90s. And the industry as a […]

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‘Dirty Deeds’ (Almost) Done for Real

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An ongoing controversy in the 1980s revolved around whether certain rock bands’ music inspired isolated, unstable listeners to commit heinous crimes. Perhaps the highest-profile of these cases was that of convicted serial killer Richard Ramirez. Ramirez, who came to be known as the “Night Stalker,” was convicted in 1989 for the murder of 13 people […]

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