“Where words fail, music speaks.”

~ Hans Christian Andersen

Film

“Ricky Jay is a world-renowned magician, author, historian and actor (often a mischievous presence in the films of David Mamet and Paul Thomas Anderson) -- and a performer who regularly provokes astonishment from even the most jaded audiences.

Deceptive Practice traces Jay's achievements and influences, from his apprenticeship at age 4 with his grandfather, to such now-forgotten legends as Al Flosso, Slydini, Cardini and his primary mentors, Dai Vernon and Charlie Miller. Featuring rare footage from his 1970s TV appearances (doing 3-card Monte with Steve Martin on The Dinah Shore Show) and told in Jay's inimitable voice, this is a remarkable journey inside the secretive world of magic and the small circle of eccentrics who are its perpetual devotees. "

This 2012 documentary is a must see.

Website: http://www.netflix.com

Volunteer

“Founded in 1988, My Friend’s Place is a nonprofit Resource Center offering a comprehensive continuum of care that includes free emergency resources such as food and clothing in combination with health, educational, and therapeutic services to over 1,800 homeless youth and their children each year.”

I’ve been volunteering there for over a year and can’t tell you how incredible these folks are. If you’ve been looking for a great cause to bet behind, don’t hesitate to contact them.

Website: http://myfriendsplace.org

Food

“A new, fast-casual, Taiwanese-Chinese restaurant in the Silver Lake neighborhood of Los Angeles.

Authentic, delicious Taiwanese-Chinese fare in a comfortable, modern setting. Passionate about what they do, Vivian Ku and Allan Lai make all of their food using simple, fresh ingredients. In fact, most of their produce is sourced from the family's Asian vegetable farm. This allows them to share both rarer varieties of produce and a more seasonally-minded menu."

The perfect addition to the already incredible east-side food scene. It can get a bit busy but definitely worth the wait.

Website: http://www.pineandcrane.com

Beverage

“The unpretentious vibe at Villain’s Tavern is pretty kick ass.

Located off the beaten path in the Arts District, Villain’s feels like an apothecary’s hideout in the middle of nowhere. The massive arch of potion bottles is a trip, and the drinks are worthy of applause. Whether it’s a simple whiskey soda or their grapefruit and jalapeño infused Greyhound, the bartenders know how to craft an elixir."

Live music, solid food and one hell of a cocktail make stopping by this place a must.

Website: http://villainstavern.com

TV/Webseries

"Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele are the stars of Key & Peele, a show that examines life in a distinctively provocative and irreverent way. Whether it's anger-translating the president, spoofing Nazis or ordering up some soul food, Key & Peele showcases the guys' camaraderie and unique point of view, born from their experiences growing up biracial in a not-quite-post-racial world."

If you're not already watching, set your DVR immediately. Key & Peele are consistently bringing the funny every week.

Website: http://www.hulu.com/key-and-peele

Every music lover takes pride in putting together the perfect playlist and though I’m no exception, I also enjoy the element of surprise that comes with the iPod Shuffle. This section is dedicated to the songs that I randomly re-discovered while shuffling my music library.

  1. The Mother We Share by CHVRCHES – Super catchy indie/electro rock anthem.
  2. You Shook Me by Led Zeppelin – Clocks in at over 6 minutes and you’ll still want more.
  3. Mannish Boy by Muddy Waters – A blues riff and voice that will live on for eternity.
  4. Be The Song by Foy Vance – A new folky favorite with tons of heart and soul.
  5. Think (About It) by Lyn Collins – Funky for days and sure to get toes tapping.
  6. Don’t Let It Bring You Down by Neil Young – Might be in my Top 10 of all time.
  7. Coffee by Sylvan Esso – Their whole self titled album is amazing but this one’s a standout.
  8. You Are All I See by Active Child – An ambient, dream-like masterpiece.
  9. Open Your Eyes by Bobby Caldwell – Common sampled it and for good reason. A jam.
  10. The Old Prince Still Lives At Home by Shad – Old hip hop feel with new artist at the helm.
  11. Pictures of You by The Cure – Blasting this 80s classic never felt so right.