5 Lunchtime Links: Rihanna covers Tame Impala on new album

FILE - In this Friday, Oct. 2, 2015, file photo, singer Rihanna poses before Christian Dior's Spring-Summer 2016 ready-to-wear fashion collection to be presented during the Paris Fashion Week, in Paris. Rihanna has released her much anticipated new album through Jay Z’s Tidal streaming service, which she co-owns. Rihanna released “ANTI” on Thursday, Jan. 28, 2016, on the streaming service. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus, File)
Rihanna poses before Christian Dior’s Spring-Summer 2016 ready-to-wear fashion collection to be presented during the Paris Fashion Week, in Paris. Rihanna has released her much anticipated new album through Jay Z’s Tidal streaming service, which she co-owns. Rihanna released “ANTI” on Thursday, Jan. 28, 2016, on the streaming service. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus, File)

1. Rihanna makes new album available for free for 24 hours, covers Tame Impala.

Yesterday Rihanna made her highly-anticipated “ANTI” album available for free on her website for 24 hours. Bad news: Time’s up. If you didn’t score one of the limited downloads, you’re going to have to pay. But here’s one more reason (song) reaching for your wallet might be worth it — the singer covers Australian rock band Tame Impala’s “New Person, Same Old Mistakes” in a swoon-worthy, hypnotizing rendition of the psychedelic tune. The band released a statement saying they were “really happy” with how the song turned out. You can buy the album here.

2. Forbidden, stolen, inflatable love.

After police stopped a 27-year-old man riding his bicycle the wrong way down a Corpus Christi access road, they were surprised to find a life-size Miley Cyrus inflatable doll shoved into his backpack. The man also had marijuana in his pockets. Police connected the man and his strange passenger to a recent report of theft at a nearby adult video store. The man matched the description of the thief and he was arrested and charged with two misdemeanors.

3. SXSW adds nearly 150 more performers.

In what has become a weekly tradition SXSW has announced an additional 149 performers that will grace the festival with their presence come this March. As with previous name-drops the list includes a few major performers and many, many lesser-knowns. The biggest announcement of the week remains yesterday reveal that Josh Homme and Iggy Pop will join promise performances. But festival goers will also have pianist and songwriter Leon Russell to look forward to, along with Americana performer Robert Ellis.

4. “Pharma bro” threatens to destroy $2 million album in Ghostface Killah diss video.

“Pharma bro” Martin Shkreli has taken his evil ways to another level. In a video shared exclusively with TMZ (with Shkreli’s permission), the notorious CEO of Turing pharmaceuticals threatens to destroy the single copy of Wu Tang album “Once Upon a Time in Shaolin,” which Shkreli paid $2 million for. In the video Shkreli demands a 500-word written apology from Wu Tang member Ghostface Killah who insulted both Shkreli’s nose and refusal to release the album to the public, which he was allowed to do.

5. Beyonce, Coldplay take a trip to India.

Coldplay debuted its video for “Hymn for the Weekend.” The colorful video features Beyonce and a few seconds of Indian actress Sonam Kapoor in a Bollywood-themed dream. It shows different shots of life in India and has stirred up some controversy among fans who have called Beyonce’s depiction cultural appropriation. Both Coldplay and Beyonce are set to perform during the Superbowl Hafltime Show.

Happy birthday, Austin resident Elijah Wood!

Unto us, in 1981, a hobbit was born.

While it may not be entirely fair to typecast actor Elijah Wood like that, the fact remains that the “Lord of the Rings” star and Austin homeowner turns 35 on Thursday. We know, we couldn’t believe it’s been that long, either. We remember seeing trailers for “North.”

Elijah Wood at the Stephen F. Austin hotel on Sunday, March 13, 2005. (Deborah Cannon/American-Statesman)
Elijah Wood at the Stephen F. Austin hotel on Sunday, March 13, 2005. (Deborah Cannon/American-Statesman)

In celebration of the erstwhile “Happy Feet” penguin, we dug through our archives for a little Elijah love on this most auspicious of days.

• In 2013, the “Wilfred” star bought a Victorian-style mansion in South Austin for $1 million. It’s around Bouldin Creek Cafe. Can’t miss it.

• He’s been spotted around town at local hotspots, including South Congress, Whole Foods and Sixth Street’s Easy Tiger bakery and beer garden. According to a 2013 story, he also has worked regularly with Rooster Teeth.

• Before he called it home, Wood came to Austin to work on “The Faculty,” a 1998 movie from hometown hero Robert Rodriguez about a group of students who suspect that their schoolteachers are actually aliens. At the time, American-Statesman film critic Chris Garcia only mentioned Wood in his review of the film by way of a comparison to “The Breakfast Club”: “We’re witness to the parade of pubescent archetypes — gloomy outcast, jock, rebel studmuffin, new girl and hopeless nerd — recast as air-brushed, Fox-ready cuties,” Garcia wrote. “Elijah Wood takes the Anthony Michael Hall role, Clea DuVall is Ally Sheedy, Josh Hartnett becomes Judd Nelson, and so on. The nubile cast is surprisingly strong.”

• The American-Statesman also talked to Wood about his love of Fantastic Fest and return to Austin in 2014.

“I started coming back to Austin, initially because of South by Southwest, and my brother lived there for five years,” Wood said. “It always felt like home. … And I felt for a long time that I should live there, so I just decided to buy a home.”

Happy birthday, Elijah. We thought you were great in “Sin City.”

And in that one Beastie Boys video.
And in that one Beastie Boys video.

5 Lunchtime Links: Undie Run for charity

You don’t have to run in your underpants, but it’s encouraged. Photo courtesy Cupid’s Undie Run.

1. February’s underwear race to benefit tumor charity.

No shirt, just shoes, race. The Cupid’s Undie Run on Feb. 20 doesn’t require much of its runners. The course runs only through about a mile-stretch of downtown, and you don’t have to wear clothes. In fact, it’s strongly encouraged that you don’t. Runners, most of whom arrive in just their underwear, will benefit the Children’s Tumor Foundation with their $45 registration fee.

2. Micklethwait Craft Meats owner recreates ZZ Top album cover, eats it.

Tom Micklethwait, owner of the popular smoked meats trailer on Rosewood Ave., expressed his love for rock music in one creatively delicious way when he recreated the cover of ZZ Top’s album “Tres Hombres,” and then proceeded to eat it. The best part? He filmed the whole thing so you can watch the whole righteous experience. The original cover was inspired by the since closed Leo’s Mexican Restaurant in Houston.

3. Iggy Pop and Josh Homme will perform at SXSW.

Iggy Pop and Queens of the Stone Age frontman Josh Homme, who have recently collaborated on album “Post Pop Depression” due out later in March, will grace SXSW with a performance in one of their first shows as a duo. Soon after the March 16 appearance at ACL Live, the pair will embark on a U.S. and European tour. Catch ’em before they’re gone!

4. Barbie to come in different body types, skin tones.

Barbie’s timeless, controversial, plastic silhouette will get a new shape when maker Mattel begins selling versions of the doll with three different body types. Now you’ll be able to pick whether you want your Barbie to be curvy, petite or tall. The new Barbie will also be available in seven skin tones, 24 hairstyles and 22 different eye colors. The changes have been in the works for years, after the company repeatedly came under fire for depicting unrealistic standards to young girls who play with the dolls.

5. UT Heisman winner Ricky Williams to appear on “Celebrity Apprentice.”

Will he be fired? Or will UT football legend Ricky Williams go all the way when he appears on the upcoming season of “Celebrity Apprentice?” The Heisman Trophy winner has definitely made his mark on Longhorn football, but it’s unclear how he’ll do when he goes head to head with fellow “celebrities” like Mötley Crüe’s Vince Neil, “Real Housewives” stars Kyle Richards and Porsha Williams, and Carson Kressley of “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy.”

5 Lunchtime Links: Austin named top beer city

Bar 2211 is known for its variety of canned beers, with about 75 to 80 currently offered. Arianna Auber / AMERICAN-STATESMAN
Bar 2211 is known for its variety of canned beers, with about 75 to 80 currently offered. Arianna Auber / AMERICAN-STATESMAN

1. Austin makes greatest beer cities list.

Austin ranked No. 5 on a list of the seven “great American beer cities” compiled by Wine Enthusiast magazine. Not entirely sure if they really have the authority to speak on such matters, but its good to hear regardless! In explaining the city’s ranking it mentioned local breweries Adelbert’s, Austin Beerworks and Jester King. It failed to mention a few brews that definitely have earned recognition like Blue Owl and Live Oak Brewing, but again — it’s a magazine for people who like wine.

