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Homeless Sting Smarts
Some wonder if APD's Operation Out of the Box was less about clearing the streets of criminals than about cleansing them of the homeless.
News Story  March 3, 2006, by Jordan Smith
"...At press time, three of seven homeless men caught in the APD's four-day sting operation (code-named Operation Out of the Box) back in January have been no-billed by a Travis Co. grand jury, and the charges against them have been dismissed..."

Homeless Tangled in Net of Stolen Property Sting
Homeless advocates cry foul over APD's Operation Out of the Box, which netted more than a dozen suspects for allegedly buying stolen property
News Story  January 27, 2006, by Jordan Smith
"...According to an Austin Police Department press statement released Jan. 20, a four-day sting operation (code-named Operation Out of the Box) downtown and in West Campus netted police more than a dozen suspects charged with "felony arrest by appropriation" and a handful of others who were arrested on drug-related charges..."

The Sting
Paul Newman
Music Story  March 6, 1998, by Christopher Hess
"...photograph by Bruce Dye In The Sting, the triple-cross setup at the end of the film is one of the greatest ruses ever depicted on screen. Every component of the scene's reality - the betting facility, the passage of time during the race, the allegiance/betrayal of Newman and Redford, the glorious and murderous climax - all of it is a hoax..."

O Death, Here Is Thy Sting
Leveraging a scorpion's deadly synergy in the battle against cancer
Screens Story  February 28, 2014, by Wayne Alan Brenner


Fan Fest: Sting Buzzes a Sold-Out ACL Live at the Moody Theater
November 16, 2013. 17 photos.
PHOTO GALLERY  November 18, 2013


The Sting
This template for the modern buddy picture stars a duo who can do little wrong in the eyes of the American public. Altogether, this film about small-time Chicago con men...
Film Review  August 30, 2000, by Marjorie Baumgarten


Gentlemen Don't Eat Poets
Scrupulously based on Patrick McGrath's novel The Grotesque, Gentlemen Don't Eat Poets is so thoroughly a British class farce that it may not translate well to stateside audiences. That's too...
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Film Review  May 9, 1997, by Marc Savlov
"...Directed by: John-Paul Davidson. Starring: Alan Bates, Theresa Russell, Sting, Trudie Styler, Lena Headey, Jim Carter, Chris Barnes, Steven Mackintosh and Anna Massey..."

Diggstown
Considering the talents involved in this project it's hard to imagine that it would turn out to have anything less than competent workmanship, but never does it rise above that...
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Film Review  August 14, 1992, by Marjorie Baumgarten
"...Starring: James Wood, Louis Gossett Jr, Oliver Platt, Heather Graham and Bruce Dern. Considering the talents involved in this project it's hard to imagine that it would turn out to have anything less than competent workmanship, but never does it rise above that bare minimum standard or contribute anything that's not the least bit derivative or commonplace: Rocky meets The Sting, by way of some of Raging Bull's fight choreography..."

The Edge of Seventeen
Teen dramedy gets the growing pains right
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Film Review  November 18, 2016, by Kimberley Jones
"...Nadine’s actually kind of a brat – yep, that feels true to the age, too. But Steinfeld’s charisma and the script’s humor carry the audience through her misdirected rage and blundering attempts at independence, in the process palpably reviving the remembered sting of the brave leaps and big stumbles every teen makes, as she tries to figure out how to be a person in the world..."

Love
Gaspar Noé does the impossible: He gives us a boring, 3-D sex odyssey
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Film Review  November 13, 2015, by Josh Kupecki
"...Until then, cover your eyes. It may sting a bit...."

The AggreGAYtor: September 11
What happened today in gay? Here’s your QILTBAG recap of queer news.
DAILY The Gay Place  September 11, 2014, by David Estlund
"...Greg Abbott gives us classes, Sting and Patty Lupone show us how to do that whorey look, and Duck Dynasty does ShaDynasty, as your AggreGAYtor dives for last chance ice...."

