Life & Arts

SXSW
6:30 am
Thu March 14, 2013

At South By Southwest, A 71-Year-Old Guitarist Makes A Belated Debut

At age 71, nearly 50 years after his first album, guitarist Harry Taussig is releasing a follow-up — and making his concert debut at South by Southwest.
Jacob Margolis for NPR

Originally published on Fri March 15, 2013 11:42 am

This week, about 2,000 bands from around the world are performing at various venues throughout Austin, Texas, for the South by Southwest music festival. Many of the musicians are young and have had plenty of experience performing in public.

And then there's guitarist Harry Taussig, who is nearly 72 years old. On Thursday, he'll be performing live for the first time ever.

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SXSW
5:23 am
Thu March 14, 2013

Over SXSW, 'Street Treats' Snack Carts Put Homeless to Work

Coffee and snack wagons are giving some homeless people in Austin a source of income.
Filipa Rodrigues, KUT News

Can homeless people pedal their way into a home? An Austin nonprofit certainly hopes so. 

It also hopes to capitalize on the large crowds drawn to town for South by Southwest. So, during the festival, the nonprofit Mobile Loaves and Fishes equipped a group of homeless people with foot-powered snack-vending carts and uniforms. The new business is called Street Treats, and the vendors get to keep the profits.

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SXSW
3:56 pm
Wed March 13, 2013

SXSW Interactive: 99% Invisible's Roman Mars on Podcasting

Roman Mars' architecture and design show became Kickstarter's highest-funded journalism project.
flickr.com/curtiskennington

A conversation with 99% Invisible's Roman Mars

Roman Mars, the host and producer of 99% Invisible, is a superhero in the field of contemporary podcasting. That’s according to his co-panelists at a South by Southwest Interactive panel: Answer Me This host Helen Zaltzman, and Bullseye host and producer Jesse Thorn.

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SXSW
12:28 pm
Wed March 13, 2013

SXSW Film: One Maiden's Fantastic Voyage

Laura Dekker set out to sail around the world at the age of 14.
Maidentrip filmmakers

A word of warning: if you're going to see “Maidentrip” at SXSW Film this week (and by all means, you should), you may want to secure a large line of credit beforehand, as afterwards you'll likely have the inclination to go out, buy a boat, and set off to circumnavigate the globe.

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SXSW
11:47 am
Wed March 13, 2013

First Welcome to SXSW Visitors? Austin's Compost Fire Stench

Before SXSW visitors flying into Austin reach downtown, they're greeted by the smell of burning compost near the airport.
Filipa Rodrigues for KUT News

Austin Water is still working with the fire department to extinguish an ongoing compost fire at the Hornsby Bend Biosolids Plant.

The fire started at the waste management facility more than two weeks ago, on Monday, Feb. 25. While water utility officials have seen a reduction of smoke from the smoldering heaps – especially with help from a rainy weekend – the surrounding area still smells.

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SXSW
10:58 am
Wed March 13, 2013

Photos: SXSW Interactive Awards

Aisha Tyler hosting the 2013 South by Southwest Interactive awards last night.
Filipa Rodrigues for KUT News

Three SXSW Interactive finalists explain their projects

South by Southwest Interactive powered down last night, although not before a blowout closing party at Stubb’s Bar-B-Q and the SXSW Interactive Awards.

The 16th Annual Interactive Awards held at the Hilton Austin Downtown honored winners across 15 different categories. Emcee Aisha Tyler kept the jokes coming at a rapid clip, imploring honorees (with mixed success) to keep their acceptance speeches Tweet length. And bluegrass performers The Austin Steamers kicked the festivities off with a Texas twang.

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Arts and Culture
6:52 pm
Tue March 12, 2013

Dad's 'Donkey Kong' Hack Recasts Female As Hero For Daughter

A screenshot shows game designer Mike Mika's Donkey Kong: Pauline Edition he created for his daughter show she could play as a female hero.
Screengrab via YouTube

Originally published on Tue March 12, 2013 5:42 pm

The world of video games has a long history of damsels in distress. It's the go-to framework for endless heroic adventures where fabulous male heroes journey to save [insert female captured by villain here].

