5 places The New York Times says you should visit in Austin

In what can only be called an ode to Burnet Road, The New York Times offered some advice on the five places it thinks you should go in Austin.

Related: New York Times’ ‘36 Hours in Austin’ guide totals nearly $2,000; here’s your alternative

The piece begins with a description of an out-with-the-old and in-with-the-new Burnet Road, which it says “for years, was mostly seen as a tatty stretch of car repair shops, old-school food joints, gas stations and derelict business” — but not anymore. The Times says the strip — and Austin — is evolving.

Barley Swine at 6555 Burnet Rd in north Austin. RALPH BARRERA/AMERICAN-STATESMAN
Barley Swine at 6555 Burnet Rd in north Austin. RALPH BARRERA/AMERICAN-STATESMAN

Read: The New York Times got a little batty about Texas bats

Here are the five places the publication says you should visit in Austin. Side note: they’re all located on Burnet Road.

Barley Swine First on the list is Bryce Gilmore’s farm-to-table and James Beard-nominated restaurant. The restaurant was also named No. 4 on Austin360’s food critic Matthew Odam’s list of best restaurants before it moved from South Lamar in January.

The Times recommends you order a Basil on Basil cocktail and “don’t miss the too-cute pig face bun, filled with a mix of crushed peanuts, pork and local bananas.”

Lick Honest Ice Creams Just like Barley Swine, another of Austin’s farm-to-table eateries made The Times’ cut. Lick Honest Ice Creams opened up their second Austin location on Burnet Road last year.

“In addition to standbys like dark chocolate with olive oil and sea salt, there are seasonal flavors like back porch iced tea, with black tea and a generous pour of Paula’s Texas Lemon and Grapefruit liqueurs,” The Times says.

Mark Matson For American-Statesman ( 4/30/15) The Peached Tortilla, located on Burnet Road, is an Asian fusion restaurant.
Mark Matson For American-Statesman ( 4/30/15) The Peached Tortilla, located on Burnet Road, is an Asian fusion restaurant.

The Peached Tortilla When this Asian-Southern fusion restaurant switched from a food truck to its brick-and-mortar location on Burnet Road last year, we thought it took a bit of its luster away. Nevertheless, The Times found it noteworthy.

“Try the flat, wide rice noodles tossed with brisket and kale for a twist on chow fun, then wash it down with a Margarita de Peached, spiced up with habanero-infused tequila and Thai basil,” The Times says.

Monkey Nest Coffee The Times says “regulars of this 24-hour cafe favor the Spicy Monkey Mocha, laced with cayenne pepper.” For more takes on Austin coffee shops, follow Austin360’s quest to visit more than 100 local cafes.

Uptown Modern This restored vintage Danish and mid-century modern furniture shop is the only non-eatery that made the list. “Snag a Florence Knoll chrome and marble coffee table,” The Times says. “Or Arne Jacobsen swan chairs with original chartreuse wool fabric.”

This is what happened the last time a Texas politician joined ‘Dancing With the Stars’

Deep within the “Dancing With the Stars” archives is a tale involving injuries, hustling for swing votes, a controversial political figure and leopard print. Following the news that former Texas Gov. Rick Perry will appear on this upcoming season of “Dancing With the Stars,” the internet got all sorts of riled up. But he’s not the first in his field to compete for that coveted mirror ball trophy, nor even the first from the Lone Star State.

Read: 5 reasons former Texas Gov. Rick Perry will win ‘Dancing With the Stars’

No, siree, that distinction belongs to the former Republican U.S. House Majority Leader from Sugar Land: Tom DeLay. You may or may not remember his appearance on the ninth season of the televised dance competition, but what better time to recap DeLay’s bizarre moment of televised stardom?

 In this Monday, Sept. 21, 2009 photo, Former House Republican Whip Tom DeLay, 62, dances on the ABC Television's "Dancing with the Stars, " in Los Angeles. DeLay surprised the crowd. DeLay, performed a cha-cha to the 1960s hit "Wild Thing." (AP Photo/ABC, Adam Larkey)
In this Monday, Sept. 21, 2009 photo, Former House Republican Whip Tom DeLay, 62, dances on the ABC Television’s “Dancing with the Stars, ” in Los Angeles. DeLay surprised the crowd. DeLay, performed a cha-cha to the 1960s hit “Wild Thing.” (AP Photo/ABC, Adam Larkey)



Back in the day, DeLay was joined on the dance floor by former Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Michael Irvin and throwback pop star Donny Osmond. In a 2009 American-Statesman article, DeLay’s spokeswoman Shannon Flaherty said the then-62-year-old former congressman was intrigued by the opportunity to dance on national TV because “he’s always looking for a new adventure.”

