Album reviews: Sleater-Kinney, The Hold Steady, Rick Ross


"The Center Won't Hold"

(Mom + Pop 1/2)

There's been no shortage of drama surrounding "The Center Won't Hold," the ninth album by the formidable punk trio Sleater-Kinney.

There was excitement this spring when word got out that the band of guitarist-singers Corin Tucker and Carrie Brownstein and drummer Janet Weiss were being ...Read more

'Good Boys' is the biggest original comedy opening of the year

LOS ANGELES -- Despite five new wide releases opening this weekend, only one managed to make an impression at the box office.

Universal's R-rated comedy "Good Boys" opened in first place with $21 million, surpassing analyst projections of $12 million to $15 million, according to estimates from measurement firm Comscore.

The film's result makes...Read more

'Phantom Thread' opened doors for 'Mum''s Lesley Manville

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. -- British actress Lesley Manville was 59 years old when here career changed overnight. She was already well known in England for scores of films with innovative director Mike Leigh, her precipitous stage performances and her juicy parts on the telly.

But a mid-morning phone call from an American director led to an Oscar ...Read more

Appreciation: The Peter Fonda role we should be talking about isn't 'Easy Rider,' but 'Ulee's Gold'

In the 1997 drama "Ulee's Gold," Peter Fonda plays a lonely beekeeper with a persistent limp, a gruff demeanor and a lifetime's worth of regrets. Nearly everyone in his small Florida town knows the troubles he's seen, though for the viewer meeting him for the first time, Ulee Jackson will initially read as something of a mystery. He's a sturdy, ...Read more

Review: Sleater-Kinney embraces new sound, uncertain future on 'The Center Won't Hold'

CHICAGO -- In the midst of Sleater-Kinney's latest album, Corin Tucker sings ominously about a world in which humans feel increasingly disconnected from, well, everything. But the song's refrain might also apply to her band's new music: "The future's here and we can't go back."

Though Sleater-Kinney is one of the defining rock bands of the last...Read more

Krist Novoselic finds post-Nirvana nirvana on his quiet farm and with his band Giants in the Trees

GRAYS RIVER, Wahkiakum County -- "This is what I look like when I fly," says Krist Novoselic, leaning back in his chair.

The Nirvana bassist and licensed pilot had already logged roughly 700 miles in his twin-engine plane by the time he sits down in the old creamery he converted into a studio near his Wahkiakum County farm. Not exactly aviators...Read more

Harriet Tubman's life was like an action movie. It wasn't always portrayed that way.

BALTIMORE -- In the trailer for the upcoming Harriet Tubman biopic "Harriet," the abolitionist, played by actress Cynthia Erivo, is seen carrying and firing a firearm in multiple scenes.

Here, she's shooting a handgun as she flees on the back of a horse. There, she's pointing it at a threat as she shelters a girl in her arms. Over there, she's ...Read more

Peter Fonda, the 'Easy Rider' star and counterculture icon, has died at 79

Peter Fonda, the counterculture icon who came from a show business family that included his father, Henry Fonda, and sister, Jane Fonda, has died.

"In one of the saddest moments of our lives, we are not able to find the appropriate words to express the pain in our hearts," his family said in a statement. "And, while we mourn the loss of this ...Read more

At KCON L.A., frank talk about mental health amid the ear-splitting meet-and-greets

LOS ANGELES -- As a teen member of the band U-KISS, Kevin Woo felt the hot glare of the K-pop limelight. His time in the band showed the California-born singer what life in the particular pressure cooker of South Korean fame meant, and how the expectations can be debilitating.

"In training, (the record labels) take a lot of privacy from you," ...Read more

Tarantino failed as an artist with Bruce Lee portrayal, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar says

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar has weighed in on the discussion about Quentin Tarantino's portrayal of Bruce Lee in "Once Upon a Time ... in Hollywood," charging that the director had an obligation to present the martial artist in a more factual manner and accusing him of failing as an artist and a person.

