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Kristina Benson 

Music, West Coast Sound <em>Sports Illustrated</em> Swimsuit Goes Indie Rock on Everyone's Asses

Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Goes Indie Rock on Everyone's Asses

See also: *Nick Waterhouse: The Young Man Who Makes Old R&B *Top 10 Los Angeles Albums of 2011 The Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue came out this week, and for some reason it went all indie on everybody's asses. A-Trak, the world's most hipster DJ, graces the pages, and the models'...…
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Music, West Coast Sound White Arrows Singer Mickey Schiff Was Blind, But Now He Sees (Literally)

White Arrows Singer Mickey Schiff Was Blind, But Now He Sees (Literally)

Born legally blind, Mickey Schiff experienced his surroundings as though they were a Monet landscape -- all colors and shapes and softness. When he was 11 his vision was corrected, turning the word into edges, hard angles and lines so sharp that he was startled into nausea. Now that he...…
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Music, Nick Waterhouse: The Young Man Who Makes Old R&B

Nick Waterhouse: The Young Man Who Makes Old R&B

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Music, Foster the People

Foster the People

It was about 10:30 p.m. on a Monday night in February when I first heard of Foster the People, and 10:31 when I realized that they were going to be colossally, gigantically famous. At a tiny strip-mall bar in suburban Orange County, a line of kids who looked like they'd...…
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Music, West Coast Sound

New Crystal Antlers Video: "Summer Solstice" (New Album Coming In July)

Long Beach band Crystal Antlers have decided to greet the longest day of the year by releasing the video to a track appropriately entitled "Summer Soltice", off their new album Two Way Mirror. It's been a bit of a bumpy ride for Crystal Antlers. Their last (and first) full-length, Tentacles,...…
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Music, West Coast Sound Interview: Thundercat, Brainfeeder's Bass Master General

Interview: Thundercat, Brainfeeder's Bass Master General

Thundercat - Daylight by BRAINFEEDER When L.A.'s world-class beat/electronica crew Brainfeeder takes over the Fonda later this week, you'll spot one guy up there making music the (comparatively) old-fashioned way. Him with the extraterrestrial sense of style and supernatural ability on the bass? That's Thundercat, a.k.a. Steve Bruner, who you've...…
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Music, West Coast Sound Five Awesome Things to Do This Weekend in L.A.: Make Music Pasadena, Swervedriver And More!

Five Awesome Things to Do This Weekend in L.A.: Make Music Pasadena, Swervedriver And More!

It's summer and yet it's temperate out, so we get to enjoy all the shows and fests that come with the season without melting in 100+ degree temperatures. Who said that global climate change had no upside? Not us! Anyway, this weekend there are fests, free shows, cheap shows, all...…
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Music, West Coast Sound Do Music Lessons Make for Smarter Kids?

Do Music Lessons Make for Smarter Kids?

Looks like they do! The most recent issue of the peer-reviewed psychology journal "Advances in Cognitive Psychology" contains a study examining the link between intelligence and music. The researchers asked the parents of 194 boys about their musical activities since preschool, and looked at the boys' reading and spelling performance...…
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Music, West Coast Sound R.I.P. Gil Scott-Heron

R.I.P. Gil Scott-Heron

Musician and writer Gil Scott-Heron passed away Friday afternoon in New York. He was 62. Gil Scott-Heron was born in Chicago, but reared in Jackson, Tennessee. He spent his teens in the Bronx and later received his Masters in Creative Writing from Johns Hopkins University. One of his earliest singles,...…
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Music, West Coast Sound Rhino Records Pop-Up Store Returns

Rhino Records Pop-Up Store Returns

Once upon a time, there were not one, but two physical Rhino Record stores in Westwood: The first was a 2,000 square foot space that opened in the late '70s and then transitioned into the "Blow-it-Outlet"--selling used and discontinued merchandise--upon the opening of the newer location. The newer location, which...…
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Music, West Coast Sound Five Reasons Why Silver Lake Jubilee Is Not Just for Hipsters

