Last year, Dallas Observer music editor Jeff Gage found himself called out by the singer of an all-female punk rock band he wrote about. That band—the sardonically-named Perfect Pussy—had stopped a show at the Dallas club Three Links after twenty minutes in protest over the flyers for the event at the club, which featured drawings of nude women in bondage. Writing about the show, Gage noted what he apparently took as irony or an inconsistency between singer Meredith Graves’s appearance and her indignation about the way her band’s performance was promoted by the venue:
And so Graves is left to sing over it all—or more accurately, fail to—which is where the real spectacle comes in. The thrill of seeing Perfect Pussy is just that: seeing it happen. Here’s Graves, her eyes rolled back in her head, sweating and turning bright red, hunching over towards the floor with her loose arm twisting behind her back. Moments later she’s smiling (sometimes while she’s still screaming), swaying and shimmying as though the racket behind her is somehow soothing.
The apparent disconnect is that Graves is, well, normal-looking. She has short, bleached blonde hair and last night was dressed in a not-at-all-punk-looking shorts and striped shirt that was tied off at the bottom. To some there may be no outward reason for her to be an angry person, a dissonance she no doubt plays off of. But that fact may also add to lingering questions around the band’s authenticity, as though the salacious name and pent-up posturing are mere ploys.
To say that it’s been a bad time for SeaWorld since the 2013 release of the documentary Blackfish, which featured interviews from trainers and former employees as part of an extremely critical look at the theme park’s treatment of orca whales, would be something of an understatement: in 2014, profits fell by a staggering 28 percent, attendance was down nearly 9 percent from the same period in 2012, and the company’s stock price these days is around half of its pre-Blackfish high. California, where SeaWorld operates its San Diego park (the others are in San Antonio and Orlando), recently considered legislation banning the use of orca whales in performances.
The bad press the company has been experiencing, in other words, is a very real existential threat to the company itself. And SeaWorld has treated it like one, by responding harshly to critics.
There’s a lot of things to say about Ted Cruz and his decision to be the first candidate from either party to officially declare that they are seeking the Presidency in 2016. And over at Texas Monthly’s BurkaBlog, Erica Grieder and R.G. Ratcliffe have said many of them. Here at the Daily Post, though, we’re wondering something else: What address is the guy going to use for his official campaign website?
South by Southwest is back to #disrupt the state capital and all of our Twitter feeds with updates about the newest brands and bands showcasing in downtown Austin. Inspired by New York Magazine’s piece about tweets from Davos, an annual political and economic conference held in the Swiss Alps, here’s a collection of tweets from folks enjoying the festival that birthed Twitter back in 2006.
Sixth Street attracts its usual crowd of rowdy visitors.
Newly-signed Dallas Cowboy Greg Hardy is a heckuva pass rusher. The 26-year-old former Carolina Panther tallied a combined 26 sacks in the 2012 and 2013 seasons, leading the Panthers to keep the defensive end from exploring free agency by applying the franchise tag to the player, paying him $13.1 million for that season.
He didn’t match those numbers in 2014, though, because he spent the final fifteen games of the season on the Commissioner’s Exempt List, a specially-created purgatory for players charged with or convicted of the sort of crimes the NFL would desperately like to distance itself from. And in July, Hardy was convicted by a judge at a bench trial of threatening and assaulting a woman.
As the substantial roar of SXSW Interactive and SXSW Film give way to the sustained, yowling, five-day-long, banshee-like shriek that is SXSW Music, the question, “Is SXSW 2015 a tipping point for the festival” starts to sound downright silly. Take a look at the streets of Austin, which have been packed for the past four days and will only get busier over the next five, and the question really becomes, “Does it even matter?” Kanye’s coming back, y’all—how can SXSW’s health be in question when you’ve got Kanye?
R. Kelly has written and recorded some of the most beloved songs of his generation. Songs adored for their inspirational content (“I Believe I Can Fly,” “The World’s Greatest”), or their ability to weave clever wordplay in with a dirty metaphor (“Ignition,” “Ignition (Remix),” “I’m a Flirt”), or for their audacious, semi-ironic appeal (“Trapped in the Closet” chapters 1-33), or just for being straight-up sex jams (“Bump N’ Grind,” “Sex Me”). His voice is incredible, he rarely receives his due as a songwriter, and the DVD director’s commentary for “Trapped in the Closet” on DVD features a little silhouette of Kels sitting in the corner, watching the music video while smoking a cigar.
All of this has always been hard to square with the fact that much of what we know about R. Kelly is awful. He was 27 years old when he married the singer Aaliyah, who was 15 at the time. (They met when she was 12.) As other media outlets have reported, someone who looks very much like R. Kelly was in a homemade pornographic video committing statutory rape against (and urinating on) a teenage girl.
In a short post on Monday, the Houston Chronicle revisited the death of Lacey Smarr, a Longview teenager who died a month ago from complications related to an eating disorder. It’s a tragic story that’s making its way back through the news cycle after the teenager’s mother, Candy Miller, announced she would be starting the Lacey Foundation—an organization to help “raise awareness of the signs and symptoms of anorexia, bulimia and other eating disorders as well as offer resources to families in need.”
The Austin tech start-up #BeSomebody—stylized like that, with the hashtag in the name—is built around an idea that makes a certain amount of sense. The company makes an app (with the same name as the company) that, when you cut through a bit of gibberish about “passionaries” and “finding your passion” and stuff, offers an attractive interface for connecting people who are interested in learning something with people who can teach them that thing. It’s like a prettier Craigslist for things like tuba lessons.
Is that a million-dollar idea? Well, considering that someone literally gave them a million dollars to pursue it last year, we would be forced to say yes. However, just because the company was able to secure seven figures in seed funding doesn’t mean that the message and worldview presented by its leadership is going to resonate universally.
The Texas A&M Library system is one of the university’s under-heralded jewels: it’s ranked as a top-ten research library among public universities in the U.S., its collection is impossibly deep, and its archival system is impressive enough that, when George R. R. Martin sought a place to house his personal papers, he immediately thought of A&M.
Martin’s relationship with A&M just got a little deeper, as well: when it came time for the library to receive its five millionth book, the donor was Martin, who presented the school’s Cushing Memorial Library and Archives’ Science Fiction and Fantasy Research Collection with a first-edition copy of J. R. R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit.