ENTERTAINMENT

Here's what's new and interesting in entertainment and the arts:

Music

Yes, Iggy Pop is 70. And yes, he obliterated his set at FYF Fest

Iggy Pop was in prime form at FYF Fest on Sunday. (Gary Coronado / Los Angeles Times)
Iggy Pop was in prime form at FYF Fest on Sunday. (Gary Coronado / Los Angeles Times)

In skintight pants that could have been painted on, Iggy Pop planted his feet on the lip of the stage Sunday afternoon, lunging forward as if he were about to surf over the sea of fist-pumping hands.

He cocked his hips, curled his lip, slung a head of lank blond hair, hurled a microphone stand, fell to his knees to pound the floor with a belt and dropped enough f-bombs to warrant a “parental advisory” label.

In other words, the Iggy Pop who riled up FYF Fest on Sunday was the same hell-raiser we’ve seen and heard since the late 1960s. Perhaps no other American musician, save for departed Johnny Cash, has been so on brand as Pop has for nearly 50 years.

It’s sort of freakish how intact and vital Pop remains at 70. Sure, time has taken its toll on the punk pioneer, from his bare torso’s crinkled skin to the limp that’s noticeable only when he’s not prowling the stage like the streetwalking cheetah with a heart full of napalm he saluted in “Search and Destroy.” Otherwise, not much has changed.

Iggy Pop strikes a signature stance at FYF. (Gary Coronado / Los Angeles Times)
Iggy Pop strikes a signature stance at FYF. (Gary Coronado / Los Angeles Times)

Opening with the sludgy riff of “I Wanna Be Your Dog,” his FYF set rumbled out of the speakers and sent festival-goers racing toward the stage. Iggy scorched the earth with a handful of classics from his arsenal of songs with the Stooges and from his solo catalog: “Gimme Danger,” “The Passenger,” “Lust for Life,” the latter of which remains rock’s ultimate life-affirming anthem.

“I’m Sick of You,” a rarity from his “Raw Power” era with the Stooges, was a nice surprise, allowing Pop to channel the laconic crooner he has become in his twilight years.

The only quibble? It’s too bad he didn’t showcase, aside from “Gardenia,” more material from “Post Pop Depression,” his excellent album last year with Queens of the Stone Age’s Josh Homme.

That was a minor point in a blistering performance that proved age hasn’t blunted Pop’s force. Who else on the FYF lineup – from any year – could possibly return as a septuagenarian?

Iggy got up close and personal with fans at FYF. (Gary Coronado)
Iggy got up close and personal with fans at FYF. (Gary Coronado)
ArtsMusic

Alice Cooper discovers forgotten Andy Warhol masterpiece rolled up in storage locker

 (Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)
(Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)

Shock rocker Alice Cooper has unearthed a potential masterpiece by his late pal Andy Warhol, which had been tucked away with touring equipment for more than 40 years.

A red "Little Electric Chair" silkscreen from Warhol's menacing 1960s Death and Disaster series was "rolled up in a tube" and sat among 1970s stage props in a storage locker, Cooper's longtime manager, Shep Gordon, told the Guardian. The piece had never been stretched onto a frame, the newspaper said.

Gordon, the subject of Mike Myers' 2014 film "Supermensch," said the piece was purchased by Cooper's late girlfriend Cindy Lang for $2,500 back in the 1970s. The rocker, who was good friends with the tinsel-haired pop artist, famously feigned his own execution in an identical electric chair during his macabre, high-spectacle concerts. Warhol supposedly caught one of those shows, the Guardian said.

The theatrical rocker's piece is unsigned and unauthenticated, but Gordon took the small canvas to a Warhol expert who said the silkscreen is the real deal. (A green version of "Little Electric Chair" dated to 1964 sold for $11.6 million in 2015.)

"Truthfully, at the time no one thought it had any real value,” Gordon said. “Andy Warhol was not 'Andy Warhol' back then. And it was all a swirl of drugs and drinking. But you should have seen Alice’s face when [Warhol expert] Richard Polsky's estimate came in. His jaw dropped and he looked at me. 'Are you serious? I own that!'"

