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SAN ANTONIO, TEXAS

M AY

2018

An Authentic Texas Experience – Telling the story of San Antonio through the art of food, wine, beer and spirits. Social Media: Facebook: @CulinariaSa Instagram and Twitter: @CulinariaSA

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San Antonio Current Publisher: Michael Wagner Editor-in-Chief: Greg Jefferson

SAN ANTONIO’S #1 CORSET STORE!

Editorial

Senior Editors: Bryan Rindfuss, Jessica Elizarraras Art Director: Carlos Aguilar Food & Nightlife Editor: Jessica Elizarraras Staff Writers: Chris Conde, Sanford Nowlin Digital Content Editor: Sarah Martinez Contributors: Alexis Alvarez , Ron Bechtol, Erik Casarez, James Courtney, Callie Enlow, Jose Garza, Dan R. Goddard, Alejandra Lopez Gonzalez, Lance Higdon, Steven G. Kellman, Hannah Lorence, Michelle C. Lorentzen, Abby Mangel, Kiko Martínez, Jeremy Martin, Kelly Merka Nelson, M. Solis, Gary Sweeney, J.D. Swerzenski, Kelsey Valadez, Erin Winch Editorial Interns: Tehua Cruz , Lori Salazar, Victoria Wilson

Advertising

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CURRENT • May 16-22, 2018 • sacurrent.com


Saturday,

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12-8 pm

8 1 0 2

Free!

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FIRST WORDS 1

29

On Tony Parker Is Open to Not Finishing His Career with the Spurs // Who writes this shit? How is the mural at all relevant to the story? Go back to 9th grade English composition. – Jamie Dean Stine On Can We Make Preparadas the Summer Cocktail? // It originated at Market Square! Ummm, like three years ago! Late is right! The writer is late to the party! – Marisol Sandoval On 15 San Pedro Restaurants Every San Antonian Should Have Eaten at by Now // Only tourists say San Pedro. Locals call it St. Pete’s Highway. – Mat Roy

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Issue 18_20 /// May 16-22, 2018

NEWS

Their Town A clean break

SCREENS

Snark Attack Ultra-meta Deadpool 2 just another notch on Marvel’s utility belt

COVER As part of his new job, Trump 2020 Campaign Manager Brad Parscale has adopted the combative communication style of his boss. And he’s using his bully pulpit to put his stamp on San Antonio, the city where he spent half his life. Illustration by Jeremiah Teutsch Art direction by Carlos Aguilar. 6

CURRENT • May 16-22, 2018 • sacurrent.com

ARTS + CULTURE

Painting the Town Ana Fernandez captures the essence of San Antonio in ‘Still Life’

Our top picks for the week

The Ringmaster After ushering the Trump circus into the White House, Brad Parscale is turning his megaphone on S.A.

Act of Defiance Disobedience is a mature, lesbian narrative set in an Orthodox Jewish community

ON THE

24

CALENDAR

Glitter Political Paul Elizondo: El Leon de Bexar County

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18

36

MUSIC

Hot Topics Elnuh releases their debut full-length record Music Calendar What to see and hear this week

31

FOOD

The Big Spoon Digital inclusion with a side of hot chocolate SA’s Most Exciting Restaurant Clementine is in a league of its own

47

ETC.

Savage Love Jonesin’ Crossword Freewill Astrology

24

35

NIGHTLIFE

Boozin’ in the Lone Star State Texas Cocktails is an easy guide for cocktails lovers and novices alike


Bites From

Cover 3 | Magnolia Pancake Haus | Eggspectation | The Art of Donut | First Watch |grayze botikA |toro kitchen + bar |the original rudy’s country store & bbq | leon valley cafe range | Summer Moon | ming’s thing | LITTLE GRETEL RESTAURANT | sangria on the burg culinary institute of america | + More confirmed daily!

j u s t 4 0 pa i r s o f v i p t i c k e t s r e m a i n !

Purchase tickets at UNITEDWEBRUNCHSA.com sacurrent.com • May 16-22, 2018 • CURRENT 7


A survey of contemporary LGBTQI+ artists of San Antonio exhibiting multidisciplinary works in recognition of Pride Month FREE AND OPEN TO THE PUBLIC

Curated by Sarah Castillo of Lady Base Gallery Featured Artists: Agosto Cuellar, Anel I. Flores, Gustavo A. Garcia, Kimberly Hopkins Julián Pablo Ledezma, Michael Martínez, Antonia Celeste Padilla Kristy Perez, Regina Román, Debora Kuetzpal Vasquez, Jose Villalobos, David Zamora Casas, Juan Zavala Castro Opening Reception: Thursday, May 17, 2018 | 6pm – 9pm Exhibition Dates: May 17, 2018 – July 13, 2018 Culture Commons Gallery 115 Plaza de Armas, San Antonio, TX 78205 Mon-Fri | 8am – 5pm #getcreativesa | getcreativesanantonio.com | 210-206-ARTS

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CURRENT • May 16-22, 2018 • sacurrent.com


NEWS

A Clean Break

THEIR TOWN

GREG JEFFERSON

SA may be on cusp of developing Texas’s only legitimate needle exchange on the issues of drug addiction and disease prevention. On May 23, the county, city, health-care and drugtreatment providers, law enforcement officials, religious leaders and nonprofits will meet to discuss the possibility of establishing a syringe-exchange program. Wolff credited LaHood’s support – which is conditioned on providing information of treatment to addicts seeking clean syringes – and city MetroHealth Director Colleen Bridger with breaking the stalemate. Bridger, hired a little more than a year ago, co-chairs the county’s opioid task force. “She’s more of an activist, more collaborative,” Wolff said. Bridger was traveling overseas last week and unavailable for an interview. “There’s no question that [syringe-exchange programs] work,” Martin said. “The key players in San Antonio understand that this would be a good thing, and that they ought to do it. San Antonio ought to take on this.” Several years ago, Martin took a tour of places around San Antonio where IV drug users routinely shot up. “There were needles on the ground and under the bridges, and where little kids could be playing,” he said. A successful needle exchange would mean fewer dirty syringes littering the ground. If local officials succeed in launching a program, it would be the only legitimate, above-board effort of its kind operating in the state of Texas. Meanwhile, 228 such programs are running in 35 states, Indian nations, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, according to the North American Syringe Exchange Network. An unknown number of organizations and individuals around the state currently supply drug addicts with clean needles, but they do it under the radar out of fear of prosecution. That’s because Greg Abbott, when he was Texas attorney general, effectively gave Reed his blessing. He issued an opinion saying district attorneys had the discretion to

SHUTTERSTOCK

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More than a decade ago, thenDistrict Attorney Susan Reed put the kibosh on efforts to save the lives of intravenous drug users on the streets by giving them clean needles. She made clear that her office would prosecute anyone caught handing out new syringes to addicts. As a result, three volunteers for a clean-needle program run by St. Mark’s Episcopal Church were picked up in January 2008 for distributing drug paraphernalia. Each would have faced a $2,000 fine and up to one year in prison if found guilty, though Reed didn’t follow through. Their mission had been the same as that of any needleexchange program – to trade dirty needles for cleans ones, to prevent addicts from getting blood-borne diseases such as HIV and hepatitis C. “In this case, the county failed its citizens – specifically, the office of the district attorney,” said attorney Neel Lane, who represented the three St. Mark’s volunteers and is a longtime needle-exchange advocate. These programs prevent the spread of diseases such as HIV and hepatitis, he said, and they spare the public huge health-care costs since local hospital district, VA hospitals, Medicaid and Medicare most often cover the treatment expenses. William Martin, a drug policy expert at Rice University’s James Baker Institute of Public Policy, estimates the lifetime cost of treating someone with HIV or hepatitis C is more than $300,000. Thanks to Reed, a syringe-exchange program approved by Bexar County commissioners in August 2007 was stillborn. After spending as much as $120,000 on planning, all county officials had to show for the effort was a bunch of kits with equipment to sterilize dirty needles and business cards for treatment programs, but no new syringes. T.J. Mayes, the chief of staff for County Judge Nelson Wolff, said officials donated the incomplete kits to Haven for Hope and other organizations helping drug addicts, many of them living on the streets. But the bullshit is finally giving way, nearly four years after voters threw Reed out of office. All it took was an opioid crisis, a city health director with an activist streak and DA Nico LaHood’s willingness to drop cheap political theatrics – at least

prosecutor needle-exchange workers and volunteers under state law. That opinion still stands, which is a major reason why no Texas cities have officially recognized syringe programs. “It’s absolutely crazy the way this is set up,” Wolff said. State lawmakers “need to legislate on this. It’s been left to the discretion of 254 district attorneys.” The paths of various needle-exchange measures through the Texas Legislature have mostly hit dead-ends. A little legislative gamesmanship by the late state Rep. Ruth Jones McClendon, a San Antonio Democrat, is the only reason local officials are talking today about setting up an exchange program. In 2007, she slipped an amendment clearing the way for a pilot program in Bexar County into a major healthcare funding bill. That’s what riled Reed 11 years ago and prompted thenstate Sen. Jeff Wentworth, a San Antonio Republican, to seek Abbott’s opinion on prosecutors’ authority in relation to clean-needle programs. It’s not hard to figure out the politics. “We’ve had a century of propaganda about drugs, and it’s hard to get past that,” Martin said. “People say, ‘You want to give needles to dopeheads? That doesn’t make sense.’” The most common misconception is that handing out new syringes will lead to more illicit drug use. People who believe this don’t get that drug addicts will just use contaminated needles if they have to inject their drug of choice. Not having a clean syringe won’t stop them from shooting up. McClendon’s amendment dedicated $50,000 to the pilot program, according to Lane. But Wolff said the amount was too modest, adding, “We’ll all have to chip in some.” sacurrent.com • May 16-22, 2018 • CURRENT 9


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CURRENT • May 16-22, 2018 • sacurrent.com


JADE ESTEBAN ESTRADA

NEWS

Paul Elizondo

>

El León de Bexar County

On my way down the carpeted walkway at Mi Tierra Restaurant, two admirers are blocking my initial view of Bexar County Commissioner Paul Elizondo. One is wishing him well in the May 22 runoff for the Democratic nomination against Queta Rodriguez, with the fangirl enthusiasm of someone who’s waited years to meet the lead singer of a once-popular boy band whose decades-long solo career has withstood the test of time. The woman is talking about her participation in “Bustamante’s first congressional run.” I’m guessing she means Albert Bustamante, eyebrow-raising blast from the past, to be sure. Just hanging out with the 82-year-old Elizondo, it’s easy to see how being in his presence could whisk one away to a nostalgic place. He’s a reminder of that bygone era when prominent Latino politicians like Bustamante, a congressman who went down in a bribery scandal, Henry B. Gonzalez and Henry Cisneros roamed the political scene. As the woman bids Elizondo adieu, she adds a heartfelt, “You’re gonna make it.” Elizondo believes that garnering “the faith of the people” can only be accomplished by paying one’s dues, something he feels his opponent has yet to do, though he admits she “has a good story.” He accuses her of trying to “cut to the head of the line.” “Many of us are a legend in our own minds,” he says. “Her theme is ‘it’s time,’” he adds disapprovingly. “According to who?” Speaking of time, Elizondo’s supporters associate him with the good ones. “All the kids that I’ve taught, now in their sixties, are voters,” says Elizondo, a former music teacher. “Music gave me that contact [with the community].” His career in music also gave him the benefit of name recognition when he first decided to run for office. As our conversation fluidly switches from an antiquated variation of barrio Spanish to English and back again, he expresses how he feels he’s grown since first becoming

