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  • 5 months Buck’s Moves Its Inventive Barbecue From Houston to Galveston Texasmonthly
    Jim Buchanan impressed us last summer with Buck’s Barbeque Co. in Houston. He was serving the classic Texas smoked meats along with more creative dishes. Weekly specials like the smoked meat loaf and a brisket debris po-boy brought loyal customers to Lucky’s Lodge, where Buchanan was posted up, but the arrangement was always meant to be temporary. “It was like running a pop-up every week,” Buchanan said, so he was eager to find a permanent spot of his own. The search eventually led him and his wife Colleen to the Texas coast. Buck’s officially debuted in Galveston on August 1, but ... more
  • 5 months Dining Guide: Highlights From Our September 2019 Issue Texasmonthly
    Texas Monthly adds and updates approximately sixty restaurant listings to our Dining Guide each month. There’s limited space in the print issue, but the entire searchable guide to the best of Texas cuisine is at your fingertips online! Below are a few highlights from the new restaurants reviewed in our September 2019 issue. In case you missed it, restaurant critic Patricia Sharpe’s 2019 list of Texas’s Best New Restaurants came out in our March issue, and you can also read up on her latest Pat’s Pick, Houston’s Squable. Click “More Info” for further detail on each restaurant: Austin High Note After years of plying us ... more
  • 5 months Announcing Five New Hires, Including Our First Taco Editor! Texasmonthly
    Pass the tortillas. As of September 18, Texas Monthly will have a taco editor on staff. José R. Ralat, a Dallas-based writer, is joining us to cover all things taco, from reviews and profiles to trends and Tex-Mex traditions. Ralat is one of five recent additions to the editorial staff and the tenth full-time new hire in six months. Ralat’s addition reflects our continuing commitment to covering Texas’s unique and outstanding culinary landscape. In 2013, we became the first magazine to appoint a barbecue editor, Daniel Vaughn, who’s been energetically covering our thriving smoked-meat scene ever since. As taco editor, Ralat will be a regular presence on ... more
  • 5 months Dan Patrick Is a Sworn Enemy of Gun Control, So Why Is He Proposing Background Checks Now? Texasmonthly
    After the mass shooting of ten people at Santa Fe High School, Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick dismissed a modest proposal by Governor Greg Abbott to pass red flag laws that would allow judges to  remove firearms from potentially dangerous individuals. In response to the shooting death of 26 people at a church in Sutherland Springs, Patrick oversaw the loosening of gun laws to allow the carrying of licensed handguns in houses of worship. But in the wake of mass shootings in El Paso and Midland-Odessa in August that left a total of 29 people dead and 49 wounded or injured, ... more
  • 5 months A Brief History of Matthew McConaughey Dying Onscreen Texasmonthly
    On September 20, Zach Galifianakis’ web series Between Two Ferns finally makes the jump to the big screen (or, at least, Netflix). The recently-released trailer features Matthew McConaughey being delivered from one of Galifianakis’ typically awkward interviews by a burst pipe that leaves him, as an angry Will Ferrell explains, “momentarily dead.” This is an unusual reprieve for the beloved actor, who’s spent a decent chunk of his filmography dying. In fact, according to the Cinemorgue database, McConaughey has been fake-killed, briefly or otherwise, more than a dozen times—and while those aren’t, say, Sean Bean numbers, they’re impressive for a ... more
  • 5 months The Texas Death Penalty Machine Has Become Increasingly Grotesque Texasmonthly
    Governor Greg Abbott tweeted last week that “expedited executions” for mass shooters would make a “nice addition” to the package of policy proposals he was assembling in the wake of massacres in El Paso and Midland-Odessa. It was a curious proposal, as my colleague Dan Solomon noted, given that two of the four most prolific recent shooters were killed in their attacks, the third is too young to be executed, and the fourth had previously expressed a desire to die as soon as possible. But it was also a reminder that the death penalty retains a strong psychic hold on ... more
  • 5 months Ted Cruz Talks Gun Control, Political Civility, Alex Jones, and President Trump’s Tweets Texasmonthly
    Subscribe Apple — Google Play — Stitcher — Spotify Last Wednesday, in the waning days of a month-long congressional recess, Senator Ted Cruz visited with Midland-Odessa city and law enforcement leaders after a mass shooting there left seven dead and 25 injured. The next afternoon, the debate over access to guns was a major focus of our hour-long conversation on the National Podcast of Texas, recorded in his Houston office. The conversation also covers the state of civility, tax reform, why he believes President Trump has been good for Texas, Alex Jones, and the meeting he’ll have Tuesday about guns in Washington, D.C., ... more
  • 6 months Could a Loud, Rich, and Scandal-Prone Personal Injury Lawyer Win Control of Houston? Texasmonthly
    The view from a luxe office on the seventy-third floor of Houston’s tallest building might give anyone visions of dominance, and it’s easy to understand why Tony Buzbee wouldn’t be immune. He grew up wearing cheap jeans and off-brand shoes in tiny Atlanta, Texas, in the state’s northeast corner. Through brains and grit and sharp elbows, he transformed himself into one of the country’s richest and most famous personal injury lawyers, defending, so he likes to say, working people against greedy corporations. Nowadays Buzbee can look down on some of those companies’ headquarters from his aerie in the Chase Tower. The ... more
  • 6 months Texas Monthly Recommends: Taylor Swift’s New Song With the Dixie Chicks Texasmonthly
