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  • Josh Kun, author who uncovered L.A.'s musical counter-history, named MacArthur fellow

    Josh Kun, author who uncovered L.A.'s musical counter-history, named MacArthur fellow

    Josh Kun was in his USC campus office earlier this week flipping through a stack of records next to a turntable near his desk.  The albums —  “Bongo Fever: Jack Costanzo at the Garden of Allah,” “The Exciting Tito Puente in Hollywood,” an easy-listening collection by instrumentalist George Shearing backed...

  • Atlanta rapper Shawty Lo, 40, is killed in a car crash

    Atlanta rapper Shawty Lo, 40, is killed in a car crash

    Rapper Shawty Lo, the founder of hip-hop group D4L, died in a car crash Wednesday morning on Interstate 285 near southwest Atlanta. He was 40.  Born Carlos Walker, the rapper scored a Billboard No. 1 hit in 2006 with the D4L song “Laffy Taffy” and earned a BET Hip Hop track of the year award  for...

  • Red Hot Chili Peppers' 2017 North American tour to reach L.A. on March 7

    Red Hot Chili Peppers' 2017 North American tour to reach L.A. on March 7

    The Red Hot Chili Peppers will snap into action early next year with a North American tour that supports the group’s latest album, “The Getaway,” by opening Jan. 5 in San Antonio and bringing the rock-punk-funk band home to Los Angeles on March 7. The Chili Peppers will bring along Trombone Shorty...

  • Sunday school on Saturday night: Chance the Rapper brings 'Coloring Book' to the Greek

    Sunday school on Saturday night: Chance the Rapper brings 'Coloring Book' to the Greek

    Chance the Rapper didn’t ask the audience to go wild. He didn’t put his hand to his ear in an exaggerated manner and yell, “I can’t hear you!” He didn’t even tell folks to throw their hands in the air and wave ’em like they just don’t care. What the young Chicago MC called for instead, not long...

  • Garth Brooks is a country superstar reborn at Honda Center

    Garth Brooks is a country superstar reborn at Honda Center

    Imagine how hard it must have been for Garth Brooks to control himself in Las Vegas. In 2009, this larger-than-life country star — the biggest-selling solo artist of all time, according to some estimates — ended an early retirement he’d begun nearly a decade before, when he left music to focus...

  • The Monkees celebrate 50 years at Hollywood homecoming

    The Monkees celebrate 50 years at Hollywood homecoming

    If one word could crystallize the zeitgeist of “The Monkees” TV series upon its premiere Sept. 12, 1966, as well as the band that bore the show’s name, it might be “zany.” It’s a quality that was in good supply Friday at the group’s 50th anniversary homecoming show at the Pantages Theatre in Hollywood....

  • Knitting Factory buys 49% stake in local promoter Spaceland Presents

    Knitting Factory buys 49% stake in local promoter Spaceland Presents

    Spaceland Presents has long been one of the most influential independent concert promotion firms in L.A. Now they’re set to potentially get a lot bigger. The firm announced this week that Knitting Factory Entertainment had acquired 49% of the L.A.-based firm, which books venues like the Echo and Regent...

  • Fans still prefer music live to digital, Nielsen Music 360 report finds

    Fans still prefer music live to digital, Nielsen Music 360 report finds

    How do people most like to enjoy their music? Live, at least according to the Nielsen Music firm’s latest edition of its Music 360 report, which tracks how consumers take in music in today’s fractured, multi-platform world. Of all the ways to experience music, Nielsen found, 36% of consumers’ money...

  • Beyoncé lowers the fire but still brings the heat as her Formation tour hits L.A. again

    Beyoncé lowers the fire but still brings the heat as her Formation tour hits L.A. again

    How angry can a wronged person remain, and for how long? Those questions provided one way of looking at Beyoncé’s concert Wednesday night at Dodger Stadium, the second time she’s brought her blockbuster Formation World Tour to the Los Angeles area following a sold-out show in May at the Rose Bowl...

  • Going to Desert Trip? You get a Viewmaster

    Going to Desert Trip? You get a Viewmaster

    Desert Trip ticket holders are getting further proof this week that the mega-rock concert next month in Indio will be a cut above the garden-variety rock summit meeting. Anyone who bought single-day or three-day general admission or reserved seat passes for the shows with Bob Dylan, the Rolling...

  • Lady Gaga announces her new album, 'Joanne'

    Lady Gaga announces her new album, 'Joanne'

    Lady Gaga has announced a new album, and her first under her birth name — well, almost. The singer debuted the news of a new record on Zane Lowe’s Beats 1 show Thursday. The LP, titled “Joanne,” will come out Oct. 21 on Streamline/Interscope. The record is titled after Gaga’s middle name (she was...

  • Timbaland to exit 'Empire'

    Timbaland to exit 'Empire'

    Timbaland’s futuristic hip-hop has been the backbone of Fox’s hit series “Empire” for each of its first two seasons. Now the acclaimed producer is leaving the show.  In a report in Billboard, show executives announced that Timbaland will be replaced by producer Rodney Jerkins and the songwriter...

  • Premiere: Jackson Browne joins Nitty Gritty Dirt Band for 50th

    Premiere: Jackson Browne joins Nitty Gritty Dirt Band for 50th

    A half-century ago, a loose-knit community of young musicians working in Southern California were tinkering with new musical hybrids, experiments that led to the folk-rock sound of the Byrds and Buffalo Springfield, the country rock of Linda Ronstadt and the Flying Burrito Brothers and an even...

  • Elvis Presley encores with Royal Philharmonic for 'The Wonder of You' set

    Elvis Presley encores with Royal Philharmonic for 'The Wonder of You' set

    Elvis Presley’s voice is posthumously teamed with the full forces of an orchestra for a second time with “The Wonder of You: Elvis Presley with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra,” a collection due Oct. 21 that adds newly recorded orchestral accompaniment to more than a dozen of the King’s original...

  • Started from the bottom, now he's here: Drake takes over Staples Center

    Started from the bottom, now he's here: Drake takes over Staples Center

    At least one bar at Staples Center was offering a specialty cocktail Wednesday called the Hotline Bling. Described as a jalapeño-watermelon margarita, this rather iffy concoction was designed, of course, to honor the evening’s headlining performer, Drake, whose recent hit single by that title helped...

  • In Fabric's closing in London, an echo of L.A.'s rave scene woes

    In Fabric's closing in London, an echo of L.A.'s rave scene woes

    A world-class nightclub takes years to build, but it can be undone in just a few hours. On Tuesday, the local council overseeing venue licensing in the Islington area of London revoked the permits for Fabric, one of the most influential and internationally renowned electronic music venues on the...

  • Why Britney Spears and her team opted for tradition with the release of 'Glory'

    Why Britney Spears and her team opted for tradition with the release of 'Glory'

    At the 2016 MTV Video Music Awards, there was one pop star with more at stake than any other that night: Britney Spears.  Her last appearance — in 2007 — was a disaster, with the singer famously stumbling through her performance. Not so this year, when Spears — long since removed from the time...

  • Why Capitol Records' vinyl master Ron McMaster is busier than ever

    Why Capitol Records' vinyl master Ron McMaster is busier than ever

    Ron McMaster, skilled in the art of cutting vinyl records, had been planning to retire. To the longtime Capitol Studios mastering engineer, the era of digital streaming services such as Spotify seemed to sound a death knell for his profession. He’d watched album sales plummet after Napster and...

  • 'Star Trek' at 50: Pop music boldly goes to space

    'Star Trek' at 50: Pop music boldly goes to space

    Unlike “Star Wars,” “Star Trek” takes place not “a long, long time ago,” but in the not-too-distant future.  That has allowed the series, both on TV and on film, to reference contemporary pop culture in general — and pop music in particular — in smart and lively ways over the last half-century....

  • Jerry Heller, controversial early manager of N.W.A, dies at 75

    Jerry Heller, controversial early manager of N.W.A, dies at 75

    Jerry Heller, the combative music manager whose fraught relationship with the seminal hip-hop group N.W.A was searingly portrayed in last year’s box office hit “Straight Outta Compton,” died Friday of a heart attack at Los Robles Hospital in Thousand Oaks. He was 75.  Heller’s cousin, Gary Ballen,...

  • Christina Grimmie's family releases 'Without Him' video, slain singer's final piece of 'Side A'

    Christina Grimmie's family releases 'Without Him' video, slain singer's final piece of 'Side A'

    Christina Grimmie’s family has released the music video for “Without Him,” the final work in a posthumous set of four visuals accompanying “Side A,” the slain singer’s second EP. The YouTube star, who finished fourth in Season 4 of “The Voice,” released “Side A” on Feb. 1 and said in June that a...

  • Prince's early backing band, the Revolution, reunited to celebrate their fallen leader

    Prince's early backing band, the Revolution, reunited to celebrate their fallen leader

    On Thursday, Prince’s most famous backing band, the Revolution, reunited in the late artist’s spiritual home, First Avenue in Minneapolis, to celebrate his art and legacy.  The band — Mark Brown, Lisa Coleman, Dez Dickerson, Dr. Fink, Wendy Melvoin and Bobby Z. — ascended from the little stage...

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