The sign outside the Watts Towers Art Center | Still from "The Watts Towers Arts Center" ab s11 episode image

The California Folk of Carly Ritter

The music of Carly Ritter is ensconced in a world in-between. It's folksy, but not quite folk. It's brushed with Western nuance, but lacks the twang that's omnipresent in big-business, commercial country music. This is California music, the kind nurtured and harvested at the foothills, looking seaward as the marine layer dissolves into the Santa Ana winds.

Ritter's music is distinct, her lithe voice wafts over guitar strums, and stories. Her lyrics are hopeful, but realist, mixing insights on love with ruminations on existential philosophy. Music is in her blood. Her grandfather was Tex Ritter, one of the innovators of early country music in the first half of the 20th century, and her father was actor John Ritter. She grew up in Los Angeles, went to high school in Santa Monica, then left it all behind for New York. When she returned to Los Angeles years later, she rediscovered her home again and reconnected with old friends. Together again, after years apart, they made music. Her high school friend, Joachim Cooder, son of legendary Ry Cooder, had forged a music career of his own, and reunited with Ritter; he helped to shape the sound with his own brand globally-minded rock. Vanguard Records label mate, folkster Robert Francis and his sister Juliette Commagere (from synth-outfit Hello Stranger) joined them too. Joachim's father Ry, even accompanied them on a few tracks that will appear on Ritter's self-titled debut album, which comes out in August. The album sounds, and feels like California; a breezy listen with a mind for country with a heart of folk.

Carly Ritter recently stopped by the Artbound studios to share a couple of songs from her upcoming album, and to tell a few stories too.

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The Watts Towers Arts Center

The Watts Towers Arts Center was founded by artists and educators in the 1960s and has been a beacon of art and culture in the community for decades. This episode features the work of artists including Noah Purifoy, John Outterbridge, Betye Saar, Charles White and Mark Steven Greenfield.

  • 2020-11-25T13:04:18-08:00
  • 2020-11-25T17:00:00-08:00

Light & Space

In a world filled with noise, distractions and chaos, a number of artists seek to push the boundaries of perception and experience. The Light and Space movement of the 1960s explored minimalism with a uniquely Californian spin — with a keen attention to the interaction of light and space. Crucially, the materials these artists relied on to create these perceptual experiences emerged from the postwar aerospace industry and its advances.

  • 2020-12-02T13:00:00-08:00
  • 2020-12-02T17:00:00-08:00

The New West Coast Sound: An L.A. Jazz Legacy

Growing up amongst jazz legends within the deep musical traditions of Leimert Park, drummer Mekala Session and his peers grapple with how to preserve this rich legacy—striving to carry forward the tenets that took root in the work of Horace Tapscott and his Pan Afrikan Peoples Arkestra. This is the story of Los Angeles’ emerging generation of community-focused black musicians.This episode of Artbound was produced in partnership with dublab and Storyform.

  • 2020-12-09T13:00:00-08:00
  • 2020-12-09T17:00:00-08:00


In October of 2019 the city of Los Angeles through the Department of Cultural Affairs and the Institute of Contemporary Art organized a city-wide exhibition of public art and events based around the theme of food. Each artist interpreted a different aspect or issue surrounding food or food systems in the city from climate change, to food access, civic engagement to waste and recycling. Activating public parks throughout the city, artists created works to spark conversation about what it means to live in Los Angeles and how to work together for a sustainable and hopeful future.

  • 2020-12-16T13:00:00-08:00
  • 2020-12-16T17:00:00-08:00
  • 2020-12-20T09:00:00-08:00

How Sweet The Sound: Gospel In Los Angeles

Gospel music would not be what it is today if not for the impact left by Los Angeles in the late '60s and early '70s, a time defined by political movements across the country. Artists like James Cleveland and Aretha Franklin captured live recordings of the church experience of South Central and the voices and sentiment of the people coming together to give birth to a new gospel sound and the election of L.A.’ s first black mayor, Tom Bradley.

  • 2020-12-23T13:00:00-08:00