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Film Reviews: Expendables 3, Life After Beth, The Giver

Posted August 15, 2014 by | 0 Comments | ]
The-Expandable-3-Official

Our regular Friday film reviewer, Joe Morgenstern, is out this week. So joining us now is Amy Nicholson, film critic for LA Weekly.

Here are trailers for the three movies Amy reviewed:
Expendables 3:

Life After Beth:

The Giver:

Arts & Culture, Featured, News »

Saying goodbye to Colossus

Posted August 15, 2014 by | 0 Comments | ]
Magic Mountain's Colossus. (Photo by: Isadora Kleiman)

The Colossus Coaster at Six Flags Magic Mountain will make its final ride on Saturday.
The massive coaster has a 100-foot drop and goes as fast as 60 miles an hour.
But after 36 years of delighting and terrifying visitors, what once was the country’s tallest and fastest wood roller coaster is closing.
Tim Baldwin, editor of the quarterly Roller Coaster magazine, published by American Coaster Enthusiasts, …

Arts & Culture, Featured, Interviews, News »

The enduring popularity of Charles Bukowski

Posted August 14, 2014 by | 0 Comments | ]
Charles Bukowski, 1981. Photo by Mark Hanauer.

This Saturday, August 16 marks the birthday of one of Los Angeles’ most beloved and notorious writers, Charles Bukowski. Were he still with us, he’d be 94.
Bukowski has been called the Poet Laureate of Skid Row. His books, from Ham on Rye to Post Office to Hot Water Music, celebrate the drunks and the down and outs who populated the bars, cheap hotel rooms …

Headline, News »

Remembering Robin Williams (1951-2014)

Posted August 11, 2014 by , and | 0 Comments | ]
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Updated August, 12, 2014.
Prolific comedian and actor Robin Williams has died at age 63. He was found unresponsive in his Marin County home, in an apparent suicide.
Appearing on KCRW’s The Treatment, Williams said he was an outsider who found a craft he loved. “I like doing supporting parts the best, you’re not carrying the burden of the movie. And you can make a character and do all …

Arts & Culture, Featured, Food, Interviews, Issues »

Learning about Yiddish life before the Holocaust

Posted July 23, 2014 by | 0 Comments | ]
Students participating in the Helix Project perform a Yiddish song at a home in Studio City.

If you ask American Jews, or really just most Americans, to picture what it was like to live as a Jew in Eastern Europe in the early 20th century, chances are you imagine a scene from “Fiddler on the Roof.”
The tale by Yiddish writer Sholem Aleichem tells the tale of Tevye the dairyman and his daughters in the poor village of Anatevka.
But the real story …

Arts & Culture, Environment, Featured, Headline, Interviews, News »

Photos: Remembering Pacific Ocean Park

Posted July 23, 2014 by | 10 Comments | ]
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From the late 1950s to the late ‘60s, Angelenos looking for music, dancing and rides, found the party at Pacific Ocean Park.
The beachside theme park – that jetted out into the Pacific – sat on 28 acres of land at the border of Santa Monica and Venice.
It featured rides created by Hollywood set designers, setting it apart from the standard, ordinary rides at Santa …

Arts & Culture, Featured, Interviews, News »

The strange sounds – and history – of the theremin

Posted July 22, 2014 by | 0 Comments | ]
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If there’s any instrument that gets misunderstood and under-appreciated in music, it’s the theremin.
Countless bands have employed the warbly, eerie-sounding electronic instrument, from The Pixies to the White Stripes. It was perhaps most famously used by The Beach Boys in “Good Vibrations.”
The theremin was created by a Russian physicist, Lev Sergeyevich Termen. He’s the main character in “Us Conductors”, the debut novel by Montreal-based …

Arts & Culture, Featured, Interviews »

Tom Schnabel remembers jazz musician Charlie Haden

Posted July 11, 2014 by | 4 Comments | ]
A photo of Charlie Haden from 2008, by Tim Dickeson.

The jazz world is mourning today the death of a great musician. Bassist Charlie Haden passed away at the age of 77, after a long illness.
Haden – a three-time Grammy winner – was born in the Midwest, but came to LA in the 1950s, enrolling at Westlake College of Modern Music.
His music and performances touched on political themes at times, a mirror of the …

Featured, News »

Use a smartphone? Thank Nikola Tesla

Posted July 10, 2014 by | 1 Comment | ]
Nikola Tesla, circa 1890

Here’s a question: when was the last time you picked up your smart phone?
Chances are you have one. And you probably last glanced at it – well, maybe you’re looking at it now.
One of the people you can thank for that miracle of telephony is Serbian-American inventor Nikola Tesla. And today is his birthday. He would’ve been 158.
To celebrate, we asked Marc Seifer, who …

Arts & Culture, Featured, Interviews, News »

Escape from LA in Edan Lepucki’s “California”

Posted July 8, 2014 by | 0 Comments | ]
Edan Lepucki at KCRW

Edan Lepucki’s debut novel, California, follows a young couple as they leave an apocalyptic Los Angeles for the wilderness to try to make it, away from what’s left of society.
It’s a book that deals with, obviously, escape. But also survival, family, camaraderie (or not), and grace under fire.
Lepucki’s book has already gotten lots of attention with a little help from an unlikely champion, the …

Arts & Culture, Featured, News »

