Best of 2015: Carrie Brownstein, Oscar Isaac, Shamir

Sit back, relax, and aim your ears at these standout moments from punk singer Carrie Brownstein, artist Laurie Anderson, actor Oscar Isaac, comedian Michael Ian Black, and dance-pop maestro Shamir. Plus, your favorite icebreaker and history lesson of the year… and a Small Talk mash-up. (We’ll call it Tiny Talk!) Here’s to lots more phenomenal arts and culture in 2016.

Photo: Kat Contreras

Issa Rae - "More Culture"


Issa Rae shares a joke which combines art, culture, and food, so obviously we approve.

From NASA to the Super Soaker: How Lonnie Johnson Changed Pool Parties Forever

A History Lesson With Booze ®

This week back in 1949, a man was born who helped revolutionize space exploration, the military... and squirt guns. Learn about inventor Lonnie Johnson, then blast away your cares with a custom drink that packs a punch.

Laurie Anderson Seals a Story with a Kiss


Laurie Anderson pioneered elements of performance art and electronic music. In her long career, she's lent her eerily cool voice to work by Brian Eno, Peter Gabriel, and her late husband, Lou Reed. Just before the New York release of her film, "Heart of a Dog," the natural born storyteller shares a tale from her collection called "Transitory Life" about a stormy moment from her stay in Amish country.

The Music and Moments That Made Carrie Brownstein

Guest of Honor

Back in 1994, Carrie Brownstein co-founded Sleater-Kinney -- a blazing all-woman rock trio that made a huge impact on critics and the indie rock scene. Their debut record, "Dig Me Out," landed on Rolling Stone's list of The Greatest Albums of All Time. Then, in 2006, Carrie left the group, and along with comedian Fred Armisen, co-created the hit sketch-comedy show "Portlandia." In her new memoir, she reflects on trying (and failing) to survive on rock and roll alone.

Michael Ian Black Isn't Here to be Nice, He's Here to Give Advice


The comedian gets a little naughty with the Minnesota-nice crowd as he doles out wisdom on snacks, baby showers and becoming friendly-ish neighbor.

Oscar Isaac Peers Into our Fearsome Future

Guest of Honor

Actor Oscar Isaac turned heads with his performances in "Inside Llewyn Davis" and "A Most Violent Year." As the critically-acclaimed sci-fi film "Ex Machina" (out 4/10) nears theaters and buzz for the "Star Wars" reboot mounts (he's tight-lipped), Oscar chats with Rico about our fearsome future... and about his past life as "Raisin."

Shamir Brings his Favorite Department Store Jams to the Dinner Party


Shamir's androgynous voice and killer hooks landed him a record deal just out of high school. The Las Vegas native, who released his debut LP "Ratchet" in May to rave reviews, gives us an eclectic playlist filled with mid-tempo tunes that won't make you fall asleep on your plate.