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  • 10 hours Ryan Bingham’s Texas Love Song Texasmonthly
    Ryan Bingham has the heart of a folk singer, but his backstory is straight out of a country song: a youth spent in New Mexico, Texas, and California as his father chased oil-field jobs; leaving home at seventeen to ride on the rodeo circuit; the untimely deaths of his mother, an alcoholic, and his father, who took his own life. That journey informs much of American Love Song (February 15), the 37-year-old’s sixth album and first since 2015. But the record also turns a critical eye on the current state of affairs. He sings about a president “ridin’ on the ... more
  • 10 hours Where to Find Great Barbecue on the Staked Plains Texasmonthly
    As you head northwest toward Lubbock out of the small town of Post, the steep road seems to point skyward. Cresting the edge of the Caprock Escarpment, U.S. 84 cuts through the relentlessly flat carpet of prairie atop the Llano Estacado, or Staked Plains. Charles Goodnight, the famous Panhandle cattle rancher, told his biographer that “there is nothing to create an echo” in this land. It’s easier to spot a grain elevator or windmill than a tree interrupting the horizon, so it’s no wonder this region has never had a reputation for really good barbecue. But that’s changed over the ... more
  • 10 hours San Antonio Artists Create a His-and-Hers Studio Texasmonthly
    When Caroline Korbell Carrington and William Carrington bought their home, which sits on 2.3 acres just north of Alamo Heights, they saw the large backyard as a blank canvas. They are artists, after all—she a painter, he a sculptor. They built a his-and-hers studio, a sleek, 1,300-square-foot structure divided by a gallery so they can work together but in spaces of their own. On his side, William creates wildlife sculptures out of wood, metal, and clay. On hers (which is bigger, she notes), Caroline paints vibrant Southwestern landscapes, assisted by the natural light that comes through the floor-to-ceiling windows. The ... more
  • 11 hours Will Rooster Teeth Be the Netflix of Animation? Texasmonthly
    Once a year, hundreds of thousands of fantasy, sci-fi, and superhero devotees trek to New York Comic Con. The festival’s hundreds of events take place in venues ranging from small, fluorescent-washed conference rooms to Madison Square Garden’s Hulu Theater, one of the city’s most hallowed stages. At last October’s convention, which drew a record 250,000 people, the cast of AMC’s The Walking Dead convened there; CBS hosted a discussion on the new season of Star Trek: Discovery; and Netflix previewed the third season of Daredevil. All three events filled the theater to capacity. By contrast, there were hundreds of vacancies ... more
  • 11 hours Pat’s Pick: San Antonio’s Savor Passes Every Test Texasmonthly
    I have to wonder: Does Uyen Pham ever feel like her life has turned into a culinary version of Groundhog Day? Since January, the tireless 44-year-old chef-instructor has been training graduating students to prep and cook all the dishes at Savor, the brand-new restaurant from the Culinary Institute of America, located in San Antonio’s Pearl district. At the beginning of each week, the students are assigned to one of several stations. Seven days later, when they’ve gotten the hang of those duties, bam! They all change places. The following week, same thing. When the semester ends in April, the drill ... more
  • 11 hours Houston Police Chief Says He’ll End No-Knock Warrants After Botched Raid Texasmonthly
    Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo announced on Monday that his department will end the use of no-knock warrants, a controversial tactic that has come under fire in the wake of a botched drug raid in late January that left two people dead and several officers wounded. “The no-knock warrants are going to go away like leaded gasoline in this city,” Acevedo said at a town hall meeting organized by local criminal justice activists, according to the Houston Chronicle. Acevedo added that all future requests for no-knock warrants will be subject to Acevedo’s approval. “I’m 99.9 percent sure we won’t be ... more
  • 12 hours Mineral Wells Is Ready for Its Comeback Texasmonthly
    Since the Baker Hotel closed, in 1972, its decaying facade has loomed over Mineral Wells, a de facto memorial to the area’s glory days as a premier spa resort destination. At fourteen stories, the Spanish Colonial Revival structure boasted 450 guest rooms when it opened, in 1929, drawing celebrities such as Will Rogers, Clark Gable, and Judy Garland, as well as famed outlaws Bonnie and Clyde. Now it sits empty, as do many of the buildings in its shadow. The renaissance that some of the state’s small towns are experiencing has yet to happen here, despite its proximity to Fort ... more
  • 12 hours The Temptation of the Devils River Texasmonthly
    It has long been a mystery how, exactly, the Devils River got its name—and what, exactly, happened to the apostrophe. But the leading theory will ring true to anyone who has attempted to navigate it. Though early Spanish explorers named the river after Saint Peter, it’s said that the settlers who followed in their footsteps regarded the waterway and its surrounding terrain as so forbidding that they thought it could have been carved by Lucifer himself. And so the gatekeeper to heaven gave way to the ruler of hell. Given that grim reputation, that off-putting name, and the river’s remote ... more
  • 12 hours Is the World Ready for Dell 3.0? Texasmonthly
    Three decades ago, Michael Dell reinvented the way people bought personal computers. Back in the day, buying a PC was like buying a car: you went to a dealer and shopped the models in stock, which came with a handful of options. You bought the machine that best fit your needs, even if it wasn’t a perfect fit, and you paid a high price for it. Dell, working out of his freshman dorm at the University of Texas at Austin in the mid-eighties, had a better idea. He offered customers a chance to pick only the options they wanted, then ... more
