Archives for January 2020

Welcome To The Eleventh House

So, when you see a name or title like The Eleventh House, it might be an astrological reference regarding friendship, the power of the collective, or social awareness. Or, it could totally be a reference to a ’70s jazz fusion group, but no. In this context, The Eleventh House is a new music series presented by KUTX and White Light Exposure at The Pershing, 2415 E. 5th St., shining a spotlight on Austin-based musical talent. Proceeds from the series benefit the Health Alliance for Austin Musicians (HAAM).

Tonight’s launch includes performances by Go Fever, Dr. Joe, and songwriter Sydney Wright. Doors open at 7 p.m. And it’s a great idea to arrive early to catch all three performances. Recommended.

-Featured in photo: Joe Sparacino of Dr. Joe, Sydney Wright, and Acey Monaro of Go Fever. Photography by Letitia Smith of White Light Exposure.

KUT Weekend – January 31, 2020

New data showing black and Latinx drivers are increasingly more likely to be stopped by Austin police. Plus, the story of a Central Texas man’s deportation to Mexico and how it affected his children, who are U.S. citizens. And the Austin History Center celebrating a newspaper that’s chronicled black life in Austin since 1973. Those stories and more in this edition of KUT Weekend!

Subscribe at

Texas Standard: January 31, 2020

The wind-down and the takeaways: what if anything has been learned from the impeachment drama on capitol hill? We’ll explore. Other stories were covering, a new database of Catholic priests said to be credibly accused of child abuse, how credible is it that the list is complete? And the end of an era? Two families trying to keep a once robust wool industry in Texas spinning. Plus the week in Texas politics and much more today on the Texas Standard:

Cara Van Thorn: “Darkness Fades”

Looking for some prohibition-era energy in the new roaring twenties…like…right now? You’re in luck! The members of Cara Van Thorn have carved a niche for themselves over the past half decade with an eccentric cocktail of ’30s jazz, ’70s pop rock, ’80s goth, and ’90s alternative for a timeless onstage experience, ripe with bleak lyricism, dreamy brass, stabbing piano chords, and infectious harmonies and melodies.

Cara Van Thorn brings their brand of boisterous barrelhouse to Skull Mechanix Brewery 10pm tonight for the release of their EP Coco Can’t Turn Left, and before you head there, we’re gonna treat you to the first of five tracks on the record – “Darkness Fades”!

For the Outback

Plenty of familiar faces are pulling together tonight in support of a massive fundraiser for the Australian Red Cross Bushfire Relief.

It’s A Down Under Benefit, presented by two of your Austin Music Minute maven’s esteemed colleagues in the biz, Penny Loafer PR and Side One Track One, at Barracuda, 611 E. 7th St., featuring ten Austin bands, several local vendors, and numerous raffle items, all to help relief efforts in Australia. Penny Loafer founders Rob and Sharna Pascolo, originally from Melbourne, Victoria and Wandong, Victoria respectively, are devastated having seen the damage done to their home country and wanted to help out immediately. Putting on a benefit show was the natural choice for them, being avid music lovers and working in the ATX music community.

Tonight’s big show includes sets by Mobley, Los Coast, Teddy Glass, Walker Lukens, Jackie Venson, Abram Shook, Darkbird, Fanclub (featured on today’s AMM), The Blowies, and Christine Renner. Doors open at 7 p.m. Do some shopping, get some raffle tickets, and soak in ALL of this winning music. Beauty!! Recommended.

-A Down Under Benefit poster design by Phoebe Norwood.

Texas Standard: January 30, 2020

The Iowa caucuses may be just around the corner, but Joe Biden’s setting his sights on Texas. We’ll talk with the former Vice President. Also, people in one part of Houston desperate for answers to their questions about a cluster of cancer cases, we’ll have the latest. And fully autonomous cars? Not quite there, but self driving semis? Coming soon to a highway near you. Plus why a liquor once derided by some in Texas as desert moonshine has been making waves in Washington. All of that and more today on the Texas Standard:

Ariel Abshire: “It Wasn’t God Who Made Honky Tonk Angels”

Going all the way back to her childhood, Nederland native Ariel Abshire has had an almost-offensive comfort in and command over classic country. Ariel’s since settled right here in Austin, where she’d already cut her teeth onstage at iconic venues like Broken Spoke and Cactus Café and where she continues to slay it as a singer-songwriter. With a voice reminiscent of Brenda Lee, a flawless sense of pitch, and a lighthearted style of lyrical sarcasm, Abshire’s vocals are instantly evocative of midcentury pop, but lately she’s been crankin’ out tracks that sound more like Katy Perry than Skeeter Davis.

Get ready for some aggressive modern pop, both onstage around town and on Abshire’s upcoming fourth full-length, but don’t be too quick to discredit her country roots, considering she just released an impressive cover of  a Kitty Wells 1952 hit – “It Wasn’t God Who Made Honky Tonk Angels”

Matters of the Heart

This afternoon’s Studio 1A performance hosted by Jay Trachtenberg was another winner. Bedouine – the moniker of musician/songwriter/composer Azniv Korkejian – strikes a gothic Americana chord on a level similar to that of her colleagues before her. Names like Nick Drake, Harry Nilsson, and most especially Joni Mitchell tend to pop up in comparison, but know that Korkejian is no pale imitation. Two years after an impressive self-titled debut, the L.A.-based artist followed up with another fantastic release, Bird Songs of a Killjoy, a striking orchestral mix of sixties-styled folk, country funk and a touch of bossa nova, exploring the strengths, the depths, the loneliness of solitude.

Bedouine is in Austin for a performance tonight at Barracuda, 611 E. 7th St. Austin-based artist and longtime AMM favorite Julian Neel is the perfect opener for the show. Doors at 7 p.m. Very recommended.

Texas Standard: January 29, 2020

A race watched nationwide as a test of how well democrats are positioned to take the Texas house of representatives. We’ll take a closer look at the contest to replace and incumbent Texas house republican in district 28: why all the attention, and what the outcome does or does not tells us about changing politics in the Texas suburbs. Also, with only days till the caucuses, where do Texans stand in the presidential race? Brand new numbers from the respected Texas lyceum survey. Plus a Politifact check and a whole lot more today on the Texas Standard:

The Impeachment and Conviction of Texas Governor Jim Ferguson

It’s hard not to like the down-home folksy style that made Texas Governor Jim Ferguson so enormously popular 100 years ago. After all, he was known as “Farmer Jim.” He often said, “Civilization begins and ends with the plow.” Ferguson was a mesmerizing speaker and storyteller and was splendidly fluent in the dialects of rural Texas. Texas was blue, then, really indigo. To be the democratic nominee for governor was the same as being elected governor.

As historian Cortez Ewing pointed out, Ferguson was the “voice of the people,” and with his 6th grade education, he promoted the idea that he had not “suffered the damages” of higher degrees. He liked to say he was no “city slicker” and no  “college dude.” A government doesn’t require “educated fools” to run properly. Ferguson would often call into question the value of a college diploma, saying it was “book learning gone to seed.” He said some professors took three years to learn “you couldn’t grow wool on an armadillo.” His constituency, he claimed, “resided where the creeks forked” and he felt they were getting short-changed by not getting enough basic education while the kids at UT were getting too much of it. He said those kids go up to Austin for four years and return home with nothing but “a mandolin and liver damage.” As my brother Redneck Dave would say, “That right there is funny. I don’t care who you are.”

He did some good things. I suppose the best of them was substantially increasing the funding for public education in Texas, particularly benefitting rural Texas, and creating a Texas Highway Department, even though he later raided the funds with impunity.

As much as one might appreciate Ferguson’s homey aphorisms, a word he’d likely have found objectionable because of its academic taint, his style loses its charm when you learn all that was revealed at his impeachment. In sum, his down-home authenticity faded away to reveal a man who was mostly a fraud. He claimed to be a successful business man; he was not. He claimed to be painstakingly honest; he was an embezzler. He was an avowed enemy of the KKK, but to hear him talk about black people you’d have thought he had earned his hood.   He said the governor served the people, but he used the power of the office to reward his friends and crush not just his political enemies, but good servants of the state whose only offense was not voting for him. Farmer Jim wasn’t even much of a farmer, though he owned a few farms and was incredibly loyal to farmers.

There were two major parts to the impeachment charges brought against him in 1917. The first had to do with his abuse of power while attempting to micromanage the University of Texas. The second had to do with his utilization of the Temple Bank he had controlling interest in as his personal slush fund.

The UT battle was the one he should have avoided. It proved his undoing. Basically he wanted 5 professors fired for the unstated reason that they had spoken out publicly against his candidacy for governor. He told the UT President, Dr. Robert E. Vinson, he wanted them fired. Vinson asked what they had done to deserve it and he said, “I don’t need a reason, I’m the Governor.” He told Vinson that he fought him on this “he was in for the biggest bear fight in Texas history.” That fairly summarized his attitude about his power. It was, in his mind,  absolute. When Vinson refused to fire the professors, he went after the Board of Regents to get them to do his bidding. When they wouldn’t, he started replacing them one by one and withheld state funding from the university to force the university to obey his orders. This led to a special session being called by the legislature itself to press for Ferguson’s impeachment.

Here’s where Ferguson made his first greatest legal blunder. The legislature cannot call itself into special session. Only the governor can do that. So to prove this to them HE called a special session to consider UT funding he could sign. While there, legislators legally took up another matter, impeachment. The house sent 21 articles of impeachment to the Senate. And here Ferguson made his second blunder. He showed up most every day to his own trial, invited or not, with two armed Texas Rangers as escorts. He gave a speech in his own defense and blamed the charges on that “N-word loving Senator from the north, Senator Johnson” (not Lyndon – I’ve cleaned that up for you). Hearing the gasps in the chamber, he immediately asked to strike the comment.  He took the stand on his behalf and was mostly a weak and contradictory witness, unable to explain discrepancies. The fact is that he had parked state funds in his bank for personal gain and he had run his bank as a one man Ponzi scheme. He loaned himself so much money that he practically bankrupted his own bank.  He blamed his directors for running a shoddy operation.

The Senate found him guilty on five charges relating to mishandling of public funds and abuse of power in relation to the university. The vote was 25-3. Even his former political allies couldn’t find him innocent in the face of such damning evidence – and his own indefensible behavior. But the day before the conviction was certain to come down, Ferguson cleverly resigned, claiming then that they couldn’t uphold an impeachment for someone who wasn’t actually in office. This was a vital point to him because the impeachment barred him from running for any office in Texas for life. He later ran anyway claiming that he had resigned before he was convicted. The Texas Supreme Court disagreed – so he had his wife run in his place. And she won.

One final note of incredulity. In her first term, Miriam “Ma” Ferguson, as she was known, had a law passed that gave amnesty to all Texas officials formerly impeached. Of course, her husband was the only one the amnesty applied to. She even used the word “Christian” in the law implying that Christian forgiveness was appropriate here.


Ewing, Cortez “The Impeachment of James E. Ferguson.” Political Science Quarterly, 48 (June 1933), 184-210.

Wilson, Carol O. In the Governor’s Shadow: the true story of Ma and Pa Ferguson. University of North Texas Press, Denton, 2014.


Ladyfang: “Like New” [PREMIERE]

It’s not hard to infer the hometown for a group formerly known as “A Case For Brooklyn”, but with their new HQ in Austin, there’s no reason not to sink your teeth into Ladyfang. The four-piece claims “chaos pop-rock” as their genre, whipping up a heavy maelstrom of funk, folk, indie, alternative and above all – high octane rock. Ladyfang’s got no trouble biting through any predictable genre formula, and with Cara Juan’s uncouth lyrics and unabashed delivery on top, it’s a truly energizing, off-the-wall set of sounds.

