Life & Arts

Entertainment, live performance, food, cuisine, dining, theater, film, television, art, broadcasting, SXSW, and other arts and culture news in and around Austin and the Central Texas counties of Travis, Hays, Caldwell, Bastrop and Williamson

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

The sight of red bicycles with bulky baskets is familiar to anyone who spends time in downtown Austin. B-cycle, which operates the rentable bikes, has had the bike-sharing market cornered here since it launched in 2013. But South by Southwest has brought some competition to town in the form of new rentable bikes that can be unlocked with an app and don’t have to be parked at stations.

Congressman Beto O'Rourke's Facebook page

With flights canceled up and down the eastern seaboard Tuesday, two Texas members of Congress went all Thelma and Louise across the state — the start of a cross-country road trip so they could cast votes at the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday.

U.S. Reps. Will Hurd of Helotesa Republican, and Beto O'Rourke of El Paso, a Democrat, faced weather-related flight cancelations, so they opted for a 24-hour drive across Texas and beyond.

SXSW Ones to Watch: Gabriel Garzón-Montano

Mar 14, 2017
Matthew Scott

All this week, KUTX profiles the Ones To Watch—seven must-see artists at SXSW 2017.

Gabriel Garzón-Montano grew up in New York surrounded by classical music. His mother was a singer in the Phillip Glass Ensemble, and Garzón-Montano picked up violin at age six. But the music he makes now is much more Prince than Bach.

This story was updated on March 14 at 4:35 PM.

SXSW Ones to Watch: Jonathan Terrell

Mar 13, 2017
Cecelia Alejandra Blair

All this week, KUTX profiles the Ones To Watch—seven must-see artists at SXSW 2017.

Spike Johnson

Former Vice President Joe Biden pledged Sunday to work with President Donald Trump in the fight against cancer, a cause Biden took up in his final year in office — and following the death of his son.

"It is my hope that this new administration, once it gets organized — and I’m not being facetious — will be able to focus on and be as committed and as enthusiastic as we were in the goal of ending cancer as we know it," Biden said during a speech at the South by Southwest Conference in Austin. "I will do everything in my power to work with the new administration."

Quiz: Guess the Fake SXSW Panel Name

Mar 10, 2017
Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

SXSW Interactive is upon Austin once again.

It's the time of year for branded activations and free booze, with the ultimate goal of forging bootstrapped, synergized, market-facing collaborations in a curated, disruption-minded world.

In short, it's a time for a bunch of panels with bafflingly jargon-laden names, so we decided to create a quiz to showcase (and poke fun at) some of those names.

SXSW Ones to Watch: Third Root

Mar 10, 2017
Josh Huskin

All this week, KUTX profiles the Ones To Watch—seven must-see artists at SXSW 2017.

SXSW Ones to Watch: Big Thief

Mar 9, 2017
Gabriel Cristóver Pérez / KUTX

All this week, KUTX profiles the Ones To Watch—seven must-see artists at SXSW 2017.


On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. speaks with the Honorable Nathaniel R. Jones, of counsel with law firm Blank/Rome, LLP, retired judge with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, and author of Answering the Call: An Autobiography of the Modern Struggle to End Racial Discrimination in America.

SXSW Ones to Watch: Lizzo

Mar 8, 2017
Martin do Nascimento / KUT

All this week, KUTX profiles the Ones To Watch—seven must-see artists at SXSW 2017.

Ilana Panich-Linsman for KUT

After last week’s dustup surrounding immigration-related language in its performance contract, South by Southwest has formally announced a change of policy. The Austin-based festival was lambasted on social media after an artist announced they were refusing to perform because of contract language that suggested the festival could notify U.S. immigration authorities under certain circumstances.

SXSW Ones to Watch: Maggie Rogers

Mar 7, 2017

All this week, KUTX profiles the Ones To Watch—seven must-see artists at SXSW 2017.

During a music class at NYU, Maggie Rogers played her song “Alaska” to superstar producer Pharrell. The video of his emotional and encouraging reaction soon earned two million views, and Rogers found herself thrust into the spotlight overnight. As she explained to the London Evening Standard,  “I moved out of my college apartment on May 31, 2016. I went viral on June 1. I signed a record deal on August 31. It was a little wild.”

Veronica Zaragovia for KUT News

Former Vice President Joe Biden will make an appearance at this year’s South by Southwest festival.

SXSW announced he will speak at the convention center on Sunday, March 12, about the Cancer Moonshot initiative he started last year, a $1 billion research project.

SXSW Ones to Watch: Leopold and His Fiction

Mar 6, 2017
Martin do Nascimento / KUT

All this week, KUTX profiles the Ones To Watch, seven must-see artists at SXSW 2017.

Daniel Leopold is a true child of his hometown Detroit. The music he makes with the Austin band Leopold & His Fiction is one part soul, and one part rock & roll. He dresses sharply and plays a Flying V guitar. The group’s new album, Darling Destroyer, is a fiery record, and that fire comes from a big change: the birth of Leopold’s daughter.

Gabriel Cristóver Pérez / NPR

In recent years, Austin’s creative community has been feeling the brunt of the city’s affordability crisis. As rents continue to rise, many artists have moved away, and studios and galleries have closed their doors.

Now, the city is looking to provide creative space for artists in some unexpected places, by partnering with local houses of worship.

From Boneshaker Project, this month's Get Involved spotlight non-profit:


To inspire kids to lead healthy and active lifestyles!


Go outside! Run on a playground, ride a bike, grab a racket, and ‘shake your bones’ to feel healthy and active. This is the lifestyle we inspire our community’s kids to live. In AISD the percentage of overweight and obese students varies widely by school, from from 23.5% to 53.5% according to a 2010 Children’s Optimal Health report. Additionally, obesity rates are disproportionate by race, as African American and Latino rates of obesity are twice as high as other racial groups.

Since 1926, Americans have recognized black history annually – first as Negro History Week and later as Black History Month. What you might not know is that black history had barely begun to be studied – or even documented – when the tradition began. Although African-Americans have been in this country since colonial times, it was not until the 20th century that they gained a somewhat respectable presence in history books.

"It's really asking the question, 'what is our job as artists in a time of revolution and political unrest?'" says director Jenny Lavery of the play Neva. "Is art important at that time? Is seeing art important?"

Not everyone can be a winner. 

That's unfortunately true of Austinites' submissions to NPR Music's Tiny Desk Contest this year – none of you won. This year's champion is New Orleans' Tank and the Bangas. But don't let that get you down. Some of y'all got a lot of love from Bob Boilen and crew on the Tiny Desk Contest's Tumblr page – which is something, as there were more than 6,000 entries. 

So, as a consolation prize, we decided to collect every single entry from Austin – all 140 of them.