The image is believed to be based on a 1953 press photo of the Sing Sing prison death chamber where Ethel and Julius Rosenberg were executed for passing the secret of the atomic bomb to the Soviet Union. It is among a morbid series that also features car accidents, suicides and even tainted cans of tuna.

Gordon began seeking out the red piece four years ago after an art dealer told him how much a Warhol had fetched at auction. Cooper's mother was the one who remembered that the piece had gone into storage after her son declined to hang it in his home. Apparently he didn't want something of such value to be in the house, the newspaper said.

However, Gordon said Cooper appears to have changed his mind.

TV

BBC director hopes to close the broadcaster's gender pay gap before 2020

The main entrance to the headquarters of the BBC in London, where 45 female television presenters are demanding equal pay. (Frank Augstein / Associated Press)
The main entrance to the headquarters of the BBC in London, where 45 female television presenters are demanding equal pay. (Frank Augstein / Associated Press)

The underpaid women of the BBC have spoken, and it seems the network is listening.

On Sunday, 45 exasperated female television presenters from the BBC wrote a letter to the public broadcaster demanding that it close its gender pay gap. Immediately. (Not three years from now, as BBC management had originally proposed.)

The memorandum followed last week's release of the BBC's salary report, which revealed that male BBC television and radio personalities earn significantly more than their female counterparts — even those who perform essentially the same job function. 

The BBC responded with a 2020 target date to implement an equal pay standard. But Claire Balding — one of the BBC's high-profile sports presenters and a leading voice in Sunday's directive — thought the network could step up its efforts.

In a letter penned in response to the female presenters, BBC director Tony Hall agreed, saying that the U.K. network must address the salary rift with haste. 

“I have committed the BBC to closing the gap by 2020 and if we can get there earlier then we will,” he wrote. “We are not, however, making a standing start. Work is already well underway across the organization to help achieve this. There will be wider consultation meetings over the next two months so we can accelerate further change in the autumn.”

Hall reiterated that he feels "confident" the salary figures will "look very different" when they're published again next year, adding that closing the gap has been "a personal priority over the last four years."

But, evidently, there's still quite a bit of work ahead.

"When other organizations publish their gender pay data by next April," Hall's letter read, "I want the BBC to be one of the best performers when comparisons are made."

"But beyond that," he continued, "over the next three years I want the BBC to be regarded as an exemplar on gender and diversity."

Maxwell to play Hollywood Bowl on Oct. 8

Maxwell is returning to the Hollywood Bowl. (Marcel Antonisse / EPA)
Maxwell is returning to the Hollywood Bowl. (Marcel Antonisse / EPA)

Maxwell is headed to the Hollywood Bowl. 

The elusive soul crooner announced he’s returning to the Bowl for the first time in eight years on Oct. 8. The gig will be part of a small string of engagements he has booked in support of last year’s comeback record, “blackSUMMERS’night.”

Soul savant Raphael Saadiq and R&B songstress Jazmine Sullivan will join him for the show.

Tickets go on sale Friday at 10 a.m. through Ticketmaster.

Music

Justin Bieber pulls the plug on final leg of his Purpose tour

Justin Bieber and his backup dancers. (Christina House / For The Times)
Justin Bieber and his backup dancers. (Christina House / For The Times)

A week after announcing the supporting acts on his upcoming stadium run, Justin Bieber has pulled the plug on his ongoing Purpose world tour “due to unforeseen circumstances.”

“Justin loves his fans and hates to disappoint them. He thanks his fans for the incredible experience of the Purpose World Tour over the last 18 months. He is grateful and honored to have shared that experience with his cast and crew for over 150 successful shows across 6 continents during this run. However, after careful consideration he has decided he will not be performing any further dates,” read a statement from the singer’s representatives on Monday. 

Bieber was set to launch the latest leg of his tour on Saturday in Arlington, Texas, and had booked a date at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena for Aug. 5.