Precinct 2 commissioner in 1987. For starters, he says he’s mastered the skill of being resourceful when it comes to taking on a project and seeing it through to completion – like San Pedro Creek Culture Park, a work he considers a crown jewel. And perhaps even more importantly, he no longer spins his wheels on problems he believes he “can’t solve.” After a sip of coffee, he explains that life-threatening issues “must be solved immediately.” All other things can find a place in line. He thinks Rodriguez, whom he says would be bettersuited for city council, is challenging the county to fix things he sees as city issues. He quotes the great Freddie Prinze, with accent and all. “‘It’s not my yob!’ Yes, some things are not your job.” Amid the sound of strolling mariachi musicians – many of whom he knows personally – Elizondo transports me to a day in the 1940s when his side hustle was shining shoes. He ventured into the courthouse in search of his next customer. He describes a “beehived-hair, truck-stop waitress”-like woman looking up from her nail-filing to say, “What are you doin’ here, honey? This is the courthouse. Your kind doesn’t belong here.” About 70 years later, the Paul Elizondo Tower bears his name like a Broadway marquee. “They named it after me ’cause I worked on the damn thing for 22 years!” And the internal politics that momentarily flash before me always take me by surprise. “(Former DA) Susan Reed thought it was gonna be named after her.” It would seem that, like in music, the art of politics requires rhythm and cohesion with the other players. Elizondo takes me to his time as a state representative. After voting against a few “bad bills,” he was approached by “some old West Texas” representative who’d been on the House appropriations committee for years. “He said to me, ‘Hey, boy, I notice you read everything.” Elizondo confirmed that he was reading all the bills that came to his desk, because, he says, “That was my job.” “‘And you’re fighting all

these bad old bills,’” the man continued. “‘Yes, sir. If they’re bad, they need to be fought,’” Elizondo replied. “Well, when you fight all these bad old bills just remember one thing – one of these days your bad ol’ bill will come up.” Elizondo’s face falls and his eyes look from side to side like scared little boy. He considers that interaction one of his first big lessons in Texas politics. “Not everything is as bad as you think it is, and not everything is as good as you think it is... The whole idea is to use your intelligence, use your ability and use your social skills to maneuver and get [a project] done.” “All you need are three votes,” he says, referring to the five-member commissioners court. “You always have to know where your votes are. If you know where you’re votes are, then you can move. You have to learn how to count,” he says wiggling three fingers in front of his face. Elizondo will turn 83 next month and, for a moment, he reminds me of journalist Barbara Walters’ maxim that one is always having to audition for decision-makers and the public regardless of tenure. Elizondo is giving me the exact details of his last doctor’s visit: his blood pressure was 120 over 60 and that “aside from the diabetes,” his liver and kidneys were “functioning well.” He says there have been rumors that his health may get in the way of him successfully completing another four-year term. “I’ve got super genes,” he says. “When people say I’m too old, they’re full of it!” He pauses. His youthful energy ebbs for just a moment. “Unfortunately, I’m now in my eighties. I wish I could say that I’m as strong as ever, but the truth is the truth.” “I want to serve as long as I can and as well as I can,” he says. For Elizondo, that means leading supporters in a chant of “one more term.” Rodriguez has criticized Elizondo for not holding town hall meetings. However, town halls seem to come to him. If he sits in one place long enough, “people will come up and talk to you,” he says. “I’ve never had a constituent tell me that he had to go to a damn meeting to tell me what’s on his mind.” “To designate me as out of touch? That’s bullshit,” he adds dismissively. “I go to HEB, [and] people come up to me.” Elizondo compares leadership to “being able to lead a symphony,” which he has done in the military and in the publi school. He also looks at governance as a concert, and staying in the chord is equivalent to staying within the budget. Which instrument is the most unforgiving if you don’t rehearse? “The clarinet,” he says without missing a beat. “It’s like a jealous spouse – if you don’t give it any time, it doesn’t give you much.” I wasn’t gonna say anything, but Bexar County seems like the jealous type. sacurrent.com • May 16-22, 2018 • CURRENT 11


FEATURE: NEWS

Ringmaster The

SANFORD NOWLIN

>

Less than a week after helping win the 2016 presidential election, Trump campaign digital director Brad Parscale showed up at the launch for then-mayor Ivy Taylor’s re-election bid. Amid the crowd gathered outside CAST Tech High School, the 6-foot-8, billy goat-bearded Parscale was hard to miss. Television cameras shifted away from the stage for shots of him towering above the crowd. After Taylor’s speech, he held court with reporters, hinting that he planned to sprinkle his digital fairy dust on her campaign. In truth, Parscale built Taylor’s re-election website, but the campaign recognized the image problem of working with someone so close to the polarizing Trump. They turned down Parscale’s offers to fundraise and help turbocharge Taylor’s online presence. Their reticence only increased when, on his own, he snatched up domain names potentially associated with opponent Ron Nirenberg and pointed them to her campaign website. “On the team there was this sense that [Parscale] just loved the attention,” said a source familiar with Taylor’s 12

CURRENT • May 16-22, 2018 • sacurrent.com

campaign. “How do you in bring somebody that wants to be onstage the same way the candidate is?” [Full disclosure: Current Editor-in-Chief Greg Jefferson worked for Taylor’s re-election campaign as communications director.] Since the presidential election, the San Antonio-rooted Parscale has stepped out of the shadows and into spotlight, emerging as a Trump surrogate eager to ape his boss’ bareknuckle, headline-grabbing style. Last month, it was that same Brash New Brad who trolled Nirenberg and other local officials for not aggressively chasing the 2020 Republican National Convention, bestowing them with Trumpian nicknames like “Weak-Kneed Ron” and “Phony Tommy Calvert.” It’s a sharp contrast to the behind-the-scenes work Parscale, 42, did during the campaign, using social media and online data to target messages to voters at almost an individual level. And it’s no surprise to political observers that his sharp shift in tone coincides with his February promotion to Trump’s 2020 campaign manager. “Right now, Brad is creating his own brand within the

Trump circus,” campaign consultant Laura Barberena said. “Now that he’s in this new role, he has to. He’s the ringmaster. He’s going be out there on Fox. He’s going to be out there on MSNBC.” What’s also clear is that Parscale is interested in using a portion of his newly acquired political capital in San Antonio, where he’s spent roughly half his life — and which he’s frequently criticized for not being friendly enough to business interests. What remains to be seen is whether the Alamo City, not exactly a Trump stronghold, is willing to put up with his bluster. Parscale, who frequently voices his disdain for the press, did not consent to be interviewed for this profile. (“#1 lesson I’ve learned,” he tweeted last May. “The media is the enemy of this country.”) However, he did provide a five-paragraph, on-the-record statement in response to interview questions emailed by the Current. “I will not sit idly by when I observe politically-motivated decisions by the City Council to pass up economic development opportunities such as competing to host the Republican National Convention,” Parscale said.

DAVID FITZGERALD/WEB SUMMIT VIA SPORTSFILE

After ushering the Trump circus into the White House, Brad Parscale is turning his megaphone on S.A.


FEATURE: NEWS

at UTSA. He transferred to Trinity University for his senior year after a knee injury cost him his sports scholarship. For what it’s worth, both he and Nirenberg graduated from Trinity the same year, although Nirenberg, through a spokesman, said the two had “no contact whatsoever.” After graduation, Parscale made an ill-timed move to California to chase dot-com dreams with his dad. But, by 2003, the tech bubble burst and he came back to the Alamo City, where his wife had family. He launched a acknowledged bringing some of the smartest and most Project Alamo Web-design business, approaching people in the computer powerful analytical minds to town to pull the levers. As recently as last week, Parscale was still stoking the section at Barnes & Noble to see if they needed a Web “I was the megaphone,” Parscale told conservative radio fires about the 2020 convention, which council decided guru to go with their copy of Java for Dummies, according host Joe Pagliarulo during one of his post-election victory to take a pass on during a closed-door session. “The to several published reports. laps. “And what I needed to do was to find smart people, snowball has started for weak-kneed @Ron_Nirenberg and Eventually, business grew enough that he’d been and those came from, again, the Republican Party, the RNC, @COSAGOV city council,” he tweeted. “Businesses and paired on contracts with Jill Giles’ respected design firm. or from other companies that were subcontractors and citizens who care about their economic future have seen He’d work on the nuts-and-bolts part of sites while Giles my own company and say, ‘How do we find these people, your true colors.” was hired to make them look good. After that happened individual voters, and find the exact right ones?’… I didn’t He’s also used Twitter to complain about San Antonio’s enough times, the two decided over lunch at Il Sogno to need a gut, because I had the data. ” airport and told the Express-News last summer that its lack partner as Giles-Parscale. The difference this go-round is that Parscale — one of of direct flights was the reason he’d moved his political Giles — who’s since made moves to put herself at consulting business to Fort Lauderdale. (Never mind that the the few people allowed to tweet on Trump’s behalf during arm’s length from Parscale (more on that later) — saw the the campaign — isn’t just the megaphone. He’s one of the new location puts him a two-hour drive away from Trump’s partnership as a means to survive the digital wave that was people screaming into it. Mar-a-Lago golf club.) drowning other traditional design firms. Parscale struck her But he hasn’t just complained about San Antonio. as an apolitical techie who spent 99 percent of his time with He’s been happy to collect local accolades when they Taking it apart his hands on a computer keyboard. come. Parscale attended a gala thrown by the San Parscale grew up in Topeka, Kans., a city of around “I never even got the sense that he’d voted before,” Antonio Business Journal to collect his prize when the 125,000 that makes San Antonio look cosmo by said Giles, a Planned Parenthood supporter who donated 7,000-circulation business paper named him 2016 comparison. His unusual height destined him for the to Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign. “He had three Businessperson of the Year. basketball court, but his sharp mind drew him to geekier computers in his office and could talk to somebody while “His success was born in San Antonio,” said Matt Egan, concerns, said his father Dwight Parscale, a politically working on all three at once. You’ve never met anybody head of search-engine optimization firm Image Freedom, conservative lawyer and businessman who relocated who knows Parscale from San Antonio’s tech circles. “It NewTek, a software company he headed in the ’90s, to San like Brad. He’s a fascinating character, but I’m glad I have my distance now.” doesn’t surprise me that he’s still interested in the city. It’s Antonio while his son was playing hoops here. Around that time, Parscale also appeared on the edges what he knows.” The younger Parscale caught the tech bug during an of S.A.’s burgeoning tech scene, showing up at mixers, Despite the controversial nature of his work for Trump, elementary school computer camp, and Dad made sure to doing web-design presentations and becoming one of the Parscale sees it as a contribution to the city’s economic keep him in the best gear available. Once, after a $5,000 70 founding members of the Tech Bloc industry group. The wellbeing. Gateway machine was delivered to the house, Parscale’s latter membership gave him his first taste of politics as he “Throughout my years in San Antonio, I have employed mother came home to find the teen dismantling it. lobbied to change the regulations that prevented rideshare hundreds of people,” Parscale said. “Many of them have “He said, ‘Mom, if I’m going to use this, I’ve got to take it companies like Uber and Lyft from operating in the city. struggled because of the lack of economic opportunities in apart to see how it works,’” Dwight Parscale said. Parscale’s knack for negotiating on the rideshare issue our city. As a business owner and entrepreneur, I have been In 1994, Parscale landed in San Antonio to play basketball disappointed in the poor support of the business community from our public officials.” To be sure, Parscale’s billings for the Trump campaign alone are impressive. During 2016, Trump-aligned political action committees, or PACs, paid about $94 million to Giles-Parscale, according to the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics, although Parscale has frequently said his firm used the majority to place ad buys. “I will not sit idly by when I Indeed, Parscale located the nerve center to Trump’s digital observe politically-motivated operation here, in a cookie-cutter office building on Loop 410. In addition to 100 staffers, interns and volunteers, the group decisions by the City Council hosted workers or assets from the companies whose tools to pass up economic they used — Facebook, Google and Cambridge Analytica, the conservative data analytics company that improperly collected development opportunities info on more than 50 million Facebook users. such as competing to host “[The San Antonio center] was called Project Alamo based on the data, actually,” Parscale’s digital content the Republican National director, Theresa Hong, said while providing a video tour of Convention.” – Parscale the space to the BBC. “That was Cambridge Analytica. They came up with the Alamo Data set, right, so we just kind of adopted the name Project Alamo.” In his written statement, Parscale denied the location was ever called Project Alamo, but in other interviews, he

“Everybody knows that when Brad was in San Antonio he had no footprint… If you’re the one who’s all about S.A. now, where were you, bro?” – Geekdom co-founder Nick Longo

