Dec. 22, 2006

Volume 26, Number 16

ON THE COVER:
features

Holiday Wish Lists 2006

Give 'til it helps: Part 2
news

Worldwide Radio Wrestling!

HD format hopes to body-slam satellite radio to an industry draw

BY KEVIN BRASS

37th Street Lights

Will the elaborate holiday illuminations burn brighter or burn out?

BY DANIEL MOTTOLA

WilCo Constable Lawsuit: Crying wolf ... and mayhem

Courthouse dogs bark that Constable Gary Griffin may have broken law by including mental-health-call-related 911 logs as evidence in his civil case against county

BY PATRICIA J. RULAND

2006 Political Procrastinators' Holiday Gift Guide

Some of these ideas might even be real

Naked City

Headlines and happenings from Austin and beyond

Point Austin: Wal-Mart's Xmas Gift

Bringing coal to Northcross, something better for the rest of us

BY MICHAEL KING

Beside the Point

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like 2007

BY WELLS DUNBAR

Reefer Madness

Results of new study suggest environmental factors have more influence on behavior than government would like us to believe

BY JORDAN SMITH

The Hightower Report

The Nobel Prize for Greed; and Camp Wellstone Winners

BY JIM HIGHTOWER

food

Two Trips to Costco

A private chef and a mom share their notes

The Host on High

Some entertaining words of caution

BY MARION WINIK

Just Another Drop of the Midleton, Please

It's Irish whiskey weather

BY WES MARSHALL

Wine of the Week

Big bargains at the big box

BY WES MARSHALL

Food-o-File

Lambert's Barbecue's big debut and, yeah, more gingerbread

BY VIRGINIA B. WOOD

music

The Kingdom of Heaven

Psychedelic pioneer Powell St. John, on the Right Track Now

BY BILL BENTLEY

Music DVDs

TCB

Last-minute musical gift ideas, a nasty feud down South, and a quiet move portends Red River's inevitable eastward migration

BY CHRISTOPHER GRAY

Phases & Stages

Loreena McKennitt

An Ancient Muse

Jay-Z, Snoop Dogg, the Clipse, P. Diddy

Kingdom Come, The Blue Carpet Treatment, Hell Hath No Fury, Press Play

Tomasz Stanko

Lontano

Frida Hyvönen

Until Death Comes

Yusef Islam

An Other Cup

Aterciopelados

Oye

the Blue Van

Dear Independence

Sufjan Stevens

Songs for Christmas
screens

Vertical Helical Scan, We Hardly Knew Ye

You'd better record this on your VCR – it's probably the last time we'll ever mention it

BY JOE O'CONNELL

Crew Stories

Jeff Schwan, stuntman

BY TODDY BURTON

In Space

Hurry! Surely your 2006-launched site qualifies for at least one of the 16 categories

TV Eye

Heroes and zeroes

BY BELINDA ACOSTA

Screens Reviews

The Spirit of the Beehive

"They felt the film was ... simply unendurable. That no one would go see it."

Film Reviews

Dreamgirls

Dreamgirls is an infectious experience of sequins and songs that lives up to the hype. Opens Monday.

The Good Shepherd

Matt Damon abandons the cat-and-mouse theatrics of his Bourne identity to play the reserved fictional functionary whose life serves as the prism through which this film examines the early years of the CIA.

The History Boys

If you like your British movies quick, raunchy, reflective, and bittersweet, then The History Boys, based on the stage play, is for you.

Night at the Museum

Amid crummy sight gags and predictable physical comedy, sputtering scenes, and the stale and watered-down Stiller in another nonsense story, Night at the Museum is at best a rotation of backdrops for a parade of visual effects.

Rocky Balboa

This final chapter in the Rocky saga is terrific – maybe not great, like that first kiss of fist in ’76, but good, solid, exhilarating entertainment of the stand-up-and-cheer variety.

Vajra Sky Over Tibet

In this documentary, the director wears his affection for Buddhist philosophy unashamedly on his sleeve, and as a result his movie nearly drowns in solemnity and noble intentions (not to mention chanting).

We Are Marshall

There are football movies, and then there’s this 800-pound gorilla of a gridiron weepie, which should be penalized for roughing the viewer.
arts & culture

The Comics (Artist) Panel

Five Austinites on the state of the sequential art, from comics to comix to manga and beyond

BY JOEY SEILER

The HRC's Beckett Online: Googling for Godot

With "Fathoms From Anywhere: A Samuel Beckett Centenary Exhibition," online in perpetuity, Web-wanderers can plumb the depths of the Ransom Center's Beckett collection, which is among the world's finest

BY KATHERINE CATMULL

Austin Theatre: That was the year that was

Three of Austin's finest theatre folk - director/actress Lorella Loftus, director Sonnet Blanton, and lighting designer Jason Amato - describe how 2006 was for them and the local stage scene

BY HANNAH KENAH

Rogue Performance Venue: Paradise lost

James Cotton thought he'd found an ideal spot for his new theatre, but he may be forced to leave over conflicts with a neighboring rehearsal studio for bands

BY ROBERT FAIRES

365 Days/365 Plays: Week 7

The yearlong festival of plays by Suzan-Lori Parks continues with seven short plays presented by Red Then Productions in Week 7

Arts Reviews

It's a Wonderful Life, 70s Christmas Special, Starring the Fonz

Rob Nash's It's a Wonderful Life, 70s Christmas Special, Starring the Fonz is a masterful melding of Seventies television and Frank Capra's film, but unless one has studied either subject in depth, the meeting proves perplexing

'Take Me to Bed or Lose Me Forever'

Volitant Gallery's exhibition "Take Me to Bed or Lose Me Forever," which both employs and questions many of love's clichés to reflect on our experience of the emotion, is a smile and a good laugh

'EVR: e-flux video rental'

Arthouse's EVR: e-flux video rental offers a chance not only to see some very interesting, hard-to-find pieces of film and video art, but also to participate in a study of our own patterns of communication
columns

Page Two: A Little Light-Rain Music

A holiday meditation

BY LOUIS BLACK

Letters @ 3AM

One of the great lessons of civilizations is that smarts don't count for much in the long run

BY MICHAEL VENTURA

After a Fashion

Gather 'round children and listen to the tale of how Eight Is Enough factored into a big family reunion

BY STEPHEN MACMILLAN MOSER

Day Trips

River View Bed & Breakfast in Blanco provides small-town ambience while offering guests a central base camp for exploring the Hill Country

BY GERALD E. MCLEOD

The Common Law

Tips for buying on eBay during the holidays

BY MEGAN LONERGAN

Mr. Smarty Pants Knows

Folk-rock grudge match and the unmanning of men

BY MR. SMARTY PANTS

Feedback

Letters to the editor, published daily
sports

Soccer Watch

Bob Bradley names 29 players to U.S. men's training-camp rosting

BY NICK BARBARO

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