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May 31, 2012
MOVIES Before Wes Anderson's films examined the preppy-adjacent struggles of upper middle class young people, Whit Stillman walked a similar beat in '80s with witty films such as "Barcelona," "Metropolitan" and the third of his self-described "Doomed Bourgeois in Love" trilogy, "Last Days of Disco," which screens at the Cinefamily with the writer-director on hand. Chloe Sevigny, Kate Beckinsale and bone-dry scene-stealer Chris Eigeman star in an unironic, funny and even moving depiction of coming of age in the privileged class while sparing the easy, '70s cliches.
March 12, 2014 | By August Brown
AUSTIN, Texas --  "There's been this cultural shift, an explosion of hipster culture," said Blondie's Chris Stein at his band's Wednesday afternoon panel at the South by Southwest music festival here. "When we got here it was like 'World War Z,' every single guy was in a plaid shirt and fedora. When we started our band, we were on the fringe. Now the whole culture is inside. " That line got big laughs from the packed room inside the Austin Convention Center. But it raised a good point about contemporary pop culture -- what happens when everyone becomes a gatekeeper of originality (or rather, when no one is)
November 30, 2002
DISCO drove me crazy as a teenager. I couldn't escape the music and culture--it was pervasive, it was everywhere, it was like McDonald's ("Get down, get funky: Disco gets its due," by Scott Martelle, Nov. 26). Plus, it was gaudy. Put it this way: We thought the whole thing was just gross. The awful, repetitive slickness of disco music did actually motivate me, though, and for that I will be ever grateful. In the middle of 1977, in desperate search for something real, I impulsively purchased Neil Young's raggedy "American Stars 'n Bars" album.
March 3, 2014 | By August Brown
For experimental bands looking to broaden their horizons, there's no place like Joshua Tree. Turns out even English dance acts can find some magic in them hills.  Simian Mobile Disco, the longtime London electronica duo, has announced an intriguing new project that's half installation-art, half live album.  On April 26, the duo will commandeer Pappy & Harriet's in Pioneertown, Calif., for a one-off performance that will be recorded for an...
October 22, 2012 | By Reed Johnson
On "De Este Lado Del Camino," the third track from their new album, Café Tacuba celebrates the art of creative meandering. "From this side of the street, without looking for any destination / and although the design isn't very clear," lead singer Rubén Albarrán intones in Spanish, his gravelly honeyed tenor guiding the rhythm section through a gathering storm of ethereal keyboard chords on its leisurely sojourn. Unhurried and unworried about the trail ahead, but sure of its ultimate purpose: that artistic approach has defined the Mexico City quartet and helped it endure for two decades as one of alt-Latin rock's most popular and influential acts.
June 21, 2011
COMEDY Sex, Standup,Rock & Roll That's how that saying goes, right? After running three years at the Hollywood Improv, this modern-day variety show still delivers the goods, combining big names in standup comedy, rock stars, specialty acts, adult movie stars and prizes galore. This week's comedians include J. Chris Newberg, Skippy Greene and Jeff Burghart, with special appearances by Lief Garrett and Saigon Kicks' Matt Kramer. The Key Club. 9039 Sunset Blvd. 8:30 p.m. $20. (310)
November 26, 2010 | By Mark Olsen, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
It is easy to feel that pop culture is merely a superficial distraction. Yet what if those junky TV shows and trashy stars were actually the leading edge of a revolutionary vanguard, overturning whole systems of government? Such is the idea posited by " Disco and Atomic War," a cheeky, odd little documentary that blends family photos and vintage newsreels with new interviews and re-created scenes to tell a story that is at once extremely personal and sweepingly broad. When he was growing up in Estonia, then part of the Soviet Union, director Jaak Kilmi would take pictures of his television set. It was the most interesting thing he knew.
October 19, 2012 | By Randall Roberts
Fans of classic disco and early electronic dance music have reason to rejoice: The respected and innovative Italian producer Giorgio Moroder has started offering classic rarities via his new Soundcloud page. Moroder, 72, is best known for his work with Donna Summer during her rise in the 1970s. He helped launch her career and composed an important proto-techno song in her "I Feel Love. " But beneath that towering achievement, the producer crafted dozens of influential -- if lesser-known -- tracks that have made their way into superstar DJ mixes over the years.
May 17, 2012 | By Rene Lynch
It's been decades since Donna Summer ruled the airwaves. But her loyal followers made clear Thursday morning that she was still the Queen of Disco. Summer, 63, died early Thursday morning, reportedly following a protracted battle with cancer. Her family issued a statement that said, in part: "While we grieve her passing, we are at peace celebrating her extraordinary life and her continued legacy. Words truly can't express how much we appreciate your prayers and love for our family at this sensitive time.
October 13, 1985
I could not believe my eyes when I read "The Thompson Twins Are Bitten by Disco" (Record Rack, by Terry Atkinson, Oct. 6). I have purchased the Twins' "Here's to Future Days." Do I like it--love it! I think it's the best album I've ever heard! If this is disco, then Quiet Riot is soft rock! Just because their music is danceable, that does not mean it is disco! Does Atkinson have some sort of psychological hang-up about disco or the '70s? Does he feel he has to prove to the world how much he hates it?