Read: Why is Rick Perry taking a turn on reality TV?

The American-Statesman’s John Kelso, in a column written when the news broke, poked fun at DeLay, who had been indicted on money-laundering charges and violation of state election laws just four years earlier. Here’s an excerpt of what Kelso had to say:

“Can you think of anyone more awkward for ‘Dancing With the Stars’? OK, so Hillary Clinton. Ain’t nobody gonna call her Diddy any time soon… This is not the first time ‘Dancing With the Stars’ looks like it should change its name to ‘Dancing Behind Bars.’ Rapper Lil’ Kim , who made it onto the show, did 10 months in prison.”

Though DeLay was convicted in 2011 and sentenced to three years in prison, the ruling was overturned in 2013 — meaning this scandal was looming over him throughout his entire appearance on “DWTS.”

Herman: Rick Perry Dances again 

But DeLay’s quest for the trophy was short-lived. The man who had come out with a bang for his debut on the show in a brown, sparkly, leopard-print lined vest and orthopedic shoes lasted but three weeks. Stress fractures on his feet forced him to quit before his chance at elimination. (Or victory.)

TomDelay and 'Dancing With the Stars' partnet Cheryl Burke. (ABC/HARPER SMITH)
TomDelay and ‘Dancing With the Stars’ partnet Cheryl Burke. (ABC/HARPER SMITH)

That’s not all. In 2006, DeLay had actually stumped for votes for “DWTS” contestant and country singer Sara Evans. According to an American-Statesman article, DeLay had been emailing his supporters, urging them to vote weekly for Evans. From DeLay’s email:

“One of her opponents on the show is ultra liberal talk show host Jerry Springer. We need to send a message to Hollywood and the media that smut has no place on television by supporting good people like Sara Evans.”

What a wild ride. Anyway, now it’s time to see if Perry has more luck on the dance floor than this Texas contestant did.

5 reasons former Texas Gov. Rick Perry will win ‘Dancing With the Stars’

The news that Rick Perry will compete on the upcoming season of “Dancing With the Stars” stirred up cha-cha-chatter when it was first reported Monday night, as the imaginations of politicos and average Joes alike lindy-hopped to various conclusions. Will the former Texas governor’s spin on the ABC show bring the mirror-ball trophy to the Lone Star State, or will he say adios quicker than you can say “Paso Doble”? Will Perry’s tango with the celebrity ballroom competition be a dance with disaster? Or can the most famous pair of glasses in Texas boot-scoot to victory? Will we still be able to come up with dance puns by the time the show airs?

Former Texas governor Rick Perry will pair with Emma Slater on "Dancing with the Stars, " which starts its new season on Monday, Sept. 12, 2016. (Craig Sjodin/ABC)
Former Texas governor Rick Perry will pair with Emma Slater on “Dancing with the Stars, ” which starts its new season on Monday, Sept. 12, 2016. (Craig Sjodin/ABC)

No matter your political persuasion or your thoughts on Carrie Ann Inaba’s judging abilities versus those of Bruno Tonioli, Perry’s participation is certainly a curiosity. But don’t write off the former presidential candidate’s chances just yet.

READ: Why is Rick Perry taking a turn on reality TV?

Here are five reasons Perry might beat expectations and join Bindi Irwin and Emmitt Smith in the “DWTS” hall of fame.

1. He’s been to more than a few balls: Let’s not pretend that the art of the dance is completely foreign to political life. As longtime governor of Texas (and lieutenant governor before that), Perry was no stranger to inaugural balls, even if he did try to loosen up the black ties with a Ted Nugent performance in 2007.

2. He knows how to take instructions: As Texas A&M University’s former head Aggie Yell Leader, Perry should be able to get in formation.

3. He’s got dancing shoes: Though “Dancing With the Stars” is a ballroom contest and not a televised honky-tonk, Perry’s cowboy boot collection shows he prefers his feet to be fancy. You don’t swagger around in “Come and take it” boots unless you want people looking at your footwork.

4. He’s got a sense of rhythm: As columnist Ken Herman points out, Perry is a musician, “including talent on the piano and drums.” He sang and drummed with ZZ Top in 2005, in fact.

