5 Lunchtime Links: Matt Damon clears up gay remarks and more

TORONTO, ON - SEPTEMBER 11: Actor Matt Damon speaks onstage during the "The Martian" press conference at the 2015 Toronto International Film Festival at TIFF Bell Lightbox on September 11, 2015 in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
Actor Matt Damon speaks onstage during the “The Martian” press conference at the 2015 Toronto International Film Festival at TIFF Bell Lightbox on September 11, 2015 in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

1. Matt Damon clarifies comments made about gay actors.

“I was just trying to say actors are more effective when they’re a mystery, right?” actor Matt Damon told Ellen DeGeneres when he appeared on her show yesterday and took the opportunity to explain controversial comments he made about gay actors. Damon’s remarks were construed by many to suggest that gay actors should not reveal their sexual orientation. DeGeneres joked that she still doesn’t buy that Damon and peer Ben Affleck are not gay. “I mean, if you want to deny it and keep your ‘mystery’ and your ‘marriage’ and your ‘daughters’…” DeGeneres said.

Watch Damon #Damonsplain his remarks on Ellen in the video, below.

2. Cuvee Coffee Bar’s crowler machine removed by TABC following warning.

After Cuvee Coffee Bar was asked to remove their crowler machine this past summer, Cuvee designed and put up for sale t-shirts with the famed Texas battle slogan “Come and take it” written underneath an image of the machine. Well, the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission came and took it. The TABC packed up and removed the machine saying that “other retailers who engage in illegal canning risk similar consequences.” According to the TABC, Texas law interprets a crowler (32 oz. beer cans) as a canned product and any place that doesn’t produce its own beer can’t legally fill them.

3. Tina Fey can’t list 20 Latino actors.

What happens when you ask Tina Fey to name 20 Latino actors? She can’t do it and she runs away with the fake prize you offered her if she could. In a sneak peak of comedian Billy Eichner’s new season of “Billy on the Street,” Eichner awards Fey a fake Oscar and asks her to name 20 different Latino actors in her acceptance speech. Although she manages both Freddie Prinze and Freddie Prinze Jr. Fey ultimately ends up one short.

4. Austin women threatens to stab brother because he ate her BBQ.

61-year-old Ethel Jean Banks was charged with a felony assault Tuesday for threatening to stab her brother. What drove her to make such a horrendous threat? Her brother Melvin Magee told police it is because he ate her ribs. This is the second time Banks has been charged with threatening a family member with a knife.

5. Kim Kardashian to name new baby “Easton.”

Kim Kardashian is nothing if not loyal to a theme.  The reality star revealed to Ellen DeGeneres that she is considering the name “Easton” for her unborn son who is due on Christmas Day. Not every cardinal direction, however, has quite the ring Kardashian is looking for. “Every time someone says South, I just want to roll my eyes,” she said

 

5 Lunchtime Links: Kendrick Lamar books show with National Symphony Orchestra and more

Tammy Perez for American-Statesman
Tammy Perez for American-Statesman

1. Kendrick Lamar to perform with National Symphony Orchestra.

Don’t kill his orchestral vibe. Rapper Kendrick Lamar has scheduled a one-time Washington show in which he will perform selections from his album “To Pimp a Butterfly” alongside the National Symphony Orchestra. This will be the first time Lamar has performed with an orchestra, but not the first time the NSO has performed with a hip-hop artist. Rapper Nas marked the 20th anniversary of his album “Illmatic” with a special NSO collaboration at the Kennedy Center. Ticket’s for Lamar’s show start at $35 and go on sale Wednesday.

2. Virgin America to offer free, in-flight Netflix streaming.

Netflix and fly. In case you need to rewatch episodes of your favorite show 35,000 feet in the air, Virgin America has signed on for a partnership with Netflix, following a similar deal between Jetblue and Amazon Prime. Netflix subscribers will now be able to stream the entire Netflix catalog on the airline’s complimentary internet access (previously $9 an hour). At least until March 2016, that is, after which the airline will resume paid internet access. Many airlines currently do not allow access to streaming sites on their networks.

3. Paul Walker’s daughter brings wrongful death lawsuit against Porsche.

Paul Walker’s 16-year-old daughter Meadow Walker is suing sport car manufacturer Porsche, claiming there were several deficiencies in the car her father died in 2013. In papers filed by her attorney, Walker claims the seatbelt of the 2005 Porsche Carrera GT broke the actor’s ribs and pelvis preventing him from exiting the vehicle, which caught fire after the crash.

