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March 13, 2014 | By Charles McNulty, Los Angeles Times Theater Critic
A show about the late Weimar era vocal troupe the Comedian Harmonists bearing the title "Harmony" had better have memorable singing, and on that score this musical by Barry Manilow and his writing partner Bruce Sussman doesn't disappoint. In solos, duets and ensemble numbers especially, the voices soar on lilting melodies that strive to conjure the glory days of the American musical, that period bookended between Rodgers & Hammerstein and Kander & Ebb. The show's numbers may not evoke those easy-listening Manilow hits of the 1970s, but they have an ingratiating beauty that serves to remind that the man who made famous the Bruce Johnston lyric "I am music.
March 13, 2014 | By August Brown and Matt Pearce
AUSTIN, Texas - Rashad Charjuan Owens was a music producer with hopes of stardom. He lived in Killeen, Texas, about 70 miles from this city's famed South by Southwest Conference, the annual festival where the worlds of music, film and technology blur. Police said an officer on drunk-driving patrol tried to stop a gray sedan about 12:30 a.m. Thursday. But the car took off, weaving, then accelerating the wrong way on a one-way street. It went through police barricades that were set up on Red River Street to protect pedestrians, then dashed through the entertainment district, where the bands X and TEEN had just wrapped up. Rapper Tyler the Creator was scheduled to perform at 1 a.m. During the chaotic flight under pursuit by the police, the vehicle - which authorities said may have been stolen - hit a moped, a taxi and a bicyclist, then went onto a sidewalk and hit a van, police said.
March 13, 2014 | By Randy Lewis
Wednesday's incident at the South by Southwest Music Conference in Austin, Texas,  in which two people were killed and nearly two dozen others injured by a suspected drunk driver who police say drove into a crowd outside a club while trying to evade officers, was just the latest tragedy to hit during a heavily populated music event. Here are a dozen others, from Pukkelpop to Altamont. 2012: Radiohead, Toronto: A drum technician was killed when a stage roof collapsed in fair weather before the English band was scheduled to perform.
March 12, 2014 | By Mikael Wood
AUSTIN, Texas -- A great many of the panel discussions at this year's South by Southwest conference offer variations on a question that goes right to the heart of our digital age: How are musicians supposed to get paid when music is so readily had for free? On Wednesday afternoon, experts including Mike Herring, CFO of the Internet streaming service Pandora, examined the matter in a conversation titled "Will Artists Make Money on Big Music Platforms?" The verdict? It's unclear.
March 12, 2014
Wendy Hughes Australian actress dies at 61 Wendy Hughes, 61, an Australian actress best known to American audiences for her performance in the 1979 film "My Brilliant Career," died of cancer Saturday in Sydney, her family said. Hughes began her rise to stardom during a renaissance in the Australian film industry in the 1970s and '80s, beginning with "My Brilliant Career," in which she played Aunt Helen to the headstrong heroine portrayed by Judy Davis. The film swept the Australian Film Institute awards and in the U.S. was nominated for an Oscar and a Golden Globe.
March 12, 2014 | By David Horsey
Female country singers are complaining that their music is being pushed off the airwaves by a new crew of young, male, “bro-country” musicians singing interchangeable songs about dirt roads, pickup trucks, girls in tiny cutoff jeans and beer, lots of beer. Carrie Underwood is leading the charge, telling Billboard magazine that the country music business seems to have very limited room for new female musicians, but that it's different for the guys. “There seem to be so many male singers out there who can be viewed as similar, and there seems to be plenty of room for all of them,” Underwood said.
March 11, 2014 | By Christie D'Zurilla
What do Taylor Swift, Kenny Chesney and Luke Bryan have in common? Well, they're all country artists. And they all made more money in the U.S. than Justin Bieber did in 2013, according to Billboard magazine. We point that out because, well, in the wake of Bieber's spoiled-brat deposition behavior revealed Monday, it's fun to see some grown-ups taking him to school professionally. Even if one of those grown-ups is only 24. And yes, that was just some gratuitous Bieber-bashing there.
March 11, 2014 | By Mikael Wood
The biggest act scheduled to perform this week at the annual South by Southwest music festival is also one of the biggest acts in the world. On March 13, Lady Gaga will take to the outdoor stage behind Stubb's for a concert sponsored by Doritos, which is temporarily renaming the barbecue joint #BoldStage (after its line of flavored tortilla chips) and requiring would-be showgoers to complete one of several so-called bold missions to get inside. Yet Lady Gaga won't be the only A-list artist - nor Doritos the only blue-chip brand - at SXSW, set to run March 11 through March 16 in Austin, Texas.
March 11, 2014 | By Randy Lewis
This post has been updated. See note below for details: One of Neil Young's not-so-whimsical mottoes has long been “Quality - whether you want it or not,” but it appears there's a population of music fans that does want it, judging by the early response to the Kickstarter campaign supporting his new high-quality PonoMusic system. The Kickstarter operation went live on March 11 at 10:30 a.m. Pacific time, and within the first hour it had logged almost 400 supporters for a total of more than $100,000.
March 10, 2014 | By David Ng
Esa-Pekka Salonen, the former music director of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, has won the prestigious Michael Ludwig Nemmers Prize in Music Composition, a biennial award from Northwestern University that honors a contemporary composer's body of work. Salonen is receiving a $100,000 cash award and will have one of his works performed by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra in the 2015-16 season, the university announced Monday. The Finnish composer-conductor also will partner with Northwestern's Henry and Leigh Bienen School of Music, where he will participate in four residencies on the Northwestern campus in the next two academic years.
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