Pop & Hiss
The L.A. Times music blog
'I never quit the band,' says Blink-182's Tom DeLonge

It appears that Tom DeLonge hasn’t quit pop-punk trio Blink-182 after all, even though bandmates Travis Barker and Mark Hoppus issued a statement to that effect, saying that their decision to tap Alkaline Trio’s Matt Skiba for the group’s headlining performance in March in Orange County resulted from Longe’s departure.

“I never quit the band,” DeLonge said in a statement issued Monday following widespread reports on his status with the long-running San Diego group. “Actually, I was on the phone discussing a possible Blink-182 event in New York City when I heard the ‘news.’ The ONLY truth here is that I have commitments that limit my availability this year.”

Blink is slated to headline the closing day of the three-day MusInk Tattoo & Music Festival scheduled for March 20-22 at the Orange County Fair & Events Center in Costa Mesa, following Friday’s headliner Rancid and Saturday’s bill-topper Bad Religion. Other acts in line to play the eighth annual fest this year include Yelawolf, OFF!...

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How 'Saturday Night Live' got country wrong with Blake Shelton

Have the people at "Saturday Night Live" ever seen an episode of "The Voice"?

Considering they're both NBC properties that regularly feature musical guests, I would've assumed so. But this weekend's episode of "SNL" made me wonder if that's the case.

The host was Blake Shelton, the successful country singer known for his string of hit singles — including "Sure Be Cool If You Did," "Boys 'Round Here" and "Neon Light" — and his high-profile marriage to Miranda Lambert, with whom he's set to headline April's Stagecoach festival in Indio.

Simply put, the guy's a big, familiar star — big and familiar enough, in fact, that NBC hired him for "The Voice," where he's been a member of the coaching panel since the hit singing show's debut in 2011. "The Voice" comes back from hiatus next month, which of course is the reason "SNL" booked Shelton in the first place.

Yet so much about Saturday's episode suggested that the venerable sketch comedy series had just discovered Shelton — and along with him...

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Rihanna's weird 'FourFiveSeconds' builds excitement for new album

While you were still hungover from Friday night, Rihanna offered the first legit taste of her upcoming album. 

Without warning -- which is quickly becoming pop’s new standard for music releases -- Saturday afternoon the pop star dropped “FourFiveSeconds,” the lead single from her as-yet-untitled eighth album.

The bare-bones track features some high-profile guests in Kanye West and Paul McCartney, and it's a stark departure for the singer whose last album, 2012’s “Unapologetic,” was crammed with so many sweaty twerk anthems that we’re still pressing play on it.

But that isn't a bad thing. With McCartney steering the track with the guitar, Rih delivers a rawer performance than usual. There's no auto-tune or processing on her vocals, just pure singing.

"I think I've had enough, I might get a little drunk/I say what's on my mind, I might do a little time/Cause all of my kindness, is taken for weakness," she sings before West jumps in.

Between the gospel organ bridge and backing vocals from...

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All-star indie pop group to perform Beatles' entire 'White Album'

The Wild Honey Orchestra’s latest benefit concert will serve up the Beatles' “White Album” on Feb. 28 at the Alex Theatre in Glendale, with an all-star lineup of pop-minded musicians from L.A. and beyond raising money for Autism Think Tank.

The guests performers for this year’s show include Vicki and Debbie Peterson of the Bangles, XTC’s Dave Gregory, Let’s Active’s Mitch Easter, Dramarama’s John Easdale, Fairport Convention’s Iain Matthews, Gary Wright, the Muffs, the Three O’Clock, Keith Allison of Paul Revere & the Raiders, Fountains of Wayne's Chris Collingwood and several others.

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FOR THE RECORD

An earlier edition of this post referred to Wild Honey Orchestra benefit founder Paul Rock as a musician. He is a music fan who started the events in 1994.

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They’ll play the Beatles 1968 double album, officially titled "The Beatles" but widely referred to as "The White Album," from beginning to end at the Alex Theatre, plus what's being described in the program for...

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Tom Petty, Jeff Lynne added to credits of Sam Smith's 'Stay With Me'

In a surprise backstage maneuver involving British crooner Sam Smith's Grammy-nominated breakout hit, "Stay with Me," both Tom Petty and Jeff Lynne's names have been added to the song's writing credits. Despite never having officially collaborated, Smith, Petty and Lynne now share credit with three others due to the similarities between "Stay with Me" and Petty and Lynne's 1989 hit "I Won't Back Down."

Nominated for 2015 Grammys in both the song of the year and the record of the year categories, "Stay with Me" has a grand, sing-along chorus that has echoed throughout the world. And, apparently by coincidence, it happens to follow the same chord progression as "I Won't Back Down." In a statement, Smith's representative confirmed the news.

"Recently the publishers for the song 'I Won’t Back Down,' written by Tom Petty and Jeff Lynne, contacted the publishers for 'Stay With Me,' written by Sam Smith, James Napier and William Phillips, about similarities heard in the melodies of the...

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Women take the spotlight at NAMM's She Rock Awards

Historically it has not been easy to rally women in the music industry around any cause that resembles feminism. After all, females tend to succeed in male-dominated fields by being intensely individualistic pioneers, Sarah Palin-style. The key to advancement is to bond with the men who run things, and to separate yourself from the pack of “typical girls.”

There are few trades more male-dominated than music-instrument manufacturing, music merchandising and music retail. Those are precisely the trades that gather every year in the shadow of Disneyland for the sprawling showbiz bacchanal known as the NAMM (National Assn. of Music Merchants) Show, taking place at the Anaheim Convention Center through Sunday.

When Beyonce is putting “feminism” in lights and female talent dominate the pop singles chart in record numbers, women are also emerging as a force amid the hairy-knuckled sausage-making at NAMM. Friday night at least 1,000 industry insiders filled the Pacific Ballroom of the Anaheim...

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