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Preview: Off-Ramp


Off-Ramp is a lively weekly look at Southern California through the eyes and ears of radio veteran John Rabe. News, arts, home, life... the show covers everything that makes life here exciting, enjoyable, and interesting. More Off-Ramp at


Can Chris Thile save Prairie Home Companion?

Sat, 15 Oct 2016 07:00:00 GMT

John talks with 35-year old Chris Thile, who takes over as the new host of A Prairie Home Companion this weekend and hopes to bring in a younger audience, without scaring off older listeners. ... Anthony Hernandez: taking pictures for almost 50 years: Downtown LA in the ‘70s, Rodeo Drive in the ‘80s, the homeless in the ‘90s. ... For KPCC's Voter Game Plan, Meghan McCarty tells us how she’s helping voters understand the complex Measure R transportation tax. ... Meet an Armenian-Syrian college student from Damascus juggling a full time job, night school, and the torture of knowing what his family is going through back home.

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A hairy tarantula, a giant monster, and traditional Samoan tattoos

Sat, 08 Oct 2016 07:00:00 GMT

KPCC photog Maya Sugarman lets a king snake slither around her neck, and John lets a reasonably friendly tarantula crawl up his arm ... It’s done by hand, is quite painful, and is very expensive. We'll take you to a Garden Grove shop that is one of the few places in the US approved by one of the ruling Samoan tattoo families ... John brings in pop culture experts to evaluate the new Godzilla reboot, "Shin Godzilla," which sets the Godzilla story in modern-day Japan .... The story of Bobbi Bratt, a punk rocker from Southern California whose life was cut short by cancer almost thirty years ago.

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Off-Ramp Live!

Sat, 01 Oct 2016 19:00:00 GMT

Off-Ramp celebrates 10 years on the air with show recorded before a live audience at the LA Theater Center in Downtown LA - Disney directors, yacht rock, and DPD's Rico Gagliano!

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Cider Houses Rule, and the tallest restaurant in the West

Sat, 24 Sep 2016 07:00:00 GMT

If it hardly rains here, why does NBC-4 need its new highly-promoted mobile Doppler radar truck? ... Chef Vartan Abgaryan’s last restaurant was Cliff’s Edge. And now he’s working at the top of the US Bank Tower. But he’s afraid of heights. ... All the Rolling Stones songs from the 1960s have been remastered in the original mono, and you’ll be shocked at how good they sound. ... OK OK, it doesn’t feel like autumn yet, but it officially arrived this week, and there’s nothing better on a brisk autumn day than cider, so we’ll explore the latest culinary thing: cider houses.

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Grand Central Market's crushing debt

Sat, 17 Sep 2016 07:00:00 GMT

An in-depth look at Grand Central Market's history ... and $60m+ debt. Comedian Danny Lobell on the lure of the urban chicken. Brains On probes, very carefully, into carnivorous plants. Jesse Katz learns to cut a bagel. The people who VOLUNTEER to examine coyote poop.

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Celebrating Leonard Nimoy and Spock, and comedian Felipe Esparza

Sat, 10 Sep 2016 07:00:00 GMT

Leonard Nimoy’s son Adam tells us about his new film, "For the Love of Spock," which candidly digs into their difficult father-son relationship ... Kraftwerk, the German electronic music band at the Bowl next weekend, has a couple of surprising fans in pioneering LA Hip Hop DJs Arabian Prince and Egyptian Lover ... We'll talk with the last surviving member of the wheelchair basketball team that rose to national fame in 1947 from a VA rehab hospital in Norco ... And we go in-depth with Felipe Esparza. He's a common sight at comedy clubs and on TV, but years ago he was almost swallowed up by the gangs of East LA.

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Juan Gabriel, mom, and me

Sat, 03 Sep 2016 07:00:00 GMT

When Adolfo Guzman Lopez hears the late Juan Gabriel’s music, he remembers the 1970s, listening to Gabriel’s songs on the radio as he and his mom rode in taxis and buses in Tijuana ... Why do waves happen, and why are they shaped like waves? Brains On brings in an expert to explain ... One of the founding fathers of LA punk, John Doe, joins us to talk about his memoir and sing new songs from his latest album ... Film score composer John Williams is at the Hollywood Bowl all weekend, leading the LA Phil in some of his best-known works. We talk with music writer Alex Ross about how Williams pretty much saved the classical music film score.

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Why eat 300+ gyoza? Why did Rabe put on hip waders? Why does Baby Dee sing?

