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September 24, 1988
I write this letter in reference to an article by Holly Gleason reviewing T. Graham Brown at the Crazy Horse Steak House (Calendar, Sept. 14, "Passion Sets T. Graham Brown Apart From the Country Pack"). Having been in the music business more than 12 years, I have read many articles and reviews of different artists, but rarely have I seen such a compassionate and artistic insight into a musician. It is genuinely refreshing to read a review from a more artistic point of view, void of prejudice, where the artist is not judged by personal likes and dislikes.
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ENTERTAINMENT
June 11, 2013 | By Mikael Wood
The Lonely Island's third studio disc presents an unlikely problem: Nearly eight years after they attained instant comedy-rap stardom with "Lazy Sunday," these "Saturday Night Live" veterans have become better rappers than comedians. On "The Wack Album," Andy Samberg, Akiva Schaffer and Jorma Taccone rhyme with impressive style and sharp detail over tracks that sound virtually indistinguishable from those on records by Rick Ross, T.I. or any number of other A-list hip-hop acts. Sometimes they're actually rapping alongside A-list hip-hop acts: "YOLO" features a verse by L.A.'s Kendrick Lamar, and the Bay Area trailblazer Too Short shows up in "The Compliments.
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ENTERTAINMENT
September 14, 1992 | MIKE BOEHM, TIMES STAFF WRITER
H ere we are now, entertain us. With that sour mantra from Nirvana's huge hit, "Smells Like Teen Spirit," so-called alternative rock solidified its claim to a place in pop's commercial mainstream. Kurt Cobain, the song's author, turned up singing a different tune Saturday at "Lollapalooza '92," the hot-selling, hotly hyped summer tour that closed its eight-week run with shows Friday through Sunday at Irvine Meadows Amphitheatre.
ENTERTAINMENT
June 11, 2013 | By Randall Roberts
"Tomorrow's Harvest," the fourth album by Scottish ambient electronic duo Boards of Canada, begins with the sound of an audio logo, a quick "Intel inside"-suggestive mnemonic that vanishes as quickly as it arrives. The tones are followed by a moment of silence, and the effect is not unlike the strike of a bell before a meditation session. Immediately, the listener is transported into another world, one realized on computer but teeming with organic beauty. Boards of Canada has crafted this kind of mysterious, humid, drenched instrumental music in its studio in Scotland for the last few decades, and the result on "Tomorrow's Harvest" (its first full-length release in nearly eight years)
ENTERTAINMENT
January 15, 1992 | JIM WASHBURN
Marty Stuart doesn't want for self-assurance: At the Crazy Horse the mightily coiffed country star sang a tune about hillbilly heaven in which he had the spirits of Hank Williams and other departed greats anointing him to carry on their renegade ways. While still several sizes away from filling those shoes, the singer-guitarist does give some new propulsion to country tradition. Still in his early 30s, Stuart began touring with Lester Flatt at age 13, and later worked for years with Johnny Cash.
ENTERTAINMENT
July 27, 1987 | STEVE HOCHMAN
Who would have thought you'd pine for the good ol' days of Duran Duran's "Hungry Like the Wolf"? That was the effect of waiting out the 90 minutes it took the English group to get to that song Friday at the Forum. In the meantime, the band once proclaimed the Fab Five--now officially down to three after the highly publicized defections of guitarist Andy Taylor and drummer Roger Taylor last year--focused on more recent pseudo-R&B material notable only for its lack of character.
ENTERTAINMENT
April 3, 1992 | ROBERT HILBURN, TIMES POP MUSIC CRITIC
For much of the evening, the Walden Woods benefit concert on Wednesday at the Universal Amphitheatre offered a teasing preview of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction dinner that will be held in Los Angeles in January. That was good and bad. On the down side, the concert was reminiscent of many of the Hall of Fame dinners in New York in that it was a l-o-n-g, l-o-n-g, l-o-n-g affair.
ENTERTAINMENT
September 2, 1985 | RANDY LEWIS, Times Staff Writer
Where are those ABC Sports "Up Close and Personal" people when you really need them? Actually, the distances weren't so great between Wham! and most of the 50,000-plus fans at the English duo's flashy, frothy concert Friday at Hollywood Park. Heck, with a good pair of binoculars to view the four giant video screens, it was almost like being there in person. But that's the price you pay for fame. When Wham!'
ENTERTAINMENT
June 2, 1992 | DON SNOWDEN
About the only thing missing from the "Soca Explosion '92" concert at Rancho Cienega Park on Sunday was a crowd to match the perfect weather conditions and strong performances. Most Americans know the vibrant Caribbean style through Buster Poindexter's version of Arrow's "Hot Hot Hot," and that limited exposure meant a sparse (if enthusiastic) turnout of less than 2,000 for the bill of major soca artists.
ENTERTAINMENT
April 4, 1988 | MIKE BOEHM, Times Staff Writer
The music was derivative and gimmicky. The stage show recapitulated familiar pop antics. But Zapp's concert Saturday at the Celebrity Theatre in Anaheim was an exhilarating, romping success. The nuts and bolts of the show mattered far less than the spirit in which the Ohio-based funk group and its leader, Roger Troutman, nailed them together.
