Attica Locke’s Empire

Attica Locke’s critically acclaimed 2009 debut novel, Black Water Rising, was set in her hometown of Houston and featured a down-on-his-luck lawyer protagonist named Jay Porter, who in many ways was inspired by her father, Gene Locke, the former city attorney of Houston. The sequel, Pleasantville, has just come out, though the final book in what she expects will be a trilogy will likely have to wait a while.

The Checklist


The Collection of Nancy Lee and Perry R. Bass (Kimbell Art Museum, through May 24)
Heavy on the likes of Van Gogh, Matisse, Miró, and Rothko, this exhibit doesn’t tell us anything in particular about Texas art. But it does tellus something about the way oil money—the source of the Bass family fortune—once pushed Texans to look beyond their state’s borders and redefine their sense of what qualifies as culture. 

The Outlaws

Willie Nelson and Brad “Scarface” Jordan may both be world-famous Texas musicians, but you’d think that’s pretty much where the similarity ends. The Abbott-born country artist and the Houston-born rapper don’t sound much alike and are separated by more than three decades in age.

The Return of P. J. Proby

Thirteen years ago Van Morrison released Down the Road, an album that looked back longingly at the music of his youth. The intent was apparent right there on the cover, a photo of a record shop window display featuring more than a dozen specimens of vintage vinyl by the likes of Lightnin’ Hopkins, Ray Charles, and Blind Lemon Jefferson—Morrison’s childhood heroes all. One of the album’s better songs was a good-humored lament about the state of contemporary pop with the curious title “Whatever Happened to P. J.

Remember the Alamo Custodians!

When land commissioner George P. Bush wrested control of the Alamo from the Daughters of the Republic of Texas in mid-March, alleging numerous instances of mismanagement, recently retired Democratic state representative Mike Villarreal tried to put the move in a historical context. “We’ve all been watching this story unfold since 2011,” said the current San Antonio mayoral contender. This was an accurate statement, if not quite a complete one.

To Protect and to Serve Up Your ID on a Silver Platter

The Fort Bend County sheriff’s office issued a press release on its website seeking help in locating hundreds of people whose credit cards and driver’s licenses were sitting in the lost-and-found of a local movie theater. The press release, which pointed out that the theater’s carelessness put owners of the missing items at high risk for identity theft, included photos of the items detailed enough to reveal some people’s identities and credit card numbers.


Keep UT-Austin Weird

Before they became known as RotMan on social media and before their own “attack ad” against themselves was viewed 17,000 times on YouTube, Xavier Rotnofsky and Rohit Mandalapu intended their campaign for, respectively, student body president and vice president at the University of Texas at Austin as a joke, an elaborate way to poke fun at the outsized ambitions and political jockeying that typically characterize student elections.


Subscribe to RSS - The Culture