Life & Arts

Arts and Culture
8:35 am
Fri February 17, 2012

'Bullhead': 'Roid Rage And Murder Among The Herds

Cattle farmer Jacky Vanmarsenille (Matthias Schoenaerts) boxes with unseen demons in the Oscar-nominated Bullhead.
Drafthouse Films

Originally published on Fri February 17, 2012 6:57 am

The beginning of Raging Bull finds Jake LaMotta, the former middleweight champion played by Robert De Niro, a sad shadow of his former self — a paunchy middle-aged washout reduced to converting his legacy in the ring to a stilted lounge act.

Yet those old rituals persist backstage, when he's alone with his demons and anxiously rehearsing his jabs for the big show. "Just give me a stage/where this bull here can rage," says LaMotta. Though robbed of his dignity and his manhood, he keeps on punching.

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SXSW
4:35 pm
Wed February 15, 2012

SXSW Update: Music Grid Unveiled, Film Panels and New Titles Revealed

The scene on Sixth Street, at SXSW 2011.
Photo courtesy flickr.com/benzies

Whether you’re ready or not, South by Southwest kicks off in just over three weeks. Here’s a compilation of recent festival announcements and reports:

SXSW Music: The music showcase grid is live on the SX Schedule website, showing who is playing where at what time. Let the tough decisions begin. In other music news, influential indie-music website Pitchfork  is trumpeting its booking of Fiona Apple at its Central Presbyterian Church showcase. "The beloved singer-songwriter hasn't played more than a handful of shows since 2007,” the site writes.

SXSW Film: A string of film conference panels and late additions to the festival has just been announced. Panels include A Conversation with Seth MacFarlane, wherein the “Family Guy” creator sounds off; Funny or Die: Future of Comedy & Everything Else, a talk with the minds behind the popular comedy website; and Screaming with Laughter: FEARnet TV's Holliston, featuring players from the horror channel and filmmaker Adam Green, who’s developed a program for the company.

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Arts and Culture
11:52 am
Wed February 15, 2012

Watch Austin’s ‘Intergalactic Nemesis’ Perform on ‘Conan’

The Austin theatrical experience known as "The Intergalactic Nemesis" in its Conan O'Brien appearance.
Image courtesy teamcoco.com

A crew of Austin creatives has taken its “Intergalactic Nemesis” show on the road – with a stop on Conan O’Brien’s show last night.

What is “The Intergalactic Nemesis” you may ask? Essentially, it’s a live-action comic book where performers enact a fantastic sci-fi story with live music and sound effects. The crew last night featured “Nemesis” producer and director Jason Neulander, musician and composer Graham ReynoldsBuzz Moran providing foley effects, and others – including O’Brien and his sidekick Andy Richeter. The art behind the performers was also created by another Austinite, Tim Doyle.

You can view the performance on the “Conan” website. The “Nemesis” crew concludes its tour in March, and will present a rough cut of its newest piece, “Book Two: Robot Planet Rising,” at the Alamo Drafthouse South Lamar that same month

Arts and Culture
9:55 am
Wed February 15, 2012

Don't Mock The Artisanal-Pickle Makers

Neilson Barnard Getty Images

Originally published on Wed February 15, 2012 8:48 am

Below is an excerpt from Adam Davidson's latest New York Times Magazine column, "Don't Mock the Artisanal-Pickle Makers" Read all of Davidson's Times Magazine columns here.

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Arts and Culture
10:43 am
Tue February 14, 2012

Send Your Valentine Some NPR Love

NPR

Originally published on Tue January 28, 2014 12:43 pm

This Valentine's Day, NPR brings you more than just news—we are bringing you love. Back by popular demand this year, our Valentine's Day cards will certainly tickle your funny bone and just maybe add some love to your life.

Check out all the NPR Valentines, and choose the card that best suits your NPR-lovin' sweetheart.

Arts and Culture
11:28 am
Mon February 13, 2012

I'm Just Sayin': There Are Anachronisms In 'Downton'

Listen Carefully: Some phrases have made it into Downton Abbey that are a little ahead of their time. Above, Mr. Carson (Jim Carter) tries out a newfangled gadget with Lady Mary (Michelle Dockery).
Courtesy Carnival Film & Television Limited/Masterpiece

Originally published on Thu March 27, 2014 8:51 am

PBS's hit series Downton Abbey has been praised for its subtle and witty dialogue. But a few anachronisms have slipped into the characters' conversations, and spotting them has become a hobby for many fans.

