Archives for June 2018

KUT Weekend – June 29, 2018

Austin’s city council advances toward a $925 million bond election in November. Plus, what questions to ask state lawmakers if you care about funding public schools. And Austin’s public transit agency tries to help blind riders catch the bus. Those stories and more in this edition of KUT Weekend!

Subscribe at

Texas Standard: June 29, 2018

Should immigration and customs enforcement be dissolved? It’s not just democratic socialists asking, it’s some of the agents themselves, we’ll explore. Also grumblings south of the border as Mexico prepares to go to the polls and pick a new president. And polls point to a victory for a man described as a Trump of the Mexican left. We’ll have an update of these final hours before balloting begins. And Texas Senator Ted cruz accused Facebook’s CEO of liberal bias. Now reports say social media honchos have been huddling in secret with GOP leaders. We’ll hear what’s on their agenda. Plus the week in Texas politics and a whole lot more today on the Texas Standard:


The nemesis of every gardener was the inspiration for this Typewriter Rodeo poem.

Red Baraat ft. Heems: “Sound the People”

Psych, jazz and hip-hop all together at once? Sign me up. Add some modern day Bhangra in the mix and you’ve got Brooklyn six-piece Red Baraat. Are they a party band? Undeniably so. That doesn’t change the fact that on their fifth album Sound The People, Red Baraat proves once and again that the biggest party possible comes in the form of cross-cultural unity.

If this brand new Red Baraat record sounds to you roughly like an international version of Run The Jewels, you’re not far off; RtJ co-producer Little Shalimar took the reigns alongside in-group producer Sunny Jain to create a bizarre and beautiful aural landscape. Aptly fitting in this nine-song forge, Sound The People pairs pop culture references with a discussion on South Asian diaspora, migration and the 2018 US political climate. Heems of Brooklyn hip-hop outfit Das Racist leads the discussion on the album’s title track, so perk up your ears and add a little extra heat to your summer weekend with “Sound The People”!

-Jack Anderson (Host, Monday-Wednesday 8-11pm, Saturday 6-10am)


We might think that confidence is a performance and that some people are more believable than others because they exude a certainty that we don’t have. However, it turns out that confidence comes with experience and knowledge, and that having some hesitation about accuracy can be beneficial.

In this edition of Two Guys on Your Head, Dr. Art Markman and Dr. Bob Duke talk about the psychology of confidence.

Texas Standard: June 28, 2018

The end of Rowe versus Wade? Not so fast say a Texas law scholar and a former law clerk to retiring Justice Kennedy, we’ll explore. And conventional wisdom has it that Kennedy’s likely successor on the court will be an ideological opponent of the landmark 1973 abortion rights decision. But in the end, such a challenge might not turn on Kennedy’s successor, we’ll hear why. And first it was bags, but now that Texas bag bans have been trashed in a court challenge, the spotlight turns to plastic straws, we’ll take a look at the latest. Also, digital savant Omar Gallaga with summer tech for kids. Those stories and so much more today on the Texas Standard:

GUM: “The Underdog”

Ahead of the release of his fourth solo album as GUM, multi-instrumentalist Jay Watson admitted that at this point, he doesn’t even pay attention to what kind of music he’s making, he just does it. Traversing a buffet of genres that serves-up everything from prog rock to disco, Watson seamlessly stitches them into Jay’s Psychedelic Dream Coat, allowing the trademark sounds of his other projects Tame Impala and Pond to spill over while maintaining his own flavor. Watson’s passive-if-not-self-deprecating modesty is noted in everything from his decade-long silent involvement with Tame Impala to the GUM discography itself, yielding names like Glamorous DamageFlash in the Pan, and the current [the] Underdog, but the caliber of his psych-rock disco casts a shadow of irony across his effort to make incredible music under the radar. Give yourself some boogie-room for this one, chief.


“The Underdog” is the title track to GUM’s latest record, out now via Spinning Top.

-Taylor Wallace// Host, Thursdays 8p-11p & Saturdays 2p-6p; Producer, Eklektikos with John Aielli

Pink Cadillacs And Lucky 13: How Mary Kay Ash Built A Billion-Dollar Business

We have had dozens of rags-to-riches stories in Texas. These Horatio Algers had hardscrabble beginnings but built fortunes worth hundreds of millions and even billions of dollars.

