Arts & Culture, Interviews »

Keeping cowboy culture alive in Compton

Posted March 5, 2015 by | 3 Comments | ]

Southern California is an industrialized megalopolis, but its agricultural history continues in some unlikely places. One of them is the City of Compton, where a few cowboys still ride their horses — on trails but also through city streets.
For years, the center of cowboy culture was “The Hill,” a stable at Figueroa and 131st streets, until it mysteriously burned down 3 years ago. Since …

Arts & Culture, Santa Barbara »

Behind the brochure: A chat with UCSB Arts and Lectures’ master booker

Posted June 30, 2015 by | 0 Comments | ]

Get your sticky notes and calendar ready. The brochure announcing UCSB Arts and Lectures’ 2015-16 season is out. But, for those with a fixed budget and an already stocked schedule, hitting them all is an impossible feat. To help navigate the season, KCRW’s Larry Perel spoke with A&L’s executive director Celesta Billeci about how she lands these performers, and her top musical picks.
Trust us, it was hard …

Arts & Culture, economy, Issues, News, Politics »

Disneyland makes growth contingent on tax breaks

Posted June 26, 2015 by | 0 Comments | ]

Disneyland is asking for an expansion of the happiest tax break on earth.
Okay, maybe not THE happiest, but still a pretty nifty deal for the Mouse House.
The Walt Disney Company has proposed a $1 billion expansion of the Disneyland Resort, with new rides, attractions and a massive parking structure. But here’s the rub: Disney is all-but demanding a 30-year extension of an existing 30-year …

Arts & Culture, Santa Barbara »

Music in movies honored at inaugural film series

Posted June 23, 2015 by | 1 Comment | ]

As word came in that film composer James Horner had died in a plane crash, a film series celebrating musical scores came to an end at the Granada Theater. The inaugural series remembers the late Elmer Bernstein, a Santa Barbara resident who composed music for films like To Kill a Mockingbird, Ghostbusters and Thoroughly Modern Millie.
Songwriter and film composer Paul Williams curated this year’s …

Arts & Culture, Interviews »

An artist and father explores the idea of sharing

Posted June 19, 2015 by | 1 Comment | ]

How do you teach your child to share? It’s a challenge that every parent confronts. After all, the word “mine” is one of the first words to come out of a toddler’s mouth, and children see their toys as extensions of themselves.
The artist Joel Tauber has been wrestling with this issue. He and his wife Alison have two kids: Zeke, who’s 5, and Ozzie, …

Arts & Culture, Santa Barbara »

As Solstice counts down, crunch time revs up

Posted June 18, 2015 by | 0 Comments | ]

It’s coming.
In two days, sci-fi inspired floats and performers will parade down State Street for thousands to see.
For the past two months, the Community Art Workshop, on the corner of Garden and Ortega Street, has been the dedicated spot for creation and construction. Now, it’s crunch time. KCRW’s Kathryn Barnes threw on her closed toed shoes and took a peek at the hustle.

Apart from the months …

Arts & Culture, Interviews »

Boyle Heights students honor their school’s namesake

Posted June 17, 2015 by | 1 Comment | ]
Students Kimberly Espinoza and Ashley Lopez are among the contributors to the book

Felicitas and Gonzalo Mendez High School in Boyle Heights is a living history lesson for the kids who attend it. Students learn about the Mendez family in Orange County, and their successful 1946 challenge to end segregation after their children were refused the right to attend their neighborhood school because of the color of their skin. The Mendez case set the stage for the more familiar landmark Brown vs Board of Education, …

Arts & Culture, News »

The LA Zoo wants to raise its prices, again

Posted June 16, 2015 by | 0 Comments | ]

It’s been steadily getting more expensive to visit the lions, tigers and bears, etc. at the Los Angeles Zoo – and city officials may not be done with price hikes.
For the third straight year, The LA City Council will consider hiking the price of a ticket by $1 to the Griffith park attraction today.
The new prices would be $20 for people over 13, $15 …

Arts & Culture, California Elections, Interviews, LA Noir, la riots, News, Politics, Race for Mayor »

Mixer: Bradley legacy one of coalition and change

Posted June 12, 2015 by | 0 Comments | ]
friday mixer square

Tom Bradley was Barack Obama before “Yes We Can” and predominantly white Los Angeles was forbearer to a nation that would eventually elect its first black leader.
Bradley moved west with his family, early in his life, settling in LA. After public school, he attended UCLA and later went to work in the Los Angeles Police Department, promoted as far as Lieutenant.
He won election to the …

Arts & Culture »

Why 7 same-sex couples from China came to West Hollywood to get married

Posted June 9, 2015 by | 0 Comments | ]

Seven gay couples from China are getting married in West Hollywood today as part of a campaign sponsored by Taobao, the online marketplace owned by Alibaba.
While China has decriminalized being gay or lesbian, same-sex marriage is not legal in that country, so the “We Do” campaign is largely symbolic.
“For the couples it’s not only that they were able to have the ceremony,” Charlie Gu, …

Arts & Culture, Interviews, Issues, News, Politics »

Mixer: A groundbreaking study; but was it a fraud?

