Hot CDsAbra Moore’s wispy, quivering voice works hard to be heard among the loud, rude guitars of Strangest Places (Arista/Austin). It’s a far cry from her earlier, softer work with Poi Dog Pondering and as a solo artist. Even when she falters, the Austinite’s transformation into a rocker adds resonance
If you’re a celebrity who wants to pen a book, who you gonna call? Ghostwriters.
Texas City lives on, fifty years after the infamous explosion.
The career of Austin young-adult writer Rob Thomas is going through a growth spurt.
Hot CDsSing, Cowboy, Sing: The Gene Autry Collection (Rhino) is a three-CD set featuring 84 favorites by the singing cowboy from Tioga. But these aren’t always the best-known versions; many are previously unreleased transcriptions from his Melody Ranch radio show that measure up well and thus add to the Autry
It would be wrong to say that Bud Shrake has finished writing one third of a new novel; it’s actually an old novel, one he has been writing off and on for the past fifteen years. “It’s about love, violence, sex, and murder,” the 65-year-old Austinite explains, and is set
Hot CDsThanks to her auspicious debut, Baduizm (Universal), 25-year-old Erykah Badu is being billed as the hip-hop Billie Holliday, which may be a bit—how do you say?—premature. But working with jazz and hip-hop all-stars and singing originals that are definitely more intimate than gritty, the silky-voiced South Dallas native does
Poetry about a 161-year-old battle is hardly what you’d expect from a high-minded political writer, but fifth-generation Texan Michael Lind has always been a maverick.
In an excerpt from Michael Lind’s epic poem The Alamo, a hero of the revolution falls in the fight for freedom.
Hot CDsMiss Lavelle White’s It Haven’t Been Easy (Antone’s/Discovery) is essentially a primer on modern blues. Houston-bred and currently Austin-based, White is equally comfortable with a soul ballad like the title song, an up-tempo scorcher like “Can’t Take It (I Don’t Give a Damn),” the self-explanatory “Wootie Boogie,” or a
Painful implants and alien abduction experiences may sound like science fiction, but to San Antonio writer Whitley Strieber, they’re frighteningly real.
Why Texas’ best-known homeless writer is back on the streets.
Hot CDsIn the sixties, Mayo Thompson’s The Red Krayola was a Houston psychedelic band with a writer—Frederick Barthelme—for a drummer. Thirty years later, the amorphous experimental outfit has a new lineup that makes music with the help of such guests as Minutemen alumnus George Hurley, but time has not tarnished
ANNA MEAGAN: THE AGGIE CINDERELLA STORY, by Cindy King Boettcher, published by Beraam Publishing Company, $16.95. The familiar fairy tale is retold incorporating the myths and traditions of Aggieland. The heroine is a coed studying to be a teacher; her harassers are not step-sisters but messy dorm mates; the Aggie
The latest star pupil of the so-called Houston school.
Hot CDsAlong with Nat “King” Cole, Texas City native Charles Brown became the father of late-night “cocktail blues” in Los Angeles in the forties. Half a century later, Honey Dripper (Verve/Gitanes) vividly conjures up Brown’s suave, stylish world. His voice is sweet and smoky like a rich cigar and as
In excerpts from his upcoming memoir, legendary newsman Walter Cronkite remembers his days as a cub reporter in Houston and his introdcution to the realities of racism.
Hot CDsTwo years after their wildly successful debut, Elida y Avante bounce back from label troubles with Algo Entero (Tejas). For my money, Mercedes-born Elida Reyna is tejano’s next female superstar. Her husky, throbbing voice is mature well beyond her 24 years—she has the archetypal blend of innocence and experience—and
Hot CDsSalt? Fat? Excess? You’ll get none of that from the women of Pork. On their second album, Slop (Emperor Jones/Trance Syndicate), the Austin trio gets maximum results from a minimalist approach. Like a modern-day Modern Lovers, the band has a simple, timeless garage-rock sound that thrives on a patchwork
Form follows dysfunction.
An El Paso novelist makes history.
