Blog Profile / LA Times: Pop and Hiss


URL :http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/music_blog/
Filed Under:Entertainment / Music
Posts on Regator:4695
Posts / Week:12.3
Archived Since:July 25, 2010

Blog Post Archive

'It's all gone haywire': Mavis Staples on her 'angry' new album

At 78 years old, Mavis Staples has lived through — and sung about — as much American turmoil as any working artist. In the 1960s she provided a crucial voice in the fight for civil rights as a member of the Staple Singers, the Chicago-based family band founded by her father, the late Roebuck Staples,...

Bruno Mars wasn’t perfect at the Forum — which may have been his point

Nobody opens a concert with a song called “Finesse” unless he’s confident he can deliver proof of concept. And, sure enough, that’s what Bruno Mars did Tuesday night at the Forum in Inglewood, where the pop-soul superstar played the first of four gigs behind his most recent album, last year’s double-platinum...

Country music used to tackle the issues. The CMA Awards can’t shy away from them now

There are plenty of questions the Country Music Assn. would like viewers to have on their minds Wednesday night as they tune in to the Nashville trade group’s annual televised awards show on ABC. For instance: Who will be named entertainer of the year? What type of gown will Carrie Underwood wear...

Katy Perry sheds the 'purposeful pop' thesis for a much-needed dose of optimism

What is the purpose of “purposeful pop” today? That phrase was Katy Perry’s go-to as she rolled out her latest album, “Witness,” in June. It tried to sum up the tough job she’d given herself — to advocate for liberal causes and newer, deeper sounds, while still hitting the beats of her hugely successful...

Michael Nesmith to revisit post-Monkees country rock work in First National Band shows

Country-rock pioneer Michael Nesmith will revisit the critically acclaimed solo albums he made after his exit from the Monkees in 1969 with a pair of Southern California shows in January. The shows are themed Michael Nesmith & the First National Band, the name of the group he assembled for the...

Compton-raised artist Problem looks inward on 'Selfish'

On a breezy fall night in North Hollywood, Problem and his friends stood in the parking lot outside a studio, sipping wine. They were locked out, but Problem, wearing sweats and a Detroit Tigers baseball cap, was laughing and smiling. One could barely tell that he was about to share his most serious,...

Van Morrison mixes pop standards, originals on 'Versatile' album due Dec. 1

Promptly on the heels of his latest album, “Roll With the Punches,” released in September, Irish rocker-poet Van Morrison will release yet another studio collection, his 38th, on Dec. 1, when he issues “Versatile,” a session combining material from the Great American Songbook with a half dozen...

California Sounds: New music from Rhye, Gun Outfit and Josiah Steinbrick

Rhye, “Taste” (Loma Vista). The new song by a pair of L.A.-based expats shimmers like candlelight reflected through a three-carat diamond. With a natural glow that belies its meticulously crafted nature, “Taste” is the newest tease from Danish producer Robin Hannibal and Canadian-in-L.A. vocalist...

Halsey brought G-Eazy and Lauren Jauregui to her 'safe space' at the Forum

Standing onstage Friday night at the Forum, Halsey paused between songs to shout out to her keyboard player, Greg Spero, a stalwart collaborator who’d been with her, she said, since her first real concert, at the Troubadour in Los Angeles. That was two and a half years ago. Things have moved quickly...

A new star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame proves Selena's legacy is alive and well

Selena Quintanilla is receiving a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame Friday, and the timing might just be perfect as her legacy keeps growing.

Beatles' Christmas fan club recordings, 'Sgt. Pepper' on tap for holiday release

Christmastime is (almost) here again, and in recent years that’s meant something new from the Fab Four. This year, it’s the first official collection of the Beatles’ annual Christmas recordings made for their fan club members in the 1960s. The group issued recorded messages and special music each...

Kesha's powerful Rainbow tour celebrated a pop survivor

The roar of support from a sold-out crowd at the Hollywood Palladium was proof enough: The past year of reckoning for sexual predators has a soundtrack, and it’s Kesha’s “Rainbow.” On the last stop of the singer’s North American Rainbow tour Wednesday, grown men with glitter warpaint streaked across...

Sam Smith's falsetto carries a phantom weight on 'The Thrill of It All'

Who is Sam Smith kidding? “Every time you hurt me, the less that I cry,” he sings, vowing to guard his fragile heart, in “Too Good at Goodbyes,” the gospel-inspired opener from his new studio album, “The Thrill of It All.” But if there’s anything this young British soul star has made clear since...

Can the music world learn from Hollywood?

Last month, before stories of Harvey Weinstein’s long history of alleged sexual misconduct triggered an unprecedented outpouring in Hollywood, the disgraced movie mogul responded to accusations against him by invoking the words of Jay-Z. “‘I’m not the man I thought I was and I better be that man...

Premiere: Blues musicians ZZ Ward, Fantastic Negrito team for 'Cannonball'

Singer, songwriter and guitarist ZZ Ward has managed to find a connective thread that runs from traditional blues and R&B to contemporary hip-hop. See her bluesy versions of songs from Drake, Kendrick Lamar, Childish Gambino, Tyler the Creator and other rap word figures. She exploited that ability...

Lawrence Rothman's genre-hopping 'The Book of Law' explores many personalities

When you walk into Lawrence Rothman’s house, the place just keeps on going. Rothman — a gender-fluid, genre-agnostic L.A. singer-songwriter who uses neutral pronouns — lives deep in the Cahuenga Pass, in a three-story Midcentury stunner filled with metal skulls under glass, floor-length fur coats...

What happened when Sophie brought her depersonalized pop to the stage

Can we love a pop star we know virtually nothing about? That’s the question posed by Sophie, the willfully mysterious British musician who performed Monday night at the Teragram Ballroom to close out the month-long Red Bull Music Academy festival. A gadget-obsessed producer and songwriter, Sophie...

Robert Plant's new 'Carry Fire' keeps his focus fully forward

Robert Plant insists he hasn’t devoted his life to music for the money or the awards. So it’s with a detached sense of humor that the celebrated singer and songwriter remembers being overlooked by the Recording Academy’s Grammy Awards for his critically acclaimed 2014 album, “Lullaby and…the Ceaseless...

'Stranger Things' composers Kyle Dixon and Michael Stein on the series' increasingly intense score

Last year the musicians Michael Stein and Kyle Dixon, who scored the music for the second season of Netflix’s “Stranger Things,” added a relatively unorthodox weapon to their instrumental arsenal. A piano. “A real, physical piano,” Stein clarifies. “With keys and strings, which is something we...

Camp Flog Gnaw celebrates weirdness, individuality and branding

When Tyler, the Creator launched the Camp Flog Gnaw Carnival in 2012, it was a way to put his Odd Future collective’s raucous approach to hip-hop on full display while marking the close of the group’s tour that year. L.A. Live’s Club Nokia (now the Novo) anchored the daylong event that paired performances...

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