- Greg Grougan, KVUE
This one's no contest. Having brought such features as the "Truth Test" to the
airwaves (in which the veracity of candidates' campaign ads are rigorously
examined), Channel 24's Grougan is far and away the best in the city. In fact,
his solid reporting is one of the main factors in making KVUE the city's best
and best-watched newscast.
- Jim Swift, KXAN
Austin's a city with a million and one characters - and no one does a better
job of seeking them out than KXAN's Swift. Far from the sterile objectivity to
which television traditionally aspires, his reports are both entertaining and
passionate, personal and heartfelt. Swift's the reason many people still switch
over for the tail end of the Channel 36 broadcast.
- Robert Hadlock, KXAN
Although the Channel 36 newscast languishes at the bottom of the ratings heap,
Hadlock's performance remains stellar. His no-nonsense approach minimizes the
insipid intra-anchor banter that typifies Austin television journalism. And
what a relief that is.
- Michael Coleman
Coleman was riding high as KXAN-
Channel 36 Sports Director until his arrest
on drug charges during an undercover prostitution sting. A career-ending
setback? No way. This summer, after a brief stint in rehab, the former college
football player reemerged as general manager of the East Austin community radio
- El Chow de Faustina
"Lenny" is an opera singer. He demonstrates his technique for the home viewing
audience one evening: He takes a clear plastic tube and sticks it into his
nose, pushing it down until one end comes out through his mouth. Then, tube
hanging from his face, Lenny (in reality performance artist Linda Montano)
commences to sing "That's Amore," gagging and drooling through chorus
and verse. Watching Lenny and pouring tea for the two of them is Faustina,
aka Fausto Fernós, reknowned Austin drag queen. Using what he
calls "life-affirming images of transgendering," Fernós interviews local
artists and reads letters from his fans and friends, combining original music
with rants from his local stage and radio programs into a weekly bilingual talk
show format that "takes the radical ideal of exploiting talk show guests to
their advantage," he says. Channel 10, Wednesdays, 11pm
- Gary Bradley
Who got the closest to Houston's Akeem Olajuwon in the NBA Finals? That would
be local developer and minority-share Rocket owner Gary Bradley, who glued
himself to the Dream's armpit throughout the celebration of the deciding fourth
game and thus insured his 15 minutes of national television fame. If only David
Robinson had done half as good a job at sticking to the big guy, the Spurs
would be the team now wearing the championship smile.
- CBS/Fox Switch
On July 1, KTBC and KBVO switched places, with the former station becoming the
new Austin home for Fox programming and the latter (now known as KEYE) picking
up the CBS tab. But wait a second - a lot of the syndicated programming didn't
move, and some of the reruns found on the respective stations before the change
have now been dropped completely. Believe us, it's much easier to understand if
you just see the new lineups on paper.
- (sub)TEX We're
always a sucker for an energetic, student-run, left-wing rag, and
(sub)Tex clearly meets this criteria. Produced on a shoe-string budget,
each issue is written with the kind of passion that comes when you know you
might not publish again. We hope they do. Look for the paper's rack under the
canopy at Wheatsville.
- The Austin Environmental Directory
Compiled by T. Paul Robbins, it contains damn near everything you need to know
to be lean and green. Write PO Box 1374, Austin, TX 78767 to get one.
It would seem like an easy task, but it took a bunch of drunk dada doofuses to
let some air out of the puffed-up underground. During its brief existence,
Peek-a-Boo's brand of Brechtian bamboozlement managed to piss off all
manner of prog rocker, indie rocker, garage rocker, and old-school punk; as a
testament to the power of the hormone surge, only riot grrrls emerged
relatively unscathed. One-third fawning fandom, one-third Motorbooty for
gifted preschoolers, and one-third lies, the nearly unreadable pages featured
moments of brilliance that made all the dead trees worthwhile: the fake
"Zipatones" interview; crude renderings of underground figureheads (Chepo
Peña, John Motard) that all looked the same; the truly demented "Advice
From the Devil" column; and "April and Molly," comic heroines who took on the
chain-wallet brownshirts with sex appeal and sociopathic aplomb. The posthumous
compilation CD, like the mag, will be best enjoyed with people who "don't get
- "Austin: City at the Limit," Audubon, July/August 1994
As evidenced by Austin's runaway growth rate, our city's one-time undiscovered
charms have gained excessive attention from the national mainstream. What's
really worth noting, therefore, is an essay that actively discourages further
immigration. This one does the job rather nicely. The lead paragraph, for
example, includes this stern warning from Threadgill's owner Eddie Wilson:
"We're full up. Come and visit, but don't come here to live." Amen.
