July 2009 Issue

On the Cover

Ted or Alive

In the late seventies, Ted Nugent (a.k.a. “the Nuge” or “Uncle Ted”) had the country’s biggest hard-rock touring act—a wild-ass blend of in-your-face energy, obscene language, and a well-placed loincloth. Now he’s the country’s biggest gun rights advocate—and all that’s changed is the loincloth.


The Best and Worst Legislators 2009

The Eighty-First Legislature was like Seinfeld: a show about nothing. It was dominated by an event that was a year away, the looming 2010 Republican gubernatorial primary battle between Rick Perry and Kay Bailey Hutchison, and by issues that were political rather than substantive, none more so than the session-long battle

sangria san antonio

That’s the Spirit

Not that you’re looking for an excuse, but these five original cocktails concocted by Texas bartenders using local liquors are a thoroughly acceptable reason to pour yourself a drink. Or three.

Walking on the Moon

On July 20, 1969, Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin made history as the first humans to set foot on the surface of the moon. Forty years later, the researchers, astronauts, engineers, scientists, and NASA officials who made the voyage possible remember the day the Eagle landed.


Letter From Refugio

Sleeping Booty

Has an out-of-work Los Angeles musician discovered a sunken Spanish treasure worth hundreds of millions of dollars in a lake near Refugio? Maybe!

Behind the Lines

Failing Darla

It’s time for Texas to start taking better care of people like Darla Deese, a developmentally disabled woman who has spent most of her life in our harrowing state schools.


Book Review

Vanilla Ride

There’s no more-welcome sign of the summer reading season than Joe R. Lansdale’s Vanilla Ride, featuring the troublemaking and problem-solving escapades of Hap Collins and Leonard Pine. The unlikely pair of crime fighters (Hap is a white, determinedly heterosexual, underemployed construction worker; Leonard is a black, loudly queer,

Music Review

Coconut Rock

As pseudo-realist dub/funk/Afrobeat/hip-hop/Latin ensembles go, it’s tough to beat Ocote Soul Sounds and Adrian Quesada. Okay, so they’re unique—but as a spin-off of two genre-bending bands, you’d expect nothing less. Ocote Soul Sounds is a pseudonym for Martín Perna, the founder and saxophonist of NYC’s Antibalas, the dozen-member group

Book Review

The Crack in the Lens

It took four novels for Steve Hockensmith to steer his sleuthing ranch hand brothers, Gustav “Old Red” and Otto “Big Red” Amlingmeyer, to Texas, but the budding town of San Marcos circa 1893 proves a fine fit for The Crack in the Lens and its unpretentious brand of

Author Interview

David Liss

The San Antonio author has exhibited an impressive sense of worldliness with his literary mysteries, the settings of which range from seventeenth-century Amsterdam to twentieth-century Florida. The Devil’s Company, his sixth novel, returns to eighteenth-century London, where pugilist-turned-PI Benjamin Weaver—who first appeared in A Conspiracy of Paper and later

Artist Interview

Rhett Miller

The Austin-born, Dallas-raised lead singer for the Old 97’s has led a fruitful double life as a solo artist with the albums Mythologies (1989), The Instigator (2002), and The Believer (2006). He has just released his fourth album, Rhett Miller (Shout! Factory).You actually began as a solo artist, making your

Music Review

Beautiful Day

From his public sparring with the Nashville establishment to his marriage to (and subsequent divorce from) Dixie Chick Emily Erwin, Charlie Robison has often attracted more attention for his personal life than his music. Which is a shame, because the Bandera-raised singer is a sharp, natural talent with an

Music Review

Song Up in Her Head

How did you celebrate your high school graduation? Wimberley’s Sarah Jarosz marked the occasion with a debut album, Song Up in Her Head (Sugar Hill). The eighteen-year-old overachiever has been well-known regionally for years, appearing at numerous festivals and even with the Austin Symphony. Yet unlike a lot

Susie Q., Mystery Shopper

Susie Q. (not her real name) has been reviewing hotels, restaurants, and retailers anonymously for about six years. She works for several market research companies, such as Sinclair Customer Metrics, to whom she reports her findings after posing as an everyday customer and testing out products and services. She has

How to Pack a Cooler Tube

Some things never change, like the irrepressible desire to float a Hill Country river on a 100-degree day—with, most naturally, a cooler of beer. And while the basic art of loading one’s booze boat also remains the same (use a separate inner tube with a bottom, pump it with extra



Cucumber Mintini

Cucumber Mintini1/4 cucumber 5 fresh mint leaves, plus 1 sprig for garnish 2 lime wedges 2 sugar cubes 2 ounces simple syrup (one part sugar dissolved in one part water) splash of fresh lime juice 1 1/2 ounces Tito’s Handmade Vodka splash of club sodaMuddle cucumber, mint leaves, 1 lime


Basil Julep

Recipe Courtesy of Tyler Treharne, 2900 Restaurant, El PasoBeing an avid gardener myself, I like to utilize the fruits of my labor in every culinary experience, and drinks should be no exception. Basil is a nice herb that is easy to grow, and most of all, loves the West Texas


Sweet Texas Heat

2 ounces jalapeño-infused Republic Silver Tequila 3 jalapeños (for tequila and garnish) 1/3 kiwi, peeled 6 fresh mint leaves 3/4 ounce ginger syrup (such as the Ginger People) 3/4 ounce fresh lime juice 1 ounce 7UPTo infuse the tequila: Slice 2 large jalapeños and remove seeds. Insert peppers in a


2900 Sangria

2900 Sangria Photograph by Adam Voorhes1 navel orange wedge, peeled 1 half-inch slice fresh pineapple 3 fresh strawberries, stemmed and sliced in half 3 red seedless grapes 1 slice Red Delicious apple 1 ounce Paula’s Texas Lemon 1 ounce Paula’s Texas Orange 5 ounces 2005


Alamo Fizz

3/4 ounce homemade rosemary syrup 5 sprigs of fresh rosemary (for syrup and garnish) 2 ounces Treaty Oak Platinum Rum 1/2 ounce fresh lime juice 1/2 ounce fresh lemon juice 1 egg whiteTo make rosemary syrup: Combine one part sugar and one part water in a pot. Bring to a


The Trinity River Project

1 1/2 ounces Cadenhead’s Old Raj Dry Gin 1/2 ounce Paula’s Texas Lemon 1/4 ounce Pagès Parfait Amour Crème de Violette liberal splash of Fever-Tree Bitter Lemon Luxardo maraschino cherries (garnish) lemon peel, long and twisted (garnish) edible orchid (garnish, optional)Combine gin, Paula’s Texas liqueur, and crème de violette over

The French Way

To a bystander, the French red, white, and blue covering the lawn of the historic French Legation Museum might seem as if a confused group of Austinites was celebrating the Fourth of July a week too late. But when night falls, the scene turns into an outdoor Parisian café nestled

Searching for Truth

Investigators and social workers in the Mineola Swingers Club cases have admitted that there was plenty of evidence that never made it into the first three trials that resulted in three life sentences. Will it make a difference?

Web Exclusive

Going Gruene

This Hill Country spot has a little something for everyone, from the oldest dancehall in Texas to specialty shops to two rivers perfect for tubing. 

Web Exclusive

This Film Is Not Yet Rated

Bob Hudgins, director of the Texas Film Commission, talks to Katy Vine about the “Waco” controversy, tax incentives, and how to get your movie made in Texas.

Web Exclusive

Sweater Weather

Yes, it’s summer in Texas. It’s the summer to end all summers (please, God), with record-breaking heat, triple-digit temperatures, and the uncontrollable urge to sit in your freezer, atop the Häagen-Dazs bars.

Web Exclusive

And That’s The Way It Is

Twice I had the honor—that’s what it was—of interviewing Walter Cronkite. The first time was in September 2003, in the restaurant at the Regency Hotel, in New York, where Mr. Cronkite met me for breakfast and an extended talk about the state of journalism. He was clearly hobbled by various


Editor's Letter

Mad Libs

One of the notable characteristics of this magazine is that it manages to inspire an equal amount of criticism from all parts of the political spectrum (this will come as a surprise, of course, to all parts of the political spectrum). Since our subject matter is a state, and

Roar of the Crowd

Think Again

I can only assume that your editors carefully discussed the merits of placing Joel Osteen on the cover. And I can only deduce that they decided that the benefits (presumably in terms of the appeal to his religious constituency) outweighed the costs. One question they might not have considered, or

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