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Spoken Word

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January 1, 2009 | Julia Keller
Literature is like a blind date: We all pretend that looks don't matter, that what we really care about is inner beauty -- but before we commit ourselves, we'd like to get a peek at the guy or gal. For that reason, most of us perform a simple ritual when first we pick up a book: We turn to the back inside cover where, most often, the author photo can be found.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 13, 2014 | By Carolyn Kellogg
With a strong push from MTV, spoken-word poetry went mainstream in the mid-1990s, and Maggie Estep was its leading lady. Dressed in black, often backed by a rock band, Estep was a sassy, slightly twisted New Yorker who wrote and performed humorous, biting pieces that merged poetry with stand-up comedy. A regular at Manhattan's Nuyorican Poets Café, the center of the poetry slam movement, she was a crowd favorite for pieces with titles like "Hey Baby" and "The Stupid Jerk I'm Obsessed With.
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ENTERTAINMENT
January 15, 1999
Performance poet and visual artist Pat Payne will present her "Spirit of Peace/Spoken Word" piece, an audience participatory, movement-based work for children and families that explores the life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. as a child. It is set for Saturday at noon and 2 p.m. at the Los Angeles Children's Museum. Admission is free with museum entrance fee. Information: (213) 687-8800.
ENTERTAINMENT
February 12, 2014 | By Carolyn Kellogg
Maggie Estep, novelist and spoken word artist, has died at age 50, the New York Times reported. Estep, who published seven books after her start on stage, suffered a heart attack two days ago at her home in Hudson, N.Y., and died Wednesday at a hospital in Albany. Estep was part of a generation of spoken word artists who had a surprisingly wide cultural impact. She appeared on HBO's "Def Poetry Jam" (an online clip includes explicit language) and MTV, and was a star of MTV's 1994 spoken word tour.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 30, 2008 | Jon Thurber, Times Staff Writer
Bruce "Utah" Phillips, an influential figure in American folk music who built a grass-roots following with his songs and spoken-word performances that hearkened back to the days of Woody Guthrie, died May 23 of congestive heart failure at his home in Nevada City, Calif., according to an announcement on his website. He was 73. During his four-decade career, Phillips, who was once described in a Times story as looking "like an apt cross between Santa Claus and Karl Marx," offered highly scripted performances in folk venues and festivals throughout the country, in Canada and in Europe.
ENTERTAINMENT
December 14, 2001 | JOSH FRIEDMAN, TIMES STAFF WRITER
"I want to hear a poem where ideas kiss similes so deeply that metaphors get jealous, where the subject matters so much that adjectives start holding pro-noun rallies at city hall," says Steve Coleman. "I want to hear a poem, I want to feel a poem, I want to taste a poem. Give me your spot on the mike if you want to waste a poem."
ENTERTAINMENT
March 1, 2001
SANTA ANA 8pm Spoken Word L.A. punk kingpin Henry Rollins returns with his war of words for another evening of spoken-word performance at the Galaxy. * Henry Rollins, Galaxy Concert Theatre, 3503 S. Harbor Blvd., Santa Ana. 8 p.m. $16.50 to $18.50. (714) 957-0600.
OPINION
January 13, 2013 | By Karen Stabiner
Hey, reader. If you bristle ever so slightly at the presumed familiarity of that salutation, you're almost surely over 40, and you likely grew up well north of the Mason-Dixon line. If you say "hey" back, the demographic possibilities are a lot broader. Everyone from anywhere who was born after 1980 seems to have adopted this onetime Southern regionalism, as have over-40s who work in a business that uses "trending" as a verb and requires them to stay forever young. I get "hey" emails and in-the-hallway greetings from students who've never been as far south as Philadelphia, who hail from India and Austria, from the Northeast and the Midwest and Canada.
MAGAZINE
July 2, 2006
Thanks for including the fun note from Marisela Norte ("The Happiest Hour," Style, June 4). Norte should be designated a cultural landmark. In addition to her expertise in the cheeseburger and cocktail realms, she is a forceful and moving spoken-word artist who deserves far greater recognition. Let's see more Norte in future issues! Howard Gibson Via the Internet
NEWS
October 13, 2005 | Greg Braxton, Times Staff Writer
The throng at the Conga Room on L.A.'s Miracle Mile is just a dozen or so shy of a level that brings a frown to fire marshals. Elegantly dressed women occupy most of the seats, and the men jammed into the area near the bar have left the baggy club gear at home in favor of more fashionable garb. But despite the singles-night-out vibe, this evening is not about the hook-up. A few women sip Cosmopolitans, but the bar is doing only moderate business. Cellphones have been holstered and silenced.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 8, 2013 | David Colker
The Watts Prophets performing group, formed by three young poets in the wake of the 1965 Watts riots, was known for hard-edged commentary. But perhaps the most feisty of the trio was Richard Dedeaux, who once challenged Muhammad Ali to a poetry fight. "We were going to a reception after a performance at an event at the L.A. Convention Center, walking behind Muhammad Ali and his entourage," said another member of the group, Amde Hamilton. Dedeaux ran up to the famed boxer and sometime poet and tapped him on the shoulder.
