Category: New Discoveries

Minerva Cuevas

We need artists like Minerva Cuevas. The Mexican conceptualist and provocateur makes objects and installations exposing the pervasive control that corporations and cartels — and governments and religious institutions — exercise over our lives. She’s a cultural vandal who doesn’t descecrate; she illuminates. Her nonprofit Mejor Vida Corporation engages in all sorts of mischief (printing authentic...

Pete Holmes

His prepared material, showcased on “Conan” and “Fallon” and an hour-long Comedy Central special, is sensationally smart and wildly funny. But to see Pete Holmes live, improvising and riffing and creating comedy in the moment, is to experience the kind of alchemical magic one associates with the best jazz musicians. In a town full of funny...

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...