In a field where most practitioners lie somewhere between "extreme" and "more extreme," Ward has for years amplified the voice of the radical middle during his afternoon-drive gig on Austin's flagship news station.
OK, here's the low-down: If Hot 93.3 truly has taken over as Austin's sickest (that means "best") hip-hop station, you can bet D-Train is playing conductor on this twisted ride, cause this deejay is dope. He's got mad game, and we don't mean Monopoly. Know what I'm sayin'?
Molly Ivins' 2004 shows no sign of slowing with the release of Who Let the Dogs In?: Incredible Political Animals I Have Known, a collection of Ms. Molly's previously published column inches dedicated to Shrub Bush, his oily cronies, and the slithering slime slogging into the White House. Our living legend and matriarch of Texas politicos continues unabated, penning her passion and pummeling the pundits. Contact Betsy Moon, 445-2477 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Molly Ivins, 512/736-4658, www.creators.com
Your Longhorn education is might not going to waste ... at least your literacy is not, as long as the Texas Travesty is in print. You'll find yourself subduing snickers in a 300-person lecture hall while thumbing through the Travesty's humorous pages. The Travesty is UT's inside joke that pokes fun at everything from Greek life to hipsters – no one is spared. With sections like "Dirty Briefs Done Dirt Cheap," you'll find yourself identifying with (and laughing about) people you know or have at least seen on campus. Just remember, the eyes of the Travesty are upon you.
These two local underground comics have nary a superhero in sight and rely on autobiographical material (Snakepit) and lowbrow humor (Lawless Comix) to entertain their growing number of readers. Snakepit chronicles Ben White's rock & roll lifestyle three panels per day, while Lawless is a collection of local strip artists expressing themselves in an uncensored environment unlike the one afforded them in the pages of The Daily Texan, their original intended venue. Editor Joseph Devens' Whale is a surreal standout.
Joseph Devens, The Daily Texan, 2500 Whitis, www.dailytexanonline.com
C'mon, people, just when it's getting good? OK, we promised we wouldn't rant about the impending doom for our beloved local music video station. Instead, let's accentuate the positive: the show and the people! Angela Miller's World Groove spins reels of global goodness, the Jolly Garogers' Pirate Speaks!! speaks for aaaaarrrrrrrr! itself, and AMN Classics hosted by Tim Hamblin kicks open the Texas crypts. Plus, there's Timecode: NOLA, Women Who Rock, The Euro Hour, Bounce, and Bounce RX. Tune in before it's too late. Or perhaps there's still hope? We hope this time next year to be able to give them an award for Best No-More-Mixed Signals for Our Beloved Music Network. Here's to AMN! Long may she cast!
Two Note Solo's Henri Mazza may be the last best hope for a truly weird Austin. Unlike the bumper-sticker/T-shirt poseurs, Henri puts his money where his mind is, even when there's not much cheese to spread. Thus, Two Note Solo is a Web site, a multimedia production company, and when times are fat, an actual magazine. Between print runs, Two Note Solo produces two of the most diabolically genius shows around town: Open Screen Night, and the crazier-than-a-shithouse-rat Drunk Film Festival, a pièce de résistance of Austin nuttiness.
Celebrating three decades of being America's favorite place to see roots music from blues to rock, swing to country, ACL is the crown jewel of Austin-based television. Spawning an annual festival and legions of fans, the show looks forward to another 30 years of ACL's own brand of down-home hospitality .. and that twinkling backdrop!
What's a morning crew without the sidekicks? For the past two years, readers have told us that JB & Sandy are nice-guys this and good-wake-up calls that, yada yada. But this year, we're gonna spread the love: first to Debi O'Keefe, whose distinct Brit lilt is now a staple all over Austin radio; then to Digitz, who due to some massive mass reduction around the waistline is happily half the man he used to be; and mostly to Autumn the intern. Ahhhh, what can we say about Autumn? Well, there is this one nearly pornographic pic of her on the JB and Sandy Web page, but hey, we didn't tell her that rolling around in a vat of whipped cream was a time-honored deejay rite of passage. Did she fall for that ol' gag?
Alan Pogue is Austin's favorite photographer. No, wait ... Todd Wolfson is. It's a candy mint. No, dammit, it's a breath mint. Though distinctly different – Pogue is most recently known for his courageous and unflinching look at our country's forays in Iraq, and Wolfson's sensual saturations of hard color and contrast are helping make national names for some of Austin's most talented musicians and models – they each have an innate ability to capture the essence of their subjects. These images are stunning contributions to the visual history of Austin's arts, entertainment, politics, and life, and for this, these two men are honored.