Last week, he announced Migos, Kehlani, Martin Garrix and Vic Mensa would join him for the new dates. 

Tickets will be refunded at point of purchase.

Solange brings healing to FYF Fest with jubilant celebration of black joy

Ang Ross of Oakland,takes in the band Cherry Glazerr as they perform at FYF Fest in Exposition Park in Los Angeles. (Gary Coronado / Los Angeles Times)
Ang Ross of Oakland,takes in the band Cherry Glazerr as they perform at FYF Fest in Exposition Park in Los Angeles. (Gary Coronado / Los Angeles Times)

Festivals, at their core, are about escapism — getting lost in the music, discovering new talents, forgetting about the often sluggish rigors of daily life.

Solange demanded more for her set at FYF Fest on Sunday night.

“I want y’all to sing it away,” she instructed during her cathartic self-care anthem “Cranes in the Sky.”

Dressed in red from head to toe — the entirety of her eight-piece band were washed in matching hues — Solange’s real focus was on healing, which anchored her arresting breakout album, “A Seat at the Table.”

Arriving as debates on race relations and law enforcement were a flashpoint in a divisive presidential election, Solange’s confessional autobiography on being black in America provided a much-needed salve. It was one of 2016's most ambitious works.

Choreographed and composed completely by the singer, Solange’s set was an unbridled celebration of black joy that matched the album’s urgency.

Amid a backdrop of imposing geometric figures that looked like a blood moon and a pyramid, Solange and her band fluidly moved through an hourlong show that was a breathtaking watch for anyone who has followed her bumpy journey from sassy, teen-pop-R&B to artful savant.

Much of the night was centered on her triumphant “A Seat at the Table.”

Delicate album opener “Rise” was extended here with the singer and her two backing vocalists moving their bodies in unison as they reached for higher notes before the lush organs and guitars of “Weary” kicked in. 

For “Mad,” a bouncy soul record exploring the frustration of being pegged as the “angry black woman,” she let out a releasing howl that was matched by a number of women in the crowd and she brought the audience to a standstill when she unpacked "Don't Touch My Hair."

Solange was at her best when she and her band turned the stage into a jam session. She erupted into joy while unpacking her jazzy, jubilant number “F.U.B.U.” as a line of trumpet and saxophone players shimmed onstage. She entered the crowd to sing an entire verse with a black female fan, further speaking to the album’s aim to connect directly to the black experience. 

“A Seat at the Table” was the first time many heard her outside of the shadow of her mega-star sister Beyoncé. It's understandable, but a shame considering she’s been putting out eclectic records since she was a teen. She touched on some of her early work during Sunday's show.  

She riffed on the “Proud Family” theme she wrote at 15 (it featured her sister’s group, Destiny’s Child) to the delight of her most ardent fans and offered a more stripped-down, almost sensuous take of “T.O.N.Y.” from her eclectic “Sol-Angel and the Hadley Street Dreams.”

It was remarkable seeing the showwoman she's become, masterfully leading the band through a myriad of sonic breakdowns and improvising with her vocalists.

“I feel so much gratitude that I’ve been able to evolve and experiment,” she acknowledged before diving into "Losing You," the sticky dance-R&B gem that served as her breakout single.

MORE from FYF:

How Frank Ocean — and Brad Pitt — made FYF Fest feel one of a kind

Bjork shows the humanity in machinery at FYF Fest

After a long absence, Missy Elliott returns — and turns FYF Fest into a dance party

In impressive 3-D set, Flying Lotus breaks the fourth wall at FYF Fest

From serene to savage, Angel Olsen goes in for the kill at Friday's FYF Fest

Movies

'My Friend Dahmer' trailer chronicles the serial killer's high school years

Serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer's tumultuous high school years get a close-up in the first teaser for "My Friend Dahmer," which was released over the weekend.

"I'm just like anybody else," says Dahmer, played by Disney Channel alum Ross Lynch, in the teaser.

The biopic, which played at the Tribeca and Los Angeles film festivals earlier this year, chronicles Dahmer's early days leading-up to his killing rampage of 17 men and boys between 1978 and 1991.