2. Move over Chick fil A.

Fried chicken remains very important to Austin. Following Shake Shack’s recent release of its fried chicken sandwich, Flyrite Chicken will become the new contender at bat. The restaurant, which serves sandwiches, salads and wraps, will open February 7 at 2129 E. Seventh St. In addition to wine, shakes and Cuvee coffee, Flyrite will also serve only antibiotic-free, veg-fed chicken. The first 300 people who attend the restaurant’s grand opening party on Valentine’s Day will receive a free koozie and beer.

3. Choose your own race.

Your resolution in 2016 was to get off the sidelines and actually run the race. But which one? Austin has dozens of race options, and deciding can be (almost) as tough as completing the race itself. Play our “Choose your own race” adventure game and we’ll help get you off on the right foot. Answer telling questions like “Do you want to race on roads?”, “Do you want to go long?” and “Do you want to run in costume?” and we’ll help match you with the race of your dreams.

4. Rihanna releases new single featuring Drake.

Rihanna released new single “Work” featuring Drake today from her upcoming and highly-anticipated album “ANTI.” The collaboration has been rumored for awhile now after video of them shooting together at a mall was leaked. Will “Work” meet the same success as the pair’s No. 1 hit “What’s My Name?” Listen for yourself below.

5. Happy National Chocolate Cake Day!

Looking for a mostly made up reason to eat chocolate cake? Then join us in celebrating National Chocolate Cake Day. It’s not yellow cake day, and it’s definitely never going to be carrot cake day (it has a vegetable in it), so celebrate by trying out one of our many chocolate cake recipes here.

Austin’s cutest couple contest 2016: A poem

Pam and Chris LeBlanc smooch at the Puppy Love mural outside Mud Puppies on East Riverside Drive.

Roses are red
Violets are blue
Do you and your sweetie have a love so true?

If you both live in Austin
and think your love’s the best…
You should enter our cutest couples contest!

If you’re voted the winners,
you and your honey will eat
at one of Austin’s finest restaurants – our treat!

So enter a photo
and tell us your story.
The two of you may bask in a year’s worth of glory.

For those of you Austinites
without a partner in crime,
vote for the couple whose love is sublime.

2016’s cutest couple
is out there somewhere.
It’s time to pick ’em out – love is in the air!


The facts: Enter until Feb. 3, vote until Feb. 10. Please only enter a photo in which you are a part of the couple. The photo with the most votes by Feb. 10 will win a $100 gift card to Uchi/Uchiko, one of the top restaurants in Austin according to our restaurant critic, Matthew Odam. The winning photo will also run in Austin360 on Valentine’s Day. See full rules and more at the contest homepage.

5 Lunchtime Links: B.o.B. disses Neil deGrasse Tyson

Recording artist B.o.B attends the 2015 BMI R&B/Hip-Hop Awards at Saban Theatre on August 28, 2015 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images for BMI)

1. B.o.B. responds to Neil deGrasse Tyson’s “round earth” claim with diss rap.

Rapper B.o.B. has been in contention with, well, rational thought and those who practice it for awhile now. But most recently his impassioned claims that the Earth is flat and that we have all been massively deceived has made for a pretty entertaining series of tweets. Astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson, most likely just as entertained as the rest of us, saw B.o.B.’s tweets as a chance to teach him a lesson. Tyson responded to and refuted several of the rapper’s tweets claiming to prove the Earth’s flatness with verifiable, scientific explanations all in under 140 characters. B.o.B.’s response? He rapped it out. Listen to his full flat Earth theory, diss rap “Flatline” below.

“Why is NASA department of defense? / They divided up the seas into thirty-three degrees / Feeding kids masonry, bruh, be careful what you read”


2. Is it too late now to say sorry?

Ex-Longhorn quarterback and current UT employee Vince Young took to Facebook Monday to apologize for his DWI arrest Sunday. In the post Young said he “understands the seriousness of the situation” and apologized for “not having met my own standards of personal conduct.” There’s still no word on whether or not Young will be allowed to remain in his $100,000-a-year position as a mentor for UT’s Division of Diversity and Community Engagement. A statement from the school, however, said Young has “been in contact with his immediate supervisor and understands the gravity of the situation.”

