May 2005


In America

Jan 20, 2013 By Steve Brodner

This winter I traveled to a handful of South Texas colonias to hear the stories of the people there. While I encountered many families living in deplorable conditions, I also witnessed countless acts of near-miraculous transformation.

Where We Rank

Jan 20, 2013 By Texas Monthly

How Texas compares with the other 49 states in everything from the percentage of low-income children with health insurance (we’re dead last) to the number of executions (we’re first!).


Jan 20, 2013 By John Spong

He asked me if I was going to be white my whole life. I was, of course. But because of our friendship, I’m no longer the clueless upper-middle-class kid I once was.


Frances the Mute

Apr 30, 2005 By Jeff McCord

On both of its albums, The Mars Volta—El Paso natives and former At the Drive-In bandmates Omar Rodriguez-Lopez and Cedric Bixler-Zavala—has trod the well-worn path of concept albums and rock opera. But if you’re picturing sequined capes and rotating stages, think again. In Frances the Mute (GSL), the pair…

Songs for Tsunami Relief: Austin to South Asia

Apr 30, 2005 By Jeff McCord

Just fourteen days after the December 26 tsunami struck South Asia, a gargantuan benefit concert was staged in Austin. Its headliner, Willie Nelson, was among those instrumental in pulling the event together so quickly, so it’s no surprise that Willie’s label has also moved at light speed to release a…

Gimme Fiction

Apr 30, 2005 By Jeff McCord

Most writers strive to pare their work down to the bare essentials, to speak with a voice both clear and concise. Spoon has the same approach to its music. Rarely has a group been so devoid of superfluous licks. For its fifth album, Gimme Fiction (Merge), the Austin band…

Chasing the Rodeo

Apr 30, 2005 By Mike Shea

Chasing the Rodeo (Harcourt) is Austin journalist W. K. Stratton’s personal assay of the rodeo arts and the sport’s colorful history and personalities, from western star Tom Mix to legendary bucking-bronco rider Jackson Sundown. It’s also an ode to Cowboy Don, Stratton’s absentee father, who spent much of his life…

Still River

Apr 30, 2005 By Mike Shea

Cheers to Dallasite Harry Hunsicker for giving us Hank (né Lee Henry) Oswald, a most welcome and worthy heir to the legacy of wisecracking private eyes like Robert Parker’s Spenser and Robert Crais’s Elvis Cole. It’s unfortunate (but entertaining) that Oswald spends much of Still River (Thomas Dunne/St. Martin’s Minotaur)…

The Diezmo

Apr 30, 2005 By Mike Shea

With his historical novel The Diezmo (Houghton Mifflin), Rick Bass graphically conveys the intense sights, sounds, and emotions of the ill-fated Mier expedition through the person of James Alexander, his fictional narrator. Sixteen-year-old James seeks glory when he rides out of La Grange with a Texas militia seeking unspecified…

Strangers on a Train

Apr 30, 2005 By John Spong

There was something irresistibly romantic about the gutter punk’s description of stowing away in freight cars. No wonder I wanted to try it—even if, at 38, I probably should have thought to myself, “You’re too old for this.”


Liquid Assets

Apr 30, 2005 By Patricia Sharpe

Hot Shots Give these splashy spring cocktails a spin. Why not observe the Mexican holiday of Cinco de Mayo by brushing up on your tequila basics at these tastings and dinners? In Austin, Santa Rita Tex Mex Cantina hosts Tequila Tuesdays the first Tuesday of each month from 6 to…


Apr 30, 2005 By Patricia Sharpe

I don’t know about you, but when I see the word “hibiscus,” I automatically think, “Any of various chiefly tropical shrubs or trees … having large, showy . . . flowers.” How that delicate floral image got attached to a decidedly Texan, though slickly sophisticated, restaurant in a hot Dallas…

The Confessional

Apr 30, 2005 By Helen Cho

Writer-at-large Don Graham on Mary Karr’s recently reissued book The Liars’ Club and confessional memoirs.

Picture This

Apr 30, 2005 By Helen Cho

Fredrik Brodén, who took the photograph for Gary Cartwright and Dan Jenkins’s e-mail exchange, on inspiration and visualizing a concept.

Under the Cover

Jan 20, 2013 By Helen Cho

Jeff Lipsky, who photographed Kelly Clarkson for this month’s cover, talks about working with celebrities and what it means to be “a natural.”

Darkness Visible

Jan 20, 2013 By Helen Cho

Marshall Arisman, who illustrated our excerpt from Dying to Cross, on depicting violence and working with color.

Coming to America

Jan 20, 2013 By Jordan Breal

Television journalist Jorge Ramos, the author of the book Dying to Cross, on immigration reform and being called the “voice of the voiceless.”


Around the State

Apr 30, 2005 By Texas Monthly

May—People, Places, Events, Attractions 05.2005 Coast into summer with a warm-up trip to the Texas beach: Our 367 miles of shore offer hundreds of sandy little oases, and along with fishing and birding, there are oceans of inexpensive activities at various state parks. On May 1, 8, and 15, play…

Liz Smith

Apr 30, 2005 By Evan Smith

“Nobody doing what I’m doing is important anymore. Not in the way Winchell, Kilgallen, Hedda, and Louella were important.”

Second Opinions

Apr 30, 2005 By Texas Monthly

“Kinky, your absence is going to be more devastating than Dan Rather’s leaving the ‘sunken anchor’ biz. Please rethink your aspirations!”

Jeff Lipsky

Jan 20, 2013 By Texas Monthly

If anyone knows about following a dream it’s Jeff Lipsky, who photographed American Idol queen Kelly Clarkson for this month’s cover. “I was a fly-fishing guide and snowboarder in Colorado for eleven years,” he says. “And then one day I decided to move to L.A. and become a photographer. I…

Steve Brodner

Jan 20, 2013 By Texas Monthly

Although illustrator Steve Brodner did some preliminary research before leaving New York for the colonias of South Texas, he was thoroughly unprepared for what he encountered. “The books I had read were about ten years old, and they focused on the horrific living conditions in the colonias,” he says. “But…

Jorge Ramos

Jan 20, 2013 By Texas Monthly

“I didn’t want this tragedy to get lost among all the daily news stories,” says Univision anchorman Jorge Ramos, referring to the ill-fated attempt to smuggle at least 74 illegal immigrants into Texas two years ago. So, to bring attention to the incident as well as to larger immigration issues,…


Down But Not Out

Apr 30, 2005 By Patricia Hart

No one thinks the Democrats have a chance of winning the 2006 governor’s race. Which is exactly why you shouldn’t write them off.