Art in space! Echo Park gallery designs satellite art

Posted July 7, 2014 by | 1 Comment | ]
Art Satellite - iam8bit x ClydeSpace 001

Here in Los Angeles, art is by no means confined to the walls of galleries and museums.  There are murals and billboards, parks and oceanfront boardwalks.
But one LA couple is sending their artwork to the final frontier – space.
They designed the exterior of a satellite that’s scheduled to launch from Kazakhstan at 8:58 a.m. PST on Tuesday.
Jon Gibson and Amanda White are the owners …

Arts & Culture, Featured »

Film reviews with LA Weekly’s Amy Nicholson

Posted July 4, 2014 by | 0 Comments | ]
Tammy-5

There are plenty of movies that’ve taken place on the road. It’s a familiar set for Hollywood. Think “Rain Man,” “Due Date,” and of course, “Thelma and Louise.”
There’s a new one now open in theaters in LA. “Tammy” stars comedienne Melissa McCarthy in a road trip movie with McCarthy and her cursing, hard-drinking grandmother played by Susan Sarandon.
LA Weekly film critic Amy Nicholson fills …

Arts & Culture, Featured, Headline, Interviews, News »

PHOTOS: Inside California’s first marijuana farmers market

Posted July 4, 2014 by | 9 Comments | ]
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Farmer’s markets are a popular trend in Los Angeles, but the first-ever medical marijuana farmer’s market made its debut in East Los Angeles today.

Card-carrying medical marijuana patients braved 90 degree heat and a long line to get into the California Heritage Market in Boyle Heights.
“They’re definitely going to have to have better access because there’s a lot of people that want to be here,” …

Featured, Interviews, Issues, News, Politics »

LA County CEO William Fujioka to step down

Posted June 26, 2014 by | 1 Comment | ]
Outgoing LA County CEO William Fujioka

Los Angeles County CEO William Fujioka says he will retire in November, after more than seven years as the county’s top official and more than 40 years in public service. Fujioka says he planned to leave five years ago, but the Great Recession led him to postpone his leave.
He spoke to KCRW’s Avishay Artsy about whether the County is better off now than it …

Arts & Culture, Environment, Headline, News »

An olfactory guide to Los Angeles

Posted June 25, 2014 by | 3 Comments | ]
KCRW's Steve Chiotakis, left, takes a big whiff of East LA from a scent strip held by artist Brian Goeltzenleuchter.

What does your neighborhood smell like?
It’s not a question we ask ourselves often, and yet it’s something we notice every day. Is it the smell of sea air, freshly-cut grass, car exhaust, bacon-wrapped hot dogs, urine, or something else?
Los Angeles artist Brian Goeltzenleuchter posted a survey online and received dozens of responses. He used that information to create 11 scents that correspond to different …

Arts & Culture, Featured, Headline, Interviews, Politics »

What’s the big f*&#ing deal with the F-word?

Posted June 17, 2014 by | 3 Comments | ]
LA Mayor Eric Garcetti at the LA Kings rally at the Staples Center on Monday, June 16.

The F-bomb that Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti dropped on the city on Monday has quickly blown up into a debate over what politicians should be allowed to get away with these days.
Speaking in front of thousands of fans at a public rally celebrating the LA Kings’ Stanley Cup victory, Garcetti told everyone there are two things an elected official should never do in …

Arts & Culture, Headline, Interviews, News »

Steve Ballmer offers $2 billion for the LA Clippers

Posted May 29, 2014 by | 2 Comments | ]
Former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer

Former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer has made a bid to purchase the Los Angeles Clippers basketball team for $2 billion.
The Los Angeles Times reports that would be a record price for an NBA team. The next highest sale in the league was for the Milwaukee Bucks, which garnered $550 million.
In today’s announcement, Ballmer reportedly beat out LA investors Tony Ressler and Steve Karsh ($1.2 billion), …

Featured, Interviews, News »

Isla Vista killer’s misogynistic rant spurs #YesAllWomen response

Posted May 26, 2014 by | 1 Comment | ]
YAW-1-tweet

As UC Santa Barbara students and members of the Isla Vista community continue to deal with the shock of Friday night’s stabbings and shootings, people on social media over the weekend started responding to the misogynistic messages in Elliot Rodger’s YouTube video and e-mailed manifesto.
In the video, he blames women for rejecting him.
A trending topic on Twitter became #YesAllWomen, in which women talked about …

Education, Headline, Interviews, News »

A student’s deadly rampage stuns Santa Barbara

Posted May 26, 2014 by | 2 Comments | ]
Isla Vista murder victims. Top row from left to right: Weihan Wang, George Chen, Cheng Yuan Hong. Bottom row from left to right: Christopher Martinez, Katie Cooper, Veronika Weiss

Police say the 22-year-old who went on a killing rampage on and near the UC Santa Barbara campus was obsessed with exacting “retribution” for a lifetime of isolation he said he experienced.
Authorities say after Elliot Rodger killed three people in his apartment, he shot and killed three other people at random Friday, and injured 13 more with either gunshots or with his car.
Rodger’s parents …

Arts & Culture, economy, Featured, Interviews, News »

When doing laundry is just too much work

Posted May 22, 2014 by | 5 Comments | ]
A marketing photo for the laundry delivery service Washio.

Doing laundry can be such a drag. For those of us who are lucky enough to have a washer and dryer in our homes, it’s not that big of a deal.
But if you’re forced to go into that dark, creepy basement of your apartment buildings to use the coin-operated machines – or even worse, the fluorescent-lit neighborhood Laundromat – you’ve probably thought to yourself, …

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