Life & Arts

Arts and Culture
4:02 pm
Tue January 22, 2013

George Saunders Visits KUT

George Saunders is a MacArthur "genius grant" recipient and contributor for The New Yorker.
Filipa Rodrigues for KUT News

KUT's Emily Donahue talks with George Saunders about his new book, Tenth of December.

KUT’s Emily Donahue sat down with the author of a book unlike any other you may have read. It’s a short story collection with stories as short as a page and a half – but an impact that lingers for days. The book is "Tenth of December" and the author is George Saunders, who is widely acclaimed as one of the most important writers of our time.

Arts and Culture
6:18 am
Tue January 22, 2013

Photos: Inside the Giant, Architecturally Designed Inflatable Castle Visiting Austin

Filipa Rodrigues for KUT News

The Architects of Air are back in Austin. Sound, color and light are all utilized to the fullest in this immersive experience hosted at the Long Center.

The art installation resembles a giant inflatable castle, occupies half a football field and rises to the height of a 3-story house. This visually overwhelming experience is created by sunlight streaming into the castle, bringing with it all kinds of bright colors and shapes.

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Arts and Culture
5:00 am
Tue January 22, 2013

UT Prof Works to Define Elusive Concept of Happiness

People define happiness differently, but a couple of traits are universal.
flickr.com/trufflepig

We all think we know what happy means. But when you get down to it, how would we actually define it? Raj Raghunathan has tried. He teaches marketing at UT’s McCombs School of Business. He studies, among other things, consumer behavior, decision theory, and happiness. Raghunathan says different people define happiness differently, but a couple of traits are universal. It’s a positive emotion, and we want to experience it. But, he says, pursuing society’s most common markers of happiness won’t actually get us there.

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Arts and Culture
3:26 pm
Mon January 21, 2013

Antone's Leaving Fifth St. Location

Antone's has been a staple among live music venues for over 30 years
http://www.flickr.com/photos/paul_lowry/

Antone’s will reportedly move out of its West 5th location in favor of a more customer-friendly location.

The club's Frank Hendrix said Antone’s current location has hampered concert-goers due to traffic and lack of parking availability in the warehouse district area. Last year, Hendrix relocated both Emo’s and Beauty Ballroom from the downtown area to East Riverside, in favor of larger spaces.

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Arts and Culture
12:02 pm
Mon January 21, 2013

Circuit of the Americas Opening Music Venue in Spring

The Tower Amphitheater will have a capacity for over 15,000 fans
http://toweramphitheater.com/

The Circuit of the Americas announced today that they will debut their shiny new music venue, the Tower Amphitheater, this spring with a concert featuring country music star Kenny Chesney on April 5.

COTA officials say the festival will bring new opportunities to the complex largely known for motorsports, and that they plan on scheduling 15 to 20 shows a year to keep the circuit occupied between race days.

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Arts and Culture
11:50 am
Mon January 21, 2013

Meet the Austin DJ Spinning Obama’s Inaugural Ball

Austin's DJ Mel is playing Obama's inagural ball and at the National Day of Service on the National Mall in D.C.
djmel.com

It’s a long way from the sweaty dance floor of a club called Nasty’s to President Barack Obama’s inaugural ball in Washington D.C. But it’s a trek Austin’s DJ Mel has made.

DJ Mel, aka Mel Sandico, is a fixture of Austin’s club scene. DJing in Austin since 1995, he’s kept a weekly hip hop night going at Nasty’s for nearly as long. And since 2001, every couple of months he drops “Rock the Casbah,” a musical-mashup of the best the ‘80s has to offer. That’s not to mention gigs at Lollapalooza, Austin City Limits and more: “club dates, weddings, in-stores … you name it,” he says.

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Arts and Culture
1:20 pm
Fri January 18, 2013

Watch: This Austin Filmmaker Documents 2012 With One Amazing Second a Day

A local filmmaker's short has gone viral on Vimeo.
Jonathan Britnell, vimeo.com

With 295,000 views and counting on video site Vimeo, the popularity of the video “2012. 366 days. 366 seconds.” isn’t slowing down.

