• Pop Index: Bradley Cooper parle français, Reese Witherspoon’s diss and Anthony Weiner’s dirty tweets

    Welcome, kind readers, to the Pop Index. My name is Aleksander Chan (pronounced like Alexander, but with a Russian spelling) and I am the Life & Arts associate editor. Every Friday I will write this index of the best and worst of the week’s pop culture, handily rendered in the photo above for your viewing pleasure.

  • Weekend Recs: 06.09 — 12

    Check out this weekend’s top events recommended by the Life & Arts editor.

    A modern twist on classic romance, “I Love You Because” is a musical comedy about greeting card writer Austin Bennet and his journey trying to believe in love again in New York City.

    WHAT: “I Love You Because”
    WHEN: Thursday, June 9 at 8 p.m.
    WHERE: Hyde Park Theatre
    HOW MUCH: $18 – $25

    The Austin Flea will feature handcrafted and vintage goods made by local vendors.

    WHAT: The Austin Flea
    WHEN: Saturday, June 11 from 12 p.m. ­— 7 p.m.
    WHERE: The Highball
    HOW MUCH: Free

    The crude yet hilarious comedian Chelsea Handler, popularly known for her late-night series Chelsea Lately on E! and book, “Are You There, Vodka? It’s Me Chelsea,” stops in Austin for her tour “Lies Chelsea Handler Told Me.”

    WHAT: “Lies Chelsea Handler Told Me”
    WHEN: Sunday, June 12 at 8 p.m.
    WHERE: Bass Concert Hall
    HOW MUCH: $38 – $85

    Austin indie-soul garage band Follow That Bird! is kicking off its cross-country tour with Trail of the Dead at Hole in the Wall on Sunday. The band recently released their hot new vinyl 7-inch “Wooden Bones.” The concert will also feature indie bands the Sour Notes and Elaine Greer.

    WHAT: Follow That Bird! Tour Kick-off
    WHEN: Sunday, June 12 at 8 p.m.
    WHERE: Hole in the Wall
    HOW MUCH: Free, 21+

  • The Garage Sale Review: An Introduction

    Hello reader!

    Allow me to introduce myself. My name is Aaron West, senior writer for The Daily Texan. I am apparently allowed to write in this blog. When the people in charge over here at the paper told me about my blog access, I paused and took in the news. “What’s that smell?” I thought to myself. And then it came to me: it was the unmistakable scent of Internet stardom and social influence. I could practically taste the site traffic. But what should I blog about?

    I mulled it over and decided that I would write about a subject very dear to my heart, something that, since childhood, has influenced me in deeply significant and personal ways. The customs and tradition that surround my chosen theme, like any customs and traditions worth a damn, were instilled in me by my father – a man who knew the value of going to strangers’ houses before 8 a.m. on Saturdays, scavenging through the possessions proudly displayed on folding tables scattered throughout their yards and then greedily haggling with the owner over the price, regardless of whether the item was totally worthless or not. My father was a garage sale fiend. So am I.

    Yes, this is a blog post about garage sales. Every weekend I will pick some garage sales to go to, map my route, hop in my car and report back from the front lines of Austin’s (and perhaps beyond) garage sale culture. Are you ready? I am.

    Every Monday, faithful readers will be privy to where I journeyed and a weekly review of my finds. I’ll sift through folks’ unwanted items with the meticulousness of a paleontologist and the trained eye of someone whose first words were, after being tirelessly prompted by his father, “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure.” Just kidding, of course – that phrase is way too complicated for a baby.

    You’ll have full access: quirky family heirlooms, clunky electronics from a time before Steve Jobs, unlabeled VHS tapes that haven’t been watched since the kids moved away to college and almost anything else you can imagine – as long as you’re imagining strange odds and ends that have been sitting for years on the top shelves of hallway closets. Also, look forward to interviews with the garage sellers themselves, insight from my fellow junk vultures and photos.

    So buckle up, you crusader of crap. This is The Garage Sale Review.  

  • Weekend Recs: 06.02 — 04

    The museum’s bimonthly art party is showcasing its summer exhibition, “About Face: Portraiture as Subject,” this Friday. Fittingly, the night will include portrait artists, art with live models and music from Austin band Not in the Face.

    WHAT: Blanton Museum B Scene
    WHEN: Friday, June 3 at 6 p.m.
    WHERE: Blanton Museum
    HOW MUCH: $12

    The UT radio station is kicking off the summer with its annual music show on Friday. The set list includes Low Times, Final Exam, Springs, Os Ovni and The Nouns.

    WHAT: 91.7FM KVRX Summer Concert Series
    WHEN: Friday, June 3 at 8 p.m.
    WHERE: Spider House, 2908 Fruth St.
    HOW MUCH: $5

    Closing out its series of music party with spinning beats from Prince Klassen and DJ Orion, production group Knuckle Rumbler is amping up its final party with snow machines, photo booths and hookah. Guests are encouraged to wear black or blue.

    WHAT: Southern Violator: Depeche Mode vs Ludacris
    WHEN: Saturday, June 4 at 9 p.m.
    WHERE: Scoot Inn, 1308 East 4th St.
    HOW MUCH: $5

    The eight-time Grammy award-winning jazz group The Manhattan Transfer is closing the Austin Symphony’s 100th concert season with their swinging, jazzy renditions of “Tuxedo Junction” and “Java Jive.

    WHAT: The Manhattan Transfer
    WHEN: Saturday, June 4 at 8:00p.m.
    WHERE: Palmer Events Center
    How Much: $30-45