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SXSW
2:54 pm
Tue March 12, 2013

At SXSW Interactive, Civic Apps Hack City Data For a Safer Austin

A "hackathon" of City of Austin data resulted in an app mapping the location of known dangerous dogs.
flickr.com/satyrika

As South by Southwest Interactive grows, so does the difficulty of trying to encapsulate the annual conference. And while onlookers can point to big themes in 2013 and much, much more, one burgeoning area with real world applications is civic apps and hacks.

Simply put, civic apps take publicly available data – anything from crime statistics to restaurant inspection scores – and mashes them up with applications like maps, making them accessible to the smartphone set. The biggest example is Code for America, a national non-profit that works with cities to develop meaningful data applications.

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SXSW
11:59 am
Tue March 12, 2013

The RSVP Economy: SXSW, Marketing and Your Email

SXSW 2012 attendees lined up to get into a unofficial, RSVP-required party. RSVP services will now automatically register customers for dozens of parties.
Jeff Heimsath for KUT News

Austin-based service helps you navigate unofficial SXSW parties – for a fee

If you’ve ever attended South by Southwest, then you know: Invitations to private events come fast and furious, and it’s hard to keep on top of them.

That’s where RSVPster comes in. It charges customers 30 to 40 bucks to respond to invitations to unofficial events during the SXSW Interactive and Music conferences. Though it’s the company’s third festival, founder Jennifer Sinski says it’s gotten its fair share of criticism since the service started.

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SXSW
7:21 am
Tue March 12, 2013

Self-Tracking Apps To Help You 'Quantify' Yourself

Noah Zandan shows off his Zeo sleep-tracking headband. His other self-tracking devices are on his wrists. Noah and his father, Peter, are both part of the growing "Quantified Self" movement.
Elise Hu NPR

Originally published on Tue March 12, 2013 10:11 am

Technology has made it easier than ever to track your activity levels, your sleep cycles, how you spend your time, and more. The self-trackers who near-obsessively capture and analyze their own data are part of a growing "Quantified Self" movement.

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SXSW
5:28 pm
Mon March 11, 2013

Photos: SXSW Monday, March 11

A duo of jazz musicians play on Sixth Street during SXSW.
Filipa Rodrigues for KUT News

With badge pickup for the music portion of South by Southwest open, a changing of the guard is afoot.

While the crowds at Austin Convention Center are as thick as ever, spillover into the streets of downtown Austin is relatively quiet at this point.

“This year it seems a little bit calmer that last year, so far,” Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo said.  “Music starts tomorrow, so we anticipate things to start heating up.”

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SXSW Film
4:53 pm
Mon March 11, 2013

SXSW Film: Looking In on God's Vegas, aka Branson, Missouri

The city of Branson, Missouri is home to under 11,000 permanent residents, but enjoys more than 7.5 million visitors a year. A new documentary premiering at SXSW Film this week takes a peek behind the rhinestone curtain to look at the lives of the performers when they’re not on stage. It’s called ‘We Always Lie to Strangers.’

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Technology
2:04 pm
Mon March 11, 2013

May You Tweet In Peace: Social Media Beyond the Grave

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Mon March 11, 2013 12:54 pm

What happens after we die? For millennia it's been both a question and a debate among mortal humans, but in the 21st century, there's a new twist: What happens to our social media life once we've left this earth (and does the afterlife have Wi-Fi)?

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SXSW
11:00 am
Mon March 11, 2013

Photos: Texas Film Shines with 'Mud,' 'Before Midnight' and 'When Angels Sing' at SXSW

Matthew McConaughey's "Mud" will be released April 26.
Filipa Rodrigues for KUT News

Starting with Richard Linklater's latest film "Before Midnight" screening Saturday, SXSW Film saw several Texans walk the red carpet.

Sunday saw the screening of "Mud," starring Texas actor Matthew McConaughey, along with "Tree of Life" actor Tye Sheridan and first-time actor Jacob Lofland. The feature from director Jeff Nichols tells the adventure of two boys who meet a fugitive in the middle of an island and try to help him reunite with his true love.

