Billy Crystal tickets on sale Friday!

Billy Crystal (photo: Steve Schofield)
Billy Crystal (photo: Steve Schofield)

Tickets go on sale 10 a.m. Central time on Friday (Dec. 2) for comedian Billy Crystal — he of a stand-up career, a weirdly underrated stint on Saturday Night Live, and a massive catalog of movies —  for a Feb 27 show at the Long Center’s Dell Hall.

Crystal has characterized the show as “stand-up and sit down.” Expect some stand up comedy, some story telling, some film clips, and chats about his life, the universe and everything.

Tickets range from $69 to $189 and will be on sale here.


This week in popular culture: ‘Manchester By the Sea,’ The Rolling Stones and a lot more

“Manchester By the Sea.” Kenneth Lonergan’s new film, starring Casey Affleck as Lee Chandler, a complicated man who learns that his brother Joe (“Friday Night Lights” star Kyle Chandler) has made Lee the guardian of Joe’s son Patrick (a terrific Lucas Hedges).  Alternately crushingly sad and extremely funny, it’s easily one of the year’s most complicated movies. Look for a full review Friday, Dec. 2.

Kate Bush, “Before the Dawn” (Concord). A live album recorded during Bush’s 2014 residency at London’s Hammersmith Apollo, this genius’s first live shows since 1979. (Dec. 2)

Childish Gambino, “‘… Awaken, My Love!’” (Glassnote). The new one from multi-hyphenate Donald Glover, who does rap business as Childish Gambino. Quite frankly, it is very unlikely that this album will match the wit, power and smarts of Glover’s TV show “Atlanta,” if only because “Atlanta” was the best show of 2016. (Dec. 2)

John Legend, “Darkness and Light” (Columbia). You might next see Legend in the movie “La La Land,” but albums are his day job, and this one includes Alabama Shakes singer Brittany Howard, Chance the Rapper and Miguel. (Dec. 2)

51914591The Rolling Stones, “Blue & Lonesome” (Universal). For what is rumored to be their final album, the Stones go back to their roots as a blues cover band. Here are 12 tracks, recorded in three days, made famous by such folks as Howling Wolf, Memphis Slim and Magic Sam, complete with Jagger on harmonica, which he plays better than many realize. Based on the excellent first single, a rough-and-tumble spin through Little Walter’s “Just Your Fool,” this is the sound of guys in a room looking at each other as they play, which is probably how they should have been making records for, oh, the past 35 years or so. (Dec. 2)

Various artists, “The Hamilton Mixtape” (Atlantic). A collection of remixes and covers of songs from the instant-classic Broadway musical “Hamilton.” Look for contributions from Alicia Keys, Kelly Clarkson, the Roots, Sia, John Legend, Regina Spektor, Usher, Jimmy Fallon, etc. (Dec. 2)

The Clean, “Getaway (Deluxe Edition)” (Merge). The iconic New Zealand pop band’s 2001 album gets a nice remastering along with an 18-song bonus CD that compiles the tour-only releases “Syd’s Pink Wiring System” and “Slush Fund.” Recommended if you like Yo La Tengo, the Feelies or, virtually any and all indie rock and guitar pop made over the past 30 years. (Dec. 2)

“Pacific Heat” (Netflix). An adult cartoon from Australia about an undercover cop on Australia’s Gold Coast. It looks a bit like “Archer.” (Dec. 2)

Update: Sold out! Tickets on sale Tuesday for Bruce Springsteen at BookPeople

SXSW2012 - 3/14/2012 - Jay Janner/American-Statesman - Joe Ely, left, and Bruce Springsteen perform at the Austin Music Awards at the Austin Music Hall during SXSW on Wednesday March 14, 2012.
SXSW2012 – 3/14/2012 – Jay Janner/American-Statesman – Joe Ely, left, and Bruce Springsteen perform at the Austin Music Awards at the Austin Music Hall during SXSW on Wednesday March 14, 2012.