    When Taylor Swift teased the fact that the Dixie Chicks would perform on her new album, the extent of their participation was a big question mark. It’s hard to know what to expect when the Dixie Chicks are involved, given that it’s been thirteen years since they recorded new music in the studio. “Soon You’ll Get Better,” though, is the sort of song that the Dixie Chicks do better than anybody—a sad, tender, hopeful ballad about family and grief, built around impeccable harmonies that flutter up over the chorus. Taylor Swift may be the lead singer on the track, but ... more
  • 6 months Migrants Testify to Sleeping Near Feces and Urine in South Texas Border Patrol Holding Facilities Texasmonthly
    Jonathan Rizzo did his best to survive. A 30-year-old asylum seeker from Guatemala, after his arrest at the border in May, he was crammed into a Border Patrol holding facility in Brownsville with so many other men that they had to sleep in shifts. Some stretched out on the filthy concrete floor while others stood.  One miserable night, the cell’s single toilet backed up, spilling feces and urine on the floor. The inmates were told that nothing could be done until a cleaning crew came to work the next day. As bad as those conditions were, things got worse for ... more
  • 6 months How the ‘Yeehaw Agenda’ Disrupted Texas Country Culture for Good Texasmonthly
    Last year, the Dallas-based pop culture archivist Bri Malandro declared—alongside a repost of King Kong magazine’s western-themed cover shoot featuring the singer Ciara—that “the yee haw agenda is in full effect.” The prophetic tweet caught fire, cementing a name for the surge of progressive Southern, country, and cowboy styles crossing from the fringe (no pun intended) into the mainstream. Soon “yeehaw” had seemingly flooded all corners of pop culture: In early 2019, homegrown country star Kacey Musgraves’s Golden Hour received a Grammy Award for Album of the Year, and yodeling teen Mason Ramsey had become an internet sensation. Social media—not to mention ... more
  • 6 months Convicted of Murder at Age 12, Edwin Debrow Finally Walks Free Texasmonthly
    On a Tuesday morning, August 27, guards led 40-year-old Edwin Debrow into a small room at the Carol S. Vance Unit, a state prison just outside of Houston. The convicted killer took off his white inmate’s uniform and put on a new pair of blue jeans, new white socks, a new pair of blue Nike Air Max 270s, and a light blue T-shirt that read: Edwin Debrow Free to Be Me “I’m ready,” he said, a grin slicing across his face. “I’m so ready.” The last time Debrow had been in “civilian clothes,” as he called them, was September 27, ... more
  • 6 months What if the Texans’ Bizarre Offseason Wins Them the Super Bowl? Texasmonthly
    The weirdness of the Houston Texans’ past week has been well-documented elsewhere, so we’ll just give you the highlights: The team waited until a week before the start of the season to trade pass-rusher Jadeveon Clowney, who was in the midst of a holdout the team couldn’t resolve. Had they traded him, say, back in April, they might have gotten a return for the star similar to the one the Seahawks got for the similarly-situated Frank Clark, netting a first and second-round draft pick for one of the league’s best young players. Instead, they gave Clowney to the Seahawks in ... more
  • 6 months Recipe: Lamburger Helper From Chris Shepherd’s New Cookbook Texasmonthly
    With his new cookbook, Cook Like a Local, Houston chef Chris Shepherd (along with co-author Kaitlyn Goalen) aims to expand the definition of “local” food. “Local food should reflect the people of a place,” he writes, “just as much as the ingredients of a place.” So what doors open when you bring the culinary traditions of your neighbors into your cooking? For Shepherd, “local” means Houston, a city increasingly celebrated as home to one of the country’s most diverse populations. It’s incredibly fertile culinary territory, and Shepherd writes passionately about eating his way through the Vietnamese restaurants along Bellaire Boulevard, perusing ... more
  • 6 months BBQ News Roundup: RIP “Smokey” John Reaves, a Top 50 Joint For Sale, and Great Chain Barbecue Texasmonthly
    In the current issue of the American Conservative, John Shelton Reed discusses the changing barbecue landscape—categorizing joints into folk barbecue, haute barbecue, and mass barbecue, the last of which he likens to an invasive species. The founder of Smokey John’s BBQ in Dallas passed away: RIP Smokey. John Reaves, founder of Dallas' beloved Smokey John's Bar-B-Que, dies at 74 — Tom Fox (@TomFoxPhoto) August 25, 2019 A day after the death of John Reaves, his sons Juan and Brent won the Big Tex Choice Award for their Big Red Chicken Bread at the State Fair of Texas. Nick Rallo wrote ... more
  • 6 months Pennie’s Tex Mex Take Out Brings New Life to a Galveston Institution Texasmonthly
    Israel “Pennie” Ochoa and his wife Connie opened Pennie’s Meat Market in Galveston in 1978 at 1713 37th Street. The building had housed a meat market as far back as least 1913, when a butcher named Franke Henry listed his business there in the Galveston directory. The Ochoas sold raw meat, but their specialties were Israel’s barbacoa and Connie’s tamales. “My mother-in-law started to make tamales, and it took off, so my father-in-law started to make barbacoa,” Ochoa’s son-in-law, Louis Moreno, remembers. After Israel passed away in 2003, Connie continued to run the market. The decline in Galveston’s population immediately after ... more
  • 6 months Would You Like to Borrow Dan Crenshaw’s Guns? Texasmonthly
    Friends, it’s been such a lovely evening, and we can’t thank you enough for coming by the old Crenshaw homestead. We hope you enjoyed the steak as much as the discussion on the rising scourge of identity politics. And sorry that Dan had to duck out early. He has some Twitter videos to record. You know, there are just so many journalists, fellow members of Congress, comedians, viral stars, and random meme accounts that require Dan’s attention these days. Especially in the wake of those two awful mass shootings, it’s more important than ever that Dan represent Texas in the ... more
  • 6 months How Toby Huss Became Hollywood’s Favorite Fake Texan Texasmonthly