  • 13 hours With Tecovas, Bootstrapper Paul Hedrick Hits His Stride Texasmonthly
    Paul Hedrick got the idea to start a Western boot company in, of all places, Greenwich, Connecticut. After growing up in Dallas, he went off to Harvard and, like a lot of smart young people with analytical minds, started a career in management consulting. At 26 he was working for a private-equity firm in Greenwich and traveling across the country to meet with entrepreneurs in all kinds of fields—a candy company in Chicago, a dental implant maker in Denver, a restaurant chain in Dallas. He started getting itchy to create something himself. His boss was sympathetic, so one day in ... more
  • 13 hours Houston Gets Some Love from the Oscars of the Food Industry Texasmonthly
    Houston should be high-fiving itself about now. The prestigious James Beard Foundation announced Tuesday that Houston will be the site of a press conference announcing the short list of nominees for the James Beard Awards, on March 27. The selection of Houston is a sign of the growing presence of Texas on the national food scene in the past two decades. Since 2000, six Texas chefs have been named winners in the Southwest regional chef category, three from Houston (Chris Shepherd of Underbelly, Justin Yu of Oxheart, and Hugo Ortega of Hugo’s) and three from Austin (Tyson Cole of Uchi, ... more
  • 13 hours The Romance of the Rail in West Texas Texasmonthly
    It began this summer, when we slept with our windows open. The first time it happened, I awoke in the middle of the night not knowing what I’d heard. It sounded like loony laughter from a dozen different souls, some of them clapping weird noisemakers, before their demented hilarity abruptly ceased. Moonlight streamed into the room. The Catahoula at the foot of the bed listened too, eyes shining and ears pricked. The train’s horn blew from the tracks a mile away, a winsome four-blast call: “I’m here; I’m here; here, I’m here.” Immediately the party erupted again, but now, with ... more
  • 14 hours A Letter to Our Readers Texasmonthly
    Dear Texas Monthly Readers, You’ve probably noticed that in recent months we’ve been providing more and more daily news and analysis, in addition to great style and food and travel coverage. We’re covering everything from our southern border to the legislature; from reviews of new restaurants and BBQ joints to the latest works from Texas musicians and authors and artists. This is all in addition to the fine work that appears first in our print magazine. Starting today, February 20, readers will begin to see something else new on our site. We’re asking those who read our work online to ... more
  • 14 hours When Does an Accident Become a Crime? Texasmonthly
    It was dark when James Fulton climbed into his white Dodge Ram 1500 pickup on the evening of May 14, 2016. He and his friends Mark Warren and Dave Monicatti had played eighteen holes that afternoon at the Cascades Golf and Country Club and then met up with Warren’s wife for dinner and drinks at On the Border, a favorite Tex-Mex restaurant in Tyler. James had lived in the East Texas city for fourteen years before moving to San Antonio, in 2013, but he always looked forward to catching up with his buddies when he returned every month or so. Though ... more
  • 15 hours Meanwhile, in Texas: Runaway Emus in Galveston Texasmonthly
    Police in Galveston captured a pair of runaway emus that had escaped from their owner’s backyard. A woman was banned from a Wichita Falls Walmart after she reportedly drank wine from a Pringles can while riding around the store’s parking lot on an electric shopping cart for several hours. A Longview woman gave birth to twins one week apart from each other. A Garland man pleaded guilty in Connecticut after allegedly kidnapping a man and holding him in a hotel bathtub while threatening him with an alligator and a barbecue-style lighter. A professional fisherman’s dalmatian stepped on the gearshift of ... more
  • 1 day Austin Singer-Songwriter Walker Lukens Explains Why That’s Not a Whataburger on His Album Cover Texasmonthly
    Walker Lukens is primed for a good year. He spent much of 2018 focused on writing songs from the perspectives of other people—specifically, from those he encountered as part of his “Song Confessional” series, in which he’d invite people into a mobile recording studio to tell him (or a rotating cast of other artists) their secrets and record a one-of-a-kind single for them based on their answers. “I got away from wanting to make art that was very meaningful to myself,” he says. “With the song confessional . . . I got to work on songs that I know mean ... more
  • 1 day How UT Press Scored Its First Best-Seller in Decades Texasmonthly
    Writer Hanif Abdurraqib once got it into his head that he needed to see Odessa for himself. He’d just read Buzz Bissinger’s seminal Friday Night Lights, it was summer, and he didn’t have anything better to do. Mostly he wanted to escape his hometown of Columbus, Ohio. West Texas seemed as good a destination as any. So in what he describes as “some late-teen haze,” he got in his car and drove the nearly 1,400 miles. While moved by the stark beauty of the Permian Basin’s emptiness—“a kind of America that can make someone feel like the wide-open spaces are ... more
  • 2 days The Best New Restaurants in Texas for 2019 Texasmonthly
    Every year I think, “Wow, these new restaurants are all over the map.” Well, this year’s list takes the cake. Among an outstandingly diverse group, you’ll find a sausage specialist, a masa maniac, and a fermenting fanatic. The venues range from an industrial-chic emporium with a stunning skyline view to a teeny converted gas station bedecked with bundles of dried herbs. The chefs include both a youthful newcomer hoping to make a splash and a James Beard Award winner who is known nationwide. If you can’t find something that strikes your fancy, well, you just aren’t hungry. For this, the ... more
  • 2 days Steve Treviño: “Our Culture Isn’t a Punchline” Texasmonthly
