Life & Arts

The Write Up
12:04 pm
Fri September 5, 2014

Writing To Stay Sane

Credit Manuel's Dad

Manuel Gonzales loves zombies. Especially self-loathing zombies with unrequited office crushes and enough makeup to hide their undead identity.

His story collection, The Miniature Wife and Other Stories (Riverhead), is populated with zombies, werewolves, unicorns and other monsters and misfits. But Gonzales re-imagines these familiar figures in hilarious and heartbreaking ways. With deft humor and compassion, Gonzales makes what could be over-tread ground fresh and newly strange.

As funny as the stories often are, they also bubble with moments of dread and outright terror. But the terror comes from unexpected sources. Gonzales’ werewolf in the story Wolf” is not nearly as horrifying as the relative trying to kill it. The mad scientist in the title story isn’t as haunting as the murderous wife he “unintentionally" shrunk to the height of a coffee cup, and the unicorn in  “One-Horned & Wild-Eyed” is more eerie than beautiful and dangerously seductive.

Gonzales carries his playfulness into form, as well. Obituaries, pseudo-journalism, and voice-driven monologues fill the pages. The book is a weird, glorious ride that never leaves you less than surprised. 

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Film
5:33 am
Fri September 5, 2014

Austin Filmmaker Shows Dock Ellis Was More Than Just a Pitcher on LSD

Dock Ellis on the field.
Ron Mrowiec

Austin-based filmmaker Jeffrey Radice's first feature film is now in theaters.

"No No: A Dockumentary" follows the life of Dock Ellis, a pitcher for the Pittsburgh Pirates from the late '60s through the mid '70s who is best known for pitching a no-hitter on LSD.

KUT's Laura Rice spoke with Radice about about Ellis' life on and off the field, the use of drugs in the MLB before the steroids era and Ellis' impact on the game.

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Film
6:12 am
Thu September 4, 2014

Documentary Explores the Bond Between Military Dogs and Their Handlers

Dogs and handlers are deployed together as a unit.
Canine Soldiers Film

A dog is more than a man’s best friend on the battlefield.

Nancy Schiesari, a radio-television-film professor at The University of Texas at Austin, is working on Canine Soldiers, a documentary that investigates the relationship between American soldiers and their canine partners.

KUT’s Laura Rice talked with Schiesari about exploring the bond between handlers and their canine companions and why Schiesari chose to make the documentary in 3D.

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Kirkus on the Standard
12:23 pm
Tue September 2, 2014

These Two Summer Reads May Just Help You Beat the Heat

With the dog days of summer in full swing and fall's slate of television premieres waiting in the wings, now might be the perfect time to kick back and crack open a book.

Luckily, the Texas Standard's got you covered. Kirkus Reviews' Clay Smith gives us some book recommendations that will, hopefully, keep your mind off the mind numbing heat until cooler temperatures prevail.

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Get Involved
9:31 am
Tue September 2, 2014

Get Involved Spotlight: Health Alliance for Austin Musicians

From Health Alliance for Austin Musicians, this month's Get Involved spotlight non-profit:

HAAM provides access to affordable health care for Austin’s low-income, uninsured working musicians, with a focus on prevention and wellness.

Inspired musical performances happen every day of the year in Austin.  We pride ourselves on being the Live Music Capital of the World and are fortunate to have over 8,000 working musicians contributing to our city’s culture and economy.  We have seen firsthand the dedication and generosity of Austin’s musicians.  They inspire us to do more, do it better and perform at a level worthy of their talent and contribution.  Since 2005, HAAM has provided over $30 million in healthcare services to over 3,000 Austin musicians.  We can’t do it alone, HAAM’s staff, volunteers, network of service providers, sponsors and individual supporters are dedicated to keeping music in Austin alive and well.  We hope you will join us. 

HAAM Eligibility:  To be eligible for HAAM services applicants must be uninsured, working Austin musicians earning $29,175 or less annually (250% of federal poverty level).

 

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In Black America Podcast
11:17 am
Mon September 1, 2014

In Black America Podcast: Paulette Brown, President-elect of the ABA

Paulette Brown, President-elect American Bar Association

On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. speaks with Paulette Brown, Partner and Chief Diversity Officer of Edwards Wildman Palmer LLP, and President-elect of the American Bar Association.