American Hustle
It's all about the hair, the performances, and the grift and graft in this unpredictable new offering from David O. Russell.
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Film Review  December 20, 2013, by Steve Davis
"...The movie is a time capsule of hairdos and hairdon’ts from the Carter era. A dark comedy loosely based on the FBI’s Abscam sting operation in the late Seventies, this entertaining take on the American art of reinvention delights in the era’s sense of fashion (costume designer Michael Wilkinson nails the look) without distracting from its dysfunctional collision of con artists, undercover agents, and mobsters..."

I'm in Love With a Church Girl
The title says it all.

Film Review  October 25, 2013, by Kimberley Jones
"...The rapper Ja Rule has had an undistinguished career in film so far – a compulsory berth in the Scary Movie franchise and small parts in actioners like The Fast and the Furious and Assault on Precinct 13. In his first starring role, he has cause to bellow what sounds like a ready-made action-movie catchphrase – “You wanna send me to hell? Book the flight!” – but in fact, he’s in conversation not with some Michael Bay baddie, but God...."

Alpha and Omega
This 3-D animated film is about two wolves trying to find their way back to their pack.
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Film Review  September 24, 2010, by Kimberley Jones
"...And, yes, they do in fact dance – an embarrassing kind of disco boogie – and sing, too, with a cappella grooves that would've gone over like gangbusters on Star Search. The 3-D angle is the only one I can identify to justify Alpha and Omega not going straight to DVD, but it's a double-edged sword: While DreamWorks' team of animators produces quite painterly landscapes, the inflated ticket price exacerbates the sting of this film's dogged banality...."

Ghosts in the Machine
The Police conclude their North American tour in San Antonio
DAILY Music  November 21, 2007, by Raoul Hernandez
"...During the second hottest solar flair-up of the evening last night at the AT&T Center in San Antonio, during the second song of the encore, “So Lonely,” Sting sang “Welcome to the Andy Summers show” into the 1978 sound-off. The Police frontman threw in the same line about drummer Stewart Copeland two minutes later, but as Summers’ Telecaster blaze went from molten to nuclear, the show’s scorecard clearly had the shorter, stouter guitarist in the lead..."

A/k/a Tommy Chong
Chong cuts a hugely sympathetic figure in the story of his legal troubles after Operation Pipe Dreams, an anti-paraphernalia sweep that specifically targeted his bong business.
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Film Review  September 22, 2006, by Marrit Ingman
"...Schlosser and various commentators (Jay Leno, Bill Maher, legendary stoner Peter Coyote) argue that Chong was a fish in Buchanan's barrel; she'd been handed a "show trial" to prosecute, enforcing a Pennsylvania law criminalizing pot-smoking paraphernalia by hitting the world's most prominent pot-smoking target. Agents set up Chong's family bong-making business for a sting from Beaver Hills, Pa., leading to a front-page bust and nine months in prison for the mellow, grandfatherly guy who insists he's really just a comedian doing a bit from his buddy act with Richard "Cheech" Marin – not "glamorizing" pot use (as Buchanan argued in Chong's case) but satirizing it..."

Assault on Precinct 13
This new version of John Carpenter's classic is superfluous in the extreme, and while it’s not technically a bad movie, per se, viewers unfamiliar with the film’s lineage will likely write it off as yet another midwinter also-ran, the sort of action film that never quite takes off and instead focuses on random gun battles and cheesy dialogue.
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Film Review  January 21, 2005, by Marc Savlov
"...Hawke plays Sgt. Jake Roenick, assigned a desk job after a botched sting operation that left several of his men dead, and for better or worse (much worse, actually), he’s no Austin Stoker..."

Confidence
Confidence is the bastard child of so many con capers, from The Sting to The Usual Suspects to Heist, and never is that fact more grating than in the film’s...
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Film Review  April 25, 2003, by Kimberley Jones
"...Starring: Edward Burns, Dustin Hoffman, Rachel Weisz, Andy Garcia, Paul Giamatti, Donal Logue, Luis Guzmán and Brian Van Holt. Confidence is the bastard child of so many con capers, from The Sting to The Usual Suspects to Heist, and never is that fact more grating than in the film’s opening minutes..."