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Arts and Culture
10:41 am
Mon February 13, 2012

Is it Justin Vernon? Bon Iver? Or Bonny Bear? Grammy Confusion Reigns on Twitter

Bon Iver songwriter Justin Vernon at a performance last year.
Photo courtesy flickr.com/starbright31

It’s safe to say a music-loving town like Austin’s familiar with Bon Iver, the folk-tinged indie band fronted by Justin Vernon. But that might not be the case for the public at large.

Bon Iver has made numerous stops in Austin: at South by Southwest, the Austin City Limits Music Festival, and most recently, a performance at the Long Center. (KUT is a fan as well.)

Nationally, Vernon’s stature has grown since appearing on Kanye West’s platinum-selling “My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy”, and Bon Iver’s self-titled 2011 album was named album of the year by numerous critics, including music-review site Pitchfork.

But for many, Vernon’s Grammy win for “Best New Artist” last night was the first many had heard of him. And moments after his acceptance speech, the confusion took to Twitter, with hilarious results.

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music
9:01 pm
Sat February 11, 2012

Whitney Houston: Her Life Played Out Like An Opera

Whitney Houston performs in 1988.
David Corio Getty Images

Originally published on Thu November 8, 2012 3:32 pm

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Arts and Culture
11:05 am
Wed February 8, 2012

Austin Chronicle Short Story Winners Announced Tonight

Here’s a tale for you: each year, The Austin Chronicle issues a call for short stories, previously-unpublished manuscripts with a limit of 2,500 words. After a winnowing and judging, one story is selected for publication, with the winner taking home $800.

Tonight, that winning entry in the Chronicle’s 20th annual Short Story Contest will be announced in a reception at BookPeople.

Chronicle Books editor Kimberley Jones tells us that “we had just under 560 submissions this year, significantly up from last year. But not only were the numbers up, I think the overall quality of the submissions improved this year, too. In the first round, every story is read twice by a Chronicle staffer or ‘friend of the family’ and rated 0 to 5. The scores were a lot higher this year. I might've worried we're all just getting soft, but I read about 150 or so of the stories myself and was pretty knocked out by the talent out there. “

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Arts and Culture
3:11 pm
Mon February 6, 2012

Alamo Drafthouse World Domination Continues: New Theaters, Wine Line, Reserved Seats

Patrons at the Alamo Drafthouse's Lake Creek location.
Photo courtesy flickr.com/chrisgallevo

You'd think owning the distribution rights to an Academy Award-nominated film might be enough, but the Alamo Drafthouse has never been known to rest on its laurels.

The Drafthouse Films distribution of “Bullhead” is only part of the story. In addition, the venerable local theater is announcing new developments almost daily.

Alamo Slaughter Lane Opens in March: The Circle C Alamo outpost will be opening in mere weeks, with an elaborate, “Little Shop of Horrors”-esque design. (It’s a nod to the nearby Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, Drafthouse CEO Tim League tells Austin360 in a victory-lap interview.)  The grand opening is March 22, but an open-to-the-public soft launch begins March 8.

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Arts and Culture
1:00 pm
Mon February 6, 2012

Austin's Shearwater Soars With 'Animal Joy'

Shearwater's new album, Animal Joy, comes out Feb. 14.
Amy V. Cooper Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Mon August 6, 2012 9:18 am

Audio for this feature is no longer available.

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Arts and Culture
4:12 pm
Fri February 3, 2012

Watch Austin Filmmakers' Rejected Super Bowl Commercial

A certain sporting match is occurring this weekend, and viewers wil

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Arts and Culture
12:05 pm
Fri February 3, 2012

Cinema Weekend: Horror, Supernatural and Familial

A triptych of chilly flicks blows into Austin theaters this weekend. Among the new releases: Indie-horror auteur Ti West’s “The Innkeepers;” “We Need to Talk About Kevin,” an austere drama anchored by Tilda Swinton; and “The Woman in Black,” released under the storied Hammer Films franchise with an up-and-coming young actor named Daniel Radcliffe. (Maybe you’ve heard of him?)

Austin audiences have had a few chances to catch “The Innkeepers” previously, having screened at South by Southwest and the Alamo Drafthouse’s Fantastic Fest. The follow-up to director West’s well-received “The House of the Devil,” “The Innkeepers” shares a similar retro-horror sensibility to his breakout film. Two slacker clerks at a storied northwestern inn investigate reports of workplace hauntings on the weekend the inn is slated to close. Suffice to say, mysterious visitors check in, nerves slowly fray, and plenty of things begin to go bump in the night. Light on gore and long on tension, “The Innkeepers” is certain to keep audiences unnerved.

