July 18, 2013 |
TEHRAN - On the bustling lanes outside this capital's expansive bazaar, a sense of hope is palpable as Iran's president-elect, Hassan Rouhani, prepares to take office next month. Even hardened cynics speak about the possibility of a brighter economic horizon and the prospective easing of international sanctions that have throttled growth, spurred inflation and fostered a general malaise. "It's not in my genes to vote," Ismael, a tea hawker and chess devotee, said as he poured cups of steaming tea for bazaar denizens and tradesmen.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 26, 2013 |
The crowd gathered early Wednesday at the Abbey, a well-known gay bar in West Hollywood. Couples sipped coffee and watched TV as they awaited word of the Supreme Court's decisions relating to same-sex marriage. There was a wedding cake and champagne under a giant, rainbow-colored flag over the patio. No one was more apprehensive about what was soon to transpire than Colby Melvin and Brandon Brown. The pair, both models who have been engaged for four months, clutched each other as they watched the screen.
June 17, 2013 |
In the decade since its founding, the International Contemporary Ensemble has become essential. The flexible collective of 33 musicians is likely the most accomplished new music group in New York, and it makes a significant contribution toward keeping the city musically cosmopolitan, regularly providing compelling performances of meaningful and dauntingly difficult new music from afar. One of the most memorable concerts of recent work I've heard in the last half-year, for instance, was ICE's program devoted to the feisty, remarkable Austrian composer Olga Neuwirth at Columbia University in December.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 9, 2013 |
Sometime between ring-a-ding-ding and hunk-a hunk-a burning love, America slipped into something more comfortable and Bob Thompson was there to help. Thompson was one of the foremost composers and arrangers of what came to be known as "Space Age bachelor pad" music - tunes that allowed hi-fi buffs to turn the lights down low, mix the perfect martini and show off their tweeters and woofers. With cascading strings, upbeat rhythms and - as in his piece "Mmm Nice!" - breathy female singers, Thompson's music set a mood, but was more than mood music.
June 7, 2013 |
The Times' Beirut bureau chief, Patrick J. McDonnell, is currently in Syria, where he has been reporting on the mood in Damascus after two years of grinding conflict. As he reported in Friday's paper, "The thud of military artillery rounds still resounds in the capital, and ubiquitous checkpoints clog the traffic. The threat of car bombs and mortar rounds from rebels based in nearby suburbs is constant. " And yet, as he told Foreign Editor Mark Porubcansky, the city retains a veneer of normalcy with traffic and people filling the streets.
May 31, 2013 |
"The Killing," whose third season (but only its second case) begins Sunday on AMC, is the story of actors Mireille Enos and Joel Kinnaman and the characters they play, Seattle police detectives Sarah Linden and Stephen Holder. She is small and he is tall; she's tight, he's loose. Like Scully and Mulder, they call each other by their surnames. Everything else, as compelling as it might be - and it can be very compelling - is decoration on that central fact and relationship. When Enos-Linden and Kinnaman-Holder are apart, we are to some degree marking time, counting the measures, until we see them together.
May 27, 2013 |
This summer's up-and-coming concert season is rife with enough star power to break those vacation savings, so Pop & Hiss has decided to make things easier. Here's a guide to help you plan what shows are worth catching, depending on your mood. Try to out-shimmy the mighty pop diva herself, Beyoncé (Staples Center, June 28 and July 1). Flutter over the heady, ethereal musings of Björk (Hollywood Palladium, June 2, 5, 8, and the Hollywood Bowl, June 11). Get the party started with Pitbull & Kesha (Hollywood Bowl, June 18)
May 6, 2013 |
In these tense times, with the Kings having scored one goal in each of their first three playoff games against the St. Louis Blues and needing a win Monday at Staples Center to tie the series, it somehow made perfect sense that defenseman Alec Martinez wore a huge sombrero onto the ice for practice Sunday along with one white sock, one red sock and a green jersey. As much sense, maybe, as a low-scoring team deploying seven defensemen Saturday. But that worked out pretty well: Martinez, playing for the first time since April 2, used his mobility to jump into the craziness around the net and earn an assist on the Slava Voynov goal that lifted the Kings to a 1-0 victory.
May 3, 2013 |
Alejandro Sanz doesn't do irony. Earnestness flows like extra-sweet sangria from the Spanish singer-guitarist. Sincerity suffuses his raspy voice, a fine, soulful instrument that he showcased to striking effect during his Wednesday-night concert at the Nokia Theatre. In many of his songs, Sanz is a man alternately liberated by, and imprisoned in, dramatic passions and anguished hopes. This flamenco-tinged belter and multiple Latin Grammy Award winner is one of the few performers alive who could make Neil Diamond sound like David Byrne.
May 2, 2013 |
It doesn't take stacks of research to demonstrate that medicating painful feelings with alcohol or drugs is a dangerous and ultimately futile strategy (although those studies do exist). But the relationship between emotional difficulties and alcohol addiction has always been a complex one, in a chicken-and-egg way: does alcohol -- a depressive agent -- make people who use it become depressed? Or are depressed people more likely to drink heavily to self-medicate, and then to become dependent on alcohol?