February 2006 Issue

On the Cover

Perfect 10

The reviews of the Vince Young show are in—and, of course, they’re all raves. Gary Cartwright and Bud Shrake argue that the Texas quarterback is the best ever but wonder if his throwing motion is an obstacle to NFL greatness. Plus: Mack vs. “Delbert.”



Tommy Lee Jones Is Not Acting

On screen and off, his affect is that of someone who should not be disturbed: a crotchety, contentious, impatient, and thoroughly genuine West Texan. That’s what makes his characters—including his latest, the lead in The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada— so believable.

Good Knight? Good Luck!

When Texas Tech University hired Bob Knight to coach the Red Raiders basketball team, in 2001, he was, er, a known quantity. And in every possible sense, he’s lived up to his billing.


AUSTIN Enoteca Vespaio, 1610 S. Congress Ave., 512-441-7672. Open Mon–Sat 8 a.m.–10 p.m., Sun 10–2. Fino, 2905 San Gabriel, 512-474-2905. Open Mon–Thur 11–10, Fri 11–11, Sat 5–11. DALLAS Cafe San Miguel, 1907 N. Henderson Ave., 214-370-9815. Lunch Mon–Sat 11–3, Sun 10–3. Dinner

Betty Williams as a high school junior.

A Kiss Before Dying

Forty-five years after Betty Williams was shot to death by the handsome football player she had been secretly seeing, her murder haunts her Odessa high school—literally.


• In Dallas, newcomer Salum has been drawing crowds to its serene white interior (you feel as if you’ve been dropped into a vat of whipped cream—in a good way, of course). Chef and owner Abraham Salum is offering an eclectic Mediterranean menu, from which I’ve quite enjoyed an excellent



Music Review

It’s a Game

There’s a seeping, winterlike melancholy to the slender songs of It’s a Game (Drag City), the first album in four years from San Antonio native Edith Frost. Her music betrays a quiet sadness devoid of self-pity but full of heartache; she has hinted that upheaval in her personal life led

Music Review

Heavy Ornamentals

Like other bands that have managed to hang around almost intact for more than a decade, The Gourds have seen a certain predictability set in. The same consistency we see in their lineup is even more apparent in their work. Often compared to the unclassifiable roots music of Doug Sahm

Music Review

Different Folks

Most, though not all, remix albums fall flat. But Different Strokes by Different Folks (Epic/Legacy) avoids this fate for two reasons: a reverence for the source material (the album is credited simply to Sly and the Family Stone) and the resilience of the songs themselves. Dallas-born Sly (Sylvester Stewart) is

Book Review

A Strong West Wind

Pulitzer Prize–winning book critic Gail Caldwell shines such a persistent light on her Texas family (especially colorful dad Wild Bill Caldwell) that she becomes nearly invisible in her own mem- oir, A Strong West Wind (Random House). When she does write herself into the spotlight, we see an immensely likable,

Book Review

The Secret Sisters

The Secret Sisters (Harper Collins) opens with Pia Ramone’s husband keeling over at one of Houston’s glitzier black-tie-and-tails affairs—a cringe-inducing lapse into melodrama. But Joni Rodgers, best known for her memoir, Bald in the Land of Big Hair, regains her footing in time to craft a modern tragedy that joins

Book Review

The Night Journal

Austinite Elizabeth Crook builds a sumptuous, surprise-filled third novel, The Night Journal (Viking), on six volumes of diaries by fictional New Mexico protofeminist Hannah Bass. The handwritten notebooks from the 1890’s have become the quiet battlefield in a cross-generational war between Bassie, the daughter who edited them into a

The Man In the White Hat

To hear John Poindexter tell it, he’s one of the good guys—a faithful steward of his West Texas land and therefore a worthy bidder for 46,000 acres of Big Bend Ranch State Park. But sometimes having your heart in the right place simply isn’t enough.


Pat's Pick

Capitol Brasserie

Oversized French art posters on the wall? Check. Burgundy-and-faded-saffron color scheme? Check. Servers in long aprons? Check. Austin’s Capitol Brasserie has been around only two months, but it already has that unmistakable French brasserie look and feel. And the food I’ve tried at restaurateur Reed Clemons’s new place has

Texas Tidbits

Texas Tidbits

Tommy Lee Jones is sought out for his ability to bring complexity to even the most standard role. Here are ten notable appearances onscreen.

Web Exclusive

Murder, She Wrote

Senior editor Pamela Colloff on researching a 45-year-old murder case, tracking down sources, and using a ghost story to show how the crime still haunts Odessa.

Game Highlights

Editor Evan Smith talks about watching the Rose Bowl, text-messaging University of Texas athletics director DeLoss Dodds, and putting Vince Young on the cover.

Knight Time

Mark Heisler and Steve Delsohn, who wrote Bob Knight: The Unauthorized Biography, talk about their book, Bob Knight, and basketball.


Around the State

Around the State

February—People, Places, Events, Attractions02.11.2006“TWO WOMEN LOOK WEST: PHOTOGRAPHS OF KING RANCH BY HELEN C. KLEBERG AND TONI FRISSELL,” a dual exhibit at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, takes us back this month to the glory years of the King Ranch, when it was the biggest, richest, and most glamorous

Laura Miller

“The problem is that there’s nobody who can put their foot down and say, ‘Yep, by God, we’re going to do this . . .’ It’s a city without leadership.”

Roar of the Crowd

Home Base

Your article about being an Army brat could have been my biography, right down to the unair-conditioned Plymouth station wagon [“Army Brat,” December 2005]! When we lived in Naples, Italy, my dad, who worked for base security, drove us in that Plymouth, which was probably the largest car in

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