Life & Arts

SXSW
2:01 pm
Tue March 13, 2012

From Rick Rolling to Revolution: The Story of Anonymous

The iconic Guy Fawkes mask associated with Anonymous.
Photo courtesy flickr.com/gato-gato-gato

How did a group of Internet enthusiasts evolve from online trolling to altering the course of world politics?

That was the focus of a South by Southwest Film and Interactive panel today delving into Anonymous, the loosely-organized collective of “hacktivists” that have brought attention to the Stop Internet Piracy Act (SOPA) and claimed credit for compromising the servers of Austin-based global intelligence firm Stratfor, releasing the company’s emails to Wikileaks.

In contrast to many of the sensational stories Anonymous generates, “I don’t think anything had been done where you’re trying to figure out where it came from and what it is,” said Brian Knappenberger. He’s at SXSW with his documentary, “WE ARE LEGION: The Story of the Hacktivists.” Although this today's panel was ostensibly about the film, it ended up being largely about Anonymous in general, which continues to generate headlines.

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SXSW
11:26 am
Mon March 12, 2012

Amanda Marcotte on Pickup Artists: 'I Don’t Like Charlatans, And I Definitely Don’t Like Sexists'

Blogger Amanda Marcotte sounds off on supposed "pickup artists"
Photo courtesy flickr.com/tankgrrl

While it's easy to forget in the hubub of South by Southwest, it's college Spring Break this week. So as thousands of college students get ready to party, and perhaps try out their pickup lines, one local blogger is warning women to be on the lookout for dubious techniques.

Amanda Marcotte spoke at SXSW Interactive over the weekend. Marcotte, who runs the liberal feminist blog Pandagon, was part of the panel “Sex Nets: Pickup Artists vs. Feminists,” which delved into tips and tricks men share online – and charge money to teach in seminars – on how to "pick up" women.

“I felt like a lot of men are attracted to this [concept] for somewhat of the wrong reasons,” Marcotte told KUT News. “That they feel it’s frustrating for them to be told that women can say no, when men are given a lot of entitlement in this world. … I think pick up artists sort of prey on that in men, and use that to get money from them. And I don’t like charlatans, and I definitely don’t like sexists, so it’s sort of a combination of two things I really hate!”

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SXSW
10:00 am
Mon March 12, 2012

Food Trucks Become Corporate Ads at SXSW

A man takes a free hamburger made by P. Terry's at a food truck operated by the web host Squarespace.
Photo by Nathan Bernier, KUT News

One of the trends at this year’s edition of South by Southwest involves major national brands using food trucks to create a kind of interactive marketing experience. But they’re relying on Austin eateries to inject some local flavor into the mix.

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SXSW
9:22 am
Mon March 12, 2012

Watch Bloggers Discuss the 2012 Election, Live From SXSW

Live video by Ustream

Here’s one South by Southwest Interactive panel you don’t need a badge for.

At 9:30 a.m. today, a group of panelists are gathering to answer a question: “Can Bloggers Put Hope Back Into the 2012 Election?” The group is set to discuss whether the online team the Obama campaign assembled in 2008 can be jump-started this cycle and counter potential Democratic unenthusiasm:

2008 was the first Election in American History where bloggers and vloggers helped shape the political narrative and carry President Obama to the presidency. Four years later, the Administration has not nurtured these pop cultural connections. Will the blogosphere turn out for Obama in 2012?

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SXSW
3:46 pm
Sun March 11, 2012

Sunday SXSW Roundup: Catch KUT’s 'Daily Buzz' and Follow Us On Tumblr

A SXSW registrant sorts through a "swag bag."
Photo by Jeff Heimsath for KUT News

Follow Us on Tumblr

KUT has a Tumblr account documenting SXSW on the fly, with photos, videos and more. KUT’s Terrence Henry, covering SXSW Film, has posted a review of "Electrick Children":

They shot the film on the burnt orange landscapes of Southern Utah and the urban desolation of Las Vegas over four weeks, filming six days a week. One of the bigger obstacles they faced during filming, despite the fact they were in the desert, was rain. “The rain follows us wherever we go, even here to Austin,” the director said during the Q&A afterwards. 

The film stars Rory Culkin (yes, of that family) and the delicate Julia Garner (playing the lead, Rachel), who’s only eighteen years old. You may remember her from a smaller role in Martha Marcy May Marlene.

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SXSW
3:19 pm
Sun March 11, 2012

From Thousands Of Bands, Four SXSW Discoveries

K Ishibashi, who performs under the name Kishi Bashi, will perform at SXSW Friday.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Mon April 30, 2012 10:27 am

This week, more than 2,000 bands will perform live as part of the South by Southwest music festival in Austin, Texas — and each will hope to stand out somehow. It's one thing to play SXSW, but another to generate excitement.

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SXSW
5:40 pm
Sat March 10, 2012

Tech Firms Headhunt at SXSW

Companies paid $1,900 a table for the two-day Tech Career Expo at SXSW.
Photo by Nathan Bernier, KUT News

Austin has become a hotbed for technology companies. They account for one out of every eight jobs in the city, according to the Austin Chamber of Commerce. But a shortage of qualified workers is making it tough to fill some of those positions.

South by Southwest Interactive, currently in its second day, has brought about 18,000 technology workers to the city, and local tech firms are hoping to skim some of that talent.

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SXSW
5:17 pm
Sat March 10, 2012

The Power of Satire: Baratunde Thurston's SXSW Keynote

Baratunde Thurston speaks about his work in this promotional photo.
Photo courtesy Mindy Tucker

The SXSW Interactive kickoff keynote address was delivered today by Baratunde Thurston. That name may not be widely familiar outside plugged-in circles, but Thurston’s work is: He’s a comedian and political satirist who's driven the digital development of satirical newspaper The Onion.

He’s also an author that discusses topics from an African-American perspective. His first book, “How to Be Black,” was just published. He entwined the threads of his heritage and digital connectivity by describing how his mother, raised in rural Pennsylvania, came to join in the Black Power movement. “She changed her social networks!” Thurston said, displaying pictures on his mother marching in the street.  

But the Onion’s online content – and the strange way fake news can bleed over into real-life events – was another theme of Thurston’s speech: Earlier this year, Republican Rep. John Fleming shared a fictional Onion article, “Planned Parenthood Opens $8 Billion Abortionplex,” with his followers on Facebook, allegedly believing the article to be real.

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SXSW
12:48 pm
Sat March 10, 2012

Saturday SXSW Roundup: Braving Rain, Sitting Down with SXSWi's Director, Tips for Picking Flicks

A SXSW attendee picks up his badge and bag at the Convention Center.
Photo by Jeff Heimsath for KUT News

SXSW Attendees Are Interacting With Rain

South by Southwest Film and Interactive are well underway, but it's hard to find a bigger trending topic than the wet weather. KUT News' Nathan Bernier reported yesterday that the rain may be dampening festival goers' clothes, but not their spirits:  

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SXSW
12:34 pm
Sat March 10, 2012

SXSW Film: 'The Cabin In The Woods'

Curt (Chris Hemsworth), Holden (Jesse Williams), Jules (Anna Hutchison), Marty (Fran Kranz) and Dana (Kristen Connolly) head off for a fun weekend in Drew Goddard and Joss Whedon's The Cabin In The Woods.
Diyah Pera Lionsgate

Originally published on Sat March 10, 2012 7:13 am

When Joss Whedon introduced The Cabin In The Woods to a rowdy, friendly, huge crowd at the Paramount Theater on the opening night of the South By Southwest Film Festival, he explained that one of the challenges of marketing the film is that you really can't say anything about what happens in it. And he begged everyone in the audience not to say anything about what happens in it, either.

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Arts and Culture
12:45 pm
Fri March 9, 2012

Local Performance Part of Global 'V-Day' Campaign

Performers in Austin's V-Day staging of "the Vagina Monologues."
image courtesy facebook.com/vday.austin

February 14 was nearly a month ago, but this weekend Austin women are celebrating V-Day.

In this case V doesn’t just stand for Valentine: It also stands for "Victory" and "Vagina."

Two performances of “The Vagina Monologues” are showing at the 29 Street Ballroom this weekend. Originally written by Eve Ensler in 1994, the play – a series of monologues varying in tone and touching on topics including sexuality, reproductive issues, rape and female empowerment – has been continually updated over the years with new stories.  

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SXSW
10:47 am
Fri March 9, 2012

Five Texas Films to Watch at SXSW

Jack Black stars in Richard Linklater's "Bernie," which was filmed in Bastrop.
Image courtesy sxsw.com

Attending South by Southwest is a little like entering IKEA for the first time. The sheer size of it is enough to make anyone sweat, and ask themselves nervously: "So, where do I go first?"

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SXSW
1:29 pm
Thu March 8, 2012

SXSW Interactive 2012 Street Closure Map


View Larger Map

Get ready Austin: the South by Southwest Interactive and Film festivals are starting Friday, March 9. 

The City of Austin has announced the first of several street closures and lane reductions beginning Friday.

  • Northbound Congress Avenue will be reduced to two lanes between Seventh and Eighth streets from 10 a. m. to 11 p. m.
  • The Rainey St. district will be closed to traffic between Driskill and River streets from 3 p. m. to 11 p.m.
  • Trinity St. will be closed between Cesar Chavez.
  • Fourth streets and East Second and Third streets will be closed between Trinity and San Jacinto streets from 7 a. m. to  6 a. m.

