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Insurers are bailing on homes in disaster-prone regions. Is Texas next?

The Texas Senate passed three new bills on border security – but with the House adjourned, does it mean anything?

The Texas Education Agency has taken over the Houston Independent School District, and already some major reforms are taking shape.

Two major insurance companies say they won’t write new homeowner policies in California, citing the costs of climate change. Could something similar happen in Texas?

Pro baseball is a favorite summer sport for many Texans, but a rule change is making it a little less lazy than it once was – for better or for worse? We’ll take a look.

All About Our Listeners

Why doesn’t commercial music in the U.S. get any financial support outside of, say, fans?

Austin is home to a thriving music scene, but that scene hasn’t received much financial support outside of fans buying music and going to shows. That’s not uncommon in the U.S. While some art forms like the opera and the symphony get regular public and private investments, commercial music typically gets left to fend for itself. Why is that?

In the first episode of Season 4 of Pause/Play, Hosts Miles Bloxson and Elizabeth McQueen try to answer that question with the help of UT Professor Charles Carson.  They also examine the idea that the best music comes from struggle. And they explore what the city of Austin owes the music scene, and how the city might better support the for-profit music sector.

Charles Carson, an associate professor of music at the University of Texas at Austin, is pictured on campus on Oct. 18, 2022, in Austin. Michael Minasi / KUT News

NFTs and Music: Minting an NFT

Miles and Elizabeth go on a journey to mint an NFT. But in order to do that they have to write and record a song, buy cryptocurrency, set up a wallet, and list an NFT for sale. But things don’t quite go as they planned.

What Mayor Adler has to say about the Live Music Fund

Hear what Austin Mayor Steve Adler has to say about the history of the Live Music Fund, why he raised concerns about the Live Music Fund Event Program, and what he thinks should guide the conversation moving forward.

Musician pay for live shows in Austin hasn’t changed in 40 years. Here are some other ways they’ve found to make money with music.

Austin musicians are making the same amount of money per gig as they did in 1979. In the latest episode, we look at gig pay through the years and talk to musicians Greg Clifford and Beto Martinez about how they’ve found ways to make money from music that don’t involve playing live.

Drummer Greg Clifford is pictured in his home where he produces lo-fi music on Feb. 8, 2022, in Austin. Michael Minasi/KUTX

Musician and producer Beto Martinez is pictured in his home studio on Feb. 9, 2022, in Austin. Michael Minasi/KUTX

 

Could affordable housing save Austin’s music scene?

In the latest episode, you’ll learn how Austin non-profit Foundation Communities helped musician James Shelton find affordable housing the central Austin. And you’ll get a crash course in how affordable housing works from Foundation Communities Executive Director, Walter Moreau.

Walter Moreau of Foundation Communities is pictured on Jan. 12, 2022, outside of Bluebonnet Studios. Michael Minasi/KUTX

Read “The Artist Loft: Affordable Housing (for White People)” from the Atlantic

Read “The Rise of WhiteSegregated
Subsidized Housing
” from The Institute on Metropolitan Opportunity at the Minnesota School of Law.

Bonus! Music Scenes as Economic Clusters

Here’s another way to think about music scenes — they’re legitimate economic clusters! Don’t know what we mean by that? Well, you can listen to this bonus episode and learn a little economic theory courtesy of Michael Seman, assistant professor in the LEAP Institute for the Arts’ arts management program at Colorado State University.

 

Why Taméca Jones, Austin’s Queen of Soul, is leaving for LA

Austin singer and songwriter Taméca Jones is leaving Austin for LA at the end of the year.  In the latest episode, you’ll hear the reasons why the Austin Music scene isn’t working for her.  Plus you’ll learn more about our music ecosystem.

You’ll also hear from and Peter Schwarz  about the reality of music businesses in Austin’s music ecosystem. And Nikki Rowling explains how so many businesses operating independently can lead to burnout.

Take our Season 3 Survey

Texas Standard: August 11, 2021

ICU bed capacity is slim to none in most parts of the state. What that means on a practical level and why adding more beds isn’t really the solution. And as COVID-19 cases continue to surge across the state, the messages about the protection of getting vaccinated and wearing masks continue. But do we need to change what we’re saying or how we’re saying it? And how safe is it to go to a concert right now? Musicians and venues weigh the risks. Plus we’ll take a closer look the infrastructure bill in Washington and how much money could come to Texas. And we’ll examine national identity and sports as we talk with a Texan who competed at the Olympics under the Puerto Rican flag. Those stories and more today on the Texas Standard:

What’s Changed for Musicians?

We talk to musicians about what’s changed for them at this stage of the pandemic. You’ll learn what they’re doing differently creatively and with their businesses and how they’re feeling overall about the constantly changing Austin music landscape.

In this episode you’ll hear from

Jay Wile
Sara Houser
Jon Fichter from Sweet Spirit and Hong King Wigs
Caleb de Casper
Rene Chavez
Stephanie Bergara from Bidi Bidi Banda
Tee Double

Hip-hop artist Tee-Double is pictured in his home studio on July 15, 2021, in Austin. Michael Minasi/KUTX

Caleb De Casper is pictured at the Steinway Piano Gallery on July 19, 2021, in Austin. Michael Minasi/KUTX

 

 

What’s Changed for Music Venues?

We talked to three club owners about what’s changed for music venues since things have opened back up, plus we  explore the saga behind the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant.

In this episode you’ll hear from:

Angela Tharp from the Flamingo Cantina
Will Bridges from Antone’s
Independent music business manager  Peter Schwarz
James Moody from Mohawk

AUSTIN, TX. May 27, 2021. Mohawk reopens with a sold out performance of Heartless Bastards with The Tender Things. Michael Minasi/KUTX