Arts & Culture, Interviews »

Edgar Allan Poe published “The Raven” 170 years ago today

Posted January 29, 2015 by | 0 Comments | ]
Quoth_the_Raven22wDetail

Quoth the Raven, “Nevermore.” So goes the beloved poem by Edgar Allan Poe.
“The Raven” was first published in the New York Evening Mirror on January 29, 1845 – 170 years ago today.
It tells the story of a talking raven’s midnight visit to a distraught lover, tracing the man’s slow descent into madness as he laments the loss of his love, Lenore.
Charles E. May is …

Arts & Culture, Issues, News »

When superheroes behave badly on Hollywood Boulevard

Posted January 28, 2015 by | 0 Comments | ]
hollywoodsperheroes

Batgirl took a beating, and now Mr. Incredible is going to jail.
A Hollywood Boulevard superhero smackdown that was captured on video and became a YouTube hit has resulted in a battery conviction for 35-year-old man. It’s also led to fresh concerns that a proliferation of costumed, tip-seeking characters is getting out of hand in the epicenter of L.A. tourism.

Muhammet Bilik – who was dressed …

Arts & Culture, Commentary, Zocalo Public Square »

What Californians can learn from snow days

Posted January 27, 2015 by | 0 Comments | ]
snow-600x450

I’m sitting here in Maine having a snow day. I can only see about 30feet in front of my cabin; everything beyond is obscured by white frosty particles, which weather reports tell me are falling at the rate of two to four inches an hour. It’s quiet outside, except for the wind.
There are 985 closings in the state of Maine today, and the governor has …

Arts & Culture »

Vidiots, the rental store for film lovers, to close

Posted January 26, 2015 by | 1 Comment | ]
Photo by: Vidiots Annex

Santa Monica is poised to lose an institution for cinephiles with the announcement that Vidiots, the iconic independent video store, will shut its doors for good. Co-owners Cathy Tauber and Patty Polinger released a statement today saying the store will stay open until March 31, unless a sustaining benefactor steps forward within the next month.
Opened 30 years ago as a passion project, the store has amassed a collection of over 50,000 movies, …

Arts & Culture, News »

Let there be light (again)

Posted January 26, 2015 by | 0 Comments | ]
FullSizeRender

When the International Jewelry Center opened on the east side of Pershing Square in downtown Los Angeles in 1982, the building’s architecture (by firm Skidmore, Owings and Merrill) was panned as “inhospitable” and “an overwhelming loser.”
But the 270-foot long, computer-triggered, neon sculpture commissioned to adorn the front of the building got a rave: “All that saves the building from almost total offensiveness is a …

Arts & Culture, Zocalo Public Square »

Why does Wisconsin get all the monsters?

Posted January 23, 2015 by | 0 Comments | ]
PJ Nelson Werewolf

The Pine Barrens of New Jersey may reverberate with the fetid screams of the cloven-hooved demon known as the Jersey Devil. The redwood forests of the Pacific Northwest may shake from the footfalls of the 9-foot, fur-covered primate known as Sasquatch, and America’s Southern swamps may teem with scaly, web-fingered lizard men. But my home state of Wisconsin is as well-known for sightings of …

Arts & Culture, News »

‘One girl can light a candle:’ Students use music to tell the story of Anne Frank

Posted January 21, 2015 by | 0 Comments | ]
A tech rehearsal for The Passion of Anne Frank at Grand Arts HS in downtown Los Angeles

For years, the Ramón C. Cortines School of Visual and Performing Arts downtown, nicknamed by those who know it as “Grand Arts,” has struggled to find and keep a principal and make its place in the community. The imposing futuristic structures that comprise this campus look like dramatic cousins to the Disney Concert Hall up the street.
Now, a new show called “The Passion of Anne Frank” will allow the …

Arts & Culture, Interviews »

A long-lost recording of Martin Luther King Jr. at UCLA

Posted January 19, 2015 by | 0 Comments | ]
tmih-apr-mlk2

Communities across the country today are celebrating the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. There have been rallies and parades, including here in Los Angeles.
King made such an impact in the 1950s and ’60s through his words and speeches, fighting for civil rights for Americans of all races.
We’re all familiar with his famous speech at the March on Washington in 1963.
But King gave another, lesser-known speech to …

Arts & Culture, Interviews »

Why we hate hearing recordings of our own voice

Posted January 16, 2015 by | 3 Comments | ]
Illustration by Tara Jacoby

You don’t have to be in broadcasting or a singer or actor to be able to hear your own voice on a recording. It might make you cringe to listen to yourself.  But how we hear ourselves – on mic,  or even in our ears – is different from how others hear us speak.
A study completed at Stanford in 2006 had performers sing into a microphone …

Arts & Culture, News »

A new opera takes on immigration reform

Posted January 15, 2015 by | 0 Comments | ]
Craig Colclough and Greta Baldwin as Paul and Roxanne Conti. Photo: Jennifer Babcock

President Obama’s recent executive action made it more likely that millions of undocumented immigrants in the United States will have a path to citizenship. But Republicans in Congress call the changes “executive overreach” and are pushing back.
Also this month, for the first time, undocumented immigrants in California will be able to get drivers’ licenses.
This weekend, the debate over immigration reform is moving to an …

