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

Ten years ago, improv performers Roy Janik, Kaci Beeler, Kareem Badr, and Valerie Ward compiled a list of 300 possible troupe names, rejected them all, and then ended up calling themselves Parallelogramophonograph almost as a joke.

"Picking a name is the hardest park of being in a band or an improv troupe," Janik explains. "Once you pick an amazing name  that's super-easy to google and spell, like Parallelogramophonograph, it's a piece of cake."

Do512 https://flic.kr/p/pJ6kUT

Fun Fun Fun Fest takes over Austin, plus shows by Igor and the Red Elvises, Robert Cray, Nic Armstrong and more this weekend. KUT's Nathan Bernier asks KUTX program director Matt Reilly for his live music selections. 


On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. speaks with Spencer Haywood, ABA/NBA legend and Hall of Famer.

Despite a productive NBA and ABA career, Haywood will always be remembered as the man who opened the door for underclassmen college basketball players to leave college early to play in the pros, thereby creating the "Spencer Haywood rule."

From CASA of Travis County, this month's Get Involved spotlight non-profit:  

About CASA:

CASA of Travis County speaks up for children who’ve been abused or neglected by empowering our community to volunteer as advocates for them in the court system. When the state steps in to protect a child’s safety, a judge appoints a trained CASA volunteer to make independent and informed recommendations in the child’s best interest. 

Founded in 2005, the Umlauf Prize is a yearly award bestowed upon a deserving UT Austin graduate student in Art. After a several-year hiatus, the prize was reinstated in 2014 and continues this year with, for the first time, two winners.

David Burke https://flic.kr/p/i3erK7

It's Halloween weekend! Which live music performances should you show up to in costume? KUT's Nathan Bernier asks KUTX program director Matt Reilly. 


Laura Skelding, Austin American-Statesman

Austin has more Italian options than ever. KUT's Nathan Bernier asks Austin American-Statesman restaurant critic Matthew Odam about his review of a relatively new addition, Juliet Ristorante. 


Courtesy of the Austin Film Festival

The 22nd Annual Austin Film Festival is getting underway. This year’s lineup includes more than 180 films – 20 of which are world or North American premieres.

The film festival and conference is unique because it was founded to recognize some of the less talked about people behind films – screenwriters. And that’s still true after 22 years. But the festival has also evolved a lot in recent years.


On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. concludes his conversation with Dr. Gayle Wald, Professor of English and American Studies at George Washington University and author of ‘It’s Been Beautiful’: Soul! and Black Power Television.

‘Soul!’ on Public Television from 1968 to 1973, was the only national TV show dedicated to cultural and political expressions of Black Power.

Nathan Bernier/KUT News

Two panels, scheduled to be held during SXSW Interactive in March 2016, were canceled Monday on account of “numerous threats of on-site violence,” according to the press release sent out by the head of the conference, Hugh Forrest.

Tuesday 5:40 p.m. Following today's developments, SXSW's Hugh Forrest has released a new statement on its website under the headline "Safety Is A Top Priority And So Is Your Voice":

Rodolfo Gonzales, Austin American-Statesman

Austin's restaurant scene continues to boom along with the city's economy, but who has time to keep track of the constant openings and closings?

At least one man does. Austin American-Statesman restaurant critic Matthew Odam is out with his annual dining guide. KUT's Nathan Bernier asks him about it. 

 

Check out the guide here

On October 30 and 31, Wizard World Comic Con returns to Austin, and it'll feature all the stuff you expect in such an event. There will be plenty of special guests, mostly familiar faces from geek-friendly and/or genre movies and TV shows (including Evil Dead's Bruce Campbell and RoboCop/Buckaroo Banzai portrayer Peter Weller among others), but also a surprising number of sports figures (including Texas legend Earl Campbell, no relation to Bruce). There will be lots of comic book writers and artists. There will be panel discussions such as "How to Write Comics" and "Diversity in Geek Culture." There will be lots of comics and colletables for sale and lots of people in elaborate costumes.

There will also be a handful of local artists in what's known as the "Artists Alley." One of those artists will be Tim Doyle, who's found himself in the surprising position of being able to support not only himself but also his family and a small staff by creating the art he's always loved. Despite his success, he still finds himself making air quotes when he discusses his "art career." 

"If you told me that I was in a coma and these last six years had been a dream, then I'd be like 'Oh, that makes sense,'" he says. That six year figure refers to "Change Into a Truck," a painting he did in 2009 that parodied Shepard Fairey's famous Barack Obama "Hope" poster. That image, featuring Optimus Prime in the place of Barack Obama, became a viral hit and essentially started the money-making portion of Doyles' career.

His work is a good fit for an event like Wizard World, because much of his inspiration comes from pop culture, particularly from the geekier edges of pop culture. His painting subjects have included, among many others,  Mad Max director George Miller, Godzilla, and the set of Ghostbusters. "I've been a geek since the '80s," Doyle says, "And so it's soaked into every atom of my being, and that's just going to come back out on the page."

On this episode Brian Ramos talks with filmmakers and showrunners Robert Rodriguez, David Simon and David Webb Peoples.

Image via Flickr/Marc E. (CC BY-2.0)

From Texas Standard:

Lady Gaga is just as well known for her fashion as she is for her music.


Ransom Center via YouTube

The archives of Gabriel García Márquez, the Nobel Prize-winning Colombian novelist, short-story writer, screenwriter and journalist, are now open to the public and they’re located here in the capital city, at the University of Texas at Austin's Harry Ransom Center.


This Saturday night, The Vortex is hosting 'Salvador Dali's Naked Feast," a performance/cocktail party that will also serve as a fundraiser for the upcoming Vortex season.

The entire Vortex compound (which now includes the theater space itself, the Butterfly Bar,  and Patrizi's Italian Restaurant) will be overtaken by the party, which will feature aerial performances, live music, dance, food, cocktails, and more. 

It's meant to be a surreal experience, influenced by the art and aesthetic of Spanish painter Salvador Dali. And, in a pretty big coup, they've convinced the great artist to overlook his 1989 death and travel to Austin to serve as the host of the party.

The Top 12 Quotes From 'Lonesome Dove'

Oct 21, 2015
Image via Motown Productions/Pangaea/Qintex Entertainment

From Texas Standard:

Spoiler alert! In case you've been under a rock in Ogallala for the last three decades, this story contains spoilers for "Lonesome Dove."

Since I am, like many Texans, an amateur expert on "Lonesome Dove," people often ask me what I figure are the most loved quotes from the miniseries.

If I were wise, I would just say any of a hundred quotes could be someone’s number one, and leave it at that. But I have never let lack of wisdom stop me. I cannot resist the challenge of making a list. I know it is a delicate business; it is holy ground.


On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. speaks with Dr. Gayle Wald, Professor of English and American Studies at George Washington University and author of ‘It’s Been Beautiful’: Soul! and Black Power Television.

‘Soul!’ on Public Television from 1968 to 1973, was the only national TV show dedicated to cultural and political expressions of Black Power.

Photo by Suzanne Reiss

Debra Monroe is an award-winning author of six books and acclaimed university professor. But she was, in her own words, “raised to be a farmer’s wife, a shopkeeper’s wife, a telephone man’s wife.”

Texas Book Festival

From Texas Standard:

This weekend tens of thousands of Texans will descend on the grounds of the state capitol for a little shindig called the Texas Book Festival. The annual celebration of all things literary will host 300 authors this year – the biggest yet.


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