ENTERTAINMENT
May 6, 2013 | By Randy Lewis
The sophomore outing from country bad-gal pals Miranda Lambert, Ashley Monroe and Angaleena Presley picks up where their spunky 2011 debut, "Hell on Heels," left off, with a dozen new tunes happily blending don't-get-mad-get-even attitude and country piety. Their switchblade-sharp vision incorporates acute observational powers about the human condition and savvy compositional skills that come together in songs that are piercingly honest, funny and sometimes both. "Annie Up" opens with "I Feel a Sin Comin' On," which operates as the trio's mission statement.
ENTERTAINMENT
May 3, 2013 | By Reed Johnson, Los Angeles Times
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.
ENTERTAINMENT
April 8, 2013 | By Randall Roberts, Los Angeles Times Pop Music Critic
Drawing conclusions on the music of Tyler the Creator based on his shocking way with language is like trying to explain the plot of a comic book by noting how much red ink is used. It's not only unfair, but inaccurately draws the Los Angeles-based rapper and founder of the Odd Future crew as one-dimensional, which he most certainly is not. On "Wolf," Tyler's third solo album, the producer, rapper, comedic actor and storyteller revels in his many dimensions, and has released his best album to date - even if it's too long and too sonically flat to confirm his place as a top-rate producer.
ENTERTAINMENT
March 4, 2013 | By August Brown
Thurston Moore's new band Chelsea Light Moving is named after the avant-garde composer Philip Glass' pre-fame moving company, and that's a pretty good metaphor for the band's sound: high-minded musicians doing some dumb, brawny lifting. The band's self-titled debut comes after a gentler acoustic solo album and what appears to be a long hiatus for Sonic Youth (Moore is separating from his wife and band co-founder Kim Gordon). So it makes sense that his next move is this low-stakes, punky project whose album sounds like it was written in an afternoon - in both good and bad ways.
ENTERTAINMENT
February 25, 2013 | By Randall Roberts, Los Angeles Times Pop Music Critic
To call bassist Flea's new collaborative effort, Atoms for Peace, a departure for the versatile musician is to underestimate the scope of his talents. Over his 30-year career, he's played punk bass, slap bass, jazz bass, trance bass, arena rock bass and nearly naked tube-sock bass. On "Amok," the five-man supergroup's debut album, the artist known for his work as a nihilist in "The Big Lebowski" - oh, and as a founding member of the Red Hot Chili Peppers - provides mesmerizing doses of hypnosis bass to create some of the most groove-heavy lines of his career.
ENTERTAINMENT
February 5, 2013 | By Mikael Wood
As its title implies, "IV" is the fourth studio album from this long-running Los Angeles punk band. But that total comes with an asterisk: Following "III" in 2008, the Bronx effected an unlikely transition and released two records - both excellent - as Mariachi El Bronx, an honest-to- Dios mariachi outfit complete with brass and guitarrĂ³n . Now the group has shed the charro suits and returned to its original sound with 12 serrated hard-core jams...
ENTERTAINMENT
November 18, 1992 | JONATHAN GOLD
The Shrine Exhibition Hall is a splendid old room, long and severe, cavernous really, with mega-high vaulted ceilings and groovy detailing and extra-wide balconies; room for thousands. Unfortunately, it seems to be rather unsuitable for rock 'n' roll. When the Texas thrash-metal band Pantera played the hall on Monday, the effect was not unlike standing in a subway tunnel for an hour, listening to trains clack and screech around a curve.
ENTERTAINMENT
May 9, 1994 | DON HECKMAN
"Fluffed, flawless and fierce," was top diva Sheryl Lee Ralph's description of the performers in her "Divas: Simply Singing" benefit concert at the Wilshire Ebell Theatre on Saturday. And it would be hard to find a more accurate characterization of a lineup ranging from the classic Linda Hopkins and Delores Hall to the awesome Chaka Khan and CeCe Peniston.
ENTERTAINMENT
February 5, 2013 | By August Brown
"Two Lanes of Freedom" is Tim McGraw's first album since he announced that he gave up alcohol five years ago. It's also his first record for Big Machine - appropriately, also Taylor Swift's home label, given her single "Tim McGraw" - and he looks hale and hearty in the album's accompanying videos. It all signals a major new start for McGraw, one of pop-country's bestselling but critically assailed figures. If only the songs on "Two Lanes" were as honed and wiry as their singer. The album should keep him atop the country commercial firmament, but doesn't really advance him as an artist.
ENTERTAINMENT
January 1, 2013
A couple of albums from 2012 we missed . . . Martha Wainwright "Come Home to Mama" (V2/Cooperative Music) Three stars At No. 11 on my (and, I suspect, many others') 10 best albums of 2012 list is "Out of the Game," Rufus Wainwright's funny, funky collaboration with producer Mark Ronson. But if "Out of the Game" got a bit lost in the Frank-and-Fiona shuffle, it at least made a bigger splash than the latest from Wainwright's younger sister Martha, who like Rufus was born to the urbane folk singers Kate McGarrigle and Loudon Wainwright III. McGarrigle died in early 2010, weeks after Martha became a mother herself, and that's the experience she recounts on "Come Home to Mama," a powerful set of songs - including the last one written by McGarrigle - released to minimal fanfare in mid-October.
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