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ENTERTAINMENT
February 27, 2014 | By Randall Roberts, Los Angeles Times Pop Music Critic
Musically speaking, one of the best parts of the breakout success of “True Detective” is the window it opens into the world of the Handsome Family. The husband-wife duo of Brett and Rennie Sparks composed “Far From Any Road,” used each week in the HBO mystery's opening credits, but that tells only a tiny part of their story. For the last two decades the pair has been using the blueprints of old-time country and western balladry to create dark but often lovely narratives set in the present.
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IMAGE
April 6, 2014 | By Ingrid Schmidt
They share vintage fashion finds, finish one another's sentences and collectively compose pop-rock songs. Kesha and Katy Perry are fans, and their dream is to perform with Prince. But for now they'll have to settle for appearing at the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival on Friday and April 18, part of a U.S. tour that begins next week. "They" are Haim, the San Fernando Valley-raised sister trio (Este, Danielle and Alana), known for their catchy 2013 debut album, "Days Are Gone" - and their style.
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ENTERTAINMENT
December 5, 2013 | By Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times Film Critic
We know too much about Mexico's drug war and not enough. We hear about it constantly, about the 60,000 murders and the slaughter of innocents, but getting a sense of what that means on the ground - and how pervasive its cultural influence is - is harder to come by. The potent documentary "Narco Cultura" is an excellent place to start. This dispassionate but devastating film looks at the drug wars from two very different but chillingly complementary perspectives. As directed and shot by Shaul Schwarz, an accomplished photojournalist who spent two years in this world as a still photographer before starting to film, "Narco Cultura" benefits from the access Schwarz earned through his time on the ground.
ENTERTAINMENT
March 15, 2014 | By Mikael Wood
AUSTIN, Texas -- As the South by Southwest music festival nears its end, quiet begins to beckon. It's the natural result of having been assaulted by noise -- in clubs and concert halls, but also simply walking down many streets here -- for four long days in a row. Eventually, inevitably, the ear requires relief. I found some Friday night, on the next-to-last evening of full programming at SXSW, in performances by London Grammar and Mark Kozelek. The latter show offered another welcome element: somewhere to sit. A young British trio that's already achieved big success at home, where it was nominated last month for a prize at the U.K.'s Grammy-equivalent Brit Awards, London Grammar plays hushed, electronic-edged love songs that can suggest Dido fronting the xx. And it was working hard in Austin to bring some of that buzz to an American audience, with five gigs over the course of four days, including a slot opening for Coldplay.
ENTERTAINMENT
August 24, 2013 | By John Horn
Linda Ronstadt has disclosed that she is suffering from Parkinson's disease , and that the neurological disorder has left her unable to sing. The 67-year-old musician made the disclosure in an  AARP Magazine interview  posted online Friday. Ronstadt, an 11-time Grammy winner, said that she was diagnosed with the neurological ailment about eight months ago and "can't sing a note. " PHOTOS: Concerts by The Times “No one can sing with Parkinson's disease,” Ronstadt said.
BUSINESS
September 1, 2013 | By Jessica Naziri
Once upon a time, I listened to the radio. I even bought LPs, cassette tapes and CDs. But gone are those days. Now, I listen to streaming music, which has made staying on top of all the latest tunes as easy as a couple of clicks, all for about $10 a month. Some music apps focus on the basics (oldies are the goodies), others make recommendations based on your preferences or musical discovery, while others emphasize features like lyrics, sound adjustment and user interface.
ENTERTAINMENT
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.
ENTERTAINMENT
February 21, 2014 | By Susan King
Steve Lawrence loved to talk music with Frank Sinatra. During one of their chats, the Chairman of the Board asked Lawrence to name his favorite song. "I said, there are a lot of wonderful songs out there," Lawrence, 78, recalled in a recent interview. "He said, 'Name one.' I said OK, 'Moonlight in Vermont.' He said 'Why?' I said well to be honest it's the only American popular song I can think of that doesn't have a rhyme. " Sinatra was taken aback. "He said, 'Really? I recorded that song.' And he starts to sing it to me across the table.
BUSINESS
December 26, 2012 | By Salvador Rodriguez
Google recently rolled out a free scan and match feature for its Music service, but it seems to be switching explicit versions of songs with clean ones and vice versa. The Mountain View, Calif., company rolled out the new feature a week ago giving consumers a free alternative to similar services offered by Amazon.com and Apple, which charge $25 for their services. But earlier this week, reports hit the Web saying users are having their songs switched out for incorrect versions that either bleep out words when they're not supposed to or don't when they should.