"This is the story before that story," reads the trailer's log line.

Lynch plays severely against type as the 17-year-old Dahmer during a time when the alienated teen dissolved roadkill in acid and talked of his fascination with bones. (Dahmer, whose later crimes included rape, necrophilia and dismemberment, was sentenced to 16 life terms in prison before he was beaten to death by a fellow inmate in 1995 at age 34.)

"My Friend Dahmer" writer-director Marc Meyers based the film on John Derf Backderf's graphic novel, an account of Backderf's own high school experiences with the future serial killer.

Dahmer's quirky antics in high school gave rise to the Jeffrey Dahmer Fan Club headed up by Backderf. The film focuses on the various internal and external factors that bred the serial killer when he was a disengaged, alcoholic teen struggling with his parents' marital tension and understanding his sexual proclivities.

Dahmer's odd behavior, including outbursts at school, creepy lab procedures and voyeurism, visits with his doctor, and his father's plea for him to be more normal are emotional moments showcased in the trailer.

Dallas Roberts plays his father; Anne Heche plays Dahmer's mother; and Vincent Kartheiser plays his doctor. Derf is played by "In Treatment" actor Alex Wolff.

FilmRise acquired the crime drama in May and will release the film in the fall.

Music

Kehlani, once on edge, proves at FYF that she is now a festival powerhouse

 (Natt Lim / Getty Images / FYF)
(Natt Lim / Getty Images / FYF)

A few years ago, it wasn't certain when -- or if -- Kehlani would tour again. The singer's mental health troubles (and scars from an extremely tough childhood) threatened her burgeoning career, and one of R&B's most promising young voices was clearly in deep, deep pain.

But in less than a year she's already played three knockout sets at three of SoCal's most important festivals -- Flog Gnaw, Coachella and now a barn-burner at FYF Fest on Sunday night. That would take stamina for any act, but for one who has been through all that she has, it may be the most laudable comeback in recent pop music.

With fiery red hair extensions and a small, nimble band of drummers and dancers, Kehlani danced with physical grace and sang with outsized passion. Nine Inch Nails was just about her only competition at the end of the night, so the Trees stage was packed out to every inch of the lawn with fans who wanted something breezier to listen to.

Kehlani delivered, but there was always an edge of pain and hard-learned truths to her songs. Tunes like "Distraction" and "Gangsta" weren't nearly as despondent as Trent Reznor's over at the Main Stage. But her fans knew that Kehlani's been through just as much, and came out the other side at the absolute top of her game.   

MORE from FYF:

How Frank Ocean — and Brad Pitt — made FYF Fest feel one of a kind

Bjork shows the humanity in machinery at FYF Fest

After a long absence, Missy Elliott returns — and turns FYF Fest into a dance party

In impressive 3-D set, Flying Lotus breaks the fourth wall at FYF Fest

From serene to savage, Angel Olsen goes in for the kill at Friday's FYF Fest

TV

We talked to Issa Rae about that scene from the 'Insecure' Season 2 premiere — you know which one

Jay Ellis, left, plays Lawrence and Issa Rae plays Issa Dee in Season 1 of HBO's "Insecure." (HBO)
Jay Ellis, left, plays Lawrence and Issa Rae plays Issa Dee in Season 1 of HBO's "Insecure." (HBO)

It’s safe to say that the last couple of minutes of Sunday night’s Season 2 premiere of “Insecure” had viewers saying a variation of: “OMG … what … uh, did he just leave with his mail?”

(Warning: The rest of this post breaks down a major spoiler from the episode.)

The second season picks up a couple of months after Season 1 left off. Issa Dee (Issa Rae), in her effort to move on from Lawrence (Jay Ellis), has reluctantly plunged into the dating scene. Her real goal, though, is to find a way to connect with Lawrence — using his mail as bait. But he has been dodging her attempts. At least for a while.

In the last few minutes of the episode, titled “Hella Great,” Lawrence knocks on Issa’s door under the guise that he’s there to pick up the mail. But the two end up having quickie sex on the couch.