    “You know my name’s not really Tex, right?” charmingly wily tycoon James Joseph “J.J.” McCready asks midway through the third season of GLOW. All the other characters on the Netflix comedy keep calling him “Tex,” despite the fact that he hails from Wyoming. It’s a mistake that J.J. graciously chalks up to “the hat or the accent or some such” (or maybe it’s the boots). It also echoes a real-life mistake that audiences often make about the actor who plays him, Toby Huss. You might remember Huss as surreal superhero Artie, the Strongest Man in the World, on Nickelodeon’s The ... more
  • 6 months The Governor Wants “Expedited Executions” For Mass Shooters. But Who Would That Deter? Texasmonthly
    After this weekend’s mass shooting in West Texas that left seven dead and over a dozen more injured, the pressure is on leaders in Texas to do something about the crisis facing our state. Four of the ten deadliest mass shootings in U.S. history have occurred here—one of them just over a month ago in El Paso—and the frequency with which they’ve begun happening means that it’s no longer possible to just wait for the news cycle to move on. Texas Republicans have generally been slow to address the problem. For example, Representative Matt Schaefer, in a viral Twitter thread, ... more
  • 6 months Flores Barbecue, a Top 50 Joint, Closes in Fort Worth Texasmonthly
    Flores Barbecue left the Hill County town of Whitney in February for what owner Michael Wyont hoped would prove greener pastures in Fort Worth. A new Flores food truck opened at the Trailhead at Clearfork development in May, ahead of a planned brick-and-mortar at the same location. It was big news for Texas barbecue and for Fort Worth, which stood to add a Top 50 barbecue joint to an already rapidly growing barbecue scene. But now, just a few months later, Wyont has announced he’s leaving the business and taking the name with him. “The big city I don’t think is for me,” ... more
  • 6 months Travis Scott’s Documentary Situates Astroworld, and Houston, Front and Center Texasmonthly
    A little over halfway through Travis Scott’s new Netflix documentary Look Mom I Can Fly, Paul Wall, one of Houston’s most visible rappers, bestows an unofficial and incredibly meaningful honor upon Scott. “You the big homie now,” Wall says with a thousand-watt grin, referring to the 28-year-old’s placement in the lineage of Houston hip-hop OGs that came before him. “You everybody’s big homie now, bro.” At that moment, Scott was celebrating the fact that he pulled off the inaugural Astroworld Festival in his hometown, something he had envisioned since the eponymously-named amusement park shuttered in 2005. Scott, born in 1991, ... more
  • 6 months Video Games and Godless Hearts: The Texas Gun Debate Is at a Depressing Dead End Texasmonthly
    Mass shootings barely register now unless they provide some new twist or new level of horror: six-year-old victims, Sandy Hook; 422 people shot, Las Vegas; racial terrorism, El Paso. When a colleague googled “mobile mass shooting” to see if there was any kind of precedent for the event that took place in Midland/Odessa on Saturday, he discovered that nine people had been shot in Mobile, Alabama, on Friday, an event I had not heard of otherwise before or since. Searching for “Alabama shooting” just now, I found out that a fourteen-year-old in Athens, Alabama, killed his five family members Monday ... more
  • 6 months Janice Engel: “For Molly Ivins, Politics Was About Who’s Getting Screwed And Who’s Doing The Screwing” Texasmonthly
    Subscribe Apple — Google Play — Stitcher — Spotify Seven years in the making, Raise Hell: The Life and Times of Molly Ivins premiered at January’s Sundance Film Festival, played South By Southwest in March, and is now in theatrical release across Texas. The feature-length documentary chronicles the wit, courage, and sometimes messy private life of the best-selling author, journalist, and Pulitzer Prize-nominated syndicated columnist who died after a long battle with breast cancer in 2007. In the movie, Dan Rather and Rachel Maddow headline a collection of friends, colleagues, and fans who put Ivins’s caustic wit and fearlessness in context. For our podcast session, the ... more
  • 6 months The Texanist: What Do I Do When I See an Upside Down Texas Flag? Texasmonthly
    Q: I’m enjoying a nice beach vacation with my in-laws on Long Beach Island, New Jersey. The house we rented is at the end of a short waterway that connects to the bay. The beach house just across from us is flying a Texas flag, along with the U.S. of A. flag, and one other flag that my New Jersey–born wife tells me is the flag of New Jersey. However, the Texas flag is flying upside down. We don’t know these folks, and I generally like to keep to myself, but as a lifelong Texan, what’s my duty here? Kindly ... more
  • 6 months The Traditional Czech Gowns Capable of Withstanding Texas Heat Texasmonthly
    Maggie Grmela has been stitching kroj, traditional Czech dresses, for over thirty-five years in her hometown of West, Texas. The dressmaker’s personal adaptation of kroj, which she makes at her shop Maggie’s Fabric Patch, evolved from a need to make costumes that allowed for comfortable dancing in the Lone Star State’s sweltering climate. Grmela, whose great-grandparents moved to the U.S. from the Moravia region of the Czech Republic forty-five years ago, helped launch WestFest, the town’s yearly Czech celebration. Every Labor Day Weekend, locals and parade-marchers donning kroj (pronounced “croy”) mingle amidst kolaches, polka, and good pivo (that’s Czech for beer). ... more
  • 6 months Daddy Duncan’s Dishes Out Barbecue All Over Katy Texasmonthly
    Daddy Duncan’s BBQ trailer in Katy may only open its windows on weekends, but you can get its barbecue all week long. Owners Sylvia and Randy Duncan have partnered with nine different restaurants and food vendors who have come up with creative ways to integrate Daddy Duncan’s meats into their dishes. It’s a culinary collaboration that allows smoked brisket to cross into unfamiliar territory. After ordering brisket empanadas and a brisket-stuffed arepa, I stirred a café bombón at La Baguette Bakery & Bistro. The drink is layered with sweetened condensed milk, espresso, and whipped cream. It was gone in a few ... more
