Life & Arts

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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Thanksgiving
8:15 pm
Tue November 20, 2012

Turkey Grower Calls Presidential Pardon of Bird 'An Honor'

The turkeys to be pardoned Wednesday appeared at a press conference Tuesday at the W Hotel in Washington, D.C.
Mandel Ngan AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed November 21, 2012 1:54 pm

Update at 2:32 p.m. ET:

Speaking from the White House Rose Garden, President Obama clearly related his own redemption this month to the turkeys he pardoned.

"They say that life is all about second chances, and this November I could not agree more," he said at the pardon ceremony. "The American people have spoken, and these birds are moving forward."

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Arts and Culture
1:55 pm
Mon November 19, 2012

'Gangnam Style,' Austin Style: Interest Builds in Korean Culture

A Korean language class at Austin Language Learning School. Korean teacher Immanuel Song speaks to three students.
Mincheol Kwon for KUT News

Every evening at the Austin Language Learning School in the West Campus, you can hear Korean spoken by American students.

Last Wednesday, a new Korean learning class of three people began. It started with the students receiving their new Korean names for the class. Jason Crawford was named Jaeseng Go by his teacher, which is a common name in Korea. Another student, Robert Boone, was presented the Korean name Ryubeom Ban. It’s the same family name as U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.

"I come from a pretty good family, eh?" the student joked.

Although the classmates’ motives for learning are different, there’s one common motive: the interest in Korean culture. And the huge viral video success of “Gangnam Style” – 767 million views on YouTube and counting – has become a catalyst to spread Korean culture to the U.S.

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Mexican American Cultural Center
11:28 am
Tue November 13, 2012

What Do You Want to See Next to the MACC? (Updated)

The city wants to find a use for the empty lot that will benefit the cultural center.
flickr.com/mirsasha

Update: The first of two community meetings on what to do with land next to the Mexican American Cultural Center is occurring tonight. Austin’s Parks and Recreation Department “is seeking community input to develop a range of options” for the parcel neighboring the center. The meeting is at the Mexican American Cultural Center, 600 River St., at 6:30 p.m.

Original Post (Nov. 2, 11:11 a.m.): The Mexican American Cultural Center is celebrating Dia De Los Muertos or “Day of the Dead” with a family-friendly event tomorrow.

But sugar skulls aren't the only attraction. The public is also invited to use the event to share input on what should happen to the lot next to the cultural center.

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Arts and Culture
5:04 pm
Fri November 9, 2012

Eastward Bound: Art Tour Takes Over Austin's East Side

Letters on display at the Pump Project during last year's EAST tour
Tyler Pratt for KUT News

The East Austin Studio Tour (EAST) returns this weekend.  So grab a bicycle, some friends and (maybe) some cash, then head over to the east side to see work showcased by hundreds of Austin artists.

The tour runs Nov. 8-18, but is free and open to the public this weekend (Nov. 10-11) and next (Nov. 17-18), from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Since the tour will be taking place over the crowded Formula 1 weekend, it is possible the EAST tour may be a great recreation alternative for locals looking to avoid to the congestion and traffic the festival will bring in downtown.

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Arts and Culture
12:02 pm
Mon November 5, 2012

Photos: Here’s 250 Pictures From Fun Fun Fun Fest 2012

The Friday night Fun Fun Fun Fest crowd welcomes Run-D.M.C.
Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon, KUT

The seventh-annual Fun Fun Fun Fest came to a conclusion last night.

In its second year at Auditorium Shores, the underground music festival drew roughly 15,000 people a day, according to co-founder James Moody. The fest also received some unexpected mainstream coverage from outlets like “Good Morning America,” which reported on the fest’s Taco Cannon loaded with grub from Torchy’s Tacos. But as Moody told KUT News this weekend, “It’s growing, but it’ll never do well as a very big festival.”

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Fun Fun Fun Fest
12:05 pm
Sun November 4, 2012

Fun Fun Fun Fest Grows While Staying True to its Roots

Mash up maestro Gregg Gillis, aka Girl Talk, playing Saturday night at Fun Fun Fun Fest
Mary Kang for KUT

Fun Fun Fun Fest describes itself as “the darling of independent festivals for music lovers and music makers.” But this year, with headliners like Run DMC and Girl Talk, is Fun Fun Fun Fest outgrowing its underground roots?

“It’ll never become super popular,” says James Moody, co-creator of the festival and owner of music venue The Mohawk. “It’s growing, but it’ll never do well as a very big festival.” That’s because Moody says they aren’t interested in billing big names.

Moody says they try to give attention to bands that aren’t as widely known, or inspire a small but devoted following. “We try to keep people on their toes and remind people that there are no genres anymore, so we don’t try to pigeon hole with our headlines,” Moody says. “We could throw a curveball and get The Cure next year or something.”

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Fun Fun Fun Fest
1:01 pm
Fri November 2, 2012

Now This is Fun (Fun Fun): Fest Grows to Three Days, Four Stages, 160-Plus Performers

The banner for iconic rap group Run DMC, performing tonight at Fun Fun Fun Fest.
facebook.com/funfunfunfest

Austin's has another big event this weekend. The seventh annual Fun Fun Fun Fest is taking place all weekend long at Auditorium Shores. The eclectic three-day festival promises underground music from all genres, along with comedy, extreme sports, food, fashion, and art.

Stay tuned to KUT News for updates from the festival, and maybe even a Ryan Gosling sighting or two. Until then, here's a preview of some of the events taking place at Fun Fun Fun Fest, along with fest-related aftershows. 

Friday

Night: For the hip-hop lovers, rap legends Run DMC and Bun B will take the stage. Hipsters will rejoice to the sounds of Santigold and Twin Sister. If that's not enough, a series of skateboard and BMX sessions are kicking off, and will run all weekend.  Each day of the festival also promises two hours of Anarchy Championship Wrestling.

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Mexico
11:59 am
Thu November 1, 2012

Day Of The Dead, Decoded: A Joyful Celebration of Life and Food

Skeletons: Skeleton imagery pervades this holiday. In pre-Columbian times, the Day of the Dead was celebrated in August. It now takes place on Nov. 1 and Nov. 2, coinciding with the Catholic holidays of All Saints' Day and All Souls' Day.
Karen Castillo Farfán NPR

Originally published on Thu November 8, 2012 2:19 pm

Sugar skulls, tamales, and spirits (the alcoholic kind) — these are things you might find on homemade altars to entice those who've passed to the other side back for a visit. The altars, built in homes and around tombstones, are for Day of the Dead, or Dia de los Muertos, a tradition originating in central Mexico on Nov. 1 and 2.

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Arts and Culture
12:34 pm
Fri October 26, 2012

Willie Nelson On Piano Jazz

Willie Nelson.
Frazer Henderson Getty Images Entertainment

Originally published on Fri October 26, 2012 9:25 am

Singer-songwriter Willie Nelson was born April 30, 1933, in the small farming community of Abbott, Texas. His early interest in music came about through singing in church, and he wrote his first song at age 7. By age 9, he'd begun playing in a local band; after high school, Nelson served briefly in the Air Force and studied at Baylor University. In the mid-'50s, he worked as a disc jockey in Texas and Washington state, played in honky-tonks and continued to write songs.

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