October 2008 Issue

On the Cover


Yes, yes, new baby and new movie—but what Matthew McConaughey really wants to talk about is the cushion of the flip-flop, the skooching of hoodie sleeves, the proper thickness of koozies, and his coming career as the arbiter of redneck-Buddha chic.



Everybody Must Get Stoned

Politically motivated hit job or serious work of art? That’s the looming question about Oliver Stone’s W., his new movie about the life and presidency of George W. Bush. To answer it—or more accurately, to speculate about the answer—we convened a discussion between two Hollywood pros, an eminent historian, an


The Reluctant Prosecutor

After Randy Reynolds sat on his hands as the Texas Youth Commission scandal exploded, everyone wanted the district attorney of Ward, Reeves, and Loving counties bounced from his job. Everyone, that is, except the people of Ward, Reeves, and Loving counties.


Flying Away

I’ve always had a connection to bees: I bought my first hive in 1971, and I raised them for honey all through high school. That’s why the disappearance of colonies across the U.S. has hit me so hard.



Author Interview

Darlene Harbour Unrue

The professor of English at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, has written and edited several books about the work and life of Texas literary talent Katherine Anne Porter, who died in 1980. Unrue just edited Porter: Collected Stories and Other Writings, an augmented reprint of the landmark volume that

Book Review

The Whiskey Rebels

San Antonio resident David Liss dives headlong into the capital of post-Revolutionary America—Philadelphia circa 1792—and emerges with a pearl of a thriller in The Whiskey Rebels. It’s a two-headed narrative told by Ethan Saunders, an ex-spy who has become a drunkard after being cashiered for allegedly passing secrets

Book Review

Nine Kinds of Naked

One can almost smell the patchouli wafting off the pages of Nine Kinds of Naked, a neopsychedelic satire from recently transplanted Austinite Tony Vigorito. Channeling the spirited humor of Douglas Adams’s The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy series, Vigorito suspends the rules of time and space to create

Music Review

Oh Skies of Grey

Dana Falconberry came to Austin from Michigan by way of Hendrix College, in Conway, Arkansas, but you’d be hard-pressed to detect any geographic traces in her music. Like other new singers with an old-world charm (Jolie Holland, Jenny Owen Youngs), Falconberry makes music that seems to spring from an

Music Review


Waco-born trumpeter Roy Hargrove began recording as a bandleader back in 1990, though as a sideman his forceful yet crystalline tones had caught jazz fans’ ears even earlier. When he signed with Verve Records, in 1993, he became a bit of a dabbler: He did an all-star tenor saxophone

Music Review

The Stand Ins

Cut Will Sheff and he bleeds words: big, lofty, expository words—and more than enough of them in the case of the 2007 recording sessions with his Austin band Okkervil River, which resulted in an extra album of songs. The Stand Ins (Jagjaguwar) is billed as a sequel to

Artist Interview

Hayes Carll

The 32-year-old singer-songwriter grew up in the Woodlands. His third album, Trouble in Mind (Lost Highway), was released to rave reviews in April, and he has been working nonstop ever since. He just filmed a video of his hit “She Left Me for Jesus.”You started out playing covers in

Andy Mullins, Midway Barker

Mullins, an actor by trade, grew up in Fort Worth and lives in Addison. As the State Fair of Texas’s joker-in-residence, he’s been hurling family-friendly barbs at unsuspecting visitors since 2004.I grew up going to the state fair, but I’d never seen the midway barker before. They only started


Web Exclusive

Remembering the Balinese Room

The jewel of Galveston’s Golden Era, the Balinese Room, closed its doors in 1957. One of Texas’s most glamorous dining and entertainment venues for decades, the Balinese finally succumbed to the determination of then-attorney general Will Wilson and his campaign to end the Free State of Galveston forever. The building

Web Exclusive

10,000 Barstools Ago

A tribute to the celebrated author and crime novelist James Crumley, who died at the age of 68 on September 17, 2008. Crumley was a native of Three Rivers, Texas.


Beet and Goat Cheese Salad

Beets4 medium size beets 3 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil Kosher salt Freshly ground black pepperVinaigrette1 medium red onion 1/4 cup red wine vinegar 1 cup EVOO 1/4 cup goat cheese, preferably local (we use Pure Luck) 6 to 12 tarragon leaves 2 cups local salad greensPreheat the oven to


Editor's Letter


I can’t say I wasn’t warned. In November 1991, not long after I’d announced to my bosses at a big magazine company in New York that I would soon be quitting to take a job with Texas Monthly, one of the company’s officers, a hulking man with a thick German

Roar of the Crowd

In the Headlights

“The Killing Field” is the most sickening, repulsive story I have heard in a long time [August 2008]. These young men are “good kids”? I do not think so. I promise you, we will hear of these boys again, and it will not be about their good works.Mary Louise

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