Kristin Hillery

A delicious robbery

Last year in Taylor, a 72-year-old woman discovered 22-year-old Paul Anthony Scales, Jr., in her home. As he pointed her own gun at her, he demanded that she take off her clothes.

chicken photo / micsten; Scales photo / Austin Police Department; illustration / Kristin Hillery “Oh, hello. Please take off your clothes and feed me chicken.” 

There’s a bit of a gap in information there, because the story continues with the old lady and Scales eating and talking – for three hours:

District Attorney John Bradley said in a media release that the woman fed Scales chicken and they talked for about three hours.

Afterward, Scales tied up her hands and feet and took $21 in change.

Mr. Scales was caught on June 1 of last year, so he won’t be showing up at your place any time soon demanding you get naked and feed him chicken.

Anyway, Scales pleaded guilty to robbery and kidnapping. He got 40 years for each offense, which he’ll serve concurrently, and he won’t be eligible for parole for 20 years.

For those who take karaoke seriously

Ever gone out with friends, wound up singing karaoke, and just felt bored? Maybe you need to heat things up with some good old-fashioned competition and leave those jokers behind.

Luckily, competitive karaoke is easy to find in town: The National Karaoke League was formed right here in Austin. Yes, a national league just for karaoke exists. It was just started this year by Whitney Francis and Chris Larkin, who call themselves “karaoke nerds.” The first division opened up with 41 members, and it’s growing strong with new leagues popping up in other cities.

Tonight at the Bennigan’s on Barton Springs Rd you can see what the NKL is all about. Here’s what they’ve been sending around:

Austin’s passive-aggressive notes is one of my all-time favorite websites. You can look at it for hours and laugh at people’s awkward attempts at controlling terrible roommates and inconsiderate co-workers or just generally keeping others in line. And if you’re like me, you cringe because these notes remind you of a few you may have angrily taped to the door of the girl across the hall who thought fighting with her boyfriend on the phone at 3am every night right outside your door was perfectly acceptable (coughfreshmanyearinthedormscough).

This weekend at The Velv: Chris Keimling

courtesy Chris Keimling Klaus holds Chris 

With the Funniest Person in Austin contest coming up in just a few weeks, the local stand-up scene is heating up with lots of great shows going on.

So let’s take a look at this weekend: Local comedian Chris Keimling is headlining at The Velveeta Room, and it’s only $5 to get in. You may have seen Chris doing stand-up at Cap City or ColdTowne Theater – or you may know him from Last Comic Standing, where he appeared as ridiculously funny German hip-hop star Klaus Schicklgruber on the 2004 and 2006 seasons. No doubt Chris is going to be bringing it big time to this year’s FPIA – the guy is hilarious and has been working hard to develop new material and perfect his old stuff in the last year, and it shows. Mike Dunlop and Tubby Tucker will open the show.

Friday and Saturday, March 21–22
9:30 and 11:30pm | $5

Third Thursday at The Blanton: In Katrina’s Wake

Willie Birch, Going Home, 2005 

Did you know that you can get into The Blanton Museum of Art for free on the third Thursday of each month? Pretty rad. The museum also stays open until 9pm and features plenty to keep you busy like free yoga and a wine bar (not free, unfortunately).

So tomorrow happens to be third Thursday – The Blanton’s Artistic License brings artists Cauleen Smith and Ron Bechet, two artists featured in the museum’s current WorkSpace exhibition In Katrina’s Wake, to “lead a discussion for the Austin arts community on art as a form of social engagement, how artists make decisions to do community work, and how they balance their studio practice with these important projects,” according to the press release. The discussion starts at 6pm, but there will also be a tour of WorkSpace at noon.

Thursday, March 20 | 10am–9pm | FREE

The Austin Comedy Trainwreck slams into the Hole tonight


Catch another great Austin Comedy Trainwreck show tonight at 9:30pm. This time it’s happening at the Hole in the Wall and, as comedian Seth Cockfield puts it, will be a “showcase of funny nerdy dudes telling jokes to chatty drunks.” The line-up:

  • Seth Cockfield
  • Jeremy Neal
  • Jonathan Pace
  • Chris Allen
  • Albert Im

9:30pm | $5

Hole in the Wall
2538 Guadalupe St • Austin, TX 78705

Matthew McConaughey is easy, brother

Today The Onion put up a brief about Austin’s shirtless, bongo-playing wonder, Matthew McConaughey:

Actor Matthew McConaughey Agrees To Star In Whatever

AUSTIN, TX—Actor Matthew McConaughey announced Tuesday that he has accepted a 6, maybe $7 million offer to star in Whatever. “I’m happy to do Whatever. You know I’m easy, brother,” McConaughey said of his upcoming role as a laid-back dude. “As long as the beer is cold and I can take my shirt off, I’m in. Well, all right.” Whatever, slated for release either late this year or next, will be directed by this one guy with whom McConaughey has worked before, and will also star Kate Hudson.