Five Reasons Why Silver Lake Jubilee Is Not Just for Hipsters

The Silver Lake Jubilee is back again in its full glory, with an impressive roster of bands, comedians, artists and writers performing to benefit a variety of local causes. Think it's just for hipsters? Think again. 1. Proceeds benefit the Los Angeles Arts and Athletics Alliance. Hipsters hate sports. 2...…
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Music, West Coast Sound Inside Seal's Rich and Famous Life: House For Sale

Inside Seal's Rich and Famous Life: House For Sale

Celebrities--they're just like us! Living at the mercy of the real estate market, subject to the whims of the Kuznet cycle, only at a higher plateau. Seal and Heidi Klum bought a foreclosed home at an auction for $14.9 million back in December of 2010. Now they're listing their Beverly...…
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LA Life, People Chicano Batman: Los Superheroes

Chicano Batman: Los Superheroes

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Music, West Coast Sound Five Things You Didn't Know About the B-52s

Five Things You Didn't Know About the B-52s

When most people think about early punk bands, they do not think of the B-52s. But before the band made such floor-fillers as Love Shack" and "Roam," and before Kate Pierson joined REM to sing about "Shiny Happy People," the B-52s were playing at CBGBs and churning out garagey tunes...…
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Music, West Coast Sound Top 5 Things to do for Cinco de Mayo in L.A.

Top 5 Things to do for Cinco de Mayo in L.A.

Is it already time to celebrate the anniversary of the Battle of Puebla, where Mexican forces soundly defeated the French under the direction of General Zaragoza? It certainly is (tomorrow)! What follows is a list of the best street parties, musical events, and other such activities in and around Los...…
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Music, West Coast Sound Rhett Miller (Old '97s) Redoes Bob Dylan Tonight at the Autry ... If You're Lucky

Rhett Miller (Old '97s) Redoes Bob Dylan Tonight at the Autry ... If You're Lucky

You've probably heard Rhett Miller with his Texas alt-country band, the Old '97s, even if you didn't know it--the Old '97s rewrote that infectious Chili's song, made an appearance in the Vince Vaugn/Jennifer Aniston movie the Break Up and had a track on the Clay Pigeons soundtrack. Or, these days,...…
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Music, West Coast Sound Los Angeles Man Facing $250,000 Fine and 5 Years in Prison for Uploading Kanye West Album

Los Angeles Man Facing $250,000 Fine and 5 Years in Prison for Uploading Kanye West Album

Via PC World: A California man who participated in a so-called warez music-sharing group faces a sentence of five years in prison and a US$250,000 fine after pleading guilty to copyright infringement charges in a California court. He was a member and leader of an Internet music release group known...…
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Music, West Coast Sound Royal Harpist Gears Up for Royal Wedding

Royal Harpist Gears Up for Royal Wedding

Pictured here is royal harpist Claire Jones, along with her harp. Claire Jones is from Crymych, which--for those of you who aren't in the know-- is a small village of around 400 inhabitants in the north of Pembrokeshire, Wales. She became the official harpist to the Prince of Wales in...…
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Music, West Coast Sound Lollapalooza Lineup: L.A. Bands Make a Strong Showing

Lollapalooza Lineup: L.A. Bands Make a Strong Showing

Is it already time to think about summer music festivals? Indeed, with SXSW and Coachella firmly behind us, we must now turn to the upcoming festival of festivals that has come to mark every summer. First major fest to reveal its lineup is Lollapalooza, which celebrates its 20th anniversary this...…
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Music, West Coast Sound DJ of the Week is Back! DJ De Kutt (a.k.a French Kiss) Talks L.A. Pride, Paris, Boobytraps, and Miss Kittin

DJ of the Week is Back! DJ De Kutt (a.k.a French Kiss) Talks L.A. Pride, Paris, Boobytraps, and Miss Kittin

After the madness of Coachella and Record Store Day, DJ of the week is back. This time, it's DJ De Kutt, a formidable DJ, producer, and promoter who originally hails from Nice (that's in France). At the age of 20 she headed to London, working as a manager for one...…
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