DAVID FITZGERALD/WEB SUMMIT VIA SPORTSFILE

DAVID FITZGERALD/WEB SUMMIT VIA SPORTSFILE

sacurrent.com • May 16-22, 2018 • CURRENT 13


FEATURE: NEWS

DAVID FITZGERALD/WEB SUMMIT VIA SPORTSFILE

“You’ve never met anybody like Brad. He’s a fascinating character, but I’m glad I have my distance now.” – Jill Giles, Parscale’s former business partner impressed Tom Cuthbert, a business coach whose tech company Adometry was acquired by Google. Cuthbert recalled watching Parscale work at the bargaining table with disparate stakeholders, from cabbies and cops to millennial early-adopters. The experience likely came in handy as he mediated between the Trump and Republican National Committee staffers who worked side-by-side on the digital campaign. “Rideshare wouldn’t have happened in San Antonio if it hadn’t been for Brad,” Cuthbert said. “He’s a really smart guy, an excellent negotiator and an excellent communicator.” Longtime San Antonio lobbyist Frank Burney pointed to Parscale’s use of Twitter to help draw 1,400 people to a prorideshare rally at the Pearl as evidence of his early understanding of the medium. “Even then, [Parscale] understood the grassroots power of social media,” Burney said. “The work he and those others did got city council to understand the influence millennials had in the city.” But not all of the tech community’s reviews are favorable. Most of the industry insiders interviewed for this article remember Parscale as smart and deeply knowledgeable, but several they were put off by an assertive style they say bordered on arrogance. “He seemed like the kind of guy who would suck the oxygen out of the room,” Geekdom co-founder Nick Longo said. “It’s all about what he thinks.” 14

CURRENT • May 16-22, 2018 • sacurrent.com

What’s more, Longo said he’s bothered by Parscale’s more recent claims that his work is about bringing economic vitality to the city. The digital marketer had ample chances to help on issues other than ridesharing, but he was largely absent from the volunteer work that marked the scene’s early days. “Everybody knows that when Brad was in San Antonio he had no footprint,” Longo said. “He wasn’t there founding Geekdom with us. He wasn’t going to the meetups. He wasn’t around helping other people with startups. If you’re the one who’s all about S.A. now, where were you, bro?”

Loyalty test

Lobbying for Uber may have awakened Parscale’s political side, but it was an outof-the-blue call that pulled him into Trump’s orbit. In 2010, shortly before he’d thrown in with Giles, he got an invitation to bid on the website for Trump International Realty. His $10,000 quote won him the work, and the sites for the Eric Trump Foundation and Trump Winery followed. The family was happy with the work, so when Big Daddy launched a presidential exploratory committee, Parscale got the call and slapped together a site for $1,500. Once the campaign caught fire, Trump did as he has done so often, relying on loyal insiders instead of political veterans. Parscale found himself being tossed more and more responsibility.

remains a toxic figure to many, especially after his numerous rhetorical cheap shots at immigrants and Hispanics. Former Parscale partner Giles, who likely saw financial gains from the influx of the Trump work, sold her firm last summer to California-based digital marketer Cloud Commerce Inc. to extricate herself from Parscale’s political efforts. The connection cost her at least one significant client and led to people “slagging her off” in the tightknit art and design community. While she and Parscale both serve on Cloud Commerce’s board of directors, he’s no longer involved in her new company Giles Design Bureau, and Parscale’s political consultancy is not connected to Cloud Commerce. She hasn’t spoken to her former partner in months, she added. “I didn’t want blowback from the companies we worked with,” Giles said. “(Parscale) is a very volatile name right now.” But the damage may already be done. One longtime Giles friend and occasional business collaborator said he’s still waiting to hear her apologize for the company’s involvement in promoting Trump. “I’d still like to know if [the separation] is about the bottom line and salvaging her To be sure, Parscale’s public face is business contacts, or whether this is an that of an absolute loyalist — and one who ethical dilemma about the real people their appears to understand the president’s work affected,” said the friend, who asked need for constant validation. In interviews, not to be named. he refers to the president as “Mr. Trump.” Even Parscale’s alma mater found out how His tweets include a litany of praise for radioactive his name can be. the prez, his family members and advisors, Trinity — which Parscale once blasted referring to Trump son-in-law Jared on Twitter for being “too PC or liberal” to Kushner as “a genius” and “the nicest guy invite him to speak — last month posted a ever,” and saying he has “never met a more video of the digital maven on its Facebook honest and intelligent man” than Treasury page talking up the benefits of his liberal Sect. Steve Mnuchin. arts education. In media interviews, Parscale has also Nearly 300 comments followed, many made efforts to ensure Trump — famously scathing, some threatening to withhold quick to turn on those who upstage him — donations. By comparison, most other recent knows that he’s still the man in charge. alumni profile videos rated comments in the “Maybe my job made 0.1% of difference, single digits, usually of the “congratulations, but Donald Trump did 99.9% of the work, job well done” variety. and anyone who tells you different doesn’t Trinity staff anticipated controversy over know Donald Trump,” Parscale said in a the post, said Tess Coody-Anders, vice statement he supplied for a Buzzfeed profile. president for strategic communications and Parscale’s father took the relationship a marketing. But the alumni and donor anger step farther: “Brad’s part of that family. He reached an unusually high level. knows that family very well, almost like he’s “People reached out to (Trinity President) an adopted son.” Danny Anderson directly, and he had a lot of one-on-one communication,” she said. Not to mention, Parscale’s recent Twitter Blowback lashing of “Weak-Kneed Ron” didn’t exactly San Antonio is normally eager to make fans of the mayor or city council that held celebrate native sons and daughters who the ultimate decision-making power whether do well. But there’s a question just how to bid on the convention. Parscale could have eager largely blue, largely Hispanic San Antonio is for the kind of “help” Parscale is turned to more conventional, less public, ways eager to dole out. With a disapproval rating to make his case, political observers point out. But Dwight Parscale said that criticism hovering between 55 and 60 percent in misses the point. Gallup polls, the president he helped elect


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CULTURE

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“It wasn’t a matter of making the case,” he said. “It was a matter of letting the people of San Antonio and the business community know what was going on in secret.” To the elder Parscale’s point, controversy can be an effective political tool. And there seems little doubt Parscale will court it again as the 2020 campaign kicks into high gear.

Repeating the miracle

In the meantime, the former San Antonian is on the hook to deliver big for Team Trump. It appears he’s got an early start moving beyond his role as a background player. Early last year, he and other top Trump campaign aides minted America First Policies, a “dark money” Super PAC delivering on Trump’s agenda, according to the Associated Press. The group has already spent $20 million in 2018 election cycles, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. One of Parscale’s partners in America First — at least at its formation — was Rick Gates, the one-time deputy to former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort, both of whom were swept up in Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s net. Gates pleaded guilty to federal charges of conspiracy and lying, and Manafort stands accused of bank fraud and other crimes. For his part, Parscale has denied having any involvement with Russia, dismissing such charges as a “joke” in a 60 Minutes interview. Democratic lawmakers, not so eager to take him at his word, have accused him of stonewalling during his July testimony before the House Intelligence Committee. Regardless of how those investigations play out, there’s still the question whether Parscale can replicate his 2016 miracle

— especially now that the Democrats are busy deconstructing his playbook. Political campaigns integrate and build on previous winning strategies, so using Facebook and digital analytics the same way won’t work for 2020. The Dems have access to plenty of smart folks in Silicon Valley, who often ally themselves with progressive agendas, said Mike Cohen, director of the political management program at George Washington University. But it’s not wise to underestimate Parscale, he added. “We won’t know what will win the next campaign until it’s all over,” Cohen said. “Most often, it’s something the other side didn’t anticipate.” But looking at Parscale’s recent track record, it’s not a sure bet he’ll be able to one-up the innovative work he did for Trump. His efforts on Taylor’s behalf, small though they were, certainly didn’t enable her stay at City Hall. And after publicly throwing his support to former Bexar County Republican Chairman Robert Stovall’s campaign to represent the 21st Congressional District, Stovall secured sixth place with an anemic 5 percent of the vote in the GOP primary. But regardless of how the big game plays out in 2020, Parscale shows no sign of stepping away from his newfound role of showman. And as long as he has a megaphone in hand, he’ll almost certainly continue to point it in San Antonio’s direction. “I continue to keep a home in San Antonio, especially since my family and my wife’s family call it home,” Parscale said in his statement. “Since San Antonio will always be in my future, I will continue to advocate for increased wages and economic opportunity for all of its citizens.”

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THU-SUN

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Tom Jones

Culinaria, “an organization committed to the celebration of food, wine, spirits and fine tastes,” is back with this year’s Festival Weekend. It kicks off with Bubbles at Topaz at La Cantera Resort & Spa with fascinating views of the city and sparkling wines for all budgets and occasions ($75-$100, 7-10pm Thu). The Texas Grand Tasting moves to Friday inside the San Antonio Ballroom, with tastes from some of the city’s best chefs and sips to match; VIP admission comes with access to visiting chefs including Shota Nakajima, Christopher Hoey, Robert Carr, Rudy Martinez and local favorite Jason Dady ($100-$150, 7-10pm Fri). Saturday is for tacos, with the Texas Taco Showdown combining food seminars, demos, wine, beer and a taco competition for bragging rights ($75-$100, $20 for minors, noon-5pm Sat). Sunday’s Burgers BBQ & Beer event will feature “reimagined” burgers, barbecue, seminars, demos, wine and cocktails, along with pop-up restaurants and more ($75-$100, noon-5pm Sun). Prices and times vary, Thu-Sun, La Cantera Resort & Spa, 16641 La Cantera Pkwy., (210) 8229555, culinariasa.org. — Jessica Elizarraras SPECIAL EVENT

OUR TOP PICKS FOR THE WEEK

MUSIC In today’s pop-culture landscape, it might seem a tad unusual to refer to Tom Jones as a sex symbol, but that status has followed the Welsh icon for half a century and his legendary live shows have long involved female fans flinging their underwear onto the stage. “I think I was a sex symbol as soon as I started singing,” Jones told CBS News in 2016. Born into a coal-mining family, Jones grew up on American blues and rock, and sang in church and choir before dropping out of school at the age of 15. By 16, he was married with a child and working odd jobs — including selling vacuum cleaners door-to-door — while gigging in clubs with his band Tommy Scott and the Senators. After being discovered by songwriter and music manager Gordon Mills, his career took off almost immediately, landing high on the British and American charts with 1965’s “It’s Not Unusual” and following that smash with memorable theme songs for the swinging ’60s comedy What’s New Pussycat? and the James Bond classic Thunderball. Aired in both the U.S. and the U.K. during the late ’60s and early ’70s, the TV variety show This Is Tom Jones cemented his celebrity and fed into a Las Vegas era encircled by the likes of Elvis. In his post-heyday decades, Jones has done an admirable job of staying relevant, collaborating with the avant-pop British outfit Art of Noise in the ’80s (on a humorous adaptation of Prince’s “Kiss”), playing himself on The Simpsons, releasing the covers album Reload in 1999 (fueled by the cheeky, original single “Sex Bomb”), teaming up with Wyclef Jean for the 2003 album Mr. Jones, hitting the dance floor with trance act Chicane for the 2006 hit “Stoned in Love,” and becoming a judge on the BBC reality competition series The Voice in 2012. Knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in 2006, the 77-year-old “panty magnet” arrives in San Antonio with (fairly) recent accolades for his 41st album Long Lost Suitcase and his first autobiography, Over the Top and Back. $59.50-$125, 8pm, The Majestic Theatre, 224 E. Houston St., (210) 226-3333, majesticempire. com. — Bryan Rindfuss

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COURTESY OF TOM JONES

Culinaria Festival Weekend

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‘We Are’ COURTESY OF TOM JONES

THU

JULIÁN P. LEDEZMA

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Over the past year, San Antonio’s Department of Arts and Culture has been working with artist, curator and Lady Base Gallery founder Sarah Castillo to develop “We Are,” a multimedia exhibition that “reflects upon the wide array of experiences and challenges faced by the LGBTQI+ community and celebrates LGBTQI+ identities, narratives and history.” Presented in observance of Pride month and running through July 13, the group show encompasses everything from painting and drawing to photography and installations created by 13 established and emerging artists. Judging from the past work of folkloric surrealist David Zamora Casas, mixed-media/performance artist Jose Villalobos, trans photographer Antonia Celeste Padilla, writer/painter Anel I. Flores, conceptual sculptor/poet/painter Kristy Perez and drag queen enthusiast Julián P. Ledezma, “We Are” promises an eclectic and provocative viewing experience exploring nearly every color of the rainbow. Free, 6-9pm, Culture Commons Gallery, 115 Plaza de Armas, (210) 206-2787, getcreativesanantonio.com. — BR ART

