Ann Powers

Ann Powers appears in the following:

In the Spirit of 'Teen Spirit'

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Last month, the video gaming company Activision released its fifth Guitar Hero title. Controversy soon followed, as players discovered that a character modeled on deceased Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain could be made to move and sing in ways the real Cobain would never have done. Today, we hear from entertainment ...

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Divine Inspiration

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Singer-songwriter Bob Dylan, composer Steve Reich and indie hero Sufjan Stevens have all explored God in their music. We hear how these efforts and others fared with fans and critics. Guests include Ann Powers, chief pop critic for the Los Angeles Times, and Felicia Miyakawa, professor of musicology at Middle ...

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Why Authentic Isn't Always Better

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Artifice in pop music has a long history - from Ziggy Stardust and his Spiders from Mars to Lady Gaga. Today, we look at the new wave of theatricality in music and why sometimes fake is what feels most real. Guests are Ann Powers, chief pop music critic at the ...

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Death of a Thriller

Friday, June 26, 2009

Michael Jackson was one of the most successful and influential entertainers of the 20th Century. He won 13 Grammys and sold 50 million copies of his 1982 masterpiece, Thriller. But his fame and reputation declined starting in the 1990s. When he died yesterday at age 50, Jackson was attempting a ...

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Soundcheck Smackdown: Boyle vs. Lambert

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

He is a 27-year-old goth-vampire rocker who wears black nail polish and eyeliner. She is a dowdy 48-year-old Scot who says she has never been kissed. Adam Lambert and Susan Boyle overcame their unlikely personas to become the two most popular figures on television and YouTube – as products of ...

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Rock Operas: Brilliant or Bloated?

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Forty years ago, The Who set the tone for rock operas with the album "Tommy." Everyone from Queensrÿche to The Decemberists have attempted this rite of passage, with varying levels of success. Now, Green Day is topping the charts with 21st Century Breakdown, an album about two characters and their ...

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Soundcheck Smackdown: Madonna: Diva or Done?

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Like Janet Jackson and Whitney Houston, Madonna will spend 2008 attempting to reclaim the diva crown she once held. Her new album out today, "Hard Candy," is either the Material Girl's return to dance-pop form, or an aging star's sad trip down memory lane. (Either way, collaborators Justin Timberlake, Timbaland ...

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Behind Every Great a Great Muse

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Ann Powers, chief pop critic with the LA Times, and Colin Fisher, who researchs improvisation and creativity at Harvard University, discuss the role of muses in popular music why muses are so indispensable to artists.

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The Hard Stuff, in Song

Monday, February 11, 2008

Rap and country tunes top the list of songs that reference drugs and alcohol, according to a new study. We talk to the leader of the study, Brian Primack, from the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, and Los Angeles Times chief pop music critic Ann Powers as we debate ...

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Pop Music: Best of 2007

Monday, December 17, 2007

Jay-Z rode the coattails of an "American Gangster." Sanjaya overstayed his welcome on "American Idol." And the industry's high anxiety over the future of music got, well, higher. Soundcheck kicks off "Critics Week" with a recap of pop music in 2007. We talk with Ann Powers, chief pop music critic ...

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Hurdling the Wall of Sound

Friday, October 05, 2007

A new generation of producers is stepping out of the recording studio and into the limelight. Ann Powers, chief pop music critic of the Los Angeles Times, explains how the role of the producer is changing -- and why the new skill set recalls a different era.


A New Approach to Adoption

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

"Open adoption" is where birth parents stay in regular contact with the adoptive parents. Dawn Smith-Pliner, the founder and director of Friends in Adoption, looks at how this changes things for the child, and music critic Ann Powers talks about her experience.

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British Invasion 3.0

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

A growing number of retro-soul singers from the UK are taking over the album charts. Amy Winehouse's "Back to Black" scored the highest ever debut for a British woman (number seven), and Joss Stone's "Introducing Joss Stone" followed a week later, debuting at number two. On today's show, LA Times ...

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