January 9, 2011 |
During his three decades at the helm of Social Distortion, singer, guitarist and songwriter Mike Ness has repeatedly turned to the rich vein of his own hardscrabble life as a hell-raising teen and then a heroin-addicted rock musician. But in putting together the band's new "Hard Times and Nursery Rhymes" album, the Orange County punk band's first studio collection in six years, Ness seems to have reached the "enough about me" stage in his ongoing efforts to keep his long-running band supplied with fresh subject matter.
September 18, 2010 |
Chilly Gonzales might be the best ambassador Europe's had in decades — never mind that he's Canadian. "We're all Europeans now," the self-professed "entertainer" declared from his home in Paris' Pigalle district earlier this month. "I feel like I'm part of a European family, and musically speaking, Europe has sort of taken over the hip-hop world and pop world as well [recently]. You keep on hearing more European electronic sounds popping up in North America. " But Gonzales, born Jason Charles Beck, certainly doesn't resemble a Europop star.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 13, 2009 |
On the fringe of Compton's manufacturing zone lies a row of boarded-up single-family homes that shelter not humans, but a billion-bug-and-worm breeding enterprise. It's nicknamed "Worm City," and Fred Rhyme is its mayor. FOR THE RECORD: Mealworms: An article in the Dec. 13 California section about a Compton worm farm incorrectly attributed a quote to Rosa Gomez. It was Daniel Cervantes, a resident near the farm, who was washing his car when he said, "They've been here all these years before I moved here in 2004."
November 9, 2009 |
When art professor Melanie Marchant started dating former NBA player Tom Meschery a few years ago, male friends weren't shy about sharing their thoughts on her new man. "They'd pull me aside," she notes, smiling and lowering her voice conspiratorially, "and they would say to me, 'He was the meanest S.O.B. I ever say play.' " You wouldn't know it today. It's not that the 6-foot-6 Meschery, who played most of his 10 NBA seasons in the 1960s, is any less imposing. It's just that he is a thoughtful, compassionate man who looks less like what he may have been years ago and more like what he became after his playing days ended in 1971: owner of a bookstore-tea shop and later, for more than 20 years, a high school and junior college English teacher in Reno and Truckee, Calif.
May 3, 2009 |
Through his fiction and nonfiction the Israeli Amos Oz has been the witty and melancholy recorder of his country's brilliant sufficiencies, along with the insufficiencies that shadow them. Now Oz takes an equally witty, equally melancholy look at his own role as a writer. In part his new novella is a satire of the transactions between the author-celebrity and the readers who buzz around him.
April 19, 2009 |
The circle of young expatriates that Arthur Phillips assembled in Budapest in his debut novel, "Prague," (you had to be there) are no doubt thickening at the waist now and may only dimly recall the game of truth and falsity called "Sincerity" they played in an effort to fool each other.
April 7, 2009 |
The police were polite but firm as they arrested Shahin Felakat, a lanky teen whose mussed-up strands of dirty brown hair reach in all directions, and charged him with singing lyrics that threatened Iran's Islamic order. After a few days in jail, the 18-year-old rapper ran back to the studio to rejoin his homeboys. "The authorities have a very negative view of rap," Felakat says. "They say rap has a corrupting influence.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 3, 2009
February 19, 2009 |
It's strange, given the profusion of hip-hop scholarship, that rap lyrics have received so little sustained analysis. But though hip-hop is studied at universities -- as a social movement, a musical form, a manifestation of postmodernity -- the public conversation about it remains a zero-sum game of overzealous attacks and passionate defenses.