September 29, 2012 |
It was supposed to be a coronation. Rodriguez, the Mexican American singer-songwriter who released two critically praised but commercially stillborn albums in the early '70s, was rescued from near obscurity this year with the acclaimed documentary "Searching for Sugar Man. " (The title is from one of his songs.) The film movingly details how his politically charged music went nowhere in America, but in South Africa made him an artist with the political import and cultural standing of Bob Dylan.
September 17, 2012 |
As farewell speeches go, it wasn't the best of all time. But it was memorable. Because after second-half goals from Alex Morgan and Shannon Boxx lifted the U.S. women's soccer team to a 2-1 exhibition victory over Australia on Sunday, Coach Pia Sundhage grabbed a guitar and serenaded the Home Depot Center crowd in Carson with a bluesy stanza of Elvis Presley's "Jailhouse Rock. " It was a fitting ending for Sundhage, who opened her first meeting as coach five years ago by singing Bob Dylan's "The Times They Are a-Changin'.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 3, 2012 |
Manuel Vasquez defends the unusual product he's selling. But not everyone's buying it. Vasquez is the 26-year-old co-owner of a boutique who produces records in his spare time. His latest release features music written and performed by convicted mass murderer Charles Manson. "I've gotten some hate mail from it. There are people not appreciating the release of music by him," he said. "People say they don't understand why I'd want to associate myself with this or why I would be interested in releasing it. " Even his parents tried to talk him out of pressing and selling the 40-minute vinyl album.
September 2, 2012 |
The second and final day of the FYF Fest in downtown Los Angeles was three hours old before it received a wake-up call. It came in the form of a menacing bass rumble and a cloud of dust, the latter of which was quickly becoming visible from a nearby tent dedicated to comedy and electronic music. From a distance, it looked as though something may have been wrong. Security need not have worried, even as officials kept a nervous eye on the swelling mosh pit. All that was happening was a mid-afternoon set by Ceremony, a Northern California punk band that understands the value of musical thriftiness, the importance of a fist-in-the-air guitar riff and the crowd-unifying power of a simple lyric.
September 1, 2012 |
The video "11 Month Old Twins Dance to Daddy's Guitar" may be the cutest video we've seen this year. It's short and sweet. Twin girls are eating their peas when their father starts playing his guitar. They look at each other, grin, and start moving their heads wildly back and forth, almost in baby unison. Their mother, who is filming, starts laughing. And unless you are a monster, so will you. It is so pure and adorable and they love their dad's guitar playing so much. I defy you to only watch it one time. The video was posted Aug. 8 and started getting traction Tuesday of this week.
August 22, 2012 |
Aficionados of guitar-driven music have a bounty of riches ahead this week with two events focused on players who are masters of the six- (and sometimes more) stringed instrument. Southern California native John Jorgenson is involved in both -- the first unfolding Thursday, Aug. 23, at Orange County's Great Park in Irvine, the second the 2012 Los Angeles Guitar Festival holding court in Redondo Beach. Others joining in include Eric Johnson, Albert Lee and Robben Ford. Jorgenson and his quintet, which specialize in music of and inspired by Gypsy jazz great Django Reinhardt, will be joined Thursday by blues guitar hero Junior Watson and folk-rock guitarist Mark Turnbull at a show assembled by veteran Orange County music writer Jim Washburn.
July 26, 2012
MUSIC The Handsome Family may be the best country act that you've never heard on mainstream country radio. The husband-wife duo of Brett and Rennie Sparks specialize in the sort of dark, yet wryly funny tales that sound best backed by an acoustic guitar or a pedal steel twang. While albums such as 2000's "In the Air" put the group on the map with vivid songcraft, its most recent release "Scattered" puts songs by Bob Dylan, Leonard Cohen and the Beatles through the Handsome Family's warped lens.
July 19, 2012 |
Fender Musical Instruments Corp., whose electric guitars helped define rock 'n' roll, has called off its planned initial public offering of stock. The company, which is headquartered in Scottsdale, Ariz., but makes some of its prized custom guitars at its manufacturing facility in Corona, blamed the scrubbed IPO on the economy here and abroad. “Current market conditions and concerns about economic conditions in Europe do not support completing an initial public offering at what we believe to be an appropriate valuation at this time,” Chief Executive Larry Thomas said in a statement Thursday.
July 12, 2012 |
Nearly half a century after Bob Dylan made history with his revolutionary electrified performance at the Newport Folk Festival, the debate goes on, like a rolling stone: Were the boos and catcalls from the audience directed at him for flaunting the conventions of the folk music world by stepping onstage with a Fender Stratocaster instead of an acoustic guitar, and bringing a rock 'n' roll band onstage along with him? Or was it because the audio sounded like mud? It's long been noted that folk standard bearer Pete Seeger appeared very upset that day, and there are well documented accounts that folklorist Alan Lomax, who was one of the board members for the Newport Folk Fest, was none too happy about the introduction of electric instruments into the mix. There's a fascinating account of Lomax and Dylan's then-manager, Albert Grossman, actually engaging in a fist fight backstage in conjunction with the performance that year by the Paul Butterfield Blues Band, a report to be found on a Web page devoted to influential blues guitarist Mike Bloomfield , who died in 1981.
July 12, 2012 |
On July 25, 1965, Bob Dylan stepped onstage at the Newport Folk Festival, plugged in an electric guitar and changed the course of pop music history. The performance caused a furious reaction. The crowd booed loudly, and folk icon Pete Seeger tried to stop the show. Dylan and his band retreated after three songs, coming back to play an acoustic set. Still, Dylan's provocative move has long been pointed to as a key moment when electric rock music eclipsed folk as the sound of the '60s generation.