American Public Media

Off-Ramp is a lively weekly look at Southern California through the eyes and ears of radio veteran John Rabe. News, arts, home, life... the show covers everything that makes life here exciting, enjoyable, and interesting.


Pasadena, CA


Off-Ramp is a lively weekly look at Southern California through the eyes and ears of radio veteran John Rabe. News, arts, home, life... the show covers everything that makes life here exciting, enjoyable, and interesting.






474 South Raymond Avenue Pasadena, CA 91105 (626) 583-5100


Who was Oscar Levant? Even Homer Simpson knows

The voice of Homer Simpson, Dan Castellaneta (RIGHT), is also a serious writer and his new play explores the inner life of one of the last century’s most intriguing talents: Oscar Levant. ... Off-Ramp commentator Dylan Brody has finally -- FINALLY -- sold one of his comedy specials. ... And we’ll take you to a tiny thrift store that’s been supporting the work of the Hollywood Sunset Free Clinic for almost 20 years.


From a warehouse in Compton to the tallest restaurant in the West ...

You want an Only-in-LA story? Try this: a 78-year old Japanese-Brazilian-American artist (right) who works in Compton, was Marlon Brando's gardener, and got his first big break at the Hammer Museum last year. ... How would you feel about living in a murder house? It's in Silver Lake, and we talk to the tenants. ... We ride the elevator 71 floors to talk with the owner and chef of the tallest restaurant in the West. Take a virtual tour inside Elizabeth Taylor’s home with photographer...


The Day After, in LA and DC

On the day after the Trump Inauguration, we go live to Washington DC and downtown LA to talk with participants in the two planned marches ... We’ll watch "Hidden Figures" with a woman and her mom … who happens to have been a NASA contractor. ... We get another Do It Yourself film festival from critic Tim Cogshell. This one includes "Live Nude Girls," "Living Out Loud," and "The Quick and the Dead."


Goodbye to the Pink Lady and The Formosa; hello 8-Bit music and Joshua Tree

Lynne Westmore Bloom died last week. In 1966, her giant pink naked lady appeared over the Malibu Canyon tunnel, delighting many, and pissing off local officials. ... Sanden Totten, of science podcast Brains On, takes us to Joshua Tree and explains how its shrubs, animals, and Joshua Trees survive. ... The Formosa Café just closed, so we'll talk about its role as a creative shorthand for evoking the glamour of Old Hollywood. ... 8-Bit music, the sound of old school video games, is s now a...


Pastrami navelgazing at Langer's Deli, and a broadside aimed at hipster chefs

Marc Haefele considers "Breaking News" at the Getty Center, which shows how broken newsgathering has often been; In "Broke," KPCC's Rina Palta and Priska Neely look at California's growing homeless problem; Taylor Orci talks pastrami and deli menus with Norm Langer; and Gustavo Arellano tells hipster chefs to look away from Mexico for inspiration in 2017.


Celebrate the New Year by celebrating Off-Ramp!

It's the Off-Ramp 10th anniversary special: Off-Ramp Live. Harbor Party, Musker&Clements, David Whitfield, Rico Gagliano, Chris Redd, and much more, live onstage in downtown LA.


Not your grandparents' A Christmas Carol

A Christmas Carol Redux brings together all the good, bad, fun, and thoughtful aspects of Dickens' classic tale of redemption, which also almost singlehandedly created the modern Christmas holiday.


Saving Lytton Savings and Remembering Alan Thicke

We go to the Sunset Strip to see how activists are trying to save from demolition Lytton Savings, a beautiful Mid-Century Modern representation of the California Dream ... Baldwin Hills, Baldwin Ave, Baldwin Lake, Lucky Baldwin’s Pub -- so who was Baldwin? ... We check back in with the 77-year old woman who finds herself homeless for the holidays for the first time in her life ... And Rachel Bloom joins our annual reading of “The Night Before Christmas” with Salman Rushdie, Larry Mantle,...


Thank You Falettinme Be Mice Christmas Elf Agin

Griffith Park is beloved and turns 120 Dec. 16, but its namesake was an alcoholic, murderous misanthrope who thought the pope was plotting against him ... A woman who's found herself homeless for the first time, at 77 ... If you love classical music on the radio, but hate stodgy, bad news. Rich Capparela, is semi-retiring ... With SantaCon coming to town, we get the lowdown on the big guy from an elf.