With the return of 'Insecure,' Issa Rae looks to loosen her character's inhibitions »

“That was something we discussed early on in the writers room — we knew that Lawrence and Issa were going to have sex again,” Rae said. “We were thinking about having it happen later in the season, just because we ended the last season in a place where there was no charge. We thought we needed space. But, given that we start the episode about 2½, three months later, it just felt like once you do that, you get it out of the way, you don't know where things are going to go after that.”

We spoke about the scene with Rae, as well as showrunner Prentice Penny and episode director Melina Matsoukas.

Celebrity

Michael Phelps raced that shark on TV Sunday night. Well, sort of

It turned out that Michael Phelps was no match for a shark, even a simulated one. (Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times, left; Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times)
It turned out that Michael Phelps was no match for a shark, even a simulated one. (Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times, left; Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times)

In an odd battle of man-versus-wild, Michael Phelps was going to swim a 100-meter race against a great white shark during Sunday night's "Shark Week" kickoff. At least that's what fans were expecting.

Of course, the Olympian was never going to risk damaging his gold medal-winning physique for a Discovery Channel-sponsored race with a shark. But the event's lead-up, which the network billed as "Phelps vs. Shark: Great Gold vs. Great White," had viewers convinced otherwise. 

Last week, in an interview with "Good Morning America," Phelps clarified some misconceptions about the event.

“We're not in the water at the same exact time," he said. "I think that's the one thing we all — we want everyone to know — I was safe, which was No. 1."

But as it turns out, Phelps' safety wasn't too high on anyone else's list of concerns. 

Phelps hopped into a 100-meter stretch of water off the coast of Mossel Bay, South Africa, and took off down the makeshift lanes.

Much to viewers' dismay, Phelps swam the "race" solo, time-trial style. His great white competitor was actually a CGI version of a shark, which supposedly imitated what would have been a real-life shark's speed.

Some viewers noted the program's convenient use of simulated imaging, which suggested that humans and sharks swim at comparable speeds. In reality, even a seemingly herculean swimmer like Phelps can't swim more than 6 mph, compared with the great white's 26 mph.

Let's just say that many "Shark Week" aficionados were less than enthused.

And the winner was? Phelps lost the race to his gilled, computer-generated opponent -- but only by two seconds. And, in typical Phelps fashion, the hyper-competitive Olympian proposed a rematch. 

CelebrityMusic

In 'Dear Chester' letter, Linkin Park says 'demons' that haunted Bennington 'were always part of the deal'

 (Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times)
(Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times)

Chester Bennington's Linkin Park bandmates wrote an open letter to their late vocalist on Monday that touched on his inner demons and their uncertain future.

Bennington, who also fronted Dead by Sunrise and later joined Stone Temple Pilots, died by hanging at his Palos Verdes Estates home last week, the Los Angeles County coroner confirmed Friday. He was 41.

"Our hearts are broken. The shockwaves of grief and denial are still sweeping through our family as we come to grips with what has happened," said the letter, which was addressed to "Dear Chester" and posted on Facebook on Monday morning along with a new suicide-prevention website.

The grunge rock group, which barreled out of Southern California in 2000 with its smash hit album "Hybrid Theory," reassured the late singer that he touched more lives than he realized, as shown by the "outpouring of love and support, both public and private, from around the world" over the last few days. It also reminded Bennington and readers that he was the best husband to his wife, Talinda, and father to their son.

"The family will never be whole without you," the letter said.

The most poignant part of the note came when the band recalled Bennington's dynamic personality and how his inner struggles brought a humanity to his music

Bennington's excitement about their years to come was infectious, the band said, and his absence "leaves a void that can never be filled — a boisterous, funny, ambitious, creative, kind, generous voice in the room is missing."

We're trying to remind ourselves that the demons who took you away from us were always part of the deal. After all, it was the way you sang about those demons that made everyone fall in love with you in the first place. You fearlessly put them on display, and in doing so, brought us together and taught us to be more human.

