Archives for November 2018

Leadership and Being Liked

If you’re in a leadership position you know you have to make some difficult decisions. Some of those decisions might put you in the doghouse for a while, but if you are motivated by the good of the group as opposed to the need to be liked, things tend to work out better.

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

KUT Weekend – November 30, 2018

Dockless scooters present pitfalls (and potholes) for police, pedestrians — and insurers. Plus, the U.S. waives FBI fingerprint background checks for teens at a migrant camp in West Texas. And why are Austin’s trees having such a colorful autumn? Those stories and more in this edition of KUT Weekend!

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Texas Standard: November 30, 2018

The next version of NAFTA now signed by all three countries, but it’s far from a done deal. On Capitol Hill, the push back’s bipartisan, we’ll hear why and whether it could cause the pact to unravel. Also picture this: you’re pulled over at the side of the road and the trooper asks to see your smartphone: how close are we to digital IDs in Texas? Closer than you might think. Plus the week that was in Lone Star politics and a whole lot more today on the Texas Standard:


For many folks around Texas, allergies are a year-round problem. This Typewriter Rodeo poem is for them.

Allen Tate: “What To Say”

If you’re familiar with Brooklyn indie rockers San Fermin, then you probably recognize the name Allen Tate. Tate was the lead singer of San Fermin pretty much since the get-go, and inspired by anxious and lonely feelings, he recently found an outlet in his solo songwriting career.

Tate let his voice be heard on the 2016 debut album Sleepwalker and he’ll be following it up with In The Waves, due out early 2019. In The Waves continues Tate’s exploration of anxiety and was created alongside John Agnello, one of the producer-engineers behind Kurt Vile, Phosphorescent and Dinosaur Jr. Get a dreamy start to your weekend with one of the lead singles off In The Waves, “What to Say”!

Texas Standard: November 29, 2018

An historic new era set to begin in Mexico on Saturday. What does Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador mean for Texas? We’ll explore. Also, it’s been more than a year after Hurricane Harvey. Whatever happened to those long promised fixes to the floodplain maps? We’ll take a look. And in the first Texas city to shift to 100 percent renewable energy, plans to redesign the neighborhoods of the future. Also, the big news this holiday season may not be buying the latest smartphone, but what we’re buying with those smartphones. Our go-to digital guru Omar Gallaga has got your number. All that and then some today on the Texas Standard:

The Samps: “Hit n Run”

Although Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti is typically associated with an experimental chillwave sound, three members of APHG have recently reunited as their alter ego The Samps. These L.A. genre-hoppers spilled out with their self-titled album back in 2010 and nowadays The Samps are back with a hearty meal of funk, hip hop, house, disco and anything else to get your rump shakin’.

Last Friday The Samps released their dance-inducing full-length Breakfast, featuring a baker’s dozen of beats and boogies backing up some jaw-dropping talent. It’s never too late for some Breakfast, so sample one of the main courses before digging into the rest with “Hit n Run”!

This Song: Zettajoule

On this episode of This Song,  Meggan Carney and Matt Sheffer of Austin’s Zettajoule tell us how Kate Bush’s “Running Up that Hill (A Deal With God)” and Rufus Wainwright’s “Cigarettes and Chocolate Milk” helped them expand their ideas about the possibilities of  pop music and explain what  inspired them to record their new low-fi electronic EP,  Always Looking Up, on an iPhone.

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Zettajoule is our KUTX Artist of the Month

Watch Zettajoule’s video for “No Thank You”

Check out Zettajoules MyKUTX Guest DJ Set


Listen to Songs from this episode of This Song


Texas Standard: November 28, 2018

Here we go again? As the clock ticks down to the end of the year, a top ranking Texas lawmaker poses 300 pages of tax changes – we’ll hear why.

South of the border down Argentina way, President Trump headed to meet with world leaders for a so called G-20 summit. Why that could prove a tipping point for Texans worried about our economy.

Also, how much are you playing for gas? As prices fall, why some in oil country might welcome a bit of a slowdown.

And commentator W.F. Strong offers some tips for Texas time travelers.

