News and Features

Paul Slavens Show: June 6, 2010 Live Blog

Hey, folks – this is where you can leave your polite suggestions and music suggestions.
Make sure and leave a link if you can so we can hear or buy the music.
New to me this week: Tinariwen, This Mortal Coil, Joe Pernice, The Durutti Column, Ofra Haza, Jamie Lideel and John Grant.

Here is tonight’s setlist:

Bjork, “Harm Of Will (LP Version),” Vespertine
The Monkees, “Porpoise Song,” Vanilla Sky Soundtrack
Sun Ra, “Rocket Number Nine,” Space is the Place
Cat Stevens, “Oh Very Young,” Greatest Hits

Smiling At The Ceiling, “Smiling At The Ceiling/The New Game,” Smiling At The Ceiling
Goldfrapp, “Voicething,” Head First [+digital booklet]
Tinariwen, “Lulla,” Imidiwan: Companions

Hank Williams III, “I’m the Only Hell My Mama Ever Raised,” Touch My Heart – A Tribute to Johnny Paycheck
Anthony Marwood/Chamber Orchestra of Europe, “Violin Concerto: Rings,” Ades: Violin Concerto
Gorillaz, “To Binge (Feat. Little Dragon),” Plastic Beach

This Mortal Coil, “Alone,” Filigree And Shadow
Joe Pernice, “Prince Valium,” Big Tobacco

Janelle Monáe, “Make The Bus (Feat. Of Montreal),” The ArchAndroid
The Durutti Column, “Sketch For Summer [Remastered,” Factory Records: Communications 1978-92
Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti, “Beverly Kills,” Ariel Pink Before Today
Merle Haggard, “The Bottle Let Me Down (2001 Digital Remaster),” 20 Greatest Hits

Doug Burr, “A Black Wave Is Comin’,” O Ye Devastator
Ratatat, “Sun Blocks,” LP4
Ofra Haza, “I’m nin’Alu,” Ofra Haza-Greatest Hits
Shonen Knife, “Elephant Pao Pao,” Burning Farm

Jamie Lidell, “Completely Exposed,” Compass
Ellen Allien, “Sun The Rain,” Dust
John Grant, “Sigourney Weaver,” Queen of Denmark
Bat For Lashes, “Two Planets,” Two Suns [+digital booklet]     

Talking Heads, “Who Is It,” 77
Sonny Boy Williamson II, “Crazy About You Baby,” King Biscuit Time
Stereolab, “Black Ants In Sound-Dust,” Sound-dust

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Track by Track with Paul Slavens: Doug Burr

“Track By Track” appears every other week on Art&Seek. During the podcast, Texas musicians play their new albums and discuss what went into making them with Paul Slavens, host of The Paul Slavens Show Sunday nights at 8 on KXT, 91.7 FM.

You can download and subscribe to the podcast right here.

Paul’s previous podcast featured Spooky Folk talking about their about their debut, self-titled release. This time, Paul talks with Doug Burr about about Oh Ye Devastator, the followup to his acclaimed The Shawl.

Click the player below to listen to the podcast:

Also, be sure to check the Art&Seek blog during The Paul Slavens Show this Sunday.

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Controversial 'Corpus Christi' Debuts — Without Protests

After many Christians were offended by Terrence McNally’s “gay Jesus” play when it premiered in New York in 1998, after productions were publicly condemned in London and Australia, after a condensed student production at Tarleton State University was cancelled in March once Texas Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst declared no state-funded organization should portray acts that are “morally reprehensible,” after Fort Worth’s Rose Marine Theatre offered to stage the student production — and then its board rescinded the offer — after all of the protests and letters-to-the-editor and online outrage, pro and con, that these events triggered and after even Nic Arnzen, the director of the touring version, voiced his concerns about staging the play in Texas (where it’s set), 108 Production’s Corpus Christi came to Dallas and opened at the Cathedral of Hope Friday . . . without a single public protest.

The original Tarleton State student director, John Jordan Otte, even attended the performance with some of his cast.

It’s not as if the Cathedral, which ministers to the gay and lesbian community, was taking chances. Warning signs were posted on the cathedral’s doors announcing that anyone who tried to disrupt the performance would be asked to leave. There were uniformed police posted inside during the show as well as outside in the parking lot. Before the 7:30 p.m. curtain, there were no signs of protestors or vandals — which is what the parking-lot officers said was one concern. During the one-hour-and-40-minute performance, there were no disturbances, and afterwards, officers reported they’d seen and heard nothing out of the ordinary.

The officers said they would return for each of the weekend’s three remaining performances. And oh, this weekend happens to be the Feast of Corpus Christi.

Monday update: Nothing happened n the way of protests for the show’s entire run.

That was the news report. This is the review:

Read More »

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Video: David Dillon on Architecture Criticism, Newspapers

Mark Birnbaum and Manny Mendoza, creators of the Stop the Presses, were kind enough to share this interview with David Dillon, conducted for their documentary. Watch it for David’s passionate take on the importance of architecture criticism, and of newspapers.  (We also added it to the obituary Jerome wrote yesterday.)

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This Week in Texas Music History: Texas Ruby

Art&Seek presents This Week in Texas Music History. Every week, we’ll spotlight a different moment and the musician who made it. This week, Texas music scholar Gary Hartman remembers a pioneering musician who helped open doors for other female artists in country music.

You can also hear This Week in Texas Music History on Friday on KXT and Saturday on KERA radio. But subscribe to the podcast so you won’t miss an episode. And our thanks to KUT public radio in Austin for helping us bring this segment to you. And if you’re a music lover, be sure to check out Track by Track, the bi-weekly podcast from Paul Slavens, host of KERA radio’s 90.1 at Night.

