Category: New Discoveries

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The Better Angels Soundtrack

It’s been nearly five years since our favorite singer, Charmaine Clamor, released a new album. In the interim, she’s taken her much-noted talent and made it deeper, stronger, richer, imbuing her expressive voice with enhanced gravity. On “The Better Angels,” Charmaine sings 11 songs of hope, all of them connecting in  some way to the higher...

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The State of New Music

All is well. If you can avoid televised singing contests (among other depressing purveyors of nicely packaged sweet nothings), you realize that music, genuinely new and never heard-before music, is being composed and produced and distributed at unprecedented levels. So much of it is good — in all that imprecise word’s manifestations. There’s the straight-ahead virtuosity...

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“House Hour” (PoemJazz2)

“House Hour” is the second installment in the landmark “PoemJazz” collaboration between poet Robert Pinsky and pianist Laurence Hobgood. Everything that was good in the debut is even better here. Pinsky has mastered his instrument, transforming his voice from “peculiar” to “unique.” Hobgood’s musicality and virtuosity dazzles. And the production — the mix, the equalization, the...

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The Better Angels Festival

“We are not enemies, but friends…the mystic chords of memory will yet swell when again touched, as surely they will be, by the better angels of our nature.” Abraham Lincoln said it more than 150 years ago. From July 3 – 12, a community of beautiful Los Angeles volunteers are living those words at The...

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James Adomian’s Bernie Sanders

The brilliant comic and impressionist James Adomian, known by many as “George W. Bush” in the Harold & Kumar Guantanomo movie, has a new character in his astonishing repertoire: Senator Bernie Sanders, candidate for President. As with all of Adomian’s creations (Alan Rickman as the Sherriff of Nottingham, Orson Welles, Tom Leykis), the vocal resemblance...

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KAZE: Uminari

The new recording from KAZE, a Japanese-French quartet — drums, piano, two trumpets — reminds us that all music is noise. Some noise, it seems, sounds better than others. On Uminari (a low frequency hum rising from the sea), the usual hallmarks of through-composed music (meter, melody, harmony) aren’t exactly absent, they’re just not terribly important....

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WikiWonga.org

When the revolution comes — the bloodless one, when consciousness and kindness replace productivity and profits — the new Website WikiWonga will be the new currency exchange. WikiWonga “creates wealth money can’t buy,” connecting sharers who wish to exchange, barter, trade instead of buy or sell. The richest members of the WikiWonga community aren’t those...

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The Culture High

The handsomely constructed documentary “The Culture High” makes a compelling — and to our mind irrefutable — case that the so-called “War on Drugs” has been a kind of dystopian slow-motion holocaust. Director Brett Harvey has assembled an impressive roster of talking heads, including members of Law Enforcement, to explain clearly and conclusively why drug...

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LA Helicopter Noise Initiative

For those of us who feel like Brentwood is starting to sound like Baghdad, a quasi-war zone, with helicopters hovering and circling and buzzing the neighborhoods below, as though we’re being invaded (or reprising Vietnam), relief — or at least a digital venting — has arrived. The LA Helicopter Noise Initiative, in conjunction with the...

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Brody Stevens: Enjoy it!

Originally a Comedy Central documentary-style series that morphed into an HBO Digital series spearheaded by Zach Galifinakis, “Brody Stevens: Enjoy it!” is simultaneously funny, disturbing, encouraging, entertaining and sort of heartbreaking. “Brody” is Steven Brody Stevens, an eccentric but lovable “comedian’s comedian” who suffers from bi-polar disorder (a diagnosis he ultimatey rejects.) The series, which...