Update: According to BookPeople, this event is now sold out.

Yes, at BookPeople! The rocker and author will make an appearance to promote his well-received memoir, “Born to Run,” at noon Dec. 1. Tickets go on sale at 11 a.m. Tuesday, Nov. 22.

According to BookPeople, tickets are $32.50 + Austin sales tax + service fee and include a book. Books will be pre-signed, but attendees will be allowed “one posed photo with Bruce Springsteen,” which will be taken with your camera or phone by a BookPeople employee. The Boss will not sign anything during his appearance, so leave your memorabilia at home.

Full details at the BookPeople website.

Dave Chappelle will release three comedy specials, including one shot at ACL Live, on Nextflix next year

 Jarobi White and Q-Tip of musical guest A Tribe Called Quest pose with host Dave Chappelle, center, on the television show, "Saturday Night Live, " in New York. (Rosalind O'Connor/NBC via AP)
Jarobi White and Q-Tip of musical guest A Tribe Called Quest pose with host Dave Chappelle, center, on “Saturday Night Live,.” (Rosalind O’Connor/NBC via AP)

Dave Chappelle will release three comedy specials to Netflix in 2017, including one shot at ACL Live.

Chappelle and director Stan Lathan will produce an original stand-up comedy special exclusively for Netflix, along with two additional unreleased specials, one filmed at Austin City Limits Live and one at the Hollywood Palladium. These are Chappelle’s first concert specials in 12 years and are slated to be released simultaneously next year.

Chappelle, one of the great stand-up comics of his generation, has been doing live shows of late, but roared back onto TV Nov. 12 when he hosted the first post-election episode of SNL.






ATX Television Festival announces ‘Designing Women’ and ‘Northern Exposure’ reunions

The sixth ATX Television Festival, which takes place June 8-11, 2017, announced the first new panels and programming Thursday, including a 30th anniversary reunion of the sitcom “Designing Women,” and a cast and creatives reunion of the iconic drama “Northern Exposure.”

"Designing Women" cast photo, 1991
“Designing Women” cast photo, cir. 1991

The “Designing Women” reunion will feature creator Linda Bloodworth-Thomason, along with stars Delta Burke, Annie Potts, Jean Smart, Gerald McRaney, Hal Holbrook, and Douglas Barr. (Co-0star Meshach Taylor died in 2014.)

Cast members Rob Morrow, John Corbett, Barry Corbin, Janine Turner, and Darren Burrows (the latter of whom no longer looks anything like his character Ed Chigliak) are confirmed for the “Northern Exposure” reunion, along with creator Joshua Brand (“The Americans”), writers Robin Green and Mitchell Burgess (both created “Blue Bloods”) and network executive and producer Cheryl Bloch.

Retrospectives for Linda Bloodworth-Thomason’s other series, “Evening Shade” and “Hearts Afire,” will take place as well, with Burt Reynolds and Marilu Henner confirmed for “Evening Shade,” and Markie Post and Leslie Jordan confirmed for “Hearts Afire.”

“The Black Donnellys” and “The Middleman” will be part of the festival’s “cancelled too soon” track, with creators/EPs/directors Paul Haggis and Robert Moresco, writer Amanda Moresco, and cast member Jonathan Tucker confirmed for “The Black Donnellys,” and creator/EP Javier Grillo-Marxuach confirmed for “The Middleman,” along with star Natalie Morales.

Additional panelists will be announced at a later date.

ATX Advisory Board members Glen Mazzara (“Damien,” “The Shield,” “The Walking Dead”) and Beau Willimon (“House of Cards”) will also return as panelists.

Phil Rosenthal, creator/EP of “Everybody Loves Raymond” and “I’ll Have What Phil’s Having,” will return to ATX for another year to reprise his “I’ll Have What Phil’s Having…for Breakfast!” panel.

This week in popular culture: ‘Fantastic Beasts,’ old R.E.M. and new Miranda Lambert

“Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.” Eddie Redmayne, Colin Farrell and Katherine Waterston star in this “Harry Potter” spinoff (complete with screenplay by J.K. Rowling, her first) about Newt Scamander (Redmayne) and his wizarding adventures in the U.S. in the 1920s. (Nov. 18)

 R.E.M., “Out of Time (25th Anniversary Edition)” (Concord Bicycle). Speaking of reissues to make you feel old, various iterations of this deluxe set may include 19 demos, an unreleased 1991 live show, eight music videos, a 1991 EPK video, and the album in high-res and 5.1 Surround Sound formats on a Blu-ray disc. (Nov. 18)

rek_ntcvr Robert Earl Keen, “Live Dinner Reunion” (Dualtone). A two-CD sequel to this Texan’s 1996 album “No. 2 Live Dinner,” featuring Lyle Lovett, Joe Ely, Bruce Robison, Cory Morrow and Cody Canada. (Nov. 18)

  Bruno Mars, “24K Magic” (Atlantic). Expect funk on Mars’ third album. No, really. Funk will happen. (Nov. 18)

 Metallica, “Hardwired … to Self-Destruct” (Blackened Recordings). Their first since 2008 is a 77-minute double LP/double CD. Look, it can’t be worse than “St. Anger” and it can’t be mastered worse than “Death Magnetic.” (Nov. 18)

credit-daniela-federiciMiranda Lambert, “The Weight of These Wings” (RCA Nashville). A 24-song double album from this country star. That is a whole lot of Lambert. (Nov. 18)

12 things we learned at the Texas Book Festival 2016

David Cay Johnston speaks about his New York Times Bestseller The Making of Donald Trump to fans at the CSPAN2, Book TV tent during the Texas Book Festival on Sunday, Nov.6, 2016. RICARDO B. BRAZZIELL/AMERICAN-STATESMAN
David Cay Johnston speaks “The Making of Donald Trump” at the Texas Book Festival on Sunday.

Donald Trump as con man, Guy Clark as inspiration and a completely excellent rainbow were just a few of the highlights of the 21st annual Texas Book Festival, which wrapped up Sunday at the Capitol and surrounding grounds.

1. The C-Span tent was standing room only for Texas Tribune editor Evan Smith’s interview with David Cay Johnston, whose new book “The Making of Donald Trump” puts a time-stamp on 30 years of reporting on the GOP’s nominee for president. Commenting on the size of the crowd, Smith said, “You’d think that was an early voting location in a Hispanic part of town,” which received the appropriate amount of laughter.

2. Johnston, a registered Republican and longtime tax code journalist, described Trump as a “master salesman and con artist” and recited a litany of Trump’s sins, from the possible exaggeration of his wealth (there isn’t “any verifiable evidence that he is worth (even) $1 billion,” Johnston said) to bragging about deceiving his business partners to his connections to Russian mobsters and his seeming lack of empathy, which Johnson said absolutely hits the level of “sociopath.” Was he preaching to the choir at the book fest? Absolutely. Was the choir into it? Oh yes.

3. After a long flight delay, Nick Offerman, best known for his role on “Parks and Recreation,” finally arrived in Austin on Saturday for his panel and stuck around until 11:30 p.m. talking and signing his new book, “Good Clean Fun: Misadventures in Sawdust at Offerman Workshop,” which focuses on his Los Angeles woodshop.

4. During her Sunday panel, Maria Semple, bestselling author of “Where’d You Go, Bernadette” and “Today Will Be Different,” talked about writing as downhill skiing: “I feel like my books, it’s like I’m on a downhill course, and I’m in a tuck, and I’m going … I’m trying not to crash and come apart and just reach the ending in one piece.”

