Dec. 15, 2006

Volume 26, Number 15

ON THE COVER:
features

GIFT GUIDE

Claus & Effect

The holiday how-to guide for the perpetually perplexed

BY MEREDITH BARNHILL, KATE X MESSER, STEPHEN MACMILLAN MOSER, MATT PATIN AND MEGHAN RUTH SPEAKERMAN

Holiday Wish Lists 2006

Give 'til it helps: Part 1
news

Famous Long Ago

Legendary "Humanzee" Oliver, his friends, and the bitter fight over animal welfare at a Texas refuge

BY JORDAN SMITH

Mart Growth

Will the city stand up for its neighborhoods and urban vision against Wal-Mart?

BY KATHERINE GREGOR

Naked City

Point Austin: Conflict of Interest

Facing corporate tyranny, we're all "interested parties"

BY MICHAEL KING

Beside The Point

It may be too late for the sound and fury over the Wal-Mart at Northcross to signify anything

BY WELLS DUNBAR

The Hightower Report

Banning "Hunger"; and Sensible Priorities

BY JIM HIGHTOWER

food

GIFT GUIDE

Giveable City

The treat of Austin eats

GIFT GUIDE

Last-Minute Local Gifts

Edible dreidel prizes and stocking stuffers

BY VIRGINIA B. WOOD

New & Noteworthy

NordicWare

BY VIRGINIA B. WOOD

Food-o-file

Wide open spaces ...

BY VIRGINIA B. WOOD

Wine of the Week

Sweet libations

BY WES MARSHALL

music

Twelve Drummers Drumming

Caroling casualties: The 12 nays of Christmas

BY DARCIE STEVENS

TCB

The ongoing liquor-fueled legend of the Hickoids, Neil Diamond's people make the Diamond Smugglers' life hell, and Pete Townshend will be at SXSW anyway, anyhow, anywhere

BY CHRISTOPHER GRAY

Phases and Stages

The Pogues

Red Roses for Me, Rum, Sodomy & the Lash, If I should Fall From Grace With God, Peace and Love, Hell's Ditch

Mutantes

Os Mutantes, Mutantes, A Divinia Comedia (Ou Ando Meio Desligado), Technicolor

Doug Sahm, the Sir Douglas Band

Doug Sahm & Band, Texas Tornado

Lucinda Williams

Car Wheels on a Gravel Road (Deluxe Edition)

Karen Dalton

In My Own Time

David Rodriguez

Proud Heart

Johnny Cash

At San Quentin

Dwight Yoakam

Guitars, Cadillacs, Etc., Etc. (Deluxe Edition)

Roy Orbison

Sings Lonely and Blue, Crying, In Dreams

Dead Moon

Echoes of the Past

Neil Young & Crazy Horse

Live at the Fillmore East

Sonic Youth

The Destroyed Room: B-Sides and Rarities

Nina Simone

Remixed & Reimagined

Candi Staton

The Ultimate Gospel Collection

the Pretenders

Pretenders, Pretenders II

the Triffids

Born Sandy Devotional

PJ Harvey

The Peel Sessions 1991-2004

the Delgados

The Complete BBC Peel Sessions

Depeche Mode

A Broken Frame, Some Great Reward, Songs of Faith and Devotion
screens

DVD Watch: Potential-Gift Edition

'SNL,' 'Robin Hood,' 'Symbiopsychotaxiplasm,' and more

J.L. Aronson on 'Danielson: A Family Movie (or, Make a Joyful Noise Here)'

On Danielson: A Family Movie (or, Make a Joyful Noise Here)

BY MARC SAVLOV

Adrift in the Ether

New consumer advocacy project keeps online customers plugged in

BY KATE X MESSER

Film News

Poyser to take control; plus, remembering Gary Graver

BY JOE O'CONNELL

TV Eye

A Snippet of What's to Come

BY BELINDA ACOSTA

Film Reviews

The Bridesmaid

Claude Chabrol's latest film is based on a Ruth Rendell novel and, though not one of his best films, is still a good reminder of the madness that sometimes lurks in plain sight.

Candy

Despite sporting Heath Ledger and Abbie Cornish as a pair of Australian junkies increasingly on the outs with family, reality, and rent, Candy is a washout.

Charlotte's Web

E.B. White's sweet, simple, and timeless story about the power of friendship and the acceptance of loss is a story that’s faithfully told here with all the sentiment and only slight updating.

Eragon

Dear George Lucas … It's bad enough that you've cloaked your true identity behind that of the 15-year-old bestselling novelist Christopher Paolini, but did you have to remake Episode IV all over again? With friggin' dragons?!

Guadalupe

Guadalupe is amateur hour dressed up in ecclesiastical purple: a poorly drawn, poorly directed, and poorly acted attempt to film something of weight and religious significance.

The Pursuit of Happyness

Will Smith plays a self-made success who trains as a stockbroker even though he is homeless and raising a young son on the streets of San Francisco in this movie based on the true-life story of Chris Gardner.
arts & culture

Rob Nash: Bedford Falls, by way of Television City

Austin solo performer Rob Nash is moving to Los Angeles, and as a parting Christmas gift, he's created a holiday special that never was:It's a Wonderful Life, 70s Christmas Special, Starring the Fonz

BY BARRY PINEO

Edmond Bulldogs: MTV Sends Comedy Troupe Into Overdrive

Fresh from being featured on MTVOverdrive.com's the Stew, comedy troupe the Edmond Bulldogs is back in town to whip its local fans into a frenzy

BY WAYNE ALAN BRENNER

365 Days/365 Plays: Week 6

The yearlong festival of plays by Suzan-Lori Parks continues with seven short plays presented by Hands On in Week Six

Culture Flash!

Grammy recognition for Conspirare, an encore and more NEA support for Tapestry's The Souls of Our Feet, and giant sunflowers for the Mueller redevelopment

BY ROBERT FAIRES

Arts Reviews

Reckless

Throughout the City Theatre Company production of Reckless, a Christmas tree remains stationary center stage, but that's about all that's still in this flighty black comedy

The Nutcracker

Everything about Ballet Austin's 44th annual production of The Nutcracker breathes artistry, with numerous disparate elements coming together seamlessly, thanks to choreographer Stephen Mills

'Beverly Penn: Weeds'

Beverly Penn's sculptures of weeds in bronze, brass, steel, and nickel are not only stunningly beautiful, they also help us redefine the nature vs. technology dichotomy
columns

Page Two: Thinking Small

When Wal-Mart skates through the development process at Northcross, is it any wonder surrounding neighbors and indie businesses feel betrayed?

BY NICK BARBARO

Postmarks

Our readers talk back.

After a Fashion

Is our Stephen turning over some new leaves before the new year? What was more horrifying? Karaoke or ear-candling?

BY STEPHEN MACMILLAN MOSER

Day Trips

The Money Factory is what most people call the Western Currency Facility on the northern edge of Fort Worth

BY GERALD E. MCLEOD

Mr. Smarty Pants Knows

French votes, Brit blokes, and tiny notes

BY MR. SMARTY PANTS

The Common Law

Basic Questions About Sexual Harassment

BY LUKE ELLIS

Luv Doc Recommends: Merry F***king Xmas

ColdTowne Theater, Friday, December 15, 2006

BY THE LUV DOC

Feedback

Letters to the editor, published daily
sports

Soccer Watch

Klinsmann drops out as perspective U.S. national team coach, and more

BY NICK BARBARO

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