  • Click the player to listen to the podcast:
  • Expanded online version:

“Texas Ruby” was born Ruby Agnes Owens, in Wise County, Texas, on June 6, 1910. She began singing at the age of 3 with her brother, Tex Owens, who would later compose the Eddy Arnold hit “Cattle Call.” By 1937, Texas Ruby was performing on the radio and recording for Decca Records. She wrote and sang the kind of songs that normally were off limits to female performers at the time. Such tunes as “Don’t Let Your Man Get You Down” hinted at the type of proto-feminist themes that would appear decades later in songs by Tammy Wynette, Jeannie C. Riley and others. In 1939, Texas Ruby married well-known fiddler Curly Fox. Together they performed for years on the Grand Ole Opry, until her death in 1963.

Next time on This Week in Texas Music History, we’ll look at a popular Texas ballad based on an actual gunfight.

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Saturday Spotlight: Texas Scottish Festival & Highland Games

In the Saturday Spotlight, we’re putting on our kilts. The Texas Scottish Festival & Highland Games takes over Maverick Stadium on the UT-Arlington campus this weekend. The event features top Scottish musicians, professional athletes and champion highland dancers. Food and drink from Scotland and the rest of Great Britain will also be available. Click here for a complete rundown of Saturday’s activities.

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CAP Programs Educate as they Entertain

Guest blogger Tisha Crear is the CAP Programs Coordinator for the Office of Cultural Affairs (OCA). This article is an excerpt from OCA’s May/June newsletter, OCAffairs.

One of the most vibrant and intimate aspects of the City of Dallas Office of Cultural Affairs Community Artists Program (CAP) is its residency programs, in which select artists propose services that are tailored to a specific neighborhood or community, utilize arts education for community development, and have positive and sustainable outcomes. This summer, CAP will offer two unique and educational neighborhood residency programs in Dallas.

The Conversational Quilts Project, led by Alicia Holmes-Busby, is bridging generational gaps in one West Dallas neighborhood. A group of seniors has been working on this project with Holmes-Busby since January, and now 16 students have joined the project to interview the group of elders and to assist in documenting stories about their lives. Doing so not only exposes the students to documentary technology and techniques, but more importantly creates human bonds between program participants.

“[The elders] told of their favorite songs growing up and of their dearest friends, whom they’ve known longer than most of us have been alive,” Holmes-Busby says. “I’ve found that this experience reaffirmed something vanishing ever so quietly in our neighborhoods: the opportunity for communion and communication between child and elder.”

Read More »

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Peter J. Hall, Legendary Opera Costume Designer, Has Died

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Categorized Under: Music, Theater

The Dallas Opera has announced that its longtime costume designer, Peter J. Hall, died last week at his Dallas home — from cardiac complications following a prolonged illness. He was 84 years old.

Hall designed the sets and costumes for more than 70 Dallas Opera productions since The Barber of Seville in 1962.  But he had an amazing career throughout the international music world: He was resident costumer for several seasons for the Metropolitan Opera in New York. He also worked at the Royal Opera House in London, the Vienna State Opera, La Scala and the Kirov Opera in St. Petersburg. His clientele included Luciano Pavarotti, Dame Kiri Te Kanawa, Plácido Domingo, Elizabeth Taylor, David Bowie (“serious, intellectual, wonderful to work with”) and Mick Jagger (“Exactly the opposite. Impossible, because he listened to advice from one person after another, and constantly changed his mind”).

Hall was lured to Dallas in the ’60s to establish a permanent costume shop by Dallas Opera co-founders Larry Kelly and Nicola Rescigno. He had been working in Italy with director Franco Zefirelli while also designing for the Dallas Civic Opera.

In 2008,  he explained to the Seattle Times that people may not come out of an opera humming the costumes, but his inspiration came from the music.

“These days,” sniffs Hall, “it’s the fashion to do opera in bluejeans and tank tops. This cheats the public. You have to listen to the music and what it says to you. It is certainly not saying ‘bluejeans and tank tops.’ “

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Art&Seek on Think TV: Janis Burklund on Hollywood Coming Here

Janis Burklund, head of the Dallas Film Commission, discusses the many network television shows that have recently come to shoot in North Texas.

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Art&Seek Video: 'Champion City'

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Last summer, a plumbing leak flooded the basement of the Park South YMCA in South Dallas. The basement, or as members called it, “the dungeon,” was home to many of the youth programs the Park South YMCA offered. The YMCA then applied for a $30,000 grant from the Real Estate Council in hopes of renovating the badly damaged area. From the Associate Leadership Council Web site:

The Real Estate Council’s Associate Leadership Council (ALC) is a leadership development program designed to encourage 27- to 37-year-olds in the commercial real estate industry to assume leadership roles in the community. As part of this educational leadership program, the class selects and implements a real estate-related community service project. When they finish their year-long program, class members become a part of the ALC Alumni Association and participate in ongoing events and activities.

The 2010 ALC project called Champion City encompassed the renovation of an existing lower-level classroom, office and utility space at Park South YMCA that was damaged in a flood. The Park South YMCA branch was built in 1972 and is located two miles south of Fair Park. The renovated space will be used for enrichment classes and a mentoring program. The space was unveiled and officially opened on May 27th. In total, The project received $30,000 in grants and $78,000 in donations. The class put in over 2,000 man-hours estimated to be worth $91,440. The class surpassed even their own expectations by creating a safe place for kids to spend time. The ALC class hopes the $200,000 project will create leverage for a $500,000 construction project at Park South YMCA needed to adequately serve the 1,500 families that use the facility.

Reel FX donated time and manpower to paint the murals. And Art&Seek was there for the ribbon cutting ceremony for the newly named basement, “Champion City.” It’s all in the video above.

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