3. What is happening at Twitter?

No matter how many characters you need to say it, Twitter’s recent loss of four top executives doesn’t sound good. CEO Jack Dorsey announced Sunday that the company’s engineering executive, Alex Roetter; products executive, Kevin Weil; head of human resources, Skip Schipper; and Katie Stanton, who managed the company’s media partnerships would all be leaving the company and taking “some well-deserved time off.” The loss of the four senior executives follows the lay off of around 300 employees shortly after Dorsey’s arrival. While the company is looking to make a turnaround amid losses, the staff change ups could also be a sign of distress.

4. SXSW announces Tony Visconti as first of multiple keynote speakers.

SXSW announced David Bowie producer Tony Visconti as the first of several keynote speakers who will replace the festival’s traditional high-profile artist. Visconti has worked with several high-profile artist himself, including Thin Lizzy, U2, Esperanza Spalding and Morrissey, but he is expected to focus more specifically about his work with the late Bowie. Visconti was responsible for producing Bowie hits like “Young Americans” and his recent “Blackstar.”  More of the keynotes are expected to be announced in the near future.

5. Golden Globes misspell Jon Hamm’s name on statue.

Jon Hamm revealed at this past weekend’s Sundance Film Festival that between his two prized Golden Globes statuettes, which he won for his role as Don Draper in “Mad Men,” his name is only spelled right once. The first Golden Globe the actor ever received was awarded to a Mr. “John” Hamm. In typical fashion Hamm only had jokes to make about the situation saying “I was like, ‘Oh man. Uh, guys, there’s no ‘H’,” and of Sundance, “There should be a jury for best scarf and best hat.”

5 Lunchtime Links: Tina Fey returns as Sarah Palin

This Saturday, Jan. 23, 2016 image provided by NBC shows Tina Fey, left, as Sarah Palin and Darrell Hammond as Donald Trump during the “Palin Endorsement Cold Open” sketch on “Saturday Night Live.” The sketch kicked off the cold open to “SNL” on Saturday, with Fey and Hammond skewering the former Alaska governor’s endorsement speech in Iowa on Tuesday. (Dana Edelson/NBC via AP)

1. Tina Fey returns as Sarah Palin on “SNL.”

Tina Fey again returned to the role of her lifetime when she encapsulated the hand motions and strange, rambling speech Sarah Palin gave to announce her endorsement of GOP frontrunner Donald Trump on this past weekend’s episode of “Saturday Night Live.” Fey as Palin took a break from her “full-time career of writing things on Facebook” and made it out to Iowa to give her official, kooky stamp of approval. At one point, Darrell Hammond who plays Trump turns to the camera and admits, “She’s crazy, isn’t she?” You can watch the full skit here.

2. Vince Young arrested.

Ex-Longhorn quarterback Vince Young was booked in Travis County Jail Monday after being arrested on a DWI charge. Young, who serves as a community engagement officer for the Division of Diversity and Community Engagement at UT, appeared before a Travis County judge who set his bail at $2,000.

3. Story behind new deaf-owned Crêpe Crazy.

The simplest way to order your meal at South Austin’s new Crêpe Crazy is written on a sign beneath the menu: “Point and Ye Shall Receive.” The all-deaf staff is led by a couple originally hailing from Russia, excited by the possibility of starting a deaf-run business in America. Their new Austin restaurant will be the business’s second location, with another one thriving in Dripping Springs. “We hire deaf people, because they have a hard time getting a job out there,” co-owner Michelle Giterman writes.

4. Where else can you get Voodoo Doughnuts?

How can you get your hands on a famed Voodoo Doughnuts without either trying to find parking near Sixth Street or flying to Portland? The Buzz Mill, a coffee shop and bar soon to be found at both its original Riverside location and on South Congress Avenue, will begin stocking the sweet, quirky pastries. Major plus? It’s open 24 hours a day.

