Blog Profile / LA Times: Pop and Hiss


URL :http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/music_blog/
Filed Under:Entertainment / Music
Posts on Regator:3341
Posts / Week:11.6
Archived Since:July 25, 2010

Blog Post Archive

Spotify numbers confirm: You still haven't heard enough of the Beatles

As one of the (if not the) cornerstone artists in modern pop music history, the Beatles are ingrained in popular culture to such an extent that much of the band's music is as essential and inescapable as the air surrounding us. At any given moment, the average classic rock radio station is between...

Metal great Lemmy Kilmister from Motörhead dead at 70

The metal community shook late Monday with news that singer, bassist and songwriter Ian "Lemmy" Kilmister from the band Motörhead had died. He was 70. The news was confirmed Monday by the band's former publicist, who had been informed through a friend of the band. A short time later, Motörhead...

How Taylor Swift, Adele and the Weeknd made 2015 a pivot point for pop producer Max Martin

Look at a list of the musicians whose songs and albums are among the biggest sellers of 2015 — or are among the most nominated for February's Grammy Awards — and of course you'll find Adele, Taylor Swift and the Weeknd. But there's another name on that list, one that connects these disparate superstar...

Ex-R.E.M. guitarist Peter Buck's benefit music festival just keeps growing

When former R.E.M. guitarist Peter Buck launched the Todos Santos Music Festival in 2011, his goals were simple. He wanted to play informally with some musical pals and raise money to fund educational opportunities, medical care and other assistance for children and their families in the Baja California...

2015's worst pop music moments: Madonna, Meghan Trainor and that 'Hello' cover you put on YouTube

Here's the thing about pop music in 2015: It was mostly impressive. The number of truly great albums made compiling year-end lists feel like "The Hunger Games." Plus, there were enough comebacks, left-field collaborations and other surprises to keep us on our toes. Arena spectacles and music festivals...

The Beatles are coming to Apple Music, Spotify and other streaming services

They love us, yeah! yeah! yeah! At 12:01 a.m. local time on Dec. 24 around the world, the Beatles' music will be available for streaming from numerous outlets, a representative announced Wednesday. Streaming services that will carry the Fab Four's musical catalog include: Apple Music, Deezer, Google...

Muse offers big issues, echoes of Pink Floyd at Staples Center

The journeymen of Muse are masters in the art of subversion. It can be heard in their mingling of message and melody as singer Matt Bellamy urges,  “You can revolt!” on the trio’s new album, “Drones,” within the most disarmingly sunny vocal imaginable. Most of the new album is a lot noisier, and...

Here's how Miley Cyrus regained her mojo at the Wiltern on Saturday night

Miley Cyrus waited until the end of her concert at the Wiltern on Saturday to tell the audience why she was there, and maybe that was because she hadn’t wanted to give anyone the wrong idea by explaining it earlier. Seated behind a grand piano, Cyrus described the show as her response to a feeling...

2015's peak sonic moments unfold at Poland's Unsound fest and L.A.'s '9800'

The year had a beginning. And in that moment, there was only one album I could listen to — D'Angelo's "Black Messiah," the soundtrack for my last winter in New York. Moving to L.A., though, erased much of what came before. When I think of 2015, the start date is a data glitch, reset to Sept. 1,...

Best albums of 2015: Chinx, NHK and more

I've been making Google spreadsheets of my favorite albums and songs for years. They're useful but sort of clunky, like a rainbow layer cake drawn by an Amazon fulfillment bot. The music I feel most strongly about is marked in red. I tag my feeling about this material "holy cats / is best" because...

Rating 2015's holiday music: the merry and the 'meh'

We assume that fans of R&B diva Toni Braxton or holiday rock juggernaut Mannheim Steamroller will snap up their holiday albums. The challenge this time of year, every year, becomes separating the Yuletide wheat from the chaff and pointing listeners to those collections with something to offer those...

Adele's 2016 North American tour will play 6 nights in L.A.

On the heels of releasing the fastest-selling album of at least the last quarter century, British singer-songwriter Adele will hit the road in 2016 to support it with her first tour of North America in five years, one that will include a half dozen nights each at Staples Center in Los Angeles and...

Dancing gold flakes, kitschy lounge music and William Basinski's 'The Deluge'

On Wednesday night, in front of 30 people, a woman made flakes of gold levitate and dance at a small room in Echo Park's South of Sunset. Her name was Evelina Domnitch, and she wore a sleeveless off-white dress and shoes by United Nude that looked a bit like an infinity symbol rendered in white...

Why Sly Stone still can't collect royalties from his classic songs

A judge has handed a legal setback to Sylvester “Sly" Stone, ruling that he won't be able to collect $5 million in royalties because he had previously assigned those royalties to a production company. Last January, a Los Angeles Superior Court jury found that the iconic soul and funk musician had...

2015's must-hear jazz albums carve new paths and communicate eloquently

In a complex, often tragic year, jazz again proved itself an adept reflector and communicator, delivering messages of outrage, solace and hope while giving a voice to what lies beyond words. Below, a few recordings offering just that. Kamasi Washington, "The Epic" (Brainfeeder) On a long-anticipated...

2015's must-hear albums include Janet Jackson's 'Unbreakable,' Ty Dolla Sign's 'Free TC'

Kendrick Lamar, "To Pimp a Butterfly" (TDE): Pulling from free jazz, Parliament-Funkadelic era funk, slam poetry and live instrumentation helped Lamar craft the year's toughest listen. "To Pimp a Butterfly" spoke directly to black America and provided the necessary soundtrack in the age of #BlackLivesMatter....

Adele reassures and comforts people who are feeling older younger

What should we think when an artist can make people buy almost 5 million copies of an album in two weeks? Or when nearly half of all music sales in one week are down to one person? The sales of Adele's "25," as reported by Nielsen Music, are leaving the realm of commercial figures and nearing the...

Streaming services try to steer you to the Coldplay interstate, but take the side streets to better music

Call 2015 the Choose Your Own Adventure year in music. As the scope and range of music available on a weekly, daily and hourly basis expands, those who care about art that exists outside the mainstream have endless opportunity for discovery. Recommendation engines and "related" links offer infinite...

10 best pop music albums in 2015 include works by Earl Sweatshirt, Jlin, Natalie Prass

Earl Sweatshirt, "I Don't Like … I Don't Go Outside" (Tan Cressida/Sony): A meditation on the life of a 21-year-old rapper who earned fame while he was still in high school, Earl Sweatshirt's album rumbles with claustrophobic bass while midrange melodies and plunked piano tones guide tracks forward....

Pop stardom secured, the Weeknd plays hard-to-get at the Forum

A harsh, grimly worded account of one man’s absorption into the moral decay of Los Angeles, “The Hills” by the Weeknd is hardly bureau-of-tourism material. The song, punctuated with horror-movie screams, has nothing to contribute to a positive self-image; you can’t imagine anyone, or any place,...

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