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Los Angeles Times

Chris Barton

Writer

Chris Barton is the Los Angeles Times’ deputy pop music editor, jazz critic and pop cultural snark peddler in the weekly column, Overrated/Underrated. In addition to writing for The Times for more than 10 years, his words have appeared in the Seattle Weekly, Magnet magazine and a host of extinct dotcoms. He was born in Boston, studied in the Bay Area and his fate was probably decided somewhere between first hearing John Coltrane’s “Equinox” and Charlie Hunter’s “Natty Dread.” 

Recent Articles

  • Race and ethnic punchlines don't work in tired 'Truth Be Told'

    Race and ethnic punchlines don't work in tired 'Truth Be Told'

    For all the semi-annual talk about the death of the sitcom, shows such as "Last Man on Earth," "You're the Worst" and Internet-based imports like "Catastrophe" are proving that with a bit of nudging against convention, there's life in the format yet. Then there's "Truth Be Told," which premieres...

  • Underrated/Overrated

    UNDERRATED "Digging for Fire" (2015): Maybe the most approachable of mumble-core veteran Joe Swanberg's chatty, quasi-romantic comedies, this film cowritten by star Jake Johnson maintains an understated, breezily watchable quality courtesy of strong performances. Partially centered on the possibility...

  • To Los Angeles and beyond: A guide to the Angel City Jazz Festival

    To Los Angeles and beyond: A guide to the Angel City Jazz Festival

    An end-of-summer fixture since its debut at Barnsdall Art Park in 2008, the Angel City Jazz Festival has drawn top-tier talent from figures across the jazz vanguard, including John Abercrombie, Archie Shepp, Ravi Coltrane, the Pan Afrikan Peoples Arkestra, Anthony Braxton and the Necks. Proudly...

  • Hum and the unlikely second act of an alt-rock band at the Regent

    Hum and the unlikely second act of an alt-rock band at the Regent

    The band Hum is best known as a ‘90s footnote. Most alt-rock radio listeners might be hard-pressed to draw a distinction between the Champaign, Ill., band and Silverchair, Failure or any number of one-word guitar bands that were swept into the major label feeding frenzy of the post-grunge era. ...

  • What's Frank Gehry designing for the Jazz Bakery? Drawings shown at LACMA

    What's Frank Gehry designing for the Jazz Bakery? Drawings shown at LACMA

    The next incarnation of the Jazz Bakery takes another small step toward reality with news that models of the new Frank Gehry-designed building will be unveiled as part of a retrospective dedicated to the architect at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. The exhibition opens to the public on Sunday....

  • Songwriter Jason Isbell reaches for 'Something More' -- Twitter involved

    Songwriter Jason Isbell reaches for 'Something More' -- Twitter involved

    Born just outside the storied music crucible of Muscle Shoals, Ala., the 36-year-old Jason Isbell has been regarded as a songwriter's songwriter since gaining wide acclaim with Southern rock band the Drive-By Truckers. Since leaving the band in 2007, Isbell has released three albums before his...

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