• Weekend Recs: Paula Poundstone, Do-It-Yourself, Hot Sauce Festival

    The popular improv comedienne and regular NPR panelist is in town to promote her first book, “There’s Nothing In This Book That I Meant To Say” with a set at the One World Theatre.

    WHAT: Paula Poundstone
    WHERE: One World Theatre
    WHEN: Friday at 7 p.m.
    HOW MUCH: $20-60 show alone; $55-95 with dinner

    A curated collection of local artists with complimentary beverages provided by Circle Brewing Company.

    WHAT: The Austin Series, Part 3
    WHERE: Gallery Black Lagoon
    WHEN: Friday at 7 p.m.
    HOW MUCH: Free

    Electronic music group Bubble Gum Mafia host their first Austin show, a dance party where participants are encouraged to dress as their favorite video game characters. Full bar for 21+.

    WHAT: Pixel Invasion: An 8-Bit Party Inspired By Video Game Classics
    WHERE: The North Door
    WHEN: Friday at 7:30 p.m.
    HOW MUCH: $5 before 10 p.m.; $10 after 10 p.m.

    Learn to build and maintain vegetable and rain gardens with gardening experts and take an optional tour of the Zilker gardens. Open to beginners and longtime gardeners alike.

    WHAT: Green Garden Do-It-Yourself Day
    WHERE: Zilker Botanical Gardens
    WHEN: Saturday at 9 a.m.
    HOW MUCH: $10 (registration required)


    Local stores and independent boutiques offer significant markdowns and new merchandise ranging from men and women’s apparel to jewelry and home furnishings.

    WHAT: Le Garage Boutique Sale
    WHERE: Palmer Events Center
    WHEN: Saturday at 11 a.m.
    HOW MUCH: $10 a day (two-day event)

    The 21st annual Hot Sauce Festival features over 350 entries homemade, professional and commercial. The festival also has raffle prizes and proceeds go to the Capital Area Food bank of Texas.

    WHAT: Austin Chronicle’s Hot Sauce Festival feat. The Bright Light Social Hour
    WHERE: Waterloo Park
    WHEN: Sunday, 11 a.m. - 5:30 p.m.
    HOW MUCH: Free with a healthy, nonperishable food items or a cash donation to the Capital Area Food Bank of Texas

    The Upper Decks kicks off its first Sunday night movie series with Gangster Month, featuring classic Italian mob films screened alongside a spaghetti and wine meal. This week’s film is “Goodfellas.”

    WHAT: Sunday Night Movie Series: Gangster Month and Spaghetti Dinner
    WHERE: The Upper Decks
    WHEN: Sunday at 9 p.m.
    HOW MUCH: $19.95 for film screener, spaghetti dinner for two and a bottle of the house red wine

  • Indie local band Boy+Kite shares music experiences, advice

    Boy+Kite features the musical stylings of Darvin Jones, Chris Mietus, Giuseppe Ponti, and Beth Puorro. The band’s debut album, Go Fly, is currently available at Waterloo Records’ listening stations. (Photo Illustration)
    Boy+Kite features the musical stylings of Darvin Jones, Chris Mietus, Giuseppe Ponti, and Beth Puorro. The band’s debut album, Go Fly, is currently available at Waterloo Records’ listening stations. (Photo Illustration)

    Released less than two weeks ago, local indie alternative rock-pop band Boy+Kite’s debut album Go Fly is already riding high on reviewers’ top listens. Pronounced “boy plus kite,” the band has been especially well-received locally — Go Fly is currently on stand at one of Waterloo Records’ listening stations and the band has an upcoming performance at “Dia De Los Toadies” in New Braunfels in August.

    After meeting in a hot tub at a friend’s birthday party in February 2009 and bonding over the recent break-ups of their former bands, singer-guitarists Darvin Jones and Beth Puorro’s friendship quickly went from trading mixtapes to brainstorming song and lyrics to forming Boy+Kite. Following their three recorded songs for the 10-track LP, the duo were joined by drummer Chris Mietus and bassist Giuseppe Ponti, completing what Puorro describes as the right mix.

    During The Daily Texan’s weekly music blog series “The Basement Tapes,” the Texan spoke to the band about its formation and the new album.

    The Daily Texan: I recently saw Go Fly on Waterloo Records’ listening station and was so ecstatic. What is it like to be a local band?
    Beth Puorro
    : All of us have been in bands. I have been in bands for years and Austin is just saturated with artists. There’s just a lot of musicians, so it’s good on two levels. The fact that you get to play with some really great musicians — you have to weave through some really bad musicians­ — and then there’s all these bands trying to play the same places. You get to play good stuff, but then there’s always a ton of it. I feel with us, we just got the right mix. It’s like sometimes you just get the right blend of people together and it works ...
    Darvin Jones: Chemistry.
    Puorro: Chemistry. I feel like this time, for me at least, it is the right mix.

    DT: So what does that mix include?
    Chris Mietus
    : I think our personalities. We all get along really well and that makes it really easy to work together. We’ve all been through the pace, just in terms of being in bands for so many years that we’ve all sort of kind of gone through the growing pains. Now that we found kinship in the music, we are able to get pass all those little weird ego things that happen in bands where everyone’s got to be the writer or the star guitar player or whatever. We’re all sort of humble and just pretty low maintenance in terms of getting along. Past experiences I think have conditioned us to be that way.

    DT: So Darvin and Beth, you two met in a hot tub and that’s how it all started ...
    : That’s what’s crazy. It’s true. That’s how we met. I think when we started we were like, ‘Let’s do this crazy band’ and at least for me, it’s let’s get together and see if we can write well because I was brokenhearted over a band breakup. Like with any breakup, it was the best thing that ever happened to me, but at the same time it was hard ... I just needed to play with someone and it just happened [to be Darvin].

    DT: And how did it go from a duo to a foursome?
    : We didn’t want to be a duo, you know. We wanted to be a band after we started realizing that our music was good. When you get just two people, to me it gets kind of acoustic and I think we both really wanted a drummer and a bass player that’s really talented with layers and just added a dynamic to the music.
    Jones: And I think that we just got to a stage in our writing, to evolve to what we are now, we needed to bring in other people.
    Puorro: And it wasn’t just like let’s find a drummer or find a bass player ... it was like a specific kind of drummer and bass player, one that was tasteful. When Chris came in he was just really tasteful and he listens and he adds to the music and Giuseppe is the same way. He doesn’t just come in with root notes, he comes in with melodies.

    DT: OK, so what was the inspiration behind Go Fly?
    : I would say life, personally. I think for me the inspiration was just music, loving to
    play music.
    Giuseppe Ponti: Yeah, pretty much. We all love to play music and without doing it, we wouldn’t be happy.

    DT: What do you think makes you stand apart from other local artists?
    : I don’t think we are necessarily going ‘Hey, the Strokes are popular, let’s play songs that’s like them.’ I feel like that happens a lot. This is my opinion: Bands do well ... and 20,000 other bands try to be just like that band. And I don’t think you can pin us down and say we sound like ‘blah, blah, blah.’

    DT: What are some mistakes you guys have made in the past you know for sure you don’t want to repeat in this band?
    : Play music for money. That’s the worst thing I’ve ever done as a musician. Like a hired gun. I used to do that for a living, play bass. I was miserable.
    Puorro: Bands that he wasn’t into like, ‘Would you come play for me and I’ll pay you $50.’
    Jones: I have a good one. I’ll never go to L.A. for a record deal without knowing that the owners of the record company are heroine addicts. That’s a past mistake I’ve made that was a lot of fun.
    Puorro: Don’t sleep with other band members. That’s a big one.

    Printed on Monday, August 8th, 2011 as: Boy+Kite shares insights, experiences

  • Apron Optional: Tied up with a bow

    Apron Optional cooks up Simply Scratch's Creamy Lemon and Chive Farfalle. This version adds a bit more color and richness with some extra cheese and a sprinkling of peas.
    Apron Optional cooks up Simply Scratch's Creamy Lemon and Chive Farfalle. This version adds a bit more color and richness with some extra cheese and a sprinkling of peas.

    Hey everyone! I’m back in America and still a little jetlagged.

    If you plan accordingly with your grocery shopping, as my family always does, then your post-vacation fridge is usually pretty bare. While this is good in theory, it means very few food options upon arrival back home.

    Not really wanting to go out to the store (I’m still in a bit of a late summer lull) I scrounged for a filling recipe I could make sans groceries. Then, as if it had descended from heaven: a recipe for creamy lemon and chive farfalle (bowtie pasta).

    This pasta dish is great because (for the most part) it contains ingredients I usually keep in my kitchen anyway. The slight tanginess of the lemon juice and zest cuts the heaviness of the dish, making it a very satisfying meal.

    It’s also great because you can substitute the ingredients to fit your current fridge stock. In the past, I’ve used white onion and garlic instead of chives and shallots. Not quite the same flavor, I’ll admit, but just as delicious.

    In the past, I have added shrimp to the pasta to make it more of a meal but pieces of chicken or chicken sausage work fine as well. This time, I added about half a cup of frozen peas for some color and well, for the sake of peas.

    One of the joys of being home at my parents is that there is always white wine in the house — perfect for cooking and keeping your company occupied. However, if you find yourself short a bottle (or like me, simply don’t want to make the trip to get it), low sodium chicken or vegetable broth is a fine substitute.

    The original recipe comes from the food blog Simply Scratch, a gold mine of easy dishes from scratch. This was one of the first places I started looking for recipes when I got into cooking because the author makes everything seem so achievable — a good quality for beginners with shaky confidence.

    Now, if you will excuse me, I have some carbo-loading to do. No, I’m not a runner — I just eat like a pro.