Life & Arts

Arts Eclectic
6:04 am
Fri May 2, 2014

See Traditional Chinese Dance at April Rain's Spring Recital

Xiwei (Sherry) Chen was born in China and grew up dancing, so when she moved to Austin, it was only natural that she'd look for a way to share traditional Chinese Dance with her new community. That's why she created the April Rain School of Chinese Dance more than a decade ago.

April Rain teaches different styles of Chinese dance, including both formal and folk dances, and in performances, the students wear costumes that Chen brings back from her return trips to her home country. Many of the students stay with the program for years, passing on their beloved costumes to the newer and younger students as they grow up.

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Life & Arts
3:47 pm
Thu May 1, 2014

'Orange Aardvark' is a Colorful Book For Kids

"It's an Orange Aardvark!" is the new book from Michael Hall. It's a short book, so we don't want to give anything away. But we can tell you it involves carpenter ants, a lot of holes and a hilarious payoff. Kirkus Reviews calls the book “suspenseful and entertaining; all-around great fun.”

The Texas Standard spoke to Hall on the phone, on a lunch break between school visits. "I enjoy the school appearances," Hall said. "The kids are so attentive and curious. They're just great audiences and it's a lot of fun."

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Arts Eclectic
3:04 pm
Thu May 1, 2014

Austin's Newest Film Fest is 'Forbidden'

Next week, The Vortex will host the Forbidden Film Fest, a brand new festival that's meant to be an exploration of sexuality and eroticism in film. It's a three-day event, with a different program each night.

Night one will feature the Austin premiere of "Goodbye Gaulie Mountain," a new documentary about mountain top removal in West Virginia and the connection between land and body issues. Co-directors Annie Sprinkle and Beth Stevens will appear live via webcast.

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Food
11:05 am
Thu May 1, 2014

Austin is Making It Easier For Food Trucks to Recycle and Compost

The Korean Komfort food trailer in West Campus. Trailers and trucks in established courts can possess freestanding recycling and composting services, but under current city code, solo trucks cannot.
flickr.com/sbogdanich

Baton Creole food truck owner Lynzy Moran has been cited twice by the City of Austin for trying to be more environmentally friendly.

Once it was for collecting grease to be recycled into biodiesel. Another time it was for trying to compost food waste. Now she drives the hot oil she uses to clean her fryers from her East Sixth Street location to a commissary for disposal.

"I'm literally having to travel with hot oil in my car every night, which is also very dangerous and pretty scary," Moran says. "[I've] definitely burned myself a few times."

Audio version of story that ran this morning

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Arts Eclectic
3:06 pm
Tue April 29, 2014

Forklift Danceworks' 'Play Ball!' Benefits Historic Downs Field

Forklift Danceworks is known for their large scale projects, which tend to feature real people performing dances that are based on their actual jobs. They've done performances with sanitation workers ("The Trash Project") and Austin Energy employees ("PowerUP"), among others. 

Their newest project is "Play Ball!," a baseball-inspired dance which will be performed by the players and coaches of the Huston-Tillotson Rams. The dance will be performed on (and also benefit) Austin's historic Downs Field, which during its decades-long history has been home to not just the Rams, but also several semi-pro teams and at least two Negro League baseball teams. Among the many legendary ballplayers to play on the field are Satchel Paige, Willie Wells, Willie Mays, and Buck O'Neil.

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Life & Arts
12:59 pm
Mon April 28, 2014

Elizabeth Crook's 'Monday Monday' Revisits UT's Infamous Tower Shooting

Elizabeth Crook, author of "Monday Monday", at the KUT Studios.
Credit Samantha Ortega for Texas Standard

There are few incidents in Texas history as compelling as the UT Tower shooting.

On August 1, 1966, a UT student and ex-marine named Charles Whitman climbed to the top of the UT Tower and opened fire on the pedestrians below. 16 people were killed. Dozens were injured. It was the first mass shooting on a US college campus. And it changed many lives.

Austin novelist Elizabeth Crook has used the events of that day to craft a vivid and emotional novel, "Monday, Monday." She told KUT's Emily Donahue that she felt some qualms about her subject matter. She began writing in 2006. And as she wrote, several school shootings occurred, from Virginia Tech to Sandy Hook.

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In Black America Podcast
12:38 pm
Mon April 28, 2014

The Legacy of African American Entrepreneurship

Dr. John S. Butler
Credit The University of Texas at Austin

  On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. speaks with Dr. John Sibley Butler, Ph.D. Butler holds the J. Marion West Chair in Constructive Capitalism and the Herb Kelleher Chair in Entrepreneurship at the McCombs School of Business at The University of Texas at Austin. Also, he is director of the Herb Kelleher Center for Entrepreneurship and a professor of Management and Sociology.

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Arts Eclectic
10:16 am
Mon April 28, 2014

Get Inspired at the Austin Mini Maker Faire

A few years ago, Austin was one of the homes of the annual Maker Faire, a two-day celebration of arts and crafts, creativity, and all kinds of do-it-yourself projects. The Maker Faire eventually stopped coming to Austin, but after a brief hiatus, the Austin Mini Maker Faire arrived to fill the void.

Aside from being only a one-day rather than two-day event, the Mini Maker Faire is "mini" in name only. It's still a huge event, with dozens of workshops, talks, hands-on activities, and performances taking place in the name of creativity and fun. The chief difference between the new mini fair and the old full-sized fair is that these days, most of the Makers actually hail from Austin or Central Texas locals instead of from the larger world.

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ACL Hall of Fame
7:00 am
Mon April 28, 2014

The Red Headed Stranger and Austin's 'Pride and Joy' Honored at ACL Hall of Fame

Emmy Lou Harris, Willie and Lyle Lovett perform together

Over the weekend, television’s longest running music program– Austin City Limits, celebrated the first induction ceremony for the new Austin City Limits Hall of Fame.  ACL returned to its original home at PBS’s KLRU Studio 6A Saturday evening to honor those who have left their mark on the show. The event featured more than a few famous faces.

Asked to dress Austin chic, the invitation-only crowd was, well, classically Austin. Plenty of boots, cowboy hats and jeans. Many of the women turned out in heels and dresses.  But arguably the best-dressed man in attendance was Lyle Lovett – in his signature suit and tie.

Lovett was there to honor Willie Nelson who was ACL’s first-ever inductee into the Hall of Fame.

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Life & Arts
5:33 pm
Sun April 27, 2014

'Cesar Chavez': Discussing The Movie And The Man

Cesar Chavez, co-founder of the United Farm Workers, speaks at a rally in 1977.
Cathy Murphy Getty Images

Originally published on Thu May 1, 2014 12:01 pm

There is no music in this week's episode of Alt.Latino. Instead, we do one of our occasional "deep dives" into a subject to pursue insights and perspectives that help us think about more than music. This time around, the subject is Cesar Chavez, the recent biopic about the civil-rights activist and labor leader and the movement to unionize farm workers.

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Life & Arts
2:47 pm
Sun April 27, 2014

Award-Winning UT Student Films on Display in Annual Showcase

Filmmaker Elizabeth Chatelain says she wanted to make a film about her sister's story for some time and the thesis film project for her master's program provided the opportunity to do so.
Elizabeth Chatelain

It has been a good several months for the University of Texas at Austin's Radio-Television-Film Department. Recent graduate Brian Schwarz won a Student Academy Award for his short film "Ol' Daddy," Texas Ex Elizabeth Chatelain won a prestigious documentary award for "My Sister Sarah" (story below) and now Annie Silverstein is going to Cannes with her thesis film "Skunk."

"My Sister Sarah" and "Skunk" are among the short films chosen to be highlighted in this year's Longhorn Denius Film Showcase – which features work by graduate and undergraduate students.

The showcase is free and open to the public. It starts at 6 p.m. at the Student Activity Center Auditorium on the UT campus.

Original Story (March 3, 2014): Elizabeth Chatelain graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a Master’s degree from the Radio-Television-Film Department last May. In December, she won an International Documentary Association Award for her short film – "My Sister, Sarah."

The documentary follows Chatelain’s sister – Sarah – a recovering meth and crack addict who has felt true pain and tragedy. 

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Arts Eclectic
4:27 pm
Thu April 24, 2014

Hear Rising Stars Play With the Austin Civic Orchestra

This Saturday night at Bates Recital Hall on the University of Texas campus, the Austin Civic Orchestra is partnering with UT's Butler School of Music to present a free spring concert. Called the "Texas Risings Stars" concert, the event will feature four award-winning UT music students playing with Austin's own non-profit orchestra.

The first half of the concert will feature music students Benjamin Penzner, Grace Youn, Roman Yearian, and Eun-Mi Lee (no relation to the host of this program) leading the orchestra in selections of their choosing. For the second half of the presentation, the orchestra will branch out on its own, featuring two pieces chosen by orchestra director Lois Ferrari.

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Why It's Not So Bad to Speak 'Bad English'
3:22 pm
Wed April 23, 2014

On the Bard's Birthday, Who Wrote It: Shakespeare or a Rapper?

Shakespeare or Big Daddy Kane? According to "Bad English" author Ammon Shea, slang and informal English is usually "much older than we think."

It's happened to all of us: just when you're ready to deliver the perfect rebuttal,  last word or final point, your tongue trips up and you slaughter your English.

Don't fret about it, says author Ammon Shea. The man who spent a year reading the Oxford English Dictionary is taking on grammarians and nitpickers alike.

Shea's new book "Bad English: A History of Linguistic Aggravation" (out this June) is an eye-opening look at how language mistakes have become accepted as correct usage.

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Austin City Limits Fest
1:43 pm
Wed April 23, 2014

ACL Fest Organizers on What's In Store for 2014

Day one of the 2013 Austin City Limits Music Festival. This week, ACL released its lineup for the 2014 fest.
Credit Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon, KUT News

In Austin, many see live music not just as an opportunity, but as a way of life.

Every day brings the possibility to see a variety of talents – both from music’s biggest and brightest, to up-and-coming acts in Austin’s live music scene.

For many outside Central Texas, Austin’s “Live Music Capital of the World” status is summed up by two of the city’s biggest music festivals: South by Southwest and the Austin City Limits Music Festival. The latter, now in its 13th year, carries the brand of the historic Austin City Limits television show, which has a rich and storied history all its own.

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Arts Eclectic
11:23 am
Tue April 22, 2014

See 100 Comedians at the Moontower Festival

Now in its third year, the Moontower Comedy and Oddity Festival is quickly becoming one of the largest comedy festivals in America. For this year's fest, around 100 comedians will come together from Austin and around the world to perform dozens of shows, including sketch, improv, and lots of standup comedey.

Headliners include The Kids in The Hall, Hannibal Buress, Mike Birbiglia, Maria Bamford and more. They'll perform at the Paramount Theatre, while several smaller venues host shows nearby.

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ACL Music Festival
6:00 am
Tue April 22, 2014

Eminem, Outkast, Pearl Jam and Lorde Top 2014 ACL Music Festival Lineup

Rapper Eminem headlines the 2014 ACL Fest and indie sensation Lorde gets top billing
Ross Brown/shadyrecords.com

Calling it one of their most energetic lineups to date, the 13th annual Austin City Limits Music Festival also includes a blast of nostalgia.

Pearl Jam is headlining and The Replacements are top billed. Major hip-hop acts of the 2000s, Outkast and Eminem are also headliners. The festival also sees a significant number of electronic music acts with Calvin Harris and Skrillex headlining – and groups such as Major Lazer, Zedd, Phantogram, Chromeo and CHVRCHES in the big font. Beck rounds out the list of this year’s headliners.

Last year’s festival drew some criticism for a lack of female performers. However, this year’s top billing includes international superstars, Lana Del Rey and Lorde (though the latter will be for the second weekend only). Female acts such as St. Vincent, Iggy Azalea, Jenny Lewis, Nikki Lane, tUnE -yArDs and My Brightest Diamond also made the cut.

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In Black America Podcast
10:05 pm
Mon April 21, 2014

Black Stats: How African-Americans Measure Up in the 21st Century, Part II

Dr. Monique W. Morris, Ed.D

On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. speaks with Dr. Monique W. Morris, Ed.D. Co-founder/President of The National Black Women’s Justice Institute, and author of "Black Stats: African Americans by the Numbers in the Twenty-first Century."

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Views and Brews
2:06 pm
Fri April 18, 2014

Coleman Hawkins and The Art of Failure

Saxophone great Coleman Hawkins helped to establish jazz as a stand-alone art form, separate from the popular swing music of the day.

With his originality, lyricism, and a keen sense for the latest trends, Hawkins' work was the foundation for bebop and the most expressive jazz ballads.

And yet, what is the price for a creative who expresses his art?

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Kealing Poetry
1:28 pm
Thu April 17, 2014

A Dream

Read by Michael Lee

Thirty minutes left
I scavenge through my house
Grabbing my karaoke machine
All my things
I don’t want them to get wet or float away

Twenty-five minutes left
A messed up pipe
My house will become a swimming pool
Then a memorial site to my family
And a pile of dead rubble
The walls breathe in water

Twenty minutes left
I put on my jacket
The one that I wore when we bought this house
And stuff my pockets with everything
I want to remember living here
I want to bring it all

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Poetry Month
9:15 am
Thu April 17, 2014

Sticks & Stones & Thunder Storms

Read by Laurie Viault

Your name means Night; mine is Song
Together we used to fit like a puzzle
Once upon a time we grew up happy; you the stars, I the starlight
But I don’t know what happened to make that change

Suddenly the starlight--blotted out like a cloudy moon
All that replaced it was a stormcloud
That flashed with light, yes, but not the same light
It’s now cold and angry--why?

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