Made by Austin filmmaker Jonathan Britnell, the video captures moments around Austin and in Britnell’s life. Each day of the 2012 leap year gets one second, making the video 366 seconds long. 

“The main reason I decided to do it was just to try to be more creative, just to try to do something creative everyday,” Britnell says.

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Arts and Culture
9:58 am
Fri January 18, 2013

'So You Think You Can Dance' Comes to Austin

So You Think You Can Dance, Fox's reality dance competition, is holding auditions in Austin.
flickr.com/44549151@N03/

Fox has a question for you Austin: Do you think you can dance?

So You Think You Can Dance,” that long-running televised dance competition that airs on Fox during the summer, is holding auditions in Austin today and Saturday at the Long Center for the Performing Arts. Doors for the auditions open at 8 a.m.

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Arts and Culture
6:15 am
Thu January 17, 2013

Sundance Festival has Texas Tinge

Elise Gardner in "Spark," playing at Slamdance Film Festival.
Annie Silverstein

The Sundance Film Festival gets under way today in Park City, Utah. The 10-day festival features more than 100 films by directors from around the world. Ten of those are Texas filmmakers, and Austin’s film community helped bring those films to the silver screen.

A group of local filmmakers and critics assembled in a screening room at Austin Studios last week. They were there to watch short films and clips from a full-length feature making its debut at Sundance. But it was a little hard keep track of just who did what.

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Arts and Culture
3:50 pm
Wed January 16, 2013

Frontera Fest Celebrates 20th Year

Hyde Park Theatre

Good news, theater junkies.  Frontera Fest 2013, the festival that exhibits veteran and up-and-coming playwrights of Austin, began yesterday.

The festival features plays, choreography, comedy improv, monologues, avant-garde, and all creative utterances of over 250 performers on the “fringe” of the theater world.

Rest assured, it’s friggin’ fringe-tastic. 

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SXSW
10:48 am
Wed January 16, 2013

SXSW 2013: Several Films to Premiere in Austin

We're getting a first look at some of the films that will draw crowds at SXSW 2013.
Jeff Heimsath for KUT News

It's SXSW season, folks.

The South by Southwest Film Conference and Festival has announced part of the line up of films to premiere at the 20th edition of the festival.

The film festival will open with the world premiere of the Steve Carell comedy, The Incredible Burt Wonderstone. Carell, as Burt Wonderstone, partners with Steve Buscemi, to play superstar Las Vegas magicians whose careers face jeopardy when rival street-magician, Jim Carrey, begins outperforming the duo. Festival goers can catch the film one week before the theatrical release, March 15.

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Arts and Culture
8:21 am
Tue January 15, 2013

More Young People Are Moving Away From Religion, But Why?

(From left) Yusuf Ahmad, Kyle Simpson, and Melissa Adelman also participated in the discussion about religion with NPR's David Greene at the Sixth & I Historic Synagogue in Washington, D.C.
Coburn Dukehart NPR

Originally published on Wed January 16, 2013 5:24 pm

One-fifth of Americans are religiously unaffiliated — higher than at any time in recent U.S. history — and those younger than 30 especially seem to be drifting from organized religion. A third of young Americans say they don't belong to any religion.

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Movies
7:58 am
Thu January 10, 2013

'Lincoln' Leads With 12 Oscar Nominations

Daniel Day-Lewis, in the lead role of Lincoln.
David James DreamWorks

Originally published on Thu January 10, 2013 8:20 am

Update at 9:00 a.m. ET:

Lincoln, director Stephen Spielberg's acclaimed look at the 16th president's push for the 13th Amendment that abolished slavery, has been nominated for Oscar awards in 12 categories, it was announced this morning in Hollywood. That's the most for any single film.

Life of Pi is up for 11 awards. Les Miserables and Silver Linings Playbook are up for eight.