Why you would have hated drinking cocktails in 1966

LACMA marks the 500th anniversary of the Reformation with a huge show, but leaves out one important fact: Martin Luther was a horrible anti-Semite ... The LA Zoo marks its 50th birthday with a 1966 cocktail party. Rabe and the way cool Toronado (R) also debuted in 1966 ... We’ll take you to a racetrack where the cars do thousand-foot laps in 17-seconds, cost 4-thousand dollars, and are as big as a shoebox ... We go to Newport Beach to see possibly the most awesome Christmas light display...


The seeker and the son ... the Institute of Mentalphysics in the High Desert

The Institute of Mental Physics, founded near Joshua Tree as a sort of utopian society, happens to be the largest single collection of buildings designed by architect Lloyd Wright, the son of Frank Lloyd Wright. ... There have been many exhibits of Roy Lichtenstein’s work. But our critic says The Skirball Center’s new show stands out because it pairs the pop artist’s work with the comic book illustrations that inspired it, and they deserve the share the spotlight.


How caregivers cope on Thanksgiving

Prepare to drool as Mario Batali gives us his Thanksgiving making turkey porchetta recipe ... We meet a woman who’ll spend Thanksgiving organizing dinner for her huge family, taking care of her elderly parents, and being the caregiver for a 91-year old woman ... Rosalie Atkinson explains how the late Leon Russell’s music helped her meet her mom ... The Friends of the Rockhaven Sanitarium in Glendale are celebrating after the city council approved their preferred plan to preserve the...


Some election, but mostly NOT election

Pasadena's annual Doo Dah Parade is an artsy, easygoing alternative to the Rose Parade ... California’s coast stretches 840 miles, and has never been captured in one art exhibit, until now ... The LA Ladies Arm Wrestling Fall Brawl ... Comedian Danny Lobell tells us how a tortoise named Mr Tennebaum helped him learn to love living in LA.


Rhode Island Stuffies and Funeral Potatoes -- Mario Batali's Big American Cookbook

Chef Mario Batali talks with us about his shoes, his White House dinner, and his newest cookbook ... Chicano art champion Cheech Marin on his newest traveling exhibit: Papel Chicano Dos ... We'll talk with the last surviving proposed cabinet member of the most unlikely Presidential candidate: Dizzy Gillespie ... And meet the creators of Toothpix, who took the underutilized video feature on Yelp! and have been making 12-second restaurant review masterpieces.


For Halloween, scary stories you've never heard: A spooktacular Off-Ramp

This week, Off-Ramp finds out what’s under the bed when the lights go off. We're bringing back a KPCC In Person event from last year, where we read stories from "In the Shadow of Edgar Allan Poe," a collection of great old under-appreciated horror stories.


Dark Shadows, LA in Legos, and Voting is like Getting Married?

“Dark Shadows” fans, cast, and crew are celebrating its 50th birthday next week in Hollywood. We mark the anniversary by bringing in one of the original stars, and one of the original fans. ... When LAPD officer Jorge Parra isn’t walking the beat in LA, he’s still thinking about the city’s streets and buildings. He’s spent years building a 72-square-foot model of LA, out of Legos, in his kitchen. ... We’ll tell you what researchers discovered about the best way to increase voter turnout:...


Can Chris Thile save Prairie Home Companion?

John talks with 35-year old Chris Thile, who takes over as the new host of A Prairie Home Companion this weekend and hopes to bring in a younger audience, without scaring off older listeners. ... Anthony Hernandez: taking pictures for almost 50 years: Downtown LA in the ‘70s, Rodeo Drive in the ‘80s, the homeless in the ‘90s. ... For KPCC's Voter Game Plan, Meghan McCarty tells us how she’s helping voters understand the complex Measure R transportation tax. ... Meet an Armenian-Syrian...


A hairy tarantula, a giant monster, and traditional Samoan tattoos

KPCC photog Maya Sugarman lets a king snake slither around her neck, and John lets a reasonably friendly tarantula crawl up his arm ... It’s done by hand, is quite painful, and is very expensive. We'll take you to a Garden Grove shop that is one of the few places in the US approved by one of the ruling Samoan tattoo families ... John brings in pop culture experts to evaluate the new Godzilla reboot, "Shin Godzilla," which sets the Godzilla story in modern-day Japan .... The story of Bobbi...


Off-Ramp Live!

Off-Ramp celebrates 10 years on the air with show recorded before a live audience at the LA Theater Center in Downtown LA - Disney directors, yacht rock, and DPD's Rico Gagliano!


Attack of the gay martians! Off-Ramp 9/5/2015

How gays and lesbians turned to science fiction to explore themes banned on Earth; Dam Funk calls for increased fantasy; remembering artist Noah Davis and the SoCal years of Oliver Sacks