Randy Newman on stripping down his complicated music for his 'Songbook' series

Randy Newman knows what it's like to be confused.

"Sometimes at the movies I've gotta ask my kids what the hell's going on," said the veteran songwriter and Oscar-winning film composer. "I'm real loud in the theater: 'Wait, who's that guy?'"

So although he has always delighted in using his records to set up trap doors of intent -- as in his ...Read more

Capsule reviews of feature films

BAD MOMS. 2.5 stars. Mila Kunis stars as a stressed-out working mother who teams with two similarly overtaxed women (Kristen Bell, Kathryn Hahn), rebelling against a hissy PTA prez (Christina Applegate) in a mildly amusing, moderately raunchy, mostly schematic comedy from the writers of "The Hangover" franchise. 1 hr. 41 R (profanity, sex, ...Read more

Album review: Warpaint gets sultry on the dance floor

Warpaint's unerring feel for gauzy hooks and slinky arrangements germinated over a decade and flourished on the quartet's excellent 2014 self-titled album.

But the band has always nudged its arrangements onto the dance floor -- subtly on record, more overtly on stage -- and "Heads Up" (Rough Trade) gives the group's inner disco ball a few extra...Read more

Agnes Nixon, creator of 'One Life to Live' and 'All My Children,' dies at 93

The grand dame of daytime television drama, Agnes Nixon liked to say that "everyone's life is a soap opera." For proof, she offered up her own.

She had an "abandonment complex" because her parents divorced soon after she was born. Growing up in an Irish-Catholic enclave in Nashville in the 1930s and 1940s, she felt painfully different because ...Read more

Springsteen's father looms large in 'Born to Run' autobiography

Bruce Springsteen's autobiography, "Born to Run," is more aptly titled than even diehards might realize.

"Born to Run," of course, was also the title of the album that brought him the double-trouble of Time and Newsweek cover stories in 1975 and launched him into an uneasy stardom. It contains songs that have become fixtures at his concerts -- ...Read more

Theater review: In 'Visiting Edna' by David Rabe, cancer crashes a life

CHICAGO -- Although David Rabe's deeply disturbing new play -- a howl of authorial anguish, really -- is fundamentally about an ordinary American mother and her equally quotidian son, the distinguished American playwright employs a couple of extraordinary devices. One Steppenwolf Theatre Company actress in the premiering drama, Sally Murphy, is ...Read more

Theater review: In 'Man in the Ring,' a fighter is dead, another shattered for life

CHICAGO -- On March 24, 1962, at Madison Square Garden in New York, welterweight boxer Emile Griffith killed a man in the ring. If you were around back then and a boxing fan, you likely watched the death on WGN-TV.

Griffith killed 25-year-old Cuban boxer Benny "The Kid" Paret, the Chicago Tribune reported shortly thereafter, by beating him ...Read more

Review: Stars swap songs at Country Hall of Fame benefit

LOS ANGELES -- Education is a key mission at Nashville's Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum.

That made the 11th edition of the organization's annual All for the Hall benefit concert and fundraiser an ideal companion piece. Emcee and 20-time Grammy Award winner Vince Gill and guest participants James Taylor, Joe Walsh, Kacey Musgraves and ...Read more

'The Lion King' is getting a 'live-action' remake, with Jon Favreau to direct

It's the circle of life in Hollywood: "The Lion King" is being remade, and Jon Favreau's in charge.

The Oscar-winning 1994 animated film, which raked in $968.8 million worldwide, including $422.8 million domestically, is being fast-tracked for a "reimagining," the Walt Disney Studios announced Wednesday, with an eye toward using the same high-...Read more

Movie review: 'Deepwater Horizon' captures chaos of oil rig disaster

With a scant introduction, director Peter Berg airlifts the audience into the chaotic micro-culture of offshore oil drilling in "Deepwater Horizon." Our hero, Mike Williams (Mark Wahlberg), barely has time to kiss his wife (Kate Hudson) and kid (Stella Allen) before we're awash in the jargon and joshing of roughnecks, engineers and BP company ...Read more

