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Eminem hits clunker after clunker on the well-intentioned 'Revival'

Nobody has ever accused Eminem of having his heart in the right place. For years, listening to hip-hop’s most problematic giant has meant looking past (or even justifying) the dubious moral propositions present in his work. Some people tell themselves that the rapper’s dazzling technical ability...

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  • Golden Globe nominations pit pop stars against proven composers in music categories

    Golden Globe nominations pit pop stars against proven composers in music categories

    Say this for the Golden Globes: Nowhere else is Nick Jonas likely to be nominated for an award taken home in recent years by the likes of U2 and Bruce Springsteen. A former boy-band heartthrob who can still measure his success in squeals, Jonas is up for best original song with “Home,” his thumping...

  • Garth Brooks is No. 1 again with 'Anthology' book-music hybrid

    Garth Brooks is No. 1 again with 'Anthology' book-music hybrid

    Who knew that Garth Brooks almost missed his chance to record “Friends in Low Places,” the DeWayne Blackwell-Earl “Bud” Lee song that became one of his biggest early hits, and helped cement his status as one of country’s bright new stars of the 1990s? Certainly not Garth Brooks. The country music...

  • The moment N.W.A changed the music world

    The moment N.W.A changed the music world

    Part of the ongoing L.A. Times series The age of hip-hop: From the streets to cultural dominance. In this exclusive excerpt from “Parental Discretion Is Advised: The Rise of N.W.A and the Dawn of Gangsta Rap,” Gerrick D. Kennedy details the birth of the first major disruption of hip-hop.

  • Gregory Porter had worship on his mind at the Ace Hotel

    Gregory Porter had worship on his mind at the Ace Hotel

    Gregory Porter is never seen performing without his signature flat cap, and on Wednesday night the Grammy-winning jazz vocalist opened a concert by tipping it to some of the earlier artists who’d inspired him. Onstage at downtown’s Theatre at Ace Hotel, Porter sang his song “Musical Genocide,”...

  • Tori Amos is no longer a pop star — and she seems fine about it

    Tori Amos is no longer a pop star — and she seems fine about it

    Tori Amos put her songs first on Sunday night. Literally. Welcoming a capacity crowd to the third of three sold-out shows at the Theatre at Ace Hotel, the veteran singer and pianist said it had been a privilege for the songs — “and for me” — to be heard by audiences across North America over the...

  • Expressive jazz pianist Fred Hersch receives a Grammy spotlight

    Expressive jazz pianist Fred Hersch receives a Grammy spotlight

    After a year that saw the release of his heartfelt memoir “Good Things Happen Slowly” and another splendid solo album, pianist Fred Hersch will again vie for his first Grammy Award after receiving two nominations in the jazz categories Tuesday morning. The expressive “Open Book” was among the releases...

  • The Grammy nominations could embrace diversity. Expect lots of Ed Sheeran

    The Grammy nominations could embrace diversity. Expect lots of Ed Sheeran

    The 59th Grammy Awards, held in February, ended with a surprise when Adele’s “25” was named album of the year over Beyoncé’s “Lemonade.” Oh, that result was hardly unexpected: Embracing tradition at the expense of innovation is basically the Recording Academy’s operating principle, so of course...

  • Charles Manson's life as a failed musician, Beach Boys hanger-on and mediocre songwriter

    Charles Manson's life as a failed musician, Beach Boys hanger-on and mediocre songwriter

    Starting in the 1970s, not long after Charles Manson directed his followers to murder seven people over two bloody nights in Los Angeles, the convicted killer’s music and notoriety fueled a small underground industry. The allure was centered on Manson’s only album, recorded in Los Angeles in 1967...

  • How the American Music Awards tried to combat toxic masculinity

    How the American Music Awards tried to combat toxic masculinity

    At least this thing had its heart in the right place. In an age of widespread awards-show overload, nobody looks to the annual American Music Awards — broadcast live Sunday night on ABC from the Microsoft Theater in downtown Los Angeles — for an authoritative diagnosis of what matters in pop music,...

  • Longtime country singer, songwriter Mel Tillis dies  at 85

    Longtime country singer, songwriter Mel Tillis dies  at 85

    Mel Tillis, the longtime country star who wrote hits for Kenny Rogers, Ricky Skaggs and many others, and overcame a stutter to sing on dozens of his own singles, has died. A spokesman for Tillis, Don Murry Grubbs, said Tillis died early Sunday at Munroe Regional Medical Center in Ocala, Fla. He...

  • LCD Soundsystem is a blast from the dance-band past at the Palladium

    LCD Soundsystem is a blast from the dance-band past at the Palladium

    Instead of horns, they had synths. And rather than swing, they grooved. But in terms of the service they were providing their audience, James Murphy and LCD Soundsystem weren’t so different Friday evening at the Hollywood Palladium from the old big bands that performed there in the 1940s. Kicking...

  • AC/DC founding member Malcolm Young dies at 64

    AC/DC founding member Malcolm Young dies at 64

    Malcolm Young, the AC/DC co-founder whose brash guitar riffs, tight songwriting and live-wire personality defined an era of rock ’n’ roll, has died. He was 64. AC/DC announced his death on its official Facebook page on Saturday. The exact time, location and cause of his death were not immediately...

  • How the music manager Doris Muñoz is celebrating the late Latin star Selena while helping immigrant families

    How the music manager Doris Muñoz is celebrating the late Latin star Selena while helping immigrant families

    As the daughter of Mexican immigrants, the young music manager and Chicana activist Doris Muñoz didn’t have the most idyllic Southern California upbringing. Of the frequent bangs and pops that echoed across her San Bernardino neighborhood, she recalled thinking, “Is that gunshots or fireworks?...

  • Eve officially joins 'The Talk' as new host

    Eve officially joins 'The Talk' as new host

    Grammy Award-winning rapper and actress Eve is adding talk show host to her resume by officially joining CBS’ daytime talk show “The Talk.” The performer made her official debut Tuesday, after previously appearing as guest co-host last month. The artist, whose real name is Eve Jeffers Cooper, is...

  • Taylor Swift's privacy is a public act on 'Reputation'

    Taylor Swift's privacy is a public act on 'Reputation'

    For Taylor Swift, love — or the idea of it — has always represented a refuge, an escape, a shelter in a storm. When she emerged, just over a decade ago, romance was a means of lifting herself out of the too-smallness of high school; later, its enduring promise cushioned her after any number of...

  • Goldenvoice splits with FYF Fest founder Sean Carlson

    Goldenvoice splits with FYF Fest founder Sean Carlson

    Los Angeles-based promoter Goldenvoice has severed its relationship with Sean Carlson, the founder of its popular FYF Fest. In an email sent to talent booking agents Monday and obtained by The Times, Goldenvoice head Paul Tollett said, "Effective immediately, Goldenvoice has ended its relationship...

  • After suffering a tragedy, music became a 'life raft' for Chasms

    After suffering a tragedy, music became a 'life raft' for Chasms

    A few weeks ago, Shannon Madden of the L.A. experimental band Chasms went to see “Mother!,” the latest film from director Darren Aronofsky. She’d watched Aronofsky’s “Black Swan” with her brother, Griffin, years ago, and they both had a thing for his dark, surreal movies. She thought he’d want...

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