- Check This Action, AMN-15
When they say "action," they mean music. Here's the best bet to catch the
latest on what's up in the clubs. Every Sunday (10pm) and Monday (10:30pm),
supervixens Tara Veneruso and Chronicle editor Margaret Moser dish on
local gossip, sample fine cigars, flash their pick for gig flyer of the week,
and give the best tips for the coolest E-Ticket rides in Austin's live music
scene by previewing clips of local videos and live local performances from your
favorite venues. Special guests and give-aways make it an even surer bet - to
get better than this, you'll have to get out of that chair. AMN-15, Sunday,
10pm; Monday, 10:30pm
- The Lounge Show with Jay Robillard, KOOP
Some of us never really hated our parents' music. Some of us secretly reveled
in those snappy, pappy tunes by the likes of Ferrente & Teicher, 101
Strings, Sergio Mendez & Brasil 66. Jay Robillard forces the smoking jacket
out of the closet and serves up a swizzling mix of easy-going (not EZ
Listening) tunes. Like many of his compadre deejays at Austin's new community
radio station KOOP, he is an expert - nay! an academician - in his field of
elegance and savoir vivre. The music of Nino Rota is the soundtrack to
life, baby - and may any backlashers who debunk the Cocktail Nation forever
fizzle in the embers of their lack of true spark: They probably think the best
drinks come in a can. KOOP, 91.7FM, Saturdays, 10am
- Ken Herman
When the Houston Post closed its doors April 19, Capitol Bureau Chief
Ken Herman lost a job at which he had become one of the state's most respected
journalists. Herman was hired in the same capacity by the Statesman, a
move that renews some faith in the paper's eventual improvement.
- James E. Garcia, Mexico and Latin America
An opinionated and in-depth analysis of cultural trends and current events
south of the border that appears in each Sunday's "Insight" section, Garcia's
column is one of the Statesman's must-read items. If only the rest of
the paper could match his consistently impressive standard of excellence.
- "Bacteria basher may help banish bad, bad breath"
Alliterating b's are particularly popular at the paper (another winning entry
proclaimed "Bikers boost Barbara Bush with back-cover blurb"). And if you like
puns, how about this one for a story on the Internet in the traditionally
stodgy business section: "Web Wilder with Growth".
- "Lady dogs leap all over Texas lapse"
When the U. of Georgia Women's Basketball team took advantage of a Lady Horn
cold streak in February, someone at the Statesman sports desk saw their
- Rant 'n' Rave
The Statesman's newest addition to the "Life" section lets disgruntled
readers sound off on everything from noisy babies to rude waitresses and
- "78704: It's not just a zip code, it's a way of life"
- Jim Hightower at 1-800-AGITATE
We hope it's true that Hightower can have more long-term impact on policy on
the radio than he did in the bureaucracy.
- Ann Richards for Doritos
- The "Notes" Pages
While it's never a waste of time to behold three professional women embracing a
skeleton (p. 385), most people don't realize how truly efficient the Yellow
Pages can make you. Have a great idea or a shopping list you want to remember?
Simply jot them down on any of the handy "Notes" areas Ma Bell thoughtfully
tucked throughout the one thousand four hundred and some odd pages (i.e., 215,
363, 626, 1165, 1325). Finding them again may be tough, but hey, think of the
exercise your fingers will get doing all that walking.
- Page 210
You'd like to think someone in SWB's directory division has a potato fetish.
- Michael Corcoran and Don McLeese, On the Record
The name of their weekly call-in program is stupid and redundant since it's
also the name of the already-established Daily Texan column. Corky
mutters that he wants to change it to Everybody's a Critic, which sounds
like a good idea. Still, we hear too many people griping about music critics
and their opinions in print; here's the chance to ask two sharp, world-class
critics hard questions about the Biz, and what the two get is moronic queries
like, "Who do you like better, Stone Temple Pilots or Nirvana?" On the other
hand, an annoyed Corky is infinitely more amusing than a happy Corky. KROX
101.5FM, Thursdays, 8-10pm
- Chuck Glover's WWII Column
It's been said nostalgically that World War II was "the last good war."
That's not the way it has come across in Glover's column over the past few
years. With his "50 years ago this week" format, a matter-of-fact,
present-tense prose style, and liberal quotations from first-hand accounts,
news reports, and primary historians, Glover has woven together a moving
tribute to his fellow WWII veterans and given readers a vivid feel for their
life and times. There's been an element of historical text - the dates and
places of the major battles - but where Glover has really shined is in his
glimpses into some of the personalities of the war. He's focused not only on
the generals and politicians, but also, through diaries, letters, and other
sources, on the field officers and ordinary grunts. And the portrait that has
emerged is not only one of extraordinary will and courage, but also of folly,
bureaucracy, and backroom politicking of senseless tragedy and futile death.
Slowly, over the last few years, the random vignettes of human drama,
played out in scattered obscure corners of the globe, have coalesced into not
just a history lesson, but a lesson in what histories can be. Soon after the
50th anniversary of VJ-Day, presumably, Glover will re-retire. We'll miss
him. American-Statesman Opinion Page, Mondays
- KOOP's Country, Swing and Rockabilly Jamboree
You may have already changed out of your vintage cowboy jammies by the time
host Rod Moag starts spinning his partner-swingin' favorites, but this show
will inspire you to replace them with floor-skatin' western boots and a bolo
tie. Tune in to sweet nasty rockabilly bomp and the honey-smooth sounds
of western swing classics to point your pony down the right trail, buckaroo.
KOOP 91.7 FM, Thursdays, 9-10:30am
Copyright © 1995 Austin Chronicle
Corp. All rights reserved.