October 10, 2012 |
It seems fitting that one of the earliest scenes in the premiere episode of ABC's music drama series "Nashville" is set in a recording studio. An excited producer tweaks the controls on the mixing board during a session with a bratty young country-pop singer. He drops everything out of the sound mix but her voice, which is noticeably off-pitch. "Don't worry," the producer says, "we can fix that. " The singer's manager, sitting nearby on a couch reading, nonchalantly responds, "Thank God for Auto-Tune.
December 28, 2013 |
One of the most beguiling folk records of the year has the bonus of ferrying along a Joel and Ethan Coen plot line. The songs within the brothers' new "Inside Llewyn Davis" move from balladry to blues to ancient British folk, adding an extra layer of lyricism and revealing a portal to another storytelling realm. The selections and performances highlight a moment when a perfectly realized stanza sung honestly in a smoky cafe could produce an audible gasp, reverberate throughout New York's Greenwich Village and, with luck or if your name were Bob Dylan, American culture.
August 20, 2010 |
It's a tall order for any musician to one-up Bob Dylan, but John Mellencamp may have pulled it off in February when he and Dylan were invited to perform at the White House as part of a salute to music of the civil rights era. "Bob was nervous," Mellencamp said during a question-answer-performance session Tuesday at the Grammy Museum, which coordinated the White House event. When a few of the 200 members of the museum audience chuckled at the comment, Mellencamp added, "No, he was really nervous.
November 17, 2000 |
With panic rising in France about the likely link between tainted beef and a brain-crippling fatal disease, the government has imposed a series of emergency measures--even banning T-bone steaks. Pushed into acting by what many observers have termed a mass consumer psychosis, Prime Minister Lionel Jospin also ordered a moratorium on the use of animal-based feed for all livestock.
November 20, 1991 |
"It's mostly music," says T-Bone Burnett of his current series of holiday-themed live variety shows, "but also comedy, drama, poetry and satire. It's a typical Christmas show with nude dancers." Indeed, the Friday night concerts being hosted all month long by the legendary singer-producer-raconteur have marked the first occasion on which an erotic dancer has ever appeared on the tiny stage in the concert room at McCabe's Guitar Shop in Santa Monica, in time of seasonal glee or otherwise.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 21, 1992 |
Just before a Superior Court jury was to begin hearing testimony last year on whether to send him to the gas chamber, murderer Robert (T-Bone) Taylor allegedly hatched a plot to kidnap his two lawyers and shoot his way out of Orange County Jail. Taylor, 39, apparently passed two letters to a fellow inmate, who presumably was to be released. According to the plan outlined in the letters, that friend would kidnap attorneys Edward W. Hall of Santa Ana and Gary M.
April 29, 2011 |
Not so long ago it would have been a dream come true for sisters Laura and Lydia Rogers of Muscle Shoals, Ala., to find themselves sitting in the balcony of Nashville's historic Ryman Auditorium and looking down upon their country music heroes onstage at the longtime home of the Grand Ole Opry. After all, less than two years ago Laura had never even ridden in a plane, much less visited country music's premiere live performance venue. But when the siblings settled in on a recent spring day onto one of the Ryman's wooden benches, which have been polished for decades by the backsides of countless country music enthusiasts, it was simply an interlude, one that pales in comparison to the surreal highlights they've experienced since the October release of their self-titled debut album, "The Secret Sisters.
April 6, 2010
Jakob Dylan "Women and Country" (Columbia Records) 1/2 The son of a legend, Jakob Dylan would seemingly have all the cred one could need. But after five albums with the modern rock outfit the Wallflowers, each with a declining chart impact, and one rather quiet solo acoustic effort with 2008's "Seeing Things," a creative and career revitalization is in order. Teaming with alt-country scorchers Neko Case and Kelly Hogan certainly can't hurt the effort. Add a former collaborator and veteran producer in T Bone Burnett, and the resulting "Women and Country" is as rootsy and elegant as all the aforementioned résumés would foretell.
February 18, 2013 |
"I do suck fat. I will suck the fat off my steak," actress Alice Englert warns as she slides into a booth at Musso & Frank in Hollywood on a dreary, overcast day. "I just want to prepare you in advance that I'm known to be disgusting when I eat steak. " Alden Ehrenreich, her costar in the new film "Beautiful Creatures," is unfazed by her eagerness. Perhaps it's because after enduring a shoot involving sweltering, 90-degree Louisiana days, food poisoning and Southern accents, the two on-screen sweethearts have an easy familiarity.
March 28, 2012 |
There are many reasons to watch NBC's marvelously funny "Parks and Recreation," but at this point I only need one: Ron Swanson. Swanson is played by Nick Offerman, an actor blessed with a deeply melodious voice and wickedly expressive eyebrows who has mastered, if not invented, the art of over-the-top understatement. But Swanson is a sum of several parts - an exquisite creation of Offerman's talent, but also of writing and directing, of hair, makeup and wardrobe. And I love him with all my heart.