Linkin Park in an open letter to Chester Bennington

However, the Grammy-winning act seemed determined to carry on, noting that its love for making and performing music "is inextinguishable."

"While we don’t know what path our future may take, we know that each of our lives was made better by you. Thank you for that gift. We love you, and miss you so much," they said. 

The end of the letter urged readers to visit Chester.LinkinPark.com, which housed tribute tweets from fans and suicide-prevention resources.

Read Linkin Park's full letter below.

Music

Techno takes the late shift at FYF

Nicolas Jaar (Timothy Norris / Getty Images)
Nicolas Jaar (Timothy Norris / Getty Images)

After two days of circling the FYF grounds at Exposition Park (and with, as one's hamstrings will surely remind you, one full day left to go), an after-party is probably the last thing on anyone's mind.

But as downtown L.A.'s underground club music scene has grown into a stable, choice-packed circuit every weekend, FYF has risen to the occasion.

This year, a range of excellent and challenging producers played long sets that took fans from a daytime idyll into nighttime ambience. For a few, that even meant sneaking off to a late-night warehouse for one more round. 

As the sun went down over the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, the producers Avalon Emerson and Daniel Avery brought mercurial, alien moods to the Woods stage. Each can fit neatly into a traditional techno environment, but they're album artists at heart, and think hard about how long sets can find a plot line.

Around the corner at the Outer Space, a triple-team of DJ Harvey, Horse Meat Disco and Young Marco had brighter, major-key vibes on their decks, and played off each other's sensibilities.

Coupled with Nicolas Jaar's sous-vide approach to live club music (a very slow boil, perfect execution, a mighty payoff at the end) on the Trees stage outside, FYF's growing adeptness with edgy dance music could be a promising direction going forward, maybe even part of a push to transform more of the city's nightlife. 

Frank Ocean was the story of the night, to be sure. But as the day's margaritas turned into night's strobe-lit abandon, some fans weren't quite ready to go home.

At a Skid Row warehouse very early on Sunday morning, Emerson and Young Marco played another sort-of-sanctioned late-night gig. It was packed and smoky and maybe a little overwhelming after a long day, but watching their music transition from Goldenvoice-approved professionalism back into downtown grit was like going back in time to when FYF felt a little on edge.

It was a very fond memory. 

MORE from FYF:

Bjork shows the humanity in machinery at FYF Fest

After a long absence, Missy Elliott returns — and turns FYF Fest into a dance party

In impressive 3-D set, Flying Lotus breaks the fourth wall at FYF Fest

From serene to savage, Angel Olsen goes in for the kill at Friday's FYF Fest

Music

A mighty Perfume Genius veers from delicate to visceral at FYF

 (Emma McIntyre / Getty Images)
(Emma McIntyre / Getty Images)

Mike Hadreas knows how to make an entrance. A grand one. The artist, who performs as Perfume Genius, slinked onstage at FYF Fest Saturday night to the twinkling piano notes of “Otherside,” the opening track from his new album, “No Shape.”

He sang each note with quiet precision until the song suddenly cracked wide open in a kaleidoscope of swirling rhythms. With stage lights pulsing blues and yellows, Hadreas struck pose after pose, head lifted to the heavens and microphone cord dangling as if he were Kylie Minogue on the album cover of “Fever.” (That’s high praise.)

“I’m all revved up,” Hadreas said at one point, instructing his two-piece band to launch into the next song.

Long gone are the days of Hadreas shrinking onstage, shyly emoting with a quiver and awkward stage banter. At FYF, he was a monster, by turns delicate and visceral as he crouched and swiveled his hips in slow motion.

His voice, a tremulous tenor, pierced the songs with shrieks (a jarring reimagining of Mary Margaret O’Hara’s “Body’s in Trouble”), coos (the Sade-evoking “Die 4 You”) and crescendos that drifted into the stratosphere (“Fool” from 2014’s “Too Bright”).  

Blake Mills, the ace guitarist and songwriter who produced “No Shape,” joined in on a handful of songs, and Weyes Blood’s Natalie Mering reprised her duet with Hadreas, “Sides,” from his new album.

