Blog Profile / LA Times: Pop and Hiss

Filed Under:Entertainment / Music
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Archived Since:July 25, 2010

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Smokey Robinson is warm but shallow at the Hollywood Bowl

Smokey Robinson played a remarkable concert this week in Los Angeles, one that clearly demonstrated that the 75-year-old singer still has a voice - and still has things to say with it.

'Amy' documentary looks squarely in the face of Amy Winehouse's demons

In June 2011, Amy Winehouse performed in Serbia for what would be her final concert.

Throwback tunes: Reissues from Frenchmen, Argentines, Brits, lumberjacks and Vaudevillians

These days, box sets, special editions and packaged reissues - you know, product - serve not only items to be purchased, but advertisements.

Premiere: The creation of Kacey Musgraves' 'Good Ol Boys Club'

The Times is premiering a behind-the-scenes look at Kacey Musgraves' new album "Pageant Material," and in particular the process that went to the song "Good Ol Boys Club," a wry poke at the bro-country movement that's swept Nashville in recent years, and more generally to the male-dominated culture...

So Apple Music is really a return to radio, right?

It's an old-fashioned concept remade for the mobile era: human DJs beaming out songs to people all over the world listening on their smartphones.

St. Vincent's Mixtape Delivery Service aims to grab ears and hearts

Apple Music's arrival on Tuesday promised to deliver expertly crafted playlists on its Beats 1 radio station as well as bridge the gap between artists and fans through exclusive videos and performance requests from the Connect feature.  St. Vincent decided to combine both in her own Beats 1 radio...

Neil Young's in protest mode on 'The Monsanto Years'

At this point in his career, Neil Young has traveled so many paths that his oeuvre is its own game of Choose Your Own Adventure. Need some acoustic-based comfort? Head to "Harvest." Hardened introspection? "Tonight's the Night." "Trans" works well for new wave moods. "Get Back to the Country" delivers...

Kendrick Lamar takes flight in new 'Alright' video

Kendrick Lamar rapped from atop a police cruiser at last weekend's BET Awards. In his new video for "Alright," however, he's perched high above everything that's troubling him.

Father John Misty covers Arcade Fire's 'The Suburbs' in a tool shed

In honor of Arcade Fire topping CBC Music's list for "the 100 best Canadian bands ever," Father John Misty has delivered a trip back to 2012 with a revitalized cover of the title track for Arcade Fire's Grammy-winning album "The Suburbs." 

Apple Music launches with new Pharrell single 'Freedom'

Apple Music officially launched Tuesday, and right out of the gate, it has its first exclusive single.

Chris Squire, the cornerstone of Yes at its best

Another valued rock 'n' roll soul has departed our mortal plane and moved on to the heart of the sunrise: Chris Squire, the monstrously powerful and dexterous bassist of Yes, who died Saturday at 67, having battled leukemia.

BET Awards 2015: Politics and nostalgia make it worth watching again

If you missed the spectacle of the BET Awards, which aired live Sunday night from Microsoft Theater, it was one of the network's best-produced telecasts -- and one that was powerful and electrifying enough to blow away its many peer...

Premiere: The Watkins Family Hour visits 'Brokedown Palace'

Over the dozen-plus years that siblings Sean and Sara Watkins have been holding court regularly at the Largo in Los Angeles, they've nurtured a communal spirit that seems rarer and rarer. Their Watkins Family Hour shows have featured a long string of friends and admirers who pop in, often unannounced,...

BET Awards keep it real, keep it relevant

More often than not, awards shows work to keep the outside world outside, their objective to create a kind of safe space for the self-absorption that keeps Hollywood running.

The Grateful Dead jam in mostly perfect harmony in Santa Clara

The VW buses were supplanted by Ubers. Marijuana was more often vaporized than burned. And bright iPhone screens replaced Bic lighters during "Morning Dew." But the music was nearly the same: the Dead, jamming in (mostly) perfect harmony. No Jerry Garcia hologram necessary.

BET Experience: N.W.A, Kendrick Lamar capture L.A. hip-hop history

How sad that Ice Cube, MC Ren and DJ Yella can reunite in 2015 to perform N.W.A's best-known (and unprintable) anti-police anthem and have so much new footage of brutality against young people of color to project onstage.

BET Experience 2015: N.W.A reunion, Lauryn Hill among final thrills

The omnipresence of N.W.A shirts before Saturday night's West Coast hip-hop focused bill at Staples Center was the most telling of what fans who packed the concert, the final night of headlining acts for the 2015 BET Experience, came to see.

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