Sat, 27 Aug 2016 07:00:00 GMT

You shouldn't modify the word “unique,” but if you could, you could say that singer Baby Dee is one of the most unique performers you’ll ever encounter ... The Day-Lee Foods World Gyoza Eating Championship ... Rabe wades into the LA County Arboretum's Baldwin Lake, which is in big trouble ... Film historian R-H Greene takes a new look at a long neglected late film by Orson Wellles, “Chimes at Midnight,” now in the Criterion DVD collection.

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Goodbye to the Summit Inn, and hello new (very young) firefighters

Sat, 20 Aug 2016 07:00:00 GMT

We go to Wilson High School in El Sereno to talk with students in the brand new firefighter magnet school ... The destruction of the Summit Inn hits one community especially hard: the hot-rodders who traditionally stopped at the diner on the way to and from the Bonneville Salt Flats ... Advice for the new LA Rams from linebacker Roman Pfifer, who moved with the Rams from Anaheim to St Louis in 1995 ... Brains On, the science podcast for kids, takes some kids into a glass factory to see how the odd substance is made ... And why you should go to the Huntington right after you see “London Calling” at the Getty.

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Moto babes, the Rams come home, and a Chinese Superman

Sat, 13 Aug 2016 07:00:00 GMT

Meet the East Side Moto Babes, a motorcycle club by women, for women; and the LAPD's class of 1966, men sworn-in the year after the Watts riots. With the Rams returning to town, and their first game this weekend at the Coliseum, we go to Tom Bergen’s, the venerable Irish pub on Fairfax and home of the original LA Rams.

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Duck Doc, Movie Mistakes, Hidden History

Sat, 06 Aug 2016 07:00:00 GMT

A vacant lot is one of downtown LA's most historic spots ... A local morning radio personality tells how her father chose to commit suicide rather than die of bladder cancer ... We’ll go to the neighborhood that inspired Dexter Story latest jazz album ... Brains On explains how you get an allergic reaction to pollen ... The director of “A Million Dollar Duck,” a new doc about the Federal Duck Stamp contest ... And Tim Cogshell puts together a DIY film festival of continuity errors.

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The toll of the Sand Fire and Genndy Tartakovsky brings back 'Samurai Jack'

Sat, 30 Jul 2016 07:00:00 GMT

We’ll take you to the devastating Sand Fire to meet a woman who lost her house, a man who almost did, and people who rescued horses ... Genndy Tartakovsky brings back 'Samurai Jack' after a long hiatus. Will he ever get home? ... The Getty scores two firsts with its new exhibit, “London Calling.” ... We’ll have the next piece in Priska Neely’s series on teenage artists. This time, we’ll meet a skinny gay Jewish teenage rapper who tells us why hip hop helps him feel more like himself.

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She's past 80 but not past her prime ... horsewoman rides the 67-mile Backbone Trail

Sat, 23 Jul 2016 07:00:00 GMT

An 81-year old woman riding the 67-mile trail over the Santa Monica Mountains ... The California African American Museum just announced a major grant and collaboration with the Smithsonian ... We remember Carolyn See, who once said, “When I started to write, I was relatively old, and lived in California. So I was the wrong sex, wrong age, wrong coast. Luckily, I was too ignorant to know it.” ... We'll check in with KPCC’s Mike Roe at Comic-Con to see if anybody’s actually getting work done, or if they’re all playing Pokemon Go ...

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Pokemon Go See Public Art

Sat, 16 Jul 2016 07:00:00 GMT

The Pokemon Go craze might get people to see more public art ... would you live in a murder house? Surf Punks!

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Ringo, loquats, and a Skid Row artist you should meet

Sat, 09 Jul 2016 07:00:00 GMT

Meet an artist named Juanita Pina who lives on LA’s Skid Row. We’ll hear from Ringo Starr and talk with some of the hundreds of fans (like Scarlet, right) who celebrated his birthday with him in Hollywood. Tim Cogshell has another DIY film festival for Off-Ramp listeners, this time looking at 3 important films in the film noir style.

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Japanese Brazilian American artist makes art world debut ... at 78.

