Archives for October 2018

Texas Standard: October 31, 2018

It’s a Texas contest for U.S. Congress that may add up to more than a single congressional seat. We’ll take a look at that race and why the stakes are so high. Also, signs signs everywhere signs: a conspicuous number of Texas front yards enlisted in the 2018 midterms. Signs of the times you might say, but do political yard signs move the needle? We’ll take a closer look. And a Politifact check from the Texas Senate contest, and General Motors calls for the Federal government to issue its first zero emission standards. Should truck huggers across Texas tremble? Fasten your seatbelts and turn up the radio, because its Texas Standard time:

This Song: Listener Episode

The This Song listener episode is finally here! Emily La Framboise describes how Tracy Chapman’s “Fast Car” got her interested in social justice. Lee Miller explains how “Darling Be Home Soon” by the Lovin’ Spoonful helped him discover his love of songwriting.   We revisit Joanna Castillo as she explores the heartbreaking beauty of Kathy Mattea’s “Where’ve You Been.”  And Charlie Press tells us about the impact that the Rolling Stones  “Sympathy for the Devil” had on him as a young child.


Thanks to everyone who shared  their transformative musical experiences with us! We’re going to make another listener episode!  If that sounds like something you want to be a part of all you have to do is record your story about a song that changed your life to a voice memo and email it to us at

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How Moms Use The Legend Of La Llorona To Keep Their Kids In Line

By W. F. Strong

La LLorona (the crying woman) is a Mexican legend that is at least 500 years old. It no doubt arrived in Texas with the earliest Mexican settlers and La Llorona has haunted our rivers, lakes and streams ever since, particularly in the border regions. There are dozens of versions. Here is one.

La Llorona was a poor girl in a small village. She was extraordinarily beautiful with raven black hair and large almond eyes. One day when she was getting water from the town well, a handsome man on a fine horse rode up and asked her for a drink. She had never seen such a perfect man or felt so wonderfully nervous in the presence of one before. He felt the same way about her. They fell in love on the spot. He could not marry her, though, because she was a poor village girl and he was from a the richest, most prominent family in the region. But he could not live without her so he bought her a big home and showered with jewelry and gifts and gave her two children. He came to visit often and adored playing with their children. It was not perfect, but she was happy because she loved him so much.

After a few years a period of time came when he did not visit at all. She was worried about him and did something she had never done. She went to the big city to visit his mansion to see what was wrong. When she arrived she quietly asked a servant if he was there and she said, “Oh, no, today he is getting married to a famous princess from Spain.”

La Llorona was so angry that she wanted to do something to hurt him. In that jealous rage, she went straight home and took their two children to the river and drowned them. When she regained her sanity she was plunged into such despair over what she had done that she died of grief right there on the river bank. As she attempted to enter the afterlife, an angel asked her where her children were. She said she didn’t know. She was told she must find them before she could rest. So she was forced back to earth and condemned to wander rivers and lakes and streams looking for her children forever.

If you go out near water at night you will sometimes hear her crying, “Mis hijos, mis hijos.” My children. They say if she sounds near she is really far away, but if she sounds far away, she is very near you. Those who’ve seen her say that she wears a moldy shroud and has jet black hair, but no nose and no mouth, only luminous violet eyes that are horrifyingly red-streaked from her eternal crying. If you see her thrashing around the middle of a creek or river, don’t go in to try to save her because she will drown you.

You should also never let your children stay out late near a river or creek or lake – or even a backyard swimming pool because La Llorona may think they are her children and steal them away from you forever.

So La Llorona is a legend, a cautionary tale and the boogie man (coo-cooey) all in one. Particularly Hispanic mom’s have used her to enforce good behavior for centuries. “Come inside now or La Llorona will get you.” “You come straight home from David’s house. Don’t wander. La Llorona is always looking for lost children.” And some even say that La Llorona makes children respect their mothers. She has appeared to children who have left their homes angrily, saying bad things to their mothers as they’ve left. La Llorona finds them walking in the dark and says, “I’ll let you go this time, but go back to your mother and be good to her.”

Excellent advice for Halloween and all the other days of the year.

I’m W. F. Strong. These are stories from Texas, via Mexico. Some of them, are true.

Danny Golden: “Window” [PREMIERE]

Singer-songwriter Danny Golden spent the first part of his career bouncing between Colorado, Pittsburgh and Brooklyn developing his sound before locating the perfect home for it: Austin. Now that he’s deeply entrenched in our local scene, Danny’s made it his mission to search for truth in humanity and share it through his brand of rock and roll.