February 5, 2014 | By Mikael Wood
Danger Mouse had his heart set on a glimpse of Jupiter. On a recent evening, the sonic mastermind of L.A.'s Broken Bells was standing in line at the Griffith Observatory, waiting to peer through the giant Zeiss telescope there. As closing time approached, though, an attendant announced that anyone still outside the telescope dome wasn't likely to get the chance that night. Danger Mouse didn't budge. The vast expanse of outer space - specifically as viewed from the observatory - served as an important source of inspiration for the new Broken Bells album, "After the Disco.
January 31, 2014 | By August Brown
After joining the L.A. hard-core band Black Flag, Henry Rollins became one of the most intense frontmen in rock. Yet even he had to take a back seat to the hold that Cool "Disco" Dan held over his hometown of Washington, D.C., in the '80s. A kind of people's regional superhero, the graffiti artist Cool "Disco" Dan left his distinct tag all over the city while a new strain of funk music, go-go, became the backbeat of African American D.C. Rollins narrates "The Legend of Cool 'Disco' Dan," a documentary on the artist and the era (now available on DVD and streaming at )
October 31, 2013 | By August Brown
In his penthouse condo on the toniest block of Westwood, one of the world's biggest dance music producers kicks back at his dining room table in an all-black Armani ensemble. A spread of magazine covers, featuring the producer's face, stares up at him as he talks about his many new projects - remixes for buzzed-about pop acts like Haim and a DJ gig closing out the HARD Day of the Dead festival at L.A. State Historic Park in Chinatown this weekend alongside Skrillex and Deadmau5. His vocals were a centerpiece for a track on the year's biggest dance album, Daft Punk's "Random Access Memories," and, like many of the biggest stars of the genre, he's pondering a major Las Vegas DJ residency spanning his whole career.
October 10, 2013 | By August Brown
If there is a single person in America who thought "Hmm, D'Angelo's astonishingly sexy video for 'Untitled (How Does It Feel?)' could really be improved if it instead starred the white, ectomorphic frontman of a Las Vegas emo band," please come forward. It's hard to tell the precise ratio of irony, homage, self-regard and self-deprecation in Panic! at the Disco's new clip for " Girls/Girls/Boys . " It's a shot-for-shot remake of the classic D'Angelo video that was so hot it almost sabotaged his career.
October 1, 2013 | By Mikael Wood
Singing advice, Hollywood gossip, fashion tips: You'd go to Cher for many things, but detailed driving directions might not be one of them. Yet on a recent evening in the back seat of a limousine traveling down Sunset Boulevard, that's precisely what she was providing to a chauffeur uncertain of how to get to Soho House in West Hollywood. A taping on the Eastside for next year's Academy Awards had gone long, and the singer was running late in rush-hour traffic for a party celebrating her new album.
September 26, 2013 | By Jessica Gelt
Honeycut, a new bar opening next weekend behind the O Hotel on Flower Street, will match two distinct night-life experiences into a 3,000-square-foot basement. The first is a classic craft cocktail bar and the second is "an energy-driven room affectionately referred to as the 'Disco,'" says David Kaplan, whose Death & Co. bar in New York won the award for World's Best Cocktail Menu at Tales of the Cocktail in New Orleans in 2010. Night-life heavy hitters Cedd Moses and Eric Needleman of 213 Ventures (they were behind Las Perlas, the Varnish, Seven Grand, to name just a few)
July 10, 2012 | By Mike Boehm
L.A.'s Museum of Contemporary Art may not be well-endowed financially, but it's getting ready to shake its booty nevertheless: An upcoming exhibition will examine the cultural impact of disco music, according to a report Tuesday by the New York Observer's GalleristNY blog. Basing his post on an interview Monday with museum Director Jeffrey Deitch, blogger Michael H. Miller reported that  the exhibition, “Fire in the Disco,” will be co-curated by James Murphy of the now-disbanded dance-rock group LCD Soundsystem.
January 19, 1989
The would-be operator of a teen-age disco was given a suspended three-year sentence and placed on probation after pleading guilty to possessing cocaine in his office at the Distillery West. Among the conditions of Richard Vander's probation are that he enter a drug-treatment program and pay a fine of $200. He was sentenced Tuesday by Vista Superior Court Judge Richard Mudd.
June 27, 2013 | By Mark Olsen
In the documentary "The Secret Disco Revolution," Canadian filmmaker Jamie Kastner positions the 1970s disco boom as being a clandestine vehicle for gay, female and racial liberation. Though this idea is not without a grounding in fact, the movie feels like a flakey, off-the-cuff blog post that somehow transmogrified itself into a feature-length documentary. Occasionally charming but mostly just slight, the film leans heavily on authors Alice Echols and Peter Shapiro, both of whom have written seriously about disco.
April 19, 2013 | By August Brown
It's been eight years since Daft Punk's last album, seven since its last brain-melting performance at Coachella, and less than a week since the band's advertisement for the forthcoming "Random Access Memories" sent Indio-goers into a collective swoon. So after all that anticipation, the real star of its return single is...Nile Rodgers of Chic? That's no knock on the song. The disco maven Rodgers offers up some seriously tasty funk licks on "Get Lucky," the retro-futurist track and first full cut from the album to emerge in the wild (and as of now, iTunes )
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