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Arts and Culture
2:18 pm
Thu December 27, 2012

It’s In the Mail: An Austin Student and the Lost Art of Letter Writing

St. Edward's student Gerald Llorence loves the beauty of a handwritten letter.
flickr.com/meredithharris

It’s that time of year when our mailboxes fill up not just with bills and credit card applications, but holiday greetings.

While most of us enjoy getting cards and notes on holidays and birthdays for the most part, the tradition of sending and receiving personal snail mail seems to be fading. Just ask the U.S. Postal Service.

One local man isn’t out to save the post office, but he does want more of us to get back to putting pens to paper.

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Arts and Culture
8:17 am
Thu December 27, 2012

In Rapid-Fire 2012, Memes' Half-Life Fell To A Quarter

A screengrab from the "Kony 2012" online video about the Central African warlord Joseph Kony, which skyrocketed in popularity after its release in March. It was criticized, then forgotten, just as quickly.
via YouTube

Originally published on Thu December 27, 2012 3:34 am

Last June, a young woman in Texas uploaded a Justin Bieber fan video. She seemed a little .... unhinged.

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Music
2:20 pm
Tue December 11, 2012

Lyle Lovett: Tiny Desk Concert

Lyle Lovett performs a Tiny Desk Concert on Nov. 13, 2012.
Ryan Smith NPR

Originally published on Mon December 23, 2013 5:48 pm

For all of Lyle Lovett's considerable artistic gifts — a distinctive voice, easygoing charisma, rare talent for wordplay — his greatest attribute may be the way he radiates infectious calm. He's a one-time tabloid fixture who writes wry, bittersweet songs of longing, but Lovett in person is like a vortex into which stress and drama disappear.

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Music
2:40 pm
Mon December 10, 2012

Grammy Nominations 2012: The Comedown

Nate Ruess performs at the Grammy nominations concert on Dec. 5. Ruess's band, fun., was nominated for Album, Record and Song of the year.
Kevin Winter Getty Images

Originally published on Mon December 10, 2012 11:32 am

Thanks largely to a few flukes, the Grammy Awards had an awfully good 2012.

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Alamo Drafthouse
12:07 pm
Wed December 5, 2012

Video: Alamo Drafthouse Names 'Don't Talk & Text' PSA Winners

An "Unforgivable" entry won the Alamo Drafthouse's "Don't Talk, Don't Text" PSA contest.
Possum Box and Alamo Drafthouse

If you've ever been to an Alamo Drafthouse theater, then you're familiar with the pre-movie videos telling patrons to shut-up and turn off their phone.

The short videos have often featured movie stars or famous directors or even former Texas Governors.

But this year the Austin-based theater chain asked its fans to produce some new "Don't Talk" PSA's.

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Arts and Culture
2:52 pm
Fri November 30, 2012

Postal Service Delivers Stamp Honoring Lady Bird Johnson

Lady Bird Johnson's stamp is modeled after her official White House portrait.
United States Postal Service

The U.S. Postal Service unveiled new stamps Friday honoring Lady Bird Johnson. The First Lady would have celebrated her 100th birthday next month.

The set features Johnson’s official White House portrait along with adaptations of five stamps first issued in the 1960’s. Those commemorate her legacy for preserving nature and beautifying cities.

The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center hosted a dedication ceremony for the stamps today. The center's officials say it's an important honor for Johnson and one that she deserves.

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Fun Fun Fun Fest
2:36 pm
Tue November 27, 2012

With $27 Million Impact, Fun Fun Fun Fest Joins the Big Boys

Crowds watch the stage on Fun Fun Fun Fest 2012's Friday night.
Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon, KUT

In its second year at Auditorium Shores, Fun Fun Fun Fest took off. Now the City of Austin puts that growth at $27 million – the amount the fest is estimated to have pumped into Austin’s economy.

The mayor’s office announced Tuesday that the three-day underground music festival attracted a total north of 55,000 attendees. The $27 million estimate was provided by the Austin Convention and Visitors Bureau.

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