Life & Arts

Poetry Month
11:16 am
Wed April 2, 2014

Cursive in Danger

Read by Kathy Valentine.

A flashing red light,
Something is going on in the news,
What is happening?

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Poetry Month
11:11 am
Wed April 2, 2014

Annabob

Read by Dana Wheeler-Nicholson

The boys on the black top
The girls by the bars
I went to the hoops
While the rest just stayed far

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Poetry Month
11:00 am
Wed April 2, 2014

Autumn

Read by John Aielli

Grass sways,
Trees bend.
As the leaves swirl,
In the autumn wind.

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Arts Eclectic
7:19 am
Wed April 2, 2014

ACC Names Balcones Poetry and Fiction Prize Winners

'We Sinners'

Every year, Austin Community College gives out two national writing prizes, one for poetry and one for fiction. Both prizes are open to any English language book, with a panel of judges awarding a $1500 prize to the winning author. 

This year's award winners were both selected for their first books and will both be in Austin on April 9 to read from their prize-winning works. Hanna Pylainen was awarded the Balcones Fiction Prize for her debut novel We Sinners, which explores the obscure Finnish religious sect in which Paylainen herself was raised in Michigan.

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In Black America Podcast
6:33 pm
Sun March 30, 2014

Interview: Dr. Quincy T. Mills on Black Barbers and Barber Shops in America

On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. speaks with Dr. Quincy T. Mills, Associate Professor of History at Vassar College and author of "Cutting Along the Color Line
: Black Barbers and Barber Shops in America."

Today, black-owned barber shops play a central role in African American public life. The intimacy of commercial grooming encourages both confidentiality and camaraderie, which make the barber shop an important gathering place for African American men to talk freely.

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Arts Eclectic
2:33 pm
Fri March 28, 2014

Mother Falcon's Music Laboratory

For the past few years, the band Mother Falcon has been operating a summer camp for young musicians. The many members of the band are still pretty young themselves, but when they were even younger, they spend their summers at various music camps, so the idea of starting their own seemed like a natural.

They aim to encourage creative musical thinking, guided by their camp motto, "Musicality over Technicality." During each week-long session, the students are divided up into bands with diverse instrumentation, where they'll hopefully encourage one another to experiment and broaden their creative horizons. Each sessions ends with a showcase concert by the kids, during which they'll play original songs, covers, and do a little jamming. 

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Life & Arts
8:38 am
Fri March 28, 2014

App Teams Up with César Chávez Film to Tap Into Huge Hispanic Market

Pantelion Films

Update:

A version of the story below by KUT's Veronica Zaragovia aired on WBUR's Here & Now today. Listen to the story here.

Original story:

An English-language film about civil rights activist César Chávez is out in theaters today. It’s out at the same time as a smartphone app that translates the movie into Spanish in real time.

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In Black America Podcast
6:25 pm
Sun March 23, 2014

Grammy Award Nominated Singer/Songwriter, Attorney and Cancer Survivor Tracy Randall

Tracy Randall

On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. speaks with Tracy Randall, Grammy Award nominated singer/songwriter, attorney and cancer survivor.

Randall isn¹t supposed to be here. In 2006, he was diagnosed with leukemia and after aggressive rounds of Chemo and radiation therapy, his doctors gave up and in February 2007 told him to go home and prepare to die. Through pure will, a positive attitude, his faith and alternative medical treatments, he’s still here and still singing.

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Arts Eclectic
2:06 pm
Fri March 21, 2014

'The Drawer Boy' Returns to Hyde Park Theatre

Michael Stuart, Jon Cook, and Ken Webster in 'The Drawer Boy'

Ten years ago, Hyde Park Theatre produced The Drawer Boy to great acclaim. Michael Stuart, one third of the three-person cast, took home a Critic's Table Award for best actor; Ken Webster won the B. Iden Payne best director award. It was also named Outstanding Drama by one group and Outstanding Comedy by the other. "It's that kind of script," Webster says.

Now they’re restaging the play, which centers on a young theater student who comes to study and work with two middle aged Canadian farmers. Stuart is returning to his role as Angus, a decade older and closer to actual age of the character. Webster is directing again, and this time also acting, as the curmudgeonly farmer Morgan.

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Music
11:24 am
Fri March 21, 2014

How Bands Recover From Having Their Gear Stolen

Austin's Driver Friendly had their gear stolen during South by Southwest this year.
Carmen Martinez Fischer, facebook.com/driverfriendly

Update: Looks like Driver Friendly finally caught a break: the Austin-based band had their trailer full of missing gear returned to them this morning. 

"At 8:30 this morning an Austin Police Officer knocked on Jeremi's door notifying him that they had found our trailer WITH EVERYTHING IN IT!!!" the band says on Facebook. "We cannot believe this turn of events, and feel so blessed to not only have everything back, but to have been supported by, you, our fans, through all of this."

All the funds Driver Friendly raised online to cover their missing gear will be returned to fans.  

Original story (March 19): A band that calls Austin home can’t seem to catch a break.

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Movies
12:18 pm
Wed March 19, 2014

Wes Anderson on Austin, His Actors and 'The Grand Budapest Hotel'

Until the SXSW screening, Texas Ex Wes Anderson hadn't been back to Austin in years.
Martin Scali

Wes Anderson's "The Grand Budapest Hotel" is now in theaters across the country.

A South by Southwest audience got a sneak peek last week. The highly-stylized filmmaker himself even made a trip to Austin for the screening and an extended Q&A. That's something SXSW Film Head Janet Pierson said she'd been trying to make happen for about a decade. 

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In Black America Podcast
7:48 am
Mon March 17, 2014

Inside the 2014 Detroit Auto Show

On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. speaks with Frank S. Washington, owner and editor with aboutthatcar.com.

