Dec. 26, 2008

Volume 28, Number 17

ON THE COVER:
news

Season’s Closings

Ike's Lessons

Galveston's land-use decisions exposed by storm's wrath

BY TOM CURTIS

Urban Planning: A Roundup

How Austin is working toward getting better by design

BY KATHERINE GREGOR

No Relief for Rodney Reed

The piecemeal appeals process isn't doing the death row inmate any favors

BY JORDAN SMITH

Reefer Madness

Are Kids Really Kicking the Habit?

BY JORDAN SMITH

Warm Fuzzies Follow AISD Linux Flap

All is well after a teacher's misunderstanding about open-source software sparked much unexpected ire

BY JUSTIN WARD

BFI Dustup: 'Council Has Done Nothing Helpful'

Landfill controversy becomes mired in confusion

BY RICHARD WHITTAKER

Everything Under the Sun(set)

The Sunset Advisory Commission looks toward the 81st legislative session

BY RICHARD WHITTAKER

Rick Perry Gets a Life

Perry drives anti-abortion license plate proposal

BY JORDAN SMITH

Finding a Way Back Home

Who's looking out for Austin's returning veterans?

BY RICHARD WHITTAKER

Point Austin: A Few More Shoes

An Iraqi journalist waves goodbye to the Bush era

BY MICHAEL KING

City Hall Hustle: Sleep in Heavenly Peace

Gale's farewell hymn closes the council year

BY WELLS DUNBAR

Naked City

News briefs from Austin, the region, and beyond

Headlines

The Hightower Report

How to Bankrupt a Media Company and Survive; and Diminishing the Stench in Congress

BY JIM HIGHTOWER

food

Beyond Black-Eyed Peas

Eating lucky for New Year's

BY MICK VANN

Liquid Assets

Spend money on the gifts instead of the wine this holiday season

BY WES MARSHALL

Food-o-File

It's been a difficult year for the Austin food community

BY VIRGINIA B. WOOD

Event Menu

Your local foodie events for Dec. 28-31

BY VIRGINIA B. WOOD

music

Open House

Peeping into the windows of locals

BY AUDRA SCHROEDER

Off the Record

The politics of Austin music in 2008: Barack Obama boogies back to Texas, a Man From Plains, and the Live Music Task Force

BY AUSTIN POWELL

DVDs

The Flaming Lips

Christmas on Mars

Johnny Cash

The Johnny Cash Christmas Specials: 1976-1979

The Black Keys

Live at the Crystal Ballroom

Patti Smith

Dream of Life

Eugene Hütz

The Pied Piper of Hützovina

Tangerine Dream

Live at Coventry Cathedral 1975

Planet B-Boy: Breakdancing Has Evolved

Planet B-Boy: Breakdancing Has Evolved

Wu-Tang Clan

Wu: The Story of the Wu-Tang Clan

Rhythm Devils

Concert Experience

Play Your Own Thing: A Story of Jazz in Europe

Play Your Own Thing: A Story of Jazz in Europe

Rush

Snakes & Arrows Live

Metallica

Aural Amphetamine: Metallica and the Dawn of Thrash

The Who

At Kilburn: 1977

Sex Pistols

There'll Always Be an England: Live From Brixton Academy
screens

Auld Lang Syne at the Cinema

How Hollywood has created a holiday of unreasonable expectations and why we should probably stop buying in (but never will)

BY JOSH ROSENBLATT

Writing 'The Reader'

Scripter David Hare on Germany's long reckoning with its past

BY KEVIN KELLY

Film News

Watchdog group Texans for Public Justice has a bone to pick with the guv and his new film incentives proposal

BY JOE O'CONNELL

TV Eye

'TV Eye' looks back at the year on TV, from Tina Fey to the Iraqi shoe-thrower

BY BELINDA ACOSTA

Film Reviews

Bedtime Stories

Adam Sandler has finally found his audience: 3-year-olds. Maybe he should stop making movies already and just rent himself out for kids’ parties.

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

F. Scott Fitzgerald's slender, unsentimental curio has been stretched by David Fincher into a nearly three-hour-long motion picture about a man (played by Brad Pitt) who ages in reverse.

Doubt

Meryl Streep, Philip Seymour Hoffman, and Amy Adams star in the film version of John Patrick Shanley's Pulitzer- and Tony Award-winning play.

Frost/Nixon

Ron Howard presents us with Richard M. Nixon – the Christmas gift that keeps on giving.

Marley & Me

Sweet and wise and often laugh-out-loud funny (just like Grogan's book), Marley & Me, starring Owen Wilson and Jennifer Aniston, isn't just for dog people.

The Reader

Stephen Daldry, working from a superior script by David Hare, has crafted a film about guilt, love, and history which stars Ralph Fiennes, Kate Winslet, and newcomer David Kross.

Valkyrie

Tom Cruise seems somewhat out of place as a German officer in this thriller about the attempt on Adolf Hitler's life in July 1944.
arts & culture

Celebrate This City

Dave Sullivan provides new direction for First Night Austin

BY ROBERT FAIRES

Matt Bearden

The Austin comedian on his influences, why he's not in L.A., and Red River hipsters

BY STEVE BIRMINGHAM

Austin Symphony Orchestra

ASO's biggest challenge of 2008? Keeping a straight face with the Flying Karamazovs.

BY ROBERT FAIRES

The Last Five Years

The new year is prime time to discover this musical anatomy of one couple's relationship

BY HANNAH KENAH

Arts Reviews

The Santaland Diaries

There's No Place Like Home for the Holidays

A concert that showed how far the Capital City Men's Chorus has come in 20 years

Austin Americana: The Neal Douglass Photography Collection

The Austin Statesman's first photographer shot news, but 70 years on, he made history
columns

Page Two: Workingman's Blues

The real history of labor and union organizing is ignored and largely unknown

BY LOUIS BLACK

After a Fashion

You know Stephen has an opinion about those new holiday decorations on Congress Avenue

BY STEPHEN MACMILLAN MOSER

Gay Place

Visions of drag queens karaoke-ing in my head

BY ASH BELL AND KATE X MESSER

Day Trips

Texas boasts many splendid caverns available for spelunking year-round

BY GERALD E. MCLEOD

Playing Through

Fixed-gear bikes are all the rage with Austin's hipsterati

BY THOMAS HACKETT

Mr. Smarty Pants Knows

THC for Alzheimer's, England for kilts, and more

BY MR. SMARTY PANTS

The Common Law

I Ordered a Holiday Present, and It Never Showed Up

BY LUKE ELLIS

Feedback

Letters to the editor, published daily
NEWSLETTERS
One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

Updates for SXSW 2019

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle