Week in music: FKA Twigs arrives, Kanye fires DJ, Ty Segall burns, more

Week in music: FKA Twigs arrives, Kanye fires DJ, Ty Segall burns, more
London recording artist Tahliah Barnett, known by her stage persona FKA Twigs, performs at the El Rey Theatre on Aug. 12. (Jay L. Clendenin / Los Angeles Times)
A week of tragic death, police crackdown, tear gas, drought and Magic!'s "Rude" as the No. 1 pop song in the country. Dog days indeed.

Below, the week in music, along with a tip on some weekend melodic salve.


-- FKA Twigs officially arrived this week. The beguiling young British singer and producer dropped her debut album, "LP1," on Tuesday, and proved her mettle with a show at the El Rey the same night.

The Times' August Brown's take: "The world she offers in her art is so much more sensual and bewitching than the one most of us live in. Even at her most raw, like her hot-blooded pursuit of a coupled-off partner on 'Two Weeks,' she wasn’t asking permission as much as giving a command." 

Need evidence of her allure? Check this video from Spin of her voguing at Webster Hall in New York.

-- Kanye West fired his DJ, who then went on a homophobic rant that left little room for sympathy. Few agree with all of West's decisions, but based on the evidence gathered in this YouTube clip, DJ Mano had a history of flubbing it at key moments.

-- Nas is continuing to celebrate two decades of his classic "Illmatic" by embarking on a "Time is Illmatic" tour in which he'll play the album in its entirety and screen a documentary on its making. The masterful New York lyricist and emcee announced a date at the perfect local venue for such an event: The Orpheum on theater row in downtown Los Angeles. It's scheduled for Oct. 18. For a full listing of shows, check the Nas page.

-- Soon-to-be rock star Ty Segall is getting ready to unveil his new record, "Manipulator," and teased its Aug. 26 release with a performance on "Conan." Delivering a searing version of one of the 17-song album's best songs, "Feel," Segall and his band announced their arrival with a show of force.

I sat down with Segall in Eagle Rock last month for a story that will appear in this Sunday's edition of The Times. "The idea was to focus more on one thing for a long period of time," he told me. "Usually I'll spend six months writing a record and then I'll record it. This record I wanted it to be the opposite." He wanted to make, he added, "a Tony Visconti kind of record." The profile just went live. Read it here.

-- The loss of Robin Williams devastated much of the world this week, and within this mourning arrived many touching remembrances. One of the most striking arrived from Questlove, the drummer/bandleader for "The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon." Posting on his Instagram account, Quest described an incident involving Williams during the 2001 Grammys.

"This particular Sunday we were walking backstage and had to ride the elevator to the backstage area and we piled inside when suddenly this voice just said " thought....rahzel....the roots from Philadelphia!!!!" He looked over and there was Robin Williams, a fan. The whole story is worth a read.

-- Los Angeles avant-beat producer Flying Lotus is gearing up for his increasingly buzzing new solo album, "You're Dead!," which is set to come out in October. This week, the producer released a teaser video and confirmed a list of contributors. It's a deep roster that features Kendrick Lamar, Snoop, Herbie Hancock and Thundercat, among others. The video teaser is extremely amazing, and extremely not safe for work. Check it at Spin.

Or check out Snoop narrating an imaginary nature show on "Jimmy Kimmel Live."

-- And, finally: Looking to catch up and keep up with the year's best tracks? One way I do it is through an ongoing, frequently updated Spotify playlist of my favorites. It's a mess of styles, genres and moods, but I'd like to think that it can serve as some sort of springboard into contemporary musical exploration.

You can check it out and subscribe here.

Me? I'm seeing Billy Joe Shaver at the Satellite on Saturday. I may end up crashing at Sonos Studios afterward, which will be open all night for Dublab's "Tonalism." Occurring from 6 p.m. Saturday to 6 a.m. Sunday, the night of ambient music will feature Jon Hassell, Sun Araw, Matthewdavid and others. Info here.

Follow Randall Roberts on Twitter: @liledit