Beer, Books, Hot Dogs, & Duct-Taped Phones: The World of Jonathan Evison

Jonathan Evison’s irresistible debut tale of step-sibling obsession, All About Lulu, tap-danced between humor and melancholy whilst exploring family function and dysfunction from a fresh vantage point. The author’s much anticipated sophomore book, West of Here, is due out next fall. From his home base on Bainbridge Island, Washington, Evison — who’s one of the bloggers behind Three Guys One Book — caught up with Flavorpill via e-mail to share some early poetry, his ideal time travel destination, and a packing list for the next book… Read More

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Exploring Cairo’s Coffeehouses: A Photo Essay

The streets of Cairo are mad with cabs and cars and trucks packed to the gills with livestock. They jockey for position along wide avenues, sans lanes. Old Fiats belch diesel. Pedestrians dart between vehicles. Policemen direct traffic at intersections. And a constant chorus of honking runs through it all. But directly off main thoroughfares are coffeehouses or ahwas where patrons drink Turkish coffee, play backgammon, and smoke shisha, escaping the din. Ahwas are everywhere, if sometimes hidden, an integral part of the city’s… Read More

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Emily Wells, The Submarines, Anya Marina, and Inara George Talk Cover Songs

There’s nothing more excruciating than hearing a cover that butchers an original song you’ve always really liked. But then, there’s something so delightful about a well-done cover that feels true to a new artist in a different time or tone. A great cover keeps the original thread going — the song moves. Inspired by their take on the cover song, we hit up some of our favorite LA-based indie artists — Emily Wells, The Submarines, Anya Marina, and Inara George — for a little under the covers pillow… Read More

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Exclusive Q&A: Benjamin Kunkel, Author of Indecision

Benjamin Kunkel’s lauded debut novel, Indecision, chronicled the quarterlife crisis of a privileged twenty-something New Yorker with crackerjack wit, and in doing so, diagrammed a belated coming-of-age scenario typical of our times. There’s no evidence the author has succumbed to the same paralysis afflicting his main character, as Kunkel is co-founder and editor-at-large of the ambitious bi-annual journal, n+1, as well as contributor to such pubs as The Nation, The New York Review of Books, Dissent, The Believer, and others. About a year ago, Kunkel chucked life in Manhattan and headed south for Buenos Aires. On a recent visit back to the States, he met Flavorpill LA’s Jane McCarthy poolside at the Angeleno to chat about n+1, the ins-and-outs of the Prius, and a strange afternoon with Joan… Read More

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LA Wet Dream: Photo Fiction Tribute to Cheever’s “The Swimmer”

It was one of those Saturdays in deep summer when everyone thinks of going to the beach. You might have heard it at the grocery store check-out aisle from the couple in flip-flops buying vodka and watermelon, heard it at the local coffee shop on the lips of the tattooed girl talking to her band-mate over iced lattes, heard it from your mother via text message. It was one of those days when everyone was saying, “Maybe we should go to the beach.”

But the beach meant freeway traffic, crowded parking lots, and the long stretch of burning sand between PCH and the Pacific. So instead, I was roasting in my A/C-free Silverlake apartment, too lazy to move, when a collection of John Cheever’s short stories caught my eye. Flipping to “The Swimmer,” I re-visited protagonist Neddy Merrill’s expedition “swimming home” across his Connecticut suburb. Picturing Burt Lancaster in Sydney Pollack’s 1968 film adaptation of the tale, handsome and diving into a clear blue pool, I thought, I could do that — avoid the beach but still cool off by going pool-to-pool. So I hopped into my car and set out to swim across the City of Angels.

Click here to follow me on my… Read More

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Exclusive: Q&A With Elizabeth & the Catapult

Elizabeth & the Catapult bring a decidedly whimsical point of view to pop folk. The Brooklyn-based trio consisting of Berklee College of Music amigos — vocalist Elizabeth Ziman, guitarist Pete Lalish, and drummer Dan Molad (plus additional maverick musician friends who lend a hand from time to time) — has been garnering well-deserved attention for their breakout LP, Taller Children. Largely produced by Bright Eyes visionary, Mike Mogis, the album’s chockfull of catchy, poetic tunes with backbone.… Read More

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Exclusive: Q&A with Electro-Pop Chanteuse Emilie Simon

French electro-pop maven Emilie Simon laces operatic-like vocals through intricate compositions. Ever experimenting, the 31-year-old musician has been churning out energetic, genre-bending work since her self-titled debut in 2003. September will see the release of her latest LP, The Big Machine.

At the last stop on her West Coast tour, Simon sat down for tea and strawberries with Flavorpill LA’s Jane McCarthy to talk about the differences between New York and Paris, covers, and staying sane.… Read More

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Exclusive: An Interview With LA-Based Artist Cole Sternberg

Employing watercolor, heavy oils, and spray paint, LA-based artist, Cole Sternberg, blends mediums to produce visually striking works. Paint often obscures text in his compositions, which at first glance may appear messy, but are in fact laid out to convey detailed narratives, be it a representation of Bob Dylan’s Masters of War, an infamous Hunter S. Thompson episode or a particularly unforgettable break-up.

On a recent Saturday, Sternberg arrived at Culver City’s Kinsey/DesForges gallery riled-up from an earlier meeting with Los Angeles Art Association’s board where the debate got heated over how to best help the city’s emerging artists. After walking Flavorpill’s Jane McCarthy through his current exhibition, Sternberg chatted about celebrity culture, spray paint, and how he’d like to get his hands on a Monet (for the second time).… Read More

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Exclusive: Artist Kenny Scharf on Warhol, Donuts, and the Art of Throwing Parties

Artist Kenny Scharf‘s work screams for fun. Embracing the color and vivacity of everyday objects, especially confectionery foodstuffs, his pieces incorporate TV and consumer culture iconography to transporting effect. The gorgeous, hefty new monograph chronicles the artist’s work from the late ’70s, when he was new to the Lower East Side, palling around with compatriots Basquiat and Keith Haring, through his astronomical climb in the ’80s, to the present resurgence in the popularity of his work.

Flavorpill’s Jane McCarthy recently gave Scharf a call to hear about his love for donuts, futurism, and face paint and to get his take on the perennial New York/LA… Read More

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Exclusive: Andrea Seigel’s Dark (and Funny!) Take on Teen Lit

Andrea Seigel’s debut novel, Like the Red Panda, charted the course of a high school senior in Orange County who decides to kill herself once she graduates. Told with a spare, honest voice, Seigel dodged teen angst cliché and cut to the center of things. While promoting her sophomore project, To Feel Stuff, she performed a choreographed dance at every whistle stop to help reduce the boredom of the typical reading. … Read More

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