5. He has a history of public dance performance: Need we remind you of Austin’s premiere menorah-lighting merry-maker?

On the other hand, Laurie Hernandez will definitely win.

Laurie Hernandez

Happy birthday, Andy Roddick! Let’s relive the Austinite’s Grand Slam win

Austin has every reason to be proud to call Andy Roddick one of their own. He’s one of the greatest tennis players of all time,  a multi-time finalist at Wimbledon and the most recent North American male player to win a Grand Slam singles event — and that’s just the short list.

Read: Tennis star Andy Roddick talks up his foundation at SXSW

ORG XMIT: USO200 Andy Roddick reacts after winning his match against Julien Benneteau of France during the U.S. Open tennis tournament in New York, Sunday, Sept. 4, 2011. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
USO200 Andy Roddick reacts after winning his match against Julien Benneteau of France during the U.S. Open tennis tournament in New York, Sunday, Sept. 4, 2011. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

Roddick: Why after school programs are so critical for Texas

Today, Roddick celebrates his 34th birthday. It’s been exactly four years since he announced his retirement though he still played for the Austin Aces in World Team Tennis in 2014. Now he lives in Austin with his wife and actress Brooklyn Decker and their son, Hank. He also runs the Andy Roddick Foundation, which includes a sports and learning center for youths in East Austin.

Related: Elton John gives star power to Andy Roddick Foundation Gala in Austin

In honor of his birthday, let’s take a moment to relive Roddick’s U.S. Open win in 2003. He beat out Juan Carlos Ferrero at just 21 years old, becoming the last American male to finish the year as the world No. 1. Happy birthday, Andy!

Professor Matthew McConaughey showed up to class at UT last week

It finally happened: Matthew McConaughey made his UT classroom debut last week.

Matthew McConaughey on the sideline of the Texas football game at Royal-Memorial Stadium Saturday, Nov. 26, 2015. (Stephen Spillman for AMERICAN-STATESMAN)
Matthew McConaughey on the sideline of the Texas football game at Royal-Memorial Stadium Saturday, Nov. 26, 2015. (Stephen Spillman for AMERICAN-STATESMAN)

Most of you probably remember that UT announced earlier this summer that the Austinite and Academy Award-winning actor was set to teach a course this fall to some ridiculously lucky students. Well on Monday, the Moody College of Communications tweeted out a photo of McConaughey at the front of his new class.

Joined by “Hunger Games” director Gary Ross, McConaughey is teaching thirty students in a course called Advanced Producing: Script-to-Screen. It’s still not clear how often the UT alumnus will be appearing on campus — he’s expected to teach mostly via recorded videos —  but any McConaughey sighting is usually a good one.

Hook ’em.

RELATED COVERAGE

What people are saying about Mexican icon Juan Gabriel’s death

After news broke on Monday that beloved Mexican singer-songwriter Juan Gabriel had died Sunday night at 66, fans everywhere expressed their mourning on social media. As American-Statesman reporter Nancy Flores writes, he leaves behind a musical legacy that spans more than four decades.

FILE - In this Nov. 5, 2009, file photo, Mexican singer Juan Gabriel accepts the person of the year award at the 10th Annual Latin Grammy Awards in Las Vegas. Representatives of Juan Gabriel have reported Sunday, Aug. 28, 2016, that he has died. Gabriel was Mexico's leading singer-songwriter and top-selling artist with sales of more than 100 million albums. The statement says he died Sunday, but did not say where. (AP Photo/Matt Sayles, File)
In this Nov. 5, 2009, file photo, Mexican singer Juan Gabriel accepts the person of the year award at the 10th Annual Latin Grammy Awards in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/Matt Sayles, File)

Here are just a few of the social media posts honoring Juan Gabriel:

“I find myself speechless when expressing my immense sadness for the death of the great @soyjuangabriel. His music and spirit will live on forever.”

“A night dedicated to my dear brother @soyjuangabriel another angel has escaped us…Take care of us.”

“A wonderful composer. Brilliant.”

“We lost the inimitable @juangabrieloficial A great talent who for decades has gifted the world infinite unforgettable melodies! His voice and songs will continue to fill our hearts forever. May he rest in peace.”