But unfortunately – at this point, anyway – most of them have been male. So the women who did it were all the more impressive because they had headwinds to fight that others didn’t. They had higher mountains to climb. Makes me think of Ann Richards’ famous line: “Ginger Rogers did everything Fred Astaire did. She just did it backwards and in high heels.”

Mary Kay Ash was one of those women.

Mary Kay already had a highly successful career with Stanley Home Products before beginning her empire, but that success was not recognized or rewarded. Twice, she was passed over for promotions in favor of men she had trained. Salt in the wound for sure. So she retired early, at 45, and went home to write an advice book for women in business on how to survive in a world of men. About halfway through that book she had a eureka moment. She realized that she had written a remarkable business plan. So with her husband and $5,000 in savings, she decided to launch Beauty by Mary Kay.

Sadly, just a month before the grand opening, her husband, George Hallenbeck, died. It was then that most all the men in her life – banker, minister, relatives – told her that she should forget about the business idea. Too risky. But she said no. She believed in her concept. It would work.

So on Friday the 13th – September 1963 – with the help of her son Richard, she opened Mary Kay Cosmetics in Dallas. From that day on, Mary Kay considered 13 her lucky number. Now that’s staring down superstition. The Mary Kay World Headquarters is 13 stories tall. It has 13 elevators and Mary Kay’s office is on the 13th floor, where it remains as she left it when she passed away in 2001.

Mary Kay built a company of, by, and for women. She wanted to create a business that would enrich women and help them achieve genuine success, to reap unlimited rewards, and to enjoy meaningful recognition for their excellence. Many women of her time, she said, “had not had any applause since they graduated from high school or college.” She would change that.

Meaningful recognition was not an “atta girl” on the last line of a corporate memo. She wanted women to feel the joy of being recognized and celebrated. She wanted them to have their own businesses, to be independent consultants. And when they were successful, they would be rewarded with loud ovations at corporate conventions, diamond-studded tennis bracelets, all expense paid trips to Paris where they’d stay at the Ritz and be chauffeured to the Louvre, and at home they would drive their own shiny pink Cadillacs.

And if they were in Germany, it would be a pink Mercedes. I made a pitch for Pink Pickup Trucks or Pink Suburbans for the Texas Consultants. They’re thinking about it, but I doubt seriously.

May Kay believed that the best way to empower women was to enrich them. But she wasn’t talking only about money; she meant emotionally and spiritually as well.

Anne Crews, who is a Mary Kay Vice President for public affairs and a board member of the Mary Kay Foundation, told me that when you would sit and talk with Mary Kay, you were the only person she saw. She looked you straight in the eye. It didn’t matter what was going on around her. She never talked to you from behind her desk, but would sit with you on her couch. She was warm and personable and genuine, seeing in you what you perhaps did not see in yourself. Her central belief was that there were unlimited opportunities to reach inward and achieve more.

That is why her corporate symbol was the bumblebee. “The bumblebee is aerodynamically incapable of flight,” she often observed, “but someone forgot to tell the the bumblebee.” This fit with her personal prime directive: “to help women see how great they really were.”

Mary Kay had perhaps an unusual mission statement, for a corporation. It was quite simply Matthew 7:12 – the Golden Rule: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” She believed that if everyone followed that rule, from top to bottom, in and outside the company, success would certainly follow. She frequently told the Independent beauty consultants  to put that rule to work every day with their clients.

So what started small in Dallas, Texas, grew bigger than Dallas. Bigger than Texas. It grew all over the world to over 3 million independent beauty consultants in Russia, China, Norway, Peru – nearly 40 countries – doing over $3.5 billion dollars of business a year. What started small in Texas changed the world. That is why Mary Kay Ash was chosen by Baylor University as the Greatest Female Entrepreneur in U. S. History.

And her work for women has continued since her passing. She established the Mary Kay Foundation in 1996 to work on finding cures for cancers affecting women. The mission, says Anne Crews, has since expanded to prevent violence against women and children. Since 2000, the Mary Kay Foundation has made gifts of nearly $50 million to domestic violence shelters across America, including dozens in Texas.