  • 6 months Remembering The Texas International Pop Festival, The Lone Star State’s Answer to Woodstock Texasmonthly
    In 1969, Janell Myers grew her hair long to protest both the preferences of her cosmetology-teacher parents and the war in Vietnam. Being a 15-year-old with anti-corporate views in Richardson, Texas, could get lonely. She had Janis Joplin, though, and the solace of “Little Girl Blue.” Many versions of the popular song had come before and would come after. Joplin’s take, sung with knowing pain and reassurance, reached Janell at the right time. So did Woodstock. As Janell recounted years later for a University of North Texas oral history project, it took a full day before she heard about the ... more
  • 6 months Los Muertos BBQ’s Brisket Puffy Taco Adds to the Tex-Mex Barbecue Trend Texasmonthly
    Rick Muniz lives two lives. Mondays through Thursdays, he’s a consultant for the Texas Department of Public Safety in its Houston anti-gang unit. Fridays through Sundays, you can find him working the window of his food truck, Los Muertos BBQ in Katy. During his thirty-year career as a Texas state trooper, he cooked barbecue for DPS holiday functions and training events. For his work feeding victims of Hurricane Harvey two years ago, he was awarded the Spirit of the Trooper Award. Now he’s serving his barbecue specialties to the public from a strip mall parking lot. The native of Carrizo Springs ... more
  • 6 months Recipe: Instant Pot Texas Chicken Green Chili with Cider Texasmonthly
    It’s Hatch chile season. Perhaps you’ve heard? These mild green chiles are an abundant, delicious, and extremely seasonal treat, whether they’re official Hatch chiles (grown in New Mexico) or the related Anaheim chiles (grown elsewhere). How best to make use of them before they disappear again until next year? With apologies to our western neighbors, this is a Texas Chicken Green Chili. It’s based on the tenets of Texas red chili but developed to highlight the flavors of fresh green chiles. That means it’s mostly just meat and chile, and you’re probably going to want to eat it with rice, ... more
  • 6 months Break’s Over: Texas Is Only the Fourth-Hardest-Working State in America Texasmonthly
    Texans work hard, or so our truck commercials tell us. If you believe Ford or Chevy or Toyota, most of us spend our days fastening chains around giant logs, lassoing them to our hitches, and slopping through muddy creeks while the likes of Denis Leary lecture us about aluminum alloy. But outside of these mini-documentaries, evidence of our state’s indomitable work ethic has mostly been anecdotal—until now. This week, those analytical roughnecks at credit monitoring site WalletHub strapped some freshly cut statistics to a flatbed, cranked up the Bob Seger, and hauled out a new report proclaiming Texas to be ... more
  • 6 months What Will the World Be Like in 2039, When Richard Linklater Finishes His Stephen Sondheim Musical? Texasmonthly
    On Thursday, Collider broke the news that Richard Linklater would begin production on what appears to be his most ambitious project yet: an adaptation of the Stephen Sondheim musical Merrily We Roll Along, which takes place over the course of twenty years. The hook? Linklater, along with stars Ben Platt and Beanie Feldstein, will shoot the project over the course of the next two decades, so the characters will age in real time. Linklater has already proven his ability to use time as a storytelling element in film—Boyhood, shot over 12 years, gave audiences the chance to watch two children grow ... more
  • 6 months ‘Mistakes Were Made’: It Remains to Be Seen if Greg Abbott’s Passive-Voice Apology Represents a Change of Heart Texasmonthly
    The day before a white supremacist entered a Walmart in El Paso and killed 22 people, explaining that he did so because he feared non-white immigrants were supplanting white citizens in Texas, Governor Greg Abbott sent a fundraising letter to his supporters expressing a disturbingly similar sentiment. “If we’re going to DEFEND Texas, we’ll need to take matters into our own hands,” the letter said. “Unless you and I want liberals to succeed in their plan to transform Texas—and our entire country—through illegal immigration.”  The timing was, to put it mildly, an uncomfortable bit of business for the governor. It’s ... more
  • 6 months Shoemaker’s Barbecue Is Long Gone, But Its Legacy Carries On Texasmonthly
    A year shy of its fiftieth birthday, the original Shoemaker’s Barbecue was demolished in downtown Dallas in 1975. At the time, Texas Monthly mourned the demise of “one of the city’s historic barbecue places” to make way for a tower that was never built. The former site of the restaurant, a block east of the George L. Allen Sr. Courts Building on Commerce Street, is now a parking lot. The name Shoemaker’s might not ring a bell, but the way it served barbecue became a model for barbecue joints in Dallas and farther afield. When Reuben Shoemaker opened his small establishment ... more
  • 6 months Is the Santa Ana Wildlife Refuge Still in the Crosshairs of Trump’s Border Wall? Texasmonthly
    The Santa Ana National Wildlife Refuge is a pristine 2,088-acre preserve that hugs the Rio Grande just east of Pharr. More than 160,000 people visit its verdant landscape each year, generating nearly half a billion dollars in annual eco-tourism revenue for the region. They come in hopes of spotting endangered animals, like the ocelot, or some of the more than four hundred species of birds—including rarities like the green jay, great kiskadee, and altamira oriole—that make this corner of South Texas one of the top birding destinations in the country.  Last year, when Congress appropriated $1.3 billion for a border ... more
  • 6 months Why We Need Molly Ivins’s Wisdom Now More Than Ever Texasmonthly
    Perhaps better than anyone, political commentator and journalist Molly Ivins could describe the absurdity of Texas and its politics with unabashed candor. “There are two kinds of humor,” she said in a 1991 People magazine story. “One kind that makes us chuckle about our foibles and our shared humanity…the other kind holds people up to public contempt and ridicule—that’s what I do.” Ivins, who grew up in a conservative household in Houston, is best known for her work in the Texas Observer and as a columnist at the Dallas Times Herald and Fort Worth Star-Telegram. The response to her column, ... more