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SXSW
10:41 am
Mon March 11, 2013

SXSW Film Traces New Orleans' Post-Katrina Trek to 'Abnormal'

Three stalwart Saints fans during the team's 2010 playoff season.
facebook.com/GettingBackToAbnormal

Post-Katrina New Orleans is "Getting Back to Abnormal"

Hurricane Katrina changed more than just the landscape of New Orleans. After the disaster, thousands of people moved away from the city, most of them black and poor. In the years since, the city has slowly been rebuilt. But what has become of its culture?

KUT News reports on a new film premiering today at the South by Southwest film festival, “Getting Back to Abnormal,” that tries to answer that question.

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SXSW
6:46 am
Mon March 11, 2013

The Most Talked About Tech And Culture Trends At SXSW Interactive

The feline known as Grumpy Cat.
Elise Hu NPR

Originally published on Mon March 11, 2013 7:40 pm

Everywhere you walk in downtown Austin, Texas, new names compete for the attention of the tens of thousands wandering the SXSW Interactive festival. Which of this year's emerging ideas and brands — MakerBot, Leap Motion, Geomagic — will break into mainstream consciousness? Here's a quick rundown of the conversation topics in coffee lines, and some notes on appearances and panels that caught our attention:

Beyond The Keyboard And Mouse

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SXSW
8:28 pm
Sat March 9, 2013

Photos: Gaming Expo Brings Geek Culture to SXSW

SXSW Gaming Expo is free and open to the public throughout the weekend.
Filipa Rodrigues for KUT News

SXSW Gaming Expo kicked off today, with thousands of people filling the Palmer Events Center. From computer tech to board games, the expo has companies from all over country unveiling their new demos.

"The Gaming Expo is a great opportunity for people who had been reading about games or had seen them online, to actually come in and try them out," says Nintendo of America's Kit Ellis. Nintendo is premiering more than 10 video games.

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SXSW
11:30 am
Sat March 9, 2013

After Cat Video Film Fest, Art World Asks: Is This The End?

A still from YouTube video "Cute Cat Thinks Its a Dog," one submission to the Walker's cat video festival.
YouTube, http://bit.ly/14GzVFN

Scott Stullen and Katie Hill, co-curators of the now legendary Internet Cat Video Festival of 2012 spoke to a room full of cat lovers at SXSW Interactive. Their session featured…adorable cat videos! The questions the project raised were inevitable: Why cats? and Is this art?

What made the event significant was not only that it was the first, but also that the event took place at the highly renowned Walker Art Center. The cat video festival was a new translation of the center’s formal experimental program. This particular experiment was a runaway success.

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SXSW
8:59 am
Sat March 9, 2013

Photos: 'Burt Wonderstone,' 'Evil Dead' SXSW Red Carpet Premieres

Jim Carrey, one of the stars of The Incredible Burt Wonderstone, which had its premiere at the Paramount Theater Friday as part of the South by Southwest Film Festival.
Filipa Rodrigues for KUT News

The 20th year of South by Southwest Film kicked off Friday night with "The Incredible Burt Wonderstone". 

It was the world premiere of Don Scardino's movie, starring Steve Carell, Steve Buscemi and Jim Carrey in a tale about a world-famous duo of magicians in Las Vegas. The event also brought to Austin some well-known Hollywood actors and filled the Paramount with laughter.

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SXSW
7:00 am
Sat March 9, 2013

SXSW: Bob Garfield on the New Rules for Effective Adverstising

Bob Garfield looks like a nice guy. He could be a good friend, right? He argues that's how companies and advertisers now have to treat the public - just like people treat each other in one-on-one-relationships.

KUT's Jennifer Stayton talks with advertising critic and "On the Media" co-host Bob Garfield about what he's calling the "Relationship Era" of advertising.

Remember some of those catchy old commercial jingles: "plop, plop fizz, fizz".... or "you deserve a break today?' Well, a fragmented mass media audience and ever-evolving technologies may be making those a thing of the past.

Bob Garfield is an advertising critic, author, consultant, and co-host of NPR's "On the Media" (quick plug: you can hear it Sunday mornings at 9:00 on KUT 90.5). He says companies have to trade in the old rules of reaching the mass market with the a new set of rules that mimic the way people treat each other. 

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