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Townes Van Zandt

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ENTERTAINMENT
April 7, 2002 | ROBERT HILBURN
Just under 800 people in the U.S. bought a Townes Van Zandt album last week, a sales rate that has held fairly steady for about a decade. That information comes from SoundScan, which monitors album sales so closely that it can tell us how many albums an artist sells weekly in each major city. (Van Zandt's latest weekly sales total in L.A.: fewer than 50 copies.
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NEWS
January 6, 2010 | By Geoff Boucher
Townes Van Zandt, the tortured Texas troubadour who drank himself into an early grave, had a sad, sly song called "No Deal" in which a used-car salesman hands him the keys to a sedan with no engine and then explains: "You don't need no engine to go downhill, and I could plainly see that's the direction you're headed." The lyric drew a hearty laugh from Jeff Bridges, the actor who is getting perhaps the best reviews of his long and illustrious career for "Crazy Heart," which presents him as country singer Bad Blake who, like Van Zandt, is in desperate need of a spiritual handbrake.
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NEWS
May 19, 1994 | ROBYN LOEWENTHAL, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
It looks like Nicholby's in Ventura is really on to something great with its intimate showcase series, launched last month. Since inaugurating Nicholby's Presents, the club has scored two hits with blues legend John Hammond and fiddle virtuoso, Mark O'Connor. Tonight, the third installment, will spotlight country-folk recording artist Townes Van Zandt, considered by many in the business to be one of the best songwriters in the country.
ENTERTAINMENT
October 12, 2009 | Randy Lewis
There's a bit of Br'er Rabbit and the briar patch aspect to Steve Earle's current album, "Townes," his tribute to fellow Texas singer and songwriter Townes Van Zandt. Fans who turn out to see him, like those at the Troubadour on Saturday for the second of his three nights at the West Hollywood club, shout any number of requests for Earle's own songs, but he keeps returning to the songs by his youthful hero, who later turned into his mentor. After all, he has to do his duty and promote the album, right?
ENTERTAINMENT
October 12, 2009 | Randy Lewis
There's a bit of Br'er Rabbit and the briar patch aspect to Steve Earle's current album, "Townes," his tribute to fellow Texas singer and songwriter Townes Van Zandt. Fans who turn out to see him, like those at the Troubadour on Saturday for the second of his three nights at the West Hollywood club, shout any number of requests for Earle's own songs, but he keeps returning to the songs by his youthful hero, who later turned into his mentor. After all, he has to do his duty and promote the album, right?
ENTERTAINMENT
April 14, 2002
Thanks for the Townes Van Zandt article ("Redemption at Last?" by Robert Hilburn, April 7). I have been listening to Townes for a few years, and while I don't mind enjoying music that may be unfamiliar to the masses, I would love for his legacy to be enjoyed by as many people as possible. DOUG HAMMOND Los Angeles
ENTERTAINMENT
March 1, 1997 | JERRY CROWE, TIMES STAFF WRITER
John Lee Hooker hasn't found the secret to everlasting life. It only seems that way. Less than six months shy of his 80th birthday, the King of the Boogie is still making music. The singer-guitarist teams with Los Lobos and longtime admirer and collaborator Van Morrison on his new album, "Don't Look Back," which will be released Tuesday on Pointblank/Virgin Records. (See review on Page F10.
ENTERTAINMENT
July 26, 1998
I've noticed that most of the newly released albums by the current crop of country artists are pretty much panned by The Times' pop music critics. There's a reason for the poor reviews: Almost all of the material coming out of Nashville these days is pure unadulterated crap. As a musician and songwriter, I tend to listen carefully to how songs are crafted (key word). The music from Music City USA is being written for nothing less than mass consumption and raking in big bucks. There is, for the most part, no soul, no passion, no substance.
ENTERTAINMENT
March 4, 1997 | ROBERT HILBURN, TIMES POP MUSIC CRITIC
It's one of the lingering mysteries of the pop experience: How can one be so comforted and inspired by music that is rooted in darkness and despair? Take Townes Van Zandt, the late, great Texas songwriter whose legacy was saluted in a stirring 6 1/2-hour tribute concert Sunday at the Ash Grove.
