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December 19, 2009 | By Jack Leonard
A former security guard accused of fatally shooting an 18-year-old college student in a Palmdale parking lot nearly a decade ago was convicted of murder Friday, authorities said. The verdict caps a lengthy legal saga that began when Raymond Lee Jennings first reported finding Michelle O'Keefe's body during a routine patrol of the park-and-ride lot. Investigators found the victim, a student at Antelope Valley College, slumped in the front seat of her Ford Mustang. She had been shot four times in the chest and face.
April 7, 2014 | By Charis E. Kubrin and Erik Nielson
For 16 months, Bay Area rapper Deandre Mitchell - better known as Laz Tha Boy - has been sitting in a jail cell faced with a decision no artist should have to make: whether to defend his innocence at trial, knowing his music likely will be used as evidence against him, or take a plea bargain and admit to crimes he maintains he did not commit. Mitchell's case dates to October 2012, when he was indicted for his alleged role in two gang-related shootings that occurred that year. Prosecutors didn't present a single arrest or conviction to establish Mitchell's association with a criminal gang, and with conflicting eyewitness testimony - and no physical evidence connecting him to the shootings, according to defense attorney John Hamasaki - prosecutors elected to introduce something else: Mitchell's violent gangsta rap videos and lyrics, which were presented to the grand jury as evidence of his criminal behavior.
April 3, 2008 | From the Associated Press
Elvis Costello and Elton John are joining forces for a talk-and-tunes series to air on Sundance Channel. "Spectacle: Elvis Costello With . . ." will be a 13-week series on which Costello plays host to artists and other personalities for an hour of discussion and performance. "This is a wonderful opportunity to talk in complete thoughts about music, movies, art or even vaudeville, then frame it with unique and illustrative performances," Costello said in a statement. John, who also will appear, will be an executive producer of the series, which is scheduled to premiere in December.
April 5, 2014 | By Bob Pool
Gregory Kelly is a small-scale historian who is out to memorialize big-time Southern California landmarks, one by one. There's the miniature Watts Towers, an elaborate depiction of Newport Beach's Balboa Pavilion and a proportionally correct model of Silver Lake's Music Box Steps - all tucked in Kelly's crowded Tustin hobby shop. Not bad for a man who had never even built a plastic model airplane before deciding at age 20 to open his own shop in a building owned by his father.
July 30, 2008 | Mark Swed, Times Music Critic
Everyone has had the experience of disagreeing with a critic, but do critics ever second-guess themselves? We asked Calendar's critics whether there are any reviews they regret. One in a series of occasional articles. -- Since 1976, I have enjoyed the music of Philip Glass. Before then, I did not. "Einstein on the Beach" changed everything. Experiencing the five-hour opera with its repetitious score performed without a break, no real text and a staging by Robert Wilson full of unforgettable images may not have been the full-blown religious conversion for me that it had been to some.
Jermaine Jackson says he took a biting musical swipe at his superstar sibling, Michael, because his younger brother had frozen him out of his life. In an interview, Jermaine explained that the cantankerous lyrics to his song "Word to the Badd!!," which criticize Michael for allegedly changing his skin color and obtaining plastic surgery, were written in retaliation for eight months of unreturned phone calls.
December 5, 2013 | By Randall Roberts, Los Angeles Times Pop Music Critic
Nelson Mandela was, quite famously, a fan of European classical music. His two favorite composers were George Frideric Handel and Pyotr Ilych Tchaikovsky, but he grew up exposed to the country's rich tradition of vocal groups forging a unique form of sacred rhythm music. That changed while the former South African president and longtime democratic activist was imprisoned by the pro-apartheid government from 1962 to 1990. He wasn't allowed access to music. Artists, however, used Mandela's jailing to fuel global protest songs, and during his years in captivity, Mandela's messages were delivered on the wings of rhythm and melody.
February 3, 2014 | By Mikael Wood
The question dominated much of the nonfootball-related chatter in the run-up to Sunday's Super Bowl: As the featured act of this year's halftime show, was Bruno Mars really up to the job of entertaining a television audience of approximately 100 million people? The answer, it turned out, was yes. But before he could prove it, Mars had to weather a storm of skepticism. He's only 28, decades younger than other artists who've played the show recently, such as Prince and the Rolling Stones.
February 21, 2014 | By Randall Roberts, Los Angeles Times Pop Music Critic
Got discerning taste? Interested in digging in the digital crates for the best music available in the cloud? Then you've no doubt been targeted by Beats Music in the past few months. The much-hyped streaming service is the latest entry in an increasingly crowded field that includes Spotify and iTunes. It offers access to millions of songs and hundreds of hand-selected playlists for $9.99 a month (or, for ATT customers, $14.99 for a family plan). It was unveiled last month during a big budget rollout by longtime music business executives and hitmakers Dr. Dre and Jimmy Iovine through their company, Beats Electronics.
August 12, 2010 | By S. Irene Virbila, Los Angeles Times restaurant critic
This is Beverly Hills?, I wondered, oh so many years ago when a friend took me to lunch in a sweet little house with a fireplace on South Beverly Drive. Chez Mimi later moved to Santa Monica, and Urth Caffé now dispenses soy lattes and iced green tea from that rose-covered cottage. Back then (and now), South Beverly Drive didn't seem fancy at all, more like a small-town Main Street where you'd find shops selling nightgowns and one-piece swimming suits, baseball cards and birthday gifts.
April 5, 2014 | By Kari Howard
Two of this week's Great Reads were about music, which in my book means it was a good week for the Great Reads. (Hmm, maybe I can organize a musical theme for the entire week sometime...) But the two genres of music were so far apart, it was like they were from different planets. One was about L.A.'s accordion culture, a world of polka throwdowns and Weird Al Yankovic and twentysomethings with pixie haircuts. The other was about Brazil's “ostentation funk,” a dance music born in the hard-luck favelas that's full of economic braggadocio and beats so heavy they'd shake your house like an earthquake if a car drove by blasting them from the stereo.
April 2, 2014 | By David Zahniser and Emily Alpert Reyes
The push to bring a major music festival to downtown Los Angeles - one with rapper Jay Z expected to play a creative role - has set off a tussle between two L.A. politicians. Los Angeles City Councilman Jose Huizar contends he was left out of discussions, spearheaded by Mayor Eric Garcetti in recent weeks, over bringing the two-day Budweiser Made in America music festival to Grand Park and the nearby steps of City Hall. Huizar, who represents most of downtown, called for the city to withhold approval of any permits for the Labor Day weekend event until the details are properly vetted.
March 27, 2014
Re “Finding healing in music,” Column, March 22 Music as a tool to help children cope with feelings of grief and pain has been shown to be an effective intervention; in fact, even lighthearted group drumming sessions can be of positive benefit. Incorporating sensory integrative activities, such as music, help break down barriers posed by the feelings of fear, frustration, desperation and helplessness that children face when dealing with the loss of a loved one. I underscore Arvis Jones' music therapy methodology as part of a psychosocial grief management recovery process for traumatized children.
March 21, 2014 | Sandy Banks
How do you help little children, too young to know what death really means, cope with the feelings of grief and pain that the loss of a loved one brings? If you're music therapist Arvis Jones, you let them bang on a drum, do the hokey-pokey or join a choir and sing. Jones is part of a growing professional field that taps the restorative power of music to help traumatized children heal. For 20 years, she's been going to crime scenes, hospitals, funerals and schools, reaching out to grieving families with a bin of unorthodox tools - keyboards, claves, jingle sticks, tambourines, djembe and tubano drums.
March 21, 2014 | By Jessica Ogilvie
Onstage at the Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall in Costa Mesa, an older couple assumes a ballroom dance position. A tango begins, and the man, wearing a porkpie hat and suit, leads. The woman, wearing a floral dress, follows gracefully. Judging by the ease and fluidity of their movements, one would never know that Nancy Dufault, 72, has Parkinson's disease. When she is dancing, moving in time with her husband, Bob, she experiences a brief respite from symptoms. "She asked me to write a tango," says Mike Garson, a classically trained pianist who played with David Bowie for nearly 40 years.
March 17, 2014 | By Randall Roberts, Los Angeles Times Pop Music Critic
AUSTIN, Texas - Here's to bad vibes, colored vomit and off-years. Go ahead and toast those who prevailed at South by Southwest by getting signed, licensed or folded into a future marketing plan, but the losers in this vicious cycle earned more respect. This was a year in which Apple infiltrated the event to put on its own "festival" within the festival, and the year that party sponsors required that before entering, attendees sign away their rights for possible commercial use. The keynote speaker, Lady Gaga, trivialized bulimia with a shocking stunt, and the salted snack brand that funded her bull-in-a-china-shop arrival at South by Southwest further insulted the festival's spirit of creation with ham-fisted ploys to link music and munchies.
July 10, 1993 | DAVID J. FOX, TIMES STAFF WRITER; Contributing to this article were Times staff writers Randy Lewis in Orange County and Charles Solomon. Farhan Memon, a staff writer at the Edmonton Journal in Edmonton, Alberta, also contributed to this article
In a rare instance of a major studio changing a film after its release, the Walt Disney Co. said Friday it will alter two lines of the lyrics in the animated musical "Aladdin," which some Arab-Americans have criticized as racist. Disney said the change was made only after the studio obtained approval from the estate of the late lyricist Howard Ashman and from his collaborator, composer Alan Menken. Both won Oscars for their work on "Aladdin."
December 16, 2013 | By Randy Lewis, Los Angeles Times
In the same year that Linda Ronstadt told the world she could no longer sing a note because of Parkinson's disease, she has been elected to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, a possibility that she recently told the Los Angeles Times she'd never "given a second thought to. " Ronstadt, 67, is one of six new members who will be formally inducted next year, along with Peter Gabriel, KISS, Hall and Oates, Nirvana and Cat Stevens. Acts that made the final ballot but did not make the cut for induction are Yes, N.W.A, Chic, the Meters, Deep Purple, the Paul Butterfield Blues Band, LL Cool J, the Replacements, Link Wray and the Zombies.
March 17, 2014 | By Richard S. Ginell
In December 1994, the Los Angeles Master Chorale presented the world premiere of a brief setting of the Latin chant “O Magnum Mysterium” by a little-known 51-year-old USC-based composer from the Pacific Northwest named Morten Lauridsen. Paul Salamunovich, then the Master Chorale's music director, promptly predicted that this six-minute motet would eclipse all other settings of that text. Incredibly enough, it did -- yet Salamunovich's bold proclamation turned out to be an understatement.
March 17, 2014 | By David Ng
Janis Joplin - the musical, that is - lives on, thanks to Live Nation. After a tour that took it to Southern California and other venues, and a run on Broadway that closed in February, "A Night With Janis Joplin" will transfer off-Broadway to the Gramercy Theatre in New York, with the opening set for April 10. The new engagement is in partnership with concert promoter Live Nation and is expected to be a new staging to fit the concert-like venue...
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