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 | 1 Comment | ]
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, 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 …

Arts & Culture, Interviews, Santa Barbara »

The miracles and misery of Mt. Carmel in Santa Barbara

Posted December 22, 2014 by | 0 Comments | ]
Sister Jean Marie walks through freshly sprouted clover around the mobile homes that she lives in with Sister Patricia and Sister Mary Anne. This is where they've resided since the monastery project went belly up. Photo by Paul Wellman

A tale of miracles and misery in Santa Barbara’s wine country has been unfolding for decades. This week, the Santa Barbara Independent tells the fascinating story.
Senior editor Matt Kettman tells KCRW’s Lisa Osborn how the dashed dreams of cloistered nuns laid roots for some of Santa Barbara’s finest wine producing fruit.

economy, Interviews, Issues, News, Politics, Zocalo Public Square »

Mixer: Attack on Hollywood; what’s next?

Posted December 19, 2014 by | 0 Comments | ]
friday mixer square

The FBI confirmed today that North Korea was behind the crippling cyberattack that prompted Sony Pictures to cancel the release of “The Interview,” and President Obama says the nation would respond.
Obama said of the people behind the hack: “they caused a lot of damage, and we will respond.”
While the president didn’t provide specifics, he did say that he thought Sony had “made a mistake” by canceling the movie’s …

Interviews, Issues »

Can money buy you happiness? Up to a point, yes

Posted December 19, 2014 by | 0 Comments | ]
money-baby1

The holidays are a festive time for a lot of people.
Maybe you enjoy the songs and the pageantry of Christmas, or the tradition of lighting your menorah candles.
But it’s also a sad time for a lot of folks who look at the holidays as a time when there’s something missing. Or something that could be better.
Sounds like life in general, right?
There’s no question, there …

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

Design solutions for climate change

Posted December 12, 2014 by | 0 Comments | ]
04_ASPBaanWatervilla2

There may be passionate debate about it in political circles as to whether it’s happening, or what’s causing it, but scientists almost completely agree: climate change is real, and will lead to rising sea levels and more extreme storms.
So how do we, as people, adapt?
Obviously, logic would tell us to try to stem the initial damage somehow.
But we, as people, also have to create things to …

Cargoland, economy, Environment, Interviews »

Cargoland: The billion-dollar trash trade

Posted December 4, 2014 by | 0 Comments | ]
Automobile scrap (photo by Adam Minter)

Did you know one of the biggest exports through the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach is junk?
In economic terms, we call them recyclables. Most are going to China to be reused or refashioned into goods that country will then turn around and sell back to us.
All this week we’ve been hearing about the various activities that take place at the Ports of Los …

Arts & Culture, Cargoland, Environment, Interviews, News »

Cargoland: Artist Cathy Opie on her 10-day cargo ship ride

Posted December 3, 2014 by | 1 Comment | ]
IMG_8151

I didn’t go to artist Cathy Opie’s house explicitly to see the bunnies, but before I got to talk to her about what did lure me over to West Adams, I got a tour of this extension of her existence. Her partner, Julie Burleigh, has, over the last five years, converted an eyesore abandoned lot down the block from their house into a community …

Arts & Culture, Interviews, News »

Art meets kitsch: Self-described snob displays mom’s vast collection of turkey platters

Posted November 25, 2014 by | 0 Comments | ]
Art dealer Mat Gleason and his mother, Helen

Mat Gleason, a longtime figure in the LA art scene, admits that he long pooh-poohed his mother’s proclivity for scavenging through antique stores and swap meets. “I was always snobby about her collections,” he told me as we stood in a gallery he’s just taken over next to his Coagula Curatorial.
Then his mother, an 80-something year old mother of seven, asked to see a show of …

Arts & Culture, Environment, Interviews »

How Shazam is changing the music industry

Posted November 21, 2014 by | 0 Comments | ]
shazam effect

Here’s a question for you: Have you ever been listening to KCRW – or, yes, any radio station in your car – or stood inside a bar or music store and heard a song you wanted to identify, and then whipped out your phone and Shazam’d it?
Shazam is an app – and there are others out there as well – that listens to a …

Arts & Culture, Interviews »

When AM radio ruled Los Angeles and made musical stars

Posted November 12, 2014 by | 1 Comment | ]
Influential DJ Dave Diamond passed away this spring

