Life & Arts

Arts and Culture
9:59 am
Tue May 1, 2012

What Makes Austin's Food Scene Great: A Conversation with Andrew Zimmern

Andrew Zimmern says the best part of Austin's food scene is the diners.
Photo courtesy of Austin Food & Wine Festival

Andrew Zimmern, the host of Travel Channel's Bizarre Foods (where he's made a name for himself eating exotic things like fermented beetle anus), heaped some praise on the local food scene at the Austin Food Festival this weekend. But while Zimmern is fond of many Austin chefs, farmers and restaurants, he saves the highest praise for Austinites themselves.

KUT: So tell us why you're here at this food festival in Austin.

Andrew Zimmern: "I think Austin has a very special food community in terms of diners. It's the diners and the Austinites that have created the atmosphere for all this amazing food here to flourish.

Every single person I've spoken to here at this festival, I think, gets it all wrong about Austin. Everybody puts the food and chefs first, and I think it's not chicken or egg, it's very matter-of-fact: the audience here in Austin is unique. They are willing to be experimented at, and they do not hold grudges against chefs that make mistakes or have failures, as long as that chef is willing to get back on their bicycle and start pedaling again.

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Arts and Culture
10:09 am
Mon April 30, 2012

Caro's 'Passage Of Power': LBJ's Political Genius

Keystone Getty Images

Originally published on Mon April 30, 2012 9:26 am

Robert Caro writes obsessively about power. Fittingly, it's Lyndon Johnson — catapulted suddenly into the presidency "in the crack of a gunshot" — who consumes him.

The Passage of Power, the fourth volume of Caro's massive biography of Lyndon Johnson, is released this week. Caro has dedicated decades to meticulously researching Johnson's life, and the previous books in the series have been almost universally hailed as a significant achievement in American letters.

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food and wine festival
10:47 am
Sat April 28, 2012

First Austin Food & Wine Festival Gets Cooking

Gail Simmons says Austin is bursting with creativity.
Photo courtesy Austin Food & Wine Festival

Austin’s long been known as the Live Music Capital of the World. But these days the city’s also on the map for its food scene.  Today the first Austin Food and Wine festival kicks off at Auditorium shores. We sat down with Gail Simmons, a judge on Top Chef and a figure at Food and Wine magazine, about what’s on tap at the festival and why they chose Austin in the first place. 

KUT: What was it about Austin that attracted you and the festival here?

Gail Simmons: "Interestingly, I think both art and craft in Austin are alive and well. It's a young, energetic city, obviously partially because of the huge student culture here. And it's just full of great art and great design and great music. And it only makes sense that food would follow.

Over the last several years, we've seen a huge surge in great, creative young talent in the food world. There's been some great young chefs coming out of Texas, notably Tyson Cole at Uchi and Bryce Gilmore at Barley Swine just a year or two ago. Those are only two of them, certainly. But there seems to be a great energy here, a great mix of cultures and cuisines creating this signature style that Austin is really known for now.

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Arts and Culture
1:47 pm
Thu April 26, 2012

Marooned In L.A. For A Week, Coachella Bands Make Do

Ian St. Pe of the band Black Lips performs at this year's Coachella festival in Indio, Calif. Like many of the artists on the bill, the band agreed not to book other shows in Southern California within months of the event.
Michael Buckner Getty Images

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 9:51 am

The massive Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival came to a close in California on Sunday after two weekends worth of sold-out shows by over 150 artists.

One of those acts was the Austin, Texas, band Explosions in the Sky, which first played Coachella back in 2007 and has seen its profile grow since then.

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Arts and Culture
10:22 am
Mon April 23, 2012

Check Out Photos of Willie Nelson and His New Statue

The bronze likeness of Nelson is presented to the public.
Photo by Jeff Heimsath for KUT News.

Austin got its long-awaited glimpse at the new Willie Nelson statue on Friday.

The April 20th unveiling of the statue was captured by photographer Jeff Heimsath for KUT News. On hand for the commemoration of the eight-foot tall, one-ton statue was the Red-Headed Stranger himself, who treated the audience to a song.

Arts and Culture
11:25 am
Fri April 20, 2012

13 Reasons To Visit Your Local Record Store Day On Saturday

Toledo, Ohio's Culture Clash Records is one of the many stores opening their doors this Saturday with exclusive new vinyl.
Courtesy of Roger Zender

Originally published on Sat April 21, 2012 8:24 am

Record Store Day is like a one-day-a-year time machine. On Saturday, April 21, independent record stores around the country will be mobbed by music fans anxiously lining up to get their hands on actual pieces of plastic with musical information etched onto either side. We can't help it. After spending the rest of the year getting access to just about any piece of music we want without ever interacting with another human being, Record Store Day brings out the collector in us all.

