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

Have you ever been to a Whole Foods or maybe a co-op and seen labels that say things like, "gluten-free", "non-gmo," "no antibiotics," "free-roaming," "BPA-free," and wondered to yourself, "What does this all mean?" Well, you're not alone. It's a complex, cloudy world when it comes to food these days, and sometimes it's hard to know what's good, what's bad and what you can afford (both ethically and financially) .

In this episode of In Perspective, we'll try to gain a better understanding of food and the food industry, and also explore why things are so complicated when it comes to what we eat.

Steve Parker truly enjoys staging large-scale and unusual musical pieces. Among other projects, he's organized performances for 100 marching tubas, he's staged an outdoor performance for a dozen trombonists arranged around the perimeter of a lake, and he's created multiple sound installations as part of the Blanton Museum's SoundSpace series.

The Daily Buzz at Cannes: Episode 2

May 18, 2015

It’s the 68th Edition of the Annual Cannes Film Festival, and it’s a beautiful Sunday afternoon. The Daily Buzz is at the Nespresso Café located across from the JW Marriott Hotel on Le Croisette in the South of France with this year’s edition of The Daily Buzz at Cannes 2015.

The Daily Buzz at Cannes: Episode 1

May 18, 2015

We’re back with another edition of The Daily Buzz at Cannes for the 68th Edition of the Annual Cannes Film Festival.

Courtesy of Don Rutledge ©

On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. speaks with Richard Paul, an award-winning independent public radio documentary producer, and Steven Moss, Associate Professor of English at Texas State Technical College, co-authors of ‘We Could Not Fail: The First African Americans in the Space Program.’

'Greater Tuna' had its world premiere in Austin in 1981. In the 34 years since, the comedy (written by Jaston Williams, Joe Sears, and Ed Howard) has remained an enduring favorite, spawning three sequels about the residents of Tuna, the "third smallest town in Texas."

This weekend, a psychedelic rock festival called Levitation brings to town Tame Impala, the Jesus and Mary Chain and the Flaming Lips. Other shows in Austin include performances by Gregg Allman, Torres and the Blue Bonnets, fronted Kathy Valentine of The Go-Go's.

KUT’s Nathan Bernier talks about those shows and others with KUTX program director Matt Reilly, as they listen to clips from every artist mentioned.

On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. speaks with the late Ron Banks, singer and a founding member of the Detroit vocal group, which formed in the mid-1960s and continued to play for avid audiences around the country.

Banks’ sweet voice and smooth choreography helped distinguish the Dramatics, particularly in Detroit’s post-Motown scene of the 1970s, when the group enjoyed crossover pop success with songs such as”Whatcha See Is Whatcha Get” and “In the Rain.”

From Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central Texas, this month’s Get Involved spotlight non-profit:

Serving Central Texas for 30 years, the mission of Ronald McDonald House Charities® of Central Texas (RMHC CTX) is to create, find and support programs that directly improve the health and well-being of children.

RMHC CTX began providing temporary lodging and support services to hospitalized children and their families in 1985 in Austin’s first Ronald McDonald House®. For three decades, we have cared for thousands of families by providing a “home-away-from-home” at our Ronald McDonald House® and four Ronald McDonald Family Rooms®. Since 1993, we have also supported families who have lost a child through our Healing Hearts program, which provides burial assistance and bereavement support.

On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. speaks with Tunette Powell, motivational speaker, author, education consultant and co-founder of The Truth Heals.

Powell has made it her mission to be a voice of hope and healing for some of the world’s most despaired and underserved populations. She currently serves as the CEO of The Truth Heals and sits on a host of nonprofit boards.

The Magician

Apr 30, 2015

The magician sits quietly on a stool

but his presence booms and echoes throughout the theatre.

His toes perched on a rung,

like a pitch black vulture in a bowtie and top hat.

Coming Up

Apr 30, 2015

A tangy blare of horns

Cut the air around it,

Staccato notes pounce on the ear.

Each note of the guitar solo ripe and fresh.

The Umber Knife

Apr 30, 2015

Our ancestors tried

to make us perfect,

yet defiance

feels ultimate.

Punishments are worthwhile.

Black and White

Apr 30, 2015

The night is coming

creeping, crawling, towering over

as the day is unbecoming.

The First Time I Walked

Apr 30, 2015

The first time I walked

Was my time without legs

I didn't touch the ground as you might

But the flowers grew

And the sky was full of wonders

I danced with the stars that night

The last time I walked

Was not long ago

I hobbled along on new legs

The stars did not shine as

They did that one night

The next time I walk

Will the time ever come?

I'm quite sure I just feel numb

My wings have rebounded

But my legs are left broken

As I fly to a life that was stolen


Apr 30, 2015

When confusion arises, there is no silver lining

Darkness softly soothes raging discontent

Blaring is the subtle sound of comprehension declining

We are all in a maze of crazed winding

A maze without exits, but every turn tempts

When confusion arises, there is no silver lining

This nefarious virus takes no lives

When indecision attacks unity, it never survives

Blaring is the subtle sound of comprehension declining

Concord in plagued minds is promptly destroyed

The threads of guilt and regret intertwining

September 1, 1939

Apr 30, 2015

Can you hear the Blitzkrieg’s cry?

As Jericho’s trumpet splits the Sky

As the Stukas roar overhead,

It’s a miracle you’re not dead.

Being Nice?

Apr 30, 2015

Not listening,

but looking straight into the eyes,

barely blinking

but dreaming

Our Wings of Freedom

Apr 30, 2015

I yell to the kings

On behalf of the people who lost their light

Please, don't clip our wings!


Apr 30, 2015

I feel the cool mist against my face

The ocean speaks to me

The beach, my peaceful place