Pop culture from Southern California and beyond.

Legendary fantasy painter Frank Frazetta dies

Frank Frazetta, one of the most influential if not the most influential artist in fantasy artwork, passed away today. As a comic book fan, I came across his artwork there, as he did some comic book work, but his work included film posters, book covers, album art and more.

He was best known for his lush painted pieces, often with a dark twist to them. He painted classic characters like Conan the Barbarian and Tarzan. His "Death Dealer" was so iconic that a book was written specifically to go with his artwork.

He inspired generations of artists, and his influence can still be seen in fantasy, science fiction and elsewhere today.

You can see a wide variety of his work at fan site FrankFrazetta.org.

(Via Newsarama)


NPR staff does Lady Gaga and Beyonce's 'Telephone'

Everyone at NPR, from Nina Totenberg to Robert Siegel, plays a role in this version of Lady Gaga and Beyonce's "Telephone." For the NPR lovers in your life.

I usually only lip synch to this song in my car, so I appreciate the bravery of NPR's staff to do so on the Internet.

(Photo: Koichi Kamoshida/Getty Images)


Jay Leno recycles jokes from Tonight Show for White House Correspondents Dinner

Headlining the White House Correspondents Dinner is a pretty prestigious gig, and can often make headlines. Well, the headline coming out of this year's performance by Jay Leno is that, rather than coming up with a fresh set, he reused numerous jokes from his "Tonight Show" monologues.

Politico put together a video:

The most notable comedic performance at a correspondents dinner in recent years was likely TV satirist Stephen Colbert taking shots at President George W. Bush during the 2006 dinner.

Watch the video here:


Conan O'Brien gives first post-NBC interview to CBS's '60 Minutes,' making 15 minute return to TV

Conan O'Brien gave his first interview since being given the boot by NBC to Steve Kroft on CBS's "60 Minutes" last night. He was not allowed to say anything disparaging about the network and wasn't allowed to give interviews or appear on television until the beginning of May.

Watch the full segment:

He comes across as frustrated but optimistic about his future. His tour runs through mid-June, wrapping up in Atlanta, Georgia, which gives him quite a bit of time before his return to late night on TBS in November, so I'm curious to see if we see him involved in some other projects in the interim.

I sadly didn't manage to get tickets to his "Legally Prohibited from Being Funny on Television Tour" when he was here in L.A., but you can check out a couple highlights that have made their way up on YouTube:


2010 Maltose Falcons Mayfaire homebrew competition

One of the more fun things to do if you love good beer like I do is attend a homebrew competition. Actually, this is even a better idea if you think you don't like beer.

Whether you live in beercentric cities such as Portland and San Francisco or far-off places such as Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, a homebrewing club and competition is not hard to find.

Granted you're not an already an experienced beer judge, sign up as a steward once you find a competition. Stewards may take a little abuse, but they are rewarded for their efforts with all kinds of (usually) great tasting, alcoholic beverages from a slew of different styles: from experimental ales and lagers to traditional meads and ciders.

Maltose Falcons 2010 Mayfaire competition from 89.3 KPCC on Vimeo.

The Maltose Falcons Mayfaire competition is where I first whet my steward’s whistle years ago. And if you’re like me and are easily impressed, you may decide being a lowly steward sucks and want to become a beer judge. I was hooked once I heard an experienced homebrewer start spewing knowledge about all kinds of styles of beer.