It’s no secret Texans love their barbecue. It’s also a verifiable truth that H-E-B is one of the mot beloved grocery stores in the state, and maybe even America. Put the two together, and you’ve got a winning formula.
That’s right, Texas. H-E-B is about to introduce drive-thru barbecue stands to certain stores starting in August, the San Antonio Express-News reports. Customers will be able to enjoy meals from True Texas BBQ, the grocery chain’s barbecue brand. The restaurant will also serve breakfast tacos, because of course it will.
“Even if families don’t need to necessarily do a full shop, the True Texas BBQ will be a spot where families can go and dine together and enjoy what is arguably some of the best barbecue in Texas,” H-E-B spokesperson Dya Campos told the Express-News Wednesday.
Sadly for Austinites, it looks like we’re still stuck waiting in line at Franklin. So far, the only store to feature the True Texas BBQ restaurant will be in San Antonio, as part of a new 118,000-square-foot H-E-B in the southwest corner of Loop 1604 and Bulverde Road.
Last week, Republicans in Congress passed the repeal of an Internet privacy rule implemented by the FCC last year. The rule would have prohibited Internet service providers from selling the browsing history of their customers.
The repeal doesn’t necessarily mean your browsing history is for sale, but if it is, and you’re a Texan, you’re in trouble. Or rather, you might be in trouble if you’re embarrassed about searching for pornography.
The folks over at High Speed Internet have compiled a list of each state’s “online guilty pleasure,” and Texas residents apparently like searching for “XXX Content,” as the list calls it. Texans aren’t alone; porn was also the top guilty pleasure for Illinois, Kansas, Louisiana and New Mexico.
Other big “guilty pleasures”: Alaska really loves Googling celebrity news, Florida is big into “sugar daddy” sites, Utah can’t get enough fitness models, Colorado likes “fail videos,” and Mississippi residents love themselves some “Watch Me (Whip/Nae Nae).”
Fans of the the CW’s criminally short-lived teen detective series “Veronica Mars” are well aware that the show took place in the radically divided Neptune, Calif., a town where all that separated the elite socialites from the seedy criminals was a murky gray line of questionable morality.
But, as Entertainment Weekly has revealed, the show wasn’t always set in California. In fact, “Veronica Mars” wasn’t even originally imagined as a TV show. At first, it was going to be a Young Adult novel set right here in Austin at Westlake High School, and the titular character later became Veronica’s dad, Keith.
First things first: If you haven’t already seen “Veronica Mars,” you’re missing out. The plot centered around Veronica Mars (Kristen Bell), a high school student who moonlighted as a private eye for her father Keith. Keith was a former sheriff who opened up his own detective agency when he failed to get re-elected after he accused a Neptune socialite of murdering his own daughter (and Veronica’s best friend).
“Veronica Mars” was full of noir, camp, crime, quippy teens and lots of high school mysteries to solve. It also went to some pretty dark places in its examinations of class, race, wealth, sex and morality. The show was cancelled after three seasons, but a crowd-funded film was released in 2014 after a fourth season pilot was ordered by a network but never aired. Since the film’s release, series creator Rob Thomas has partnered with Austin author Jennifer Graham to write two books continuing the story of the plucky sleuth.
Anyway, Thomas originally intended for the story to be told as a young adult novel. He started a draft, “Untitled Teen Detective,” in 1996. That draft was shared with Entertainment Weekly this week for its “Hollywood’s Greatest Untold Stories” issue.
Thomas set “Untitled Teen Detective” in Austin. His story revolved around Keith Mars, teenage detective. Keith became a detective after his father quit a promising career with the Austin Police Department to open up a private investigation agency. Like in the TV show, there is no mother figure in the picture. Also like in the show, the titular young detective starts out by catching the parents of his wealthy Westlake High School classmates in after-hours trysts at seedy motels.
Another Texas twist: Keith pines for a popular girl who’s said to be dating a University of Texas football player.
But perhaps the biggest Austin element to the “Veronica Mars”-that-almost-was is a still-unsolved mystery that’s only hinted at. In the original draft, Keith discovers that the reason his dad left the police force is because he knowingly sent the wrong men to Death Row for involvement in Austin’s “Chocolate Shop Murders case,” a name which bears a striking resemblance to the real-life, still-unsolved Austin yogurt shop murders from 1991.
Years later, when Thomas took ideas from the draft into a spec script he sold to UPN (now The CW), Keith Mars became the disgraced law enforcement father figure, the main character became Veronica, and the main plot centered on a different kid of murder.
All of the Texas setting came natural to Thomas. He grew up in Texas, graduating from San Marcos High school in 1983. His father was a vice-principal at Westlake until the early 1990s, and Thomas attended Texas Christian University on a football scholarship before transferring to UT and graduating in 1987. Thomas was working as a high school teacher at John H. Reagan High School in Austin when he wrote the first draft of “Untitled Teen Detective,” and many characters in “Veronica Mars” were named for Austinites he met or musicians he played with. The music of several Austin bands also played in the show.
Alas, the Texas version of “Veronica Mars” is not the version that made it to the small screen. Maybe someday, if Netflix reboots the series (one can only hope) a mystery might take Veronica all the way to Austin.
“Every single commodity you produce is a piece of your own death!” — Hitchhiker, “Slacker”
“Didja ever look at a dollar bill, man? There’s some spooky s*** goin’ on there.” — Slater, “Dazed and Confused”
The films of acclaimed director and Austin resident Richard Linklater don’t explicitly deal with money, but the characters in Linklater’s films often ruminate on philosophic ideas about money, capitalism, life, love, time and everything in between.