In August 2014, Brown will become the first African American woman to serve as President of the American Bar Association (ABA). Brown will serve as president-elect for one year before taking over as president in August 2015.

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Arts Eclectic
9:50 am
Wed August 27, 2014

Experience Early Music with the Austin Troubadours

The Austin Troubadours have been playing early music together for the past six years, but the members of the band (including Slobodan Vujisic, Meredith Rudusku, Bruce Colson, Victor Eijkhout, Neli Vujisic, John Walters, and Oliver Rajamani) have all been studying and performing for much longer than that.

They strive for authenticity, using painstakingly reproduced period instruments and even period-appropriate costuming, so seeing and hearing the Austin Troubadours is as close as one is likely to get to experiencing the music of the Renaissance.

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Life & Arts
12:01 pm
Tue August 26, 2014

Here's a Look Back at Roy Orbison, an Unassuming West Texas Boy Turned Rockstar

Roy Orbison plays a show in Clearwater Florida in December of 1961.
flickr.com/rockinred1969

Fifty years ago this month, Roy Orbison had his break-out hit "Pretty Woman." The catchy tune about an attractive lady walking by his song became the influence of countless covers and catapulted him into rock-n-roll history. His 1964 song, along with eight other singles, gave the "British Invasion" of the 1960s a run for their money.

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Life & Arts
7:05 am
Tue August 26, 2014

The Emmys: Past Winners Trump New Shows; 'Breaking Bad' Takes A Bow

Julia Louis-Dreyfus won her third consecutive Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series for HBO's Veep. It was a big night for people who had already won.
Kevin Winter Getty Images

Originally published on Tue August 26, 2014 3:14 pm

[Note: The audio above is a conversation about the Emmy Awards I had today with Stephen Thompson, my co-panelist on NPR's Pop Culture Happy Hour podcast.]

The Emmys are known for one thing more than any other, and that's repetition. Shows winning four times, actors winning three times — the most likely Emmy winner is always the guy who's already won.

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In Black America Podcast
8:39 pm
Sun August 24, 2014

In Black America Podcast: BMI’s First African American Woman Chairperson

Susan Davenport Austin

On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. speaks with Susan Davenport Austin, Chairwoman of the Board, Broadcast Music Inc. Austin was appointed as chairwoman of the board of Broadcast Music Inc. (BMI) in October of 2011. She is the first woman and first African American to lead the board that she has been apart of since 2007.

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Arts Eclectic
12:00 pm
Fri August 22, 2014

See 'Twin Infinity' at the Long Center

Austin's own homegrown science fiction epic The Intergalactic Nemesis has seen several incarnations over the years. It began life as a live show staged in a coffee shop, paying homage to '30s and '40s era radio serials. Later, audio recordings of the live show became actual radio serials (airing here on KUT in the late '90s).

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Austin Film Scene
8:15 am
Thu August 21, 2014

PHOTOS: Two Big Directors and a Rock Legend at Austin Premiere of New 'Sin City'

'Sin City' Director Robert Rodriguez and Aerosmith rocker Steven Tyler.
Cody Rea for KUT

Austin Filmmaker Robert Rodriguez shared his latest film with his hometown Wednesday night. "Sin City: A Dame to Kill For" hits theaters across the country Friday but Austin audiences can see it today.

"Sin City: A Dame to Kill For" is Rodriguez's second collaboration with comics artist Frank Miller. The two first teamed up to co-direct the first "Sin City" back in 2005. On the red carpet Wednesday night, Rodriguez told reporters a third part to to the series could come if audiences respond well to this release.

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Arts Eclectic
4:51 pm
Wed August 20, 2014

'Wall Dependent?' at O2 Gallery

Charlotte Smith, "Wavelation II" (detail)

The group show "Wall Dependent?" is now in its final week at 02 Gallery and Project Space at the Flatbed Building. Curated by Troy Campa, the exhibition features the works of four Texas artists, Orna Feinstein, Jonathan Leach, Edward Lane McCartney, and Charlotte Smith.