Mary Kay said that she wanted to live her life so that in the end, people would say “she cared.” Given the phenomenal number of women whose lives she’s enriched, I don’t know how there would be any other conclusion.

Decolonization (Ep. 32)

We can’t even talk about decolonizing our medicine until we talk about decolonizing our food.”  –Rupa Marya

On this edition of The Secret Ingredient hosts Raj Patel, Tom Philpott and Rebecca McInroy talk with Dr. Rupa Marya. Marya teaches and practices medicine in San Francisco, she is also the lead singer with Rupa and The April Fishes.

Marya’s work with the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe in South Dakota during the Dakota Access Pipeline Protests gave her insights into the impact of colonialism on the health of Native Americans and disenfranchised peoples all over the country. At the center of a clinic, she established on the Standing Rock reservation, is the kitchen.



This Song: Ali Holder

Ali Holder was born with Hepatitis C but wasn’t diagnosed until her early twenties. On this episode, Ali tells us how Arcade Fire’s “Wake Up” helped her through the challenging emotions that come with treatment for a serious medical condition and how the experience continues to influence her music.

Ali Holder is in the middle of a crowdfunding campaign for her upcoming record. Check out her Indiegogo campaign.

Listen to this episode on Stitcher


Subscribe via the Podcasts App, iTunes or Stitcher to get the new episodes of This Song delivered to you as soon as they come out.

Listen to Ali Holder’s MyKUTX guest DJ set

Check out Ali Holder’s Texas tour dates

Listen to Songs from this Episode This Song


Texas Standard: June 27, 2018

A court order: the government has 30 days to reunite families separated at the border…and it appears some big changes are already happening, we’ll have the latest. Also, a surprise upset win by a socialist candidate over a high ranking congressman in New York’s primaries last night is reverberating across the country. What about right here in our own back yard? Ed Espinosa of Progress Texas on the future of Texas Democrats. Also, we’re number 2? Not for long. What’s happening in west Texas right now is set to make the U.S. the top oil producer in the world, perhaps sooner than anyone thinks. And getting kids to engage in art by harnessing their brainwaves…just another day at summer camp? Those stories and more today on the Texas Standard:

The Oysters: “I Don’t Want Anyone to Be Around Me”

Photo by Connor Beitel

In a world where it seems every band wants to be defined by a menu of genres, some acts remain pure of sound, rocking in the free world as prime examples of one specific sound while still carving out their own unique place within it. In this case, we take Austin’s the Oysters, who shell out out some of the sickest rock ‘n’ roll in the Little Big City. Sticking to the classic rock trio outfit, these dudes create a sound that democratically gives each instrument its own platform without overpowering each other. Some of their songs have a little more of a slow swoon, and others open a can of energy and let it all rock out. “I Don’t Want Anyone to Be Around Me,” sits squarely in the latter. At first listen its lyrics seem to paint a portrait of self-depreciation, but deeper pondering opens the possibility of brutally honest self-awareness and knowing when to take yourself out of the game for a bit. Glazed in lo-fi, it’s a bit like the love child between Guided By Voices and your favorite early 00’s pop-punk band. If you’ve got the lemons, they’ve got the cocktail sauce.

“I Don’t Want to Be Around Me” appears on the Oysters upcoming album, out September 5th. Catch them tonight at St. Elmo Brewing with Friday Boys, Future Museums, and comedian Dany Goodwin.

-Taylor Wallace// Host, Thursdays 8p-11p & Saturdays 2p-6p; Producer, Eklektikos with John Aielli

Sam Sax

Poet Sam Sax talks with poet and novelist Carrie Fountain about poetry as biography, the history of medician, poetry as performance, and so much more.

He also reads his poem “#Hypocondria” from his book Madness, and shares one of his favorite poems, “Katherine With The Lazy Eye. Short. And Not a Good Poet.” by Francine J. Harris.

