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April 29, 2012 | By August Brown, Los Angeles Times
The nine young women of Girls' Generation sauntered onto the performance stage of "Late Show With David Letterman. " Flanked by a DJ and live drummer, the South Korean pop group wore lacy black mini-dresses and thigh-high leather boots, as if they were hosting a goth cocktail party. It was a rare American network television performance from a South Korean music group. The song they performed on the January show, a slinky bit of minor-key dance-pop called "The Boys," owed an obvious debt to Kelis' catcalling hit "Milkshake.
February 9, 2014 | By Michael Tomasky
Fifty years ago Sunday, the Beatles first appeared on "The Ed Sullivan Show. " You'll almost surely see clips of them on the news this weekend, or on tribute shows, japing with the press, smiling those cheerful smiles, singing "All My Loving" - and you'll probably think, "Oh, they were so cute. " That's today's conventional wisdom: The Beatles were cute and unthreatening. The Rolling Stones - now, there was your threat. And the Who, smashing their instruments. And numerous others, against whom the Beatles were supposedly a dish of vanilla ice cream.
February 19, 2004 | Marc Weingarten, Special to The Times
Rock music and television have had an uneasy alliance over the last four decades. They've been wary of each other and have tried to make it work, but for the most part, it's been a shotgun marriage of convenience. Yet rock's march of progress would have been far slower without TV -- the Beatles and Elvis had Ed Sullivan to thank for their instant mega-ton impact.
February 10, 2013 | By August Brown
Kelly Clarkson, the "American Idol" winner who was one of few peers to maintain a major pop career, won the award for pop vocal album at the 55th Grammy Awards, besting a diverse roster of artists including Florence and the Machine, Fun., Maroon 5 and Pink. Clarkson won for her album “Stronger,” her fifth studio full-length, which was widely viewed as a return to form for the Texas-raised vocalist. Bolstered by popular singles, including the title track and “Mr. Know It All,” the album went platinum in America and returned her to the upper ranks of American pop stardom.
November 1, 1992 | ENRIQUE BLANC and New albums are rated on a scale of one star (poor), two stars (fair), three stars (good) and four stars (excellent).
* * 1/2 Linda Ronstadt, "Frenesi," Sony Music. Ronstadt's two albums of Mexican rancheras gave the American pop star a strong Latin following, and this time she goes into classic bolero and Afro-Cuban music. Employing the large Ray Santos Orchestra, Ronstadt is faithful to the sound that these musical styles had in the '30s, '40s and '50s. As with her explorations of vintage American pop with Nelson Riddle, the intention is valid, but she doesn't go beyond nostalgia.
February 6, 1989 | ALEENE MacMINN and Judith Michaelson, Arts and entertainment reports from The Times, national and international news services and the nation's press
The Chinese may soon be getting a look at Madonna. Promoters are trying to arrange a tour for the Material Girl this spring, which would make her the first American pop star to sing in the People's Republic, China Youth News reported. The newspaper said negotiations are under way between mainland China promoters and agents in Hong Kong for the singer to arrange the tour.
September 26, 1997 | JACK MATHEWS
"Love and Death on Long Island" (unrated): Richard Kwietniowski's feature debut is a beautifully structured and perfectly performed culture-clash comedy about an insulated British novelist's romantic obsession with an American pop star. John Hurt plays Giles De'Ath, an intellectual with such disdain for pop culture, he doesn't even know movies like "Hotpants College II" exist, let alone feature an actor who could become the love of his life.
February 3, 2013 | By August Brown, Los Angeles Times
Considering the powerful audience that New York trio Fun. performed for last month, its set during next week's Grammys telecast must feel like a house party gig. "When President Obama asks you to play, there's no way you can say no," said Nate Ruess, the group's singer, about Fun.'s set at the president's inaugural ball in Washington, D.C. "Just before we met him I had to keep reminding myself, 'Don't call him Obama!' I wound up going with 'Mr. President' instead. " Those are the kinds of welcome new quandaries now facing Ruess and his band.
December 2, 2012 | By August Brown
The Jonas Brothers covering Frank Ocean -- now there's a Rorschach test for how you feel about pop music today. On the one hand, when the once-omnipotent teen-pop trio played Ocean's "Thinkin' Bout You" during its set at KIIS-FM's annual Jingle Ball at the Nokia Theatre on Saturday, it might have signaled that even Disney sitcom bands can grow into adventurous good taste. Even if their seducer's falettos lacked Ocean's gravitas, hey, at least the arc of music bends toward the good stuff, and they might take a lot of post-tweens with them.
November 20, 2012 | By Gerrick D. Kennedy, Los Angeles Times
Priyanka Chopra looks like a pop star when she struts into Hollywood's Chalice Studios, entourage in tow. Her sultry smile, body-hugging dress and towering heels command attention. She has the image, sure. But not the name. At least not outside of India. Yet Chopra, 30, is here to listen to her debut album helmed by Grammy Award-winning producer-songwriter RedOne (a.k.a. Nadir Khayat), the same guy who catapulted Lady Gaga into superstardom. PHOTOS: Hollywood back lot moments For the last decade Priyanka has been a Bollywood celeb.
November 7, 2012 | By Henry Chu, Los Angeles Times
LONDON - To Americans, he was the quintessential Englishman, whose urbane manner and genteel accent brought British culture into countless U.S. homes each week on the PBS program "Masterpiece Theatre. " But here in his native land, Alistair Cooke played exactly the opposite role, introducing America to Brits through a sympathetic wit and keen observation that infused a remarkable series of radio broadcasts spanning more than half a century. "Letter From America," Cooke's regular essay on his adopted country, was a mainstay for generations of BBC listeners curious about life on the other side of the Atlantic.
October 7, 2012 | By Liesl Bradner
Soap operas may be nearly dead in the United States, but telenovelas remain a booming industry in Mexico and throughout Latin America. "The Factory of Dreams" by photographer Stefan Ruiz goes behind the scenes at Televisa, the world's largest producer of telenovelas . From 2003 to '11, Ruiz was granted access to the actors and sets at Televisa's Mexico City studio and at the Centro de Educación Artística, Televisa's soap opera acting school,...
September 4, 2012 | By August Brown
The K-pop singer Psy has had no trouble dominating the Internet ( and Dodger Stadium) with his absurdist ode to to the high life, "Gangnam Style. " But he's about to become even more inescapable if Justin Bieber's manager has a say. The Hollywood Reporter notes that the singer born Park Jae-Sang has signed a deal with Scooter Braun, the young impresario and recent New Yorker darling who ushered Biebs and Carly Rae Jepsen into the teenpop troposphere. The deal puts Psy on Braun's Universal imprint Schoolboy Records, and Braun has high hopes for the arrangement.
August 21, 2012 | By Randall Roberts, Times Pop Music Writer
If you haven't yet heard "Gangnam Style," the viral Korean pop-rap hit by PSY, beware, because the operative word is "viral. " A song so ridiculously infectious and over-the-top as to make LMFAO sound like James Blunt, "Gangnam Style" is one of those pushy worldwide phenoms like the Numa Numa dance : inescapable, trashy and explosive. And annoying as the day is long? Yes. The song was released earlier in the summer, and so far has amassed nearly 45 million views on YouTube.
July 16, 2012 | By Randall Roberts
It's been a long time coming, but No Doubt, the multi-platinum band that harnessed the third-wave ska revolution of the 1990s to create a run of chart-topping gems, released its first new music in over a decade on Monday. Called "Settle Down," the song is from the band's long-awaited studio follow-up to 2001's "Rock Steady," titled "Push and Shove," which comes out Sept. 25. Why wait any longer? Here's a sample of it: Much has happened since Gwen Stefani, Tony Canal, Adrian Young and Tom Dumont last dropped new music.
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