    Subscribe Apple — Google Play — Stitcher — Spotify Comedian Steve Treviño’s new stand-up special, ‘Til Death, focuses almost wholly on relatable, but also slightly acidic, takes on fatherhood and the everyday frustrations of his marriage. It’s not until nearly 35 minutes into his routine that there’s even a remote reference to his Mexican-American heritage. That’s entirely by design. “I don’t do ethnic humor,” says Treviño, who was raised in Gregory-Portland, started his stand-up career in Dallas, and recently settled in New Braunfels after a decade in Los Angeles. “Hollywood tends to portray Mexican-Americans as drug dealers, valet parkers, and gardeners. So it’s very important ... more
  • 5 days El Paso Native American Tribe Suffers Major Defeat In Quarter-Century Battle With Texas Texasmonthly
    El Paso’s Tigua Native American tribe suffered another major defeat this week in their quarter-century battle with Texas over casino-style gaming when a federal judge ruled that their bingo and machine games violated state law. U.S. District Judge Philip Martinez of El Paso issued a summary judgment on Thursday in favor of the state, which has gone to court multiple times over the past two decades in attempts to close the tribe’s popular Speaking Rock Casino. Martinez’s ruling relied heavily on past court decisions, including one by the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals, that state law prohibits the Tiguas from offering ... more
  • 5 days Joaquin Castro Takes a Lead in Fighting President Trump’s Emergency Declaration Texasmonthly
    Even before President Trump announced Friday that he was declaring a national emergency to fund a border wall, U.S. Representative Joaquin Castro, D-San Antonio, tweeted that he would lead an effort to block it. “If @realdonaldtrump declares a national emergency to fund his border wall, I’m prepared to introduce a resolution to terminate the President’s emergency declaration under 50 U.S.C. 1622. (National Emergencies Act) #FakeEmergency” I ask all members of Congress — Democrat and Republican — to support this joint resolution to terminate President Trump’s unconstitutional national emergency declaration to build his border wall. It sets a dangerous precedent and ... more
  • 5 days Travis Scott May Manifest His ‘Astroworld’ Dreams Into an Actual Amusement Park Texasmonthly
    Travis Scott genuinely loved AstroWorld. When the rapper named his album—and his tour, and the one-day festival he held last fall in Houston—after the long-gone Six Flags amusement park that sat in his hometown until 2005, he did so because of his sincere affection for the park. He gushed about the rides and the experience in an interview with Rolling Stone: “It had a Dungeon Drop, Greezed Lightnin’, Superman. It was a way of life—fantasies, imagination.” He lamented its loss to XXL, depicting the closure of a corporate theme park in personal terms: “They took AstroWorld away from us in Houston.” What seemed like ... more
  • 5 days Behold, the Brisket Biscuits From Green’s Texas Bar-B-Que Texasmonthly
    Don Green cuts a chunk from his first brisket every Saturday morning. He chops the smoky beef, mixes it with a special-recipe honey chipotle sauce, and sandwiches it between two raw biscuits taken from a can and flattened in a tortilla press first. He pinches the edges of the dough together around the brisket before it goes into a deep fryer. The result is somewhere between tacos dorados and a British pasty. Green didn’t bristle too badly when I called them redneck empanadas, saying their popularity speaks for itself. “Some of my customers order them a half-dozen at a time,” ... more
  • 5 days Texas Monthly Recommends: Brandon Maxwell of ‘Project Runway’ Delights in Texas Glamor With a Fabulous Spring/Summer Line Video Texasmonthly
    Here at Texas Monthly, we love Texas culture, both the classic and the new. On a walk through our office halls, you might find a staffer writing to the sounds of Willie Nelson or spot a dog-eared Molly Ivins anthology on a bookshelf, but you could also encounter an editor revising to the sounds of Khruangbin or a fact-checker theorizing about the latest Texan to grace the stage of RuPaul’s Drag Race. Sharing our new finds and obsessions with other curious Texans is one of the best parts of the job. We hope you enjoy these recommendations as much as we do—and let ... more
  • 6 days Recipe: Pecan Snickerdoodles Texasmonthly
    The house I live in has five pecan trees in the yard. I write about this a lot—if you, too, have five pecan trees in your yard, you probably understand why. One pecan tree’s harvest is a project; five pecan trees are a force to be reckoned with. And several years ago, in the midst of my first major pecan season at this house, surrounded by five-gallon buckets and paper grocery bags full of pecans, I acquired Terry Scott Bertling’s Cooking With Pecans: Texas in a Nutshell (1987). This, I figured, could help me make a dent. The first thing ... more
  • 6 days Texans Sure Like to Pack Guns in Their Carry-On Bags Texasmonthly
    This week, the Transportation Security Administration released its “year in review” for 2018. More than 800 million people passed through a U.S. airport checkpoint, a 5.5 percent increase over the previous year. But the TSA doesn’t necessarily expect you to retain that fact. What the TSA would very much like you to remember is that you should never try to take a firearm onto a plane. Doing so is against the law—with scofflaws facing possible federal criminal charges and a civil fine of as much as $13,000. Yet it happens, often. According to the TSA, an average of nearly a ... more
  • 6 days BBQ News Roundup: Killen Teams Up with Papa John’s, Kiwis Love Houston, and a Texas Legend Lost Texasmonthly
    A giant of Texas BBQ is gone: Former Kreuz Market owner Rick Schmidt dies https://t.co/gQ9bcnH6rc — Keith Schmidt (@keithschmidt1) February 12, 2019 Valley View Mall in Dallas has been known as “The Mall That Will Not Die,” but its few remaining tenants, including a barbecue vendor, are being pushed out with little warning. Blacksmoke BBQ & Grill has recently opened in Garland. A father-and-son team hope to make it work in a location where two previous barbecue joints have failed. Post Oak Smokehouse in Irving is temporarily closed after a grease fire in the kitchen. Another week, and another barbecue ... more