Those philosophic ideas about money (such as the quotes above) stem from Linklater’sown experiences. Linklater shared those experiences in a 2016 guest blog post for WealthSimple, an investment website. In the year-old essay, Linklater writes about his relationship with money, and why he was glad he got fired from a job at La Mansion in Austin (now the Doubletree Hotel off I-35 North).
When he was 27 years old, Linklater was working as a night bellhop at La Mansion. One night, he went to go pick up a customer at the airport and bragged about how his hotel job basically allowed him to read and write and he guessed that during a regular 8-hour shift, he only did about an hour to 90 minutes of actual work.
But, he said that experience allowed him to travel to New York and hone his screenwriting skills for a summer. Then, his filmmaking career started to take off.
“That Doubletree Hotel isn’t far from my daughter’s school, and we drive past it all the time. I’ve pointed it out to her: ‘See that place? That’s the last real job your dad ever had, the last honest buck I ever made!'” Linklater wrote in the blog post.
Linklater also dropped some pearls of wisdom about money, including these quotes that wouldn’t sound out of place in one of his films:
“The best advice I ever got about money was from a doctor I met a long time ago. He had plenty of money, and he told me, ‘Invest in yourself.'”
“Ultimately, for me, money is a bad motivator. I’m so blessed because I’ve never really done stuff for money. I just try to make the films I want to make and tell the stories I care most about. Once you really don’t give a f*** about money, it comes scratching at your door.”
“When you grow up pretty poor, you see money as the thing that will solve all of your problems.”
“Once you have a reasonable level of comfort—you’ve got a roof over your head, you can pay your bills, your utilities aren’t being shut off, you can fix your car—having more money doesn’t really increase your happiness.”
If you saw last year’s “Loving,” Austin director Jeff Nichols’ film about the landmark 1967 Loving v. Virginia Supreme Court case that decriminalized interracial marriage in America, you know Ruth Negga can act.
But despite her great accent and acting performance in that film, Negga isn’t American; she’s Ethiopian and Irish. And today, in honor of St. Patrick’s Day, she’s teaching everyone how to make a proper Irish coffee.
By now, the news is out— Garth Brooks is indeed playing a free show Saturday night at Auditorium Shores for South By Southwest. He announced the free show at an 11 a.m. press conference Friday at the Austin Convention Center, where he previewed a snippet of his new single “Ask Me How I Know.”
Tickets for the show were available at noon Friday but sold out within minutes.
Brooks’ streaming partner, Amazon Music (he famously refused to put any of his music on any streaming service until October 2016) tweeted out that the show was sold out a mere five minutes after they went on sale.
Woah AUSTIN, @garthbrooks officially sold out in under 5 minutes! Thank you @sxsw and see you tomorrow night!!🤠
What does this mean? Are we to understand the implication of that tweet is that Garth Brooks LITERALLY the epitome of SXSW? Does his ego need to be fenced in? Is this just a shameless attempt to rope the wind of social media?
Maybe, but it also looks like the @SXSW part of that tweet was meant to literally mean “Garth Brooks is at the SXSW Conference” and not meant to equivocate Garth Brooks with the event.
At any rate, tomorrow will come, and it will bring a free Garth Brooks show.
A snippet of the song, called “No Nee Ta Slode Aln,” can be heard in a commercial for The North Face Apex Flex GTX Jacket.
Guess you’re out of luck if you’re a White Denim fan who lives in Arizona or the California desert. But the rest of us can sit back, relax, and know that Spotify is bringing us one step closer to Skynet.
If you like the song and want to hear more from White Denim, they’re playing at South By Southwest on Thursday and Friday.
South By Southwest is in full swing, which means crowds. Crowds everywhere, full of people with panels and parties to attend.
Many of those people forgot (or didn’t know) that Uber and Lyft no longer operate within the Austin city limits. And when it rains all weekend, as it did last weekend, people got upset at the gouged prices and long wait times for Austin alternatives Fasten and RideAustin.
Local ride-hailing service RideAustin posted on Facebook early Sunday morning that its database locked up throughout most of the evening Saturday, and Kirill Evdakov, CEO of Fasten, confirmed that service also had problems, beginning a little after 8 p.m. Saturday. He called SXSW, rainy weather, and glitches with other services simultaneously “a perfect storm” that led to Fasten receiving about 12 times as many ride requests as normal.
However, many people who arrived in town Thursday night for SXSW Interactive were well aware of the ridesharing situation in Austin. The following is from breaking news reporter Katie Hall, who went out to Austin-Bergstrom International Airport Thursday night to interview conference-goers.
Britt Deyan, of San Francisco, landed in Austin on Thursday night for SXSW Interactive. Deyan said that SXSW had been good about sharing the fact that Uber and Lyft no longer gave rides in Austin.
“Every communication I was sent about SXSW told me Uber wasn’t here,” Deyan said as she climbed into a taxi.
Alisa Hetrick and Sami Huerta, both of Minneapolis, also grabbed a taxi after landing at the Austin-Bergstrom International Airport. Hetrick and Huerta said they had been told by friends in Austin, who invited them to SXSW, that Uber and Lyft didn’t operate in Austin.
A group of six Mashable employees huddled together outside the airport after landing in Austin, discussing the ride-hailing app RideAustin. Their company had called a car ahead of time to pick them up, they said. A few of the people in the group said they were well aware of the fact that Uber and Lyft left Austin because their website had written about it. One of them, however, was not.
“I didn’t know until just now,” she said, after asking the reporter for ride-hailing app suggestions. “After the tragedy that happened a couple years ago at SXSW, I think they’re asking for another tragedy.” She declined to give her name.
What about you? Have you been having a tough time getting around at SXSW? Let us know in the comments.
Statesman reporters Katie Hall and Elizabeth Findell contributed to this report.