Arts & Culture, Zocalo Public Square »

Celebrity, scandal and a 1922 murder

Posted January 15, 2015 by | 0 Comments | ]
William Desmond Taylor directing the silent film Top of New York (1921), several months before his death. Photo via Wikimedia Commons

I was 9 years old when I first learned about the murder of 1920s movie director William Desmond Taylor. Taylor’s killing was one of several scandals—others included the “Fatty” Arbuckle trial, and the drug-related death of Wallace Reid—that led to a backlash against Hollywood and the beginning, in the early 1930s, of decades of film censorship. Of course, the cultural impact of the case …

Arts & Culture »

Oscars 2015: Full list

Posted January 15, 2015 by | 0 Comments | ]
birdman

It’s okay. Made my own! pic.twitter.com/kgyu1GRHGR
— philip lord (@philiplord) January 15, 2015

Oscar nominations have been announced (they are listed below, with links to relevant KCRW interviews) with “The Grand Budapest Hotel” and “Birdman” leading with nine nominations each.
Notably missing from the nominations are “The LEGO Movie,” which was major hit at the box office; and “Selma” director Ava DuVernay.
Many have noted that this Oscars will be the …

Arts & Culture, Environment, News »

Pass the oak trees and the camellias and you’ll find art

Posted January 14, 2015 by | 0 Comments | ]
Photo by Robert Wedemeyer

A contemporary art gallery in the woods? That’s what you’ll find if you take a walk on one of the glorious paths at the Descanso Gardens in La Cañada Flintridge. The latest art show in this unique space fits it perfectly. It’s a colorful, playful group exhibition titled Elemental: Seeing the Light.
The history of the space is just as intriguing as the new show and …

Arts & Culture, News »

Bob Hope’s estate back on the market – at a discount!

Posted January 13, 2015 by | 0 Comments | ]
Bob Hope's House in Toluca Lake on Sale for $27,5 Million

Looking for someplace new to live in the New Year?
If so, you might be interested in a certain famous property in Toluca Lake The house that Bob and Dolores Hope lived in for decades is back on the market – and at a reduced price.
Granted, the Hope house isn’t for everyone. The eight bedroom, 5.2-acre estate is listed for $23 million. But hey, that’s …

Arts & Culture, News »

‘Like bubbles in a glass of Champagne:’ Toasting an all-but-forgotten Hollywood star

Posted January 9, 2015 by | 0 Comments | ]
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Were it not for the fairly recent restoration of the site known as the Annenberg Community Beach House, many of us might never have heard the name Marion Davies. Indeed, it’s easy to dismiss the long-ago movie star, who died in 1961, even when you visit the spectacular public space along the Pacific Coast Highway that was once her home: The structure here that bears her …

Arts & Culture, Interviews »

A dingy, forgotten space transformed by art

Posted January 7, 2015 by | 0 Comments | ]
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From blighted underpass…

…to vibrant art space
Out-of-sight spaces often harbor the unsavory aspects of a city, best overlooked. But from 2006 to 2013, the underpass on the fringe of downtown near the LA River was the site of a glorious re-invention, one that included all manner of art and people from all walks of life. “God’s most destitute place on earth” as nearby graffiti declared it, …

Arts & Culture, Interviews, News »

The year that was: Lisa Napoli’s 2014 in review

Posted December 30, 2014 by | 0 Comments | ]
The world's first cardboard car is available in a convertible model, too

Los Angeles can be a daunting place to explore, which is why I love what I get to do here at KCRW–root out interesting people who are doing interesting things that might otherwise not get much media attention.
To that end, here’s a short-list, in no particular order, of some of my favorites stories I had the privilege of telling in 2014, in case you missed …

Arts & Culture, Interviews, News »

Beverly Hills turns 100: Watching the city on the silver screen

Posted December 30, 2014 by | 0 Comments | ]
The cast of Beverly Hills 90210

What was once a Spanish ranch that grew lima beans, the city of Beverly Hills was incorporated in 1914.
And thanks to its proximity to Hollywood, it soon became synonymous with the glitz, glamour and scandals that swirl around Tinseltown.
Hollywood historian Marc Wanamaker joined KCRW’s Steve Chiotakis to talk about the role of Beverly Hills in the popular imagination.
They discussed the movie’s depiction from the days of …

Arts & Culture, economy, News »

Playing Santa to total strangers

Posted December 23, 2014 by | 0 Comments | ]
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Where do all those letters that kids write to Santa go?  For over 100 years, the US Postal Service has made it possible for people to “adopt” letters from the neediest kids, based on their zip codes–and fulfill their Christmas wishes.
In Los Angeles, ground zero for Operation Santa is the massive postal processing facility on Central Avenue.  Weeks before the holiday, people stream in …

Arts & Culture, Interviews »

Converts to Judaism Struggle to Give Up the Christmas Tree

Posted December 23, 2014 by | 0 Comments | ]
Marissa 2

For me, Christmas was always something other people did. I grew up in a Jewish home, so I watched the holiday’s rituals unfold from afar, as people on TV and in the homes of friends hung ornaments on a tree, unwrapped presents, drank eggnog and wore ugly reindeer sweaters.
As a kid in the United States, it’s literally impossible to avoid Christmas, unless you live …

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