Music and audio

Star Apps: Retro Futura Tour 2014

In the early '80s -- when the US charts were still dominated by '70s rock like Steve Miller Band, Chicago, and Foreigner -- a fresh crop of artists rose up with a revolutionary, synth-based sound that borrowed from Kraftwerk and Giorgio Moroder and would influence future electronic music. This second British Invasion included Howard Jones, Thompson Twins' Tom Bailey, Ultravox's Midge Ure, Katrina and the Waves' Katrina, and China Crisis. If you missed them the first time around, catch them on this summer's Retro Futura Tour. I chatted with these artists about the tour, the stories behind their … Read more

Star Apps: Armin van Buuren

Grammy-nominated Armin van Buuren is more than trance music's most respected DJ/producer. Through his radio show, A State of Trance, and his "A State of Trance Classics" album series, he keeps the genre alive by highlighting what's fresh and preserving its illustrious past. US fans can taste his trance at New York's Electric Zoo Festival on August 30 or at Las Vegas' Marquee Nightclub & Dayclub on August 31.

Tell us about your Electric Zoo Festival set. It depends on the current releases, and it'll be a mix of what the people expect … Read more

Star Apps: 'The One I Love'

Whereas most moviemakers are happy to dissect every aspect of an new release, actor Mark Duplass and director Charlie McDowell are taking a more hush-hush approach about "The One I Love." "It's a romantic comedy with Mark Duplass and Elisabeth Moss," says the director. "They go for a couple's retreat through their therapist to see if they can save their relationship." You can't blame this discretion, considering that "The One I Love" has more twists and turns than your average film, not to mention a major surprise ending. But … Read more

Star Apps: 3 Doors Down

In 3 Doors Down's 2002 mega-hit "Here Without You" -- the band's most listened-to single of all time on Spotify -- singer Brad Arnold laments the separation from his significant other. Currently on the four-month acoustic Songs From the Basement tour, Arnold is certainly missing his wife. I chatted with Arnold about the current tour, the new album, band member departures, how he handles extended separations from his wife, and his favorite apps.

What can you tell us about your acoustic show? I think the acoustic show is a great experience. We really don't approach … Read more

Star Apps: Jade Starling

If you were old enough to fall in love in 1987, then you remember Pretty Poison's No. 1 dance hit, "Catch Me (I'm Falling)." Now a new generation of club kids can fall in love with singer Jade Starling, who has just released her solo debut, "Captive." The EDM-inspired album reflects not only her dance-pop obsession, but also her interest in the struggles we all face. "There has to be love and heartbreak, because you can't have one without the other," she says. I chatted with Starling about her comeback record, … Read more

Star Apps: Jeff Bridges

Jeff Bridges may be an Oscar-winning actor and an accomplished musician, but he still gets performance anxiety every time he's forced to "deliver the goods." I chatted with Bridges about the counsel his mother gave him to combat this and the advice he's given his daughter, singer-songwriter Jessie Bridges, who's opening on his tour with the Abiders. We also talked about his upcoming sci-fi flick, "The Giver," as well as the one item that always travels with him.

What can audiences expect to see on your tour with The Abiders? You never know … Read more

Star Apps: Dean Cain

Dean Cain plays secret-ridden basketball coach Pete Davenport on VH1's hit series "Hit the Floor." Best known for playing Clark Kent/Superman on "Lois and Clark," Cain is no stranger to playing a man with a secret. I chatted with Cain about the season finale of "Hit the Floor," "Lois and Clark," hitting baseballs with Charlie Sheen, and his favorite apps.

With the "Hit the Floor" season finale coming up, what can fans expect? The truth is that we as actors don't know the answers. They film several … Read more

Star Apps: Toto

Between their own releases and session work on other artists' records, Toto members can be heard on an astounding 5,000 albums. Keyboardist David Paich is featured on Boz Scaggs' "Silk Degrees," Michael Jackson's "Thriller," and USA for Africa's "We Are the World." Paich met blue-eyed-soul vocalist Michael McDonald in 1977, when working on a Doobie Brothers album. Toto-McDonald collaborations continued on McDonald's 1982 solo debut, "If That's What It Takes," and Toto's 1986 release, "Farenheit." The artists are reuniting for a summer co-headlining tour.… Read more

8 apps for streaming foreign TV and movies

You prefer subtitles to big Hollywood titles, Japanese anime to American animation, and Gérard Depardieu to Gerard Butler. If you hunger for more international programming but don't want to rely on pricey cable add-ons or out-of-the-way art-house theaters, then check out our software picks for streaming the best foreign cinema and TV.

1. Netflix ( iOS/ Android)

Video-streaming giant Netflix boasts an extensive catalog of foreign shows and movies. Netflix sections off its library by region, but with an easy-to-configure VPN like Hola (Android), you can check out programming that might not be available in the US.

Price: $… Read more

Star Apps: Chicago and REO Speedwagon

Before iHeart Radio, TuneIn, Songza, Pandora, and Rdio, there was FM radio. Chicago and REO Speedwagon were two of the rock bands dominating FM airwaves in the '70s and '80s. With 34 top 20 hits and numerous gold and platinum records between them, these Illinois icons are hitting the road for a 27-date tour this summer. I chatted with Chicago vocalist/keyboardist Robert Lamm and trumpeter Lee Loughnane and REO Speedwagon singer Kevin Cronin about the tour, making music in the digital age, their advice to new artists, and their favorite apps.

Why has it taken so long for both … Read more