Hot CDs The boys from Bedhead wipe the sleep from their eyes with Beheaded (Trance Syndicate), a volume of 1995 recordings that serves as the band’s second album. The brainy Dallas quintet’s three-guitar setup shimmers and creeps, foreshadowing the hypnotic bursts of woozy but assertive riffs and unassumingly catchy tunesmithing.
San Antonio poet, essayist, and anthologist Naomi Shihab Nye is completing work on her first novel. The protagonist of Habibi (Simon and Schuster) is an Arab American teenage girl in present-day Jerusalem. The book is based, Nye says, on her own “travels and travails before coming to Texas” and explores
Hot CDsBraver Newer World (Elektra) might well be the record that Jimmie Dale Gilmore has always wanted to make. A radical departure in both instrumentation (the sitar and fuzz guitars of the title track) and arrangements (the overhaul of Joe Ely’s “Because of the Wind”), it’s the closest the Austin-via-Lubbock
Hot CDsGrammy award aside, Flaco Jiménez’s last solo album was a big disappointment, for it showed how far Texas’ greatest accordionist had strayed. After all those studio sit-ins with the likes of the Rolling Stones and Dwight Yoakam and those trips around the globe as the ambassador of Tex-Mex, his
Hot CDsAustin immigrant Bob Mould made two solo records after the breakup of his first band, Hüsker Dü; now the demise of his latest band, Sugar, has led to a third. Self-produced, entirely self-played, and unassumingly self-titled, the Rykodisc release finds Mould’s somber vocals and crystalline guitar lines meandering from
The big-screen bungling of Rosellen Brown’s Before and After.
Houston attorney-novelist Eric L. Harry flashed on the idea for his new technothriller while rafting on a river. In Society of the Mind (Harper Collins, $25), due out in June, a mad genius lures a young Harvard professor to his secret island compound to psychoanalyze an equally disturbed computer…New York
A new book about Lee Harvey Oswald reveals that conspiracy theorists are still straining to repackage old news into something new.
Texas writers go Hollywood.
The best books and CDs from Texas.
Some words are worth a thousand pictures; such is the case with the image-rich writing of Colum McCann, whose first novel, Songdogs (Metropolitan Books, $22.50), has won praise from both The New Yorker and the New York Times. A native of Ireland, the 31-year-old credits Texas with jump-starting his career.
The conventional wisdom is that the independents are good and the national chains are evil—but don’t judge a bookstore by its cover.
The best books and CDs from Texas.
LYNDON B. JOHNSON AND HIS FAMILY PAPER DOLLS, a cutout book featuring Lyndon and his family in their undies, published by Dover Books as part of its presidential paper doll series, $4.95. TRAIL OF FLAME: THE RED-HOT GUIDE TO SPICY RESTAURANTS ACROSS AMERICA, by Jennifer Trainer Thompson,
Two poets, well versed in the ways of Houston, reflect on the city’s effect on lives and letters.
The best books and CDs from Texas.
A cyberpunk writer’s sterling career.
After four decades of writing classic Texas novels, there’s no denying that San Angelo’s Elmer Kelton has earned his Spurs.
September 30, 1995
Mary Willis Walker’s mysteries aren’t exactly original, but she crafts real moments of tension. That’s why they sell so well and win so many awards.
If the literary novel is dead, then why is Baskerville Publishers in Dallas flourishing?
When you read a Hardy Boys novel, the mystery isn’t who done it, but who wrote it.
Twenty years after he began critiquing modern society, Houston writer Max Apple is enjoying the fruits of his labor.
Just as congressional hearings are set to begin, an exclusive excerpt from a new book casts a different light on the government’s role in the fiery end to the siege at Mount Carmel.
For Dallas writer Carlton Stowers, Sins of the Son is more than just another true crime story. The son is his own.
With The Liar’s Club, a dark and lyrical memoir, a stiking new voice emerges from the oil patch.
When Grover Lewis died on April 16, he left a legacy of unwashed greatness. That’s how he would have wanted it.
From “Lone State Doom” to “Land of Violent Men,” a look back at Texas’ classic pulp fiction.
A year after Robert James Waller left Iowa for the quieter climes of Big Bend, the best-selling author is discovering that it’s one thing to live like a Texan and quite another to be one.