Time-Traveling With Frederick Law Olmsted

If I could have any wish I would choose to be a time-traveler. Some say time travel will be possible one day, and some say it is the stuff of fairy tales. So, I guess until Elon Musk invents that mythical machine, books will have to do.

Books give us the next best thing. They can help us understand how people lived and thought and talked long ago, especially when the books were written by people who consciously sought to catalog such things in the time they lived. Frederick Law Olmsted left us such a book about his travels through Texas in the 1850s. It’s called “A Journey Through Texas: Or a Saddle-Trip on the Southwestern Frontier.” With his brother, he traveled several thousand miles around Texas, on horseback, chronicling his experiences for The New York Times – today, we’d call him a blogger. His book is a gem, an absolute treasure, a priceless time-sensitive ethnography. It is more than a snapshot; it is an intricate mural of Texas and Texans a decade after becoming a state, while the entire country headed toward civil war.

Before I share a few of his observations, let me tell you who he was. He was a farmer and eventually he became the most famous landscape architect in America. He designed Central Park in New York and Niagara Falls State Park, as well as the grounds of the U.S. Capitol and the White House. A contemporary said of Olmsted, “He paints with lakes and wooded slopes; with lawns and banks and forest-covered hills; with mountainsides and ocean views.” These achievements would come later but they give us an idea of his rare aesthetic sense and farmer practicality when he came to Texas.

He arrived in Nacogdoches in January of 1853 and then meandered on horseback all over Texas. He explored the Piney Woods, the Hill Country, the Coastal Plains, Southwest Texas and even rode a ways into Mexico.

Frederick Law Olmsted wrote often of the famous Texas northers because he was several times caught out in open country with sudden fierce winds and rapid drops in temperature. He wrote that a norther hit them on the prairie west of the Brazos. The wind kicked up mightily and the temperature dropped 12 degrees in 12 minutes, from 67 to 55. He wrote, “In five minutes, we had all got our overcoats on and were bending against [the wind] in our saddles.” By 6 p.m. that evening it was 40 degrees; the next morning it was 25. Olmsted said he couldn’t get his horse shoed that day because the blacksmith said he wouldn’t work as long as the “damned norther lasted.” The Bastrop paper wasn’t published that day either because, the editor explained, the “printing office was on the north side of the house.” Seems reasonable.

When he arrived in Austin, population 3,000, Olmsted stayed at what was supposed to be the best hotel, but found it dirty and the food inedible. He was also dismayed that there was not one bookstore in town. Nice to see that 170 years later those shortcomings have been impressively remedied.

He loved Neu-Branfels – loved with a capital L. The German communities and natural magnificence of the lands along the Guadalupe River were so impressive to him that he almost stayed in Texas. He was enchanted by the springtime wildflowers in the Hill Country and he fully embraced the German saying that “the sky is nearer in Texas.”

Riding out west to Eagle Pass, he killed an enormous six-foot rattlesnake. A man came by and told him he had just killed an even bigger one up the road a ways. Olmsted worried in the daytime that his horse would get bit, and at night he worried that a rattler would snuggle up with him in his bedroll. On this part of his journey he saw his first horny toads and so loved the little creatures that he shipped some back home to New York where he kept them as exotic pets for a couple of years.

In San Antonio, it was the river he fell in love with. “We are so struck by its beauty,” he wrote. “It is of a rich blue and pure as crystal, flowing rapidly but noiselessly over pebbles and between reedy banks.” But it was still the Wild West. He wrote of the near weekly gunfights in the plaza. “As the actors are under … excitement, their aim is not apt to be of the most careful and sure; consequently, it is, not seldom, the passers-by who suffer.”

Though Olmsted didn’t arrive in the south as a staunch abolitionist, he saw the contrast between slave-based economies and those that relied on paid labor, and found the latter far more successful. He said that a monopoly on cotton and devotion to a one-crop economy left no room for the progress that only economic diversity could bring. He objected to slavery on moral grounds as well, but found that pro-slavery advocates responded best to arguments based on pragmatics rather than righteousness.

Take a horseback ride through Texas with Olmsted. It’s the best option in time-traveling now available.