  • 7 days Send Us Your Six-Word Love Letters to Texas! Texasmonthly
    Our February 2019 “Love Letters to Texas” collector’s issue celebrates the Texas icons and oddities that so many of us treasure, and reflects our love of the state’s land, traditions, and characters. As we sifted through the Texas Monthly archives to curate the issue, we found ourselves waxing poetic about all the reasons why we hold our state so dear. That’s why we’ve teamed up with Six-Word Memoirs to challenge our readers to sum up the reasons why they love Texas in a mere six words. We’ll feature our favorite entries here on the site and in a future issue of Texas ... more
  • 7 days The Founders of Epic Provisions Give Ranching a Modern Look Texasmonthly
    “Home on the Range” has been one of Taylor Collins’s favorite songs since he was a kid. Oh give me a home, where the buffalo roam… The majestic bison is his self-proclaimed “spirit animal.” Now he and his wife, Katie Forrest, have a herd of 73 bison grazing their aptly named Roam Ranch, near Fredericksburg. “We derive a lot of inspiration and wonder from watching the herd, and I couldn’t imagine being as excited to spend time out at the ranch without them,” Collins says. The couple—co-founders of Austin-based meat snack company Epic Provisions—bought the spread in April 2017, after selling Epic ... more
  • 7 days The Best Thing in Texas: A Baker Made Valentines Out of a Canceled Order Texasmonthly
    WHO: Austin’s Magnolia Lee Baking & Sugar Art. WHAT: A creative solution for a special order that got canceled too late. WHY IT’S GREAT: Mary Lee of Magnolia Lee Baking has a system for taking special orders: customers pay half the price up front, and the other half two weeks before the order is fulfilled. After all, her bakery business is how she pays the bills. However, when a customer who requested a dozen dinosaur-themed cookies tripled the order, she took the initial deposit, but forgot in the hustle of Valentine’s Day—one of the busiest days on her calendar—to get a deposit on ... more
  • 1 week Immigration Officials Have Stopped Force-Feeding Some Asylum Seekers on Hunger Strike in El Paso Texasmonthly
    Two hunger strikers who have been force-fed for nearly a month at the El Paso Immigration and Customs Enforcement detention center have had their feeding tubes removed, their lawyer said at a court hearing Wednesday. But the judicial orders allowing ICE to force-feed nine El Paso hunger strikers in recent weeks remain shrouded in secrecy. A court hearing for two of the hunger strikers, Malkeet Singh and Jasvir Singh, was the first time the government has discussed the hunger strike publicly in any detail—although parts of the hearing were conducted in private. The ICE physician overseeing the force-feeding, for example, ... more
  • 1 week Buc-ee’s: The Path to World Domination Texasmonthly
    About a century ago, in central Louisiana, in the town of Harrisonburg, the seat of Catahoula Parish, Arch and Mae Aplin opened a general mercantile store. The Aplins sold everything—dried goods and leather shoes, medicine and cotton shirts, cuts of beef and hammers and nails—and their store was successful, in large part because of its location. Harrisonburg sits on the western bank of the Ouachita River, and back then the town was a hub for travelers. If you were heading east to Mississippi or west into the Louisiana Hill Country, you had to traverse the Ouachita, and the ferry that ... more
  • 1 week The Texan Food Diaries: Chef “Hori” Horiuchi, of Houston’s Kata Robata Texasmonthly
    When Manabu Horiuchi (“Hori” to friends and customers) came to Houston in 2000, he was already a seasoned chef with a distinguished career in Tokyo. Here he honed his skills at a local sushi bar before opening his own restaurant, Kata Robata, in 2009. Immediately it became the go-to place not just for sushi but for a wealth of original dishes—both raw and cooked—that stretched far beyond the classic repertoire. To launch our new series, “The Texan Food Diaries,” we asked chef Hori, who will celebrate the tenth anniversary of his restaurant this year, to track what he eats in ... more
  • 1 week Could ‘Alita: Battle Angel’ Be Robert Rodriguez’s Return to the A-List? Texasmonthly
    In the early 1990s, Robert Rodriguez may have been the most exciting filmmaker in the world. He made his name in the burgeoning indie film scene quickly, as perhaps the most unlikely of his class of auteurs. Spike Lee and Quentin Tarantino had the most critical acclaim and Kevin Smith and Richard Linklater had the most personal approaches to storytelling, but Rodriguez had the madcap sense of experimentation that made indie film seem like a movement with no limit. Smith charged $20,000 on credit cards to make Clerks and hardly ever moved the camera from its perch in a New Jersey ... more
  • 1 week Here Are the Best Songs About All the Most Texan Brands, Including Whataburger and H-E-B Texasmonthly
    There are a few reasons why Texans are so fiercely proud of the various food and drink brands that have come from our state, but they boil down to one fundamental answer: Our stuff is just better. H-E-B is the best supermarket chain. Whataburger has the best fast food hamburgers. Shiner? Topo Chico? If Texas does it well, we do it really well. That’s true of Texas music, too. Occasionally, those two things come together, through the surprisingly robust tradition of Texas musicians paying tribute to beloved food brands through song. Crack open a Topo and enjoy this curated selection of ... more
  • 1 week Celebrate the Rebirth of Smokey John’s Bar-B-Que With a Plate of Ribs Texasmonthly
