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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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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 12, 2014
Jesse Winchester, 69, a U.S.-born singer who established himself in Canada after dodging the Vietnam War and who went on to write songs covered by Elvis Costello, Jimmy Buffett and Joan Baez, died of bladder cancer Friday at his home in Charlottesville, Va., according to his agent Keith Case. Winchester's best-known songs include "Yankee Lady," "Biloxi," "Say What" and "Mississippi, You're on My Mind. " Artists as diverse as Reba McEntire, Wilson Pickett, Waylon Jennings, Emmylou Harris, Bonnie Raitt and the Everly Brothers have performed Winchester's pieces.
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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.
TRAVEL
April 11, 2014 | By Chuck Graham
You don't have to travel all the way to East Africa to go on safari. Grab your binoculars and camera and scan the 50-mile-long Carrizo Plain National Monument for its array of wildlife. Carrizo Plain, about 100 miles northwest of Los Angeles and known as California's Serengeti, is the largest single native grassland remaining in the Golden State. It's home to the highest concentration of endangered species in California. Drive slowly on Soda Lake Road and search for herds of pronghorn antelope and Tule elk. The real challenge will be spotting rarer critters such as the blunt-nosed leopard lizard, San Joaquin kit fox, San Joaquin antelope ground squirrel and giant kangaroo rat. Don't ignore old fence posts either, favorite perches for raptors such as ferruginous and red-tailed hawks, prairie falcons and American kestrels.
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
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.
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
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
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
April 22, 2010 | By Matt Diehl, Special to the Los Angeles Times
"People used to say nobody can sing my songs but me — they're too personal," Joni Mitchell explained last week during a rare interview. Apparently, nobody told John Kelly not to try adapting her songs. The renowned Obie Award-winning actor and performance artist has been belting out Mitchell's songs for more than 20 years. This weekend, the New York-based Kelly concludes the L.A. run of his acclaimed solo tribute to the iconic, iconoclastic singer-songwriter, "Paved Paradise: The Art of Joni Mitchell," at Renberg Theatre.
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.
ENTERTAINMENT
March 24, 2014 | By Charles McNulty, Los Angeles Times Theater Critic
Accustomed to living glamorously in the spotlight, Noël Coward conducted his private affairs, in the words of writer Rebecca West, "with an impeccable dignity … which was reticent but untainted by pretense. " Given that homosexual acts weren't decriminalized in Britain until 1967, Coward's glass-door closet wasn't just a witty place to be - it was also a fairly courageous one. But attitudes were rapidly changing. "Homosexuality is becoming as normal as blueberry-pie," Coward observed in his diaries in 1960.
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
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?
NEWS
May 28, 2013 | By Tracy Brown
Anxious travelers can turn to a special music playlist to help alleviate their stress this travel season, thanks to Spotify . The music streaming service commissioned a special study to investigate the type of music that best helps calm nerves, and they found Adele's “Someone Like You” to be the perfect song for nervous fliers. The study was carried out by anxiety psychologist Becky Spelman of the Private Therapy Clinic in London. Spelman's research found that slowing down breathing to be in time with music with a slow tempo - ideally around 60 beats per minute - helps lower a person's heart rate and blood pressure and reduce anxiety.
NATIONAL
July 29, 2010 | By Alana Semuels, Los Angeles Times
Ben Jaffe, the tuba player and creative director for the Preservation Hall Jazz Band, was sitting in his Faubourg Marigny house one spring morning, drinking fresh-brewed New Orleans chicory coffee and worrying about the oil spill. He and music producer Bill Lynn had just watched oil executives blame one another for the Deepwater Horizon rig disaster, and Jaffe, who comes from a long line of jazz musicians, was sick of it. He glanced over at a glum Lynn, and as if by instinct, they started riffing on a standard New Orleans tune, "It Ain't My Fault."
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.
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