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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 22, 2013 | By Jean Merl
On the heels of a letter accusing it of violating the California Voting Rights Act, the board of the Coachella Valley Water District on Tuesday took a tentative step toward changing its election system, a spokeswoman said. Advised  by its attorney that changes to the way it elects its directors may require voter approval, the board discussed the possibility of putting a measure before voters in the June 2014 California primary, according to district spokeswoman Heather Engle. The board will take up the possible election matter at its Nov. 12 meeting, Engel said.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 21, 2013 | By Jean Merl
Opening a new front on efforts to improve minority representation on local elected boards,  attorneys  representing several Latino citizens have accused the Coachella Valley Water District of violating the California Voting Rights Act. In a letter delivered Monday to John Powell, the district's board president, lawyers Robert Rubin and Megan Beaman said the district's  at-large election system "dilutes the ability of Latino constituents to...
ENTERTAINMENT
August 26, 2013 | By Randall Roberts, Los Angeles Times Pop Music Critic
This post has been updated. Please see note at bottom for details. Those looking for evidence that the 10th annual FYF Fest had hit a Saturday afternoon peak found it during songwriter Ty Segall's set. As he and his band pushed a hard-strummed acoustic guitar-driven song, the crowd up front danced frantically. Suddenly, a pair of pants flew up from the pit, floated in the air, legs akimbo, then drifted back into the crowd. Up they flew again, and you had to wonder about the potentially trouser-less participant below.
ENTERTAINMENT
June 17, 2013 | By Mikael Wood
In 2008 this cult-beloved Icelandic band upended expectations with "Med sud i eyrum vid spilum endalaust," a set of relatively concise art-pop songs that suggested, after a series of increasingly tedious space-rock albums, that Sigur Rós had developed an interest in rhythm and energy. Predictably, reaction among the group's cult was mixed, and last year it backtracked with the typically sluggish "Valtari. " All hope for excitement, it seemed, was lost. Consider it another pleasant surprise, then, that on "Kveikur" Sigur Rós regains some of the ground it gave up, exchanging the ponderous tone poetry of "Valtari" for an aggressive, harder-edged sound that transmits emotions other than wide-eyed wonder.
ENTERTAINMENT
June 13, 2013 | By Mikael Wood
Before there was Michael Bublé, there was Harry Connick Jr.: a straight-talking, good-looking, smartly dressed pop-jazz crooner refashioning old music for young people. (Old people tuned in anyway.) Yet while Bublé has used his success singing standards as leverage to do more of his own material -- April's "To Be Loved" led with the slyly acerbic "It's a Beautiful Day" -- Connick largely has stayed away from songwriting of late. His last full set of original tunes came out in 1997, and since then he's done TV, movies and Broadway, released several albums of instrumental piano music and made covers records such as "Songs I Heard" and "Your Songs.
ENTERTAINMENT
June 9, 2013 | By Elaine Woo
Bob Thompson, a composer and arranger who supplied swinging bachelors in the 1950s with sophisticated, jazz-inflected tunes that came to be known as "Space Age bachelor pad" music, died May 21 in Los Angeles at age 88. Times obituary writer Steve Chawkins writes that Thompson, a California native, wrote and arranged music that "allowed hi-fi buffs to turn the lights down low, mix the perfect martini and show off their tweeters and woofers.......
ENTERTAINMENT
June 6, 2013 | By Randall Roberts, Los Angeles Times Pop Music Critic
One of the blessings of listening to music for a living is the bounty of unexpected sounds that arrives from around the world, seemingly out of nowhere, on a daily basis. Yes, the inbox is filled with download links, .zip files and streams -- more than any human can possibly experience. But an object received in the mailbox still has more weight. For example, to hold in one's hand the rhythmic heaviness of "Daora: Underground Sounds of Urban Brasil," a forthcoming double-disc collection of "hip-hop, beats, afro & dub" being issued by Mais Um Discos, is to know that something substantial is within.
ENTERTAINMENT
May 23, 2013 | By Randy Lewis
Here's an aspiring musician whose major label debut won't have to struggle with the budget constraints most first-timers are faced with. “Everywhere at Once” is the introductory effort from Paul Allen and the Underthinkers. Allen, in case you're wondering, is the same Paul Allen who back in 1975 created a little venture called Microsoft with his pal Bill Gates. Allen, who also owns the Portland Trailblazers basketball team, has always been a music aficionado and an accomplished amateur guitarist who used a chunk of his Microsoft fortune to start the Experience Music Project museum in Seatte.
ENTERTAINMENT
May 20, 2013 | By August Brown
Coachella fans may still have grass in their hair from this year's edition, but the festival is already revving up for 2014. Promoter Goldenvoice announced Monday morning that next year's festival is scheduled for April 11-13 and April 18-20. The first round of advance ticket sales is to begin Friday at 10 a.m. at coachella.com. For those already budgeting, this round of ticket sales is the only one for which fans can use Coachella's installment payment plan. PHOTOS: Concerts by The Times Coachella 2014 will be the first edition under Goldenvoice's new deal with the city of Indio , with the festival expected to expand to nearly 100,000 fans per day. The country music festival Stagecoach is expected to expand to 75,000 per day. The arrangement locks in the festival at its current site until 2030, with a per-ticket fee of $5.01 going to Indio.
ENTERTAINMENT
May 19, 2013 | By Mikael Wood
Ezra Koenig wanted to be clear about this: The frontman of Vampire Weekend was not comparing his band to the Beatles. "What we're talking about is making me think like a fan, which is a little bit dangerous because it could come across as me trying to put myself in the same league as one of the biggest albums of all time," he said, responding to a question about the value of mystery and ambiguity in music. "But, yeah, you think about 'Sgt. Pepper.' Is it a concept album about a lonely hearts club?
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