La Bohème A century before Rent rocked its way onto Broadway, another tale of bohemians in the big city splashed onto the scene — Giacomo Puccini’s La Bohème. Set in Paris’ Latin Quarter, the opera is centered on the tragic romance between seamstress Mimi and poet Rodolfo, who meet when Mimi knocks on his door seeking to relight an extinguished candle. Moments to look out for include Mimi’s first-act aria Mi Chiamano Mimì, the children’s chorus in the opening of the second act, and healthy doses of comic relief from the imperious Musetta (portrayed by Jessica Jones, pictured). Opera San Antonio’s production features Amanda Kingston as Mimi and Derrek Stark as Rodolfo, with live orchestral accompaniment by members of the San Antonio Symphony. It is sung in Italian with English supertitles, and tickets to the opera include admission to a pre-show lecture providing additional context to the story. $35-$190, 7:30pm Thu & Sat, Tobin Center for the Performing Arts, H-E-B Performance Hall, 100 Auditorium Circle, (210) 223-8624, operasa. org. — Kelly Merka Nelson OPERA

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ALISON HAWTHORNE DEMING

CALENDAR NIGHTLIFE

El Mundo Zurdo

Gloria E. Anzaldúa, for the uninitiated, was a groundbreaking feminist theorist, poet and writer. As a queer woman of MexicanAmerican descent, Anzaldúa wrote of her struggles against the forces of misogyny and racism (among many other topics) in ways that explore her specific experience, while speaking profoundly to the larger experience of all those who find themselves on the margins of society, culture and identity. A Chicana icon THU-SAT whose work has grown increasingly influential since her death in 2004, Anzaldúa is studied the world over. Among those who believe her work is more important now than ever are members of the San Antonio-based Society for the Study of Gloria E. Anzaldúa. The organization facilitates El Mundo Zurdo, a conference dedicated to the discussion and continuation of the writer’s work, every 18 months. This year’s conference, themed for the 20th anniversary of Anzaldúa’s 1987 masterwork Borderlands/La Frontera: The New Mestiza, begins with a reception at Galeria E.V.A. (3412 S Flores St.). The conference features a huge cast of noteworthy presenters and scholars discussing Anzaldúa’s work through a variety of lenses. After the conference on Friday night there is a special night of arts and performances, Noche de Cultura, to be held at Esperanza Center (922 San Pedro Ave.). After the conference on Saturday, Trinity’s Ruth Taylor Theater will host a dance/social gathering for conference attendees. Visit the website below for registration and a full schedule of talks and events. $40-$95, opening reception 6-8pm Thu, conference 8am-5pm Fri, Noche de Cultura 7-9pm Fri, conference 8:30am-1:30pm Sat, post-conference gathering 2-5pm Sat, Trinity University, William Knox Holt Center, 106 Oakmont Ct., (210) 999-7601, conferences.trinity.edu/events. — James Courtney SPECIAL EVENT

RAMIRO ANDRADE

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The Tejano Conjunto Festival, which will enjoy its 37th annual incarnation this weekend, is a treasure among treasures in terms of its value as a cultural celebration that is true to the soul of San Anto. It’s also just a great chance to catch a whole bunch of fantastic performances from some of the finest tejano and conjunto artists in the game today. The festival kicks off Thursday with a Hall of Fame Gala, which will commemorate the induction of new members into the Conjunto Music Hall of Fame ($35, 6pm, Guadalupe Theater, 1301 Guadalupe St.). Then, on Friday, the real fun begins. With Juan Tejada, who founded and ran the Festival for its first 35 years, no longer in the driver’s seat — though he stills serves as an advisor to the folks at the Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center who run the Festival — fans of tejano and conjunto music have nothing to fear in terms of the quality of this iconic event. Cristina Ballí, the executive director of the Guadalupe, serves as the festival director and has made sure that the festival continues to outdo itself. This year’s lineup includes musicians of all ages and from all over the world, a testament to the vitality and staying power of la música de la gente. Just a few of the acts that we are most looking forward to at this year’s festival include Flavio Longoria Conjunto Kings, Tony Tigre Saenz y la Rosa de Oro, Lazaro Perez y su Conjunto, Frankie Caballero, Los Texmaniacs, Eva Ybarra y su Conjunto, Flaco Jimenez y su Conjunto, and Desperadoz. $15-$40, 5:30pm-midnight Fri, 1pm-midnight Sat, 1-11pm Sun, Rosedale Park, 303 Dartmouth St., (210) 2713151, guadalupeculturalarts.org/tejano-conjunto-festival. — JC FILM

UNIVERSAL PICTURES

Tejano Conjunto Festival

The Mummy The Mummy has been revived from the cinema graveyard many times over the decades, adding color and gore and CGI, but it all started with Boris Karloff and this tale of doomed love. After Karloff became a star in Frankenstein and the studio had an equally big hit with Dracula, Universal tried to scare up another monster inspired by the 1920s discovery of Tutankhamen’s tomb and its supposed curse. The result is this shivery 1932 tragedy of Imhotep, mummified alive as punishment for loving above his station. After being magically revived, he disguises himself as a modern Egyptian and decides that a certain beautiful woman is the reincarnation of his lost love. Trouble follows. The big attraction, after Karloff’s initial mummy wrapFRI up, is the beautiful atmosphere of black-and-white melancholy conjured by photographer Charles Stumar and director Karl Freund, himself the photographer of Dracula and a master of baroque and otherworldly visuals. It seems odd that he ended up on I Love Lucy, a very different kind of classic. In conjunction with the exhibition “Egyptian Animal Mummies: Science Explores an Ancient Religion,” the San Antonio Museum of Art screens the film in its West Courtyard complete with a gallery talk, food-truck fare and a cash bar. Free, gallery talk at 7pm, film at sundown, San Antonio Museum of Art, 200 W. Jones Ave., (210) 978-8100, samuseum.org. — Michael Barrett FILM

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ArtCycle: the Gary Sweeney Edition

If your knowledge of public art in San Antonio stalls somewhere between Mexican sculptor Sebastián’s two-ton Torch of Friendship and New York-based Donald Lipski’s illuminated F.I.S.H., there’s plenty out there just waiting to be discovered. SUN Evidenced by a handy map organized by Public Art San Antonio (PASA), our city abounds with public art — but some of it requires a bit of hunting. As a relative newcomer to the Alamo City, Portland transplant Carye Bye was impressed to find public art “interwoven in San Antonio’s landscape” and took particular notice of the humor-driven work of local artist Gary Sweeney — who’s installations are prominently displayed at the Henry B. González Convention Center, the San Antonio International Airport and various points in between. Having organized roughly 100 themed bike rides in Portland, Bye — who helps with the day-to-day operations at Barney Smith’s Toilet Seat Art Museum and calls herself the “Museum Lady” — decided to launch an “ArtCycle” series and called on Sweeney to help inaugurate it. Inviting cyclists to “stay curious” and “explore our city as a museum,” the series kicks off on Sunday with a ride connecting six of Sweeney’s pieces, including his often-Instagrammed sign collage Art Is the Stored Honey of the Human Soul in the San Antonio Museum of Art parking lot and his multi-level, shoe-centric terrazzo marble tile installation Walk This Way in a parking garage on St. Mary’s Street. Fortunately, Sweeney will be along for the ride to shed light on drunken sailors, Hill Country skiing, the history of civilization and countless other curiosities that factor into his whimsical work. Free, meet at 9:30am, ride from 10am-noon Sun, meets at Rosella Coffee, 203 E. Jones Ave., (503) 248-4454, RSVP at signupgenius.com (search for carye@caryebye.com). — BR SPECIAL EVENT

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‘Panopticon’ Easily among the most conceptual San Antonio artists working within the realm of dance, Britt Lorraine creates challenging, memorable pieces that have involved lugging gold-leafed sandbags around the McNay Art Museum and performing an interpretation of Ballet Russes’ “Rite of Spring” for eight hours straight. Trained at Southern Methodist University, the University of Iowa and the Martha Graham School, Lorraine often collaborates with her life partner, visual artist Kristy Perez, under the moniker Saintlorraine and earned an Artist Foundation of San Antonio grant for her long-form Rite in 2012. One of 19 local artists featured in the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston’s current exhibition “Right Here Right Now: San Antonio,” Lorraine’s latest endeavor takes shape in the solo show “Panopticon.” Prefaced by a text French philosopher Michel Foucault penned about the panoptic mechanism — essentially a strategically designed prison complex in which all inmates are visible at all times — the project arose from an image that popped into Lorraine’s head and stuck. “One day while choreographing, the image of me kneeling before a metronome became present in my mind,” Lorraine writes in her artist’s statement. “I have pondered this image and carried that moment with me for 15 years, knowing that it was the impetus for a work I would someday create.” With this oddly ritualistic image as a guiding light, Lorraine developed a concept that draws parallels between the metronome and the panopticon but also references “critical moments and central figures” in her life via pared-down movements restricted to three gestures. Likened by Lorraine to a “hive” to be revisited and reinterpreted during the show’s six-week run at Sala Diaz, “Panopticon” opens a personal window into Lorraine’s truly original approach to performance, enhanced by a “theatrical backdrop” comprised of research materials, choreographic studies and journal entries. Free, 7-10pm (on view through June 23 with additional performances to be announced), Sala Diaz, 517 Stieren St., (210) 972) 900-0047, saladiazart.org. — BR SAT

BRITT LORRAINE

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ART + DANCE

The San Antonio Film Commission, in partnership with Texas Public Radio and Slab Cinema, presents the final entry in the excellent Made in S.A. film series. As part of San Antonio’s Tricentennial celebrations, this MON series has spotlighted films that were shot (at least in part) in the Alamo City. The final film in the series is Go Down, Death!, a 1945 indie film by the pioneering African-American star and filmmaker Spencer K. Williams. Shot at various locales around our East Side, the film follows a crime boss who is eventually overcome with guilt from his war with a local preacher. Falling into the bygone category of a “race film,” Go Down, Death! features a mainly black cast and was made for black audiences. As such, the film provides an excellent opportunity to celebrate not only the achievement an esteemed black director, but also to consider, in a broad sense, the important contributions made by San Antonio’s African-American community. Free, 8pm, Sunset Station, 1174 E. Commerce St., sanantonio300.org/ made-in-s-a-a-tricentennial-film-series. — JC FILM

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ARTS + CULTURE

PAINTING THE TOWN

Ana Fernandez captures the essence of San Antonio in 'Still Life'

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Most San Antonio artists only dream about the kind of year Ana Fernandez is having after winning a Joan Mitchell Foundation Painters & Sculptors Grant in 2017. Past San Antonio winners include Vincent Valdez in 2015, Dario Robleto and Alex Rubio in 2007 and Franco Mondini-Ruiz in 2001. She also landed in last year’s Texas Biennial in Austin. Not bad for an against-the-grain realist painter devoted to capturing the essence of blue-collar South Texas. True to her working-class Corpus Christi roots, she’s a successful food truck-entrepreneur, revered for her raspas at Chamoy City Limits. Fernandez’s current show “Still Life,” at Cinnabar Gallery through June 17, will travel to the Brownsville Museum of Fine Art, opening June 27. Known for her moody portraits of deserted San Antonio bungalows at dusk, she’s taken a new direction by depicting people in her lively, colorful, richly lit scenes of a quinceanera, a backyard birthday party, kids eating raspas and tire guys waiting for a customer. “These are 24

CURRENT • May 16-22, 2018 • sacurrent.com

scenes from my daily life, people and places I see every day,” Fernandez said. “That’s why we called it ‘Still Life,’ because these are frozen slices of time. I’m more interested in figurative work, and showing how people relate to each other. I took a lot of pictures that I used for each painting, but I change things so the painting doesn’t look anything like the photographs. If I wanted realism, I’d show my photographs. But I’m a much better painter than a photographer. You can do more with paint than you can a camera.” For its May issue, Texas Monthly interviewed Fernandez and Cruz Ortiz about “Why San Antonio Is the Best City in Texas for Artists.” Fernandez noted “There’s no irony in this town,” throwing shade on the supercilious hipster haven to the north. The Linda Pace Foundation purchased her large-

scale oil-on-panel painting of people gathered at a frutería, Los Valles, to be part of forthcoming Ruby City’s permanent collection. Currently, Los Valles is featured in “Right Here, Right Now: San Antonio” on view through August 5 at the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston. Fernandez is among 19 San Antonio artists in the show, along with Richard Armendariz, Julia Barbosa Landois, Adriana Corral, John Hernandez, César Martínez, Katie Pell and Chuck Ramirez. This summer and fall, she’s set to have two prestigious artist residencies back to back. She’ll spend an intensive nine weeks beginning in June at the Skowhegan School of Painting & Sculpture in central Maine. In November, she’ll join the International Artist-in-Residence program at Artpace. But she acknowledges her winning streak began with a


ARTS + CULTURE

bout with cancer, which she didn’t really want to dwell on, though she said it helped focus her ambitions. “I am now okay, but I had to take some time off to deal with the treatments,” she said. “It definitely made me a different person. You get some perspective. It energized me. I was lucky. I lived. I’m not going to waste it.” She used the unrestricted $25,000 Joan Mitchell grant to spend a year creating 50 paintings, including all the images in “Still Life.” Fernandez mostly used the money to buy supplies. Besides her smaller gouache paintings, she’s also making much larger “museum-size” oil paintings, such as Raspa, kids sitting at a picnic table eating her Chamoy City Limits creations. Dark shadows crisscross the scene in the fading light of day. “I made the raspas, took the pictures and Clockwise from left: Collier Pool, Backyard Party, painted the painting,” Happy Birthday, Quince Fernandez said. “I think it looks Caravaggesque in Collier Pool, two youngsters sitting with the dramatic contrasts of light and on the back of a pickup in Tailgate and a dark. I’ve spent a lot of time studying the couple sharing a booth at La Gardenia. work of Caravaggio and especially the Cinnabar’s Susan Heard said despite Spanish painter Diego Velázquez. I’ve the changes Fernandez has made in her been using a looser brushstroke so my style and subject matter, collectors are works look less photorealistic. You can still recognize the people in my paintings, still snapping up her paintings. “She has achieved the right mix of but the figures are a little blurred, a little comfort and sophistication,” Heard said. more impressionistic. I try to make light “I always tell artists that they have to play as big a role in the paintings as any follow their path of destiny. It’s good for of the figures.” artists to work outside of the box and She describes the light in Happy Birthday as “like soft butter.” On the cusp experiment with new things. The fact that people are following Ana shows she’s on of evening, a family armed with cameras the right path.” takes pictures of someone blowing out candles on a birthday cake framed by the ‘Still Life’ wooden struts of an outdoor trellis. Pink, Free blue, yellow and red balloons float in the Noon-6pm Wed-Sat air. She said the backyard is where she Through June 17 took her first steps as a toddler. Cinnabar Gallery Fernandez catered the quinceanera 1420 S. Alamo St. #147 depicted in Quince, couples slow-dancing (210) 557-6073 in a Catholic school hall painted purple. cinnabarart.com Smaller paintings include kids swimming

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SCREENS

Act of

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KIKO MARTÍNEZ

Disobedience is a mature, lesbian narrative set in an Orthodox Jewish community

>

After earning an Oscar this year for his compassionate foreign-language drama A Fantastic Woman (Una Mujer Fantástica), Chilean director Sebastián Lelio makes his American film debut with Disobedience, a seductive and mature love story between two women with ties to an Orthodox Jewish community in London.

>

Esti Kuperman (Oscar-nominated actress Rachel McAdams) and Ronit Krushka (Oscar-winning actress Rachel Weisz) have been close friends since childhood. Growing up together in the synagogue where Ronit’s father was a well-respected rabbi, their lives parted ways as young women when Ronit “disappeared” to New

Snark

Ignore the fact that Deadpool 2 is one of the six live-action superhero films being released in theaters in 2018. Moviegoers love the specialty genre, and damned be any outsider who proclaims half a dozen action-packed pictures from the Marvel and DC catalogs is excessive. When a company is pulling in billions worldwide, it’s not good business acumen to turn your back on the genre. That said, it’s also obvious that after so many additions to so many franchises, things are bound to get a little repetitious. Sometimes the best films don’t stand out from the crowded field. Besides a super geek, can anyone really tell the difference between X-Men, X2, X-Men: The Last Stand and X-Men Origins: Wolverine if shown a random fight scene? It’s no wonder critics fell for Logan so hard. It was fresh and new and not so Marvel-y. In Deadpool 2, which is also technically an X-Men movie, director David Leitch (Atomic Blonde) and returning

Attack

York to become a photographer. Many years later, Ronit finds herself back in London to pay her respects after her father dies, although she admits she was never as close to him as he was to his students. Early on, Ronit is surprised to learn that Esti has married their mutual childhood friend Dovid (Alessandro Nivola), one of the rabbi’s prodigies. Ronit assumes it is a marriage of convenience, however, since she knows Esti, whom she has been intimate with in the past, has always been attracted to women. Ronit’s arrival — you guessed it — reignites something inside Esti that she has kept dormant for a long time. As the two women begin to re-embrace their passion for one another, the Jewish community around them begins to stir. Already having an unfavorable opinion about Ronit for leaving her father and her faith behind, those closest to the rabbi question her motivation for returning to a society that ostracized her long ago. Adapted from the 2006 novel of the same name by English writer Naomi Alderman, Disobedience is an absorbing, well-written narrative that explores the conflict between free will and religious obligation effectively

and in a thought-provoking way. In Ronit, Esti and Dovid, Lelio introduces audiences to a cast of three-dimensional, adult characters who are given choices, have conversations and never overdramatize the uncomfortable situation they find themselves in. In a less capable director’s hands, a film like this would likely amount to a worn-out love triangle, but Lelio identifies the nuances within the relationships and allows them to breathe on their own. He also avoids turning the outspoken Ronit into a she-devil stock character who waltzes into Esti’s life to cause trouble like some biblical serpent — especially since the film opens with her father sermonizing on the “desires of the beast.” While Nivola blends Dovid’s anger, empathy and disappointment perfectly, Disobedience belongs to McAdams and Weisz in their most provocative roles to date — from Ronit’s condemnation of Jewish traditions to Esti’s pent-up sexual frustration that she releases in one erotic afternoon. We could have done without the couple listening to The Cure’s “Lovesong” (too on the nose), but every other moment they spend together feels honest.

Ultra-meta Deadpool 2 just another notch in Marvel’s utility belt (Julian Dennison), a young, powerful mutant who has gone rogue. Also on the hunt for the mutant kid: Cable (Josh Brolin), a time-traveling, techno-organic bad dude (good dude?) driven by vengeance. How’s that for vague? Aside from an interesting storyline or any real character development, Deadpool 2 delivers on what it promises — a butt-load of double entendres, mostly funny comic-book humor, effective music choices (including a new Celine Dion song — ha!), exaggerated, Kill Bill-style violence and Reynolds hamming it up and delivering one-liners that will likely become memes in a few weeks. If you’re looking for anything else, Deadpool has a message for you: fuck off.

KIKO MARTÍNEZ

20TH CENTURY FOX

screenwriters Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick decide the sequel should basically mirror the original, except this time with a pissed-off kid and a much-anticipated villain thrown into the mix. The combination should appease fans of the series who get a hard-on for pop culture references and extreme meta humor. But depending on your threshold for snark and self-awareness, Deadpool 2 could either be a quippy masterpiece or a catty backhand to the face. Wherever you fall, it’s safe to say viewers can at least agree

that it’s unapologetically crude and that Ryan Reynolds once again proves he is the perfect choice to play the titular anti-hero. A quick spoiler-free synopsis (since Reynolds himself tweeted out a plea last week to “not say a fucking word about the fun shit in the movie”): Deadpool, aka Wade Wilson (Reynolds), is emotionally devastated after tragedy strikes. As he does in the original, he teams up with a few of the lesser-known X-Men, including newcomer Domino (Zazie Beetz), to try and corral Russell

sacurrent.com • May 16-22, 2018 • CURRENT 29


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FOOD

Digital Inclusion with a Side of Hot Chocolate Suggestions for coffee shops in San Antonio

Big The

Spoon

JESS ELIZARRARAS | @JESSELIZARRARAS

>

Summer is at our doorstep, and several things will happen as soon as kids have those three carefree months known as summer vacation. First, many will lose access to the Internet and computers. Second, the dreaded summer slide, which affects students in low-income areas in particular, will take a toll on their reading abilities. Third, children will lose access to the free meals available at their schools. It turns out summer might not be the best time to be a kid. Especially if you’re a kid in San Antonio. As of 2017, one in four San Antonio households lacks Internet access. And as for meals, the San Antonio Food Bank’s

5:30

Summer Meals Program, held June 4 through August 24, will provide meals for children in partnering organizations such as parks and Boys & Girls Clubs throughout the city. But there are ways local coffee shops could help alleviate the strain on parents and keep kids fed and motivated to learn. Maybe my idea is a result of being a Book It! alumnus. In the ’90s, I became a voracious reader through my love of pizza. Book It! launched 30 years ago as part of President Ronald Reagan’s push for corporate American to get involved in education. Pizza Hut stepped up, organizing a program with benchmarks, and the whole thing received a ton of press. It was simple. You read books, you took a test, passed

it and received pizza as your reward. Easy enough to do. Though local coffee shops obviously lack the corporate backing, a program similar to Book It! could help spur young readers to stronger comprehension skills. Maybe a partnership with a local branch of the San Antonio Public Library, which hosts a slew of summer reading programs, including the Mayor’s Summer Reading Club. Or here’s a simple suggestion: build a program with mentors (see: 20- and 30-something year olds who already crowd most coffee shops) who would help a child read for an hour every Tuesday or Wednesday (usually slow days) during the last hour of business. After five books, the student

SOUND CREAM SUNSET SESSIONS

receives a coupon for a hot chocolate, small pastry or pre-packed snack tray. Take it a step further by offering access to the Internet for comprehension tests or more reading via local news sites. It’d be a tax write-off. It’d help the community by furthering coffee shops as a gathering place, and it would encourage early readers to find quiet oases of their own when they’re old enough to buy their own coffee. Kids in coffee shops? Wild, I know. But as the start of summer approaches, and parents start pulling back from going out to eat anyway, this might help spur some business during the slow days, or at the very least help train a new generation of coffee drinkers. — flavor@sacurrent.com

9:30

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FOOD

SA'S MOST EXCITING

RESTAURANT

JESSICA ELIZARRARAS

Clementine is in a league of its own

JESS ELIZARRARAS | @JESSELIZARRARAS

I’ll be brief: Clementine is the most exciting restaurant in San Antonio right now. I’m not trying to discount its peers in the realm of chill fine dining, but this small, 50-seat restaurant is reinvigorating the scene with new dishes, refreshing takes on standard fare and expert service. Opened by chefs John and Elise Russ, Clementine was inspired by a clementine tree growing out of a crack in the parking lot of a potential restaurant space the Russ’ looked at. The couple first met in St. Michaels, Maryland, while working at The Inn at Perry Cabin. Elise’s father served as general manager, John was executive sous chef and Elise was pastry chef. “I would say we didn’t get along,” she said. But the water v. vinegar tension soon wore off over a few Dark ‘N’ Stormy cocktails, and the couple eventually landed

in San Antonio for John’s job as the second executive chef at Lüke Riverwalk. John’s tenure with the John Besh Restaurant Group ended in November 2016, and in the subsequent year, the chef continued popping up at occasional Dorcol Distilling beer releases and seated dinners at Sichuan House. From the looks and tastes of the Clementine menu, John spent the last year fine-tuning the restaurant’s concept of “seasonal Southern and American eats.” Don’t visit Clementine expecting fried chicken or a burger or collard greens. Visit for some of the city’s best vegetable dishes (Fun fact: Elise is vegetarian, so John has had some practice). Start with the white mushroom salad with extra virgin olive oil, Valley Citrus, parsley, pecorino and pomegranate seeds. It’s rich, textured, and a new way to convert mushroom-averse eaters.

