ARTS IN LOS ANGELES
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December 2017

Celebrating the Arts since May 2012

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Music!

Leslie Live!

Leslie Odum Jr.

Leslie Live!

  • By Karen Vock
  • Photo Courtesy of the Artist

He’s more than Aaron Burr, sir.  That’s right, wait for it… Grammy® and Tony Award®-winner Leslie Odom, Jr. is coming to Walt Disney Concert Hall for one night only Friday December 8 at 8 pm. This deft, stylish and charismatic star turned both heads and hearts with his magnificent portrayal of Aaron Burr in the original company of Broadway mega blockbuster HAMILTON.

The worldwide attention that role brought to Odom has given him the chance to showcase his musical talents even further in two well received solo albums released in the past year.  Odom’s self titled debut album of jazz standards included soulful new interpretations of beloved personal favorites including “Look for the Silver Lining,” a new arrangement of “The Guilty Ones” from Spring Awakening, and the lush, gorgeous single “Autumn Leaves.”  A second, equally stunning album of newly reinterpreted holiday classics entitled SIMPLY CHRISTMAS has just been released featuring jazz versions of holiday Christmas gems including “I’ll Be Home For Christmas,” “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,” “The Christmas Song,” “First Noel” and many more.

At Disney Hall, Odom will surely delight audiences with his warm and oh so elegant voice in a selection of songs from both recordings, backed by a four-piece combo.  You’ll want to be in the room where this happens, so get your tickets now!

For more details, click here.

U2’s New Album!

U2 releases new album December 1st

U2’s New Album!

  • By Dennis Petrone
  • Photo Courtesy of the Artist

U2 frontman Bono has been on a crusade to give back and make the world greater for the better part of his career – most notability with the founding of the ONE Campaign, which brought together 11 nonprofit humanitarian organizations to fight poverty in Africa. So it should come as little surprise that when neo-conservatives voted yes to Brexit in the UK and yes to Donald Trump in the US, he halted the release of his newest album to rework and rerecord most of the lyrics.

“Songs of Experience” is U2’s fourteenth studio album released on Friday, December 1. It’s intended to be a companion album to U2’s last, “Songs of Innocence” (2014) – Bono’s vision being that where we begin our journey (“innocence”) winds up being very different from where we end up (thanks to “experience”). Bono says he originally thought of this on a personal level, but re-messaged the album to be more macro.

In a recent Rolling Stone article, Bono says, that one song, for example, has the lyrics “Dinosaur, wonders why it still walks the earth. A meteor promises it’s not going to hurt.” He goes on to say that this “would have been a funny line about an aging rock star. It’s a little less funny if we’re talking about democracy.” The rest of the album is similarly charged, and even calls on people to fight back. In another song he sings, “Don’t take it lying down you’ve got to bite back. The face of liberty is starting to crack.” One thing’s for certain: 40 years of music and raging has not quieted Bono’s positive crusading.

For everything U2 including album purchases and upcoming tour dates, click here.

MEANING OF LIFE!

Kelly Clarkson

MEANING OF LIFE!

  • By RICH ANDREW
  • Photo Courtesy of the Artist

At 19, she earned our R-E-S-P-E-C-T. For a decade, she conquered the realm of rock and pop. And with her latest album, Kelly Clarkson returns to the Southern spark that started it all to reign supreme as our newest Queen of Soul. From idol to icon, Clarkson has shed her American Idol skin, jumping ship from RCA to Atlantic Records. Now she is finally able to make music on her own terms, unshackled, uncompromising, forever free to be Miss Independent.

It might have been fifteen years in the making for a moment like this, but a seasoned Clarkson professes that her latest album Meaning of Life is the one she’s always wanted to make. And a new label begets a new sound — one of unadulterated R&B. Clarkson manages to remain true to everything we adore about her signature voice while adding a nostalgic nod to the ‘90s.

Find yourself jiving along as Clarkson caps Cruel with the high notes of Mariah — as she fuels Go High with the female fire of Tina — as she belts Whole Lotta Woman with a whole lotta soul. With fourteen tracks on her eighth studio album, Kelly Clarkson is showing no signs of slowing down. Her purpose in life may be making music, but her album proves the meaning of life is finding perfect harmony.

For all things Kelly Clarkson, click here.

UNAPOLOGETICALLY!

Kelsea Ballerini

UNAPOLOGETICALLY!

  • By RICH ANDREW
  • Photo Courtesy of the artist

At the ACM Awards, she won Best New Female Vocalist of the Year. At the iHeartRadio Music Awards, she won Best New Country Artist. Her debut album The First Time hit the charts at #4 and went gold. Her lead single Love Me Like You Mean It peaked at #1 and went platinum. Her next two singles Dibs and Peter Pan also topped the charts, making her the first female solo artist to have back-to-back-to-back #1’s since Wynonna. And if you still don’t know her name, her next album is about to make it household.

The newest starlet to set the country stage on fire is Kelsea Ballerini. Born in Knoxville, Ballerini wrote her first song at 12, moved to Nashville at 15, and was signed to her label by 19. Armed with a catchy style and a contagious smile, this country chanteuse lightens her Tennesseean twang with a timbre that is both tender and strong. As the album moves through her own growing pains of heartbreak, hope, and young love, Ballerini adds an effervescence that just dares you to sing along. After a stellar performance of her epic ballad Legends on Dancing With the Stars, Ballerini continues to draw the spotlight to her — right where it belongs. Like the title track points out, she “got it all right” — and we are Unapologetically in love.

For all things Kelsea Ballerini, click here.

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