Pop culture from Southern California and beyond.

Capitol Records flies flag at half staff in honor of Beastie Boy Adam Yauch

Michael Katz / KPCC

Capitol Records flies their flag at half-staff Friday in tribute to Beastie Boy Adam Yauch who died of cancer at 47.

adam yauch map

Mark Mainz/Getty Images

Sundance Portrait Session with the Beastie Boys from 2006.

HBO Documentary Films Presents The Premiere Of "BURMA VJ"

Mark Von Holden/Getty Images

NEW YORK - MAY 07: Beastie Boys' Adam Yauch attends a screening of "BURMA VJ" at the HBO Theater on May 7, 2009 in New York City. (Photo by Mark Von Holden/Getty Images)

The passing of Beastie Boy Adam Yauch on Friday has left a noticeable void in the hearts of Los Angelenos.

Yauch, better known as “MCA,” died yesterday from complications with cancer at the age of 47.  He was initially diagnosed three years ago after doctors found a tumor in his salivary gland. Yauch, along with Michael “Mike D” Diamond and Adam “Adrock” Horovitz, comprised the Beastie Boys, the hip-hop group that first made it big in 1986 with the album “Licensed to Ill.” 

The Beastie Boys released eleven albums in total, with eight of those produced by Capitol Records, located in Hollywood. Capitol had no comment on the passing of Yauch but had the flag on top of its building lowered to half-staff in Yauch's memory. In total, the group sold more than 40 million albums

Though the band was based in Brooklyn, NY, they have strong foundations in the Los Angeles area. They recorded the albums “Check Your Head” and “Paul’s Boutique” in L.A. and also played their first show at the Hollywood Palladium, opening for Run-DMC. 


Los Lobos to host friends and family for an afternoon party

Los Lobos

East L.A.'s legendary band Los Lobos

L.A.'s favorite sons, Los Lobos, are hosting a Cinco de Mayo festival with a cast of dozens at the Greek Theatre this Saturday. You could try drawing a Venn diagram to connect all the friends and family on the bill, but it would get pretty complicated.

First of all, you've got another veteran L.A. band, X, who were label mates with Los Lobos in the '80s on Slash Records; then there's indie chanteuse Neko Case, who featured some of the Lobos on her 2009 album, "Middle Cyclone"; there's the Austin-based rocker and balladeer Alejandro Escovedo, who has shared many a bill with The Wolves over the years; recently added to the show is Tex-Mex accordion legend Flaco Jimenez, who played with Cesar Rosas and David Hidalgo in the ad hoc band Los Super Seven; and for good measure there's an actual familial connection with Mariachi El Bronx, which includes one of Hidalgo's sons, Vincent.


Pump up the bass hits: L.A. Dodgers' at-bat songs for 2012

Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Matt Kemp will walk up to bat this year to the sound of "Spend It" by 2 Chainz or ?"I'm A Boss (Remix)" by Meek Mill. Others will listen to songs from AC/DC, E-40, The Killers and more.

Tuesday marks the 50th anniversary for the Dodgers playing at Chavez Ravine, and what a better way to celebrate than with some hard rock and hoochie mama jamz as the players get announced to the batter's box?

From new hip-hop hits to alt-rock anthems, according to the Dodgers' PR spokesman the songs are a fluid system where the songs can change on a daily basis. Thus you will see that some of the players below will have several different songs.

Chad Billingsley, #58, pitcher

 "T.N.T" AC/DC

*Billingsley seems to have a particular affinity for the Aussie hard rock anthem as he has used "T.N.T." as his  song for the past few years.

Matt Kemp, #27, outfielder, NL MVP runner-up:

"Spend It" - 2 Chainz

"I'm A Boss (Remix)" - Meek Mill

Dee Gordon, #9, shortstop

"Shot Caller" - French Montana


'Downton Abbey': The rap song (really)

TV Downton Abbey

Nick Briggs/PBS/Carnival Film & Television Limited 2011 for Masterpiece/AP

File: In this image released by PBS, Maggie Smith as the Dowager Countess, left, and Hugh Boneville as Lord Grantham are shown in a scene from the second season on "Downton Abbey," a drama about life in an English country estate.

Like the rest of pop culture-loving America (and much of the rest of the KPCC staff), I'm a huge fan of "Downton Abbey." Like the rest of a much more specific subgroup, I'm also a fan of nerd rapper Adam WarRock. So when I saw that Adam dropped a new track told from the perspective of Lord Grantham called "Downton"? Bliss.

The track gets a slight downgrade from me, as I would've loved to hear it based around the "Downton" theme with some amped up beats, but the "Deja Vu (Uptown Baby)" sample by Lord Tariq and Peter Gunz is a classic too. I'm in from the opening, with Grantham saying, "Perfectly acceptable. And if his grace doesn't like it, he can lump it."

As Adam puts it, it's "The best rap song about an early 20th century period drama centered around property law that you'll ever hear. Believe that."


Correatown -- Pleiades -- Album Review

Angela Correa

Correatown, "Pleiades"

Correatown -- Pleiades

Angela Correa is a woman of changes. Her self-titled debut—recorded live almost five years ago—featured a ten-track collection of striped-bare country ballads, just a girl, a guitar and a lot of minor chords. Fast forward to 2011 and Correatown’s third album, Pleiades, wastes no time wrapped listeners in waves of electric blips and synth hums and vocal countermelodies. It's a far stretch from the slo-folk murder ballads of yore, but Correa's latest venture into the wide world of raised production values is thankfully more like a fresh breeze through an open window than a wall of smog (through an open window in the Valley).