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Arts and Culture
5:49 pm
Thu April 19, 2012

Legendary Rangers Catcher Ivan Rodriguez Will Retire After a 23-Year Career

In this Sept. 13, 2009, photo, Texas Rangers catcher Ivan Rodriguez pauses during a baseball game against the Seattle Mariners in Arlington, Texas.
Tony Gutierrez AP

Originally published on Thu April 19, 2012 2:48 pm

Next Monday, Ivan "Pudge" Rodriguez, considered one of Major League Baseball's greatest catchers, will announce his retirement.

The news was first reported by the AP and confirmed today by the Texas Rangers, the team where Rodriguez made his debut.

Rodriguez, a 14-time All-Star, won a record 13 Gold Golves. The AP reports:

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Arts and Culture
11:21 am
Wed April 18, 2012

Tonight: 'Party Down' at the Bob Bullock

The lost 'Party Down' pilot screens tonight, with UT grad and co-creator Rob Thomas in attendance.
Photo courtesy starz.com/partydown

In June 2010, cable channel Starz canceled Party Down after just two seasons.  The critically revered but little seen show, which depicted Hollywood hopefuls working dreary day jobs for a catering company, was co-created and co-written by UT grad (and former San Antonio high school teacher) Rob Thomas.

Tonight, Thomas returns to Austin to screen the show's unaired pilot.

Shot at Thomas' house, the pilot was used to sell the show to Starz network.  Besides Lizzy Caplan, the spot included the whole original cast, including Jane Lynch (who would eventually leave to join the cast of Glee) and Adam Scott (who got snatched up by Parks & Recreation). 

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Arts and Culture
10:45 am
Wed April 18, 2012

Kat Edmonson 'Just Wasn't Made For These Times'

"As usual, the party in my imagination is much grander than the actual one," Kat Edmonson says of the song "Champagne."
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue April 17, 2012 5:30 pm

A lot of the songs on Kat Edmonson's new album, Way Down Low, have a timeless sound, due in part to her own timeless-sounding voice. But she isn't above revealing her influences: The song "Champagne," she admits, was crafted with a particular American songsmith in mind.

"I was trying to write a song like Cole Porter," Edmonson tells NPR's Melissa Block. "Me and a million other people are trying to write a song like Cole Porter."

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Religion
4:06 pm
Fri April 6, 2012

Tim Tebow Coming to Georgetown Easter Sunday

Tim Tebow takes a knee in prayer during his breakout season.
Photo courtesy Wikimedia Commons user Clemed, http://bit.ly/HonWTW

Known for his unorthodox quarterbacking and conservative Christian beliefs, Tim Tebow – who helped earn the Denver Broncos a divisional title last season, before going to the New York Jets – is appearing at Georgetown's Celebration Church this Easter Sunday, April 8. Gates open at 8 a.m., and the service begins at 10 a.m.

Celebration Church’s main campus is almost 8,000 square feet, but for an event this large – the church anticipates some 20,000 attendees – services will be held outdoors on Celebration’s 110-acre site. “We’re literally taking our service outdoors for the first time,” says Tara Wall, Celebration Church’s Media and Communications Director.

The estimate is a big bump from Celebration’s already-large numbers: Wall says Celebration hosts five to seven thousand attendees any given Sunday. Parking will not be allowed on site. Street closures will encompass a mile radius around the church, but nine off-site parking lots with shuttle service will deliver parishioners to Tebow.

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Technology
10:08 pm
Thu April 5, 2012

When Online Hacking Poses Real-World Dangers

In January, the hacker group Anonymous staged a demonstration at a BART station in San Francisco after officials turned off cell phone service in its stations.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Thu April 5, 2012 9:08 pm

There are a couple interesting Anonymous stories out there in the ether today. First, the news.

The group claims to have hacked a number of Chinese government websites. Last month, Anonymous China launched its own Twitter account. It was endorsed by the YourAnonNews account, which is kind of the unofficial clearinghouse of Anonymous posts on Twitter. And then the folks who are behind this project got to work.

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film
4:18 pm
Thu April 5, 2012

From Porn House to Drafthouse: Alamo Announces New NYC Location

New York City's storied Metro Theater, which will house the newest Alamo Drafthouse.
Photo courtesy flickr.com/specialkrb

The Alamo Drafthouse will open its first location next year in New York City.

The five-screen theater will be on Manhattan’s Upper West Side, inside the former Metro Theater at 2626 Broadway

The New York Times notes the “turbulent history” of the art deco-adorned theater, which over the years has been an art-house, a porn theater, and more. When the Times checked in on the Metro in 2011, it noted a protracted legal battle had ensnared the property — challenges that have now apparently been resolved.

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Culture
1:42 pm
Wed April 4, 2012

Hispanic or Latino? Most Spanish Speakers Say Neither

A recent study found American Hispanics prefer to identify with their country of ancestry.
Photo courtesy flickr.com/carlandkalah

"Hispanic," or "Latino?"  Turns out, most Americans of Spanish-speaking origin don't find either term specific enough.