My Big Fat Greek Wedding
How can you not love a film that revolves around a dingy Greek restaurant called “Dancing Zorba's?” Impossible, I know, but that's only one tiny delicious flake on the baklava...
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Film Review  June 7, 2002, by Marc Savlov
"...(And usually I try to steer clear of worlds like “delightful” -- I mean, really now -- but this time it fits the subject to a “T.”) Vardalos' script is finely nuanced; it's not all Greco-American clichés, although there are plenty of those in evidence. Studded with absolutely terrific performances that carry the ring and sting of truth as much as the pack of a deft comedic wallop (Constantine and Second City alum Martin as Toula's meddling aunt are particularly well-drawn), this is that rarest of films -- the ensemble piece that hardly ever misfires..."

Kiss of the Dragon
If it looks like a sucking chest wound, and it oozes like a sucking chest wound, then chances are good that it is, indeed, a sucking chest wound. So it...
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Film Review  July 6, 2001, by Marc Savlov
"...Kiss of the Dragon, with its dark, almost comic-book tone and the knock 'em-dead cinematography of Besson regular Thierry Arbogast, is more akin to Li's work with Tsui Hark than any of his tepid American offerings. The story has Li as Detective Liu Jian, the HK Police Department's “supercop” (and in Asian cinema is there ever any other kind?), who arrives in Paris to oversee a Golden Triangle heroin sting..."

Restaurant
In this intelligent indie drama made in 1998, a trendy restaurant in Hoboken, J.T. McClure's, becomes a melting pot for a host of personal and professional anxieties experienced by its...
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Film Review  March 31, 2000, by Marjorie Baumgarten
"...Chris is furthermore conflicted by his ex's infidelity with his friend, a fellow waiter and actor who is cast as the lead in Chris' self-referential play. That both girlfriends -- his ex and his current -- are black and Chris is white (and still suffers the sting of his father's armchair bigotry) is no small aspect of the story that otherwise explores the predictable lives of young professionals, and dabbles in a few other weighty issues such as alcoholism and commitment phobias..."

The Last Big Thing
Like its protagonist, this feature debut by Dan Zukovic is a painful, grating mass of pseudo-intellectual narcissism that makes you long for a way to scrub those neurons with some...

Film Review  November 13, 1998, by Marc Savlov
"...If Zukovic is arguing against our society of botched entertainment and crass commercialism, he shoots himself in the foot by making a movie at all (I'm not even going to go into the ramifications of his placing himself in nearly every scene). Or perhaps The Last Big Thing's sting relies on the fact that it's not nearly as entertaining as you would like it to be..."

Def Jam's How to Be a Player
From his ritual morning cologne spritz to the pelvic region to his shoeboxed archives of panties left by “house guests,” everything about suave young Dray (MTV comic Bellamy) screams: Mamas,...
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Film Review  August 15, 1997, by Russell Smith
"...“A player never gets caught” is Dray's first principle, and his uncanny success at covering his doggish pawprints drives older sister Jenny (Desselle) into foaming apoplexy. Before long, Jenny -- whose interest in Dray ranges from feminist revulsion to clinical interest (she's doing an anthropological study on the player lifestyle with little bro as the prime subject) -- gets her fill of his smug perfidy and decides to run a sting on him..."

Keys to Tulsa
When a film with a cast this stellar falls flat on its face like this one does, well, it makes you wanna holler. Director Leslie Greif, the writer of Less...
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Film Review  July 11, 1997, by Marc Savlov
"...The fact that the object of the blackmail in question is the son of the town's chief mover and shaker is undermined by the sudden love affair between junkie/dancer Cherry (Going) and Richter's psychotic, wildcatter brother Keith (Rooker). What was once a seemingly simple sting ends up one of the more unnecessarily complicated plots to come down the pike in some time, though the fact that Going keeps her clothes off most of the time makes everything a little easier on the eyes..."

Heidi Fleiss: Hollywood Madam
Heidi Fleiss in her own words, and everybody else's. Broomfield, who three years ago directed the startling documentary Aileen Wuornos: The Selling of a Serial Killer, is back in fine...
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Film Review  June 21, 1996, by Marc Savlov
"...Broomfield, who three years ago directed the startling documentary Aileen Wuornos: The Selling of a Serial Killer, is back in fine form here with this charitably unprepossessing look at the (mis)adventures of Charlie Sheen's favorite outcall service. Fleiss, the daughter of a prominent Beverly Hills physician, was nabbed in a sting operation by the LAPD in June of 1993 for running a high-priced call-girl operation that catered to Hollywood's (and indeed the world's) wealthy elite..."

