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Grammys 2016: 10 essential artists who helped Kendrick Lamar shape 'To Pimp a Butterfly'

When Kendrick Lamar arrives at the Grammy Awards to accept applause for his album of the year-nominated "To Pimp a Butterfly," the Compton-born rapper, lyricist and producer will be representing not only himself and his city: He'll also be carrying a community's worth of creators who contributed to his platinum-selling album.

The "To Pimp a ...Read more

Grammys 2016: Thundercat emerges from shadows to discuss 'To Pimp a Butterfly'

Those paying attention to the sound of contemporary Los Angeles as imagined by Kendrick Lamar's "To Pimp a Butterfly," nominated for an album of the year Grammy, might have noted a mysterious musician named Thundercat lurking in the background.

In late 2014 and 2015, he seemed to be everywhere. There he was, his head and torso covered with a ...Read more

Around the remote: Chuck Barney's TV picks for Feb. 14-20

DON'T MISS: The 58th Annual Grammy Awards -- LL Cool J returns to host music's biggest night at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. As usual, we expect the performances to overshadow the prizes. Among the stars taking the stage are Adele, Kendrick Lamar, Carrie Underwood, Justin Bieber, Little Big Town, The Weeknd and the Broadway cast of "...Read more

Q&A: Justin Gage chats about Aquarium Drunkard and Autumn Tone records

Over the past decade, Justin Gage's ear for talent has earned him both acclaim and a career.

One of the first wave of music writers to make money with a self-funded music blog, Gage crafted his Aquarium Drunkard site into a brand one recommendation at a time. Since its birth in 2005, Gage and his small staff of contributors have separated the ...Read more

Grammys 2016: The Weeknd takes in breakout year of 'Beauty Behind the Madness' success

"There's a lot of weird ... in here," Abel Tesfaye says about his new home, a high-rise condo in Westwood he just moved into a few days prior.

Tesfaye, better known as the Weeknd, is pointing toward an intricate and ancient-looking drawing of a man and woman midcoitus hanging near his bathroom. The graphicness of the old-world artwork makes him...Read more

'Spotlight' and 'The Big Short' take top honors at the Writers Guild Awards

LOS ANGELES -- One of the final bellwethers before the Academy Awards, the Writers Guild of America Awards honored Tom McCarthy's newsroom drama "Spotlight," which chronicles the Boston Globe's investigation into allegations of child sex abuse by Roman Catholic priests, and Adam McKay's financial-crisis dramedy "The Big Short."

"Spotlight" -- ...Read more

Analysis: How the Grammys learned to be relevant

LOS ANGELES -- It feels odd to congratulate an awards ceremony that is already an exercise in self-congratulation. It's a bit like saying, "Thank you for cashing the check I sent you!"

But the 58th Grammy Awards deserve applause, no matter which musicians take home Grammys on Monday night. The Grammys stand out by comparison with their ...Read more

Cosby seeks to suspend case against him while he appeals judge's ruling

PHILADELPHIA -- Bill Cosby sought Friday to temporarily halt the sexual-assault prosecution against him while he challenges a judge's ruling that his case should proceed toward a trial.

In filings with Pennsylvania Superior Court and the Montgomery County Court, Cosby's lawyers said their claim -- that Cosby had a legally binding agreement that...Read more

Taylor Swift in a tricky spot amid an Oscars backlash over diversity

LOS ANGELES -- Could winning at the Grammys register as a loss for Taylor Swift?

Last summer the pop superstar suffered a rare defeat when she got into it with Nicki Minaj on Twitter.

You remember this. After not being nominated for video of the year at the MTV Video Music Awards, Minaj plainly described what she viewed as a kind of ...Read more

Bonnie Raitt tops Glenn Frey tribute at Americana Association's Troubadour show

In addition to the Glenn Frey tribute coming at Monday's Grammy Awards by his Eagles bandmates Don Henley, Joe Walsh, Timothy B. Schmit, Bernie Leadon and longtime friend Jackson Browne, Bonnie Raitt will headline the Americana Music Association's salute to Frey at its annual pre-Grammy concert Saturday at the Troubadour in West Hollywood, where...Read more

HBO's 'Vinyl' sounds a little too familiar

One's appreciation for HBO's "Vinyl" (9-11 p.m. Sunday) may correlate with one's tolerance of abusive, coke-snorting creative types.

