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First Fridays: March 2020

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The Future Is Now

Faster than a Wi-Fi download, more powerful than an electromagnetic field, able to leap centuries in a single algorithm, the tech future is coming fast with the promise of delivering a livable future in spite of the forces arrayed against it.

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Conversations | 5:30 pm & 7:30 pm


Join science correspondent and Ologies podcast host, Alie Ward, as she asks Museum research specialists about their collections and discovers details hidden in plain sight. Each month features a different expert to uncover the big mysteries, strange oddities, and untold stories from NHM.

Discussion | 6:30 pm


The MDs still have the remedies, but self-monitoring through medical apps is putting each of us in sync with our own bodies. And our own bodies can now guide doctors to curing what ails us, thanks to diagnostic genetic profiling, and to fixing us before we can get sick, with tools like CRISPR.

Each discussion forum will be moderated by Patt Morrison, L.A. Times journalist, author and Emmy-winning television and radio host.



Dr. Alexis Komor

Alexis received her B.S. degree in chemistry from the University of California, Berkeley in December of 2008. While at Berkeley, she conducted research under the guidance of Professor Christopher J. Chang on the design of first-row transition metal catalysts for dioxygen activation and group transfer for three years. She then joined the lab of Jacqueline K. Barton at the California Institute of Technology for her doctoral studies. While at Caltech, she worked as an NSF Graduate Research Fellow on the design, synthesis, and study of DNA mismatch-binding metal complexes and received her Ph.D. in 2014. She pursued postdoctoral work as a Ruth L. Kirschstein NIH Postdoctoral Fellow in the laboratory of David R. Liu, where she developed base editing, a new approach to genome editing that enables the direct, irreversible chemical conversion of one target DNA base into another in a programmable manner, without requiring double-stranded DNA backbone cleavage. Alexis joined the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at the University of California at San Diego in the fall of 2017.



Dr. Roey Tzezana

Dr. Roey Tzezana is a futures studies researcher at Tel Aviv University and a research fellow at Brown University. He’s acting as lead researcher in XPRIZE—an organization that creates massive competitions with tens of millions of dollars in prizes, to solve humanity’s greatest challenges. Dr. Tzezana led the research about human longevity, which should eventually, hopefully, lead to the development of treatments to stop and reverse aging.

Dr. Tzezana is acting as a scientific consultant to several firms and international organizations, and is the author of several best-selling books about the future of technology and society, one of which has been described by the Israeli Secretary of Treasury as “a book that every politician should read”.

Dr. Tzezana has co-founded the SimPolitix project for political forecasting and TeleBuddy—a firm that operates telepresence robots around the globe, allowing him to teach, lecture and live in three different continents at the same time, using robotic avatars as his bodies.

His research has led him to journey worldwide—from Kazakhstan to Latin America and even Antarctica (where he became one of the few people in the world to capture pokemon on that barren continent)—trying to understand how technology will impact humanity and reshape our society and institutions.



Patt Morrison headshot

Patt Morrison is a Los Angeles writer and newspaper columnist who has a share of two Pulitzer Prizes. She has won six Emmys and eleven Golden Mike awards for her work hosting public television and radio programs. She also hosted the nationally syndicated television program “The Book Show with Patt Morrison,” and her seminal nonfiction book “Rio LA, Tales from the Los Angeles River” was a bestseller. Her writing appears in both fiction and nonfiction anthologies. And Pink’s, the legendary Hollywood hotdog stand, named its vegetarian hotdog “The Patt Morrison Baja Veggie Dog” in her honor.

DJ Lounge | 5-10 pm



novena carmel resized

With music royalty in her blood, Novena Carmel is an eclectic and energetic Bay Area born, LA-based DJ, singer, host, and curator known to lure a crowd and turn the party out. As a DJ, her love for music shines through in her wide range of selection, big smile and dance moves. In addition to her residencies throughout L.A., Novena has recently played at Amoeba Records, Dublab radio and as a resident at the Stones Throw summer pool party. If you find yourself in a room with Novena, you’re in the right place.



DJ Josh Peace

Josh Peace has been one of L.A.’s most dedicated and hard-working DJs for over 20 years. His unrelenting passion for dance music has taken him to multiple destinations around the world and in 2007 he launched Mustache Mondays with partners Nacho Nava and Danny Gonzalez, the legendary first-of-its-kind weekly dance party, which is widely credited with kickstarting the DTLA queer renaissance of the late 00’s. Josh has remained in demand by staying versatile and knowing how to command total control of a dance floor with his far-reaching, multi-genre-encompassing musical repertoire. Past and current residencies include Mustache Mondays, Mr Black, Evita, Redline DTLA, Strut (Orange County) and the yearly Summertramp events.

Bands | 7 pm-10 pm



Café Molly

Molly Lewis is a master of musical whistling and a champion of the use of whistling as an art form. An audience member at her last show described her as, “A bird singing about a falling leaf.”  She sometimes likens her sound to that of a human theremin.

Growing up in the small Australian town of Mullumbimby, becoming a professional whistler was never her intention. There was no reference for what she thought could be done with whistling, except for the occasional video of a maestro whistler on the internet. It was only after moving to Los Angeles as an adult that she became acquainted with musicians and artists who encouraged her to continue pursuing her musical potential, leading her to perform regularly around Los Angeles, while her skill and musical direction grew.

These days, Molly Lewis plays regularly with a band of top-notch session musicians. She puts on a show that incorporates the type of cinematic music she loves, 70s Italian soundtracks, classical variations and jazz, along with original pieces created for the whistle. She has also travelled the world with her rare art. From China to Mexico to New Zealand she has performed solo, with her lounge band, or with musicians she meets along the way.

Along with performing live regularly, she’s recorded and played with people as diverse as Karen O, Connan Mockasin, Neil Finn of Crowded House, Sebastien Tellier, John C Reilly, Jackson Browne and Mac De Marco, among many others.



French Vanilla

Witty and whimsical French Vanilla have refined their angular, no-wave sonance into a powerfully melodic and disciplined dance party with their sophomore release, How Am I Not Myself? Hitting the ear-waves in June 2019 via millennial, sincere-core label Danger Collective Records (Current Joys, Surf Curse, Slow Hollows), the quartet’s latest work enshrines French Vanilla as vital cultural creators in the vibrant Los Angeles indie music scene and beyond.

French Vanilla got their start playing queer punk parties around Los Angeles in 2013.  As their skills developed, they became mainstays at seminal DIY spaces like the Smell and Pehrspace. Influenced by cult, female-fronted post-punk acts, the band partnered with Danger Collective Records in 2017 for their self-titled debut, which Bandcamp named as one of the 100 best albums of the year. Their captivating stage presence and avant-garde stylings have earned them coveted bill pairings with headliners such as ESG, Shonen Knife, Shopping, the Make-Up, Priests, Chastity Belt and Bow Wow Wow.




Coming from different worlds, but sharing a passion for the rich history of electronic music, beat-boxer/comedian/musician Reggie Watts and electronic music artist/DJ/producer John Tejada bring out the best in each other’s formidable skill sets. Having grown up with similar musical influences, Austrian-born Tejada and German-born Watts draw from their love of electronic music. Exploring the intersection between influences and innovation, the two describe Wajatta’s music as “electronic dance music with its roots in Detroit techno, Chicago house, ’70s funk and New York hip hop.” It’s a sound that is both familiar and wholly original—and, like all great dance music, ultimately life-affirming, as Watts vocalizes, sometimes without words, the joyful energy of his and Tejada’s funky, shape-shifting productions. (Photo: The1point8)