He's been a starship captain, a Karamazov brother, a cop, a lawyer and a science-fiction author. Now, William Shatner returns to the recording studio for a new, space-themed spoken-word album, Seeking Major Tom.
American composer Steve Reich turned 75 this week. The so-called "minimalist" credits jazz, African drumming and Balinese gamelan for inspiring his signature style. His music, from experimental tape loops to the Pulitzer Prize-winning "Double Sextet," has inspired the generations of composers who followed.
In the early 1960s, when Reich was beginning his composition career, the contemporary classical music scene was dominated by atonal music like the works of Pierre Boulez.
"It fell to my generation to basically say, 'Basta! Enough!' " Reich says.
In 1992, the album Hollywood Town Hall launched the career of the Minnesota band The Jayhawks, making it a seminal force in the burgeoning sound known as alt-country. Co-founders Mark Olson and Gary Louris found their harmonies and their songwriting styles fit together like few others, and The Jayhawks toured relentlessly — so much so that it took them three years to follow up that hit album with a new one.