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

Amelia Gray

It’s always a treat to talk with Amelia Gray. Her imagination, wit, and insight ensure any conversation will shine. And, like her stories, humor and darkness weave through all her words.

Gray came to the KUT studios while visiting Austin from her home in Los Angeles. We chatted craft, risk, and the joys of writing. We talk about her writing routine and how she mines her own fears and desire to inspire her fiction. We also trace her career and how she sees herself in the current literary scene.


Amid the mess of heat, rain and tacos, there was a rich gallery of motion and color at the SXSW music festival. Here are the most stunning images of the week from photographer Adam Kissick and our own Bob Boilen.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

This month, KUT is partnering with the Ruthe Winegarten Foundation to celebrate Women's History Month. Every day, we'll bring you a short feature spotlighting a historic woman, movement, or group of women in Texas. 

In our fouth week, we'll look at the Women Airforce Service Pilots of WWII, philanthropist Mary Couts Burnett, musician, writer, and activist Maude Cuney Hare, and more.

Nathan Wagoner

Microsessions, the creation of producer Paul Schomer, are designed to expose fans to new live music in an efficient and time-conscious way. Each event features five acts playing five sets simultaneously (but in different rooms or areas of one location). Audiences are divided into "pods" which move from room to room until they've experienced a short set from each of the featured musicians. He likes to refer to it as "speed dating for new music."

Schomer was inspired to create Microsessions after attending a house concert with an ever-expanding bill. "I went to go see a friend of mine play," he explains. "It was a double bill, and I got there and I realized that three more artists had been added. And before I knew it, it was almost midnight... and my friend still hadn't played." By the time he got home, he'd planned out a way to achieve something similar but in a shorter time frame. "And it may seem weird to approach something artistic with sort of an eye to making it more efficient, but that was the idea," he says.

TexasMonthly.com

The people behind a forthcoming brewery in North Austin called the Flemish Fox broke ground on the project today. The brewery's founder is the daughter of the late Pierre Celis, who has made his mark on brewing in Austin and in the Belgian city of Hoegaarden.

KUT's Nathan Bernier learns more from Texas Monthly drinks columnist Jessica Dupuy


goodmenproject.com

On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. speaks with Kenny Braswell, Executive Director of Fathers Incorporated, and author of ‘Daddy, There’s A Noise Outside.’

This month, KUT is partnering with the Ruthe Winegarten Foundation to celebrate Women's History Month. Every day, we'll bring you a short feature spotlighting a historic woman, movement, or group of women in Texas. 

In our third week, we'll look at lawmaker Irma Rangel, groundbreaking singer Willie Mae "Big Mama" Thornton, the Texas Women's History Project, and more.

This weekend, artists and performers across America and beyond will do what they do best with one shared goal in mind: to raise money for those affected by the ongoing water crisis in Flint, Michigan. As part of the Hip Hop 4 Flint initiative, dozens of cities will hold simultaneous fundraisers on March 19, each hoping to raise at least $2000 to go toward the purchase of 500 water filtration systems to be given to Flint residents.

When Da'Shade Moonbeam was approached about organizing Austin's Hip Hop 4 Flint show, he at first wasn't sure he'd have time to spearhead the event. But after thinking about it, he asked himself "if the water were to go off here, or anything was to happen to our water, would I want somebody else in another part of the planet to be like 'I'm too busy to organize something to help Austin'?" Once he realized he had to do what he could to help the cause, Moonbeam was left with the daunting task of putting together a day-long hip hop show during SXSW. "It's crazy," he says, "but we're ready to go."

He's aiming for what he calls a "four elements hip hop show," which includes DJs, breakdancers, graffiti artists, and MCs. "It's gonna be more of a theatrical party vibe," Moonbeam says. "We're going to try to keep it around having fun, but we want to make sure we cover some of the social issues."

All this week, KUT's sister station KUTX profiles the Ones To Watch—seven must-see artists at SXSW 2016. See more here.

Matthew Logan Vasquez has spent the past decade as the frontman for Delta Spirit. But now, he’s showing off a new sound as a solo artist.


Laura Skelding, Austin American-Statesman

A urbane Chinese restaurant in downtown Austin created a lot of buzz with its soup dumplings. Does the hype live up to reality? KUT's Nathan Bernier asks Austin American-Statesman restaurant critic Matthew Odam about his review of Wu Chow


KUT

City of Austin officials are trying to keep events during South by Southwest near the same level of activity as 2015. More amplified sound permits were issued this year, but overall, the city has maintained the dialed-back approach it adopted after 2014 – the year Rashad Owens crashed his car through a crowd of people on Red River Street, killing four. 

essence.com

On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. speaks with Lisa Nichols, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Motivating the Masses, Inc. and author of ‘Abundance Now: Amplify Your Life & Achieve Prosperity Today.’ 

This month, KUT is partnering with the Ruthe Winegarten Foundation to celebrate Women's History Month. Every day, we'll bring you a short feature spotlighting a historic woman, movement, or group of women in Texas. 

In our second week, we'll look at former First Lady and environmentalist Lady Bird Johnson, rancher and philanthropist Petra Kenedy, legendary singer Janis Joplin, and more.   

Sam Nicole Ortega for KUTX

The Austin City Council voted Thursday to investigate a long list of ideas drafted by Mayor Steve Adler to support Austin’s ailing music industry — one study says Austin saw a loss in 1,200 local jobs over four years, while another says a fifth of musicians live below the poverty line.

Adler's list of proposals, which could also benefit the creative economy as a whole, passed with near-unanimous approval at the council's meeting last night. 

Ten years ago, writer and performer Zell Miller III was inspired by his then six-year-old son to create the one-man show My Child, My Child, My Alien Child. Several years later, he created a sequel about his second child, titled Oh...Sh*t...It's a Girl! Now that son is 16 and that daughter is eight, and Zell's ready to complete the trilogy with Oh Snap, My Alien Children Are Trying to Kill Me.

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.

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.”

Every year, the SXSW Music Festival features thousands of artists from around the world. And every year, The Austin 100 winnows them down to an even hundred discoveries and highlights across genres. Each song on the list is streamable through NPR Music's gorgeous Austin 100 app until March 31, 2017.

Texas Women's History Month (Week One)

Mar 1, 2016
Native American Women Texas
Gerald W. Williams Collection-2008

This month, KUT is partnering with the Ruthe Winegarten Foundation to celebrate Women's History Month. Every day, we'll bring you a short feature spotlighting a historic woman, movement, or group of women in Texas. 

In our first week, we'll look at the African-American women's suffrage movement in Texas; activist Jane Y. McCallum; Mollie Bailey, the "Circus Queen of the Southwest;" Ruthe Winegarten herself, and more. 

From Drive a Senior, this month's Get Involved spotlight non-profit:

Meeting the Needs of our Community

For most of us, car keys represent freedom and independence. Staying connected is essential to healthy aging, but without transportation, many seniors feel stuck and alone. Public transportation may not be available in their area, or they are surviving on a restricted income. For thousands of senior citizens in our community, not having transportation may mean they are no longer able to stay in their own homes.

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