Set in the 1970s New York music scene, this humorless drama from the producers of "Boardwalk Empire" (plus Mick Jagger) delivers some rocking musical moments amid the dark story of American Century Records ...Read more

Lady Gaga and Diane Warren find healing power in 'Til It Happens to You'

Lady Gaga and Diane Warren huddled over a plate of French fries in a vacant hotel banquet room, relishing every bite. They were pumped up -- and hungry. Their song "Til It Happens to You" from the 2015 campus rape documentary "The Hunting Ground" is up for a Grammy on Monday and an Oscar at the end of the month.

Everyone was buzzing over Gaga's...Read more

Resisting the rom-com label: The stars and co-writer of 'How to Be Single' say the film is so much more

Yes, it's a comedy. And, yes, romance is involved.

But don't call the new film "How to Be Single," which opened Friday in time for Valentine's Day, a romantic comedy (or its familiar abbreviation, a rom-com).

"I feel like it's a tiny bit sexist and gets applied to movies that women are in," said Dana Fox, who co-wrote the screenplay for the ...Read more

Album review: Freakwater finds light in 1,001 dark nights

The title of Freakwater's first album in more than 10 years, "Scheherazade" (Bloodshot), name-checks the Arabic storyteller and future queen of "One Thousand and One Nights" fame. You won't find Sinbad, Ali Baba or Aladdin mentioned in the lyrics, but singers Catherine Irwin and Janet Bean are adept storytellers, and they know how to spin yarns ...Read more

Movie review: Michael Moore seeks greatness in other lands in 'Where to Invade Next'

Looking like an unmade bed in his signature uniform of T-shirt, jeans, rumpled fatigue jacket and ball cap adorned with the Detroit Tigers logo-ed letter D (he's a Michigan boy, don't you know), Michael Moore places himself squarely in the center ring of all of his pictures.

And there, displaying an ego as big as his waistline, with an attitude...Read more

'Lucha Underground' wrestling: tights and melodrama on TV

LOS ANGELES -- Across the Los Angeles River, in a warehouse of ghosts and corrugated steel, King Cuerno fastens his mask and strides bare-chested past girders and broken windows toward the ring, where wrestlers spin in pinwheels and dance on ropes in a frenzied ballet of peacock colors and flying head scissors.

The crowd in Boyle Heights -- ...Read more

Mavis Staples brings the joy, but it's complicated

Mavis Staples had only one request when some A-list artists were approached to write songs for her forthcoming album, "Livin' on a High Note" (Anti). "I wanted joyful," she says. "I've been making people cry down through the years, and this time I wanted to make them smile."

But joy in the Staples lexicon is a complicated emotion. She grew up ...Read more

Movie review: 'A War' effectively shows havoc that combat wreaks at home, abroad

LOS ANGELES -- "A War" is a film done exactly right about a situation gone horribly wrong. A powerful foreign language Oscar finalist, it proves yet again that agonizing moral dilemmas make for the most effective cinema.

Written and directed by Denmark's Tobias Lindholm, "A War" joins Susanne Bier's taut 2004 "Brothers" as a superb drama ...Read more

Being wedding DJs wasn't their dream gig, but it pays the bills and serves a purpose

Jesse Kivel and Michael David have toured the world in their electronic pop bands Kisses and Classixx, performing and DJ-ing to all kinds of festival and club crowds. But the show with the elephant in the audience was a first.

"Oh, yeah, we've played a traditional Indian wedding with the full elephant," Kivel said, rattling off a few of the ...Read more

NBC pays tribute to black history with new Jesse Owens documentary

The intersection of race and athletics has become an increasingly popular documentary subject, embodied most recently by ESPN's epic O.J. Simpson series.

Now NBC is offering a new entry to the canon: "More Than Gold," a story of Jesse Owens' historic performance at the 1936 Olympics in Berlin, narrated by Morgan Freeman. The documentary, which ...Read more