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SXSW
9:05 am
Thu February 2, 2012

Top Morning Stories 2/2/12: SXSW Wristbands For Grabs, Spicewood Water Woes

A 2011 SXSW attendee pleased with his wristband collection. Wristbands for SXSW Music 2012 go on sale this morning.
Photo courtesy flickr.com/dennis

SXSW Wristbands For Sale this Morning at 10 am

South by Southwest begins wristband sales for its music festival this morning. Purchases can only be made online to people with an Austin area zipcode:

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SXSW
3:29 pm
Wed February 1, 2012

SXSW Film Lineup Announced

South by Southwest will be here before you know it, and here’s another sign of the impending takeover: Today, the festival released its lineup for SXSW Film, including 65 world premieres and ten U.S. premieres.

High profile picks include the reboot of “21 Jump Street,” starring Jonah Hill, Channing Tatum, and Ice Cube. The comedy has been named a “Centerpiece” film; SXSW Film producer Janet Pierson tells The Austin Chronicle she went into the screening “with total skepticism,” but came away impressed, calling the film “a real social commentary.”

Also receiving special designation as closing night film was “Big Easy Express,” a documentary on a train powered concert tour spearheaded by indie revivalists Mumford & Sons (which included an Austin stop.)

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Arts and Culture
12:13 pm
Wed January 25, 2012

Picture This: Art Input Needed for African American Center

The African American Cultural and Heritage Facility is slated to open this summer.

If you had to pick 100 iconic individuals, who would you choose?

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Arts and Culture
2:53 pm
Tue January 24, 2012

Drafthouse Takes Oscar By the Horns With 'Bullhead'

We noted last week the buzz surrounding “Bullhead,” a moody Belgian noir acquired by the up-and-coming distribution arm of the Alamo Drafthouse.

And with today’s Academy Awards announcements, that buzz cranked up to full blast: “Bullhead” has snared a Best Foreign Language Film nomination, and Drafthouse Films has copped a distribution coup.

“Bullhead” director Michaël R. Roskam says in a press release that "It feels like going to the world championship!" And Alamo Drafthouse/Drafthouse Films CEO Tim League notes, “Roskam is an incredibly exciting new director. We are so happy that the Academy thinks as highly of him as we do!"

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SXSW
4:36 pm
Mon January 23, 2012

SXSW Interactive Awards Finalists Are Here

A picture snapped on an iPad at the 2011 SXSW Interactive festival.
Photo courtesy www.flickr.com/kk

The signs are everywhere that South by Southwest is nigh. But here’s one that doesn’t involve the rejiggering of sound permits: Finalists for the SXSW Interactive Awards have been announced.

The awards are divided into 15 categories: Activism, Amusement, Art, Business, Classic, Community, Educational Resource, Experimental, Film/TV, Motion Graphics, Music, Personal, Social Media, Student, and Technical Achievement.

Meant to recognize up-and-coming websites, applications and digital projects, the closest thing to a widespread name in the categories is Storify, which lets users combine social media updates into newsworthy narratives.

And in another sign of the burgeoning importance of the festival’s tech component, Austin Mayor Lee Leffingwell is leading a delegation of Austin start-ups to the UK this week.

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Arts and Culture
11:55 am
Mon January 23, 2012

Groovy: Matt McConaughey Reprises ‘Dazed’ Character in Music Vid

"Dazed and Confused" fans wondering what happened to Matthew McConaughey’s iconic character David Wooderson can fret no more: Apparently he’s been wandering through some upscale night club in slow-motion.

That’s what’s McConaughey’s character is doing in the clip for “Synthesizers,” a song from Butch Walker and the Black Widows. It seems as if McConaughey’s Camaro-rock character’s been dumped there in countenance to the superficial glam of his surroundings. Or as Walker laments in the song’s opening bars:  "Everybody's writing songs with synthesizers /But I don't have a synthesizer.”

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film
5:08 pm
Fri January 20, 2012

Cinema Weekend: Cows on Drugs, Deep Space, and Non-Sparkling Vamps

Two limited release features open in Austin this weekend, while a third installment of a violent fantasy series caters to its fans.

The Alamo Drafthouse is having another big weekend, with two notable premieres. While "Richard Garriott: Man on a Mission" has screened in Austin during South by Southwest, it begins a limited theatrical run tonight at the Alamo Drafthouse South Lamar.

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