December 31, 2012 |
The holidays are for spending time with family. That doesn't necessarily mean they have to be your own. After all, brothers Steven and Jeff McDonald of L.A. rock institutions Redd Kross, who will headline a New Year's Eve concert tonight at downtown's Alexandria Hotel, have enough domestic charm to go around. Need evidence? Asked earlier this year to discuss recording the first Redd Kross album in about a decade and a half, Steven at first avoided any rock formalities. He skipped straight to the mushy stuff.
December 20, 2012 |
It's with David Chase's much-honored individualism in mind that one should best approach - and best enjoy - his first feature film as a writer-director, the wonderfully immersive and evocative "Not Fade Away. " Despite the nostalgia-drenched idealism coursing through it - and a cinematic familiarity to the subject matter - this is not a story that's neatly told or safely predictable. The result, though, proves a warmly reflective, diligently crafted and confidently digressive flashback to a time, a place and people Chase, the creator of "The Sopranos," knows like the back of his hand (as it's largely drawn from the filmmaker's own coming of age)
December 12, 2012 |
The Rolling Stones in 2012 may no longer be a great rock 'n' roll band, but the act can certainly leave a crowd wanting more. The above is not meant to disparage anyone celebrating a 50th anniversary, nor does it offer a revelation. The Stones have been professional entertainers for decades now, and the band knows how to play to an audience. Perhaps frustratingly, the band also knows how to show just enough rock 'n' roll mettle to lead one to believe that someday, maybe they can once again be a great rock 'n' roll band.
December 12, 2012 |
It was a homecoming of sorts for Mick Jagger on Tuesday on “The Late Show.” The Rolling Stones singer, in New York for Wednesday night's epic “12-12-12 concert ," first appeared on stage at the Ed Sullivan Theater back on Oct. 25, 1964, as a swaggering, skinny young rock star. Nearly five decades later, he's older, wiser, but the swagger is still very much intact. (And it doesn't look like he's gained a pound, either.) After an introduction by David Letterman, Jagger presented “The Top Ten Things I, Mick Jagger, Have Learned After 50 Years in Rock 'n' Roll.” So what life lessons did he share with viewers?
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December 3, 2012 |
Mickey Baker, an exceptional 1950s session guitarist who played on hundreds of recordings, helping to transform rhythm and blues into rock 'n' roll, died Tuesday at his home near Toulouse, France, according to French media reports. He was 87. A cause of death was not disclosed. Baker "was the first great rock and roll guitarist," rock historian Dave Marsh wrote in 1989 in "The Heart of Rock and Roll: The 1001 Greatest Singles Ever Made. " The sassy "Love Is Strange" was one of them.
November 14, 2012 |
The Rolling Stones of yore were more likely to be caught dead than to be caught celebrating their 50th anniversary. Or at least that's what the original bad boys of rock 'n' roll - the band practically invented pop-star misbehavior - would have you believe. Yet half a century after the group played its first concert in 1962, the Stones are commemorating that unlikely milestone with a blitz of fresh activity that includes yet another greatest-hits set, a movie and a handful of live shows.
November 13, 2012 |
If you got really into playing the interactive Les Paul Google Doodle, or the more recent Bob Moog Doodle, then you'll love Jam With Chrome, a new, playable Web app from Google. JAM with Chrome lets you select from 19 instruments including three different types of bass guitars, six regular guitars, three drum machines and five different keyboards and play them on your computer by running your mouse across the strings, drum pads, keys, etc. Once you figure out how it all works, you can then invite up to three friends to play with you at the same time. The incredibly cute video that Google's in-house ad agency Google Creative Lab put up on Google's official blog shows you how it might work if a bunch of aesthetically pleasing and musically inclined animated animals used the Web app. JAM with Chrome is definitely fun to play around with -- kind of like an elaborate Google Doodle with its own URL. But it's also an advertisement for Google and all the cool things you can do with the company's technology. Click on the "technology" link on the JAM with Chrome website and you'll come across a list of all the different technologies that the app's developers used to put the app together, and this explanation: "JAM with Chrome is a collaborative live music experience in your browser, that makes use of several Web technologies and Google products....
October 19, 2012 |
Hollywood's Cat & Fiddle is the pub that rock 'n' roll built. Founded in 1982 by British expat Kim Gardner and his wife, Paula, the place has become the go-to British pub for musicians and those who love them. Kim -- a known wild man and bassist -- was part of the British Invasion of the 1960s and played with legends including George Harrison, the Rolling Stones and the Byrds. The pub has also become a second home for generations of pint-loving neighbors and devoted monarchists who come for the hearty British fare, gorgeous front patio and down-home vibe cultivated by the Gardner family over the years.
October 18, 2012 |
Paul Weller released his latest album, "Sonik Kicks," back in March, but the English mod-rock veteran so far hasn't brought the album to Los Angeles. That's set to change on Friday night at the Greek Theatre, where he'll touch down for a one-off headlining show while en route to Tokyo. (Hear the album's "That Dangerous Age" below.) Pop & Hiss recently rang Weller, 54, for a chat in which he advised concertgoers not to be surprised if he's joined onstage by Friday's opener, throwback-soul belter Sharon Jones.
October 15, 2012 |
The recent movie musicals "Nine" and "Rock of Ages" both tanked at the box office, but that apparently isn't stopping producers from investing in an effort to adapt the Tony-winning "Memphis" for the big screen. "Memphis" will be turned into a movie produced by Belle Pictures, the Mark Gordon Co. and Alcon Entertainment, according to various published reports on Sunday. Joe DiPietro, who co-wrote the musical, reportedly will write the screen adaptation. The musical features a score by Bon Jovi keyboardist David Bryan.