Nerd alert: BarCampAustin 3 happens Saturday

BarCamp Austin III 

Yesterday, on behalf of the City of Austin, council member Lee Leffingwell proclaimed that March 8 is BarCampAustin Day. For those unfamiliar, BarCamp is an unconference — “an ad-hoc gathering born from the desire for people to share and learn in an open environment.”

Daniel Johnston will be at tonight’s ‘Speeding Motorcycle’

photo / evilcabeza Daniel Johnston 

Speeding Motorcycle, a rock opera inspired by local hero Daniel Johnston, opened on February 14 at the Zach Scott Theater. Daniel will be at tonight’s show, appearing with the band in their post-show concert.

From the Zach Scott Theatre:

Supercool: three days of UCB comedy

The Upright Citizens Brigade is about to be all up in Austin.

Nine Inch Nails love Creative Commons

Ghosts I–IV 

Last night, Nine Inch Nails released their new album Ghosts I–IV under a Creative Commons BY-NC-SA license. So what exactly does that mean? Well, you can share and remix the music so long as you attribute them to Nine Inch Nails, you don’t make any money off of it, and you distribute any work you’ve altered/transformed/built upon under the same license. Easy pie.

Video: Take your canvas bags to the supermarket

Take your canvas bags to the supermarket, sings comedian Tim Minchin in this video made for BBC3’s Comedy Shuffle. After watching this, you’ll probably never forget to bring bags with you next time you’re at the store — this song is pretty damn catchy.

Get ready to Mess With Texas… again

Mess With Texas 2 

Mess With Texas was at Red 7 last year, and it blew us away. There were a ton of great bands and comedians, but the place was super packed. So hearing that they’ve moved this party to Waterloo Park is the best news ever. Plenty of room for everyone — and it’s all ages, too.

Brad Pitt filming in Bastrop?

photo / Richard Masoner Creative Commons licensed: Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Brad Pitt is your new bicycle 

Gossip blogger Perez Hilton says:

We’ve been getting tons of emails from readers about an Angelina Jolie sighting in the town of Bastrop, TX (right outside of Austin).

Apparently, the pregnant star was at a local Wal-Mart with little Maddox.

We have a feeling this might be a case of spotting Bigfoot. Do you really think Momma Jolie will be going to Wal-Mart herself???

But… you never know. Brange do get around!

Update: Brad is supposedly staring to shoot a new film in the area.

And the madness begins.

Your input on Barton Springs Pool is needed

photo / Todd Ross Nienkerk Creative Commons licensed: Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.0 

The city has just released a $6 million master plan for changes and improvements to Barton Springs Pool, but they want to get feedback from the public. From KVUE:

SNL spoofs Austin’s Clinton/Obama debate

Saturday Night Live was back this past Saturday with its first brand-new episode since the Writers Strike. The show’s opening sketch was about the debate between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama that happened in Austin last week:

Punchline: Hosted tonight by Bradley Jackson

If you’re looking for something fun, cheap, and awesomely cool to do tonight, you’ve gotta come to ColdTowne Theater at 10pm for Punchline, a stand-up comedy show we sponsor and help organize with local comedian Seth Cockfield and improv troupe ColdTowne.

Tickets are just $5, and the theater is BYOB. Tonight’s show will be hosted by TOP’s Bradley Jackson and will feature 12 local comics. And they are:

Just announced: Super Deluxe SXSW party

Hell yes 

We’re so there.

It’s awesome to see the Velveeta Room and Esther’s Follies getting in on the action for SXSW, and hopefully throughout the week they’ll be doing their own shows with local comics as well.

From the Super Deluxe Blog:

Be kind, Amanda Bynes

So you may have noticed that we’re sort of really looking forward to the release of Be Kind Rewind. Thing is, when I first saw the trailer for it, I had this strange feeling like I had seen that before… somewhere.

Nissan hangs by a thread off Lamar

photo / Kristin Hillery Creative Commons licensed: Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.0 

Saw this today around 5pm on Lamar near 25th St. Check out more photos here. Hope everyone made it out safe and unharmed…