Posted June 5, 2015 by | 1 Comment | ]
friday mixer square

UCLA graduate student Michael LaCour published a study in Science magazine last December, suggesting that people who opposed or were on the fence about same-sex marriage can be convinced – cajoled, coerced – to change their minds after having a conversation with a gay or lesbian canvasser.
And, the research suggested, those changed opinions lasted, and spread.
Here’s the scenario: Someone shows up at your door, …

Arts & Culture »

Inside the mind and journals of Exene Cervenka

Posted June 3, 2015 by | 0 Comments | ]
IMG_5776 (1)

“It’s a strange time in which we live,” says the punk rock singer and visual artist Exene Cervenka as we sit inside the gallery at Bergamot Station that’s readying an exhibit of her artwork. “I’m glad I didn’t grow up now.”
Cervenka says she couldn’t imagine what it would be like to be on the road with her band, X, now. Back in the ’80s, she found herself so …

Arts & Culture, Environment, News »

The last-ditch effort to save the Prado Dam mural

Posted June 2, 2015 by | 0 Comments | ]

Supporters are rallying to save the iconic bicentennial mural on the Prado Dam spillway in Corona, which is set to be removed Thursday.
The faded mural on the Prado Dam is a regular sight for drivers heading into Corona on the eastbound 91 freeway. It was painted by Corona High School students as part of a competition to mark the nation’s bicentennial.
The U.S. Army Corps …

Arts & Culture, economy, Interviews, LA Noir, News, Runaway Production »

Mixer: Cue LA’s on-screen destruction

Posted May 29, 2015 by | 0 Comments | ]
friday mixer square

Whether or not a movie is made in this company town, Hollywood seems to really like one thing: destroying Los Angeles.
Some examples include the movies The Day After Tomorrow (2004), Escape from LA (1996), Battle Los Angeles (2011), Earthquake (1974), This is the End (2013), and Independence Day (1996).
Maybe your plans include the latest iteration of imagination and conflagration on the big screen: San Andreas.
That …

Arts & Culture, economy, Issues, News »

California aims for more (film) disasters in the making

Posted May 29, 2015 by | 0 Comments | ]

The Warner Bros. disaster flick “San Andreas” opens today – the latest in a long line of Hollywood movies to lay cinematic waste to the Golden State. But like last year’s “Godzilla,” which also served up a cataclysmic view of California, “San Andreas” was filmed in a land far away. “Godzilla” was shot mostly in Vancouver and “San Andreas” in Australia.
Fewer than a quarter of …

Arts & Culture, Interviews »

Lucy Jones live-tweets and fact-checks “San Andreas”

Posted May 27, 2015 by | 0 Comments | ]
A still from the film "San Andreas"

Hollywood is hoping its latest disaster flick will shake things up at the box office.
“San Andreas” stars Dwayne “the Rock” Johnson and Paul Giamatti, about a series of giant western earthquakes.
Los Angeles and other areas in the state are decimated. Buildings topple, fires are everywhere, and the destruction is massive. And the quake is so big that it triggers other quakes across the country.
We know Hollywood loves …

Arts & Culture, News »

Faith, food, color-blind equality: A photographer turns her lens on a dwindling 20th century religious movement

Posted May 27, 2015 by | 9 Comments | ]
Bedford_01.KCRW Blog

Devotees of the early twentieth century spiritual leader known as Father Divine don’t go to church. They practice what they believe by living together, communally, and preparing an enormous banquet each day. During their feast, they listen to tapes of the man they called God, who died back in 1965 and who at one time had tens of thousands of followers.
Besides his claim of divinity, …

Arts & Culture, News, Santa Barbara »

In light of IV: “A light in everyone’s window…”

Posted May 22, 2015 by | 1 Comment | ]

In light of the one year anniversary of the tragedy in Isla Vista, our 5-part series captures the pulse of the community one year later.
To end our series, we headed back to Isla Vista to see how students are using art and light to both reconnect with the past and to move forward.

Most UCSB classes take place on campus, in classrooms. IV Open Labs does not. Art …

Arts & Culture »

Photographer Tyler Shields tackles race and media in “Historical Fiction”

Posted May 19, 2015 by | 1 Comment | ]

Photographer Tyler Shields doesn’t claim to be making big political statements, but his recent series Historical Fiction puts America’s Civil Rights era in bright bold color.
The photos explore dark moments in history, including the deaths of Marilyn Monroe, James Dean and Martin Luther King Jr., with many of them honing in on moments that confront the country’s racist past.
Shields has taken heat in the past for some provocative photos of Hollywood starlets. His …

Arts & Culture, Interviews »

The rock ‘n’ roll legacy of a Sunset Strip hotel

Posted May 18, 2015 by | 2 Comments | ]
Robert Plant at the "Riot Hyatt."

The debauchery and nihilism of the 1970s rock scene is perfectly captured in the Andaz West Hollywood, a hotel on the Sunset Strip that was then called the Continental Hyatt House and later the Hyatt on Sunset.
Bands like The Doors, The Who, The Rolling Stones and Led Zeppelin all spent time at the “Riot House,” trashing their hotel rooms, starting fires and convincing their …

Arts & Culture, Interviews »

RuPaul on a career in drag, self-expression and having fun

Posted May 15, 2015 by | 1 Comment | ]

There’s ComicCon, and AdultCon, FilmCon and James Caan. This weekend at the Los Angeles Convention Center, there’s DragCon – that’s drag as in drag shows.
The two day convention that starts Saturday is being billed as the “art of drag, queer culture and self-expression for all.”
Men dressing as women is nothing new. But it’s not the taboo that it once was, as it’s gained a …

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