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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... covering everything that makes life here exciting, enjoyable, and interesting.

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Recent Episodes
  • It’s an 8-foot chicken with the head of Big Boy, and it’s on San Fernando Road in Glassell Park … staring at you. We track down the artist. ... LA State Historic Park reopens this weekend; was it worth the 3-year wait? Maybe so ... We'll meet one of the people who brought Southwest Native Bird Singing creation stories back from the brink of extinction.
  • Ed Asner tells us what his autistic son and grandsons have taught him ... We to go Disney Hall and sample the sound during an actual concert from all the performers’ perspectives. Surprise: the people with the best seats … are in the audience. ... Meet Carol Downer of Eagle Rock, a pioneering abortion rights activist who championed a less invasive abortion procedure that could be performed at home, by the woman’s friends ... We hear a tribute to a man who had it made, and gave it all up: writer Roy Battocchio.
  • Local jazz legend Barbara Morrison celebrates the 100th birthday of Ella Fitzgerald, and gives a master class in scatting ... The band That Dog influenced bands like Weezer, so how come you haven't heard of them? That Dog's “Retreat From the Sun” turns 20 this year. ... We’ll ride the elevator with LA’s last elevator operator, Ruben Pardo ... and we’ll visit Wondercon with KPCC’s Mike Roe to talk with one of the guys who did special effects for “Logan.”
  • A veteran driver walks us through next week's Long Beach Grand Prix, and gives us his tips and peeves about driving in LA. ... A first-time film director says he learned a ton about making films working as a valet car parker at a Sunset Strip hotel. ... We go to Parker Center (photo, right), an architecturally significant building tainted by its connection to the bad old days of the LAPD.
  • To remind you why Off-Ramp is unparalleled in bringing you the people, places, and ideas that make Southern California a great place to live, here's a sample of our best pieces from the last year. With your contribution, we can do another year of great radio. Without it, we can't. Please give now!
  • “No blue skies and no green grass” is animator Genndy Tartakovsky’s rule for "Samurai Jack." He tells us about bringing back the wandering samurai (right) for Adult Swim. ... Meet jazz singer Donna Fuller, a sultry contralto who made two albums that are now eBay gold. ... It would be enough if we went to the shop where they make custom limousines and hearses, but they also make custom hunting trucks Middle East potentates use when they hunt with their falcons.
  • The remarkable George Takei gets the whole hour. We get an exclusive preview of JANM's new George Takei exhibit, talk with George himself about his life and times and his new role in the Sondheim musical “Pacific Overtures,” hear from "To Be Takei's" director that George is NOT a performer at heart (WTF?!), and hear George and John Rabe sing. Maybe. If there's time.
  • Angels Flight to be back by Labor Day ... Back when cops weren’t supposed to smoke in uniform, and when a stolen car might be traced by the make of its battery or speedometer ... A Hammer show on an artist overshadowed by Pollack, De Kooning, and Rothko. (Photo: LA Public Library's Security Pacific National Bank Collection)
  • Granted, the homeless make it hard to run a business near downtown LA’s Skid Row. But one man’s solution is raising eyebrows: spraying water on the sidewalk overnight. ... One of the local pianists in The Van Cliburn International Piano Competition is already famous as the Video Game Pianist on YouTube. ... Richard Simmons has gone from being the most accessible celebrity in LA to gone. A new podcast “Missing Richard Simmons" asks what happened. ... And we visit Beth Goodnight -- self-proclaimed "mad scientist" of set building -- to see the last of her Oscar sets before they’re sent off for this weekend’s show.
  • Director Ava DuVernay on her new documentary about the 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which banned slavery ... Backstage with La Santa Cecilia, a Grammy-winning L.A. band that tells modern stories with traditional music ... Frank Romero — interviewed by Cheech Marin — finally has his first major museum retrospective ... Another date that "lives in infamy:” when FDR ordered the imprisonment of 120-thousand Japanese-Americans 75 years ago this weekend ... Girl at the White Horse, a brand new cocktail bar at Sunset and Western, owned by the son of the Shah of Iran’s social secretary.