    Juan Reaves had just left Dallas and was on his way to Sherman when he got the call that his restaurant, Smokey John’s Bar-B-Que, was on fire. He was in a van loaded with barbecue for a catering job, so he couldn’t turn around. He called his brother and business partner, Brent Reaves, urging him to hurry to the restaurant. Brent pulled up at 5:08 p.m., exactly 18 minutes after Juan had left the joint. “There are three fire trucks out here, and there’s smoke coming all out of everywhere,” Brent remembers telling his brother over the phone as he maneuvered through ... more
  • 1 week Donald Trump vows to “Finish the Wall” in El Paso Political Rally Texasmonthly
    Speaking minutes after congressional negotiators in Washington announced that they had an “agreement in principle” on border funding aimed at preventing another government shutdown, President Donald Trump vowed to “finish the wall” Monday night during his first campaign rally of 2019 in El Paso. Trump also seemed to have one eye on another rally across the street, this one organized by El Paso groups opposed to his policy and featuring former congressman and potential presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke. This marks Trump’s second trip to a Texas border this year. Last month, he visited the South Texas city of McAllen in ... more
  • 1 week We Have Questions About This Taco Cabana Ad from 1992 Texasmonthly
    On Monday morning, the Internet hive mind that is Reddit unearthed a gem: a 1992 TV ad for Taco Cabana—it appears to be the restaurant chain’s oldest commercial found on YouTube. Before we go any further, let’s all watch it together below. Okay, now that we’re all here, we have some questions. Question No. 1: What’s with the Chili’s diss? Taco Cabana is a restaurant. So is Chili’s. They are both based in Texas, where they date back to the seventies (Chili’s opened its first spot in Dallas, in 1975; Taco C debuted in San Antonio in 1978). But that’s ... more
  • 1 week We Have Questions About This Taco Cabana Ad from 1992 Texasmonthly
    On Monday morning, the Internet hive mind that is Reddit unearthed a gem: a 1992 TV ad for Taco Cabana—it appears to be the restaurant chain’s oldest commercial found on YouTube. Before we go any further, let’s all watch it together below. Okay, now that we’re all here, we have some questions. Question No. 1: What’s with the Chili’s diss? Taco Cabana is a restaurant. So is Chili’s. They are both based in Texas, where they date back to the seventies (Chili’s opened its first spot in Dallas, in 1975; Taco C debuted in San Antonio in 1978). But that’s ... more
  • 1 week Kacey Musgraves Won Album of the Year at the Grammys and Nothing Will Ever Be the Same Texasmonthly
    Typically there are two paths for an artist seeking the Grammy Awards’ top prize, Album of the Year. The winner is either a hit-driven commercial juggernaut or a critically-acclaimed later-career release by a legacy act. The young performers who’ve won in recent years are all mega-stars—Adele, Taylor Swift, Bruno Mars—while the older artists to score wins, like Beck, essentially received it as a lifetime achievement award. But on Sunday night, something new happened. Kacey Musgraves, whose album Golden Hour has neither been embraced by radio nor serves as a capstone to a decades-long career, took the honor. It was well-deserved. Golden Hour is ... more
  • 1 week Ryan Bingham: “I Thought Music Was Bumming Me Out. Winds Up, Music Was Keeping Me Alive.” Texasmonthly
    Subscribe Apple — Google Play — Stitcher — Spotify In 2018, when they set out to work together, producer and guitarist Charlie Sexton asked Ryan Bingham what kind of album he intended to make for his sixth studio album. “I’ve always wanted to make a country blues album,” Bingham told him, laying out the blueprint for would become American Love Song, the 37-year-old’s first new album in four years (released February 15). The record lays out Bingham’s hardscrabble backstory: an itinerant youth spent in New Mexico, Texas, and California; time riding on the rodeo circuit; and the untimely deaths of his mother, an ... more
  • 2 weeks The Texanist: What Are the Ten Best Texas Movies? Texasmonthly
    Q: I’m a newcomer to Texas. What are the ten films set here that I should see? Tom Ricks, Austin A: “This is Texas—mighty colossus of the Southwest. A land of infinite variety and violent contrasts; a land where today’s ranch hand can become tomorrow’s multi-millionaire. But more than a state, here is a state of mind: manners, morals, emotions. Of people who are often as exhilarating, exasperating, exciting as the land they belong to. Out of this fabulous and tempestuous panorama comes a story of magnificent scope and great personal charm, a cavalcade that spans a quarter-century…. A mighty ... more
  • 2 weeks With Syrupy Sauces, Brett’s Backyard Bar-B-Que Finds the Sweet Spot Texasmonthly
    Competition barbecue and commercial barbecue don’t have much in common besides the meat and the smoke. Audiences expect very different flavors, which often makes it hard for pitmasters to navigate successfully from one side to the other. Brett Boren of Brett’s Backyard Bar-B-Que in Rockdale has found a way to mix the two in a way that would please both barbecue judges and road trippers. His motto says it all: “Small Town, Big Flavor.” I was skeptical of the peach and bourbon barbecue sauce offered with Boren’s ribs on my first visit, so I skipped it. By my second trip, he ... more
  • 2 weeks Texas Monthly Recommends: Selena and David Byrne Recorded a Song Together and It’s So Good Texasmonthly
    Here at Texas Monthly, we love Texas culture, both the classic and the new. On a walk through our office halls, you might find a staffer writing to the sounds of Willie Nelson or spot a dog-eared Molly Ivins anthology on a bookshelf, but you could also encounter an editor revising to the sounds of Khruangbin or a fact-checker theorizing about the latest Texan to grace the stage of RuPaul’s Drag Race. Sharing our new finds and obsessions with other curious Texans is one of the best parts of the job. We hope you enjoy these recommendations as much as we do—and let ... more
  • 2 weeks Best and Worst Legislators in Real Time: Senator Kirk Watson Texasmonthly