Then pivot to the buttered turnips — yes, turnips — tossed with greens, red pepper flakes for some heat, fish sauce and a sassy sesame streusel. Again, there’s texture, there’s playfulness and there’s flavor. Try the green cabbage and spring garlic, which is served with lots of butter, and the thinnest, crispiest garlic chips (kudos to kitchen for their knife skills). Definitely don’t miss the ricotta cavatelli, pillowy one-inch pasta twirls with broccoli pesto, Sichuan pepper and toasted pecans. This is where I implore you to spring for the "Feed Me" option, which asks the diner to “entrust Chef Russ with your dining experience, he and his team will create a menu especially for you highlighting the flavors of the season. Starting at $48 per guest (based on entire table participation).” If you’re familiar with John and his cooking or open to anything, by all means let go of the reins. Chef does look in periodically during the "Feed Me" meals to check satisfaction levels, and the option does offer items not found on the menu (i.e. the fried oysters during our last visit) and a delicate sardine dish that’ll make you rethink any distaste for the maligned little fish. However, for first-timers at Clementine, I strongly suggest getting to know the menu on a smaller basis. Tackle a few items first, or maybe stop in for lunch (and definitely get the buttery artichoke and unconventional but oh-so-delicious “tuna salad”). "The Best Parts” are Elise’s forte as the former Biga on the Banks pastry chef delivers cardamom donuts (in earlier menus) and, most recently, fried strawberry pies, plated exquisitely with crème fraiche ice cream, macerated berries and freshly fried hand pies that served as the perfect ending to our meal. Don’t skip the accessible wine list, and don’t forget to take in your surroundings that combine touches of citrus with subdued blue hues and an open kitchen — not bad for a former IHOP Express.

Clementine 2195 NW Military Hwy., (210) 503-5121, clementine-sa.com The Skinny: After a career with the John Besh Restaurant Group, chef John Russ teams up with wife/pastry chef Elise to create San Antonio’s most exciting restaurant Best Bets: The Feed Me option in which chef takes you on a whirlwind tour of flavors until you say uncle. Hours: 11:30am-2pm Tue-Fri; 5-9pm Tue-Thu; 5-10 Fri-Sat; closed Sunday-Monday Cost: $8-$34 dinner sacurrent.com • May 16-22, 2018 • CURRENT 33


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Boozin’ in the

Lone Star

State ≥

Cocktail historian David Wondrich once tried researching Texan cocktails and came up with very little. There was Commander Dick Dowling, who launched the Bank of Bacchus and a handful of cocktail names, but no drink measurements to speak of. So when Nico Martini — yes, that’s his real last name — took on the research for Texas Cocktails, his first cocktail book with Appleseed Press Book Publishers, the former lecturer at the University of Texas-Dallas knew he had his work cut out for him. But as the founder of Bar Draft, a system that puts cocktails on tap, and frequent seminar host at the San Antonio Cocktail Conference, Martini had done a lot of previous leg work. “I arrogantly said, 'I’ll do it!'” Martini said, “because I thought, ‘Who would they ask if I said no?’ I wanted it to be good.” The result is a stout 367-page book that’s more Frommer’s Travel Guide than it is cocktail book that would be filled with recipes. To be fair, there’s a reason Wondrich couldn’t find much information. There was that pesky thing known as Prohibition, and even these days, cocktail-makers migrate a lot, shaking tins and developing recipes for several bars at a time. Yes, recipes are there, but what Texas Cocktails does right is detail a ton of cocktail history from our massive state.

Texas Cocktails is an easy guide for cocktail lovers and novices alike JESS ELIZARRARAS | @JESSELIZARRARAS

Texas Cocktails is broken down into “Classic Cocktails;” “Creative Concoctions,” with each major cities in Texas getting its own chapter (Houston, Austin, Dallas/Fort Worth and San Antonio); “The Wide World of Texas;” The Best of Texas;” and “Texas Cocktails Outside Texas.” Each chapter is filled with tidbits on craft cocktails in the Lone Star State — from the wasted playlist that features Texas-inspired drinking songs to Q & As with local craft connoisseurs and spirit-makers. San Antonio’s own Mark McDavid of Ranger Creek Distilling & Brewing shares an impassioned guide to spotting “Fakers,” or spirit-makers who might be playing it fast and loose with their labels. There’s a handy guide for where to buy your hooch, along with a list of spirits and mixes made in Texas. “I wanted to do a snapshot of Texas, and take a look at what has happened and what is happening,” Martini said. You can’t call yourself a true Texan unless you can make a Paloma (as Martini puts it, we “have the best grapefruits”) and a frozen margarita. True Texans also know about the Chilton, a refreshing cocktail hailing from the Lubbock Country Club and made with Texas vodka, juice of two lemons and topped with Topo Chico (anything else would simply be treasonous). Of course, there’s the Ranch Water, which originated in the Gage Hotel in Marathon, and is made using 10 ounces of Topo, 1 1/2 ounce of blanco

tequila and 1/4 ounce fresh lime juice. “There’s 12 cocktails in here that you probably won’t make at home,” Martini said, “You’ll end up making too much shrub, or whatever, which is fine, but it’s great for Ranch Water, which you could make with the stuff that’s in your fridge right now.” The San Antonio Cocktail Conference could make any local realize just how advanced the city is in cocktailmaking. Martini nods to Sasha Petraske, a lauded New York mixologist and co-founder of the local conference, who also helped establish cocktails in Bohanan’s Bar. “When you’ve got someone like Sasha who comes in and starts a program and starts disseminating people who know what they’re doing in bars ... it’s a fantastic way to have a city go about something the right way,” Martini said. He goes on. “There’s a unique style in San Antonio, and it showcases what Texas is really good at: approachability. You have hangouts with incredible drinks, and that’s the way you grow a cocktail scene.” Meet the author on Friday, May 18 at 6:30 p.m. inside Houston St. Underground, 229 E. Houston St. $10 donation at door.

sacurrent.com • May 16-22, 2018 • CURRENT 35


HOT TOPICS

MUSIC

REY LOPEZ

REY LOPEZ

Elnuh releases their debut full-length record CHRIS CONDE

>

Echoing the dreamy, melancholy-pop tones of her previous work, Elena Lopez returns with her first full-length effort Topics, and, holy shit, it has been worth the wait. If you’re unfamiliar with Lopez and her role in the San Antonio music scene, let’s catch you up: 36

CURRENT • May 16-22, 2018 • sacurrent.com

Lopez loved to sing as a kid, and her parents enrolled her in classical piano lessons at only 4 years old. She liked playing piano so much she continued taking lessons for nine years. At 12, the pianist – who also sings and plays several other instruments – began playing piano at Bandera Road City Church, where she grew as a musician and developed communication skills by working with other artists. Eventually, she left the

church band to focus on her own musical endeavors, and Lopez’s band Octahedron (who have been on hiatus since 2016) saw regional success, along with her side project Baby Bangs – a fuzzier, grunge/ punk turn from the straight-forward indie rock sound of Octahedron. Today, Lopez’s focus is Elnuh, a surf-y, dream-garage outfit whose tracks sometimes have melancholy vibes despite the poppy vocal melodies that punctuate her songs. “Like, in the middle of night, what kind of music am I writing when I can’t fall asleep? That’s Elnuh,” Lopez said. Lopez’s lush vocals float over her fuzzy guitar progressions: a recipe for the perfect afternoon nap in a park, a THC-fueled bike ride around Southtown or a 3 a.m. painting or coloring book session. Elnuh is releasing Topics on May 19 and launching a tour out west that same weekend. Lopez was kind enough to send an unmixed version of Topics since it’s still in production, and we’ll just say, if it’s sounding this good already, we’re pretty stoked to hear the final version. This latest effort from Elnuh isn’t a drastic step away from her general sleepy sound. In fact, Lopez sounds like she’s swimming deeper into the ethereal space where her slow-breathing guitar progressions live. On “City of Oz,” for instance, the singersongwriter layers vocal harmonies with soft, spiraling keyboard pads, pulling listeners through a crystal cavern of echoes as a steady bass line jumps around, giving the track shape and definition. Lopez said most of the songs are well over a year old, and that each track is about going through changes in different seasons

of her life and what she’s learned in her relationships with people. “Relationships with bandmates, family, and even with myself – a lot of these songs are even odes to myself, and also reflecting a lot on my life growing up and realizing certain things and reflecting on things that have brought me from point a to point b,” Lopez said. These songs are about “very specific things [that] were happening, and I’d write these songs [as a] way to get through what was going on [at that time]. That’s where the idea of Topics all came from, they were all about very specific ... topics.” On one of the tracks, there’s even a clip of her and her brother Ruben talking when they were children. “[My music] is very personal,” Lopez said. “Something I hear all the time is, ‘Oh, I’m gonna go to an Elnuh show and cry a lot.’” She laughed. “People tell me that, or, ‘Your music makes me cry but it feels so good,’ and me, too – sometimes I’ll cry, too. So my music is very personal. I don’t know how not to be personal.” Topics feels like an inside look at an artist processing her pain and joy through a collection of songs that’s unabashedly personal and introspective. Lopez and her band will be joined by indie rockers Booty Feet, who released a split EP with Elnuh last year aptly titled The Split, along with Slomobile and Baldemar for the Topics release show, which is also serving as a tour kick off show for Elnuh and Booty Feet. The bands will head west for a week and play shows along the way to California before returning to SA. Saturday, May 19, $4-$6, 7:30pm, Lavender House, 150 E. Courtland Pl.


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Gipsy Kings

Honestly, we don’t know a lot folks who don’t get down with the Gipsy Kings. If you’re one of the few people who somehow aren’t a fan of their electric combination of world music sounds, then just skip onto the next music pick, ‘cause this ain’t for you. If you are a fan, keep reading ’cause the group is returning to San Antonio, and we’re pretty stoked about it. The Gipsy Kings possess a mystique that predates the 1987 release of their global hit “Bamboleo.” An outgrowth of the late flamenco legend José Reyes’ France-based family band Los Reyes, Gipsy Kings – brothers Nicolas, André, Paul, Canut and Patchai Reyes plus cousins Tonino, Jacques “Paco” and Maurice “Diego” Baliardo (sons of Manitas de Plata, “the Picasso of the Flamenco Guitar”) – put an easydrinking spin on modern “rumba catelana.” With a gravelly voice the Los Angeles Times once described as “breathtakingly emotive,” Nicolas leads the band’s unmistakable originals and brave reinventions of untouchable classics like “Volare,” “Hotel California” and “My Way.” $52-$92, 8pm, Majestic Theatre, 224 E Houston St., (210) 226-5700, majesticempire.com. – Chris Conde Jeff Rymes, a singer-songwriter from Portland, WED will be in town this week to play an intimate show at one of the coziest places to catch live music in SA. Rymes, who has self-released a couple solid albums of his own since the dissolution of his band the Lonesome Strangers, makes a moody and jazzy kind of folk/country. Like some of Jerry Jeff Walker’s jazzier efforts, Rymes’ work sets country music in the wider context of standards and timeless pop music, while still bringing that wry and penetrating wit of postoutlaw country songwriting. With his gravelly but honeysweet voice, Rymes’ is the type of show you take a sweetheart to see. Local alt-country outfit Ranch \ House will perform after Rymes. Free, 7:30pm, Ocho at Hotel Havana, 1015 Navarro St., havanasanantonio.com. - James Courtney WED

16

Jeff Rymes + Ranch\House 16

18

PAUL NATKIN

Kimbra

+ Son Lux

MICAIAH CARTER

Blues legend Buddy Guy and guitar powerhouse Jonny Lang are teaming up to perform live at the Majestic Theatre on Friday, May 18. If you’re a fan of guitar shreddery, then you’ll know how intense this lineup is. At age 81, Buddy Guy is a Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductee and has earned a long list of accomplishments. The electric blues guitarist has received seven Grammy Awards, a 2015 Lifetime Achievement Grammy Award, 37 Blues Music Awards (the most any artist has received), the Billboard Magazine Century Award for distinguished artistic achievement, a Kennedy Center Honor and the Presidential National Medal of Arts. Rolling Stone Magazine ranked him #23 in its “100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time.” Also, he was a major influence on rock titans like Jimi Hendrix, Stevie Ray Vaughan and Eric Clapton, who said Guy is the greatest guitar player ever. This ain’t no ordinary dude. At 36, Jonny Lang has already had a successful career for two decades. It’s a little easier to believe when you find out his first platinum record came out when he was just 15. What began as a bluesy sound, influenced by electric pioneers like Albert Collins, B. B. King and Buddy Guy, evolved into a modern R&B style closer to Stevie Wonder and contemporary gospel music. Lang’s distinctive, blues-inflected licks appear on all his albums, but became one element in a sea of passionately sung and tightly arranged songs. Lang released a new studio album titled Signs in 2017, and even stopped by the Aztec Theatre just a few weeks ago. So yeah, this is not a performance you want to miss. $45-$89.50, 8pm, Majestic Theatre, 224 E Houston St., (210) 226-5700, majesticempire. com. – CC FRI

COURTESY OF JEFF RYMES

Buddy Guy & Jonny Lang

In a fine pairing for fans of indie electronica, New Zealand’s Kimbra and New York’s Son Lux will come through Paper Tiger together this weekend. Singer and bona fide pop star Kimbra, whose eclectic sound blends pure pop sensibility with jazz, R&B and indie rock elements, is supporting her third album Primal Heart, which just came out in April. The album boasts her biggest, most bass-heavy sound to date, which we expect will make for a hell of a show—though don’t expect Kimbra to totally eschew those more pensive, jazzy numbers that have always allowed her to showcase the range and power of her voice. Son Lux, meanwhile, has been an indie labeldarling for years, with an experimental and electronic post-rock sound. The band also released an album, its fifth, earlier this year. $18-$20, 9pm, Paper Tiger, 2410 N. St. Mary’s St., papertigersatx.com. — James Courtney FRI

18

sacurrent.com • May 16-22, 2018 • CURRENT 41


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MUSIC

If you think Bubble Puppy’s only good song was their hit “Hot Smoke and Sassafras”, I urge you to dust off that album (or jump online) and re-listen to the record in its entirety. It’s a solid piece of rock ’n’ roll that deserves another whirl. After opening for The Who in 1967, the then-San Antonio-based band moved to Austin and signed a recording contract with Houston’s International Artists, a label shared by psych-rock familia the 13th Floor Elevators and Red Krayola. After parting ways with the label, the band changed their name to Demian and headed out to Los Angeles to record a new self-titled album. When that wasn’t as successful as their first effort, the band split up. However, almost four decades later, the psychedelic rockers resurfaced in 2011, with a few new members, to play the Austin Chronicle Music Awards and have been active ever since. If you can’t catch them this week, the band’s also slated to headline K23’s psych-rock fest, Psych Del Rio in September. With the Damn Torpedoes, $18-$60, 7pm, Sam’s Burger Joint, 330 E. Grayson St., 210-223-2830 – CC

Everclear + Marcy Playground +Local H

FRI

18

PAUL BROWN

You’re a goddamned liar if you didn’t absolutely love Marcy Playground’s “Sex and Candy” when it was in steady rotation on that radio back the ’90s (if you were alive back then). As a good-fornothing millennial, the song’s now iconic title lyrics sort of forced us thenmiddle-schoolers to think about what sex, well, smelled like. In what seems to be an appropriately stacked bill with “Father of Mine” singer’s Everclear and Local H, who are best known for their alt-rock ’90s hit “Bound for the Floor.” If you dig all things ’90s rock – we’re looking at you, SA – this is probably a show you won’t want to miss. $20-$299, 6pm, 1791 Hueco Springs Loop Rd., New Braunfels. FRI

18

Balmorhea

Bubble Puppy + Ultra

Austin’s Balmorhea, a minimalist, instrumental post-rock project formed in 2006 by Rob Lowe and Michael Muller, is as consistently great and inventive as they come in a genre than can suffer from overwhelming sameness. Throughout the course of its six LPs and other releases, the most recent of which is 2017’s evocative and arresting Clear Language, the band has pushed itself ever inward, plumbing surprising emotional depths through its droning, meandering, sometimes massive, and sometimes delicate music. In a live setting, Balmorhea is the kind of band that can bring about those transcendent experiences that make the best post-rock music so fulfilling. $15-$17, 8pm, Paper Tiger, 2410 N. St. Mary’s St., papertigersatx.com. – JC SUN

20

CLAIRE COTTRELL

Cold War Kids An addition to the onslaught (emphasis on the aught) of bands coming to Texas that gained popularity, well, the aughts: Long Beach indie rockers the Cold War Kids, who are making a stop at The Rustic. Kyle Noonan, creator of The Rustic, said the performance at the still-new venue is one of the band’s only non-festival gigs. “Having Cold War Kids perform at The Rustic is huge,” said Noonan in a press release. “The Rustic is one of the only stops on their tour that isn’t a festival, meaning that there won’t be very many opportunities for fans to experience the band’s incredible performance in a uniquely intimate setting like The Rustic.” $30-$65, 8pm, The Rustic, 17619 La Cantera Pkwy Ste 204, (210) 245-7500, therustic.com. – CC TUE

22

CARA ROBBINS

sacurrent.com • May 16-22, 2018 • CURRENT 43


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MUSIC

MUSIC CALENDAR WEDNESDAY, MAY 16 Jared & The Mill Over the past few years, Jared & The Mill has released 3 EPs, an album, and played across the global. The band has headlined some tours, and hit the road with bands like the War on Drugs, Zac Brown Band, Allen Stone, Ron Pope and many others. $12-$50. Sam’s Burger Joint, 8pm. THURSDAY, MAY 17 The Blues Lawyer Live blues from the Blues Lawyer every Thursday at Hidden Tavern. The band will perform covers from Clapton, BB King, Muddy Waters and other musicians. Free. Hidden Tavern, 8-10pm.

heavy metal band Gideon and Fit for a King. $18. Alamo City Music Hall & Club, 5:30pm. Doc Watkins and His Orchestra South Texas jazz musician Brent “Doc” Watkins and his orchestra perform live. $30. Jazz, TX, 8:30-11:30pm. Friends In Harmony Spring Spectauclar Barbershop chorus & quartet performances featuring Friends in Harmony, Instant Classic, and Go. $15-$50. Laurie Auditorium, 3-5pm. Hoods Hardcore group Hoods from Sacramento, Calif., take the stage with metal band Set Your Anchor from San Bernardino, Calif. $15. Alamo City Music Hall & Club, 6pm.

Cpt. Kirk Covington Quintet jazz drummer Kirk Covington and his band perform an evening of modern jazz. $5. Luna, 8pm.

M.C. Chris American nerdcore rapper, writer, voice actor and improvisational comedian of Libertyville, Illinois, and special guest Bitforce, out to save the universe with their music. $16. Paper Tiger, 8pm.

Jeff Plankenhorn Album Release Show Soulful rocker Jeff Plankenhorn releases new album alongside Tim Gillam & The Kosmic Messengers. $10-$30. Sam’s Burger Joint, 7:45pm.

Rick Barroso and the BigNasty Blues artist and front man Rick Barroso performs an evening of blues and deep jazz alongside his band. $5. Jazz, TX, 5:30-7:30pm.

Jose Amador and Natiao Latin Jazz Mainstream Latin jazz artist Jose Amador performs with Latin jazz band Natiao. $10. Jazz, TX, 8:30-11:30pm.

Small Town Habit Texas country band from Floresville playing a wide variety from Cross Canadian Ragweed to Gretchen Wilson to Merle Hagard to the Dixie Chicks. They also play originals. Free. Quarry Hofbrau, 9pm-1am.

FRIDAY, MAY 18 Easton Corbin A country music singer, he signed to Mercury Records Nashville in 2009 and released his self-titled debut album in March 2010, featuring the two No. 1 hits “A Little More Country Than That” and “Roll with It” as well as the No. 14 hit “I Can’t Love You Back”. $15-$40. Cowboys Dancehall, 7pm. Josh Abbot Band Weeks before its Valentine’s Day release on iTunes, the Josh Abbott Band’s “Touch” was well on its way toward being one of the most talked-about songs in Texas music of 2012. Granted, the hot-streak momentum of Abbott’s career had a lot to do with the breakout success of “Oh, Tonight,” which climbed to No. 44 on Billboard’s country chart and their 2010’s regional smash “She’s Like Texas,” created a stir that reached all the way to music executives in Nashville and New York City. $20-$300. Floore’s Country Store, 9pm. New Orleans Night South Texas jazz musician Doc Watkins is joined by Pierre Poree of New Orleans and friends to perform live. $25. Jazz, TX, 8:3011:30pm. The Palm Trees, Andria Rose, Mirame, Middleground Versatile songwriter and producer Palm Trees with special guests indie pop artist Andria Rose & The Youth, Mirame and Middle Ground. $5. Imagine Books and Records, 8pm-midnight

Sweet Charbonneau & The Fur Trappers Sweet Charbonneau & the Fur Trappers will be bringing their self-described "fat rock" for a night of "skintimate" music. Special meet-and-greet after the show with an local celebrity. Free. J&O’s Cantina, 11pm-1am. Tomar & the FCs Soul band from Austin consists of Tomar Williams on vocals, Andy Tenberg on guitar, David Earl on organ, Mitch Fischels on bass and Paul Kresowik on drums. $10. Luna, 8pm. SUNDAY, MAY 20 22nd Annual KNBT 92.1 FM Americana Music Jam A celebration of Americana music featuring Randy Rogers, Cody Canada & the Departed and much more. For more information, call 830-6295077. $50. Gruene Hall, 11pm-midnight. Michael Morales Rockstar Academy Learn from Grammy-winning producer Michael Morales in lead vocal, guitar, bass, drums or keys. $5. Sam’s Burger Joint, 1:30pm. MONDAY, MAY 21 Kat Edmonson Singer-songwriter Kat Edmonson is back with Old Fashioned Gal. In little more than a decade Kat has emerged as one of the most distinctive performers in contemporary American music. $29.50-$39.50. Empire Theatre, 7:30pm.

Soul Supporters Austin-based retro-soul group performs vintage R&B originals. $10. Luna, 8pm.

Swing Dance Nite with The Hot Texas Swing Band Guaranteed to get your boots dancin’, your toes tappin’ and your fingers snappin’ at Sam’s Burger Joint. Like Texas itself, the Hot Texas Swing Band is a crossroads of musical influences. $7$10. Sam’s Burger Joint, 8:30pm.

SATURDAY, MAY 19

TUESDAY, MAY 22

Beatles vs Stones Abbey Road, one of the country’s top Beatles tribute bands, engage in a musical showdown performing hits against premier Stones tribute band Satisfaction – The International Rolling Stones Show, who offer a faithful rendition of the music and style of Mick Jagger, Keith Richards and the bad boys of the British Invasion. $15-$65. Sam’s Burger Joint, 8pm.

Accordion Wars IV Proceeds go to the Conjunto Heritage Taller, a nonprofit organization that offers accordion and bajo sexto classes to all ages. They welcome students from children ages 7 and up to seniors and everyone with a passion for conjunto music. $5. Sam’s Burger Joint, 7pm.

Pouya Rapper/hip-hop artist from Miami performs his sophomore album Five Five. $25. Aztec Theatre, 8pm.

Born of Osiris Deathcore band Born of Osiris of Palatine, Illinois, with special guests Christian

The Adam Carrillo Quartet Adam Carillo on Sax, Chris Villanueva on piano, Mike porter on bass and Brandon Guerra on drums. $10. Jazz, TX, 8:30-11:30pm.

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You’ve famously said, “Oral comes standard.” How long before anal comes standard?

How do you introduce your inexperienced-but-willing-to-try partner to BDSM? By starting a two-person book club. Order Playing Well with Others: Your Field Guide to Discovering, Exploring, and Navigating the Kink, Leather, and BDSM Communities by Lee Harington and Mollena Williams, The Ultimate Guide to Kink: BDSM, Role Play, and the Erotic Edge edited by Tristan Taormino, and SM 101: A Realistic Introduction by Jay Wiseman. Read and discuss, and discuss some more—and when you’re ready to start playing, take it slow!