Ladyfang’s also proven an undying determinism in light of major obstacles over the past several years, and’ve flossed out much of the playful pop that defined their early years in favor of dance-dotted rock. You’ll be able to hear a brand new LP from Ladyfang before their Summer 2020 East Coast Tour, beginning now with a track recorded and produced by SMiiLE’s Jake Miles – “Like New”!


Sweet, Sweet Deal

Sweet Spirit decided that the perfect way to kick off 2020 is to unleash a dance party in support of a wonderful cause.

Your Austin Music Minute has all the details for you: That fiery, super sexy Sweet Spirit you know and love delivers a big show tomorrow night at 3Ten, 310 Willie Nelson Blvd. And, in partnership with the Tingari-Silverton Foundation, proceeds from the show will benefit Austin Eastside Memorial High School‘s art programs.

Word on the street is that there will be “a VERY SPECIAL SECRET QUEEN OF AN OPENER” starting out the evening. But…whom? Only one way to find out. Doors open tomorrow night at 7:30 p.m., and the music begins at 8:30 p.m. This one comes very recommended.

-Photography by Gabriel C. Pérez for KUTX.

Texas Standard: January 28, 2020

As the Trump administration begins to wrap up its defense, is the Bolton book looking like a tipping point in the impeachment saga? We’ll take a closer look. Also, a Texas A&M constitutional scholar weighs in on what happens next in the senate trial of Donald J Trump. And A plan to reboot space exploration gets kicked to the sidewalk. A step forward for Boeing, but some say a giant leap backward for U.S. space exploration. Plus the ongoing issue of migrant family separation few are talking about. All that and more today on the Texas Standard:

Aaron Parks: “Mysterious Forest”

Tommy Howard Trio. Gil del Bosque. Atlas Maior. Ben Balmer. Even if you’ve never stepped foot into a jazz-friendly venue, you’ve probably seen some of those names on marquees around town. Not all that surprising, but what’s interesting about these acts (and many more) is the unifying factor: drummer extraordinaire Aaron Parks. With invaluable contributions across the Live Music Capital, Parks has become a household name for any jazz act in Austin and a must-have teacher for any up-and-coming drummer in need of lessons. The passion that Parks exudes isn’t limited to his work as a sideman, since you can’t overlook his percussion-sprinkled psychedelic namesake, The Parks Project.
However, Parks’ philosophy of being your best self and not extending your individuality further than necessary has come to fruition with the eponymous retitling of this group, now referred to simply under the frontman’s name. The new handle comes alongside the follow up to 2018’s Space Jazz, and culminates in the release of the outfit’s sophomore album Parks & Wreck. Catch the release show Sunday evening at King Electric Recording
and get to know Aaron with Chopin-esque title that’s all original, “Mysterious Forest”!
-Jack Anderson

Cast the Spell

Like a greedy music nerd, your Austin Music Minute host is already looking ahead to Tuesday night’s line-up at Hole In the Wall, 2538 Guadalupe. Here’s what’s goin’ down:

Por favor, dame La Mano. Texas-born roots artist Brianna Straut has opened for the likes of Lillie Mae, Son Volt and Israel Nash.

-Dream soul-pop band O’KEEFE is the creation of Austin-based songwriter Erin O’Keefe, co-founder of three-part harmony masterminds The Succulents.

-Austin-based songwriter David Longoria presents his musical project, Longriver (“Wasting Time” from the album Of Seasons is featured on today’s AMM).

It’s tomorrow at Hole. The music starts at 9 p.m. with a set by Straut. Don’t miss any of it. Recommended.

-Photo of David Longoria of Longriver by Jessica Stevens.

Grammys! Grammys! Grammys!

This week on The Breaks:

Listen on The Apple Podcasts App, Spotify or Stitcher

The Breaks are on every Saturday 10pm-1am on KUTX 98.9.
You can hear the latest full broadcast of The Breaks Saturday night show.

Re-imagining Museums for Healing

Join KUT’s Rebecca McInroy along with Annette Juba from AGE of Central Texas, Dr. Valerie Rosen, and Ray Williams and Monique O’Neil from The Blanton Museum to talk about how the Blanton is partnering with schools, hospitals, and other organizations to create groundbreaking programs that help patients, families, and caregivers navigate social, reparative experiences.

Monique Piñon O’Neil
Museum Educator, Family, and Community Programs O’Neil is an artist and educator with a master’s degree in clinical art therapy. At the Blanton, Monique’s work focuses on encouraging intergenerational dialogue and shared studio projects. She develops collaborations with a diverse array of community-based organizations, ensuring access to museum resources across the social-economic spectrum. These collaborations include focused, ongoing work with groups including homeless artists, at-risk youth, veterans, aging adults, and Hispanic families.

Annette Gracy Juba, LCSW
Juba is a native Austinite and clinical social worker received a Master of Science degree in Social Work from the University of Texas. She has worked with older adults since 1986, when she took a part-time job in a nursing home, only, she thought, until she “found something better.” In 30+ years of searching, she has facilitated caregiver support groups; worked with dementia respite programs; co-directed a cognitive intervention program for people with early memory loss; and presented about aging, social work, and memory loss at the local, state, and national level. She is a past co-chair of the Aging Services Council. She currently serves on the advisory panel for the Center for Excellence in Aging Services and Long Term Care at the UT School of Nursing and as Vice-Chair of the OneStar National Service Commission. Since 2010, Annette has worked as the Deputy Director for AGE of Central Texas, where she oversees the agency’s six programs of direct service.

Dr. Valerie Rosen
Dr. Rosen received her undergraduate degrees in Business Administration and Psychology from U.T. Austin. She received her medical degree from The University of Texas Medical School at Houston and completed a Psychiatry Residency at Yale School of Medicine. Dr. Rosen held a Clinical Assistant Professorship at Yale and worked as an attending psychiatrist at Yale University Health Services for ten years. She came back home to Texas and joined Seton in 2013. Her predominant area of expertise is PTSD and trauma; she is a Regional Trainer for Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT), an evidence-based treatment for PTSD. For the past 15 years, she has trained and supervised staff and residents in CPT. She also specializes in psychotherapy and medication management for college, graduate, and professional school students and is actively engaged in ways to improve treatment and access to psychiatric care for veterans and active military and in educating providers in military culture. In her role as Associate Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at UT Dell-Seton, she enjoys teaching and supervising residents and medical students, sees patients for psychotherapy and medication management, is involved in clinical research, and is the developer and Medical Director for the Restore and Veteran Restore Programs, intensive outpatient programs for trauma that utilize CPT as their core modality.

Ray Williams, MA, EdM
Williams has been the Director of Education and Academic Affairs at the Blanton Museum of Art, the University of Texas at Austin since 2012. For more than a decade, much of his teaching in museums has been designed to meet the needs of health care professionals. For UT’s new Dell Medical School, Ray provides three workshops for first-year medical students designed to build skills in observation, empathic communication, and resilience. He also works with residents, attendings and nurses in Family Medicine, Women’s Health, Psychiatry, and Palliative Care. During his four years at the Harvard Art Museums, Ray worked with interprofessional teams from Brigham and Women’s Hospital on a regular basis, as well as young adults with cancer through a program at Dana Farber Cancer Center. He has a particular interest in palliative care and mindfulness practices, developed through work with hospice professionals and chaplains. For the past two years, in partnership with psychiatrist Dr. Valerie Rosen who leads an intensive out-patient program for trauma survivors, Ray has designed museum experiences that support skills being learned in cognitive process/behavioral therapy.

Texas Standard: January 27, 2020

As The impeachment trial resumes, how closely are Texas women listening? We’ll take a closer look at an important demographic in this election year. Other stories we’re tracking: Scores of Houston families on the long road to rebuilding after a massive explosion late last week: we’ll hear the latest. Also the Trump administration issues new orders to deal with so-called birth tourism. We’ll have the what and why. Plus after a seven year studio silence, a groundbreaking singer songwriter reemerges. Those stories and so much more today on the Texas Standard: