Off-Ramp host John Rabe and contributors share thoughts on arts, culture, and life in L.A.

Moveable Music Feast Friday Night in LA

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As we sit and chat over pie and coffee at House of Pies, let me tell you about Friday night...

We started with the Ahmad Jamal concert at the Nate Holden Performing Arts Center in the Washington Boulevard District. Holden was there, still raising hell. Angela Basset was there, still raising men’s testosterone levels.

And Jamal was there in great form, with drummer Kenny Washington, who is good even if he doesn’t seem to have the same chemistry with Jamal that Idris Muhammad seems to; rock solid bassist James Cammack, now with Jamal for 26 years; and percussionist Manolo Badrena, who uses bird calls, whirling noisemakers, tiny Chinese chimes, and a light touch on the tambourine to create an exotic soundscape that adds to the whole kind of the same way the bass does. If you close your eyes, you might not hear everything Badrena does, but if he stopped, there’d be something vital missing.

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Hidden Treasure - LA Public Library photo archive

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Just now, I asked my colleague Michael Roe to give me a random word. "Superpower," he replied, and that's how we got the picture above, an electrical experiment at the Cal Tech's High-Potential Laboratory in 1925.

It comes to you through one of LA's treasures, the huge searchable photo archive of the LA Public Library. Go to that site, click on "browse the photo collection," and you can travel back in time. Whether you're a tourist or looking for something specific, you'll always come across something you've never seen before, something that illuminates LA's long-ago past or even the near past.

The photos are gathered from all over. They include much of Gary Leonard's vast library, shots by now-City Councilman Tom LaBonge, and documentary and newspaper photographers back to the turn of the (other) century, and the extensive Herald-Examiner newspaper collection. We've used photos from the LAPL collection to make the Off-Ramp website shine since we started the show in 2006.

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Rabe Announces SECOND "Red Book" of Carl Jung

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(Carl Jung's "Other Red Book," in its usual place, next to "Schott's Miscellany" and the NYT Almanac.)

I, for one, was not surprised at all when I read the NY Times Magazine story this weekend about the forthcoming publication of Carl Jung's "Red Book," his illustrated account of a torturous break with reality that, Jung said, formed the basis for "all my works, all my creative activity."

Not surprised, because the Rabe family has owned Jung's "Second Red Book" for almost fifty years.

"You might find this mildly amusing," Jung told my father when he gave him this thick volume back in 1950, during one of Jung's frequent visits to my father's house in Detroit. The two would talk long into the night about the subconscious, Freud, and professional hockey, which was one of Jung's secret fascinations. ("Disaster will fall on America if the league expands," was one of his stock pronouncements.)

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Sutton Who? Or, Amateur Finds Dark Ages Anglo Saxon Treasure

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A member of a treasure hunting club, armed only with a metal detector and an incantation, found treasure that beats the pants off Sutton Hoo.

AP: "The cache of gold and silver pieces was discovered in what was once Mercia, one of five main Anglo-Saxon kingdoms, and is thought to date to between 675 and 725. The gold alone in the collection weighs 11 pounds and suggests that early medieval England was a far wealthier place than previously believed, according to Leslie Webster, the former curator of Anglo-Saxon archaeology at the British Museum."

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Sustainable Seafood Movie

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I served as a D-Level Celebrity judge Tuesday when the Aquarium of the Pacific held a sustainable fish (halibut) cookoff. The movie's below (WARNING: Edible Flowers!), and we've posted my interview with a bunch of the chefs on getting sustainable fish into their restaurants (as food, not customers). It also airs this weekend on Off-Ramp - Saturdays at noon and Sundays at 7pm.

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