Movie guide: Capsule listings, reviews of current releases

Ratings by the Motion Picture Association of America are: (G) for general audiences; (PG) parental guidance urged because of material possibly unsuitable for children; (PG-13) parents are strongly cautioned to give guidance for attendance of children younger than 13; (R) restricted, younger than 17 admitted only with parent or adult guardian; (...Read more

Redbox's Top 10 DVD rentals

The Top 10 DVD rentals at Redbox kiosks for the week of Sept. 19:

1. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows -- Paramount

2. The Huntsman: Winter's War -- Universal

3. The Nice Guys -- Warner

4. Now You See Me 2 -- Lionsgate

5. Captain America: Civil War -- Disney

6. Money Monster -- Sony

7. The Jungle Book (2016) -- Disney

8. ...Read more

'Miss Peregrine' expected to top 'Deepwater Horizon,' 'Magnificent Seven' at box office

LOS ANGELES -- Tim Burton's new movie about an orphanage for fantastically gifted kids is expected to debut at the head of its class at the box office this weekend, expelling last week's victor, "The Magnificent Seven," from the top of the charts.

"Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children," from 20th Century Fox and Chernin Entertainment, is...Read more

All of Bob Dylan's 1966 live shows in 36-CD box set due Nov. 11

A 36-CD box set featuring every known recording of Bob Dylan's historic 1966 concert tour will be released Nov. 11, providing a companion piece to last year's ambitious set documenting his studio recordings from 1965 and 1966.

"Bob Dylan: The 1966 Live Recordings" will feature songs taken from soundboard tapes, mobile recording trucks and ...Read more

'Real Housewife' husband Herman Echevarria dead at 61

MIAMI -- Herman Echevarria, a made-in-Miami success story -- Cuban exile turned Hialeah politico turned business leader and reluctant TV star as husband to a "Real Housewife" -- was found dead Monday morning at his apartment in downtown Miami's Epic Hotel, according to Miami police.

Echevarria was 61.

Echevarria had served as a Hialeah council...Read more

Amazon announces 3 new series

Fresh from reaping a couple of Emmy awards for its original show "Transparent," Amazon said Tuesday it is producing three new series for its streaming video service.

The shows are "I Love Dick," a comedy set in quirky Marfa, Texas, starring Kevin Bacon and co-produced by "Transparent" creator Jill Soloway; "Jean-Claude Van Johnson," a martial ...Read more

A record 84 million TV viewers tuned in for presidential debate

NEW YORK -- The contentious first presidential debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump lived up to its big ratings expectations with an estimated average TV viewership that will top the previous record of 80.6 million.

The total average audience for Monday's matchup for the ad-supported broadcast and cable networks as well as PBS came ...Read more

Reports: Beanie Sigel attacked backstage in Philly over Meek Mill feud

PHILADELPHIA -- For Meek Mill and company, the beef just keeps on coming.

Currently, Mill is feuding with fellow artist The Game over a June robbery involving rapper Sean Kingston. The disagreement has so far spawned battles over cheesesteaks, some diss tracks, and general animosity between the two rappers.

Now, hip hop legend and Philadelphia...Read more

Son: Gladys Knight lacks 'mental capacity' to remove name from chicken and waffle restaurants

ATLANTA -- The son of soul music legend Gladys Knight is fighting to keep her name on his troubled Atlanta restaurants, saying her "lack of mental capacity" bars her from removing it, recent federal court filings state.

Knight, an Atlanta native, filed suit in August to take her name off of Gladys Knight's Chicken and Waffles after her son ...Read more

Movie review: 'Miss Peregrine' is familiar, yet fun

The very best Tim Burton films feature a charismatic weirdo at the center of the story who is either preternaturally innocent (Edward Scissorhands, Pee-Wee Herman), or charged with the protection of innocence (Batman). Enter Miss Alma LeFay Peregrine (Eva Green) into the canon of Burton heroes of this type. She's the headmistress of a Home for ...Read more