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SXSW
9:01 am
Thu March 8, 2012

AM Update: SXSW Starts Tomorrow, Voter ID Considered in DC, and Roky Erickson: Music Ambassador

SXSW festival attendees at a book signing
Photo courtesy flickr.com/drbeachvacation

SXSW Film and Interactive Start Tomorrow

Austin’s South by Southwest Film and Interactive Festivals kicks off tomorrow and downtown is preparing.

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SXSW
9:04 am
Tue March 6, 2012

AM Update: SXSWedu Starts, Juvenile Justice System Studied, MoPac Open House Tonight

SXSWedu speakers include (left to right) S. Craig Watkins, Mike Feinberg and Arne Duncan.
Watkins photo courtesy twitter.com/scraigwatkins, Feinberg photo courtesy kipp.org, Duncan photo courtesy U.S. Dept. of Education

SXSWedu Starts Today

South by Southwest edu starts today. The conference, in its second year, brings together education professionals and business and policy leaders to discuss innovations in learning. U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan is one of this year’s keynote speakers.

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SXSW
9:07 am
Mon March 5, 2012

AM Update: Leslie in Hospice, Bastrop Judge Resigns, More Police at SXSW

Austin Homeless Icon Leslie Transferred to Hospice

Local transgendered celebrity, Leslie Cochran, was transferred out of hospital care and into an area hospice provider this weekend says community activist and friend, Debbie Russell. Russell says Leslie remains in critical condition and is receiving comfort care.

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SXSW
3:55 pm
Fri March 2, 2012

SXSW Multi-day Sound Permits Leap By a Third

Despite new restrictions, multi-day sound permits are more popular this year than in 2011.
Photo by Nathan Bernier, KUT News

After a rowdier than normal South by Southwest last year, the city sought ways to “prune it back a little bit” in 2012, says city Music Office director Don Pitts.

A trifecta of high-profile incidents marred SXSW in 2011: a crane-camera fall at Stubb’s BBQ; crowds rushing gates at Auditorium Shores at a free concert by The Strokes; and an agitated crowd's  attempt to tear down a fence at the Beauty Bar during Death From Above 1979’s set. The bedlam inspired an April Fool's Day prank from the Austin Chronicle suggesting events be moved to a self-contained dome, and Pitts pitched a proposal to “dial it back” next year.

As a result, this year the rules have changed. Promoters had to apply for sound permits up to a month in advance.

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Arts and Culture
11:04 am
Fri March 2, 2012

'Tim & Eric': Cult Comedians Boldly Go Gonzo

Eric Wareheim (left) and Tim Heidecker apply their boundary-pushing style of sketch comedy to the long-form narrative when they play fictionalized versions of themselves who must find a way to raise a billion dollars in Tim & Eric's Billion Dollar Movie.
Magnet Releasing

Originally published on Thu March 1, 2012 5:54 pm

Picture in your mind John C. Reilly, dressed in a filthy shirt that is five sizes too small, rainbow suspenders holding up his shorts, facing off with a wolf he has lured out of hiding by duct-taping slices of pepperoni pizza to his torso.

Then imagine a 90-minute film in which that's one of the least bizarre images to pass before your eyes. Now you have a fairly accurate sense of what to expect of the first feature film from the creators of the cult-hit sketch-comedy program Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job!

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SXSW
12:22 pm
Thu March 1, 2012

The Austin 100: A SXSW Mix

Katie Hayes Luke NPR

Originally published on Fri March 9, 2012 9:03 am

This audio is no longer available.

SXSW is all about volume, in more ways than one. Roughly 2,000 acts perform at the four-day music festival every year, so to spend just three minutes with each in advance of the big event is to deny your friends and loved ones a solid 100 hours of your waking, undivided attention.

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Arts and Culture
10:34 am
Wed February 29, 2012

Nailing Down The Appeal Of Pinterest

A visit to the Pinterest home page reveals images of what some say are stereotypically female interests, from women's fashions to recipes.
Pinterest

Originally published on Wed February 29, 2012 10:02 am

To the list of weird-sounding hybrid words of the digital age, like Googling and tweeting, we can now add "pinning." As in Pinterest. It's sort of an online scrapbook or bulletin board, and it's one of the fastest-growing websites in history.

Last month, more than 10 million unique visitors signed on to Pinterest. But some of them, like Billy Winburn, are still trying to get the hang of it. At an office in Alexandria, Va., Jennifer Folsom, who works a few desks away, is walking him through the process.

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