4. Dallas Museum of Art director steps down, accepts new position in New York.

Maxwell Anderson, director of the Dallas Museum of Art since 2011, announced yesterday that he will resign and accept a position with the New Cities Foundation in New York. The museum began to offer free admission under Anderson, who secured a 15-year loan of the Keir Collection of Islamic Art, and raised over $40 million for the museum.

5. Matthew McConaughey’s brother named his son Miller Lyte. 

What’s in a name? Ask “Rooster” McConaughey, brother of favorite Longhorn fan and actor Matthew McConaughey, and he might have a list of his favorite beer brands that he considers answers. The star of “West Texas Investors Club” recently received a year’s worth of Miller Lite after the company found it he had named his son “Miller Lyte.” McConaughey also has a daughter named, “Margarita Olympia,” which is no longer in production. Jay Z and Beyonce were this close to a year’s supply of Blue Moon. Next time, guys.

Follow live: Trevor Noah debuts as host of ‘The Daily Show’ at 10 p.m.

In this Sept. 25, 2015 image taken from video, Trevor Noah appears on the set of his new show, "The Daily Show with Trevor Noah," in New York. Noah takes over for Jon Stewart on Monday. (AP Photo)
In this Sept. 25, 2015 image taken from video, Trevor Noah appears on the set of his new show, “The Daily Show with Trevor Noah,” in New York. Noah takes over for Jon Stewart on Monday. (AP Photo)

The American-Statesman’s Omar Gallaga takes a break from the tech culture beat to live-tweet Trevor Noah’s debut as the new host of Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show” on Monday night at 10 p.m.

Justin Bieber appears on Complex cover, offers up wisdom about what it means to be a taco

We don’t always cover Justin Bieber, but when we do, it’s because he has said incredibly odd things about tacos.

Photo by Theo Wargo/NBC/Getty Images
Photo by Theo Wargo/NBC/Getty Images

The 21-year-old Canadian singer recently appeared on Complex magazine’s cover and gave a “comeback” interview of sorts.

In between opening up about the rocky years that followed his sudden fame at age 16, ex-girlfriends, his pet monkey and his recent hits, the Biebs offered up some words to explain his faith and relationship with God.

In explaining that his faith is important but that he doesn’t necessarily feel the need to go to church, Bieber offered:

“It doesn’t make you a Christian just by going to church. I think that going to church is fellowship, it’s relationship, it’s what we’re here on the earth to do, to have this connection that you feel there’s no insecurities. I think that’s where we need to be. Like I said, you don’t need to go to church to be a Christian. If you go to Taco Bell, that doesn’t make you a taco.”

What do you think, humans? And how do you feel about what Bieber said, tacos?

If one were to become a taco, where would one go in Austin?

Related reads: 

• Food Network names an Austin taco one of the five best in America

• Austin taco joints top Foursquare list of greatest tacos in America

Matthew McConaughey’s brother receives ‘year supply’ after naming son after favorite beer

It’s not news that “Rooster,” born Mike McConaughey, brother of actor and Austinite Matthew McConaughey, likes beer.

In this March 11, 2015 photo, newly-filled and sealed cans of Miller Lite beer move along on a conveyor belt, at the MillerCoors Brewery, in Golden, Colo. (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley)
(AP Photo/Brennan Linsley)

Nor is that he likes beer so much that he would name two of his children after some of his favorites; Margarita Olympia and Miller Lyte are five and eight years old, respectively.

The news making the rounds today after some investigative journalism by TMZ is that Miller Lite, having caught wind of Rooster’s loyalty to the beer, has rewarded the star of “West Texas Investors Club” and self-made millionaire’s creative paternal choices by shipping him a free year supply of the beer.

According to TMZ, the “year supply” is actually just 24 cases. By their math, that’s just 1.5 beers a day, which they deem more of a “seasonal supply.”

What do you think, Austin? If you’re going to name your kid after a beer, should you get more free beer?

 

 

5 Lunchtime Links: Help with those tough ACL decisions and more

 

Fans watch Johnnyswim perform at the Austin Ventures stage at the Austin City Limits fest. Sunday, Oct. 12, 2014. MIGUEL GUTIERREZ JR / AMERICAN STATESMAN
Fans watch Johnnyswim perform at the Austin Ventures stage at the Austin City Limits fest. Sunday, Oct. 12, 2014. MIGUEL GUTIERREZ JR / AMERICAN STATESMAN

1. ACL in T minus five days.

If you’re a ticket holder, you have plenty to consider before Friday’s kickoff of the 2015 Austin City Limits Music Festival. What are you going to eat? ACL favorites like East Side King and Tamale Addiction are back, but check out the full list of vendors if you want to venture out and try something new. Want to sing along, but don’t quite know all the words? Listen to our ACL playlist. It can also help you determine which show you’re going to when the inevitable scheduling conflict pops up. Not sure what to ask Drake when you finally meet him Saturday? Maybe our imaginary interview with him can give you some ideas.

Is all of this upsetting you because you’re not a ticket holder? Enter the Austin American-Statesman’s giveaway and cross your fingers!

2. Texas brings home nine gold medals at national beer festival.

Texas beers brought home the gold this weekend at the annual Great American Beer Fest in Denver, Colorado. Of the 15 medals won (one less than last year), nine of them were gold. Brewers from Austin, Houston, Fort Worth and other Texas cities had something to cheers to Saturday when they competed against 1,552 breweries from all around the country for 275 coveted medals, and left with gold medals for categories like “brett beer” and “robust porter.”

3. ‘Breaking Bad’ actors campaign in New Mexico election.

FILe - In this Jan. 18, 2014 file photo, Steven Michael Quezada an actor on the series "Breaking Bad," arrives at the 20th annual Screen Actors Guild Awards in Los Angeles. Quezada is jumping in a race for a heated county commissioner seat in Albuquerque. Quezada, who played DEA agent Steven Gomez in the hit AMC-TV series "Breaking Bad", said Monday, July 20, he will announce this week that he will run for the Bernalillo County Commission. (Photo by Matt Sayles/Invision/AP, File)
FILe – In this Jan. 18, 2014 file photo, Steven Michael Quezada an actor on the series “Breaking Bad,” arrives at the 20th annual Screen Actors Guild Awards in Los Angeles. Quezada is jumping in a race for a heated county commissioner seat in Albuquerque. Quezada, who played DEA agent Steven Gomez in the hit AMC-TV series “Breaking Bad”, said Monday, July 20, he will announce this week that he will run for the Bernalillo County Commission. (Photo by Matt Sayles/Invision/AP, File)

Life outside of “Breaking Bad” proves a little more ordinary than the show depicts. Dean Norris, who played DEA agent Hank Schrader, is helping friend and co-star Steven Michael Quezada, who played agent Steven Gomez, in his campaign for New Mexico’s Bernalillo County Commission. The 52-year-old Quezada, an elected Albuquerque Public Schools board member, is one of four candidates seeking a District 2 commission seat. Quezada also called Saul Goodman, or actor Bob Odenkirk, for help with his campaign.

4. Burger King’s debuts Whopper with black bun for Halloween. 

Really bored of the color of your hamburger bun? Burger King hears you. The burger chain has announced it will bring a black burger, similar to one of its Japanese menu items, to the U.S. starting today. While the Japanese version uses squid ink to achieve its distinct coloring, the American item will do so by baking steak sauce directly into the bun. Will you be biting into a black burger this season, and would you like some green ketchup to go with it?

5. Margaret Atwood’s new book “The Heart Goes Last” comes out tomorrow.

A Booker Prize shortlister five times over, Margaret Atwood jumps right into her favorite and familiar themes with her new book, “The Heart Goes Last,” set for release tomorrow, the New York Times reported. A couple attempting to stay afloat in the midst of social and economic collapse, the book covers issues like sexism and navigating moral accountability during a technologically advanced era. Atwood came up with the idea for the book after reading about for-profit prisons. “For-profit prisons are never a good idea, because to keep them profitable you have to keep having more prisoners,” she said.

Atwood will be one of more than 300 authors to participate in Texas Book Fest at the Capitol this October.

5 Lunchtime Links: Sam Smith sings ‘Spectre’ Bond theme, new ‘Black Mirror’ and more

1. Sam Smith releases new James Bond theme.

Smith. Sam Smith. The singer has released the new James Bond theme song for the upcoming film “Spectre,” Time reported. The release comes nine months since the original recording of the song, titled “Writing’s on the Wall,” and after Smith’s denial of involvement in the project. Preview the song in the video above (and hear what Smith has to say), or buy the full version here.

Check out musicians who have previously sung the James Bond theme here.

