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2004 Year

ENTERTAINMENT
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.
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ENTERTAINMENT
December 19, 2004 | Robert Hilburn, Times Staff Writer
Talk about your two Americas. Here's sobering news from pop music's great divide: Five of the year's 10 most compelling albums, including Kanye West's "The College Dropout" and U2's "How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb," have sold more than 14.4 million copies collectively; combined sales of the other five totals less than 550,000.
ENTERTAINMENT
December 19, 2004 | Carina Chocano, Times Staff Writer
We here in the "reality-based community," a group recently defined by a senior Bush administration official as people who "believe that solutions emerge from judicious study of discernible reality," have had a hard time of it lately. What with all the changes around here, we hardly recognize the place anymore.
ENTERTAINMENT
December 19, 2004 | Steve Hochman, Special to The Times
The bell you hear tolling isn't your phone. It's the death knell of the music business as we know it, a clang that pealed just this month when Billboard gave out the very first honors recognizing the year's top ring tone. The award went to the telephonic rendition of Chingy's "In Da Club," if you care about such things. But having seen the writing on the wall, or hearing the ringing on our phones, we would like to announce that this very column will soon be available as a ring tone.
ENTERTAINMENT
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.
ENTERTAINMENT
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.
ENTERTAINMENT
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."
BOOKS
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...
BOOKS
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.
BOOKS
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.
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