ENTERTAINMENT
May 23, 1989 | STEVE HOCHMAN
Country singer T. Graham Brown left the Country Fest '89 at the Santa Fe Dam Recreation Area in Irwindale without performing Sunday after the event's promoter was unable to pay the singer's contracted fee, the promoter acknowledged Sunday. Several other musicians were also not paid in full, but agreed to perform after getting partial payment. Promoter Milt Petty blamed his lack of funds during the event to poor turnout (a two-day total of 18,000 compared to more than 70,000 last year)
ENTERTAINMENT
October 3, 2009 | ANN POWERS, POP MUSIC CRITIC
Great as he was, the late singer-songwriter Townes Van Zandt was wrong when he said that there are only two kinds of music, "the blues and zip-a-dee-doo-dah." Emmylou Harris quoted that line Thursday at Club Nokia, and the singer-songwriters gathered around her nodded agreement. Yet their own songs and others they offered during this show to benefit Nashville's worthy Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum demonstrated the limits of Van Zandt's assessment. Any visitor to the museum realizes that music also can take the form of a joke, a nursery rhyme, a prayer, a come-on or a campfire tale.
ENTERTAINMENT
May 13, 2009 | Randy Lewis; Mikael Wood
Steve Earle "Townes" (New West) * * 1/2 Townes Van Zandt was so revered in music circles that when the Texas singer-songwriter died unexpectedly in 1997 -- at age 52 of a heart attack -- a tribute concert that family members and friends assembled a couple of months later ran 6 1/2 hours. And that was here in L.A., not even on his home turf.
ENTERTAINMENT
August 5, 2008 | Richard Cromelin; Margaret Wappler; Mikael Wood
Conor Oberst "Conor Oberst" (Merge) . . Conor Oberst hasn't done an album under his own name since the dawn of his career in the early '90s, establishing his reputation as the defining songwriter of his generation since then mainly under the Bright Eyes banner. This return to his original billing doesn't signal a radical reinvention. The name tag and most of the support team (bassist Macey Taylor, guitarist Nik Freitas and Rilo Kiley drummer Jason Boesel are the core band)
ENTERTAINMENT
December 16, 2005 | Kenneth Turan, Times Staff Writer
Think of Townes Van Zandt as the beautiful but doomed Lord Byron of Texas singer-songwriters. Dead of a heart attack in 1997 at age 52, he was supremely gifted, stone cold charismatic and prone to the fatalistic romanticism of self-destruction. If you haven't heard of him, a lot of people you have hold his gifts in awe.
ENTERTAINMENT
April 14, 2002
Thanks for the Townes Van Zandt article ("Redemption at Last?" by Robert Hilburn, April 7). I have been listening to Townes for a few years, and while I don't mind enjoying music that may be unfamiliar to the masses, I would love for his legacy to be enjoyed by as many people as possible. DOUG HAMMOND Los Angeles
ENTERTAINMENT
April 7, 2002 | ROBERT HILBURN
Just under 800 people in the U.S. bought a Townes Van Zandt album last week, a sales rate that has held fairly steady for about a decade. That information comes from SoundScan, which monitors album sales so closely that it can tell us how many albums an artist sells weekly in each major city. (Van Zandt's latest weekly sales total in L.A.: fewer than 50 copies.
NEWS
January 6, 2010 | By Geoff Boucher
Townes Van Zandt, the tortured Texas troubadour who drank himself into an early grave, had a sad, sly song called "No Deal" in which a used-car salesman hands him the keys to a sedan with no engine and then explains: "You don't need no engine to go downhill, and I could plainly see that's the direction you're headed." The lyric drew a hearty laugh from Jeff Bridges, the actor who is getting perhaps the best reviews of his long and illustrious career for "Crazy Heart," which presents him as country singer Bad Blake who, like Van Zandt, is in desperate need of a spiritual handbrake.
ENTERTAINMENT
May 13, 2009 | Randy Lewis; Mikael Wood
Steve Earle "Townes" (New West) * * 1/2 Townes Van Zandt was so revered in music circles that when the Texas singer-songwriter died unexpectedly in 1997 -- at age 52 of a heart attack -- a tribute concert that family members and friends assembled a couple of months later ran 6 1/2 hours. And that was here in L.A., not even on his home turf.
ENTERTAINMENT
December 6, 1999 | ROBERT HILBURN, TIMES POP MUSIC CRITIC
You know that a concert is on a roll when even the "commercials" are engaging. Early in the Concert for a Landmine Free World on Friday at El Camino College's Marsee Auditorium, Emmylou Harris made a brief but touching plea for audience members to buy some of the colorful scarves on sale in the lobby. They were made by Cambodian women who lost limbs in land mine explosions.
ENTERTAINMENT
July 26, 1998
I've noticed that most of the newly released albums by the current crop of country artists are pretty much panned by The Times' pop music critics. There's a reason for the poor reviews: Almost all of the material coming out of Nashville these days is pure unadulterated crap. As a musician and songwriter, I tend to listen carefully to how songs are crafted (key word). The music from Music City USA is being written for nothing less than mass consumption and raking in big bucks. There is, for the most part, no soul, no passion, no substance.
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