"(F)ilmmakers have a responsibility when playing ...Read more

Anderson Cooper on the letter Stephen Colbert sent him after Gloria Vanderbilt's death

During a CNN interview with Stephen Colbert on Thursday, Anderson Cooper opened up about the recent loss of his mother, Gloria Vanderbilt, and the letter Colbert sent him after her death.

"You wrote me a letter after my mom died, and in it you said, 'I hope you find peace in your grief,'" Cooper said. "One of the things I've been thinking a lot...Read more

'Rad' takes us to a retro-future fun place — the post-post-apocalypse

LOS ANGELES -- In 'Rad's' 1980s-styled view of the post-post apocalypse, climate change and class divisions wreak havoc, but you can have vampire-like powers.

"Rad" from the outset feels a bit like a cheesy sequel to a 1980s movie that never happened. This time, the setting isn't post-apocalyptic. It's post-post-apocalyptic -- bigger, better ...Read more

Column: How John Proctor and #MeToo helped cure my 'work in progress' theater phobia

LOS ANGELES -- Some people get anxious when they fly. I get tense when I go to a play. Particularly if the space is small and intimate and there is no intermission.

I fret about tech disasters and dropped lines, bad casting and flawed sets as if I were the playwright's mother or some make-or-break investor. Mostly, I worry that it will be ...Read more

Q&A: Why the Obamas became producers of the Netflix documentary 'American Factory'

LOS ANGELES -- When General Motors shuttered its factory outside of Dayton, Ohio, in 2008, filmmakers Julia Reichert and Steven Bognar -- who documented the plant's closing in their Oscar-nominated short "The Last Truck" -- thought that was the end of yet another sad story of America's industrial decline.

But in 2014, the billionaire owner of ...Read more

How Playbills became social media must-shares

LOS ANGELES -- Uzo Aduba enters the theater minutes before a matinee of "Be More Chill." An usher directs her to her seat, she sits down and silences the ringer on her phone. But before she puts it away in her purse, she discreetly holds up her Playbill with one hand and snaps pictures.

The still-life Playbill photo shoot has become a routine ...Read more

How an upstart Latin music fest is reviving a once-glamorous Baja beach town

ROSARITO, Mexico -- The organizers of this weekend's Baja Beach Fest here had a clear goal in mind for their second annual event: booking Bad Bunny and Ozuna -- two Puerto Rican superstars at the red-hot center of the booming Latin-pop scene -- on the same bill.

"They both think they're the biggest guy in the space," said Chris Den Uijl, 32, ...Read more

'90s hitmakers Hootie and the Blowfish are back

MINNEAPOLIS -- Hootie is back! And don't forget: The singer's name isn't Hootie.

It's Darius Rucker, and he's been a big country star for the past decade. He never went away.

But his band, '90s hitmakers Hootie and the Blowfish, has returned in full force, with a new album due in November -- its first in 14 years -- and its most ambitious tour...Read more

Review: Mads Brügger's bold, unruly documentary 'Cold Case Hammarskjöld' investigates the death of a diplomat

LOS ANGELES -- On Sept. 18, 1961, a Douglas DC-6 crashed near the city of Ndola, Northern Rhodesia (now Zambia), killing all 16 people on board. Among them was the United Nations secretary-general, Dag Hammarskjold, a fierce proponent of African autonomy and decolonization who had been on his way to settle a conflict in the Congolese province of...Read more

Review: 'Where'd You Go, Bernadette' works with a splendid Cate Blanchett at its center

Sometimes idiosyncratic directors do surprisingly accessible and moving work when paired with more structured material and a strong and willing star, and so it is with Richard Linklater and "Where'd You Go, Bernadette."

Best known for meandering personal explorations like "Boyhood" and "Before Sunset," Linklater from time to time takes on more ...Read more

Commentary: Targeted in El Paso, vilified by Trump. Why the Latino culture vacuum is dangerous

In a public address at the White House the day after mass shootings in El Paso left 22 dead and more than two dozen wounded, President Trump described the shooter as a "wicked man." He stated that "mental illness pulls the trigger, not the gun." He denounced "gruesome and grisly video games." He even said we "must condemn racism, bigotry and ...Read more

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