Sam Smith performs in concert at the Frank Erwin Center Saturday night, August 15, 2015. (Suzanne Cordeiro for AMERICAN-STATESMAN)
Sam Smith performs in concert at the Frank Erwin Center Saturday night, August 15, 2015. (Suzanne Cordeiro for AMERICAN-STATESMAN)

2. “Black Mirror” added to list of Netflix originals with third season due late 2016.

The U.K. science fiction TV series “Black Mirror” has been approved for another 12 episodes and acquired by Netflix, Entertainment Weekly reported. The show, which has developed a cult following, plays with the possible effects of technology on society in a “Twilight Zone”-style format. Episodes are often unnerving and are intended to leave audiences asking, “Could that really happen?” Executive producer Charlie Brooker said Netflix ownership will allow the series to create “bigger, stranger, more international and diverse stories than before.”

3. Public Enemy to headline F1 Fan Fest in October. 

Headliners for F1 Fan Fest, the free downtown party that takes place during the Formula One Grand Prix, were announced today, and it’s a fantastic selection of artists. Rap pioneers Public Enemy will headline Saturday, Oct. 24. Other big names: Trombone Shorty, A-Trak and Mayer Hawthorne.

4. Jon Hamm to guest-star on “SpongeBob SquarePants” as “Don Grouper.”

In case that Emmy was gathering any dust, “Mad Men” star Jon Hamm has been offered another epic role … under the sea. The actor is set to do a guest-appearance on Nickelodeon’s “SpongeBob SquarePants” as “Don Grouper, a fish and charismatic head ad executive,” Time reported. We can’t wait to hear what sort of pitch Grouper has for the Krusty Krab.

5. La Barbecue will offer night hours at new eastern location.

Everyone’s favorite barbecue trailer La Barbecue has found itself a new home next to eastside bar Stay Gold. At the new location patrons can expect added menu items and later hours. As always, however, trailers will close at “sold out” o’clock.

5 Lunchtime Links: Kenan and Kel reunite at ‘Good Burger” and more

1. Kenan and Kel “Good Burger” reunion on “The Tonight Show.”

Your favorite fictional restaurant is back — can they take your order? Longtime friends and “All That” co-stars Kenan Thompson and Kel Mitchell found themselves back where it all started on Wednesday’s “The Tonight Show,” when they performed a modern take on their classic “Good Burger” sketch. It was the first time the two have appeared on TV together since a 2005 reunion of the “All That” cast. Regardless, they haven’t lost any of the Kenan and Kel magic. Comedy duos everywhere, take note.

2. Fun Fun Fun Fest announces FFF Nites lineup — free aftershows for wristband holders.

Is three days of live music just not enough for you? You’ll be happy to hear Austin’s music and comedy festival Fun Fun Fun Fest has released the lineup for its FFF Nites shows. The performances, free to festival wristband holders, will take place Nov. 6-8 following closing acts at Auditorium Shores. Shows will be located at some of locals’ favorite venues including The Mohawk, ACL Live’s Moody Theater and Empire Control Room.

3. Lena Dunham sits down with Hillary Clinton.

Explaining her frustration with women who refuse to refer to themselves as a feminist, democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, told Lena Dunham creator of the HBO hit, “Girls,” “I’m hoping that people will not be afraid to say, ‘That doesn’t mean you hate men.’” The interview is to be featured on Dunham’s newsletter and website LennyLetter.com. In a clip of the interview released on Instagram, when asked if she considers herself a feminist Clinton replied, “Yes, absolutely.” In the interview Clinton talks about her time in college and “the ambivalence she felt in her early 20s about her own life and career path.”

4. Watch new dad Ryan Reynolds try to build IKEA crib.

Lost Maples is a short drive from Concan.
Lost Maples is a short drive from Concan.

“The biggest issue I’m having is that the crib didn’t come assembled,” actor Ryan Reynolds says in a new, GQ produced video. The new dad takes on a task most of us have faced before: putting together a piece of IKEA furniture. “There’s got to be over a hundred thousand pieces that came with it,” Reynolds says of the crib, still fully unassembled. Reynolds’ wife Blake Lively recently gave birth to the couple’s first daughter, James. After equal parts frustration and beer, Reynolds results to an unconventional trick. It’s tape.

5. Tis the season — check out Austin’s fall offerings.

In case you didn’t hear, and we know you did, yesterday was the first day of fall. Although the weather might not yet agree, Austin promises plenty of fun fall-weather options in the upcoming months. Whether it be the perfect seasonal meal you’re looking for, or a fun day out with the family, check out this interactive map and discover what fall has to offer!

