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

Frank Ocean sat in a chair onstage at FYF Fest, a pair of large, studio-style headphones clamped over his ears. The enigmatic R&B star was singing — first his song “Close to You,” which he said he’d based on Stevie Wonder’s cover of the old Carpenters hit, then a bit of the Jackson 5’s “Never Can...

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  • Chester Bennington of Linkin Park dies at 41

    Chester Bennington of Linkin Park dies at 41

    Chester Bennington, the lead singer of the Los Angeles hard rock band Linkin Park, led the sextet to become one of the biggest acts of the 2000s, its mix of guitars and hip-hop defining the ensuing years in rock. The act’s debut, “Hybrid Theory,” reportedly sold more than 10 million copies in the...

  • At FYF Fest and elsewhere, hip-hop embraces middle age

    At FYF Fest and elsewhere, hip-hop embraces middle age

    At last month’s BET Awards, rapper and Internet talk-show host Joe Budden got into a highly publicized tiff with the members of Migos after he walked out of his own red-carpet interview with that Atlanta hip-hop trio. What exactly had so irritated Budden, a blustering East Coast traditionalist...

  • Ella Fitzgerald is easy to love — but harder to honor — at the Hollywood Bowl

    Ella Fitzgerald is easy to love — but harder to honor — at the Hollywood Bowl

    Maybe the third time will be the charm? In 2014, the Hollywood Bowl presented a concert tribute to the late, great Ella Fitzgerald that had its heart — but not its mind — in the right place. With warmly respectful performances by Patti Austin, Dee Dee Bridgewater and others, “To Ella with Love”...

  • FYF Fest's diverse lineup reflects music’s many faces

    FYF Fest's diverse lineup reflects music’s many faces

    At the head of the bill, FYF Fest’s lineup is plainly its most diverse yet. Out of the four acts at the top, there are two women, two African Americans and, in Frank Ocean, one romantically ambiguous singer who makes a refusal to define himself a part of his art. Just beneath the main headliners,...

  • FYF Fest day-by-day guide: The 15 must-see acts

    FYF Fest day-by-day guide: The 15 must-see acts

    The annual FYF Fest is here, and it's more diverse than ever. Here are 15 must-see acts.

  • Will Classic West become L.A.'s new boomer rock festival?

    Will Classic West become L.A.'s new boomer rock festival?

    When Live Nation’s Classic West lineup was announced in March, the obvious comparison was to Goldenvoice’s Desert Trip, held last October in Indio. It was yet another weekend-long bill of classic-rock titans, geared toward moneyed boomers (and their offspring) who would clearly pony up to relive...

  • Why I felt betrayed by Fleetwood Mac at Classic West

    Why I felt betrayed by Fleetwood Mac at Classic West

    I can’t say I wasn’t warned. In a recent interview with Lindsey Buckingham, I asked the Fleetwood Mac frontman about turning his attention from his and Christine McVie’s new duets album to Fleetwood Mac’s participation in Classic West. First he cringed, as though the mere mention of the two-day...

  • TLC's 'crazy, sexy, cool' comeback is just the beginning

    TLC's 'crazy, sexy, cool' comeback is just the beginning

    More than 25 years after its debut, TLC’s influence is undeniable. The group's recently released comeback album will be its last.

  • Why Niia took a slow route to soul-music success

    Why Niia took a slow route to soul-music success

    Niia’s music keeps attracting stylish admirers. A few years ago, Tony Kaye — the Hollywood maverick responsible for “American History X” — directed a video for her song “Made for You.” And Kylie Jenner recently used the Los Angeles-based soul singer’s “Last Night in Los Feliz” to soundtrack a steamy...

  • Nonplussed Fest to celebrate underground art spaces

    Nonplussed Fest to celebrate underground art spaces

    The East Hollywood do-it-yourself music venue Non Plus Ultra closed to the public in March. The shuttering came at a time when underground art spaces were facing tighter scrutiny as local governments feared another incident like the one that claimed dozens of lives at the Oakland venue known as...

  • Who is the Russian pop star linked to Donald Trump Jr.? His bland music offers few clues

    Who is the Russian pop star linked to Donald Trump Jr.? His bland music offers few clues

    Toby Keith. Lee Greenwood. The Rolling Stones. In the eight months since he was elected president, Donald Trump has demonstrated some clear musical favorites. When the history of his administration is written, though, the artist who figures most prominently in the story may not be one of those...

  • With 'Girl Disrupted,' Sevyn Streeter's been waiting 15 years for this moment

    With 'Girl Disrupted,' Sevyn Streeter's been waiting 15 years for this moment

    Sevyn Streeter felt defeated. She was nearly 15 years into a career that included stints in two (albeit short-lived) singing groups and writing credits for Ariana Grande, Chris Brown, Brandy, Kelly Rowland, Alicia Keys, Tamar Braxton and Fantasia Barrino. She had the backing of a major label, a...

  • The Grammy Awards return to Los Angeles in 2019

    The Grammy Awards return to Los Angeles in 2019

    In the bicoastal competition to host the Grammy Awards, New York City scored a major victory last month with the news that the music industry’s biggest event would be held there next year. But now Los Angeles has come roaring back with the announcement Wednesday that the Grammys will return to...

  • Jessica Fichot, the HillBenders help show the vitality of free summer concerts around L.A.

    Jessica Fichot, the HillBenders help show the vitality of free summer concerts around L.A.

    In this era of the mega-festival, it can be easy to overlook the crucial role that free, small-scale music fests play in our communities. That is, they provide a vital forum for artists operating outside the mainstream and offer a relatively painless way to discover new sounds. Take Los Angeles...

  • Pandora CEO Tim Westergren departs

    Pandora CEO Tim Westergren departs

    Pandora, under intensifying pressure from music streaming rivals Spotify and Apple Music, said Tuesday that that Chief Executive Tim Westergren has stepped down from that role and is leaving the board. Westergren, who co-founded Pandora 17 years ago, had a two-year stint as CEO from 2002 to 2004...

  • Premiere: Dead Rock West celebrates a freewheeling spirit with John Doe on 'Boundless Fearless Love'

    Premiere: Dead Rock West celebrates a freewheeling spirit with John Doe on 'Boundless Fearless Love'

    It isn’t necessary to know whatever real-life details inspired “Boundless Fearless Love,” the first track on the forthcoming album from L.A. roots music duo Dead Rock West. What matters is the spirit of urgency and openness to embracing whatever lies ahead. The jangly, hard-driving tune sung by...

  • Arroyo Seco Weekend and the joy of peaceful, easy feelings for grown-up festival fans

    Arroyo Seco Weekend and the joy of peaceful, easy feelings for grown-up festival fans

    As one enters one’s mid-30s, the usual feeling at music festivals is some variation of “I’m getting way too old for this.” Sometimes, like when walking into the EDM revelry at Electric Daisy Carnival in Las Vegas, the near-total disconnect from the hordes of fidget-spinning teen ravers is amusing....

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