Dec. 8, 2006

Volume 26, Number 14

ON THE COVER:
features

GIFT GUIDE

Notes on Kitsch

... or W.W.S.S.T. (What Would Susan Sontag Think) about Austin's love of camp?

BY KATE X MESSER

news

Turnaround Tale

Annie's List jumps out of the red and into the blue

BY AMY SMITH

Ho-Ho-Homegrown Holidays

Austin's independent "iconic" businesses hope we'll all put them on our list

BY KATHERINE GREGOR

Oaxacan Turmoil Touches Austin

Oaxacan artist with Austin connections arrested during police sweep in Oaxaca City

BY CHERYL SMITH

The People Have Spoken: Here are your icons

The results of our "Icon or Eyesore?" contest are in

BY WELLS DUNBAR

Developing Stories: Northcross Neighbors to Wal-Mart: You don't want us as enemies

"Responsible" development sought for flagging mall

BY KATHERINE GREGOR

Naked City

Beside the Point: Their Northcross to Bear

Council wades into Wal-Mart's waters

BY WELLS DUNBAR

Reefer Madness

Hemp Farming Battle Update

BY JORDAN SMITH

The Hightower Report

How Glamorous is Child Labor?; and A Sweet Fix

BY JIM HIGHTOWER

food

GIFT GUIDE

Cookbooks

These cookbooks – which would make excellent holiday gifts, by the way – explain everything

GIFT GUIDE

A Baker's Half Dozen

The best new books on pastry, chocolate, and more

BY VIRGINIA B. WOOD

New & Noteworthy

Pear Bread

BY VIRGINIA B. WOOD

Food-o-File

Toys, tamales, and drive-through pies – the holidays are here in earnest

BY VIRGINIA B. WOOD

Event Menu

We're here to present you with several attractive options: among them, drink whiskey, shop sustainably, and/or construct a gingerbread house
music

Year of the Squirrel

Ralph White, 21st century naturalist, 18th century musicologist

BY AUDRA SCHROEDER

TCB

Fun Fun Fun doesn't disappoint, the Dixie Chicks leave Bush for Britney, and a Red tide sweeps through club land this week.

BY CHRISTOPHER GRAY

Ralph White Reviewed

Ralph White

Navasota River Devil Squirrel

various artists

What It Is! Funky Soul and Rare Grooves from the Vaults of Atlantic, Atco & Warner Bros. Records

various artists

The Complete Motown Singles Vol. 6: 1966

Bee Gees

The Studio Albums 1967-1968

the Clash

The Singles

Sublime

Everything under the Sun

Michael Jackson

Visionary:The Video Singles

Dolly Parton

The Acoustic Collection:1999-2002

John Coltrane

Fearless Leader

Weather Report

Forecast:Tomorrow

Frank Sinatra

Vegas

Vince Gill

These Days

Tony Joe White

Swamp Music: The Complete Monument Recordings

Tom Waits

Orphans: Brawlers, Bawlers & Bastards

Jerry Lee Lewis

A Half Century of Hits

Richard Thompson

RT: The Life and Music of Richard Thompson

John Lee Hooker

Hooker

Buddy Guy

Can't Quit the Blues

Robert Plant

Nine Lives

Andy Partridge

Fuzzy Warbles

John Mayall

Essentially John Mayall

various artists

The Harry Smith Project: Anthology of American Folk Music Revisited

Doors

Perception

Tori Amos, Beatles, Björk, Billy Bragg, Byrds, Miles Davis, Goth box, Bruce Hornsby, Impulse Records, Waylon Jennings, Motown Vol. 4, Motown Vol. 5, Willie Nelson, Pretenders

More 2006 box sets
screens

Desk Set

Its inaugural class – equipped with cameras, computers, and expert instruction – wades into a sea of possibility

BY MARC SAVLOV

GIFT GUIDE

Sports Gaming Guide

Holiday Edition '06

AFS Texas Documentary Tour

Heather MacDonald's 'Been Rich All My Life

BY ANNE S. LEWIS

Austin Films Bite Into Sundance

The Unforeseen, Teeth, and Joshua

BY JOE O'CONNELL

TV Eye

Midlife Geists

BY BELINDA ACOSTA

Screens Reviews

Methadonia

"By the time someone has gone from heroin to speedballs, methadone, and prescription drugs, the magic is over. The fantasy now is what other people might call a routine day."

Film Reviews

Apocalypto

The ever-astonishing filmmaker Mel Gibson continues his (probably unintentional) study of the mortification of the flesh through the ages.

The Architect

This well-meaning social drama about the intersecting lives of a dysfunctional, upper-middle-class family in suburbia and the residents of a deteriorating public-housing project is flimsy at best.

Baabul

After his son's death, an Indian father-in-law tries to get his daughter-in-law remarried.

Blood Diamond

This action-packed take on the issue of blood diamonds is an example of social critique masquerading as cineplex fodder.

Fur: An Imaginary Portrait of Diane Arbus

From the director and writer of Secretary comes this odd fictional biopic about this photographer's impulses.

The Holiday

Nancy Meyers’ follow-up to Something’s Gotta Give mines the same go-girl terrain but is far less interesting, featuring stock characterizations and a blandly upbeat vibe.

National Lampoon's Van Wilder: The Rise of Taj

This highly unanticipated offering is cut ’n’ paste horn-dog humor.

National Lampoon's Pledge This!

Two weeks before this Paris Hilton sorority comedy is released to DVD, the film is making a half-hearted theatrical run.

Unaccompanied Minors

Calling John Hughes: Former Freaks and Geekster Paul Feig has got your number.
arts & culture

Kitsch Kringle

What we really want when we want Santa

BY NIKKI MOORE

Xmas Unwrapped: Doff we now our gay apparel

After a powerhouse first year of sold-out shows, critical awards, and company growth, the shrewd women of Shrewd Productions are returning to their debut effort, the holiday burlesque Xmas Unwrapped!

BY HANNAH KENAH

Austin Eurythmy Ensemble: Our bodies, our instruments

With their performance of Touched Twice, the members of the Austin Eurythmy Ensemble mark 10 years of embodying sound through movement

BY BARRY PINEO

'La Pastorela': A funny thing happened on the way to 'La Pastorela'

Half a millennium after Franciscan missionaries brought the nativity story to Mexico, the Austin Latino Theater Alliance continues the tradition of La Pastorela but also creates something totally new

BY PATTI HADAD

365 Days/365 Plays: Week 5

The yearlong festival of plays by Suzan-Lori Parks continues with seven short plays presented by Hyde Park Theatre in Week Five

Arts Reviews

The Santaland Diaries

The Santaland Diaries, as staged by the Zachary Scott Theatre Center, lets you laugh at the ridiculousness of American Christmas customs and yet leaves you feeling a bit more merry
columns

Page Two: Sluggish by Design

The only "original intent" of the Constitution was to foil extremism and maintain a balance of power

BY LOUIS BLACK

To Your Health

Jim Heffley's death, on November 26, was a loss not only to his large circle of family, friends, and colleagues but to all of us in the extended Austin community who were lucky enough to benefit from his extraordinary professional expertise

BY ANNE S. LEWIS

Letters at 3AM

The film Babel is winning awards, but none of them for Best Comedy. It seems I'm fated to laugh alone.

BY MICHAEL VENTURA

After a Fashion

Your Style Avatar takes you on a shopping spree to test out Tickle Me Mark Foley's stamina and to find Kinky boots or give Kinky the boot(s).

BY STEPHEN MACMILLAN MOSER

Day Trips

James Owens Handmade Boots of Clarendon are family footwear made the old-fashioned way – one stitch at a time

BY GERALD E. MCLEOD

The Common Law

Sexual harassment at work - what is it?

BY LUKE ELLIS

Mr. Smarty Pants Knows

The monkey bite heard round the world

BY MR. SMARTY PANTS

Luv Doc Recommends: Whole Foods Rooftop Skating Rink

Whole Foods Market Downtown, Friday, December 8, 2006

BY THE LUV DOC

Feedback

Letters to the editor, published daily
sports

Soccer Watch

North Carolina wins NCAA women's championship, UC-Santa Barbara wins the men's, and more

BY NICK BARBARO

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