Sat, 02 Jul 2016 07:00:00 GMT

Kenzi Shiokava's big break at the Hammer's "Made in LA" ... remembering the passion of Jim Hangley, owner of Mustangs Only! ... take a siesta in Nappify's sleep pods ... a day in the life of Little Arabia ... St Thomas More comes to LA ... Dogs v Fireworks

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Garrison Keillor's exit interview, bootleg In-N-Out, Lakers' new coach

Sat, 25 Jun 2016 19:00:00 GMT

Garrison Keillor looks back on decades of Prairie Home, the Lakers hire their 4th coach in as many years and we taste test CaliBurger, Pasadena's newest In-N-Out Clone

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For the first time, Nicholas Meyer's teenage movie

Sat, 18 Jun 2016 07:00:00 GMT

Wrath of Khan's director Nick Meyer shares the movie he made with his dad in the late 1950s ... sound intersection ideas, literally ... Pasadena's homeless champion retires after 21 years ... the last slavery movies you will ever need to see ...

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The streetlight museum lights up Downtown LA

Sat, 11 Jun 2016 19:00:00 GMT

LA's hottest new museum is is in a building downtown and only open a half hour a month, Tony Danza write letters to Tupac, bunnies glow downtown

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John Doe plays live!

Sat, 04 Jun 2016 07:00:00 GMT

John Doe, an icon of the LA punk scene, joins us to play songs from his new album, and to talk about a new memoir about the old days ... If you’ve been called for jury duty in downtown LA, there’s a good chance you went to the Clara Shortridge Foltz Criminal Justice Center. But who was Clara Shortridge Foltz? ... You've seen the AIDS Healthcare Foundation billboards: they’re outrageous, memorable, and very effective. We talk with the man behind AHF’s often controversial outdoor ad campaigns.

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A Jewish Journal singles column changed this girl's life

Sat, 28 May 2016 07:00:00 GMT

Chaya Leah Esakhan, Persian-Jewish-American, meets the author of My Single Peeps ... Birding with Xiu Xiu ... How to write an AHF billboard ... ride in a B-24 ...

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Mack Robinson comes out of his brother's shadow

Sat, 21 May 2016 07:00:00 GMT

Riding the Expo line from Downtown LA to the Pacific Ocean ... Meet Mack Robinson, Jesse's brother ... Milton Love does not love books like Hooty the Owl Who Couldn’t Fly or Gretchen the Bed Bug with an Attitude ... Bob Boilen and the songs that changed our lives

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A Philip K. Dick video game and the Garibaldi of the Food Revolution

Sat, 14 May 2016 07:00:00 GMT

Californium, the new PK Dick video game ... bid for a unique dinner with Russ Parsons, John Rabe, and Piero Selvaggio at Valentino in Santa Monica ... the almost-lost living room sessions of jazz pianist Forrest Westbrook ... how to make money in Hollywood AND not be a racist.

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The Atomic Cafe and Coyote Poop

Sat, 07 May 2016 07:00:00 GMT

The Parks Service needs your help to figure out how urban coyotes survive ... remembering the infamous Atomic Cafe ... the existential angst of Laurel & Hardy, restored and remembered ... Can Pershing Square be made into a beautiful park?

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"I can see for miles ..." from LA's new skyscraper king

Sat, 30 Apr 2016 07:00:00 GMT

The view from the 69th floor of the Wilshire Grand ... Brains On, the science podcast for kids ... our first look inside the Highand Park Bowl ... the Norton Simon summons up a triumph from the 1960s ...

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Tank you, NASA!

Sat, 23 Apr 2016 07:00:00 GMT

California Science Center is getting the big orange external tank to go with Shuttle Endeavour ... Guitar hero Albert Lee on the skiffle and early rock scene in Britain ... LACMA opens exhibit on 300 years of men's fashion ...

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A laid-back Dodger home opener

Sat, 16 Apr 2016 07:00:00 GMT

Vin Scully on the roar of the crowd as fountain of youth ... Orel Hershiser on pitcher's nerves ... No, most of us still can't watch the Dodgers on TV ... Rabe eats a Dodger dog: still meh ... Plus: Brendon Eder and Milton Avery.

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Jackie Robinson's High School has a new field - now what?

Sat, 09 Apr 2016 19:00:00 GMT

It was 80 years ago that Jackie Robinson went to John Muir High School in Pasadena. He played shortstop and catcher on the baseball team. But flash forward to today: what about the team he played on, and the school he went to? Take a leap into a Los Angeles of the future it's unlikely any city will have changed more than Inglewood, future home to the new NFL stadium. We take a look around and talk with Inglewood movers and shakers. And we go inside the Eames House, one of Los Angeles' most important, most beautiful and elusive homes.

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The very best: George Takei, John Williams, Vincent Price and more!

Sat, 02 Apr 2016 19:00:00 GMT

We bring you Off-Ramp greatest (recent) hits: Actor George Takei reflects on the 10th anniversary of his coming out. We dig through the cookbook authored by the late Vincent Price—frightening star of stage and screen. And if you love John William's iconic Star Wars score, New Yorker Music Critic Alex Ross says it's not just nostalgia: there's a serious, brilliant mind at work.

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All sign spinners point to North Hollywood's AArrow, the industry leader

Sat, 26 Mar 2016 07:00:00 GMT

The backstory to THE sign spinning company, in NoHo ... Easter Eggs in animated films ... Brains On, the science podcast for kids, and what the brain sounds like ... the Griffith of Griffith Park was a very nasty man ... Alex Israel and Brett Easton Ellis collaborate, and our critic hates it

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A Sinatra story from the old schooliest restaurant in Palm Springs

Sat, 19 Mar 2016 07:00:00 GMT

Mel Haber tells us about starting Melvyn's, his landmark Palm Springs eatery ... we prep you for WonderCon, coming to LA for the first time ... Marc Haefele makes us wistful for Black Mountain College ... whither Mariachi Plaza?

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Come for a cruise in Joe DiMaggio's car

Sat, 12 Mar 2016 08:00:00 GMT

Joe DiMaggio's last car up for sale in Woodland Hills, and we drive in it ... seeing the Larry King murder through a clinical psychologist's eyes ... DubLab's "weird" and calming presence in Union Station ... Yacht Rock returns to LA ... Hauser Wirth + Schimmel preview ...

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Would you buy a home next to a leaky nuclear lab?

Sat, 05 Mar 2016 08:00:00 GMT

KB Homes is building 450 homes next to the Santa Susanna Nuclear Test Lab ... Fowler Museum opens exhibit of 2,000 pieces by Chicano Movement icon Jose Montoya ... at Otium, the prices are high, but the service is slow ... Remembering Octavia Butler ...

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How to hum "Star Wars"

Sat, 27 Feb 2016 08:00:00 GMT

Music writer Alex Ross on John Williams' legacy as the composer receives his 50th Oscar nomination ... the Hidden History of Los Angeles ... Brains On takes us to the International Space Station and starts a Kickstarter campaign ... 5 Every Week gives you five cool things to do this week ...

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The Oscars on Off-Ramp, 2016

Sat, 20 Feb 2016 20:00:00 GMT

From the corner booth at the historic Musso and Frank Grill in Hollywood, we talk the biggest night in Hollywood with critics, writers and more!

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LA's most famous Haitian writes his memoir - Off-Ramp for Feb 13, 2016

Sat, 13 Feb 2016 08:00:00 GMT

Balancing love and commuting ... TiGeorge's George LaGuerre writes his memoir ... 5 Every Week takes us to MOCA’s Geffen Contemporary for the LA Art Book Fair ... What kids know about true love: everything.

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Elizabeth Taylor's house gets a closeup - Off-Ramp for Feb. 1, 2016

Sat, 06 Feb 2016 08:00:00 GMT

Catherine Opie's portrait of Elizabeth Taylor's home says a lot about the star ... Why is Modernism Week in Palm Springs? ... 5 Every Week gives you the ways and the means to explore SoCal ... Goodbye Jubilee

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Will California get a Parking Bill of Rights? - Off-Ramp for Jan. 30, 2016

Sat, 30 Jan 2016 08:00:00 GMT

Mike Gatto's Parking Bill of Rights ... Piano Bar 101 teaches a lost art ... Ballpark groundskeepers of the world, unite! ... Brains On, the science podcast for kids ...

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New neon museum now! Off-Ramp for 1-23-2016

Sat, 23 Jan 2016 08:00:00 GMT

5 Every Week says check out Art Los Angeles Contemporary at Santa Monica's Barker Hangar, a "knock-down, drag-out battle of art commerce" ... the Oscar noms ARE diverse, in the animation categories ... remembering Glenn Frey and Hotel California.

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Studying Snowflakes - Off-Ramp for January 16, 2016

Sat, 16 Jan 2016 08:00:00 GMT

Remembering one of David Bowie's weirdest performances ... CalTech's snowflake expert ... Piano Bar 101 ... 2 bad and 2 good reasons to become a marine biologist ... 5 Every Week gets your butt off the couch

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