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.
The City of Austin Water Utility revealed that it is considering imposing a “drought fee” to help it make up for millions of dollars in lost revenue. The shortfall was caused, apparently, by customers’ heeding the utility’s demands to conserve water.
Here in margarita land, you’d be hard-pressed to find a Texan who hasn’t heard about the Great Lime Panic of 2014, when the price of the humble fruit reached stratospheric heights due to a shortage in Mexico (which supplies a mere 98 percent of our country’s supply) and we were left dry and not the least bit high. Realizing for the first time how much we take those tart green orbs for granted, we had to ask ourselves some tough questions: What will put the zip in our guacamole and the tang in our tacos?
In the summer of 2011, New Braunfels, the watery old town between Austin and San Antonio, was undergoing an invasion. Sweaty refugees, turned away from rivers elsewhere in Texas whose waters had been diminished by the worst one-year drought in history, found solace in the town’s spring-fed Comal River. They came in great numbers, and they came to tube.
After League City attorney Calvin C.