5. On Saturday,  journalist Jessica Luther, author of “Unsportsmanlike Conduct: College Football and the Politics of Rape,” joined Texas Monthly reporting partner Dan Solomon and Rick Gipprich and Rose Luna of the Texas Association Against Sexual Assault to discuss how different institutions—the NCAA, athletic departments, universities, the media—respond to such stories. Luther urged preventative education as a means of combating sexual assault and singled out a general lack of understanding about consent. “I would start teaching about it from kindergarten on,” she said.

6. Former Secret Service agent Clint Hill told stories Saturday from his book “Five Presidents: My Extraordinary Journey with Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, and Ford.” Before a packed crowd in the C-Span tent, Hill gave a detailed account of the day President John F. Kennedy was killed (Hill was assigned to first lady Jacqueline Kennedy; you can see him jumping onto the back of the car in the Zapruder film). He also recalled spending time in the Hill Country with President Lyndon B. Johnson and told several tales about that president’s quirks – including the time Johnson went Christmas shopping in his pajamas during an overseas stop in the Azores.

7. Lydia Millet (“Sweet Lamb” of Heaven”) and Amy Gentry (“Good as Gone”) both have novels that examine the relationships between mothers and daughters. Millet got the best laugh of their panel Saturday when she talked about the extraordinary feelings that take over when you become a mother, making you willing to die for a “small creature that’s accomplished nothing.”

8. Patrick McDonnell, the creator of the Mutts cartoon strip, shared stories behind the popular pets – a dog named Earl and a cat called Mooch – who have been featured in his strip since 1994. His new book, “Tek: The Modern Cave Boy,” is about a cave boy who can’t leave his cave because he’s so attached to his own iPad.  Like in his other books “Hug Time” and “The Gift of Nothing,” McDonnell’s message of enjoying the people and nature around you resounded with both the children and adults in the crowd Sunday, who awww’d every time Mooch, Earl or, now, Tek sees an opportunity to express their gratitude for the smallest joys in life.

9. On what would have been legendary songwriter Guy Clark’s 75th birthday Sunday, the Texas Book Festival brought author Tamara Saviano to town for her new Clark biography “Without Getting Killed or Caught,” with two of Clark’s closest musical peers joining in to share some of his songs with a big crowd at the Paramount Theatre.  Saviano spoke early on about how the book was organized into sections that covered Clark’s songwriting influence and legacy, the twists and turns of his career as a recording artist, and his deep bond with his wife and fellow songwriter Susanna Clark (who died in 2012).  After telling a couple of road stories, Joe Ely offered up a sterling rendition of Clark’s “Dublin Blues,” a perfect fit in a venue that sits just a few blocks from a place mentioned in the song: “I wish I was in Austin, at the Chili Parlor Bar.”

10. Terry Allen, the famed sculptor and musician who grew up in Lubbock with Ely and now lives in Santa Fe, N.M., is at work on an unusual task: Before Clark died, he asked Allen to use his ashes in a sculpture. That’s still in progress, though at the Paramount, Allen revealed he’d told Clark that it might involve a bronze goat: “I’m going to take your ashes, and I’m going to shove it up its” nether region. Allen’s story elicited wild laughter from the audience, especially with the punchline: “And his response was, ‘Perfect.’”

11.  On Sunday, Art Markman and Bob Duke of “Two Guys on Your Head” fame joined their producer and co-host, KUT’s Rebecca McInroy,  to discuss her new book, “Brain Briefs: Answers to the most (and least) pressing questions about your mind.” Markman noted that the show was McInroy’s brainchild, who pitched it as “‘Car Talk’ for the mind,” (which, come on, that’s brilliant).  Both emphasized the intellectual (as in, how to make your brain better) importance of failure. “Traditional education teaches us to minimize mistakes,” Markman said, adding that recovering from mistakes is much more important than avoiding them.

12. The festival mic drop, at a panel scheduled in the last time slot Sunday, came courtesy of Austin author Karan Mahajan:  “A novel that doesn’t give some offense is deeply flawed.”

-With Addie Broyles, Peter Blackstock, Jeanne Claire van Ryzin, Nancy Huang and Emily Quigley