Category: New Discoveries

Sam Lipsyte

Lovable losers. Pathetic bumblers. Lost souls who haven’t yet given up, even when abdication looks like the best move. These are the inhabitants of Sam Lipsyte’s comic imagination. To say the novelist and short-story author is funny would be obvious and true, but a disservice to his talent. Lipsyte is a brilliant prose stylist who exhibits...

Madikwe Safari Lodge

There may be places in South Africa that offer a higher density of game than the Madikwe reserve, near Botswana. But few offer as low of a humans-to-wild-animals ratio as you’ll find at Madikwe Safari Lodge. This sense of solitude helps connect visitors to the rhythms of the bush — that and a terrific staff...

Entangled

Quantum physics and String Theory are difficult concepts to grasp, even for adults. So how to explain the mysteries of the universe to a child? Kevin Zarem, a father of two girls, makes a stellar attempt in his book Entangled: A Father’s Spiritual Quest through the Mysteries of the Mind. Simultaneously scientific and lyrical, anecdotal and...

POEMJAZZ

Poet Robert Pinsky. Pianist Laurence Hobgood. Text, music, and the moment — what we hear on the new POEMJAZZ recording is two giant artists making something greater than the sum of its parts. While Pinsky recites his lovely words with his unlovely (but weirdly attractive) voice, Hobgood, the longtime arranger and accompanist for Kurt Elling,...

JC Coccoli

First time we saw JC Coccoli do her thing, she was wearing catwoman leather pants and making people laugh until they cried. The next time her hair had changed, but the voice, developed in Pittsburgh, was the same. And she still killed. JC is a shape-shifting, slightly strange, consistently funny comic. She’s smart, confident, and...

Gale Holland

Thanks to the book leave of Los Angeles Times columnist Hector Tobar, readers have been treated to a remarkable upgrade: the occasional piece by investigative reporter cum essayist Gale Holland. Whether musing on lottery hangover or Santa Ana winds, she’s simulatenously poetic and precise, with the rhythm and grace of a serious writer. The smart move would...

James Adomian

Imagine an impressionist who was actually funny. And skilled at improvisation. And openly “out” about his radical politics and sexual preferences. Comic James Adomian is all that and more. You may have seen him on crappy TV shows like “Last Comic Standing” or not crappy comedy videos on “Funny or Die.” But experience him live....

Philippines International Jazz Festival

For seven years, the Philippines International Jazz Festival has gathered some of the finest musicians on the planet for an annual fortnight celebrating soul, swing, and multi-cultural bridge-building. This year’s edition, February 15-29, features Acoustic Alchemy, Gretchen Parlato, and the Queen of Jazzipino (jazz + Filipino) Charmaine Clamor, as well as dozens of Filipino, Indonesian, and...

Collapse

If all director Chris Smith did with his life was create American Movie, one of the funniest and most poignant documentaries of the 20th Century, he’d be assured of a place in the pantheon. With his latest film, Collapse, Smith outlines the obessive ideas of autodidact Michael Ruppert, a former LAPD cop whose powerful thesis — that...

NerdMelt

Alternative comedy, comic books, and all things remotely geeky — live on stage! In less than a year, NerdMelt, a collaboration between Hollywood’s Meltdown Comics, “Geek Chic Daily,” and Chris Hardwick, impressario of “The Nerdist” podcast, has emerged as a performance sanctuary for some of the smartest (and dorkiest) folks in Los Angeles. Dana Gould,...