Category: New Discoveries

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...


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...


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,...

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: