Life & Arts

Arts and Culture
4:10 pm
Thu February 17, 2011

Treasure Trove of Dashiell Hammett Stories Unearthed at Ransom Center

A portrait of author Dashiell Hammett by Edward Biberman hangs in the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery
Image courtesy cliff1066 at

Fifteen previously unknown short stories by Dashiell Hammett have been found in the archives of UT's Harry Ransom Center.  Hammett, who penned such classics as "The Maltese Falcon" and "The Thin Man" is considered by many to be the father of the American "hard boiled" detective fiction.  The discovery of the new stories by Andrew F.

Read more
Arts and Culture
5:29 pm
Mon February 14, 2011

City Council Members Want To Promote Austin's Cultural Exports

Shearwater performing live at a KUT event
Photo by KUT

The City of Austin could launch a "creative industries ambassador" program to promote the works of local musicians and artists outside the city, and further market Austin's brand as an artistic Mecca. Two city council members, Laura Morrison and Mike Martinez, held an afternoon press conference today to announce they are getting the ball rolling on the idea.

Read more
Arts and Culture
2:30 pm
Tue February 8, 2011

Texas State Whittliff Collections Acquire More From Sam Shepard

Sam Shepard, left, and Johnny Dark, 1981
Photo from the Sam Shepard/Johnny Dark Correspondence Collection

 Texas State University in San Marcos is adding to their Whittliff Collections on Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright and Academy Award-nominated actor Sam Shepard. The new Sam Shepard/Johnny Dark Correspondence Collection will include personal letters, photographs, taped conversations and a homemade film which documents the friendship between the two men over many years.

Read more
Arts and Culture
5:02 pm
Thu January 13, 2011

2011 Session: Opening Day Time Lapse

Arts and Culture
4:41 pm
Mon January 3, 2011

Emerging Artists Get Seven Extra Days To Apply For $65,000 City Contract

This is where the city will build a African-American Cultural & Heritage Facility. Emerging artists are encourage to apply for a grant to create a work of public art at the location.
Image courtesy City of Austin and Google Maps

Artists have an extra seven days to get their act together and write a proposal to create public art at the new the African-American Cultural & Heritage Facility. The building will be constructed at 912 East 11th Street near Branch Street.

Read more
4:46 pm
Wed December 29, 2010

How To Get Out Of Downtown Austin On New Year's Eve

Image courtesy atmtx

The cops just sent out a news release saying New Year's Eve will be another "No Refusal" night. Austin Police officers will forcibly extract blood from any drunk driving suspect who refuses a breathalyzer.  The policy will be in effect from 9 p.m. Friday until 5 a.m. Saturday.

It shouldn't come as a big surprise to anyone, given the APD's penchant for launching "No Refusal" initiatives anytime there's a major holiday.  More than half of the traffic fatalities over the past year have been alcohol related, according to police.

Not that you would ever consider drunk driving, of course. But you may want to plan ahead if you plan on going out for New Year's Eve. Calling a cab after midnight on NYE is notoriously difficult in Austin.  Wait times can be up to 2 hours, if you can even get through to a dispatcher.

Read more
Arts and Culture
4:05 pm
Wed December 29, 2010

Austin Poet Susan Bright Dies

Austin poet and publisher Susan Bright with fellow poet Ali F. Bilir.
Image courtesy of the family of Susan Bright.

The term “force of nature” can be overused. But Susan Bright’s friends say, in her case, that description may not be enough.

The poet, publisher and Barton Springs advocate lost a short battle with cancer Wednesday morning. She was 65.

Bright was also the founder of Plain View Press. It’s a publishing house for local authors, and it has turned out over 350 titles so far.

Irene Pickhardt was a friend of Bright, and remembers her deep involvement in community issues.

Read more
Arts and Culture
1:38 pm
Tue December 28, 2010

Maddox Reax

The slaying of Austin drummer Bill Maddox, a drummer who played for local guitar legend Eric Johnson, is getting top story treatment from local media.  TV stations have been calling the Austin City Limits TV show today, which shares an office with KUT, and asking for B-roll of Maddox's ACL performance from 2001. Expect to see glimpses on tonight's newscasts.

Read more
Arts and Culture
3:35 pm
Mon December 27, 2010

2011 Wildflower Outlook Iffy

After a lush 2010, the wildflower outlook for 2011 is not as colorful.
Photo by Callie Hernandez for KUT News

What better way to get one's mind off the recent cold weather than to think of the coming warm spring and the annual colorburst that is wildflower season?

Well...don't get your hopes up too high, according to a senior botanist at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center

Read more
10:49 am
Fri December 24, 2010

KUT Engineer Says FCC Will Have A Hard Time Regulating TV Volume

Photo by KUT News

Ever notice how the volume on your TV seems to get louder when the commercials come on? The US Congress sure did. And earlier this month it passed the CALM Act, which orders the Federal Communications Commission to figure out how to make it stop.

Read more
Arts and Culture
11:52 am
Thu December 23, 2010

Enjoy Austin Christmas Light Displays From Your Desk

A blur applied to an image from underneath the Zilker Tree
Image courtesy jmtimages

In case you haven't been able to explore all the Christmas lights in Austin, here are some YouTube videos of local light displays from this year. Should you feel inspired, you can follow this map to see more great light displays in person.

Round Rock resident John Storms has received a lot of attention for his LED display that is synced to music. It was featured nationally on Good Morning America and Storms was interviewed locally on Fox 7.

Here are some of his sequences.

Read more
Arts and Culture
11:22 am
Tue December 21, 2010

Free Show Next To Zilker Tree Billed As Alternative To Trail Of Lights

The city had to cancel the Trail of Lights this year because of budget cuts, but there is another event going on in its place.  It's not quite the Trail of Lights, but it is bright, it's holiday-themed, and it's next to the Zilker Tree.

Flipped ON Christmas runs through December 23rd. It's an "extraordinary, world-class, light and sound experience that's being produced by Austinites," according to spokesperson Jennifer Hill Robenalt.

Read more
2:11 pm
Fri December 17, 2010

Local Collector Wants Jeff Beck To Play His $500,000 Guitar

Gil Hembree's $500,000 Gibson Les Paul was featured on the cover of a book he authored about Gibson guitars. He's hoping Jeff Beck will play the rarity.
Image courtesy Gil Hembree

It's one of the rarest guitars in the world: A 1955 Gibson Les Paul with Patent Applied For Pickups.  The guitar has been appraised at $500,000, according to its owner, Austin resident Gil Hembree. It has some of the first-ever humbucking pickups, a type of electric guitar pickup that was invented in the mid-50s and used widely ever since.

Read more
Arts and Culture
2:08 pm
Thu December 16, 2010

KOOP Radio Turns 16

KOOP went on the air 16 years ago in Austin.
Logo courtesy KOOP

The Austin city council passed a proclamation today to recognize KOOP radio's 16 years of public service broadcasting in Austin. KOOP delivers an eclectic mix of music and public affairs programming, all created and run by station volunteers.

Kim McCarson is the station's executive director, one of its few paid positions.  She says KOOP is the only cooperatively run station in the US.

Read more
4:50 pm
Wed December 15, 2010

Trailer Of Lights Canceled, Folks Bummed

An event at Seaholm Power Plant that was supposed to feature local food trucks like Austin Daily Press and Hey Cupcake! along with other artists and vendors has been canceled due to "red tape", according to a blog post by organizer Tiffany Harelik.

Read more
11:43 am
Wed December 15, 2010

Austin's Connection To The "Blind" Willie Johnson Historical Marker

"Blind" Willie Johnson

If you don't know who "Blind" Willie Johnson is, take a second to listen to this seminal piece, Dark Was The Night (Cold Was The Ground).

Read more
Music and Arts
2:21 pm
Tue December 14, 2010

Alamo Drafthouse Unveils New Logo

After 12 years, the Alamo Drafthouse is upgrading its logo design.
Image courtesy Alamo Drafthouse Cinema

Here it is! The local chain of beer and burger-serving movie theaters hired local design firm Guerilla Suit to create the new brand.  This is the first logo change for the Drafthouse in 12 years.

Check out their video to hear a history of the logo and the rationale behind the new design.

Read more
Music and Arts
4:50 pm
Mon December 13, 2010

Local Artists Raising Money To Teach Art To Ugandan Orphans

Ugandan orphans that two Austinites hope to each art.
Image courtesy Natalya Kochak

Two visual artists from Austin are trying to raise $3,200 to fund a trip to teach art to Ugandan orphans. Leticia Mireles and Natalya Kochak are already more than two-thirds towards their goal, but they still need about $1,000 within the next ten days. (You can donate to their trip here.)

Read more
2:53 pm
Wed December 8, 2010

Eat Local Week Continues Until Saturday

Watch this video by KUT's Peter Babb to get inspired for the remaining four days of Eat Local Week. It's an event sponsored by Edible Austin magazine that encourages Austinites to learn about and indulge in locally produced food. Proceeds go to Urban Roots, a non-profit that helps high needs kids learn about sustainable agriculture.

Read more