Ending the performance with “Slip Away,” Hadreas went out the way he came in: with arms outstretched in an ecstatic pose, a mirror reflection of his enraptured audience.

MORE from FYF:

Bjork shows the humanity in machinery at FYF Fest

After a long absence, Missy Elliott returns — and turns FYF Fest into a dance party

In impressive 3-D set, Flying Lotus breaks the fourth wall at FYF Fest

From serene to savage, Angel Olsen goes in for the kill at Friday's FYF Fest

Music

Frank Ocean resurfaces in the U.S. at FYF Fest

 (Gary Coronado / Los Angeles Times)
(Gary Coronado / Los Angeles Times)

Frank Ocean’s long-awaited return to a local stage is over. 

Anchoring the second night of FYF Fest, Ocean performed for the first time in the States since the summer of 2014. 

Opening with an extended take on his single "Solo," Ocean’s set began with a lengthy overture and the singer asking for the audience to be patient with him as he caught his groove.

"I'm just finding my moment, y'all are gonna have to wait a minute," he said after slowly emerging via a catwalk that extended to a secondary stage deep into the Exposition Park crowd a little over 10 minutes after his set was to start .



During his three-year absence, the anticipation for his comeback turned into frustration -- so much so fans wondered if Ocean would even show for Saturday night's engagement.

In 2015 he was booked for a headlining slot at FYF, inciting rumors that the follow-up to his Grammy-winning 2012 major label debut, “Channel Orange,” was imminent.

It was buzz he had created earlier that year when he took to his Tumblr to post a picture of himself looking down at a stack of magazines called Boys Don’t Cry. His reps confirmed the arrival of a new album and an accompanying publication.



But days before the 2015 festival, he pulled out, leaving organizers to turn to Kanye West as an eleventh-hour replacement.



In summer 2016, after years of whispers, Ocean returned with not one but two projects: visual album “Endless” and his official album “Blonde,” but both records were almost overshadowed by label drama and his lack of conventional promotion.

Fans, understandably, were on edge leading into Saturday’s performance.

Even recently, Ocean has proven to be unpredictable. The experimental R&B singer had earlier this year pulled out of Alabama's Hangout Music Festival and Washington's Sasquatch! Music Festival.

As Ocean was running a few minutes behind, a male fan was heard wondering, "Is he even gonna show?"

But he did, and even early in his set he proved to be unconventional. Near the beginning of his performance, during a rendition of "Good Guy," Ocean halted the show. 

"This is my disclaimer," he said. "This is my fourth show since coming back. We are gonna try things over if they get (messed) up and this is one of those instances."
 

Music

Princess Nokia, Cap'n Jazz showed FYF Fest's future and its past

Tim Kinsella of Cap'n Jazz at FYF Fest. (Gary Coronado / Los Angeles Times)
Tim Kinsella of Cap'n Jazz at FYF Fest. (Gary Coronado / Los Angeles Times)

FYF Fest's past and future had a quick changeover in the venue's Club tent on Saturday afternoon at Exposition Park.

First, the future.

New York rapper Princess Nokia soaked up every ounce of her packed crowd's adulation, noting how exceptional it is for a young woman rapping about being a "normal teenager" to end up on a stage like this. Her talent, however, is far beyond normal.

On songs such as "Bart Simpson" and "Green Line," she commanded the stage and rapped with a lucid, urgent vision. She's at the vanguard of a young-millennial music world where intersectionality pairs well with bass-rattling bangers, and when coupled with her undeniable charisma and the imagination of her productions, it was easy to imagine her moving up the ranks at this fest very quickly.

Her set-closer, a tenderly-sung jungle tune called "Dragons," recalled "Bombs Over Baghdad" in its drum patterns, but the searching melody was all Nokia's. "My Moon, my life / My stars, my sun / You are the sweetest song," she sang. It'll likely take her beyond what most normal teenagers would ever dream.

Cap'n Jazz, however, saw a turnover from young women in crop-tops and semi-ironic raver pants into gently-aging dudes in Converge and Hot Water Music T-shirts.

