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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 Club 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 me to … 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: Cabaret Voltaire

When electropunk trio Cabaret Voltaire performed its first show in Sheffield in 1975, Richard H. Kirk, Stephen Mallinder, and Chris Watson were assaulted by the mostly antagonistic crowd. The band fared better between 1978 and 1985, when they signed a deal with Virgin and developed a more commercial, club-friendly "pop" sound. Now down to single member, Richard H. Kirk, Cabaret Voltaire pays tribute to its golden, major-label era with the new 18-track compilation "#7885 (Electropunk to Technopop 1978-1985)," featuring boundary-pushing electronic gems "Nag Nag Nag," "Do the Mussolini (Headkick)," "Sensoria," &… 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

Star Apps: Wiz Khalifa

From Ice-T and Chuck D in the '80s to Tupac and Nas in the '90s, every decade has its hip-hop prophets and beloved lyricists who interpret the signs of their time in inspired verses. The '00s belonged to Wiz Khalifa. I chatted with the rapper about his new album, "Blacc Hollywood," and lead single "We Dem Boyz," as well as his Under the Influence of Music tour, thoughts on Kanye West fans, and favorite apps.

You've released multiple mixtapes since 2005's "Prince of the City: Welcome to Pistolvania," including 2014's "… Read more

Star Apps: Zach Braff

Zach Braff is used to having doors shut in his face. An actor since the age of 13, Braff didn't get his big break on "Scrubs" till he was twice that age. There was initially zero interest in his first major movie, the indie breakout "Garden State," or his new film, "Wish I Was Here." Naysayers warned that he'd never get the latter film funded via Kickstarter. But Braff has persevered. His "Wish I Was Here" character, Aidan Bloom, hasn't been quite so lucky, struggling to make it as … Read more

Star Apps: 'Dawn of the Planet of the Apes'

"Dawn of the Planet of the Apes," set a decade after humanity and its power supply are nearly decimated, portrays the difficulty of rebuilding civilization without software. How would one navigate without Google Maps, see at night without Flashlight, or speak to intelligent life without FaceTime? Virtual city building via Minecraft or Civilization is also off the menu. But what if there was a way to get power from a hydroelectric dam? The only obstacle is a nation of spiteful super apes. That's the predicament for surviving humans in "Dawn of the Planet of the Apes.&… Read more

Star Apps: Aerosmith

Rock and Roll Hall of Famers Aerosmith keep the rock flag flying high. This month the band kicks off the Let Rock Rule tour, with openers Slash and Myles Kennedy and the Conspirators. I chatted with Aerosmith bassist Tom Hamilton about the tour, the stories behind his most famous contributions, surviving cancer, the importance of staying up-to-date on Twitter and Logic X.

What can you tell us about the Let Rock Rule tour? Having Slash with us has created a synergy where instead of two rock bands, it's gonna be something bigger than that. We feel that it's … Read more