  • 6 months Carli Lloyd Won’t be Kicking in an NFL Game Tonight, But Might Some Day Texasmonthly
    Last week, Carli Lloyd—the former Houston Dash star currently on a summer-long victory lap after her success at the World Cup  with the U.S. Women’s National Team—made headlines in a different sport. As a guest of the Philadelphia Eagles at the team’s joint practice with the Baltimore Ravens, Lloyd took a few cracks at kicking field goals—and nailed two beautiful kicks right through the uprights: First a 40-yarder, and then a 55-yard try that looked like it would have been good from at least 60. The clip went viral; millions watched it, including a lot of folks in NFL front ... more
  • 6 months On Texas Time: Harper Watters, Houston Ballet Soloist and Internet Sensation Texasmonthly
    In 2014, the venerable Houston Ballet dancer Harper Watters received a pair of six-inch pink heels as a joke gift from a friend leaving the company. Having already amassed a sizable online following with videos showcasing his technical abilities, Watters, who’s been with Houston Ballet since 2011, saw the shoes as an opportunity to do something a little different. The result? A now-viral video of him and fellow dancer Rhys Kosakowski, clad in heels, strutting and twirling on a treadmill—all set to Fergie’s 2006 hit “Fergalicious.”  The 27-year-old parlayed that moment of digital fame into a popular Youtube series called ... more
  • 6 months What Texas Latino Leaders Want to Hear at the Democratic Debate in Houston Texasmonthly
    When the Democratic party’s presidential hopefuls take the stage together in Houston on September 12, just six weeks will have passed since the domestic terror attack at an El Paso Walmart left 22 people dead. The alleged shooter, a white man from Collin County who said he traveled hundreds of miles to El Paso to kill “Mexicans,” left behind a manifesto that echoed the anti-immigrant rhetoric of the Trump administration. The violence has left many Latinos clamoring for answers and looking to the presidential race for a vigorous conversation about what comes next. Texas Monthly spoke to fifteen Texas Democratic ... more
  • 6 months On Her New Album, Jazzmeia Horn Wants to Embolden Listeners to “Do Something About It” Texasmonthly
    Jazzmeia Horn’s preternatural musical talents emerged early on in her hometown of Dallas, first in her grandfather’s Southern Baptist choir and later at Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts. Horn, 28, has since grown into one of contemporary jazz’s young icons, thanks to her inimitable vocal approach and command of generational techniques.  After graduating from The New School’s renowned Jazz and Contemporary Music program, Horn delved into New York City’s jazz scene, performing at the likes of the Apollo. In 2015, she won the Thelonious Monk International Jazz Competition, the genre’s elite tournament aimed at finding ... more
  • 6 months The Unlikely Meme-ification of Stevie Ray Vaughan Texasmonthly
    Stevie Ray Vaughan lost his life in a helicopter crash exactly 29 years ago today. Since that untimely death, the blues rocker’s stature has only grown. Vaughan’s posthumous honors include gold records and Grammys, inductions into both the Blues and Rock and Roll halls of fame, and perennial appearances on lists of the “greatest guitar players of all time.” This month saw the release of Alan Paul and Andy Aledort’s new Texas Flood: The Inside Story of Stevie Ray Vaughan, a comprehensive oral history of his life. Vaughan’s bronze likeness stands beside Austin’s Lady Bird Lake, the silhouette on the ... more
  • 6 months ‘We Exist, We Have Voices, We Have Stories’: A New Festival Confronts the Borderland’s Complexity Texasmonthly
    On a recent balmy afternoon in Brownsville, Texas, the Carlotta K. Petrina Cultural Arts Center opened its doors—and windows—to feature works from artists in the Rio Grande Valley and the neighboring city of Matamoros, Mexico. One painting in particular, “Me Raja, Me Raja,” by local artist Emily Hinojosa, stopped many onlookers cold. It depicted a nude brown woman, who had an S-shaped, bloody cut running from her shoulder, between her legs, and down to the bottom of the canvas. A stretch of barbed wire bearing the same shape ran alongside her. The wound appeared fresh.  While the show’s selections aptly ... more
  • 6 months Brett’s BBQ Shop Serves Spectacular Brisket and Beef Ribs Texasmonthly
    It was noon on Friday, thirty minutes after Brett’s BBQ Shop in Katy had opened, and one of the specials was already sold out. Jacqueline Herrera, the restaurant’s general manager, had to smooth things over with a few customers who wouldn’t be getting their barbacoa tacos. She was taking orders faster than owner and pitmaster Brett Jackson could slice and plate them in the compact kitchen. One customer left, promising to return, while the others were happy to settle for brisket or the day’s hatch-chile-and-cheese sausage. I sat at the side counter both happy and uneasy, knowing that I was ... more
  • 6 months Meet the Unruly Clan That Once Ruled the Hill Country Texasmonthly
    Today, expensive homes dot the hills west of Austin, but there was a time not so long ago when the same rugged terrain was ruled by an infamous clan of rough characters known as the cedar choppers. Austin native Ken Roberts was ten or eleven the first time he encountered the children of cedar choppers in the 1950s, at a low-water crossing of the Colorado River below Tom Miller Dam. “I remember how different from us they looked,” he writes in the introduction to his book, The Cedar Choppers: On the Edge of Nothing. “They were barefoot, their pants were ... more
  • 6 months Andrew Luck’s Retirement Reveals the Uglier Side of NFL Fandom Texasmonthly
    On Saturday night, while the Indianapolis Colts were in the middle of a preseason matchup with the Chicago Bears, a stunning piece of news broke: The 29-year-old star quarterback of the Colts, Andrew Luck, would soon announce his retirement. Luck’s decision was unusual for a host of reasons—that it came just weeks before the start of the season, his reputation as one of the game’s best quarterbacks, and—crucially—his young age at a position where players with his talent can succeed at a high level well into their 30s. Many Colts fans turned on Luck. During the game, photographers captured images ... more
  • 6 months Can Texas Bats Be Saved? Texasmonthly
    Until recently, Texas was thought to be a potential bulwark against the spread of a disease that has killed more than six million bats nationwide. First appearing on the East Coast in 2006, white-nose syndrome has decimated several species of the winged mammal across the Southeast and Midwest. National media has referred to the outbreak as a “bat apocalypse,” but experts in Texas believe how the state responds could help turn the tide.   Early on, wildlife biologists hoped that Texas’s ecological diversity, preponderance of migratory species, and mild winters would hinder the spread of Pseudogymnoascus destructans (“Pd” for short), the ... more
  • 6 months Tanya Tucker: “You’re Gonna Love Me, or I’m Gonna Kick Your Ass” Texasmonthly
    Subscribe Apple — Google Play — Stitcher — Spotify Last week, Tanya Tucker released her first album of new material in seventeen years, While I’m Livin’. Brandi Carlile, who co-produced the album with Shooter Jennings, writes in an introductory note, “Tanya Tucker is the original female outlaw … She’s chaos and human. She’s learning, and she still wants to. There would be no Miranda, no Brandi, no Gretchen, no Maren without Tanya Tucker. That’s where we found our piss and vinegar.” Born in the small West Texas town of Seminole, Tucker had her first country hit, “Delta Dawn,” at the age of 13 ... more
  • 6 months The Texanist: Is There Really Only One Natural Lake in Texas? Texasmonthly
    Q: I followed my Texas-born and -raised wife back to the Lone Star State five years ago. One of the many things I have learned since then is that there is only one natural lake in Texas! Back up in Washington state, where I come from, there are many such lakes. How did all the “other” lakes appear in Texas? Scott Bishop, Southlake A: Welcome to Texas, Mr. Bishop! The Texanist is impressed with how well you’ve acclimated yourself in the unfamiliar land in which you’ve found yourself. You arrived just five short years ago and yet you’ve already managed to flawlessly unspool one of ... more
  • 6 months Kimberly King Parsons’ Fiction Illuminates Intimate Texas Moments Texasmonthly
    When her family moved from Lubbock to the suburbs of Dallas, Kimberly King Parsons—the author of the newly-released short story collection Black Light—pretended not to have an accent. Unlike the heroines in her fiction, who proudly stand out, hollering and singing long after they’re kicked out of the church choir, Parsons wanted to fit in. She was in the fifth grade. “I wanted to talk how my friends talked,” she says over the phone. “To sound ‘universal,’ or like what actors sound like.” Parsons has always been drawn to the intricacies of language, in childhood and college (she studied English—William Faulkner ... more
  • 6 months Houston’s Indigo Restaurant Is Named One of the World’s Greatest Places Texasmonthly
    For a little bitty restaurant off the beaten track in Houston, Indigo sure has made a big splash. In less than a year, it has landed on four prestigious lists. In March, Texas Monthly named it one of Texas’s best new restaurants of the year. Two national publications also gave Indigo some love: Food & Wine and GQ. Not only that, the James Beard Foundation nominated Indigo’s young chef-owner Jonny Rhodes for its Rising Star Chef award. Now comes an honor from an entirely different direction: Time magazine has included Indigo among its second annual “World’s Greatest Places”. What does that mean, ... more
  • 6 months Matthew McConaughey Is One of Austin F.C.’s New Owners Texasmonthly
    In most cities, the arrival of a Major League Soccer team wouldn’t exactly be front page news. But Austin’s not like other cities when it comes to pro sports. The nation’s 11th most populated city is the largest one without a major professional sports team, and the state capital has never had an NFL, MLB, NBA, or even NHL team flirt with the idea of moving to town. So when MLS—the U.S.’s third most-watched soccer league, behind Mexico’s La Liga and the British Premier League—announced their intention of placing a team in Austin, the city went bonkers. The saga of ... more
  • 6 months Texas Monthly Recommends: Normani’s Retro Pop Hit “Motivation” Texasmonthly
    Since Normani released her song “Motivation” earlier this month, it’s been stuck in my head every single day without fail. The retro pop song, co-written by Ariana Grande, pays homage to ‘90s and 2000s R&B singers while also situating itself perfectly in today’s contemporary scene, with everyone from Cardi B to Missy Elliott giving it their stamp of approval. The former Fifth Harmony member and vocalist was born in Atlanta, and her family relocated to New Orleans and later Houston after Hurricane Katrina. Since going solo, she’s more than proved that she’s able to stand alone. In the song’s accompanying ... more
  • 6 months Why Billy Bob’s, Texas’s Most Famous Honky-Tonk, Isn’t a True Honky-Tonk Texasmonthly
    It was 1981, and Texas chic fever was sweeping the nation. Dallas was the hottest show on TV. Urban Cowboy had just made millions at the box office. Yankees clumped down Fifth Avenue in cowboy boots. Beverly Hills brimmed with Stetsons and rhinestones. And on April Fool’s Day, in the heart of the Fort Worth Stockyards, Billy Bob’s Texas opened its doors. Today touted as the “world’s largest honky-tonk,” Billy Bob’s features thirty-plus bar stations, rows and rows of pool tables, a restaurant, a gift shop, a real bull-riding area, a faux bull photo-op area, a wall of fame, and ... more
  • 6 months BBQ News Roundup: Tons of Bacon Burnt Ends, a Pitmaster’s Potluck, and the Politics of Bill Miller Bar-B-Q Texasmonthly
    In the East Texas town of Douglass, they’re giving Tomball’s Tejas Chocolate and Barbecue a run for its money at Uncle Doug’s, where they smoke meat and make bean-to-bar chocolate. The author provides little evidence for his conclusion that American barbecue was simply appropriated from Native American cooking: By the time of the Texas annexation in 1845, the smell of barbecued meat had become as familiar a feature of pioneer towns as tumbleweed and dust. The history of the Barbecue, from our August issue: — History Today (@HistoryToday) August 2, 2019 Emma Heim of Fort Worth’s Heim BBQ told Cowboys ... more
  • 6 months Of Course Rick Perry Fell For the Instagram Hoax Texasmonthly
    On Tuesday, Rick Perry—the longest-tenured governor in Texas history and current United States secretary of energy—reposted a meme on his official Instagram account. It was a hoax, the kind that’s existed in one form or another on the internet since not long after Perry switched his party affiliation from Democrat to Republican back in 1989. This one, a wall of text copied from elsewhere, had been spreading across the platform for days before Perry found it. It purported to be a statement that a person could post to their account that would deny Instagram the right to “use your photos,” ... more
  • 6 months Are Y’all Ready to Become Houston Roughnecks and Dallas Renegades Fans? Texasmonthly
    The new iteration of the XFL pro football league will launch in February. The idea of giving fans more football at the end of the NFL season has been around for a while—and it’s never really stuck. But the original incarnation of the XFL, which shut down after just one season in 2001, came closer to finding an audience than any other attempt had in decades, and there’s legitimate hype for the league’s 2020 rebirth. A high-profile sports executive is running the show—former Oilers quarterback Oliver Luck, who went on to leadership roles at the Houston Sports Authority and the NCAA—and ... more
  • 6 months A Chilling Art Installation Over a Fort Worth Highway Protests Migrant Child Detention Texasmonthly
    If you drove along I-30 last month, you might have noticed something startling over the footbridge near Hulen Street, in western Fort Worth: a group of shadowy figures pressed up against the fence. They weren’t humans, but rather cardboard cutouts emblazoned with paintings of children on them—and they startled highway drivers. “One of my kids thought they were real for a second,” wrote Ben Maples on Facebook, one of many people chattering about the jarring display on social media and wondering how they’d ended up there. This past Independence Day, the Fort Worth-based artist and curator Linda Little watched the fireworks from ... more
  • 6 months How Oil-Loving, Frack-Happy Texas Could Lead the Low-Carbon Future Texasmonthly
    The energy industry has been good to Texas ever since oil gushed from Spindletop in 1901—and Texas has been good to the world. Blessed with an abundance of hydrocarbons, we prospered mightily, created millions of good jobs, and helped the Allies win World War II. Our technical know-how, risk-taking spirit, and vast resources have sparked innovations that have spread across the globe and bankrolled many of the institutions—universities, museums, public parks—that enrich our public life. In an era when carbon emissions didn’t matter, Texas was king of the energy world. But climate change threatens to knock us off the throne. ... more
  • 6 months Texas’s Greatest Honky-Tonk Hits Texasmonthly
    The soft glow of a jukebox in a dark honky-tonk is as reassuring as a lighthouse on a stormy coast. Like lighthouses, the jukebox serves as an anchoring point, a guide. And just like every lighthouse has its own distinct signal pattern, no two jukeboxes are exactly alike. In fact, part of what distinguishes one honky-tonk from another is the selection on its juke. But in any honky-tonk worth its beer salt, you can count on a few classics to always be there. Below are eleven honky-tonk standards, all written or performed by artists who hung their hats in Texas. ... more
  • 6 months Waving Farewell to the Dine-In Pizza Hut Texasmonthly
    Pizza Hut’s stout, rectangular storefront—replete with a red thatched roof and a raised strip at the peak of its gable—immediately conjures nostalgia for the Stranger Things era. And while there are other fast food chains with a distinctive architectural identity, the pizza restaurant’s iconic building style has been built right into its name. In the 1970s, the company ditched its original mascot—a cartoon character named “Pizza Pete”—for a logo that made the store’s name appear to be wearing a red hat. Pizza Hut was beloved by suburban kids into the next decade, because some of the tables also doubled as Pac Man games. In the ... more
  • 6 months Beto O’Rourke And Julián Castro’s Campaign Playlists Are Meaningless (But One Is Clearly Better) Texasmonthly
    Earlier this week, the New York Times posed a question: “What Do Rally Playlists Say About the Candidates?” The answer, as always, is nothing. This is politics as Tinder profile, and they tell us far more about the 2020 presidential hopefuls’ strategists than the candidates themselves. One could probably argue that it’s this dunderheaded focus on “optics” and “relatability” that’s turned the entire process into a glorified homecoming court. At most, all they tell us is that every campaign could stand to lay off Sly & The Family Stone’s “Everyday People” for a while. While their song choices don’t tell us much ... more
  • 6 months A Texas Road Trip Inspired Australia’s Newest Barbecue Joint Texasmonthly
    Our driver wondered if we were in the right neighborhood. My family and I were looking for a restaurant in a light-industrial section of Keilor East, a suburb of Melbourne, Australia. We were closer to the airport we’d just left than our downtown hotel, hoping to spot the sign for Houston’s Barbecue. The problem, as it turned out, is that they hadn’t had a chance to put one up. The one above the door of the place, once we’d found it, still noted the previous occupant, “Ally’s Corner.” It was the first day in business for Kit and Prue Houston. They’d ... more
  • 6 months Family of Migrant Father Who Died By Suicide Sues Federal, Local Authorities Texasmonthly
    Last May, a Honduran family of four that was fleeing violence in that country crossed illegally into the United States in the McAllen area and was arrested by U.S. Border Patrol agents. What the family didn’t realize was that just a month earlier, then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions had quietly issued an agency memorandum rolling out a new “zero tolerance” policy in which 100 percent of all adult migrants entering the country illegally would be prosecuted. Just four days before the Honduran family arrived at the Texas-Mexico border, Sessions publicly announced the policy in a speech in San Diego and declared ... more
  • 6 months From the Editor, September 2019 Texasmonthly
    A minister friend once described to me the way she balances her sermons. She reminds herself that while Jesus spoke powerfully for social justice, he also enjoyed food and wine and the company of friends, and sought not only to remonstrate but to inspire. That’s a useful admonition for both a minister and a magazine staff, and this issue demonstrates the mix we strive to achieve. We try to help readers enjoy what’s best about our state, even as we cover in-depth the conditions that cry out for improvement.  Some weeks ago, we assigned associate editor Christian Wallace to pilot ... more
  • 6 months September 2019: Roar of the Crowd Texasmonthly
    We publish reader letters in every issue of Texas Monthly. Below is feedback for our July 2019 issue. Have something to tell us? You can write to us here. Spaced Out As a 38-year veteran of NASA in Houston, I greatly appreciated and enjoyed the “To the Moon and Back” issue [July 2019], but for goodness’ sake, please restore the Best and Worst Legislators list to the print version. It is too important to relegate to digital format. Dave Bruce, Austin I read Texas Monthly cover to cover each month, so I started, as I always do, with your letter ... more
  • 6 months At Houston’s Embattled Alley Theatre, a Breath of Fresh Air Texasmonthly
    Since his introduction last November as the new artistic director of Houston’s Alley Theatre, Rob Melrose has done, by his own count, perhaps a hundred media interviews, videos, and public appearances with groups eager to meet the new de facto leader of the region’s theater scene. Not once, he insists, did he ever declare that he would shift the aesthetic values of the Alley—the Tony Award–winning downtown institution—toward experimental theater. At the same time, the 49-year-old Melrose brings to Texas a certain pedigree from his time as the cofounder of San Francisco’s notoriously edgy Cutting Ball Theater company, where he ... more
  • 6 months Meanwhile, in Texas: A Rat Snake Was Found in a Walmart Shopping Cart Texasmonthly
    After a woman found a rat snake in a shopping cart at a Walmart in Cross Roads, a snake handler was called in to remove it and was reportedly “only bit once in the process.” No one was seriously injured when a speedboat crashed into a Dickinson backyard where a man was barbecuing. A Baylor baseball player set an NCAA baseball tournament record with eleven runs batted in during a single game. A woman at a Mexican restaurant in Austin was arrested after allegedly pulling a gun on a man who was arguing with her over who would get to ... more
  • 6 months How the Flip-flop Got Fancy Texasmonthly
    Consider the flip-flop. As ubiquitous in Texas as the cowboy boot, it is, unlike the cowboy boot, not much of a canvas for flaunting one’s style. There isn’t a lot to the humble flip-flop. It exposes the foot and offers little in the way of support for the sole. Its primary structural element is a tiny piece of material that jams between the big toe and second toe. Often made from cheap rubber, a pair of flops can wear out after a single season. But Lila and Jeremy Stewart saw opportunity where others saw disposability. It was time, they decided, ... more
  • 6 months What This Lifelong Longhorns Fan Learned From the New Earl Campbell Biography Texasmonthly
    When Earl Campbell was playing for the University of Texas Longhorns in the mid-seventies, the future Heisman Trophy–winning running back wasn’t outspoken on the issue of race—he let his legs do the talking. But in the new biography Earl Campbell: Yards After Contact (UT Press), Austin American-Statesman staffer Asher Price tells of the important role the “Tyler Rose” played in normalizing race relations at UT. Here are five particularly illuminating moments from the book. After Marion Ford, one of the first black students admitted to UT, told a reporter that he wanted to play football his freshman year, the school ... more
  • 6 months Exploring the Cosmos at Space Center Houston and Beyond Texasmonthly
    In Houston the other day, children outfitted with virtual reality goggles were careering through the universe when an elderly man stopped to admire the world’s largest pallasite, a type of meteorite. He was decked out in a blue NASA flight suit, which suggested that he might have been a retired astronaut rubbing shoulders with some of the million or so annual pilgrims to Space Center Houston, the massive shrine to the past and future of human space flight. After all, astronauts regularly swing by from NASA’s Johnson Space Center, situated right across the street, to give public presentations or have ... more
  • 6 months What’s on the Horizon for Big Bend National Park Texasmonthly
    Big Bend National Park and its more than 800,000 canyon-carved acres in far West Texas got a new overseer last September. Bob Krumenaker left behind the sea caves and water-splashed cliffs of Wisconsin’s Apostle Islands National Lakeshore, where he served as superintendent for sixteen years, to take the helm at Big Bend, which this year marks its seventy-fifth anniversary. Briefly a state park, Big Bend officially became Texas’s first national park on June 12, 1944. That first year, it drew 1,409 visitors. The past few years have seen record attendance at the park; in 2018, more than 440,000 people came ... more
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