I keep having sex dreams about Kanye West. What does that mean? You’re Mike Pence. How clean should a bottom be? A little bit of shit is kinda expected, isn’t it? I mean, you are fucking an ass, right?

My expectations for sterling silver, crystal stemware, and fuckable ass are the same: I want it sparkling. Zooming out: One doesn’t have anal sex What resources are available—which with an ass full of shit for the same reason do you recommend—to share with my one doesn’t have oral sex with a mouth full male partner so he can improve (learn) of food—it’s going to make a mess. Making oral sex? (Girl oral sex!) sure your mouth is empty is easy, of course, but it’s not that difficult to empty or clean Two more book recommendations: The out an ass. Also, a good, fiber-rich diet Ultimate Guide to Cunnilingus: How to empties and cleans out the ass naturally. Go Down on a Woman and Give Her Yes, you are fucking an ass, that’s true, and Exquisite Pleasure by Violet Blue and She shit sometimes happens. The top shouldn’t Comes First: The Thinking Man’s Guide poop-shame the bottom when it does to Pleasuring a Woman by Ian Kerner. happen, and the bottom doesn’t need to have a meltdown. It just means you need to My boyfriend told me that women pivot to some other sexual activity—after a orgasm only 60 percent of the time quick cleanup restores the sparkle. compared to men. I said I want orgasm equity. How do I navigate mail@savagelove.net his pansy-assed male ego to find a @fakedansavage on Twitter solution? ITMFA.org

PRN DIFFERENTIAL

JOB FAIR PRN DIFFERENTIAL

AS NEEDED

How does a week from next Tuesday grab you?

The orgasm gap—91 percent of men reported climaxing in their last oppositesex sexual encounter compared to 64 percent of women (National Survey of Sexual Health and Behavior)—doesn’t exist for lesbians and bi women in same-sex relationships. So the problem isn’t women and their elusive orgasms, it’s men and their lazy-ass bullshit. A contributing factor is that women often have a hard time advocating for their own pleasure because they’ve been socialized to defer to men. There’s evidence of that in your question: You want to navigate this problem—the problem being a selfish boyfriend who doesn’t care enough about you to prioritize your pleasure and has taken cover behind the orgasm gap—but you want to spare his ego in the process. Fuck his precious ego. Tell him what you want and show him what it takes to get you off. If he refuses to do his part to close the orgasm gap in your apartment, show him the door.

PER DIEM

Savage Love Live at Denver’s Oriental Theater last week was epic. I fielded sex questions in front of a sold-out crowd, singer-songwriter Rachel Lark performed amazing news songs, comedian Elise Kerns absolutely killed it, and Tye—a token straight guy plucked at random from the audience—joined us onstage and gave some pretty great sex advice! We couldn’t get to all the audience questions during the show, so I’m going to race through as many unanswered questions as I can in this week’s column…

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8307 Gault Lane • San Antonio, TX 78209 sacurrent.com • May 16-22, 2018 • CURRENT 47


NominationS Open NOW THRU MAY 23RD NOMINATE YOUR FAVORITE PEOPLE, PLACES AND THINGSTO DO IN SAN ANTONIO, IN 150+ CATEGORIES!

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CURRENT • May 16-22, 2018 • sacurrent.com


ETC.

FREE WILL ASTROLOGY by Rob Brezsny ARIES (March 21-April 19): According to my assessment of the astrological omens, your duty right now is to be a brave observer and fair-minded intermediary and honest storyteller. Your people need you to help them do the right thing. They require your influence in order to make good decisions. So if you encounter lazy communication, dispel it with your clear and concise speech. If you find that foggy thinking has started to infect important discussions, inject your clear and concise insights. TAURUS (April 20-May 20): A chemist named Marcellus Gilmore Edson got a patent on peanut butter in 1894. A businessperson named George Bayle started selling peanut butter as a snack in 1894. In 1901, a genius named Julia David Chandler published the first recipe for a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. In 1922, another pioneer came up with a new process for producing peanut butter that made it taste better and last longer. In 1928, two trailblazers invented loaves of sliced bread, setting the stage for the ascension of the peanut butter and jelly sandwich to its full glory. According to my analysis, Taurus, you’re partway through your own process of generating a very practical marvel. I suspect you’re now at a phase equivalent to Julia David Chandler’s original recipe. Onward! Keep going! GEMINI (May 21-June 20): One of the most popular brands of candy in North America is Milk Duds. They’re irregularly shaped globs of chocolate caramel. When they were first invented in 1926, the manufacturer’s plan was to make them perfect little spheres. But with the rather primitive technology available at that time, this proved impossible. The finished products were blobs, not globes. They tasted good, though. Workers jokingly suggested that the new confection’s name include “dud,” a word meaning “failure” or “flop.” Having sold well now for more than 90 years, Milk Duds have proved that success doesn’t necessarily require perfection. Who knows? Maybe their dud-ness has been an essential part of their charm. I

suspect there’s a metaphorical version of Milk Duds in your future, Gemini. CANCER (June 21-July 22): In my vision of your life in the coming weeks, you’re hunting for the intimate power that you lost a while back. After many twists and trials, you find it almost by accident in a seemingly unimportant location, a place you have paid little attention to for a long time. When you recognize it, and realize you can reclaim it, your demeanor transforms. Your eyes brighten, your skin glows, your body language galvanizes. A vivid hope arises in your imagination: how to make that once-lost, nowrediscovered power come alive again and be of use to you in the present time. LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): The etymological dictionary says that the English slang word “cool” meant “calmly audacious” as far back as 1825. The term “groovy” was first used by jazz musicians in the 1930s to signify “performing well without grandstanding.” “Hip,” which was originally “hep,” was also popularized by the jazz community. It meant, “informed, aware, up-to-date.” I’m bringing these words to your attention because I regard them as your words of power in the coming weeks. You can be and should be as hip, cool, and groovy as you have been in a long time. VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): I hope you will seek out influences that give you grinning power over your worries. I hope you’ll be daring enough to risk a breakthrough in service to your most demanding dream. I hope you will make an effort to understand yourself as your best teacher might understand you. I hope you will find out how to summon more faith in yourself -- a faith not rooted in lazy wishes but in a rigorous self-assessment. Now here’s my prediction: You will fulfill at least one of my hopes, and probably more. LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): The Polish pianist Ignacy Jan

JONESIN’ CROSSWORD by Matt Jones “FLIP THE ON SWITCH”--TURN ON, TUNE IN. ACROSS

1 Puts two and two together 5 Clean the deck 9 Filibuster-airing channel 14 Cheer 15 Serve tea 16 River past Liechtenstein 17 “South Park” co-creator Parker 18 Rice-A-_ _ _ 19 Oscar winner Jeremy 20 Subsequent to a sin? 23 Dartmouth or Brown, e.g. 24 “I” focus? 25 Kissing disease’s progression? 34 Lively tunes 35 Where the mojito supposedly originated 36 Pudding layer 37 In-flight announcement, for short 38 Powerful person 39 Fireman’s tool 40 Doesn’t just sit there 42 Zest 43 In ___ (stuck) 45 Scaredy-typesetting machine? 48 Singer Rita born in what’s now Kosovo 49 Wide shoe size 50 British romance novelist’s boast? 58 Awestruck 59 Intensify 60 “Sopranos” actress ___

de Matteo 61 Samurai without a master 62 “Monster” that’s really a lizard 63 Fish sometimes eaten by raccoons 64 Special vocabulary 65 Fix, at the vet’s office 66 Turns into compost

DOWN

1 Commedia dell’___

2 Boots’s cartoon friend 3 Active person 4 Coif expert 5 Uses a mister 6 Dog park noise 7 Jackie, on “Roseanne” 8 Cheese in a wheel 9 Recoil in distaste 10 Psilocybin, slangily 11 Semistable subatomic particle 12 Part of A.D.

Paderewski once performed for England’s Queen Victoria. Since she possessed that bygone era’s equivalent of a backstage pass, she was able to converse with him after the show. “You’re a genius,” she told him, having been impressed with his artistry. “Perhaps, Your Majesty,” Paderewski said. “But before that I was a drudge.” He meant that he had labored long and hard before reaching the mastery the Queen attributed to him. According to my analysis of the astrological omens, you Libras are currently in an extended “drudge” phase of your own. That’s a good thing! Take maximum advantage of this opportunity to slowly and surely improve your skills. SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): The ancient Greek poet Simonides was among the first of his profession to charge a fee for his services. He made money by composing verses on demand. On one occasion, he was asked to write a stirring tribute to the victor of a mule race. He declined, declaring that his sensibilities were too fine to create art for such a vulgar activity. In response, his potential patron dramatically boosted the proposed price. Soon thereafter, Simonides produced a rousing ode that included the phrase “wind-swift steeds.” I offer the poet as a role model for you in the coming weeks, Scorpio. Be more flexible than usual about what you’ll do to get the reward you’d like. SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): Here’s the operative metaphor for you these days: You’re like a painter who has had a vision of an interesting work of art you could create -- but who lacks some of the paint colors you would require to actualize this art. You may also need new types of brushes you haven’t used before. So here’s how I suggest you proceed: Be aggressive in tracking down the missing ingredients or tools that will enable you to accomplish your as-yet imaginary masterpiece. CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): Useful revelations and provocative epiphanies are headed your way. But they

probably won’t arrive sheathed in sweetness and light, accompanied by tinkling swells of celestial music. It’s more likely they’ll come barging in with a clatter, bringing bristly marvels and rough hope. In a related matter: At least one breakthrough is in your imminent future. But this blessing is more likely to resemble a wrestle in the mud than a dance on a mountaintop. None of this should be a problem, however! I suggest you enjoy the rugged but interesting fun. AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): One of the saddest aspects of our lives as humans is the disparity between love and romance. Real love is hard work. It’s unselfish, unwavering, and rooted in generous empathy. Romance, on the other hand, tends to be capricious and inconstant, often dependent on the fluctuations of mood and chemistry. Is there anything you could do about this crazy-making problem, Aquarius? Like could you maybe arrange for your romantic experiences to be more thoroughly suffused with the primal power of unconditional love? I think this is a realistic request, especially in the coming weeks. You will have exceptional potential to bring more compassion and spiritual affection into your practice of intimacy. PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): In accordance with astrological omens, I invite you to dream up new rituals. The traditional observances and ceremonies bequeathed to you by your family and culture may satisfy your need for comfort and nostalgia, but not your need for renewal and reinvention. Imagine celebrating homemade rites of passage designed not for who you once were but for the new person you’ve become. You may be delighted to discover how much power they provide you to shape your life’s long-term cycles. Ready to conjure up a new ritual right now? Take a piece of paper and write down two fears that inhibit your drive to create a totally interesting kind of success for yourself. Then burn that paper and those fears in the kitchen sink while chanting “I am a swashbuckling incinerator of fears!”

Answer on page 21. 13 “Duck Hunt” platform 21 Fashion designer SaintLaurent 22 Amy Winehouse song 25 Garment fold 26 Obstacle 27 Get ___ start 28 City northwest of Orlando 29 Completely messed up, in military slang 30 Govt. investment 31 Giraffe’s relative 32 #37 33 “On a scale of ___ ten ...” 38 Inexperienced with 41 Sign for October 23-November 21 43 Parliamentary votes 44 Meager 46 Familiarize with new surroundings 47 Flexibility 50 “What hump?” speaker of film 51 Designer Vera 52 They’re often sold in sixes or twelves 53 Be klutzy 54 Greeting in Guatemala 55 Cookie that rolled out a Kettle Corn flavor (up for voting) in 2018 56 Hanukkah candy 57 Talk back to 58 Constellation called “the Altar”

THIS MODERN WORLD by Tom Tomorrow

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Recruiting for promo team! PHOTOGRAPHERS |STREET TEAM | BRAND AMBASSADORS

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CURRENT • May 16-22, 2018 • sacurrent.com


Saturday,

may 26

hemisfair Park

12-8 pm

8 1 0 2

Free!

Family Friendly

Details at TexasSalsaFest.com


San Antonio Current – May 16, 2018  
San Antonio Current – May 16, 2018