Sturgill Simpson calls out the Academy of Country Music, ‘Garden & Gun’ for disrespecting Merle Haggard

7:35 P.M. UPDATE: Sturgill Simpson has updated his earlier Facebook post, saying that he was not aware of Miranda Lambert’s reception of the  ACM Merle Haggard Spirit Award, and that he was not intending to slight the singer in any way.

He went on to say that the award, and who wins it, is detracting form his original point that mainstream country music has lost touch with its roots.

“I fully realize that as I type this, meetings and conversations are taking place on music [sic] Row to ensure I am blackballed from the industry and that’s perfectly fine with me,” Simpson wrote. “Im [sic] not sure how you can blackball somebody you don’t acknowledge in the first place anyway. Yet, even though they mostly go out of their way to ignore artists like myself and Jason Isbell, I assure you they are more than aware of our existence. They are also well aware that we don’t need them.”

Indeed, both his and Isbell’s last records have sold more than 200,000 copies combined with almost no radio support, and both were at No. 1 on the charts shortly after their release.

Sturgill won’t be at the CMAs this November, he wrote, because he has a sold-out show in Des Moines.

But he’s mostly concerned with how The Hag himself would’ve handled all of this.

“Mostly though, I just wish Merle was still alive. I’d love for them to all hear his thoughts on the matter. P.S. F— this town. I’m moving.”

EARLIER:

Sturgill Simpson has been pretty media-averse lately, but he’s broken his silence to comment on the Academy of Country Music and “Garden & Gun” magazine for disrespecting the late Merle Haggard.

Sturgill Simpson performs at ACL-Live - Austin, Texas
American Country Music Artist Sturgill Simpson performs on Night One at ACL-Live at The Moody Theater in Austin, Texas on May 5, 2016 – Photo Credit: Scott Moore/For American-Statesman

The comments stemmed from a recent announcement that the Academy would institute a new “ACM Merle Haggard Spirit Award,” to be given to “a singer-songwriter and performer whose career reflects the uncompromising integrity and steadfastness of spirit embodied by the late Merle Haggard,” according to the award criteria.

The Academy will bestow the new award tomorrow, Aug. 30 and will be filmed for a TV special set to air on Sept. 9.

“There was simply no way the Academy could hold what may be its most heartfelt event – ACM Honors – without creating a lasting way to acknowledge his legacy,” ACM Board President Ken tucker told Music Row.

It was just announced Monday that Miranda Lambert will receive the inaugural ACM Merle Haggard Spirit Award.

That news came after Sturgill Simpson took to Facebook Monday to write about what he calls “high school pageantry, meat parade award show bull—-” in regards to Haggard’s legacy (some explicit language in that post):

“Im [sic] writing this because I want to go on record and say I find it utterly disgusting the way everybody on Music Row is coming up with any reason they can to hitch their wagon to his name while knowing full and damn well what he thought about them,” Simpson wrote.

2015 Willie Nelsons 4th of July Picnic Erika Rich 27
Merle Haggard performs at Willie Nelson’s 4th of July Picnic at the Circuit of the Americas on Saturday July 4th, 2015

Haggard’s beefs with Music Row record execs were well-documented; the Hag once called CBS Records executive Rick Blackburn “the dumbest son-of-a-b—- I’ve ever met” for firing Johnny Cash and for telling Haggard that “Kern River” was a bad song. Which, interestingly enough, also fits into the beginning of Simpson’s post Monday.

“Many years back, much like Willie and Waylon had years before, Merle Haggard said, ‘F— this town. I’m moving.’ and he left Nashville. According to my sources, it was right after a record executive told him that ‘Kern River’ was a bad song. In the last chapter of his career and his life, Nashville wouldn’t call, play, or touch him. He felt forgotten and tossed aside. I always got a sense that he wanted one last hit..one last proper victory lap of his own, and we all know deserved it. Yet it never came. And now he’s gone,” Simpson wrote.

“If the ACM wants to actually celebrate the legacy and music of Merle Haggard, they should drop all the formulaic cannon fodder bull—- they’ve been pumping down rural America’s throat for the last 30 years along with all the high school pageantry, meat parade award show bull—- and start dedicating their programs to more actual Country Music.”

Simpson also wrote that the oft-shared photo of him and Haggard playing guitar together outside on Haggard’s ranch was supposed to be a part of a cover shoot for “Garden & Gun” magazine, and that the cover photo instead went to Chris Stapleton, because the editor of “Garden & Gun” claimed there were “no good photos.”