Alan Pogue, Texas Center for Documentary Photography, 2104 E. MLK, www.documentaryphotographs.com
Todd Wolfson, Todd V. Wolfson Studio, 5405-A Joe Sayers, www.toddvwolfson.com
Sure, that irreverent Austin Access program The Show With No Name is a perennial winner for its hodgepodge of new, old, and found video, comedy, and callers. But of course, the main reason is that when sexy host Charlie's dopey grin is lit, who can't help but stop the channel surfing? Too bad the last live show was taped last week; we'll just have to make do with reruns. And speaking of sexy, Alex Jones is a polarizing conspiracist speaking truth (real or imagined) to power over 9/11, the PATRIOT Act, black helicopters, gigantic owls in the forest, and battered liberties. Y'all are watching both of them instead of Elimidate!
KGSR satisfies our readers' musical jones with a variety of local and national artists back-to-back-to-back with amazing songs you will not hear anywhere else. And for when you've got your thinking cap on, there is KUT. The incomparable quality of local programming and the reliable draw of NPR and PRI has Austin tuned in to the important issues and culture of the day.
Spin your dial to the west for the finest quality radio programming in Austin. Student-run KVRX has the genres that all but define college radio (indie rock, jazz, blues, hip-hop, electronica) and then some (lo-fi metal, dark jungle, death country, psychedelic metal, and of course, Celtic funk). You'll also find plenty of variety at Austin's community-owned and operated KOOP radio – which shares the same frequency, but different broadcasting hours with sister station KVRX – as well. KOOP is the home of local favorites Stronger Than Dirt, The Lounge Show, Ear Candy, Out Spoken, and Dolla Holla. Holla, indeed.
That's right folks – he's done it again. After a brief dethroning by Fox 7's Dave Cody in last year's poll, he's baaack. The UT alum affectionately known for his Spanish soccer-announcer-style, "K-VeeYooo 20-Fooooour Sports," Barnes has been providing our nightly play-by-plays since 1989, with no intentions of quitting anytime soon. Expect to see him here in this category again. Though Cody and his legion of fans may have something to say about that: These two run neck-and-neck just about every year.
Mike Barnes, KVUE, 3201 Steck, www.kvue.com
In a recent profile of starting UT quarterback Vince Young, Suzanne Halliburton described the maturing, increasingly dominant Longhorn as "football fluent." The same might be said of Halliburton – who of course is also basketball fluent, swimming fluent, and most importantly in recent years, cycling fluent. Despite reams of TV and other media coverage this year, it was Halliburton’s up-close and personal accounting of local hero Lance Armstrong’s latest assault on the Tour de France that made the victory achingly vivid to most Austinites – and we suspect won the longtime Statesman sportswriter the yellow jersey from our readers. Vive la Halliburton!
Suzanne Halliburton, Austin American-Statesman, 305 S. Congress, www.statesman.com
Known by Austinites as “Uncle Fred,” Fred Cantú has been part of the local news scene for more than 20 years. Currently, he anchors the afternoon and evening news at K-EYE, Austin's CBS affiliate. A resident of South Austin, he gets up early each day to take his grandchildren to school. Watching him present our news every evening is like getting together with family. Speaking of family, to get to know Fred on a more personal level, go to www.fredcantu.com for family photos and advice on "correct" local pronunciations (Fred says it’s OK to say "Man-check" and "Per-denales," so it must be).
Fred Cantú, www.fredcantu.com
This lovely, erudite, native New Yorker has made Austin her home for many years, and joined KVUE in 1998. Since then, her weekend daybreak reports and Wednesday "Does It Work?" segments have brought a fresh and appealing approach to the most serious of subjects, as well as a large fan base that eagerly awaits Ms. Culpepper's presence on a regular basis.
Quita Culpepper, KVUE, 3201 Steck, www.kvue.com
Oh, those boyish good looks, that goofy wide-eyed grin, that voice! Why has this award evaded Murray for the entire time we've been doing this poll? Can we let you in on a little secret? We know for a fact that he came awfully close for at least the past few years. Well, Mark, congratulations: This is your year! KVUE's chief meteorologist landed in Austin in 1990 and has been with KVUE ever since. He's also a welcome addition to KGSR 107.1FM, helping to balance the yin and yang of Kevin & Kevin (take your pick as to who is who) and keeping an eye on the day's outlook for morning listeners who might wish to know if it's a good idea to pack their rubbers.
Mark Murray, KVUE, 3201 Steck, www.kvue.com