August 3, 2013 |
Bill Okal's opening line is one of the oldest tricks in the close-up magic book: undersell your talent, then dazzle them with your best cards. "I really only do two tricks," the Bakersfield resident says apologetically to the two families standing in front of him on the Santa Monica Pier on a recent Saturday morning. He taps on three brass demi-cups perched upside down on a weathered cabaret table with pom-pom trim. "One is with cups, which I'm sure you've seen before…. The other, if you're ready for this, is the legendary egg trick of Max Malini!"
HOME & GARDEN
August 2, 2013 |
Santa Monica just seems to purr along, high on its own helium. Not urban, not suburban, but one of those mutations that seems to work, all centered on a vibrant main drag that isn't a drag at all. It's a 100-year-old pier. Other than Dodger Stadium, I know of no place in town that gets such a mix of rich, poor, locals, tourists, sharks and surfer chicks. A melting pot with lifeguards and 4-foot waves. This isn't the op-ed page, so I won't try to sell you on the unqualified glories of diversity, because I don't think it's completely glorious by any means; you lose a certain sense of community when you're not one thing.
July 16, 2013 |
The summer of bigotry debate rolls on, with Rush Limbaugh now attacking Rachel Jeantel and CNN for her analysis of the N-word Monday night. The conservative radio host ripped Jeantel and CNN for her sit-down with network host Piers Morgan. Jeantel was a friend of Trayvon Martin, the black teenager shot by watch volunteer George Zimmerman, and a controversial witness at Zimmerman's trial. She criticized the not-guilty verdict and also argued that the N-word - uttered with an "a" rather than an "r" at the end - could be used broadly to describe any male, not just a black one. "I think I can now" say the word, Limbaugh sarcastically told his listeners.
June 11, 2013 |
The storied Newport Folk Festival, which bills itself as “the original music festival” and has delivered historic moments on the East Coast since 1959, will uproot and head west in the fall for Way Over Yonder, a new festival taking place at the Santa Monica Pier. The festival, produced by Newport, will take place on two stages on Oct. 5 and 6, and feature an impressive 10-artist roster that includes soulful country-rock singer Neko Case, songwriter Conor Oberst, Arizona geniuses Calexico and hard Nashville troubadour Justin Townes Earle, among others.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 8, 2013 |
The dining room at Old Tony's is a testament to its status as a survivor. Its aging green carpets and tan leather booths have overlooked Redondo Beach Pier for more than 60 years. Inside, not much has changed. The tiki bar and musty-gray fishing nets hanging from the ceiling are the kitsch of decades past, and some of the waitresses have been around since the Nixon administration. In its heyday, throngs of visitors packed the pier, even on weekdays, catching movies at the stately Fox theater or fishing off the horseshoe-shaped pier.
May 31, 2013 |
Though the annual array of summer tours and festivals may be enticing, the shows can also empty your pockets. It's good to know L.A. offers plenty of cheap alternatives for great music over the next few months. This weekend's 12-hour marathon of 150 artists at Make Music Pasadena carries only a $5 suggested donation, and that's just the beginning of many free offerings that keep your wallet fat and brighten your summer nights. KCRW kicks off its all-ages Summer Nights concert series on June 8 at One Colorado in Old Pasadena with synth-pop local band, Hot as Sun. The station continues its music program at the Hammer Museum courtyard later in the month with electro-soul duo AM and Shawn Lee (June 27)
May 8, 2013 |
Art is imitating life again. CNN personality and former tabloid editor Piers Morgan is going to try his hand at producing a drama about the British tabloid business in the 1970s. Morgan has signed on as an executive producer of "Fleet Street," a drama pilot in development at the pay-TV cable channel Starz. “Imagine an industry where every single opponent worked in the same street, competing with each other by day -- drinking, brawling, fornicating, nightclubbing and cocaine-snorting with each other by night.
April 30, 2013 |
Although Pier Paolo Pasolini was best known as an Italian filmmaker, he called himself a poet and his Wikipedia entry begins by also describing him as a journalist, philosopher, linguist, novelist, playwright, filmmaker, columnist, actor, painter, political figure and all-around visionary thinker. The Monday Evening Concerts biography of Rolf Riehm describes the 75-year-old German composer as "a political being" whose work encompasses "philosophical reflection, historical fact, myth, fairy tale, recollection, scientific argument, the elevated and the trivial, current social and political findings" and whatnot.
April 4, 2013 |
Rescuers called off the search for a missing shipyard worker who fell into the Mobile River after strong winds blew the beleaguered Carnival cruise ship Triumph off its moorings and into a pier. The Triumph had been at the BAE Systems shipyard in Mobile, Ala., for repairs after a disastrous February cruise that left it without power for five days. The more than 4,000 people aboard had to cope with urine and feces in hallways, spoiled food and long lines for the few working toilets while tugboats ushered the ship back to port.
February 25, 2013 |
ROME - After more than a year of stable but unelected government, Italy appeared headed for a period of uncertainty Monday as results from a closely watched election showed a major backlash against the political establishment and signs of gridlock in Parliament. An inconclusive outcome threatens to unnerve investors and spark a flare-up of Europe's debt crisis. Investors are worried that prolonged instability in Italy could compromise efforts to improve competitiveness and to turn around a lingering recession in the Eurozone's third-largest economy.