“Some days, this town and this industry have a way of making we wish I could just go sit on Mars and build glass clocks,” Simpson concluded.

 

Willie Nelson was bullied as a kid? He says now he lives by the golden rule

What do you mean Willie Nelson was bullied as a kid? But he’s the Red Headed Strangeran outlawAustin’s pride and joy — and apparently, an exceptional nose picker.

Willie Nelson performs at Luck Reunion on March 18, 2016. Suzanne Cordeiro/For American-Statesman
Willie Nelson performs at Luck Reunion on March 18, 2016.
Suzanne Cordeiro/For American-Statesman

Read: Austin gets new Willie Nelson mural 

In a recent episode of YouTube channel Great Big Story’s “Hey Willie,” Nelson divulges that as a young kid growing up in a small Texas town he became subject to bullying because of his intense nose picking. He dug ’til there was blood.

Related: Taking Willie Nelson’s Picnic back, decade by decade

But he overcame the bullies thanks to his grandmother and a poem she’d read to him when he was six years old. It went like this:

What’re you looking at me for? I ain’t got nothing to say. If you don’t like the looks of me, you can just look the other way. 

Photos: Willie Nelson through the years

“I thought it was so funny, I started living that way,” he said. Since then, Nelson has been living life by the golden rule: treat others like you want to be treated.

 Another video of the same interview features Nelson talking about his love of marijuana and his new brand of weed called Willie’s Reserve. He thinks it’s hilarious how famous he is for his relationship with pot.

Here’s everything coming and going from Netflix in September

 

Say adios to summer and welcome a whole new batch of Netflix additions coming in September.

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Photo courtesy of Universal Pictures

Read: Netflix to bring back Steven Avery for ‘Making a Murderer’ Season 2

A few days ago. the streaming site announced everything that’s coming and going next month and it seems like a pretty good trade-off.

So what will you be able to watch from the comfort of your home in no time? First off, “Jaws.” And we’re talking all four of them. Other ’80s classics include “Footloose” and “Top Gun.”

More recent films include 2004’s “Crash,” “Saving Private Ryan,” Academy Award-winning “The Imitation Game” and the animated hit “Zootopia.” Those are just scratching the surface so you should check out Entertainment Weekly’s full list here.

Related: Netflix says ‘Stranger Things’ soundtrack is coming to our ears soon

Everything comes at a price so of course we have to say goodbye to a few big films. Leaving Netflix will be “2 Fast 2 Furious,” “A Walk to Remember” and “Zoolander.” You can check out the rest of the list here. 

Read: ‘Anne of Green Gables’ reboot headed to Netflix

 

 

‘RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars’ premieres this week, but don’t forget this Austin queen

On Thursday, some familiar gentlemen will start their engines, and the best (of the best) women will eventually win a coveted crown. The second season of “RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars” premieres Thursday, featuring fan-favorite contestants from past seasons of the drag competition reality show.

One local face, unfortunately, not join beloved drag queens like Alaska, Katya and Alyssa Edwards: Austin’s own Cynthia Lee Fontaine.

RuPaul's Drag Race season 8 premiere featuring Austin’s own Cynthia Lee Fontaine, at Ironwood Hall on Friday, Feb. 26, 2016 in Austin, Texas. (Erika Rich for American-Statesman)
RuPaul’s Drag Race season 8 premiere featuring Austin’s own Cynthia Lee Fontaine, at Ironwood Hall on Friday, Feb. 26, 2016 in Austin, Texas. (Erika Rich for American-Statesman)

A-List Photos: “RuPaul’s Drag Race” season 8 premiere party in Austin

Fontaine (born Carlos Hernadez) didn’t steal the crown at the end of season 8 of “Drag Race” — she sashayed away in the third episode — but she did manage to snatch the title of Miss Congeniality, a title often awarded to queens with a strong fan following.

Before the debut of season 8, the fixture of local gay bar Oilcan Harry’s said in an interview with Austin360 that competing as the show’s first contestant from Austin was a source of pride:

“It’s a wonderful experience to represent Austin, Texas, my Hispanic community, and my community here in Austin. We are equipped with great performers — female, male, androgynous, campy, trashy, whatever — and this city provides everything in between. So I’m just proud that I can represent a little piece of that and share it with the entire world.”

From the archives: 25 years of Pride

Though she won’t return to TV sets this week, Fontaine is scheduled to appear at the Austin Pride festival on Saturday.