Going It Alone - 10 Essential Solo Albums

Monday, July 28, 2014 at 6:00 AM
Melissa Bobbitt

  Music   The Smiths’ nimble guitarist, Johnny Marr, recently announced a new solo album, Playland, for release Oct. 7 on Warner Bros. His majestic work in and out of the confines of the marvelous mod group the Smiths is testament to the wide-ranging talents of many a musician. Sometimes an artist usually amid the ranks of his famous band might feel stifled by the requisite sound that outlet is best known for. So when he or she... READ MORE

Beyonce and the New Era of Music Videos

Sunday, December 15, 2013 at 11:28 PM
Melissa Bobbitt

  Music "Pretty Hurts" still courtesy Melina Matsoukas Where were you at the stroke of midnight EST on Friday, December 13, 2013? For once, us homebodies were rewarded for our introverted ways, gifted by one of the ultimate extroverts in pop. This generation will remember its exact location and emotion when it first saw Beyoncé's self-titled album. That's right: saw the album. As everyone and their grandma knows by now, Mrs. Carter stealthily released her fifth solo collection... READ MORE

Thankful for Music

Sunday, November 24, 2013 at 1:44 PM
Melissa Bobbitt

  Music Photo courtesy Elena Roussakis/Creative Commons Happy Thanksgiving and Chanukah to those who celebrate! This time of year, as we're conjuring up our best-of lists, we remember how much we music fans have to be thankful for. Here are a few of the music-related things that warm our hearts:   Spotify We know: Plenty of musicians have decried this free and subscription streaming service. And yet, these protests are generally from super-successful millionaire types with major-label contracts. So, for... READ MORE

The Best Concerts of 2012

Monday, November 19, 2012 at 4:58 PM
Melissa Bobbitt

  Concerts The roar of the crowd. The rush of energy as the band takes the stage. The deep-felt euphoria that rattles your soul. What better place to be truly present than at a concert. And 2012 was full of memorable ones: This writer witnessed everyone from the Beach Boys to the lauded rise of indie supergroup Divine Fits. But it was these five shows that ruled them all: 5) Fiona Apple, Sept. 14 at the Greek... READ MORE

Album review - Sigur Ros - Valtari

Friday, May 25, 2012 at 5:56 PM
Melissa Bobbitt

  Music Sigur Ros Valtari XL Recordings Valtari, the first Sigur Ros album in four years, is a gorgeous relapse into post-rock atmospherics. Whereas their last offering, Með suð í eyrum við spilum endalaust (translated from Icelandic as "With a buzz in our ears we play endlessly"), was a jolt into tempo-driven reverie, this album owes more to the influence of classical compositions and airy soundtracks. Maybe this is a deliberate retreat from Go,... READ MORE

Rock takes the (Broadway) stage

Saturday, April 21, 2012 at 2:46 PM
Melissa Bobbitt

  Music Industry Image courtesy SongLyrics.com As a birthday gift to myself tomorrow, I'm seeing Green Day's American Idiot at the Ahmanson Theatre. This live-action stage play based on the NorCal punk trio's essential album of the same name (with a little 21st Century Breakdown for good measure) seemed a natural fit for the bombast of that record. Each song was like a little rock operetta. And now, a movie version is on the way. Popular music... READ MORE