A survey released by the Pew Hispanic Center this morning shows more than half of those surveyed want be known by their family's country of origin: 51 percent surveyed said they preferred to be called "Mexican" or "Argentinian," for example.

According to the Pew Hispanic Center, just 24 percent  say they use the terms "Hispanic" or "Latino" most often to describe their identity. And 21 percent  say they use the term “American” most often.

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Arts and Culture
8:04 am
Tue April 3, 2012

Media Outlets Adapt to Growing Hispanic Audience

Originally published on Wed April 4, 2012 1:01 pm

Rapid growth in the U.S. Hispanic community has created another boom — in Hispanic media. In recent months, several major media players have announced plans to join the competition for the Hispanic television audience. There's a new Hispanic broadcast TV network coming, plus a host of new cable channels aimed at Latinos.

The numbers tell the story: According to the census, the U.S. Hispanic population jumped by more than 40 percent in the past decade. The nation's 50 million-plus Hispanics now make up 16 percent of the TV-viewing public.

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Arts and Culture
1:50 pm
Thu March 29, 2012

Photos: See the Unveiling of the Tejano Monument

Photo by Filipa Rodrigues for KUT News

A monument honoring the contributions of Spanish and Mexican pioneers in Texas history was unveiled on the south lawn of the Capitol this morning.

Officials including Governor Rick Perry and Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst took part in the ceremony, along with hundreds of citizens excited a monument honoring Texas' unsung forebearers had been installed on the Capitol grounds.

The Tejano Monument is comprised of  11  bronze, life-size sculptures created by Laredo artist Armando Hinojosa.

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Arts and Culture
8:31 am
Wed March 28, 2012

Meet the Artist Behind the Tejano Monument Tonight

Artist Armando Hinojosa is kicking off several events surrounding the unveiling of the Tejano Monument.
Photo courtesy tejanomonument.com

The Tejano Monument  will be unveiled tomorrow on the south lawn of the Texas Capitol. 

Over a decade in the making, the work is a monument honoring the contributions of Texas’ early Spanish-Mexican settlers and their descendants. The work was developed by Laredo artist Armando Hinojosa.  He was commissioned in 2001 to create the multi-statue piece. 

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Arts and Culture
8:22 am
Fri March 23, 2012

'Mad Men' Returns On Sunday, To The Delight Of Its Excitable Fans

Jon Hamm plays Don Draper on Mad Men, which returns this Sunday night.
Frank Ockenfels AMC

Originally published on Thu March 22, 2012 11:01 pm

On Friday's Morning Edition, Elizabeth Blair investigates one of television's pressing questions: Why has Mad Men been off the air so long? It's returning this Sunday night with a two-hour season premiere, but it's still puzzled some viewers that it has been off for such a long time.

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SXSW
11:07 am
Mon March 19, 2012

With Grit And Polish, Hip-Hop Comes Of Age At SXSW

Nas performs his classic 1994 album, Illmatic, on stage at the Moody Theater in Austin, Texas during the 2012 SXSW music conference.
Heather Kennedy/WireImage Getty Images

Originally published on Thu November 8, 2012 3:36 pm

"I do music for women," said Timbaland, onstage at the Parish in Austin, Texas on Thursday afternoon to debut tracks from his as-yet-untitled and unfinished new album, likely coming this fall. "Y'all determine everything," he added, gesturing at a hoop earring-clad fan standing at the lip of the stage.

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SXSW
12:20 pm
Fri March 16, 2012

SXSW Late Night Dispatch: Thursday

The paint-splattered members of Venezuelan rock band La Vida Boheme won over NPR Music's team on the second day of the SXSW festival in Austin, Texas.
Katie Hayes Luke for NPR

Originally published on Fri March 16, 2012 9:30 am

  • Listen to Bob, Robin, Stephen and Ann on the streets of Austin, Texas on Thursday, March 15

Day two for NPR Music's team at South By Southwest started on a high note and hardly ever flagged. After the Wednesday night showcase ran to the wee hours of the morning, Thursday's opening event, a keynote address by Bruce Springsteen, didn't start until after noon, local time.

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SXSW
10:16 am
Thu March 15, 2012

SXSW Late Night Dispatch: Wednesday

Brittany Howard of Alabama Shakes won over the crowd at Stubbs — as well as NPR Music's crew — during the band's set at SXSW in Austin, Texas.
Katie Hayes Luke for NPR

Originally published on Thu March 15, 2012 9:45 am

  • Listen to the All Songs crew from the streets of Austin, Texas on Wednesday, March 14

For the NPR Music crew in Austin, Texas, Wednesday night was the official launch of South By Southwest 2012. But it wasn't really the start: SXSW has grown so much that Tuesday night acts as a warmup lap for the big event.

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