Senior Editor John Spong holds a B.A. and a J.D. from the University of Texas. In 1997, after working two years as a civil litigator, he joined Texas Monthly as a fact-checker, then moved into a staff writing position in 2002. He was nominated for a National Magazine Award in 2010 for his story on Texas dance halls, “Step Right Up” and has twice won the Texas Institute of Letters’ O. Henry Award for Magazine Journalism—for “The Good Book and the Bad Book,” about a censorship battle at a private school in Austin, and for “Holding Garmsir,” about a month he spent with a platoon of U.S. Marines fighting in Afghanistan. He is the author of A Book on the Making of Lonesome Dove, and his stories have appeared in numerous collections, including Best Food Writing 2012 (Da Capo Press, 2012) and The Best American Sports Writing 2009 (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2009). Inducted into the Texas Institute of Letters in 2013, Spong also sits on the advisory council of the Wittliff Collections at Texas State University. He lives in Austin, his home since 1971, with his wife Julie Blakeslee and their son, Willie Mo.
To gain pop culture literacy, you could spend a long weekend taking in works produced for the big screen (Giant, Dazed and Confused) and the small box (Lonesome Dove, Friday Night Lights). But the quicker route would be an afternoon surfing YouTube. Search for the terms below, but don’t blame us if you end up falling down a Van Cliburn rabbit hole.
Who says it ain’t the good life? These sixteen clubs, lounges, and dives (including one Hole in the Wall) are the reason Austin is called the Live Music Capital of the World.
From Bush’s good try on property taxes to Bullock’s grand finale, from savvy Sadler to weaselly Wohlgemuth, from Duncan’s beginning to Howard’s end: Our sorting of the session’s standouts—best, worst, and in between.
Meet the senior class of what might be called Texas Music U. four up-and-coming acts that should graduate to the big time.
For brothers Charlie and Bruce Robison, making country music safe for men again is an intriguing propositionand a risky one because of their wives.
Austin’s new Bob Bullock museum sports six bas-reliefs that tell the story of Texas. Here’s how a sculptor and a team of artisans made them, like the museum’s namesake, larger than life.
The question about the James Byrd, Jr., Hate Crimes Act isn’t whether it will pass. The question is, Is it good law?