Cap'n Jazz too, was the product of teenage minds, albeit young punks in college-town Illinois in the early '90s. But the Kinsella brothers' reunited emo act was one of the weekend's few nods back to the old guard of FYF Fest, when ear gauges and lip rings were everywhere.

Singer Tim Kinsella crowd-surfed, haphazardly honked a French horn, took his shirt off for effect, and led the crowd in a reverie of punky adolescent noise.

The band knew this set was a throwback. "We wrote this song in 1994, so it's our newest one," Kinsella riffed. 

Were the actual kids today into it? Sure looked like it. 

Music

Built to Spill keeps the guitar alive at FYF Fest

Doug Martsch  of Built to Spill. (Timothy Norris / Getty Images / FYF)
Doug Martsch of Built to Spill. (Timothy Norris / Getty Images / FYF)

Distorted electric guitars are in relatively short supply at FYF Fest, which this year is dominated by stylish hip-hop and R&B acts such as Solange and Frank Ocean rather than the indie-rock and punk bands that once defined the festival.

But that didn't stop Doug Martsch and the rest of Idaho's long-running Built to Spill from laying down some serious Neil Young vibes during its set Saturday evening on the festival's bucolic Trees Stage.

Leading his bandmates through a fuzzed-out "Time Trap" (from the group's beloved 1999 album, "Keep It Like a Secret"), Martsch seemed happily oblivious to what's going on in pop right now — as did the guy in the crowd wearing the faded Meat Puppets shirt.

Music

Vans, Frank Ocean lure fans with pop up shops at FYF Fest

Fans await the opportunity to buy Frank Ocean merchandise. (Todd Martens / Los Angeles Times)
Fans await the opportunity to buy Frank Ocean merchandise. (Todd Martens / Los Angeles Times)

The House of Vans store was one of a handful of pop-up shops that brought exclusive goodies — and, more importantly, amid Saturday's scorching temperatures, cool relief — to attendees to the FYF Fest at Exposition Park. 

Tucked inside an air conditioned tent behind the Club stage on the far southern end of the festival grounds, the lounge was fostering both creativity and relaxation.

Guests curled up and napped on lush bean bag chairs and a large projector screen beamed skate films curated by Thrasher Magazine.

Nearby, a half dozen work stations staged DIY craft projects. People scrapbooked, made bracelets and painted fanny packs — one of three giveaway items fans lined up to score.

At the FYF outpost of Long Beach's Fingerprints Music, fans awaited signing sessions with festival performers the Drums and Homeshake.

But the biggest draw was the Blonded tent, which boasted limited items from the night's headliner, Frank Ocean.

There were hundreds of fans queued in a line that stretched far beyond the white tent. 

Fans tried bartering with people ahead of them as everyone tried getting their hands on the custom-made T-shirts featuring the singer's likeness being pressed inside.

Music

A veteran on the FYF Fest bill, Jonathan Richman displays eternally boyish charms

Jonathan Richman at FYF Fest. (Emma McIntyre / Getty Images / FYF)
Jonathan Richman at FYF Fest. (Emma McIntyre / Getty Images / FYF)

"We have no sense of time," Jonathan Richman said near the end of his set Saturday afternoon at FYF Fest. "Can we do another one?"

His audience was small in size but enormous in enthusiasm: Yes, fans made clear, he should do another one.

Anyone familiar with Richman's idiosyncratic music knows he's never cared much about time. At 66 years old, the eternally boyish cult favorite (who reportedly lives these days in Chico) is still doing the same act he's been doing for years, strumming and singing his sly, funny songs about women and music, accompanied only by his trusty drummer, Tommy Larkins.

At FYF, he encored with one of his signature numbers, "I Was Dancing in the Lesbian Bar," which the crowd sang along with so heartily that he offered to keep playing beyond his allotted 45 minutes.

But then a stagehand appeared and murmured in Richman's ear.

"We gotta go," said Richman, a man from before the age of tightly scheduled live streams. "See you another time."

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