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Randall Roberts, Pop Music Critic

'Are You Serious' composer and performer Andrew Bird finally catches a little sunshine

After the trials and tribulations that led to his album 'Are You Serious,' things look brighter for Andrew Bird

Coachella lures Guns N' Roses back to the jungle as volatile musicians share stage after 20 years

Big money, major drama and huge expectations greet the planned Guns N' Roses reunion at Coachella

Buoyant energy drives Buyepongo's groove-heavy 'Todo Mundo'

Plus, KING's wonderfully unpredictable 'We Are KING' and FIDLAR's infectious, emoji-only video for its song 'Why Generation.'

Versatile Anderson .Paak's 'Malibu' crosses the line in the sand

Randall Roberts reviews Anderson .Paak's 'Malibu,' Eleanor Friedberger's 'New View' and Hey Exit's "Every Recording of Gymnopedie 1.'

2016 Grammy Awards nominations bring snubs (Rihanna) and surprises (Courtney Barnett)

Grammy Awards nominations bring notable surprises and snubs, raising the questions "Where's Rihanna?" and "Who's Courtney Barnett?"

Fuzz rocks hard on head-banging 'Fuzz II'

Plus, behind the virtual wheel on the instrumental 'L.A. Takedown' and Oneohtrix Point Never's 'Garden of Delete' delivers fresh tones and textures with wonder and glee.

Joanna Newsom on plunging deep into history for 'Divers,' her first new album in five years

Musician-actress Joanna Newsom's new album, 'Divers,' feature historic characters and follows album 'Have One on Me.'

Chilly Gonzales' 'Pop Music Masterclass' takes on Lana Del Rey

Essential Tracks of the week: Chilly Gonzales' 'Pop Music Masterclass' featuring Lana Del Rey and Eric Church's 'Round Here Buzz.'

IFC's 'Documentary Now!' season fades to black on a soft-rock high note with 'Gentle & Soft'

'Gentle & Soft: The Story of the Blue Jean Committee,' season finale of IFC's 'Documentary Now!,' strikes the right satirical chord on soft-rock bands.

Julia Holter's 'Have You in My Wilderness' is a breathtaking and rewarding listen

Plus, Protomartyr's 'The Agent Intellect' is pessimistic yet infectious, while 'Knock Knock' is a catchy, complicated track from MED, Blu and Madlib featuring MF Doom.

Essential Tracks: Joan Shelley's well-crafted and striking 'Over and Even'

Plus, Owiny Sigoma Band's irresistible 'Nyanza' and FIDLAR's endlessly screamable 'Too.'

L.A. band Wand plugs into retro-futuristic psychedelia; Carole King's City revisited

L.A.'s Wand mixes glam, rock, psychedelia and electronics in '1000 Days'; 'Now That Everything's Been Said' revives Carole King's early days

Yo La Tengo runs for covers in 'Stuff Like That There'

Yo La Tengo offers cover comforts

DJDS offers textured house music, with dogs

Essential Tracks this week are DJDS' 'You Don't Have to Be Alone,' Christian Rich's 'FW14,' Beach House's 'Depression Queen'

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