After retiring from a successful career as an architect in the Houston area, Campa decided to follow an earlier passion of his, and embark on a career in the visual arts. Now living in Austin, he's partnered with Rene Ibarra to curate this show at the O2 Gallery. 

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Arts Eclectic
9:41 am
Wed August 20, 2014

See a Chekhov Double Bill at the Rollins Studio Theater

Breaking String Theater was founded several years ago with the mission of bringing the works of Anton Chekhov to the stages of Austin. But depending on which Chekhov scholar you ask, the author wrote either only four or five full-length plays, and Breaking String has now staged all of them.

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Life & Arts
5:41 pm
Tue August 19, 2014

PHOTOS: Exhibit at Bullock Museum Memorializes Texas' Fallen in Vietnam

Patriot Guard Riders walk under the bronze star in the the Bullock Texas State History Museum's plaza.
Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon/KUT

Yesterday, veterans of the Vietnam War came from around the state to commemorate the arrival of 3,417 dog tags at the Bullock Texas State History Museum for the forthcoming "Texas Vietnam Heroes Exhibit," which will honor Texans that perished in the war.

The procession of the tags paused under the museum's iconic bronze star and concluded in the lobby for a ceremonial presentation of an American flag to Linda Kaplon, the widow of fallen Vietnam serviceman Cpl. Phillip Felix Kaplon, Jr.

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In Black America Podcast
5:48 pm
Mon August 18, 2014

In Black America Podcast: Remembering a Texas Trailblazer, Dr. Alfred N. Poindexter Jr.

The late Dr. Alfred N. Poindexter Jr.

On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. speaks with the late Dr. Alfred Nelson Poindexter Jr., Prairie View A&M University professor emeritus and veterinarian. Dr. Poindexter, or “Doc” as his friends, colleagues and students affectionately called him began teaching animal science and practicing veterinary medicine at Prairie View A&M University in 1945, when he was 24 years old. He remained at PV for more than 50 years until his retirement in August 2004.

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Summer School
3:35 pm
Fri August 15, 2014

How to Play the Perfect Game for the Dog Days of Summer in Texas

It's hard to do much outdoors in the blistering Texas summer heat. But there's nothing quite like hanging out in your backyard, even during the hottest times of the year.

So on this week's lesson from KUT's Summer School, we focus on learning a game that you can play to wind down the summer: The game of washers.

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Texas Standard
2:21 pm
Fri August 15, 2014

Sorry, Bats: Purple Martins Rule Austin Skies in the Summer

Purple Martins hit the sky at dusk in this 2013 image captured at Austin's Highland Mall.
flickr.com/annharkness

Half a million Purple Martins have been migrating through Austin as they make their way to Brazil for the winter.

Austin – and specifically Highland Mall ­– is a way station for the birds and their young, letting them fatten up before the long trek south. And the swirl of purple and blue has become a popular spectacle – one that some audiences say rivals Austin’s popular bat departure from the Congress Avenue bridge.

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C3 Presents
10:12 am
Fri August 15, 2014

C3 Presents Promoters May Have Suffered a Data Breach

C3 Presents, the organizers of the ACL Fest, had personal data of independent contractors, as well as present and former employees, reportedly stolen from a server in June.
Sean Murphy for KUT News

From The Austin Monitor:

C3 Presents, the Austin-based music promotions firm behind such festivals as Austin City Limits and Lollapalooza, has apparently suffered a security breach. The details were cited in a letter sent to potential victims of the violation, including an Austin Monitor reporter.

The document states that "on current information and belief, no festival or concert customer information was exposed."

However, the letter adds that "an unknown unauthorized person gained access" to one of C3's servers after "its theft ... on Friday, June 20, 2014."

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Life & Arts
8:41 am
Wed August 13, 2014

Sultry Film Star Lauren Bacall Dies At 89

Lauren Bacall in 1946.
Keystone Getty Images

Originally published on Wed August 13, 2014 10:11 am

Actress Lauren Bacall, who paired with spouse Humphrey Bogart in films including The Big Sleep and Key Largo, has died at the age of 89, according to her family's estate.

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