(Season 2) California Love is a blend of memoir, pop culture analysis and oral history. The newest season, K-pop Dreaming, is about the rise and history of K-pop in the United States, as told from the point-of-view of the Korean diaspora in Los Angeles. Host Vivian Yoon takes listeners on a journey from K-pop’s origins in Korean trot music and American presence in post-war South Korea to the 1992 LA Uprising and the booming global popularity of K-pop in the present day, all juxtaposed against Yoon’s own coming-of-age as a second generation immigrant in Los Angeles, struggling to fit in and come to terms with her own identity. (Season 1) In the first season Walter Thompson-Hernández was inspired by Tupac and Dr. Dre's "California Love"- a love letter and anthem for a generation. Walter invites listeners to join him in his family home, on horseback through the streets of Compton, and up into the sky to examine belonging.
Lauren Passell • Podcast The Newsletter • Feb 27, 2023
"(Season: K-Pop Dreaming) K-Pop Dreaming technically traces the origins of K-pop from its origins to its global popularity today, but more specifically it’s about the host, Vivian Yoon, who finally is able to fangirl. It’s tricking us into a lesson in K-Pop with a coming of age story that will make us think about the own joys we harbored when we were younger, and the freedom to embrace those things as grown ass adults."
Pod Sauce Editors • Pod Sauce • Feb 12, 2022
"Thompson-Hernàndez gives us a remarkably emotional first-person (first-parrot, as he calls it) account about L.A.’s green parrots. While “California Love” is Thompson-Hernàndez’s singular experience growing up, he invites listeners to make it a collective adoration. Most of all, “California Love” is Thompson-Hernàndez’s love letter to Los Angeles and an emphasis on the disappearing diversity of the city."
Ashley Lusk • Bello Collective • Dec 2, 2020
"If you listen to California Love, I hope you start with “Prologue,” which is as poetic a piece of audio as you’ll hear this year, but “Party Line” is where the series gets special. It will wax nostalgic for anyone who lived through the 90s, although the entire episode is one hazy walk through adolescent sexual awakening sure to feel familiar to everyone. Thompson-Hernández’s voice is striking in this series; I can’t recall having heard any like it before."
PR Staff • PodcastReview.org • Jul 22, 2020
"On California City, host Emily Guerin blends investigative journalism on these ongoing predatory practices with a fascinating history of how this scammer’s paradise came to be."
Memories from the Dancefloor
Lights Out (BBC)