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The High Five: Is East Texas Becoming A Country Music Hot Spot?

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Five stories that have North Texas talking: Azle residents speak before the Texas Railroad Commission; one writer says the black rhino auction is a good thing; is East Texas a country music hotspot?, and more.

  • When it comes to Texas country music, is Tyler the next Austin? Several musicians call East Texas home. “Thanks to such artists such as JB and the Moonshine Band, William Clark Green and perhaps most significantly, Whiskey Myers, more and more industry-types could soon likely make the almost four hour trip from Austin to Tyler pretty regularly,” the Dallas Observer reports. Why Tyler? “I think it’s all coincidence, man,” Whiskey Myers front-man Cody Canon told the Observer. “Tyler and Palestine aren’t big areas, so when we were younger, we pretty much sat in the woods and thought about the music we wanted to make.”
  • Once again, the opera is invading Cowboys territory. The Dallas Opera will offer another free simulcast April 11 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington – The Barber of Seville. And like one of last year’s simulcasts, the April simulcast will be preceded by a Looney Tunes opera parody featuring Bugs Bunny and Elmer Fudd – Rabbit of Seville. The 1950 cartoon includes a version of Mozart’s famous overture, and was named No. 12 of the 50 greatest cartoons by professional animators. Also, the opera will present five mainstage shows after having done only three in 2012. KERA’s Jerome Weeks has the details on Art&Seek.
  • Azle residents ventured to Austin Tuesday to sound off about the dozens of earthquakes that have hit North Texas since November. They spoke at a Texas Railroad Commission meeting and urged commissioners to stop injection wells used during oil and gas drilling. Residents say the injection wells are causing the quakes. “Commissioners heard a steady stream of complaints about disruptions and health concerns related to the quakes,” the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported. “One resident played a guitar and sang a version of Elvis Presley’s ‘All Shook Up.’” But the three-member agency, which regulates the oil and gas industry in Texas, was non-committal on the solution to the tremors, the newspaper reported. But the commission recently announced it would hire a seismologist to study the issue.
  • Meet Dallas’ new city manager. Dallas City Council members voted unanimously to name A.C. Gonzalez the new city manager. Before Tuesday morning’s vote, they spent nearly an hour showering him with praise. They say they’ll work with him to improve the city. “Change will not be instant, nor will it be change for change sake,” Gonzalez told the council. “It will be strategic.” Gonzalez had been the interim city manager since last summer. He’s a 15-year veteran at City Hall.
  • The debate over the black rhino auction rages. This time, Richard Conniff, who writes about wildlife and is author of “The Species Seekers: Heroes, Fools, and the Mad Pursuit of Life on Earth,” wrote an opinion piece in The New York Times. He acknowledges the controversy over the Dallas Safari Club’s African black rhino hunt auction earlier this month.Even so, auctioning the right to kill a black rhino in Namibia is an entirely sound idea, good for conservation and good for rhinos in particular,” Conniff wrote. Why? Namibia has a strong record when it comes to saving the black rhino. Also, the proceeds from the $350,000 auction will be used to preserve rhinos. “Trophy hunting one rhino may thus save many others from being butchered,” Conniff wrote.