    In 1973, Texas Monthly rolled out its first edition of  “THE Best and Worst Texas Legislators,” an annotated list of the Texas lawmakers who had brought the most honor and dishonor upon themselves and upon the legislative body during the just-ended legislative session. With this year’s iteration, we want to show our readers what’s on our minds as we deliberate on one of Texas politic’s most anticipated lists. So as the 86th Legislature progresses, we’ll be writing about the highlights and lowlights of the lawmakers as they happen in a new online feature called Best and Worst Legislators in Real Time. “I ... more
  • 2 weeks El Paso Has Been a Reminder of President Trump’s Failures On the Border. Now He’s Campaigning There. Texasmonthly
    When he comes to El Paso on Monday, President Donald Trump will use a location less than a mile from the U.S.-Mexico border to again call for a wall between Mexico and the United States—the El Paso County Coliseum. “As the president continues his fight to secure the border, there’s no better place to demonstrate that walls work than in El Paso,” Michael Glassner, the chief operating officer of the Trump campaign, said in a statement announcing the Monday campaign rally in El Paso. But when he arrives in El Paso, Trump will be in a city that, perhaps more ... more
  • 2 weeks World-Renowned Architect Sir David Adjaye on Building a “Little Temple of Art” for San Antonio Texasmonthly
    Since the 2016 debut of his powerful National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C., British architect David Adjaye has become the rock-star international architect du jour, the hottest thing in his profession since four walls and a roof. Last week, Texas got a glimpse of its first Adjaye creation, as the Tanzanian-born, Ghanaian-by-descent Knight Bachelor of the U.K. touched down in San Antonio to give a public lecture and throw open the doors to his latest creation, a free, open-to-the-public art center called Ruby City, which will open officially in October. Perhaps a thousand fans, art mavens, ... more
  • 2 weeks Listen to ‘Talk,’ a Killer Single From Khalid’s Upcoming Second Album Texasmonthly
    Khalid’s upward trajectory has been a heck of a thing to watch. In 2015, he was a new arrival to El Paso, starting his senior year in high school. The summer after he graduated, he had a single, “Location,” on the top 20 Billboard charts and was hard at work on his debut album, American Teen. That album, released in 2017, went on to be certified double platinum in the U.S. and earned Khalid five Grammy nominations, including one for Best New Artist. I want to go to the Grammys one day. — Khalid (@thegreatkhalid) January 27, 2014 He spent 2018 basking ... more
  • 2 weeks “If the Police Aren’t Safe Here, What About Us?” Asylum Seekers Fear “Remain in Mexico” Policy Texasmonthly
    On Sunday night, hundreds of families waiting to seek asylum in the United States were jolted by the sound of gunfire near Casa del Migrante, a shelter housing them in the Mexican border city of Ciudad Juárez. “Last night we heard a bunch of automatic fire and they said they attacked a police station here. If the police aren’t safe here, then what about us?” a Honduran man staying at the shelter asked Texas Monthly this week. The gunfire the migrants heard on Sunday appears to be the latest in a series of organized crime attacking Juárez police officers that led the U.S. consulate ... more
  • 2 weeks Bodacious Bar-B-Q’s Jordan Jackson Gets Back to His Barbecue Roots in Gladewater Texasmonthly
    Jordan Jackson is living the dream. It’s not because Texas Monthly named the Longview location of Bodacious Bar-B-Q, which he reopened in 2015 with his late father-in-law Roland Lindsey, the fourth best barbecue joint in Texas. He appreciates the accolade and the profitability that followed, but along with the notoriety came uncomfortably high expectations and stress. Like so many other successful pitmasters and chefs that came before him, he yearned for a small place without the attention, where he could focus on cooking. Most pitmasters don’t ever get to make good on that wish, but Jackson found the obscurity he was ... more
  • 2 weeks The Best Thing in Texas: A Scottish Mountain Man Was Rescued—After His Distress Signal Was Picked Up in Houston Texasmonthly
    WHAT: An unlikely life-saving rescue, thanks to a Houston organization that monitors the airwaves for distress signals. WHO: Houston’s International Emergency Response Coordination Center and a 70-year-old Scotsman, known only as “Ken.” WHY IT’S SO GREAT: There are many ways to live. Ken, a Scottish retiree who chose an off-the-grid lifestyle, had spent 25 years in relative solitude a dozen or so miles outside of the small Scottish Highlands town of Fort William. Now 70 years old, Ken—his neighbors didn’t know his last name—fell ill. While he enjoyed living off the grid, Ken was apparently mindful of his safety, according to The Telegraph. ... more
  • 2 weeks How President Trump Uses Texas as a Prop Texasmonthly
    President Donald Trump’s State of the Union speech contained a number of unusual claims, but one in particular stood out. “The border city of El Paso, Texas, used to have extremely high rates of violent crime,” the president said, “one of the highest in the country, and [was] considered one of our nation’s most dangerous cities. Now, with a powerful barrier in place, El Paso is one of our safest cities.” The White House thought it had made a very powerful point, and the president’s allies repeated this claim a lot on Tuesday, some more skillfully than others. Donald Trump ... more
  • 2 weeks Texan Wrongfully Flagged For Possible Illegal Voting Joins Lawsuit Against Texas Officials Texasmonthly
    Julieta Garibay vividly remembers the sense of triumph she felt when she became a U.S. citizen last April—and again when she registered to vote in time for last November’s midterm election. But her pride turned to dread when she learned last week that Texas Secretary of State David Whitley had sent a stern advisory to county elections administrators. Whitley flagged as many as 95,000 Texans whom he said may be non-citizens who had illegally registered to vote. Garibay, 38, a resident of Austin, reached out to Travis County officials and asked whether her name was on the list. They confirmed ... more
