March 31, 2013 |
No band from the nascent Los Angeles punk rock scene of the 1970s and '80s has meant more to subsequent hard-core generations than Black Flag. Few could have expected as much at the time. "I'm totally surprised because we didn't know what we were doing," recalls Keith Morris, the band's founding singer, who quit in 1979 to form his own early hard-core act, the Circle Jerks. "This is who we are, this is what we do: get in the room, turn the amps on and let it blast. " Since the band's breakup in 1986, fans and the curious have had to be content with all the "loudfastrules" recordings left behind, but this summer brings a strange new chapter: two competing versions of the band on tour.
February 11, 2013 |
Strutting the stage in her white tuxedo jacket, shorts and sparkling top hat, Taylor Swift opened Sunday's Grammy Awards with a live performance of her current hit, "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together. " Inside Staples Center, the singer's performance earned loud applause. But to the Twitterverse watching at home, the pop and country superstar sang a little bit flat. Swift was dancing in the footsteps of countless artists who have performed live at music's biggest night.
January 7, 2013 |
You couldn't have asked for a more sweetly engaging debut than the Living Sisters ' 2010 album, “Love to Live,” a title that embodied the sheer joy the three original members -- Inara George, Eleni Mandell and Becky Stark -- displayed through the blending of their voices. Thankfully, that recording wasn't just a one-off side project for the three women, who are otherwise engaged in various indie rock and pop projects around L.A. Now, the trio becomes a quartet with the addition of Alex Lilly, the onetime backup singer for George in the Bird and the Bee who subsequently stepped into the lead spot when she formed Obi Best.
February 18, 2013 |
The year of Phoenix has begun. After announcing last week that it would release a new album in April, the French band on Monday posted the disc's first song, "Entertainment," on YouTube. It's a speedy electro-rock jam built around the group's signature live-disco guitar, as well as a giant-sized synth hook that after a few spins is reminding Pop & Hiss of some of the rave-ier moments from Coldplay's "Mylo Xyloto. " (Listen to "Entertainment" below.) Due out in the U.S. on April 23, "Bankrupt!"
September 17, 2013 |
Christian Zucconi was nobody's idea of a Hollywood slickster when he ambled onstage one night last month at Club Nokia. Gawky, wild-haired and wrapped in what appeared to be a secondhand bathrobe, the frontman of L.A.'s Grouplove was there to perform with his band as part of a benefit for the Grammy Foundation. In the audience, well-dressed guys and women teetering on high heels listened attentively enough as Zucconi sang about losing his head over Andrew Wessen's clanging guitar.
September 7, 2013 |
The creation story behind "Astro-Mancy," MGMT's rhythmic freakout on its self-titled new album, is instructive when considering the duo's oblong output over the years. A band best known for its string of genre-defying dance-pop hits of 2008, "Time to Pretend," "Kids" and "Electric Feel," MGMT has since its rise succeeded in upending expectations - sometimes in mystifying ways. Despite the whirling rhythms and psychedelic electronic noise rolling within, "Astro-Mancy" was born of a failed attempt to rein it in a bit. Which perhaps makes sense.