Does Blink-182 Know Something California’s Governor Jerry Brown Doesn’t?

While Politicians Keep Trumpeting the State’s Success, This Summer’s Songs and Films Sound Skeptical

How is California doing these days? The answer may depend on whom you believe: Governor Brown or Blink-182.

This summer has exposed a divide in perception of California, between the political triumphalism of our elected officials and the decidedly more anxious state of affairs depicted in the broader culture.

Our state’s political and media elites are selling the idea of a “California comeback.” They say—in speeches, op-eds, and books—that the Golden State, not so long ago dismissed as dysfunctional, is the closest thing America has to a working man’s paradise. …

More In: music

Cleveland Rocks, Even in the Dead of Winter

The City’s Unpretentious Music Scene Thrives Year Round, Under Bridges, on Porches, and Outside of the Country’s Most Famous Music Hall

In the middle of February, when the temperatures dip below freezing, Clevelanders are frequently found huddled together for warmth in one place: outside—yes, outside—under the crisp night sky, watching local …

I’ve Been Playing Music Here Since South L.A. Was South Central

The South Central Skankers' Lead Singer on How His Hometown Shaped His Sound

The ska band in which I serve as lead singer, the South Central Skankers, still has the same name it did when we started 15 years ago. But South Central …

Your Mother’s Favorite Song

It’s that song that makes her
close her eyes and nod her head,
music sending her back to a time

before she had you, reverie
back to that tight-waist hip-hugger
pants …

When Frogs Sing Their Evening Song, Listen for Nature’s Greatest Lesson

Spring Peepers Hijack My Brain With an Arrhythmic Chorus About Chance and Survival

For some people, spring begins with the sound of birds. For me, it’s frogs.

All winter, frogs crouch hidden in the leaves, their outsides frozen so hard they’d make a …

The Sweaty Serenity of a Heavy Metal Mosh Pit

A Photographer Captures Thrashing Headbangers in Their Moment of Bliss

On December 9, 1983, Jacob Ehrbahn rocked out like he’d never rocked out before.

He was 13, a suburban Dane who’d never been to a metal concert. The Scorpions—a year …