ENTERTAINMENT
April 21, 2013 | By Tracy Brown
While more conventionally established poets held readings on the nearby Poetry Stage at the L.A. Times Festival of Books on Saturday, teenage poets drew their own audience as they performed original and classic poetry in front of the Get Lit -Words Ignite booth. The festival continues Sunday at USC. During the outdoor performances, each teen ratcheted up the emotion of the preceding performer, sustaining an energy that drew festival attendees who couldn't help but stop to absorb the experience.
ENTERTAINMENT
January 24, 2013 | By Gary Goldstein
Kudos to writer-director Antonino D'Ambrosio for taking such an eclectic and disparate number of aims, thoughts, subjects and mediums and creating the smart and inspiring - and uniquely whole - documentary that is "Let Fury Have the Hour. " A kind of think/performance piece about what's termed here "creative reaction," the film hears from a stirring swath of socially conscious artists whose work largely emerged as an anger-channeling counter to the Reagan-Thatcher era of conservative individualism.
OPINION
January 13, 2013 | By Karen Stabiner
Hey, reader. If you bristle ever so slightly at the presumed familiarity of that salutation, you're almost surely over 40, and you likely grew up well north of the Mason-Dixon line. If you say "hey" back, the demographic possibilities are a lot broader. Everyone from anywhere who was born after 1980 seems to have adopted this onetime Southern regionalism, as have over-40s who work in a business that uses "trending" as a verb and requires them to stay forever young. I get "hey" emails and in-the-hallway greetings from students who've never been as far south as Philadelphia, who hail from India and Austria, from the Northeast and the Midwest and Canada.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 20, 2012 | By Ann M. Simmons, Los Angeles Times
Users of a peaceful and popular Santa Clarita trail will soon be exposed to a "sonic intervention" as a new project designed to encourage passersby to linger and listen gets underway. The endeavor, called Stroll, is a collaboration between the city of Santa Clarita and the California Institute of the Arts and uses audio devices erected along the city's South Fork Trail to emit an eclectic mix of field recordings, electronic sounds, the spoken word and performed music. "The goal is to create a work of art that allows for a re-imagining of the landscape by intervening into the public space with an unexpected interruption," said Tom Leeser, director of CalArts' Center for Integrated Media, whose students, faculty and visiting artists produced the project.
ENTERTAINMENT
July 5, 2011 | By Randall Roberts, Los Angeles Times Pop Music Critic
The process behind Brian Eno's new album, "Drums Between the Bells," a collaboration with the English poet Rick Holland, is based on a simple premise but one that could change the way you hear your next conversation. "We are all singing. We call it speech, but we're singing to each other," Eno said (sang?) from London during a recent phone exchange. Eight years ago the British-born composer, producer, visual artist and sonic conceptualist began putting his belief to a test: "I thought, as soon as you put spoken word onto music, you start to hear it like singing anyway.
NEWS
November 23, 1998
CHARITY KKBT-FM "The Beat" Food for Life Drive kicks off at 7 a.m. Tuesday at specific Ralphs supermarkets. (213) 634-1800 for locations. COLLECTIBLES Pasadena Coin & Stamp Expo, Friday-Sunday. Pasadena Center Exhibition Hall. $2; $1 for students and seniors. (626) 432-6660. SPOKEN WORD Barry Wayne's Venting Event, "Giving Thanks and Thanks for Giving," 8 p.m. Friday, Novel Cafe, Santa Monica. (310) 394-VENT. MUSEUMS Donate a new, unwrapped toy for the Toy Loan Program at L.A.'
ENTERTAINMENT
August 29, 2010 | By Mark Swed, Los Angeles Times Music Critic
Marriage between word and music has never been simple, and is seldom stress-free. Take melodrama. I'm not sure what caused its meaning to change over the years. In the 18th century, melodrama was the genre of spoken word accompanied by — and elevated by — music. Mozart, Beethoven, Liszt and Richard Strauss were melodramatists. Now Oxford English Dictionary defines melodrama as "a crude appeal to the emotions. " But call it what you will, the genre in its original sense has never lost its effectiveness or appeal, as Aaron Copland's lasting "Lincoln Portrait," with its stirring orchestral score joined to Honest Abe's magnificent words, attests.
ENTERTAINMENT
July 30, 2010
"The Concert" moves from rowdy, broad comedy to shameless heart-tugging, but Romanian writer-director Radu Mihaileanu keeps this French production flowing buoyantly, skittering past all manner of improbabilities. Aleksei Guskov stars as Andrei Filipov, celebrated conductor of the Bolshoi Orchestra, who in 1980 defies an order to dismiss all his Jewish musicians and as a result is demoted to janitor. Three decades later, he's still working as a custodian when he intercepts an e-mail to the Bolshoi director inviting the orchestra to perform at Paris' Theatre du Châtelet.
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