Category: New Discoveries

Lawrence Lessig: “Republic Lost”

Our greatest enemy isn’t radical Islam, climate change, or pugnacious Canadians. It’s corruption. In his infuriating yet somehow optimistic blockbuster “Republic Lost: How Money Corrupts Congress — and a Plan to Stop It,” law professor Lawrence Lessig outlines the nauseating rot within our Capitol, stripping away political pretensions and telling it the way it is. If...

Justin Ian Daniels

He’s intensely energetic, but not manic, prone to rapid-fire improvisation yet not scatterbrained. Fierce and charming. Comic Justin Ian Daniels is in the midst of a month-long residency at Hollywood’s longest-running (and best) weekly comedy show, “What’s Up, Tiger Lily?” Don’t miss the opportunity to see him do his thing. It’s a kind of magic.

Melissa Villasenor

She’s weird in the most wonderful way: adorably peculiar weird, not creepy weird. People like her. She’s cute — and super funny. Melissa Villasenor is a singing comedian whose own natural voice is impression worthy — think Mickey Mouse an octave lower — yet specializes in excellent, knowing impressions of famous folks, mostly singers. You’ll...


The Jazz Society of the Philippines, USA, a nonprofit org devoted to Filipino jazz, puts on an annual Filipino-American Jazz Festival at Hollywood’s Catalina Bar & Grill Jazz Club. The concerts are reliably entertaining and often revelatory. Who knew Pacific Island immigrants could swing so hard and have so much soul? The latest edition in...

The International Review of Music

Everyone’s got an opinion; some are worth noting carefully. At IRoM, “The International Review of Music,” folks who think and feel deeply about music share essays, reviews and recommendations. Curated by the long-time jazz critic of the Los Angeles Times, Don Heckman, IRoM is reliably smart, impassioned and provocative. Read on!  

Rob O’Reilly

He makes people laugh on Comedy Central and “The Tonight Show” and college campuses everywhere. But if you’re in SoCal, you can see consistently funny (and likable) stand-up Rob O’Reilly for free on Monday nights in Hollywood or monthly at his own “Hand Shucked” comedy show in L.A.’s hipster ghetto Silverlake. Go!

For those who intuitively understand that NFL coaches don’t go for it on 4th Down nearly enough; for those who suspect the Packers are overhyped; for those who want to ignore the noise emanating from Bristol, Connecticut and get some real analysis — we recommend an exceptionally smart site:

Adam Devine

Every cast member of Comedy Central’s hilariously stupid (stupidly hilarious?) “Workaholics” is funny. One of the improvising newcomers is especially funny. Adam Devine, a standup comedian from Omaha, has got the magic. The comedy magic. His tone is just right: ironic but not too ironic; smart but ignorant. He’s one to watch.

Petition the White House

Participatory democracy! The White House is now allowing citizens to propose petitions — “Reduce Student Loan Debt,” “Legalize Marijuana” — through the administration’s Website. If a petition gets 25,000 signatories in a month (it used to be 5,000), the White House will issue an official response. It’s a fun way to pretend that every American’s...

Innovative Entertainment Solutions

Esperanza Spalding. The Buena Vista Social Club. Charmaine Clamor. And now the official home of those whose ideas transcend 140-character limits. IES, founded by a couple of cats from what used to be known as the music business, specializes in building Websites and direct-to-consumer Web Stores that work. And look nice.