Kindie rock

Once upon a time, rock ’n’ roll was about bad dudes singing about bad shit, and it was very, very bad for you. One of my formative images was punk progenitor Iggy Pop stage-diving onto a field of shattered glass. The dude rose slowly, like a demon out of ooze, gushing corpuscles and grinning like… Continue reading Kindie rock

Belle of the brawl

When the NFL season started in early September, Jen Welter’s well-publicized coaching internship with the Arizona Cardinals officially ended. But the social tectonics set in motion by her hiring certainly didn’t. Many experts inside the world of sports propose that female coaches may have an abiding future in male pro sports leagues. Believed to be… Continue reading Belle of the brawl

South of Houston

Who knew that Houston had an underground? The Tunnel, as the befuddling, 6.3-mile subsurface promenade is informally known, has been with us since the mid-1930s, but it remains one of the city’s least-trumpeted destinations. On purpose. “The Tunnel was never intended to be an attraction. It was not designed; it just kind of evolved,” says… Continue reading South of Houston

Loop de Loop 610

The best ride of the day was not on a roller coaster but in a stretch limousine; it purred there on pitted asphalt, gleaming like polished bone in the Gulf Coast sun. The Six Flags flacks had hand-picked half a dozen limo riders from the gathered throng of media types; most of those at this… Continue reading Loop de Loop 610

Generation exceptional

“We had a rule: absolutely no classical music whatsoever.” Orli Shaham laughs at the memory — and its obvious irony. The young musician is now a mature married woman at 22, and she’s recalling the nuptial ceremony, held more than a month ago in her homeland of Israel. Orli’s a world-class concert pianist. Her husband,… Continue reading Generation exceptional

Aggie yoke

TV’s highly rated Beverly Hillbillies was axed for attracting hicks. Robert Earl Keen wrestles with his own 500-pound demographic gorilla: rednecks. The singer/songwriter — raised in Houston, he graduated from Texas A&M and now lives in Bandera — is bigger than God and Patton to the future farmers and junior militarists called Texas Aggies. The… Continue reading Aggie yoke

Happy death day

The End Date December 21, 2012. 12/21/12. Whatever. While I’m sure I’ll have mixed feelings if the Apocalypse really does go down on the Winter Solstice in 2012 – I won’t get to see the playoffs! I won’t have to pay my mortgage! – I’ll be royally pissed if nothing at all happens. I’m one… Continue reading Happy death day

“Red Red Wine” revisited

Ah, what a tangled web Neil Diamond unwittingly wove when he wrote the song “Red Red Wine” back in ’67. For starters, it was a pretty un-Diamondlike tune, something borne out by what happened after Neil’s own raspy-throated version came out in ’68. For reasons unknown, Jamaican rocksteady master Tony Tribe latched onto the song… Continue reading “Red Red Wine” revisited

Design for nonliving

David’s in oil and gas. Clair’s an actress at the Alley Theatre. Their daughter, Rebecca, is at MIT, but returns frequently to use her whiz-bang remote-control commode — who wouldn’t? If their house has that unlived-in look, it’s because nobody lives there. David, Clair and Rebecca are the fictitious inhabitants of the IdeaHouse. Located on… Continue reading Design for nonliving