Arts & Culture, LA Noir »

iPhone-wielding gawkers blinded by whiteout on Sunset

Posted April 27, 2015 by | 0 Comments | ]

Locals have long called the scary-looking dilapidated structure at the corner of Sunset Blvd. and Bates Ave. the Bates Motel, though that’s not really its name. It just reminds people of the iconic motel in Hitchcock’s Psycho.
The former Sunset Pacific Hotel has been long-abandoned. Back when he was a City Councilman, Mayor Eric Garcetti called this one of the most troublesome properties in the city. …

Arts & Culture, Interviews »

That clerk in your indie bookstore just might be a famous writer

Posted November 27, 2013 by | 3 Comments | ]
This bag was distributed at the Miami Book Fair this past weekend to get buyers in the mood

If you step into an independent bookstore anywhere in the United States this Saturday, you might be met by an unusual clerk: A published author, perhaps even a famous one. Hundreds of writers have signed up to work peddling books (and not just their own) as part of the Indies First initiative.
The idea is to encourage book lovers to buy local, and also to …

Arts & Culture »

Witness to history: At 80, photographer Bruce Davidson is still shooting

Posted September 6, 2013 by | 3 Comments | ]
courtesy Rose Gallery/Magnum

This weekend, the Rose Gallery at Bergamot Station celebrates photographer Bruce Davidson, who celebrated his 80th birthday yesterday by stopping by our studios.
Perhaps best known for his work covering the Civil Rights era, Davidson said he likes to immerse himself in things he knows nothing about–and, to revisit subjects over time.  The focus of this particular gallery show is Los Angeles, where Davidson was …

Arts & Culture, Education, Interviews »

Banned books and LA’s literary landscape: An interview with Michelle Meyering

Posted May 1, 2013 by | 6 Comments | ]
Michelle Meyering

In a culture where a tawdry book like “50 Shades of Grey” makes it to the bestseller list, it’s hard to imagine that there are books that are still banned.
Each year, in the interest of promoting free speech, the literary group PEN Center USA selects books that have been banned over time or censored.
To garner support and momentum for Banned Books Week from Sept. …

Arts & Culture, News »

Disco ball hangs on crane: Silver Lake nightmare inspires local artist to create hard-hat art

Posted January 9, 2013 by | 5 Comments | ]

Artist Bettina Hubby woke up a year or so ago to an urban nightmare: That thumping sound of construction, right across the street from her house.
She lives and works on a well-trafficked thoroughfare in Silver Lake called Rowena Avenue, which has been dug up for what seems like forever in the name of upgrading the pipes.
At first she stewed, but then she got inspired. …

Arts & Culture, Interviews »

LA Review of Books: A new nonfiction scandal

Posted December 17, 2012 by | 2 Comments | ]

Dave Eggers is one of the most beloved and be-prized writers in America, known not only for his own work, but for his publishing efforts — McSweeney’s is perhaps the best new publisher to arrive during the small-house explosion of recent decades — and for his activist work — the 826 after-school tutoring programs around the country, the Voices of Witness project, and others.
Zeitoun …

Arts & Culture, Interviews »

Will you sign my yearbook?

Posted February 24, 2012 by | 1 Comment | ]

Portland-based artist Harrell Fletcher has been documenting a year in the “life” of  the Hammer Museum a by taking snapshots of every single person who comes in.  It looks like a yearbook, reads like a yearbook–it is a yearbook! Flip through the entire “Hammer Yearbook” here.

Listen to my interview with Fletcher below.

Arts & Culture, Interviews, Issues »

Ansel Adams in Los Angeles

Posted February 13, 2012 by | 0 Comments | ]
Ansel Adams in LA: 8000 Wilshire Blvd.

You may think of Ansel Adams as a photographer of nature.  But in 1940, he was sent on assignment to the “wilds” of Los Angeles, where he documented life in the city for Fortune magazine.  Twenty years later, he gifted the pictures to the Los Angeles Public Library.
For the first time, those pictures will be displayed in a gallery, namely, at drkrm on Spring …

Interviews, Video »

Fog and Smog at it again: This time, cell phone addiction in the crosshairs

Posted January 31, 2012 by | 26 Comments | ]

Loved the creative collective Fog and Smog’s lampoon of the absurd surreality of modern yoga-mania so much that I interviewed one of the founders back when it was going viral a few weeks ago about how the videos come together.  (And then, behold, the NY Times followed suit and did its own story.)
Tonight Fog and Smog has written with news of a new video, …

Interviews, Issues, News »

Get on your bike! Ciclavia route announced

Posted January 30, 2012 by | 0 Comments | ]

Imagine Los Angeles without cars. Thanks to Cyclavia, you don’t have to.  April 15th is the next fabulous car-free day and they announced the route today.

Here’s my interview with Heidi Zeller of Cyclavia, a grassroots movement rooted in Brazil to teach us to re-think our relationship to our bicycles:

Education, Interviews, Issues »

The history of UCLA (the first century)

Posted January 30, 2012 by | 1 Comment | ]

Marina Dundjerski is a graduate of UCLA and she’s had a plum assignment the last few years: researching the history of this amazing institution, sifting through vast stores of photographs and information to create “UCLA: The First Century. Now, I’m not a card-carrying Bruin or anything—I went to school on the east coast, in fact—and even I found it interesting, the roots of UCLA …

Interviews »

The year of the dragon (through the eyes of a Chinese astrologer)

Posted January 27, 2012 by | 0 Comments | ]
The handbook of Chinese horoscopes

I’m all for finding ways to mark the new year in whatever culture is celebrating.  Happy year of the dragon!
Laura Lau now lives in Singapore, but she was raised in Los Angeles; her late mother was the legendary Chinese astrologer, Theodora Lau.  Their book is called “The Handbook of Chinese Horoscopes“.
Laura joined us via phone to talk about what the year of the dragon …

Arts & Culture, Interviews »

Lunatics: Dave Barry and Alan Zweibel

Posted January 27, 2012 by | 0 Comments | ]

Two of the funniest men in the United States stopped by KCRW to talk about their new madcap novel, Lunatics.  In the press materials, Pulitzer-prize winning columnist Dave Barry and back-when-the-show-was-genius Saturday Night Live writer Alan Zweibel call their book full of “superior potty jokes.”
As fun and as wild as the book is (it’s already been optioned by Steve Carrell’s team,) as interesting (at …

Issues, News »

The man who gets to go to the Santa Monica Pier everyday (and get paid for it)

Posted January 10, 2012 by | 0 Comments | ]

Rod Merl is the new guy in charge of the iconic landmark also known as the Santa Monica Pier.  It’s going through some changes to improve its future.
This is a longer version of the interview we did than the one you might have heard on the radio during All Things Considered yesterday:

Arts & Culture »

Kathleen Turner @KCRW

Posted January 10, 2012 by | 0 Comments | ]

She came in today to talk with me about her new show, Red Hot Patriot, about the legendary journalist Molly Ivins.  It opens at the Geffen Playhouse on Wednesday.  We’ll air our talk tomorrow at 6:44p during All Things Considered (and post the complete interview here.)

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