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Skid Row artists display their work at MOCA

SKID ROW feature

Downtown LA’s Skid Row hosts the largest concentration of homeless people in the country.
KCRW’s Press Play  covered the city’s latest efforts to address the growing number of people affected by homeless.  The recent Department of Veterans Affairs scandal has motivated many, including First Lady Michelle Obama, to scrutinize how we care for our country’s homeless veterans.
Local officials are trying to change their approach to homeless …

Arts & Culture, Featured, News »

Taiko drumming: ‘Not just Asian anymore’

Maz Baba

This week, 500 international masters and scholars of Taiko have descended on Los Angeles for an unprecedented gathering.
They’re dissecting every aspect of this unique style of drumming and performance, and this weekend in Little Tokyo, they’ll show their stuff in several public performances.
To mark the occasion, we spoke with Masato Baba, considered to be the best Taiko drummer in the United States. A native …

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

Sonia Nazario on children crossing the US border: ‘It’s a modern day odyssey’

The Mexican border at Sasabe Arizona
Photo: Phillip Capper via Flickr/ CC

When author Sonia Nazario wrote the Pulitzer Prize winning book  “Enrique’s Journey” in 2006, nobody was paying much attention to the number of children coming across the US border. Now, as the New York Times reports, “more than 52,000 children have been caught crossing the United States border alone since October — double last year’s number.”
Back in March, Warren spoke with Nazario about the book, …

Arts & Culture, Headline, Interviews »

Hueman walks the line between fine art and street art

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Last year, Los Angeles City Council got rid of a decade-long ban on murals, which means that LA’s future is looking more brightly colored than ever. One artist who is already bringing new work to the street is a woman who goes by the name Hueman.
Allison Torneros, aka Hueman, doesn’t fit the typical street artist image. She’s a petite woman in her late twenties …

Arts & Culture, Headline »

One person’s trash is another’s masterpiece: Found objects as art in ‘Diverted Destruction’

Hollywood by Crystal Fischetti

Liz Gordon has been in the salvage business her entire adult life.  For the past 7 years, besides selling old stuff – knobs, chandeliers, fixtures of all sorts – she’s given it away, and encouraged people to make art with it.
She calls the effort “Diverted Destruction.”
This year’s theme is paper, aka the pulp edition.  (She’s already got next year’s picked out: Textiles.)  A show she’s …

economy, Featured, Issues, LA Noir, News, Politics, Silicon Beach »

Mixer: Reporting from a foreign land is tough – just ask a Brit in LA

friday mixer square

For people who are not familiar with Los Angeles – who aren’t from here, but have to report about the things happening around here, particularly from a media and business standpoint – our neighborhood can be a pretty daunting place.  
All the eccentricities, idiosyncrasies, and moving parts behind-the-scenes make for all kinds of drama fit for an epic Hollywood screenplay.
But in real life, Matthew …

Arts & Culture, Featured, Interviews »

Tom Schnabel remembers jazz musician Charlie Haden

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

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 …

economy, Featured, Headline, News »

Wearables: cool gadgets or another distraction?

photo (14)

Wearable technology is one of the hottest trend in gadgets right now. What’s is wearable technology exactly? Think Google Glass, Fitbit and Nike Fuel Band, and these devices are oftentimes referred to as wearables.
Amazon UK just launched a wearable technology store this week, selling fitness trackers, smart watches, and wearable cameras. Sales of wearables are expected to top $1.5 billion this year and be …

Arts & Culture, Featured, News »

Origami physicist fuses art and science

IMG_2853

Dr. Robert J. Lang abandoned his career as a physicist to become a full-time origami artist, but that doesn’t mean he turned off the scientific part of his brain.
He describes his artistic process as one of the foremost artists in the craft as “almost mathematical, very geometric.  I take the subject and try to break down the subject mentally into component pieces and then …

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