Burlesque Is a Power Trip

Sparkly Underwear and Ostrich Feathers Give Me More Creative Freedom Than I’ve Ever Had Before

The song is a hokey karaoke version of Frank Sinatra’s “Witchcraft.” It’s the week of Halloween, 2012, and I’m in a theater on New York’s Upper West Side. I’m wearing a short satin skirt, bright green tights, a corset beneath a fitted velvet jacket, and an enormous witch hat covered in green glitter. For the past month, I’ve been practicing the smoothest way to peel off a pair of long, black gloves as I imitate Ol’ Blue Eyes’ croon.

Lights come up over the theater’s stage, and I part black …

Learning the Twist in New Delhi

Growing Up American in India Instilled in Me a Deep Curiosity About Foreign Lands—Including My Own

I grew up in India from the age of 4 to 14. Every two years, my family traveled back to the States on “home leave.” Via Europe or through Hong …

Where Can You Dance to the Washboard in L.A.?

The Louisiana Creole Sound of Zydeco Music Is Tough to Categorize—and Tough to Find Outside of New Orleans, Unless You Know Where to Look

It’s not every day that Angelenos stumble upon a washboard, an accordion, and a pot of gumbo all within the county limits.

Maybe that’s because they aren’t looking hard enough. Hidden …

The Oldest Guy at the Club—and the Coolest by Far

An L.A. Party Wasn’t a Party Unless Reggae Pops Was There, and Now He’s Not

For the last few weeks, clubgoers and music enthusiasts have been mourning the passing of Nemencio Jose Andujar, who died three days shy of his 71st birthday. Of course, few …

This Is How You Do ‘Crazy Legs’ On Roller Skates

Every Thursday Night at a Rink in Glendale, We Groove to El DeBarge

Every Thursday night, my friend Amy and I arrive at Moonlight Rollerway on a lonely industrial strip in Glendale in the blouses and pants we wore to work and throw …

The L.A. TV Show That Taught America How to Groove

Nelson George Dissects the SoCal Style That Made ‘Soul Train’ a National Phenomenon

In Squaring Off, Zócalo invites authors into the public square to answer five questions about the essence of their books. For this round, we pose questions to music historian Nelson …