ENTERTAINMENT
July 7, 2010
'Songs and Dances of Imaginary Lands' Where: the Songs and Dances Warehouse, 8810 Washington Blvd., Culver City When: 8 p.m. Thursday-Sunday and 2 p.m. Sunday. Ends July 18. Tickets: $25-$50 Info: (323) 655-2410 or http://www.overtoneindustries.org
ENTERTAINMENT
March 14, 2014 | By Charles McNulty, Los Angeles Times Theater Critic
Shakespeare with puppets, a legendary director still breaking ground in his 80s, and a couple of Pulitzer Prize-winning dramas are just some of the highlights of the spring theater season. As for new work, there's a brand new play by one of America's rising playwriting talents. But even the classics are being served in novel ways and the prospect of Annette Bening performing monologues by Ruth Draper has all the charge of a world premiere. MARCH 18-APRIL 13 'A Song at Twilight' This late work by Noël Coward is in the capable hands of director Art Manke, who has been shining a spotlight on the lesser-known reaches of the Coward canon.
ENTERTAINMENT
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.
BUSINESS
March 10, 2014 | By Chris O'Brien
If anyone or anything could use a little love right about now, it's bitcoin.  The poor, beleaguered virtual currency has had a rough go of it lately. There was the collapse of Mt. Gox, once the largest bitcoin exchange, and the loss of a few hundred million dollars worth of bitcoin. There were charges of money laundering related to another bitcoin exchange. And of course, last week, there was the Newsweek story that may or may not have unveiled the identity of the creator of bitcoin.  STORY: Will the real creator of bitcoin please stand up?
NATIONAL
March 9, 2014 | By Matt Pearce
Clint Massey, who raps under the name RondoNumbaNine, brags in one of his videos about his ability to "meet face to face, put a hole in your face, still beat the case. " "Glock go blah , damn, that's great," he raps. Now the 17-year-old Chicago rapper is charged with first-degree murder in a shooting, and investigators say there's a fingerprint, witnesses and video footage that connect him to the killing, according to local media reports. Massey appeared in court Sunday, where he was ordered held in lieu of $2-million bail on suspicion of being part of a two-gunman team that shot and killed a livery driver in Chicago's South Side in February.
ENTERTAINMENT
March 8, 2014 | By Randall Roberts, Los Angeles Times Pop Music Critic
When singer and Gibson hollow-body strummer Nick Waterhouse introduced one of his songs as "the B-side to a 45" during his record release party, you'd have been forgiven for briefly thinking the entrance to the American Legion Post 43 in Hollywood may have opened into another decade. Well, at least at first glance. Wearing horn-rimmed glasses, a smart suit and well-trimmed short hair that got mussed when he soloed, the young Los Angeles artist and his eight-piece band looked ripped from history as they pushed through a dozen-plus songs, many from his new album "Holly.
ENTERTAINMENT
March 3, 2014 | By Randall Roberts, Los Angeles Times Pop Music Critic
As per its title, Pharrell Williams' first album in eight years is singularly focused on girls. No women or ladies appear through the 10 songs that make up the album, let alone any other men. (There is one queen, but she's from outer space.) Best known these days for his falsetto voice heard on Daft Punk's "Get Lucky" and Robin Thicke's "Blurred Lines," singer-producer Pharrell doubles down on his pursuit of mainstream superstardom on "Girl," but in the process reveals his weaknesses as well.
ENTERTAINMENT
July 23, 2012 | By Todd Martens, Los Angeles Times
The London Olympics won't get underway until this weekend, but numerous songs from these pop-heavy games have already been released. As part of its "Rock the Games" music program, the London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games commissioned five songs. The first to appear was Muse's "Survival," and the last will be Dizzee Rascal's "Scream," which will be released midway through the games on Aug. 6. Here, we pit the official Olympic songs against one another and rank them the only way the Olympics know how: gold, silver and bronze.
ENTERTAINMENT
June 29, 2013 | By Randall Roberts, Los Angeles Times Pop Music Critic
In Saturday's Times, I published an account of my recent wedding, and the struggles and successes of choosing the perfect music for the occasion -- especially as a music critic. The essay mentioned any number of songs that my wife Jenny and I included, and others that were featured on a mix CD we gave to our guests.  I've made a Spotify mix of the songs that landed on the mix, and included it below. Yes, the list of songs that we could have included is boundless, and on any given day the mix would have featured other selections.
ENTERTAINMENT
March 3, 2014 | By Todd Martens
Book U2 frontman Bono for the Grammy Awards and perhaps only a Beatle or a Rolling Stone could upstage him. At the Oscars, however, the rock 'n' roll humanitarian had nothing on a Disney princess. Idina Menzel stole the Dolby Theatre stage Sunday with "Let It Go," the diva belter from Disney's smash "Frozen," which would go on to win the Oscar a few minutes later for original song. "To our fellow nominees, you are all rock stars - literally," said Kristen Anderson-Lopez as she accepted the Oscar with her husband, Robert Lopez.
ENTERTAINMENT
March 2, 2014 | By Todd Martens
In the end, some of the biggest names in pop music couldn't topple a Disney princess. “Let It Go” from Walt Disney Pictures' animated musical “Frozen” took the Oscar for original song, besting offerings from U2, Pharrell Williams and Karen O of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs. Written by the husband-and-wife songwriting team of Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez, “Let It Go” is the showcase song in “Frozen.” It arrives early in the film, scoring the moment when Queen Elsa (Idina Menzel)
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