When was the last time you listened to AM radio in search of some great new music?  Harvey Kubernik’s latest book, “Turn Up the Radio! Rock Pop and Roll in Los Angeles, 1956-1972″ is an homage to the time when people toted around transistor radios with great devotion–when AM deejays discovered acts you hadn’t heard before.
Few personified the power and charm of that medium more …

Arts & Culture, Interviews, News »

Los Angeles veterans find therapy in dancing

Posted November 11, 2014 by | 0 Comments | ]
IMG_3217

Since the beginning of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, hundreds of thousands of members of the U.S. military have sustained traumatic injuries to their brains and bodies.
They come back with the goal of getting back to a normal life, physically and mentally.
Now a look at one type of treatment that servicemen and women are receiving here in Los Angeles.
Some might say it’s unconventional. Others …

Arts & Culture, Interviews, Politics »

India looks for social progress on TV

Posted November 10, 2014 by | 0 Comments | ]
Aamir Khan in Satyamev Jayate (Truth Alone Prevails)

India is a country that’s growing in wealth and economic inequality. Then add to that on-going societal problems of sexual assault, child brides and women being discouraged from pursing their own careers. But could television come to the rescue?
Turn on a TV in India and you’ll see a host of new shows addressing those issues and others. I know what you’re thinking – soap …

California Elections, Interviews, Issues, News, Politics »

Mixer: GOP wave not so golden

Posted November 7, 2014 by | 0 Comments | ]
friday mixer square

I’m sure you’re well aware of the good day that Republicans had in the midterm elections that took place this week.
The GOP won control of the United States Senate, took more governorships than had been expected and, well, had a really good election day.
But that wave may have diminished to a tiny ripple when it hit the California state line Tuesday night. Democrats once again won every statewide race …

Arts & Culture, Dogs of LA, economy, Environment, Health Care, Interviews, News »

Rethinking the future of Auschwitz

Posted November 6, 2014 by | 0 Comments | ]
"Thinking the Future of Auschwitz" | IDEA Office | www.ideaoffice.net

The word “Auschwitz” has come to mean more than just the concentration camp in Poland. It’s shorthand for the horrors of the Holocaust, and proof of man’s capacity for extreme inhumanity to man.
But nearly 70 years after the Second World War ended, there’s an ongoing debate among historians, architects and archaeologists about how to properly preserve the site of the atrocities, specifically the neighboring …

Arts & Culture, Interviews, News, Sports »

After Chivas USA disbands, new MLS franchise emerges in Los Angeles

Posted October 31, 2014 by | 0 Comments | ]
Soccer balls were distributed to reporters to celebrate LA's new soccer team.

Major League Soccer officials have announced that a new franchise will begin playing in Los Angeles in 2017. The team replaces Chivas USA, which disbanded this week after a difficult 10 years.

For now, the new L.A. team is known simply as Los Angeles Football Club (the “working title,” in Hollywood parlance). The league said it wants fans to help pick the name, logo and …

Arts & Culture, Interviews, News »

Glen Campbell opens up about his battle with Alzheimer’s

Posted October 27, 2014 by | 1 Comment | ]
glen-campbell-1970-bb35-billboard-650

It’s hard to label musician Glen Campbell in any particular genre. His roots, of course, are deep in country music.
But he was also one of the first artists to crossover from country to pop, landing hits on both Billboard charts.
He even toured with The Beach Boys, acted in a few movies – like ‘True Grit’ with John Wayne – and hosted a variety show, …

Arts & Culture, Interviews, News »

The obsessive collectors of Southern California

Posted October 24, 2014 by | 1 Comment | ]
David Boulé, California orange enthusiast. Photo by Gary Leonard

Sometimes collecting becomes more than a hobby. A new series of short films called Monomania L.A. profiles people who’ve obsessively collected everything related to a single aspect of Los Angeles history, from the California orange to the Santa Monica beach.

Call them “monomaniacs.” People like David Boulé, who for some reason, buy one thing, and then another thing like it.
“I have the collectors gene,” Boulé …

Arts & Culture, Interviews »

Psychedelic: Pakistani truck artist brightens the LA roads

Posted October 24, 2014 by | 0 Comments | ]
Truck artist Haider Ali and his finished product

For the last few weeks, Karachi-based artist Haider Ali been working around various spots in southern California, mostly in the parking lot of his hosts at the USC Pacific Asia Museum at Los Robles and Union in Pasadena, spiffing up a Ford cargo van.
In his native Pakistan, Ali is one of a handful of prominent truck artists who do brisk business around the country.  India, he says, …

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