The members of Danny Golden’s backing band are pretty recgonizable to any seasoned concertgoer in town; Spencer Garland (Black Pumas, Matthew Logan Vasquez, PR Newman), Jeff Olson (White Denim, Balmorhea) and Brendan Bond (Glorietta, Matthew Logan Vasquez, Golden Dawn Arkestra) make for a powerhouse behind Danny’s already bold sound. Danny Golden embosses ten new tracks on his upcoming full-length Old Love, out this Friday and celebrating a release show next Saturday at Spiderhouse! Smelt some Danny Golden early with a KUTX-clusive premiere of a previously unheard track, “Window”!

Texas Standard: October 30, 2018

It’s election season: do you know who you’re casting your ballot for? Are you sure? We’ll take a look at reports of problems with voting machines statewide. Also, the White House calls for more than 5,000 active duty troops to be sent to the border to intercept a so-called migrant caravan, and their mission doesn’t seem so much backup as front lines. We’ll have the latest. Also, the president announces a plan to end birthright citizenship. Can he do that on his own? We’ll take a closer look. Plus flares in the field: why oil companies may be underreporting. All that and then some today on the Texas Standard:

The Wheel Workers: “White Lies”

Interlocking indie rock, punk, pop and progressive politics, Houston quintet The Wheel Workers has been carting their sound around since the mid-2000s. Three albums, three singles and a wagon full of political commentary later they’ve arrived at one of their deepest works yet, the eight-track LP post-truth.

It’s an album rumbling with post-Hurricane Harvey trauma and sonic styles reminiscent of Devo, Pixies, Dead Kennedys and The Clash. Every individual tune could find itself right at home in another artist’s discography but there’s no denying the eclecticism and idiosyncrasies of The Wheel Workers when heard together. The record is out this Friday and you can pre-game post-truth with the frenetic album opener, “White Lies”!

Photo: Allison McPhail


Texas Standard: October 29, 2018

As a nation reels in the aftermath of a synagogue shooting in Pittsburgh, congregants gather in Sutherland Springs to reflect on what happened there a year earlier. Also, as texans continue to set records at the polls, political experts keep talking about the so-called sleeping giant. But a case can be made that there’s a better metaphor for the power of the Hispanic vote in Texas. We’ll hear about that. Plus the Army Corps of Engineers and the Texas general land office pushing a massive multi-billion dollar plan to put a wall between part of the Texas gulf coast and the next major storm. All that and then some today on the Texas Standard:

Rich Jones: “Dreaming” (feat. Nnamdi Ogbonnaya)

There are a ton of moving parts in the Chicago hip hop scene and one of the most active names in the community is Rich Jones. His current performance style lands somewhere between soul singing and laid back rapping but across all the solo singles he’s dropped and events he’s organized over the past few years, Rich Jones’ sound definitely doesn’t fall in one place.

Two years since he was voted second best rapper in Chicago (right after Chance the Rapper), Rich Jones is set to release The Shoulder You Lean On, an album that celebrates his singer-songwriter status and explores a sense of urgency, restlessness and life decisions. The record comes out this Friday but you can begin to drift towards The Shoulder You Lean On right now with a single featuring Second City multi-instrumentalist Nnamdi Ogbonnaya, “Dreaming”!

Photo: Katie Levine

Higher Ed: Better Problem Solving Through Puzzles

Southwestern University President Dr. Ed Burger calls his “Effective Thinking and Creative Puzzle-Solving” class at Southwestern University in Georgetown, Texas, the “Seinfeld” of classes. Why? Burger claims the class is about nothing. In this episode of KUT’s podcast “Higher Ed,” Burger and KUT’s Jennifer Stayton discuss why that kind of class is actually about something pretty profound.

Ed has a new book out called “Making Up Your Own Mind: Thinking Effectively through Creative Puzzle Solving.” The book is based on that class that Ed teaches at Southwestern University. And yeah, he says the class is about nothing.

Ed calls the class “the Seinfeld of the curriculum because it’s about nothing and tries to teach everything. There’s no short term content,” Ed says. “It is all based on long-term practices of thinking and living. The puzzles themselves are irrelevant. They’re not important; they’re just a playground to practice these ways of thinking.”

Ed maintains that working through puzzlers and riddles practices our brains for handling bigger-ticket questions in the real world.

