Texans love George Strait, a simple truth so resoundingly evident in this magazine’s universe in the past thirty days that a bit of recapping is warranted: After previewing our June cover a week before its official release, the likes (11,180), shares (12,690), and RTs (182) came fast and furious.
GRAY COUNTY SRA, WEST OF ALANREED
Long road trips, like life, are about the journey, not the destination. And it’s the pit stops along the way that make or break your voyage. A good roadside respite is transformative, pacifying pent-up children and saving many a marriage. Since Texas has more miles of highway—upwards of 310,000—than any other state, we’re serious about our pull-offs (see Buc-ee’s).
Lucio Núñez has been making guitars for almost 35 years, but in some ways he is still the philosophy teacher that he was in Mexico City back in the seventies. “Lutherie depends on both science and mystery. The space between one note and another, the way we work with sound frequencies—that is physics. But the way music touches our souls—that is a mystery.” Music and art were heavily prized in Núñez’s family: his mother owned a record store, and his brother became an architect.
It’s been an eventful year so far for Richard Linklater. In January the Austin filmmaker received an Oscar nomination for co-writing the screenplay for his film Before Midnight.
Neon Icon, Riff Raff (Mad Decent, June 24)
The Houston-gone-Hollywood rapper—often referred to as “the most viral human being in music” because of his pioneering ascent by way of YouTube—releases his official debut album, featuring guest appearances from home-town heroes Slim Thug and Paul Wall and, no doubt, plenty of near-random wordplay about cars, girls, foodstuffs, personal grooming, and B-list celebrities.
If you ever need to break the ice with Baylor football coach Art Briles, skip right past the topic of his record-setting offense (he won’t tell you any secrets anyway) and instead bring up another kind of record: Neil Young’s Harvest, for instance, or the most recent release by roots-soul singer-songwriter Amos Lee. Like most Texas football coaches, Briles, who led Baylor to its first-ever Big 12 championship last year, is all about football, faith, and family.
“New towns are springing up so rapidly in Texas that even the people of the State seem at a loss to keep track of them. Hence a stranger, traveling by rail, asking a Texas fellow-passenger the name of places being passed, will find from the response that a generic term has been adopted, viz: ‘Damfino.’ ” — Letter to the Editor, Texas Siftings, December 17, 1881
When Glenn Beck moved his media operation to Dallas in 2012, Texas solidified its reputation as America’s one-stop shop for fevered conspiracy theories. Our state’s passion for believing that small groups of rich, powerful men rule the world (a belief often held by other rich, powerful men) reached a high-water mark in the days leading up to November 22, 1963, when paranoid rantings about communism, the United Nations, and the Catholic Church poisoned the air of Dallas.
Of all the issues that the Legislature tackled last year, few were as unlikely as pension reform. When it comes to entitlements, the people who benefit from the status quo are usually suspicious of change, and the pols who are supposed to keep our finances sound are usually too concerned with the here and now to worry about how much money the government is going to have to hand out years down the line.