Life & Arts

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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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).

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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.

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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.)

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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.

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Music and Arts
1:57 pm
Thu December 2, 2010

KUT's John Aielli Wants To Sing Christmas Carols With You

John Aielli singing carols at the Capitol in 2009
Image courtesy jmtimages

KUT's annual Christmas sing-along is scheduled for this Saturday on the South Steps of the Capitol building.

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Music and Arts
10:02 am
Thu December 2, 2010

Emerging Artists Wanted For Public Art Project In East Austin

The circled "open space" is the area where the public art project will be at the African-American Culture and Hertigate Facility.
Diagram courtesy of the City of Austin.

The City of Austin is accepting proposals from artists interested in creating public art at the future African-American Culture and Heritage Facility.  The complex will be located on East 11th Street off of Branch Street.

Download the Request for Proposals (pdf) from the City of Austin's Art In Public Places (AIPP) program here.  The deadline to pitch your public art project is midnight, January 10.

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Music and Arts
4:43 pm
Wed December 1, 2010

Fun Fun Fun Fest Recap Captures Magic of Festival

This cool montage of last month's Fun Fun Fun Festival in downtown Austin's Waterloo Park does a wonderful job of representing the mood and atmosphere of the music festival.

Music and Arts
3:26 pm
Tue November 30, 2010

KUT DJ Michael Crockett Profiled in the Statesman

KUT maintains a large music library, but KUT DJ Michael Crockett, profiled in todays Statesman, also plays music from his own collection.

Even though we work in the media, some of us still get giddy when we see a coworker's picture in a local publication.

The Statesman profiled KUT's Michael Crockett in today's paper. Crockett has hosted the Latin music program Horizontes on KUT 90.5 FM for the past 22 years.

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Music and Arts
9:35 am
Fri November 26, 2010

Tickets Go On Sale Today For New Austin City Limits Venue

The new Austin City Limits Live TV studio and concert venue will be located in the same complex as the W Hotel on 2nd Street. The first round of tickets are available today at noon.
Photo courtesy Austin City Limits Live

ACL Live, the new Austin City Limits TV studio and music venue in downtown Austin, launched its new website and show calendar a week ago. Tickets are on sale today at noon for that initial round of concerts.

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