Vera Sola: “The Colony”

Poet, vocalist and multi-instrumentalist Danielle Aykroyd is a one-woman machine of musicianship, known onstage as Vera Sola. Aykroyd’s first chapter saw her composing pieces for performance art, theater productions and film scores and began her solo career shying away from the spotlight in dimly lit venues. A spell of confidence befell Aykroyd last year, who added an orchestral backing band to her live shows, and much to the joy of her growing fanbase, Vera Sola was born.

Aykroyd maintained complete control over her vision for her debut full-length Shades, ten songs that take Aykroyd’s life experience and package it into a veritable Vera Sola introduction. You can don Shades right now with a free download of one of the record’s lead singles, “The Colony“!

Texas Standard: November 27, 2018

As visions of gift shopping danced in our heads, a report on climate released by the Feds. What does it tell us about how Texas may have to adjust? Political recriminations over the timing of the mandatory report on the economic impact of climate change. After having had a chance to review it, what’s it telling Texas? We’ll take a closer look. Also, should the U.S. be worried about a collapse in the housing market? The Wall Street journal singles out a Texas city as a worrisome canary in the coalmine. And who were the first Texans? Why Researchers are rethinking their answers with a discovery near Salado. Those stories and a whole lot more today on the Texas Standard:

Olivier St. Louis: “Wondering Wanderer”

It’s been a dozen years since the release of his debut album, but D.C.-born, Berlin-based singer Olivier St. Louis still continues to outdo himself with his genre-spanning songwriting. Formerly under the moniker Olivier Daysoul, he now goes by Olivier St. Louis, and his rejuvenated talent has already earned him a ton of vocal features as well as touring spots alongside Laura Mvula and Oddisee.

You can anticipate a brand new track (and accompanying music video) in the next couple months and the rock, soul and funk-oozing debut LP from Olivier St. Louis in the first bit of 2019. Today you can add the inaugural single from Olivier St. Louis to your collection with “Wondering Wanderer”!

Texas Standard: November 26, 2018

A threat to shut the border permanently after a confrontation involving tear gas and members of a so-called migrant caravan, we’ll have the latest. Also, plans for a school in southeast Texas now on hold after the discovery of scores of unmarked graves, and a history of prison labor seldom discussed. Brooke Lewis of the Houston Chronicle joins us to discuss more. And a scooter hits a car, or maybe it’s the other way around. Whose insurance covers what? And are scooter companies or scooter riders on the hook? Plus old age dementia: researchers think they’ve found a link with mid-life stress. Those stories and more today on the Texas Standard:

Indoor Creature: “Selfish Liars”

When’s the music’s too good to keep to yourself, sometimes your individual project becomes a full-fledged band. That’s certainly the case with Indoor Creature, an Austin outfit that got its start as the solo outlet for multi-instrumentalist Caleb Fleischer. Fleischer was the sole performer on Indoor Creature’s 2014 debut, Conversations With Myself, and the 2015 follow-up Present Thinking saw him joined by his current production partner and fellow bandmate Travis Kitchen.

Now four members strong, Indoor Creature put out their third record Windows early last year, showing off the full band’s jazz-influenced sound, compelling chord progressions and mesmerizing melodies. 2018 has been a year of singles for Indoor Creature, who just released their fourth new one a couple weeks back. Indoor Creature plays Friday night at Swan Dive and you can unleash the interior beast with that latest single from Indoor Creature, “Selfish Liars”!

-Jack Anderson

Photo: Kelly Ngo

George T. “Mickey” Leland (Ep. 51, 2018)

In Black America presents a 1981 conversation with the late George T. “Mickey” Leland, former U.S. Representative from the 18th Congressional District of Houston, Texas, and former Chairman of the House Hunger Committee. In 1989, Congressman Leland and a delegation of fifteen Americans and Ethiopians died in a plane crash in Ethiopia.

Texas Standard: November 23, 2018

On this Black Friday, how marketing created a legacy of pirates in the air over Texas, affecting music culture and politics way beyond. With shopping season officially underway, we often think of hyper-commercialism as a byproduct of Madison Avenue. But one could make the case that America’s hype machine got its start along the border of Texas and Mexico, a million watts of power leading to a revolution of outlaw broadcasters still making a mark today. They’re our focus this hour: the pirates of the airwaves. From coast to coast and line to line, it’s Texas Standard time.