5. Long-stay animals at Austin shelters equally deserving of good home.

While puppies and kittens fly of the shelves at animal shelters, some older or less obviously adorable animals wind up taking up a more permanent stay. Old dogs need love to! Watch this video to get a peek at the behavioral training and socialization programs used by the Austin Humane Society to help make long-stay pets more appealing to those looking to adopt.

5 ways to get ready for the return of ‘The X-Files’

David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson return as Fox Mulder and Dana Scully in "The X-Files: Reopened." (Ed Araquel/FOX via AP)
David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson return as Fox Mulder and Dana Scully in “The X-Files: Reopened.” (Ed Araquel/FOX via AP)

The wait is almost over, “X-Files” fans: We’re just two days away from the premiere of the 10th season miniseries “The X-Files: Reopened” (9 p.m. Sunday on Fox), and we’ve got a few ways for you to prepare this weekend:

Find out what’s in store for the six-episode revival. We’ll see the return of several cast favorites, both mythology and standalone episodes, and a post-9/11 update, to name a few. Brush up on what else to expect with this primer from the American-Statesman’s Mary Huber.

Get caught up. It’s too late to binge-watch all nine seasons before Sunday’s premiere, but there’s a shortcut: Find out which episodes to watch and which ones to skip with this guide to essential viewing, which pares the series down from 202 episodes to a, uh, manageable 64 (better get started).

Travel through the series. If spending your entire weekend binge-watching (and not sleeping) is out of the question, check out this interactive map of every “X-Files” location – including episode summaries – instead. The show never made it to Austin, but it did make stops in Houston, Dallas and the fictional town of Cheney, Texas.

See an “X-Files” actor in Austin. Mitch Pileggi, also known as FBI assistant director Walter Skinner, stars in the family drama “Tribes” at the Zach Theatre starting next week. Learn more about the show and how to get tickets here.

Go behind the scenes. Show creator Chris Carter and leads David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson are joined by costars and other key players in this preview. Watch below:

5 Lunchtime Links: Charlotte Rampling on Oscar debate

FILE - In this Saturday, Feb. 14, 2015 file photo, Charlotte Rampling holds the Silver Bear for Best Actress for her role in ’45 years’ after the award ceremony at the 2015 Berlinale Film Festival in Berlin, Germany. Academy Award-nominated actress Charlotte Rampling has entered the debate over a lack of diversity at the Oscars, saying the calls for a boycott are "racist to white people." All this year’s acting nominees are white. Rampling told France's Europe 1 radio Friday, Jan. 22, 2016 that sometimes "maybe black actors didn't deserve to be in the final stretch." (AP Photo/Axel Schmidt, file)
Charlotte Rampling holds the Silver Bear for Best Actress for her role in ’45 years’ after the award ceremony at the 2015 Berlinale Film Festival in Berlin, Germany. Academy Award-nominated actress Charlotte Rampling has entered the debate over a lack of diversity at the Oscars, saying the calls for a boycott are “racist to white people.” All this year’s acting nominees are white. Rampling told France’s Europe 1 radio Friday, Jan. 22, 2016 that sometimes “maybe black actors didn’t deserve to be in the final stretch.” (AP Photo/Axel Schmidt, file)

1. Charlotte Rampling calls diversity debate surrounding Oscars “racist to white people.”

Actress Charlotte Rampling went there, guys. Herself an Academy Award-nominee, Rampling is receiving a lot of scorn for comments she made about the recent racial debate surrounding the upcoming Oscars. During a radio interview Rampling said the calls for a boycott against the awards are “racist to white people,” and “maybe the black actors didn’t deserve to be in the final stretch.” In defending her view Rampling said, “These days everyone is more or less accepted,” and spoke out against the possibility of imposing quotas on the ceremony asking if there should be “thousands of little minorities everywhere.”

2. Austin design firm creates open carry opt out signs for businesses.

Why not opt out of open carry in style? Or at least that’s the thinking of local design firm Wyatt Brand. The company designed a couple of decorative signs for businesses to display and alert their customers that their weapons aren’t welcome. The signs are free and available for download on the company’s website.

