So I’ve really been digging playing around with this web app. Pandora, from the Music Genome Project.

I started out with R.E.M.’s “Fall On Me” as a favorite song. So far the results have been pretty cool. I’ve heard some great tunes from some bands I’ve never even heard of.

Now what would be a great improvement would be to be able to get wireless or email alerts when a favorite selected band was playing in your city.

Art, Cinema and what Los Angeles Can Learn from the French

I had a convergence of news articles and cinematic reviews that I thought made an interesting albeit somewhat frightening collection of information.

First, there was this great article on French filmmakers predicting the riots in France in the New York Times (“In France, Artists Have Sounded the Warning Bells for Years“). I saw the film referenced in the article, La Haine (“Hate”), when it was released 10 years ago (I believe it was either produced or released by Jodie Foster’s company) and remember it being a powerful and damning look at the state of immigrants in contemporary France. At the time, I remember viewing it mainly in the context of the opening of Eastern Europe in the years after the fall of the Berlin Wall. Similar was the Belgian film, La Promesse (“The Promise”), an incredible tale of illegal immigrants from Eastern Europe and Africa and one widowed woman’s relationship to the young son of a corrupt construction company owner. I hadn’t really thought much about the film until reading the article, and it’s clear perhaps that the focus has moved to muslims from North Africa post 9/11. The lesson remains the same, however.

Well, on that note, I was then thinking of the racially charged film Crash, which I recently bought on pay-per-view. Like a lot of dramatic films about Los Angeles, it’s racially charged, but I really got a hit when I noticed this article minutes later on Yahoo News (“Gangs, poverty and racial divide could make LA another Paris“)

Stunning really. Considering recent events in New Orleans in the face of a natural disaster, Los Angeles, with the highest poverty rate in California, facing the inevitable earthquake (although at what level of destruction who knows), we may also be facing the inevitable outbreak of violence on our streets. While the earthquake is unavoidable, our response to poverty and racism (as well as disaster preparedness) is not.

Yeah, it’s a gaping steaming giant crater. Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park. The last day of our honeymoon, and ode to the goddess Pele.

Caro and I are going to name our first child “Lavatina.” Not.