“There are puzzles in our everyday lives. There are puzzles in our professional lives, in our personal lives,” says Ed. “A lot of times, people cast them in a negative light and call them problems. But the truth is, life is just one puzzle after another, and the more we practice puzzle-solving on these whimsical ones, the more we can apply those exact same practices to the more serious and important ones.”

Listen to the full episode to hear more about Ed’s journey in writing the book, and to get the solution to the puzzler about time pieces and moving parts. Did you figure it out? If not, you are in good company; Ed and Jennifer did not get it, either!

This episode was recorded on Sept. 28, 2018.

Mahisha Dellinger (Ep. 47, 2018)

In Black America producer and host John L. Hanson, Jr. speaks with Mahisha Dellinger, author, reality TV host and Chief Executive Officer of Curls Beauty Brands, a leader in the natural hair care industry. Dellinger is also the host of Mind Your Business With Mahisha, on the Oprah Winfrey Network.

KUT Weekend – October 26, 2018

Austin’s boil water order could end Sunday. Plus, members of Austin’s muslim community try to balance safety with openness after a rash of vandalism. And the two leading candidates for Austin’s mayor face off in a public forum. Those stories and more in this edition of KUT Weekend!

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Texas Standard: October 26, 2018

What some are calling the most drastic move to date against would be immigrants: a shutdown of the southern border. Preparations underway to send up to a thousand U.S. troops to the border to stop a caravan of thousands of would be migrants, all this days before midterm elections. We’ll hear what the leaders of Texas border cities have to say. All that and then some today on the Texas Standard:

No Mask? … No Mask!

Don your face paint, costumes and masks for Halloween, but don’t forget that it’s not always movie monsters or villains that are the scariest ghouls to haunt our waking days. That was the inspiration for this Typewriter Rodeo poem.

Klaus Johann Grobe: “Out Of Reach”

The weekend is here and we’re starting it off with some of Switzerland’s finest! Klaus Johann Grobe may sound like a dude, but like Duncan Fellows or Milo Greene, it’s actually a group, not a moniker. Sevi Landolt and Dani Bachmann make up this pulsating pair, whose electro-funk synth-jazz energy has earned them touring spots with Unknown Mortal Orchestra, Temples and The Growlers.

Today Klaus Johann Grobe releases their third album, Du Bist So Symmetrisch, and as the title would suggest, these twelve new songs provide a balanced blend of dance mainstays and musical hypnosis. Boogie on out of this work week with the album’s midpoint, “Out of Reach”!

Texas Standard: October 25, 2018

As the latest bomb scares appear to underscore, the political center isn’t holding. But what about here in Texas? And what does it mean for the long term? That’s today on the Texas Standard.

Coming to you live today from the studios of Texas Public Radio- celebrating 30 years on the air in San Antonio – as the city marks its 300th birthday. We’ll explore a bit of the Alamo City’s less well known backstory. Also, are Texans really as divided along party lines as the rest of the nation? Our project “Texas Decides” takes up that question. Also, the search for Maria Moreno, and a story of a Texas born farm movement hero almost lost to history. All that and a whole lot more.

Elevaded: “Another Round”

Austin originals Elevaded aren’t exactly what you’d expect to hear on KUTX, but they’re also nothing to overlook. These industrial power pop-ers play Saturday night at Empire Control Room along with Sine, Dead Love Club, and Pretties For You – OH! – and it’s a PJ/lingerie party!

If that’s not exciting enough for you, work yourself up with a daily dose of aural ascension from Elevaded, “Another Round”!

Texas Standard: October 24, 2018

As the midterms get underway in earnest, The Pentagon launches its first cyber operation to counter Russian interference. We’ll have the latest. Plus all this week, as Texans head out to the polls, we’re taking your questions about the midterms. Today: who’s saying what, and to what extent, when it comes to climate change? We’ll explore. Also, in a place that loves to be number one, Texas is below the middle of the pack when it comes to the healthiest states. What’ll it take to turn things around? And the government gives A&M the greenlight to turn cotton into food. All that and a whole lot more today on the Texas Standard:

Public Practice: “Fate/Glory”

What’s dark, dry and deadpan but also danceable? Brooklyn four-piece Public Practice certainly fits that criteria with a sound like X-meets-Gang of Four-meets-Talking Heads in the modern day. And although Public Practice itself is a young group, the members are veterans of New York punk band WALL and pop outfit Beverly, so its decidedly not their first rodeo.

On Friday Public Practice drops their debut EP, Distance is a Mirror and to give you time to reflect before diving in, here’s the inaugural track from Public Practice, “Fate/Glory”!