  • 2 weeks These El Pasoans Are Rejecting Trump’s False Claims About the City’s Border Fence and Crime Rate Texasmonthly
    El Paso community leaders reacted angrily Tuesday night after President Trump repeated false claims that the city was violent and dangerous before a border wall was built. Trump—apparently acting on bogus information from Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton—has made the claim several times in recent weeks, and did so Tuesday night during his State of the Union address. “The border city of El Paso, Texas, used to have extremely high rates of violent crime—one of the highest in the country, and (was) considered one of our nation’s most dangerous cities. Now, with a powerful barrier in place, El Paso is ... more
  • 2 weeks Beto O’Rourke “Excited at the Prospect” of Running for President, Will Decide by End of February Texasmonthly
    On Tuesday, Beto O’Rourke ventured to New York City to answer questions from one of America’s foremost and beloved question-askers: Oprah Winfrey, who had him—along with Michael B. Jordan, Bradley Cooper, Melinda Gates, and Time’s Up president Lisa Borders—on stage as part of her “SuperSoul Sessions” series. The full interview will run in mid-February on the mogul’s OWN Network and appear as a podcast later in the year—but unlike a chat with a movie star or philanthropist, the answers O’Rourke had to give are a bit more timely. They’re timely because the Democratic primary field for the 2020 presidential race ... more
  • 2 weeks Listen to a Whole Dang Song About Topo Chico by Robert Ellis Texasmonthly
    Houston singer/songwriter Robert Ellis has spent his career singing odes to lost loves and restless living. On his new album, Texas Piano Man (released February 14), he adds another subject to the list of things that make him pour his heart out: Topo Chico. The song, fittingly called “Topo Chico,” is the last track on the album. It premiered on Tuesday morning at Garden & Gun and shows the musician in rare form, with a honky tonk beat, slide guitar, and and a swinging bass line coming together to honor the greatness that is a freshly-opened bottle of Topo Chico with a little ... more
  • 2 weeks Governor Greg Abbott Calls for Significant Reforms on Complex Issues Like Property Taxes, School Safety Texasmonthly
    In what may be a stark contrast to the expectation later Tuesday of a potentially contentious state of the union address by President Trump, Texas governor Greg Abbott offered a kinder and gentler state of the state speech that hit on themes that Texas Democrats could agree with him on: education, property tax relief, and mental health care among them. The tone of Abbott’s speech was far softer than even his own speech just two years ago when he raised the hot button issue of sanctuary cities in Texas and called for a hiring freeze of state workers because of ... more
  • 2 weeks The (Fake) Beto Diaries, Vol. 3: Williamsburg to the Wilds of Times Square Texasmonthly
    Former Democratic congressman and likely presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke posts journals of his life, his thoughts, and his travels; only some of those make it to the web. We’ve imagined one that got lost along the way. Welcome to the Beto Diaries. Dear Diary, A four-foot-tall shrimp with an impish grin stares down at me from the third floor of a postwar building at Seventh Avenue and 44th Street. I’m in New York City. Times Square, to be specific. A cacophony of horns and voices and footsteps engulfs me as I stand outside the Bubba Gump Shrimp Company. The flash ... more
  • 2 weeks If Beto Runs for President, Where Does That Leave Texas? Texasmonthly
    The day after Beto O’Rourke lost his closely contested Senate race against Ted Cruz by 2.6 percent, I heard an argument that convinced me that O’Rourke’s next political step was obvious: He needed to run for Senate again in 2020. Political scientists Jim Henson and Josh Blank of the Texas Politics Project at UT-Austin had laid out the case. O’Rourke had nearly pulled off one of the most stunning electoral upsets in the history of the union. He’d built up a massive database of voters and volunteers and donors. He’d gone from being virtually unknown outside of El Paso to ... more
  • 2 weeks The Switch Brings a Cajun Influence to Stiles Switch-Style BBQ Texasmonthly
    After many years of barbecue success at Stiles Switch BBQ & Brew (which made the Texas Monthly Top 50 list in 2013 and 2017), owner Shane Stiles thought it was time to branch out. He wanted a second restaurant that was less laser-focused on Central Texas style barbecue than the original. After teaming up with chef Todd Duplechan from Austin’s Lenoir, they opened The Switch last June in Belterra Village out near Dripping Springs. There’s still plenty of barbecue, but the goal was to blend Cajun flavors with their beloved smoked meat. After seven months in business, they’re dialing back the Cajun ... more
  • 2 weeks Signs of Border Wall Construction Seen in South Texas As Debate Over Funding It Continues Texasmonthly
    With a federal funding fight over a border wall occupying much of the country’s consciousness—and expected to occupy much of President Trump’s State of the Union address Tuesday night—many people don’t realize that Congress already allotted nearly $1.6 billion for wall construction last year. That reminder grew into a grim reality for opponents of the wall this week as contractors are showing signs in South Texas of preparing to break ground for a new section of wall. Thirty-three miles of wall construction in the Rio Grande Valley was appropriated by Congress in fiscal year 2018 when Republicans still controlled the ... more
  • 2 weeks Measles Cases Confirmed in Houston Area Texasmonthly
