Pop & Hiss The L.A. Times music blog
Smokey Robinson is warm but shallow at the Hollywood Bowl

Smokey Robinson played a remarkable concert this week in Los Angeles, one that clearly demonstrated that the 75-year-old singer still has a voice — and still has things to say with it.

Unfortunately, it wasn’t the performance I caught Thursday night at the Hollywood Bowl.

That show, the first of three in the venue’s annual July 4 Fireworks Spectacular series, merely reiterated the established knowledge...

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Throwback tunes: Reissues from Frenchmen, Argentines, Brits, lumberjacks and Vaudevillians

These days, box sets, special editions and packaged reissues — you know, product — serve not only items to be purchased, but advertisements.

In the streaming age, the releases filling record store shelves not only whet the appetite of object fetishists, but offer tips on sounds to check out later through online music portals. 

Unless you’re a billionaire, who in 2015 needs a 23-CD Isley Brothers set...

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Rihanna kidnapped me to watch her new video: A diary

“Relax, but we have to blindfold you,” said the driver. A chorus of gasps filled the bus as he passed out blindfolds emblazoned with the Tidal streaming service logo.

There could only be one explanation for this "Mission: Impossible"-like move: We were headed to Rihanna's house.

It was 9 p.m. Wednesday night, exactly when her video for “Bitch Better Have My Money” was premiering, so it only made sense...

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Highland Park collective Soulection lands on Apple's Beats 1 station

Among the key offerings of the newly unveiled Apple Music platform is Beats 1 radio, which debuted this week with around-the-clock music and dozens of artist-programmed shows from high-profile artists including Pharrell, St. Vincent, Elton John and others.

It’s a major initiative helmed by influential DJ Zane Lowe, whose BBC show was one of the most influential drivers of new sounds in the world....

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Amoeba has an insanely rare Bob Dylan test pressing for $12,000

For the Bob Dylan fan who has everything, here's a gift that would make even Greil Marcus bolt out of bed soaked in cold jealous sweat.

Right now at Amoeba Music in Hollywood, the store has one copy of one of the rarest pieces of Dylan ephemera ever produced. It's a test pressing of his landmark 1975 album "Blood On The Tracks" that contains alternate versions of half the songs on the LP.

Legend has...

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Dogfish Head's American Beauty bids the Grateful Dead Fare Thee Well

Can a beer taste like a band sounds?

It's an esoteric question but one the proudly esoteric alchemists at the Delaware craft beer company Dogfish Head don't mind asking again and again. Miles Davis' "Bitches Brew" was translated into an imperial stout mixed with honey beer and African gesho root in honor of the album's 40th anniversary in 2010, and Pearl Jam was distilled into a black currant-infused...

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