Our 15 Most Anticipated Albums of 2015

Monday, December 29, 2014 at 5:00 AM
Melissa Bobbitt

  Music Now that we’ve ranked the albums that rocked us in 2014, we’re ready to move on to the bounty that’s coming in 2015. Indie fans are going to be blessed with new tunes from Belle & Sebastian, the Decemberists and Death Cab for Cutie. Big names like Bjork and Adele are expected to drop their latest creations. And reunions by the Juliana Hatfield Three and Sleater-Kinney are on our must list. Check out what’s got... READ MORE

5 Bands Born from Breakups and Shakeups

Monday, July 21, 2014 at 6:00 AM
Melissa Bobbitt

  Music Image by Andrew St. Clair When tragedy (or mere temper tantrums) leaves bands in the dust, it’s often hard for the members to pick up the pieces and start again. The wounds might be fresh, but the art charges on. Here are five groups that formed out of the ashes of others.   No Devotion (above)   When Welsh cyber-rock outfit Lostprophets fell apart due to singer Ian Watkins’ pleading guilty to child sex offenses, they vowed never to play... READ MORE

All I Want for Christmas...

Tuesday, December 18, 2012 at 3:10 PM
Melissa Bobbitt

  Music Good tidings to you and yours this week of Christmas! And if you're feeling particularly in the giving spirit, why not get for your favorite humble rock scribe (ahem) any or all of the following items? The Beatles Stereo Vinyl Box Set $319 at Amazon.com Excuse me while I wipe up my drool. All 14 Beatles albums - including Past Masters - are crammed into this beaut of a presentation. It also comes with a 250-page... READ MORE

A-grade B-side albums

Monday, October 22, 2012 at 3:15 PM
Melissa Bobbitt

  Music It's a miracle enough when a regular album flows cohesively and tells a story. But when a collection of rarities and b-sides from an artist's entire career gels like the "real" thing, it's utterly divine. Benjamin Gibbard of Death Cab for Cutie is the latest bard to pull off this feat with Former Lives (Barsuk). Though compiled from scraps of unfinished works not suitable for his main gig or his lauded side project,... READ MORE

Opinion - The Write Stuff Is Wrong

Saturday, October 13, 2012 at 5:21 AM
Melissa Bobbitt

  Music Photo by Maura Lanahan I normally clap my hands together with glee whenever Henry Rollins' recurring column comes out on LA Weekly's website. His insightful, optimistic posts are anathema to cynics, an anomaly in these seemingly bleak days. But his latest stews this writer a bit. Mind you, this is not a rambling "fuck the critics" tirade. It is, in his Zen manner, more of a suggestion to rock journalists than a decree. But... READ MORE

A Soundtrack for Feeling Infinite

Monday, August 27, 2012 at 2:32 PM
Melissa Bobbitt

  Music Rejoice, wallflowers everywhere! (No, no - sit down, Jakob Dylan. Not your "One Headlight" gang.) Your favorite novel about "Rocky Horror Picture Show" zines and the general, wonderful weirdness of being a teenager is now a motion picture. "The Perks of Being a Wallflower," the beloved coming-of-age book by Stephen Chbosky, is coming to life on the silver screen September 21st.  Purists, don't fret - unlike many a lit classic gone Hollywood, this interpretation lies squarely... READ MORE

Album sequels: 4 that relive the magic

Monday, July 9, 2012 at 11:59 AM
Melissa Bobbitt

  Music They say lightning never strikes twice in the same place, but these music acts have tried (pretty darn successfully) to make the second time a charm. We're taking album sequels, a concept mostly championed by the hip-hop community but which also has been big among classic and prog rockers. Here are four of our faves: The Smashing Pumpkins Machina II/The Friends & Enemies of Modern Music The Chicago quartet ended its original run in 2000 with... READ MORE

Album reviews - '90s angst edition

Monday, June 18, 2012 at 12:22 AM
Melissa Bobbitt

  Music Despite the turning of the page, the '90s are still all the rage. Coincidentally, two of that decade's biggest ragers, Fiona Apple and the Smashing Pumpkins, release new albums this week. One has kept that rage bottled, and like a fine wine, it's uncorked and more heavenly than ever. The other has softened with age and perspective but still rages instrumentally. The Smashing Pumpkins' Oceania (EMI) suggests a placid lushness with its... 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