Pop culture from Southern California and beyond.

Foster the People performs stripped down version of new single 'Coming of Age'

Foster the People perform live at Q Radio with Jian Ghomeshi.

Los Angeles-based indie pop band Foster the People, whose debut single "Pumped up Kicks" was the catchy but secretly dark summer anthem of 2011, is back with their sophomore record "Supermodel." 

The band recently performed a special stripped down version of its latest single "Coming of Age" at the Q Radio studio.

Watch the performance here

In the interview with Jian Ghomeshi, Foster the People discussed its rise to fame and what it takes to follow up on a big hit. Plus, frontman Mark Foster talked inspiration as an Angeleno. 

"To me, [the song "Fire Escape"] feels kind of like the old man sitting on the hill...maybe on top of Runyon Canyon in L.A. looking over the city and has watched it change over the last hundred years."

Foster the People generated local buzz earlier this year when it put on a live show in front of its commissioned mural at 539 S. Los Angeles Street in downtown L.A. The mural also serves as cover art on "Supermodel." 


President Obama delivers praise, cracks jokes at 'Cesar Chavez: An American Hero' biopic screening

President Obama Hosts a Screening of "Cesar Chavez: An American Hero"

The White House (via YouTube)

President Obama delivers remarks before a White House screening of "Cesar Chaves: An American Hero" on Wednesday, March 19, 2014.

President Barack Obama spoke at a White House screening of the film "Cesar Chavez: An American Hero." Obama praised Chavez, the famed Californian labor organizer and workers' rights advocate.

"This movie, this film tells the story of a man guided by an enormous faith -- faith in a righteous cause and a loving God, and the dignity of every human being.  And it reminds us how throughout our history that faith has been tested, and that it falls to ordinary Americans, ordinary people, to fight and restore that faith," Obama said.

Obama wasn't all serious — he joked about the sexually explicit but critically acclaimed "Y Tu Mamá También," whose star Diego Luna directed "Cesar Chavez."

"I want to thank Diego Luna and the entire cast of 'Cesar Chavez.' I told him I loved 'Y Tu Mamá, También.'  But we can’t screen that at the White House. It’s a great movie, but this is a little more family-friendly here," Obama said to laughs from the crowd.


'Veronica Mars' and 'This American Life' take over KPCC's studios

This American Life

Ira Glass and Lisa Pollak from "This American Life" in the "Veronica Mars" movie.

Christopher Lowell

Ira Glass and Kristen Bell during the shoot for the "Veronica Mars" movie.

This American Life

Nancy Updike and Jonathan Menjivar from "This American Life" make cameos in the "Veronica Mars" movie.

Christopher Lowell

The "This American Life" crew with Kristen Bell during the "Veronica Mars" movie shoot at KPCC's studios.

This American Life

Alissa Shipp from "This American Life" makes a cameo in the "Veronica Mars" movie.

The "Veronica Mars" movie opened in limited release Friday, and it features a very special guest star: The KPCC studios, doubling for the "This American Life" home base. Host Ira Glass wrote about the experience Friday and posted screenshots showing where to find members of the TAL staff, as well as photos shot by actor Chris Lowell, who plays Piz. You can see some of both above.

Glass nicely summarizes what exactly the "Veronica Mars" TV show was for those who missed out on it during its run on UPN and the CW: "it was a film noir, set in high school, then in college. Like Buffy and The OC, it was funny and great and rose above its own teen genre."

RELATED: 'Veronica Mars' cast reunion kicks off TV's PaleyFest

Minor spoiler alert: Veronica's boyfriend Piz worked at the college radio station in the third season of the show, so when jumping into the future, he's hard at work in the world of "This American Life."


SXSW 2014: Not everything's bigger in Texas

Breakfast Tacos SXSW

Jacob Margolis

Breakfast tacos from Joe's Bakery in Austin.

Did you know that KPCC's Austin bureau can fit into one bike bag and one backpack?

It's true. I arrived in Austin this weekend with just that — plus my bicycle — to cover South by Southwest for Take Two

On Sunday, I headed over to the interactive show floor to check out the best new digital creations. What I discovered was a whole lot of gimmicks. 

Take this life size "Operation" board, for example.A life size "Operation" board.

And then there were the folks who lined up to play the "Price is Right."

Fun and games at SXSW

I did, however, discover some pretty awesome wearable tech in a conference room at the Hilton. Interested in an Iron Man-like motorcycle helmet? Listen in to my Take Two segment for more. 

Completely wrecked by jet lag and daylight saving, I made my way to Joe's Bakery with Armando Rayo Monday morning for the pride of Austin breakfast cuisine. Not everything is bigger in Texas. Case in point: instead of eating giant breakfast burritos like we do here in California, Austinites prefer small breakfast tacos.


Funny or Die admits hoverboard prank in new video starring Christopher 'Doc Brown' Lloyd

hoverboard skateboard back to the future


A HUVr hoverboard, styled after the "Back to the Future 2" device.

Funny or Die admitted that they were behind the hoax in a new video. The larger purpose behind that HUVr Tech hoverboard video prank: Facebook comments.

Back to the Future star Christopher Lloyd, aka Doc Brown, gives a seemingly faux-tearful apology, claiming to be "hover-duped" while also noting that he was there and saw the wires and the cranes. His joke explanation: That he wanted to believe so bad that his brain must have erased those wires and those cranes.

RELATED: Funny or Die apparently behind fake 'Back to the Future' hoverboard video

In any case, they're promising to give away a HUVr hoverboard used in the shoot that's styled like the one in "Back to the Future Part II," signed by everyone involved, to a random commenter on their Facebook post of the apology video who posts in the next 24 hours from when it was posted. You've got until 2:17 p.m. Thursday.