The North American International Auto Show, known to most as the Detroit Auto Show, continues to serve as a barometer for the entire industry. The 2014 Detroit Auto Show was held at the new  Cobo Hall in Detroit.  The showcase took place Jan. 13-26, and featured the unveiling of more than 50 new vehicles from around the world.

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Life & Arts
6:05 am
Mon March 17, 2014

What You Don't Know About Mavis Staples and Her Music

Mavis Staples at Austin City Limits fest in 2011.
Laura Fedele, via flickr.com/wfuv

For a slightly younger generation, the Staples Singers evoke memories of avocado colored refrigerators and polyester pants. Not a bad thing, necessarily, but certainly not the reason you should know the name Mavis Staples

In the new book, "I’ll Take You There," music journalist Greg Kot connects the dots between modern American culture and the great migration as African-Americans moved from the deep south to Chicago. 

Mavis Staples is part of the fabric of Chicago, Kot tells Texas Standard's David Brown.

"[She's] a cultural institution. Her family is a cultural institution," he says.

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SXSW 2014
7:36 pm
Sat March 15, 2014

SXSW Filmmaker Spotlight: Austin's Journey to Live Music Capital in 'Road to Austin'

Kris Kristofferson serves as a sort of tour guide throughout the film.
FORMAX Group

If there’s one thing Austinites love – it’s hearing people talk about how great Austin is. The film “The Road to Austin” features a lot of that. It premiered at South by Southwest Film.

"The Road to Austin" is part documentary, part concert and features a lot of well-known voices – from Kris Kristofferson and Joe Ely to a couple of KUTX DJs – all talking about what makes the Austin music scene so special and how it became the live music capital of the world.   

KUT talked with "The Road to Austin" producer/director Gary Fortin:

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SXSW 2014
5:17 pm
Sat March 15, 2014

Rapper Tyler, the Creator Arrested on Riot Charge

Tyler, the Creator performing at the Primavera Sound Festival in 2011.
flickr.com/mistressf

Police have arrested a rapper who performed at South by Southwest after officials say he encouraged a crowd to push through doors keeping them out of an already overcrowded venue.

Tyler Okonma, who performs as Tyler, the Creator, was arrested and charged with “Riot - Class A misdemeanor." Police released a video of Okonma telling fans outside of his show Thursday at the Scoot Inn to push past security personnel that were keeping them out of the venue.

SXSW 2014
9:39 am
Sat March 15, 2014

SXSW Filmmaker Spotlight: Exploring Truths, Lies and Cults in 'Faults'

A young woman is being pulled in several different directions in "Faults."
Jack Zeman

Writer/Director Riley Stearns grew up in Pflugerville – but has been making his living in L.A. He says bringing the movie to SXSW Film for its World Premiere is like a homecoming.

“Faults" follows a cult deprogrammer who is hired by some parents to kidnap and de-program their brainwashed daughter. But as the film progresses, the cult deprogrammer – and the audience – start to question who is really the most negative influence.

KUT talked with Stearns about his film:

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SXSW 2014
2:09 pm
Fri March 14, 2014

SXSW Filmmaker Spotlight: A Father, A Son and A Lot of Live Music in 'Thank You A Lot'

Musician James Hand stars in the film. Willie Nelson (and KUTX's Jay Trachtenberg) describe him as "the real deal."
Courtesy "Thank You A Lot"

In Austin, it seems like everyone's a musician and there’s live music every night. But between that dynamic of stage and crowd, there’s a cast of characters: including band managers, doormen and promoters.

The film “Thank You A Lot” premiered at SXSW Film. It explores some of these characters – particularly a father-son pair caught in the middle of all the bustle.

KUT sat down with Austin-based writer/director Matt Muir:

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Arts Eclectic
12:17 pm
Fri March 14, 2014

Josh Wechsler Brings Cabaret to City Theatre

Josh Wechsler has appeared onstage in numerous musicals and straight plays, but he really loves old-school cabaret,where a performer sings songs and chats with an intimate audience. That’s the vibe he’s going for with his new show, "Here With You! Unexpected Songs from Sondheim to Zeppelin."

When going through his repertoire to prepare for this show, Wechsler discovered a common theme in many of the songs he'd chosen -- that of community and shared experience. That theme works nicely with an intimate, cabaret-style show, and "Here With You!" came into being.

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SXSW 2014
6:50 am
Fri March 14, 2014

SXSW Filmmaker Spotlight: Rob Thomas Brings 'Veronica Mars' to The Big Screen

Kristen Bell reprises her role as Veronica Mars in the film based on the characters in the TV show.
Robert Voets

Austin-based writer/director Rob Thomas’s film “Veronica Mars” hits theatres this week. But South by Southwest audiences got to see it first.

The film revisits the characters Thomas created for the “Veronica Mars” TV show – which was canceled back in 2007 after three seasons. But fans demanded more. And an enormously successful Kickstarter campaign provided the budget for the much-anticipated follow up.

KUT sat down with Thomas to talk about the journey of making this film:

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SXSW 2014
4:46 pm
Wed March 12, 2014

SXSW Filmmaker Spotlight: Austin's Kat Candler Explores Consequences in 'Hellion'

Filmmaker Kat Candler says she got the idea to write "Hellion" based on stories told by her uncles.
Lauren Logan

Austin-based writer/director Kat Candler’s star continues to rise. Her short film “Black Metal” attracted the attention of critics and her feature film “Hellion” premiered at Sundance.

“Hellion” is also screening at South by Southwest Film. It's about a father and two sons struggling to deal with a recent death and the consequences of their poor choices in reaction to it.

KUT talked with Candler about her latest film:

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