Texas Standard: June 26, 2018

Critics call it the tent city at Tornillo, now set to be dismantled. Is it a sign of a policy change or strictly a business decision? We’ll explore. Also, you’ll get your kids back if you sign this paper to deport yourself. That’s the claim being made by some detainees and their attorneys at a detention center south of Houston. The Texas Tribune got the story, we’ll talk with one of the reporters. And a win for Texas before the Supreme Court and what it means for future legal claims over race discrimination. Also the populist, nationalist, politically incorrect candidate polls say is set to win Mexico’s election: and how he could change fortunes in Texas. All that and much more today on the Texas Standard:

Jupiter & Okwess: “Benanga”

Congolese-born, German-raised vocalist-lyricist Jean-Pierre Bokondji is back in his native DRC and performs these days as Jupiter. Jupiter’s time in Europe as a teenager shed light on his affection for American soul and funk before returning to Kinshasha at age seventeen, where he fell in love with Congolese rumba and other traditional African rhythms. Bridging traditional and modern, Congolese and Western, Jupiter and his band Okwess (kibunda for “food”) forge a melting pot of musical styles as a platform to discuss life, politics, the poignant past and what we can do to move ahead.

The latest offering from Jupiter & Okwess takes form as their second full-length, Kin SonicKin Sonic features nearly a dozen new tunes that draw from a gaggle of influences (both sonically and lyrically) as well as contributions from Damon Albarn, 3D of Massive Attack (who designed the album’s artwork), and Warren Ellis of Nick Cave’s Bad Seeds. Jupiter & Okwess are in the middle of an extensive international tour, wrapping up in October with dates in the US and Mexico.

There’s a lot to digest with this album so let’s get right to it; here’s Jupiter & Okwess’s tempo-jumpin’ jab at diplomacy and royalty enriched by the masses, “Benanga”!

Jack Anderson (Host Monday-Wednesday 8-11pm, Saturday 6-10am)

Texas Standard: June 25, 2018

Are Texas election maps racially gerrymandered, designed to dilute minority vote? It’s a case that’s been 7 years in the making: a challenge to Texas’ redistricting maps claiming that when those lines were drawn, the intent was racially discriminatory, Unconstitutional. A lower court agreed with the plaintiffs, but today the US supreme court overturned that ruling in all but one district. What does this decision really mean? Who’s affected? And what does this mean for the midterms if anything?
That’s just our top story on this Monday, but we’ve got a whole lot more today on the Texas Standard:

Deap Vally: “Get Gone”

Many KUTX fans first caught wind of Los Angeles rock duo Deap Vally with their 2016 album Femejism. This fierce sophomore full-length highlighted both the individual talents and shared chemistry of Lindsey Troy and Julie Edwards, who have now opened for artists ranging from Red Hot Chili Peppers to Marilyn Manson to Blondie. Troy and Edwards have been writing and touring a heckuva lot on behalf of Deap Vally and so far this year is turning out pretty well for them…

Surprise, surprise! Deap Vally just released one of several sneak attack singles for 2018, a rapid-fire rouser showcasing the alt-garage-punk rock aesthetic we love about DV, “Get Gone“.

-Jack Anderson (Host, Monday-Wednesday 8-11pm, Saturday 6-10am)

Summertime (6.23.18)

“Summertime” is an aria composed in 1934 by George Gershwin for the 1935 opera Porgy and Bess. In this edition of Liner Notes, Rabbi and jazz historian Neil Blumofe talks about what unique lessons we can learn listening to “Summertime” today.

Best of “Higher Ed:” Education’s Four-Letter Word

This episode was originally posted on Nov. 19, 2017.

T-E-S-T. That word almost always strikes fear in the hearts of students. They’re worried about doing well, getting a high grade and comparing their performance to that of their classmates. In this episode of KUT’s podcast Higher Ed, KUT’s Jennifer Stayton and Southwestern University President Dr. Ed Burger explore stressful test culture.

Who hasn’t had a “horror” story experience of taking a test? Ed and Jennifer share some memorable ones and take a closer look at why testing is so stressful. One reason: We tie our own worthiness into our test performance. Ed talks about how to decouple ourselves from our performance and how to make meaning out of our work on a test no matter the grade. Listen to the full episode to hear what words of encouragement Ed says you should never tell a test-taker. You will also get the result to the tricky train puzzler. It sounds like an arithmetic challenge, but there may be more to it.

This episode was recorded Sept. 22, 2017.