Naked Killer
John Woo on acid. Yam is Hong Kong police inspector Tannan, a frail, emasculated cop who's living under the trauma of having seen his own brother die in a botched...
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Film Review  September 16, 1994, by Marc Savlov
"...John Woo on acid. Yam is Hong Kong police inspector Tannan, a frail, emasculated cop who's living under the trauma of having seen his own brother die in a botched undercover sting operation..."

The Insider
Sam Moore wants to make you feel good; just ask Springsteen
Music Story  March 17, 2006, by Andy Langer
"...The soul man has spent the last week or so putting the finishing touches on his first new solo album in 35 years. The Randy Jackson-produced Overnight Sensational will feature duets with Sting, Bruce Springsteen, and Travis Tritt..."

Crackpot Crackdown
Joining a long East Texas tradition, Jackson County DA Bobby Bell has convicted 28 black people on drug charges via manufactured evidence and railroaded trials. One small-town exile, her family, and a few neighbors are finally fighting back.
News Story  October 21, 2005, by Jordan Smith
"...But the town remains an East Texas – or Old South – throwback, where racism simmers like a bully's threat, and equal justice under the law appears little more than an outsider's sentimental fancy. And in the fall of 2002, Edna's institutionalized rural racism overmatched Justice's balanced scales when 29 African-American residents – nearly 4% of the town's black population – including Patterson, a lifelong Ednan, and later, his wife, Joycelyn – were rounded up and charged with felony drug offenses in connection with a six-month undercover drug sting, a joint operation of the Edna Police Department and the Jackson Co..."

Tulia's Freedom Ride
Activists travel to Tulia for "Never Again!" rally against drug war.
News Story  July 27, 2001, by Jennie Kennedy
"...A retired policeman rode a horse around the small park, wearing a shirt declaring that most cops favor legalizing marijuana. In many ways the rally was as much against the drug war -- especially the criminalization of narcotics -- as it was in support of those affected by the Tulia drug sting...."

Color of Justice
A drug bust in tiny Tulia, Texas opens up old racial wounds and raises questions about the veracity of the undercover cop-for-hire who orchestrated it all.
News Story  July 28, 2000, by Nate Blakeslee
"...Now, one year later, the fallout from the controversial operation has brought revelations about both the town and the agent. And a growing body of evidence that something has gone terribly wrong. The operation, Swisher County's first major drug sting, began in January of 1998..."

The Memory of a Killer
A hitman who's losing his memory to Alzheimer's anchors this absorbing Belgian policier that's tightly wound and expertly unraveled.
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Film Review  September 23, 2005, by Marjorie Baumgarten
"...Even a contract killer has certain standards. It turns out that this girl is the same one seen in the film’s opening sequence: A police sting operation takes down a child-sex operation in which the girl’s father sells her to all comers..."

Sheet Music
Music Story  May 28, 2004, by Matt Dentler
"...Broken MusicBy Sting..."

Spider
If you’ve never read any of British novelist Patrick McGrath’s work, I urge you to do so. Spider is based on his work of the same name (he also penned...
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Film Review  May 2, 2003, by Marc Savlov
"...If you’ve never read any of British novelist Patrick McGrath’s work, I urge you to do so. Spider is based on his work of the same name (he also penned The Grotesque, which turned up on American screens some years back with the unfortunate title Gentlemen Don’t Eat Poets and starring Alan Bates, Sting, and Mrs..."

Record Reviews
Music Review  September 26, 1997
"..."Reggatta De Blanc (or `White Reggae') was the foundation on which the Police established their unique musical sound. Now with Reggatta Mondatta the music of the Police has come full circle as the world's greatest reggae artists interpret their songs." Is it just me, or does this CD insert capsule sound menacing -- like a threat? Imagine Maxi Priest slicking up "Message in a Bottle," Steel Pulse slicking up "Can't Stand Losing You," or Pato Banton featuring Sting slicking up "Spirits in the Material World." Sounds like getting black-jacked in a hotel elevator..."

Live Shots
Music Story  September 13, 1996
"...STING, JARS OF CLAY..."

Working 'The Corner'
Neighbors and officials plan one more effort to save the neighborhood around 12th and Chicon
News Story  July 13, 2012, by Jordan Smith
"...For too long, rounding people up – including many young, black males – was the only approach used at 12th and Chicon. It hasn't exactly had any lasting effect, except to brand a large number of people as felons, making it even harder for them to find a way off The Corner...."

Food-o-File
Hatch chiles weather the storm, Jane King leaves Central Market for Patricia's Lunchbox, Bill Norris of Fino heads to Queensland with his Bee Sting, and Bennigan's lives on while Ararat goes nomadic
Food Column  August 8, 2008, by Virginia B. Wood
"..."We're looking forward to feeding 1,000 private-school students this year, and we're talking to representatives of [Austin Independent School District] about developing a pilot public-school healthy-lunch program with them," King reports... The next time you are in Fino (2905 San Gabriel, 474-2905), ask award-winning mixologist Bill Norris to whip you up his Bee Sting, the original creation that won him a berth on one of three teams of bartenders representing the United States at the fifth annual Cocktail World Cup competition, sponsored by 42Below Vodka in Queenstown, New Zealand, Sept..."

Patterson Appeal Denied Again
Thirteenth Court of Appeals denies for second time the appeal of Frederick Patterson, one of 29 black residents in Edna rounded up and charged with dealing crack
News Story  November 10, 2006, by Jordan Smith
"...26 the Corpus Christi-based 13th Court of Appeals denied for the second time the appeal of Frederick Patterson, who was convicted in 2004 on three counts of dealing minor amounts of crack cocaine. Patterson was one of 29 black residents in Edna who were rounded up and charged with dealing crack in connection with a 2002 undercover sting dubbed "Operation Crackdown." Patterson (along with his wife, Jocelyn, who was also charged as a result of the sting operation) vociferously asserts his innocence and says that he was wrongly convicted based on the testimony of a crack-addict-turned-police confidential informant named Santos Castro Castañeda..."

'Crackdown' Becomes 'Shutdown'
News Story  October 21, 2005, by Jordan Smith
"...On Sunday, Oct. 9, Edna police arrested 13 more people in connection with another undercover drug sting, this one code-named "Operation Shutdown." Bell has so far indicted 25 people – most of them African-Americans – in connection with the new sting, including several who only recently completed prison sentences as a consequence of Operation Crackdown..."

Naked City
North Carolina joins John Ashcroft's bong-free crusade
News Story  March 26, 2004, by Jordan Smith
"...Attorney General John Ashcroft's war on drug paraphernalia. Fed-led drug-law enforcers in Raleigh and Wilmington (both college towns) raided six local businesses and seized a booty of 3,800 metal and glass pipes, rolling papers, and other assorted items as part of a three-month sting operation code-named Operation Pipe Cleaner...."

(Gasp!) Watson Was Right
The Former Chief, the Audit, the Research All Say: We Need Community Policing
News Story  March 21, 1997, by Louisa C. Brinsmade
"...27, was more than an acknowledgment of the disproportionate amount of crime on the East side, or a reaction to an unfavorable audit, it was an unspoken confession that current policing methods are not working. Citizen after citizen battered the mayor and councilmembers with complaints about such issues as environmental racism, their desire for more police presence, and the need for more crackdowns on rampant drugs, gangs, and graffiti. The most poignant testimony came when Antoinette Humphrey rose to speak at the very end of three exhausting hours of public comment..."

(Gasp!) Watson Was Right
The Former Chief, the Audit, the Research All Say: We Need Community Policing
News Story  March 21, 1997, by Louisa C. Brinsmade
"...27, was more than an acknowledgment of the disproportionate amount of crime on the East side, or a reaction to an unfavorable audit, it was an unspoken confession that current policing methods are not working. Citizen after citizen battered the mayor and councilmembers with complaints about such issues as environmental racism, their desire for more police presence, and the need for more crackdowns on rampant drugs, gangs, and graffiti. The most poignant testimony came when Antoinette Humphrey rose to speak at the very end of three exhausting hours of public comment..."

Point Austin: It Ain’t Just About Trump
This week's marches begin a long and difficult resistance
News Column  January 19, 2017, by Michael King
"...March planners for both events stress nonviolence and public safety, and it's likely that both marches will take place without disruptive incidents (or worse). But the Huffington Post reported last week ("Counter-Sting Catches James O'Keefe Network …," Jan..."

Passengers
Bound for a distant planet, two persons awake prematurely
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Film Review  December 23, 2016, by Kimberley Jones
"...Would Passengers lay an egg or shit the bed? Following some clumsy trailers and then early reviews that pushed back at the film’s gender politics (let’s put a pin in that), advance buzz suggested it was going to be either option a) egg, b) bed, or circle c) for both. Passengers does land wide of cinema’s space-odyssey brass rings – it’s nowhere near as soulful or questing as 2001 or Moon – but as popcorn entertainment, it’s surprisingly provocative..."

A Celebration of Austin’s Black Cemeteries
Cemetery tour to help re-discover Austin’s lost black history
News Story  November 3, 2016, by Kahron Spearman
"...Walking the grounds with Harrison Eppright, a staff member at Austin's Afri­can American Cultural Heritage District, the Bethany Cemetery's negligence is overwhelming. "So many graves have shifted with time," says Eppright, adjusting a fallen headstone..."

Chris Cubas: King for a Month
How comedian Chris Cubas talked his way into being one of the wealthiest people in Austin – temporarily
Arts Story  October 20, 2016, by Carina Magyar
"...A large, loud, outspoken presence onstage, he has parlayed a quick wit and politically barbed sensibility to become a frequent guest on Comedy Central's@midnight and numerous national podcasts like Doug Loves Movies and Gilmore Guys. He also produces two weekly podcasts (Canceled, about one-season TV shows, and Wigsnatchers with Ralphie Hardesty and Kath Barbadoro), as well as a popular monthly stand-up showcase called The Sting at King Bee Lounge (1906 E..."

72 Hours (or So) of Ridesharing
With Uber and Lyft still boycotting Austin, we take the competition for a drive
News Story  June 23, 2016, by Kahron Spearman
"...[Uber] would ping the closest driver to the rider. [Get Me shows] one, or five, or 10 different riders requesting rides, and you've got to actually hold the phone in your hand and look at the zip code..."

Zoolander 2
Are Derek and Hansel still in fashion?
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Film Review  February 19, 2016, by Steve Davis
"...(Now there’s a guy who knows funny.) The mad-hatter energy he brings to the enervated proceedings perks things up considerably, but it’s too little, too late. Lacking anything else to offer, Zoolander 2 fills the void with a succession of cameos, walk-ons, and bit parts featuring a mind-boggling array of actors and other personalities, ranging from Willie Nelson to Justin Bieber to Fred Armisen to Sting to Anna Wintour to Marc Jacobs to Susan Sarandon to Katy Perry to Neil deGrasse Tyson..."

When Is Austin Comedy a Sure Thing?
Maybe on a Wednesday, definitely on a Saturday
DAILY Arts  February 3, 2016, by Spencer Beghtol and W. A. Brenner
"...Hell, Chris Cubas is hosting The Sting! at King Bee and Lashonda Lester, Joe Hafkey, Abby Rosenquist, Zac Brooks, and Derek Phelps are featured there tonight. That’s gotta be a sure thing, right? Also, Donnell Rawlings is at Cap City tonight – and Bob Khosravi’s his opener; that’s pretty much the definition of “sure thing.” And there’s improv and sketch all over town, too, and of course those umpteen comedy open mics that Joe Faina’s told us about..."

Scorpions – Dynastic Domination
Vinyl reissues tease Germany’s true rulers
DAILY Music  December 2, 2015, by Raoul Hernandez
"...Platinum market penetrator Blackout (1982), its commercial peak follow-up Love at First Sting (’84), and the double live promotion for both, World Wide Live (’85), spin American petroleum product already, but their international counterparts arrive Friday. The latter include the audio content of digital counterparts in contrast to zero extras here, but not the bonus DVDs with tie-in concerts and documentaries..."

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