Life & Arts

Entertainment, live performance, food, cuisine, dining, theater, film, television, art, broadcasting, SXSW, and other arts and culture news in and around Austin and the Central Texas counties of Travis, Hays, Caldwell, Bastrop and Williamson

Prominent Austin philanthropist, arts activist and lawyer Jo Anne Christian died Thursday afternoon after a battle with lung cancer. She was 79 years old.

Steve Rogers

As a story, Frankenstein feels like a pretty good fit for the folks of Trouble Puppet Theater Company. It's a classic tale, with monsters and dark imagery of the sort that Trouble Puppet excels at. It's also ripe for fresh interpretations, which Trouble Puppet always enjoys.

Joel Mann flic.kr/p/C8xtF

A New Orleans brass band, 90s indie rockers and a Canadian singer-songwriting legend are among the musical artists performing in Austin this weekend. KUT's Nathan Bernier asks KUTX program director Matt Reilly for his picks.


Photo by Ralph Barrera, Austin American-Statesman

Fort Worth chef Tim Love's new Austin restaurant amplifies Texas culture with a focus on big flavors and wild game. KUT's Nathan Bernier asks Austin American-Statesman restaurant critic Matthew Odam about his new review of Lonesome Dove Western Bistro.


On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. speaks with Dr. John B. Diamond, the Hoefs-Bascom Professor of Education at University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Education, and co-author of “Despite The Best Intentions,”

Ten years ago, improv performers Roy Janik, Kaci Beeler, Kareem Badr, and Valerie Ward compiled a list of 300 possible troupe names, rejected them all, and then ended up calling themselves Parallelogramophonograph almost as a joke.

"Picking a name is the hardest park of being in a band or an improv troupe," Janik explains. "Once you pick an amazing name  that's super-easy to google and spell, like Parallelogramophonograph, it's a piece of cake."

Do512 https://flic.kr/p/pJ6kUT

Fun Fun Fun Fest takes over Austin, plus shows by Igor and the Red Elvises, Robert Cray, Nic Armstrong and more this weekend. KUT's Nathan Bernier asks KUTX program director Matt Reilly for his live music selections. 


On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. speaks with Spencer Haywood, ABA/NBA legend and Hall of Famer.

Despite a productive NBA and ABA career, Haywood will always be remembered as the man who opened the door for underclassmen college basketball players to leave college early to play in the pros, thereby creating the "Spencer Haywood rule."

From CASA of Travis County, this month's Get Involved spotlight non-profit:  

About CASA:

CASA of Travis County speaks up for children who’ve been abused or neglected by empowering our community to volunteer as advocates for them in the court system. When the state steps in to protect a child’s safety, a judge appoints a trained CASA volunteer to make independent and informed recommendations in the child’s best interest. 

Founded in 2005, the Umlauf Prize is a yearly award bestowed upon a deserving UT Austin graduate student in Art. After a several-year hiatus, the prize was reinstated in 2014 and continues this year with, for the first time, two winners.

David Burke https://flic.kr/p/i3erK7

It's Halloween weekend! Which live music performances should you show up to in costume? KUT's Nathan Bernier asks KUTX program director Matt Reilly. 


Laura Skelding, Austin American-Statesman

Austin has more Italian options than ever. KUT's Nathan Bernier asks Austin American-Statesman restaurant critic Matthew Odam about his review of a relatively new addition, Juliet Ristorante. 


Courtesy of the Austin Film Festival

The 22nd Annual Austin Film Festival is getting underway. This year’s lineup includes more than 180 films – 20 of which are world or North American premieres.

The film festival and conference is unique because it was founded to recognize some of the less talked about people behind films – screenwriters. And that’s still true after 22 years. But the festival has also evolved a lot in recent years.


On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. concludes his conversation with Dr. Gayle Wald, Professor of English and American Studies at George Washington University and author of ‘It’s Been Beautiful’: Soul! and Black Power Television.

‘Soul!’ on Public Television from 1968 to 1973, was the only national TV show dedicated to cultural and political expressions of Black Power.

Nathan Bernier/KUT News

Two panels, scheduled to be held during SXSW Interactive in March 2016, were canceled Monday on account of “numerous threats of on-site violence,” according to the press release sent out by the head of the conference, Hugh Forrest.

Tuesday 5:40 p.m. Following today's developments, SXSW's Hugh Forrest has released a new statement on its website under the headline "Safety Is A Top Priority And So Is Your Voice":

Rodolfo Gonzales, Austin American-Statesman

Austin's restaurant scene continues to boom along with the city's economy, but who has time to keep track of the constant openings and closings?

At least one man does. Austin American-Statesman restaurant critic Matthew Odam is out with his annual dining guide. KUT's Nathan Bernier asks him about it. 

 

Check out the guide here

On October 30 and 31, Wizard World Comic Con returns to Austin, and it'll feature all the stuff you expect in such an event. There will be plenty of special guests, mostly familiar faces from geek-friendly and/or genre movies and TV shows (including Evil Dead's Bruce Campbell and RoboCop/Buckaroo Banzai portrayer Peter Weller among others), but also a surprising number of sports figures (including Texas legend Earl Campbell, no relation to Bruce). There will be lots of comic book writers and artists. There will be panel discussions such as "How to Write Comics" and "Diversity in Geek Culture." There will be lots of comics and colletables for sale and lots of people in elaborate costumes.

There will also be a handful of local artists in what's known as the "Artists Alley." One of those artists will be Tim Doyle, who's found himself in the surprising position of being able to support not only himself but also his family and a small staff by creating the art he's always loved. Despite his success, he still finds himself making air quotes when he discusses his "art career." 

"If you told me that I was in a coma and these last six years had been a dream, then I'd be like 'Oh, that makes sense,'" he says. That six year figure refers to "Change Into a Truck," a painting he did in 2009 that parodied Shepard Fairey's famous Barack Obama "Hope" poster. That image, featuring Optimus Prime in the place of Barack Obama, became a viral hit and essentially started the money-making portion of Doyles' career.

His work is a good fit for an event like Wizard World, because much of his inspiration comes from pop culture, particularly from the geekier edges of pop culture. His painting subjects have included, among many others,  Mad Max director George Miller, Godzilla, and the set of Ghostbusters. "I've been a geek since the '80s," Doyle says, "And so it's soaked into every atom of my being, and that's just going to come back out on the page."

On this episode Brian Ramos talks with filmmakers and showrunners Robert Rodriguez, David Simon and David Webb Peoples.

Image via Flickr/Marc E. (CC BY-2.0)

From Texas Standard:

Lady Gaga is just as well known for her fashion as she is for her music.


Ransom Center via YouTube

The archives of Gabriel García Márquez, the Nobel Prize-winning Colombian novelist, short-story writer, screenwriter and journalist, are now open to the public and they’re located here in the capital city, at the University of Texas at Austin's Harry Ransom Center.


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