For a full list of businesses that have opted out of the newly passed Texas open carry law see below:

2. SXSW announces nearly 200 new performers.

SXSW has made it a weekly tradition to release a list of bands set to perform during the upcoming festival every Friday morning. Today was no different with nearly 200 performers announced this morning. While there aren’t a ton of big names in today’s drop festival goers can look forward to a performance by British R&B artist Estelle who first made it big with her Kanye-colab hit “American Boy,” but has since gotten recognition for her 2015 album “True Romance.” Others include Toronto-based electronic duo Zeds Ded and Charli XCX. You can scan the full list here.

4. Kyōten Sushiko offers sneak taste today through UberEats.

Austin sushi lovers cried big, salty tears when Kyōten sushi trailer closed for business yesterday. There’s little reason to stay sad, however, as the business will reopen as a brick-and-motar Kyōten Sushiko at the Mueller development this Spring. But what about until then? What about today? UberEats will be delivering a sneak taste of Kyōten Sushiko today when you can order their salmon oshizushi straight to your door.

5. Steampunk Saloon Facebook post attacked by trolls.

All the recently opened Steampunk Saloon on West Sixth Street was looking for when it posted a recruiting event on Facebook was “extraordinary individuals to join our team.” Instead what it got was an elbow to the corset by way of hundreds of comments poking fun at the establishment and its bronze-and-brown-clad following. Although the bar has deleted most of the original comments you can read many of them here.

5 Lunchtime Links: Amy Schumer denies joke stealing

Amy Schumer accepts the Critics’ Choice MVP award at the 21st annual Critics' Choice Awards at the Barker Hangar on Sunday, Jan. 17, 2016, in Santa Monica, Calif. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)
Amy Schumer accepts the Critics’ Choice MVP award at the 21st annual Critics’ Choice Awards at the Barker Hangar on Sunday, Jan. 17, 2016, in Santa Monica, Calif. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)

1. Amy Schumer denies joke-stealing allegations.

Comedian Amy Schumer has adamantly denied allegations that she has stolen material, made in a video comparing her jokes to several other comedians. The “Trainwreck” star went as far as to vow to take a polygraph test to prove both her innocence and original comedic aptitude. “I will literally take a polygraph. And I just would never do that. That would be so stupid for me to do that,” Schumer said. The video alleges that Schumer stole jokes written by comedians Kathleen Madigan, Wendy Liebman, Tammy Pescatelli, and Patrice O’Neal. Of Pescatelli, Schumer said, “I think this is Tammy’s trying to get something going,” after confirming both Madigan and Liebman believe Schumer didn’t steal their material.

2. Keep track of your festivals with official festival guide.

How do you keep track of the insane number of festivals taking over parks, venues and any empty field in Austin most weekends of the year? Our 2016 festival guide! The guide breaks down the festivals by month and provides much need information like ticket prices, location and dates. We all know what to expect with major festivals like SXSW and ACL, but what about April’s Texas VegFest? And Classic Game Fest which celebrates retro video games?

3. John Legend, Juanes team up for prison performance.

An unlikely pair, Grammy winners John Legend and Columbian singer Juanes teamed up Wednesday to perform outside an Arizona prison to draw attention to mass incarceration and immigration issues. Both Legend and Juanes played two of their own songs separately and together performed a rendition of Bob Marley’s “Redemption Song.” While the performance, which later aired on “Good Morning America,” was originally intended for inmates to hear, it was later revealed they were not permitted to leave their cells to listen to the concert. Juanes spoke during the performance to say he intended to “give a voice to those who don’t have one.”

4. Two Austin pups to play in Puppy Bowl XII.

Animal Planet’s twelfth annual Puppy Bowl, the adorable alternative to the Super Bowl, will feature two of our very own. Poppy and Hailey, both housed at the Austin Animal Center, will be among 80 puppies from 40 shelters across 25 states. The puppies all range in age from 12 to 24 weeks and include a large variety of breeds. Poppy a lost and never recovered poodle mix, and Hailey a terrier mix with a leg injury, are sure to represent us well!

5. Looking ahead for Valentine’s Day plans?

Or just planning a romantic date night for the upcoming weekend? Check out Matthew Odam’s list of restaurants that offer just the right amount of ambiance (and light) to set the mood for your date-night. Consider Asti Trattoria, Hyde Park’s secret corner of sophistication, or splitting a Neopolitan pie at San Jacinto Blvd.’s cozy Backspace. Whatever love nest of a restaurant you land on it’s important not to forget dessert.