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2004 Year

December 19, 2004 | Robert Hilburn, Times Staff Writer
I want to start the new year with a clean slate, so let me make a confession about something I did during 2004. I fell so in love with "Van Lear Rose," the album country veteran Loretta Lynn made with rock star Jack White, that I may have gone from being a critic to a crusader. If so, it's not the first time, and it probably won't be the last.
December 19, 2004 | Don Heckman, Special to The Times
Call 2004 a relatively flat year for jazz. Or, to take a somewhat more optimistic view, a year of transition. There were, to be sure, a few high points. Young singers such as Renee Olstead, Jane Monheit, Jamie Cullum and Lizz Wright combined with Diana Krall, Andy Bey and Patricia Barber (among others) to assure the continuing ascendancy of vocal music.
December 13, 2004 | Susan King, Times Staff Writer
Fresh from winning five major awards Saturday from the Los Angeles Film Critics Assn., Alexander Payne's comedy-drama "Sideways" was announced Sunday as one of the official selections for the AFI Awards 2004. The American Film Institute's selections are the organization's almanac of the year's most outstanding achievements in film and television, as well as memorable moments in the two mediums.
December 13, 2004 | Estelle Shirbon, Reuters
Films about euthanasia, abortion and the hardships of immigrant life bagged the top prizes at the 17th European Film Awards on Saturday. "Gegen die Wand" (Head-On), about a young Turkish woman in Germany who escapes her strict Muslim home through a difficult marriage to an older man, won the best film award in the competition dubbed the "European Oscars."
December 5, 2004 | Nicholas Goldberg, Nicholas Goldberg is Op-Ed editor of The Times.
It is axiomatic in the publishing industry that books on contemporary politics don't sell. Other than the occasional presidential autobiography -- such as Ulysses S. Grant's "Personal Memoirs," which appeared in 1885 and earned a stunning $500,000, or Richard Nixon's memoir "RN," which became a brief bestseller in 1978 -- the genre is a lackluster one. But in the supercharged atmosphere of this year's bitter election campaign, with American soldiers fighting...
December 5, 2004 | Eugen Weber, Eugen Weber is a contributing writer to Book Review.
After Raymond Chandler, Georges Simenon and lead pencils, James Lee Burke is God's great gift to social historians -- especially historians of that atypical wonderland called Louisiana, a place full of violent, driven, intrusive corruption; drive-through daiquiri stores; blues and swamp pop; lowlifes who don't pull their punches; and tourists who come to see a world that no longer exists. Yet bits of that world well lost soldier on in "Last Car to Elysian Fields" (Simon & Schuster: 352 pp., $24.
December 5, 2004 | Kristina Lindgren, Kristina Lindgren is an assistant editor of Book Review.
WHAT is a garden if not humanity's attempt to bend Nature to its will? It is an oasis, a source of nourishment for body and spirit, an expression of power, a bit of green where urbanites may commune, a laboratory for the horticulturist, a place to conserve precious water in arid lands. For budding architect Jean-Paul Pigeat, gardens were merely backdrops for the grand buildings and structures he would study.
November 28, 2004 | Tom Petruno, Times Staff Writer
Wall Street is hoping for a strong finish to a year that is turning out surprisingly well for financial markets. Despite rising interest rates, a plummeting dollar, a sharp jump in energy prices and slowing corporate profit growth, Americans are on track to make good money this year in the bread-and-butter investment categories of stocks and bonds. Things could always go wrong in December.
November 28, 2004 | Robert Hilburn, Times Staff Writer
Kanye WEST, whose "The College Dropout" is the most satisfying debut album since Norah Jones' "Come Away With Me," tops this year's unusually diverse Freshman Class. Other entries in the annual salute to the year's most noteworthy pop arrivals include the irresistible energy and wit of the Scottish rock band Franz Ferdinand and the moody country introspection of Mindy Smith.
August 29, 2004 | Jordan Rau and Robert Salladay, Times Staff Writers
The Legislature finished an unusually trying year before dawn Saturday. Over eight months, its very existence was questioned and its political virility was mocked while it braced for the retirement of some of its most experienced and effective members. Lawmakers' arranged marriage with Republican Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger -- courtesy of an angry electorate -- prevented majority Democrats from dominating the Capitol's political direction this year as they had often done under Gray Davis.
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