Blog Profile / LA Times: Pop and Hiss


URL :http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/music_blog/
Filed Under:Entertainment / Music
Posts on Regator:4581
Posts / Week:12.2
Archived Since:July 25, 2010

Blog Post Archive

Don Williams, the influential 'Gentle Giant' of country music, dies at 78

Don Williams, an influential and award-winning country singer of hits including the love ballad “I Believe in You,” has died. He was 78. A statement from publicist Kirt Webster said Williams died Friday after a short illness. Williams had 17 No. 1 hits before retiring in 2016. His mellow sound...

MTV is bringing back 'Unplugged' with Shawn Mendes. Will his young fans tune in?

The once-famous acoustic showcase 'Unplugged' is returning at a moment when teens and twentysomethings are abandoning old-fashioned television. First up: Shawn Mendes.

How the boys of One Direction are setting out on their own

Niall Horan recognized the lyric was something of a risk. A key part of “Slow Hands” — the top-20 solo hit by this member of the British boy band One Direction — the iffy line likens his lover’s touch not to a summer breeze or a kiss from a rose but to “sweat dripping down our dirty laundry.” On...

Taylor Swift's growth continues as 'Reputation' nears

The former country wunderkind turned international pop sensation is coming back Nov. 10 with “Reputation,” her sixth studio album and her first new collection in three years, the longest break she’s taken between albums since the 2006 release of her fetchingly precocious debut, “Taylor Swift.”...

Bassist/producer Holger Czukay of Can was one of the most influential musicians you may never have heard of

The bassist and composer Holger Czukay, whose death at 79 was announced Tuesday, played a key role in the creation of post-punk — before the term punk itself even existed and while much of Western youth culture was playing hippy-fied variations on electric blues. As co-founder of the influential...

KCSN-KSBR FM merger aims to create new Southland public radio powerhouse

A long-simmering, long-distance courtship between two humble members of the Southern California radio community will culminate Tuesday in a marriage that aims to create a new power couple in the hyper-competitive world of Los Angeles radio. The two noncommercial stations soon to be united are KCSN-FM,...

Quincy Jones reflects on his career and relationship with Michael Jackson

Quincy Jones turned 84 in March, but said he feels like he’s 18. “I stopped drinking two years ago. I feel like I’m just starting, man — it’s unbelievable. I come up with Ray Charles and Sinatra, so you know I knew how to do it,” he said, laughing, in a recent phone interview. On Wednesday Jones’...

Hard Events founder Gary Richards finds a new home with LiveStyle

When Gary Richards walked off the stage after his DJ set at Hard Summer last month, he knew it would be his last performance at the festival he founded 10 years ago. Just weeks later, however, Richards is ready to announce his new gig. The promoter behind one of L.A.’s largest — and sometimes controversial...

Ringo Starr keeps pushing forward with new music on 'Give More Love' album

Were Ringo Starr the kind of guy to delve deep into the blues, he might well have taken a stab at Willie Dixon’s classic “I Can’t Quit You Baby,” on his forthcoming album, “Give More Love.” Perhaps not in the original context of being unable to escape a toxic relationship with a romantic partner,...

Julee Cruise returns to 'Twin Peaks': 'I will always be proud of this'

As David Lynch prepared last year to shoot a musical performance that would help close out his revival of “Twin Peaks,” his direction to singer Julee Cruise was simple. “He said, ‘Julee, you are a child full of wonder,’” recalls Cruise, a longtime musical collaborator with Lynch. “And he meant...

Walter Becker, co-founder of Steely Dan, dies at 67

Walter Becker, the co-founder of Steely Dan who was known for his acerbic wit and his proficient work with the guitar, has died. He was 67. As one of the key architects of Steely Dan, Becker and longtime musical partner Donald Fagen were responsible for numerous hit songs and albums throughout...

Walter Becker approached everything with irreverence — except Steely Dan's music

Walter Becker wasn’t easily impressed. Addressing a crowd of show-business luminaries in 2001 as his band, Steely Dan, was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, he took a typically sly — and typically subtle — dig at the institution’s inflated self-regard by declaring, “We’re persuaded...

California Sounds: Petra Haden tackles 'Maniac,' the Steoples toss 'Six Rocks' and D33J steps to the forefront

Petra Haden, “Maniac” (YouTube). Musician Petra Haden is perhaps best known as co-founder of beloved ‘90s L.A. band That Dog, but for the last dozen years she's been making infectious a cappella cover versions of unlikely songs. Her best known project is a song for song cover of the Who's early...

The 1993 interview when Walter Becker opened up about Steely Dan's subversive intentions

Walter Becker, co-founder with Donald Fagen of Steely Dan, died Sunday at age 67. In this Sunday Calendar interview published in The Times on Aug. 22, 1993, Becker and Fagen talked with Chris Willman at the start of their first reunion tour after 19 years away from the stage as Steely Dan and a...

'Liner Notes': Loudon Wainwright's first book goes deep where the singer-songwriter has often gone before--family

Family. It’s humanity’s foundational social unit, one that encompasses myriad rich and complex dealings, which makes it somewhat surprising that more musicians haven’t devoted more attention to examining the myriad interpersonal dynamics that they engender. But then there’s Loudon Wainwright III,...

Now that 'Sgt. Pepper' has been remixed and reissued, Ringo Starr shares his wish list

The 50th anniversary remix and deluxe reissue of the Beatles’ “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” was greeted with almost universal acclaim upon its release in May. Long ranked as one of the most revolutionary and influential albums in rock history, the “Sgt. Pepper” reissue scored a perfect...

Taylor Swift's Ticketmaster 'Verified Fan' initiative sparks controversy

On the surface, pop star Taylor Swift’s ticketing announcement seems simple enough — exciting, even. “Taylor Swift is committed to getting tickets into the hands of fans … NOT scalpers or bots,” reads the statement on Ticketmaster’s site. “So she's collaborating with Ticketmaster #VerifiedFan to...

LCD Soundsystem's 'American Dream' isn't a victory lap — it's better than that

Well, of course he got the band back together. Going out on top — and then just staying that way? It would’ve seemed counter to the animating spirit of the thing. When James Murphy started LCD Soundsystem in 2002, the singer, producer and vintage-synth connoisseur introduced the group with “Losing...

Sparks' Ron and Russell Mael recall getting booted from the Riot Hyatt on Sunset — for throwing a bagel out the window

The avant-pop band Sparks has been making curiously brilliant music for over four decades, and for a lot of that time they’ve done so in proximity to Sunset Boulevard. Founded by brothers Ron and Russell Mael, who were raised in Pacific Palisades, the band earned early attention for gigs at the...

How MTV's Video Music Awards reflected a troubled moment in America

It wasn’t Pink. It wasn’t Taylor Swift. It wasn’t even Katy Perry, who hosted the show and gave its closing performance. No, the person MTV clearly wanted to represent the 2017 edition of its annual Video Music Awards — to communicate its heart and soul — was Susan Bro, whose daughter Heather Heyer...

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