    On Monday morning, three cases of measles were confirmed in Harris County. By the middle of the day, two additional cases were confirmed, one each in Montgomery and Galveston County. The trend suggests a possible outbreak. The disease, which was considered eradicated in the United States in 2000, has been on something of an upswing in recent years, with 372 cases confirmed in 2018. This year is on pace for an uptick in the once-eliminated disease: Through January 31, the Center for Disease Control has identified 79 cases of measles in the U.S. If the rate remained consistent, that would ... more
  • 2 weeks Q&A With Author Elizabeth McCracken: “Austin Is a City of Books As Much As Music” Texasmonthly
    Elizabeth McCracken wasn’t born in Texas, but we welcomed her as fast as we could. The author of two short-story collections, a memoir, and two novels, McCracken has been a finalist for the National Book Award, won the prestigious Story Prize for her short fiction, holds the University of Texas James Michener Chair in Fiction, and is associate director of the New Writers Project in the UT Department of English. Her first novel in eighteen years, Bowlaway, out February 5, is bringing in rave reviews from the Washington Post, the New York Times, and others. It stands toe-to-toe with any ... more
  • 2 weeks Going Vegan Brings You One Step Closer to Beyoncé (and Possibly Free Tickets to Her Shows) Texasmonthly
    Beyoncé and Jay Z are international music royalty, capable of selling out venues anywhere there’s electricity, with tickets selling for hundreds of dollars a pop. What’s a cash-conscious fan to do, beyond start a Bey and Jay future concert fund? As of last week, there’s another option: Consider going vegan, and you could check out every tour either of them plays for free—for the next thirty years. That’s the pitch they’re making in partnership with Greenprint, an organization started by celebrity trainer and nutritionist Marco Borges. Borges, whose work with the couple helped convince them to go vegan themselves, launched ... more
  • 2 weeks Y’all! Look at These Two New Baby Lemurs at the Houston Zoo Texasmonthly
    Here’s a nice way to make your day brighter: pictures of baby lemurs. Baby lemurs that you can see in Texas. By coincidence, there are two different baby lemurs in the Houston Zoo right now, each with different parents and different breeds. On December 23, a male Coquerel’s sifaka lemur—those are the ones with white fur, and dark faces and chests—was born to mama Zenobia. The zookeepers declared that he would be called Dionysus, an epic name for a little guy, and he quickly began the lemur growing-up process of living on his mother’s chest, then her back. He is now ... more
  • 2 weeks Jay B. Sauceda: “Through a Texan’s Lens, Everything That Ain’t Texas Is a Little Gray” Texasmonthly
    Subscribe Apple — Google Play — Stitcher — Spotify First it was a Texas Monthly cover story. Then a coffee table book. And now it’s the basis of a newly opened exhibit at the Bullock Texas State History Museum. Jay B. Sauceda himself admits he’s a little surprised at the mileage he’s gotten out of a July 2015 aerial photography project that found him tracing 3,822 miles of Texas borders, shooting stunning landscape photos while leaning out of a single-engine Cessna he was flying himself. Not surprisingly, across each form it’s taken, the project has spawned a popular question for the 33-year-old photographer/author/entrepreneur/aviator/humorist. Did his ... more
  • 3 weeks The Texanist: Has PC Culture Tamed the Texanist’s Tongue? Texasmonthly
    Q: I just read a rerun of one of your advice columns, “Contemplating the Texas Exit,” that I got in my daily Texas Monthly email newsletter. In the article there is a link to other road-related advice columns you’ve written going back as far as 2008. I went down the rabbit hole and read them all. In doing so, I noticed that your current replies are more relaxed, refined, and politically correct. It seems that your tongue was once a little sharper. Not that it bothers me that your tongue was sharper (I think we could use more of that bluntness today); I got ... more
  • 3 weeks The Texanist: Revisiting Some Favorites for February 2019 Texasmonthly
    May 2010 Q: My husband and I go dancing almost every weekend, but I end up dancing with his best buddy more than I do with him. His friend is just a better dancer, and there’s no hanky-panky going on, but I’m starting to feel guilty. Do I need to stick with the one that brung me? A: The conventional wisdom would have you reserve your dance card for him that brung you, yes, but the conventional wisdom would also have you stop at five tequilas and refrain from trying to “sit in” with the band as guest vocalist on ... more
  • 3 weeks The Mavericks Now Have Their New Dirk Nowitzki–Steve Nash Combo Texasmonthly
    The Dallas Mavericks unexpectedly landed a superstar on Thursday, trading for the New York Knicks’ Kristaps Porzingis. It was a masterful move by the Mavs, who capitalized on a recently-turned-sour relationship between Porzingis and the Knicks to land the disgruntled seven-footer for essentially nothing, emerging from the deal with arguably the most promising guard-forward combo in the league. Porzingis was, until maybe 72 hours ago, the Knicks’ franchise player. He melds strong defense around the rim with the ability to shoot from deep, and at 23 years old he’s already one of the most dynamic players in the league. He ... more
  • 3 weeks A No-Knock Raid in Houston Led to Deaths and Police Injuries. Should Police Rethink the Practice? Texasmonthly
    On Monday afternoon, a group of veteran officers on the Houston Police Department’s Squad 15 narcotics task force gathered at a small, tan, white-trimmed home of suspected heroin dealers to conduct a raid. It turned violent within minutes, and by the time the raid had ended, four of the officers had been shot and injured while the home’s residents—Dennis Tuttle and Rhogena Nicholas—were dead, along with their dog. The shooting immediately prompted the expected response from law enforcement advocates and state leaders. Governor Greg Abbott offered prayers for the injured officers and characterized the incident as a “solemn reminder of ... more
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