 

 

5 Lunchtime Links: George Strait announces Vegas shows and more

George Strait poses for a portrait following his press conference at the MGM Grand Resort and Casino on Tuesday, Sept. 22, 2015, in Las Vegas, Nev. Strait announced on Tuesday, Sept. 22, that he’s releasing a new album, “Cold Beer Conversation,” on Friday and that he’ll play a series of shows at the new Las Vegas Arena when it opens in 2016. (Photo by Al Powers/Powers Imagery/Invision/AP)
George Strait poses for a portrait following his press conference at the MGM Grand Resort and Casino on Tuesday, Sept. 22, 2015, in Las Vegas, Nev. Strait announced on Tuesday, Sept. 22, that he’s releasing a new album, “Cold Beer Conversation,” on Friday and that he’ll play a series of shows at the new Las Vegas Arena when it opens in 2016. (Photo by Al Powers/Powers Imagery/Invision/AP)

1. George Strait will be first to perform at new Las Vegas Arena.

The “King of Country” has announced he will be the first to perform at the new 20,000-seat Las Vegas Arena in April 2016. You’ve got awhile to shine your boots in preparation — with four shows scheduled for April 22, 23 and Sept. 9, 10, Strait will break in the venue with songs from his new 13-song “Cold Beer Conversation” album set to drop this Friday. This will be Strait’s first album in two years. Country singer Kacey Musgraves will serve as opening act for all four shows. Tickets are set to go on sale Oct. 2.

2. Keep your selfie stick to your self and out of the Texas State Fair.

Like many similar amusement parks and fairs before it, the Texas State Fair has decidedly outlawed selfie sticks, the Dallas Morning News reported. What’s been called “one of the great menaces of modern technology,” the public seems to find the selfie stick less and less amusing with each passing ban. Fair officials said they deliberated over the decision for a month, but were encouraged after parks like Six Flags and Disney passed a ban. Sorry guys, leave your metal rods at home — there’s nothing quite like a selfie stick to the eye to ruin an afternoon of fried Oreos and Big Tex.

3. “Teen Mom” star Farrah Abraham drops Austin home listing to a still-whopping $650,000.

Farrah Abraham, who originally rose to fame through MTV reality shows like “Teen Mom” and “16 and Pregnant,” and has since worked as a stripper at Austin’s Palazio Gentlemen’s Club, is having a little trouble getting her 3,225 square-foot, two-story house off her hands, San Antonio Express-News reported. Appraised at $568,289 in 2013, Abraham first listed the house in Oct. 2014 at $750,000. When no one bit she lowered it to $650,000 a few months ago. Interested? See the listing here.

4. “Happy Birthday” song now rightfully belongs to everyone who’s been singing it illegally all these years.

IMAGE DISTRIBUTED FOR THE TELEVISION ACADEMY - Amy Poehler arrives at the 67th Primetime Emmy Awards on Sunday, Sept. 20, 2015, at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles. (Photo by Danny Moloshok/Invision for the Television Academy/AP Images)
Amy Poehler arrives at the 67th Primetime Emmy Awards on Sunday, Sept. 20, 2015, at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles. (Photo by Danny Moloshok/Invision for the Television Academy/AP Images)

Another major score for the public domain! A federal judge ruled Tuesday that the “Happy Birthday” song will no longer be copyright protected, and is now free to use by everyone.

5. Amy Poehler and Nick Kroll reportedly split after two years of dating.

Two very funny people have reportedly ended their relationship. Time reported that comedians Amy Poehler and Nick Kroll, both known for roles in NBC’s “Parks and Recreation,” have split after two years of dating. Poehler was previously married to actor Will Arnett with whom she has two sons. “Talented men are not threatened by talented women. They welcome them,” Poehler previously said of dating in her 40s.

The ‘Happy Birthday’ song is now in the public domain, but here’s a fun alternative

You know those checks you’ve been sending off every year after birthday celebrations? The royalty checks?

You don’t have to do that anymore.

A federal judge’s ruling Tuesday means that the song is now considered to be in the public domain. No longer protected by copyright, the song is free to be used by anyone, according to industry trade site Variety.

What? Oh, I hear you — it’s just not as much fun to wish somebody a happy birthday in song now that it’s no longer simultaneously a way to stick it to the man, is it?

Well, there’s always this alternative, offered up years ago by “Saturday Night Live”: