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FEBRUARY 14-20, 2018


Dark Magic How border security advances under Trump have ignited a 21st century witch hunt


Alexandra Kennon in a photo by Ride Hamilton of New Orleans. Ms. Kennon and her smoke do not appear in the play. We cannot afford her. The smoke annoys people.

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FEBRUARY 17—MAY 13 This exhibition is presented in collaboration with Mexico’s Instituto Nacional de Antropología e Historia (INAH). The exhibition is generously funded by Bexar County, William and Salomé Scanlan Foundation, Patsy Steves, the Robert J. Kleberg, Jr. and Helen C. Kleberg Foundation, NuStar Energy, The Greehy Family Foundation, and Myfe White Moore. This exhibition is supported by the City of San Antonio’s Department of Arts & Culture. Support for the San Antonio 1718 catalogue was provided by the Russell Hill Rogers Fund for the Arts.


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Artist unknown (New Spain), Sister María Antonia of the Immaculate Conception (detail), Oil on canvas; 47 x 37 in. (120 x 95 cm), framed, Museo Nacional del Virreinato, 10-168030, Secretaría de Cultura,INAH, MX., Tepotzotlán, Mexico • February 14-20, 2018 • CURRENT 5



On March for Marijuana Legalization in Texas Set for Saturday // Me and the San Antonio current finally agree politically. Took a while but we got here – Andy De La Garza On San Antonio Men Among Shadiest Daters in the Country, According to Study // Damn, I’m getting old. This post made ZERO sense to me. And after reading the actual article, I’m only partly less clueless. What happened to our English print/ text media actually communicating in English? – George E. Longoria On Anti-Valentine's Day Events For San Antonians That Are Forever Alone // Yes mainstream media show me how to rebel – Erick Diaz


Issue 18_07/// February 14-20, 2018


Black Magic How border security advances under Trump have ignited a 21st century witch hunt



Our top picks for the week



Making a Scene The Midwest's Big-Little Comedy Fest finds a new home at Bexar Stage

Writing on the Wall San Antonio LULAC chapters feel “betrayed” by President Rocha’s proTrump stance Proof or Politics? FBI rules out immigrant “attack” in death of Border Patrol agent



Primitive Form Early Man lacks creativity of director Nick Park’s past stop-motion animated films

COVER This week, we visited the national Border Security Expo (held in San Antonio) to understand what immigration enforcement hopes to accomplish in the Trump era. From drones to DNA testing, our findings shed a somber light on how far the federal government will go to keep immigrants out of the U.S. Illustration by Carlos Aguilar 6

CURRENT • February 14-20, 2018 •


Food Court Bakery Lorraine’s new location and the history of chuckwagon meals Dog Gone Unpaid taxes and bounced checks linger in wake of Frank San Antonio’s abrupt closing






Black Tongue Femina-X releases stunning Aztecinspired video Splish Splash, Bruh Paper Tiger’s Heatwave announces first round of SXSW “spillover” artists Music Calendar What to see and hear this week




Cue Up Bananas Billiards is back Tipple Test The Bin’s Spanish-influenced happy hour


Savage Love Jonesin’ Crossword Freewill Astrology


Plus! The

culinary showdown


2M Smokehouse & Catering | Bexar Pub Ice House | Bite Restaurant | Botika Restaurant | Brew’s Lee Tea Cosmic Cakery | Cover-3 | Dignowity Meats | Edera Osteria - Enoteca | El Bucanero | Fahrenheit 32 First Watch The Daytime Cafe | Grayze | Humble House Foods | Jamaica Jamaica Cuisine | Kimura Lick Honest Ice Creams | Market On Houston | Maverick | Paesano’s Lincoln Heights | Papouli’s Greek Grill Pharm Table | Primal Juice & Smoothies | Sangria on the Burg | Southern Grit | Summer Moon Coffee Bar Sweet Chela’s | Thai Topaz Restaurant | The Art of Donut | The Culinary Institute of America | Toastie Buns Top Golf | Toro Kitchen + Bar | Two Step Restaurant & Cantina | Villa Rica | Viva La Dough | Wildflower Caramels | And More!


BENEFITING • February 14-20, 2018 • CURRENT 7



8403 Broadway, SATX 430 Austin St, SATX 8

CURRENT • February 14-20, 2018 •


‘Ashamed and Embarrassed’ Denise Cantu isn’t the reason Senator Uresti is in federal court TEXAS SENATE


If you’ve caught any of the federal court trial against San Antonio Senator Carlos Uresti, you’ve probably heard excerpts from Denise Cantu’s witness testimony. Cantu, the alleged victim of a massive financial fraud scheme for which Uresti is being tried for as a co-conspirator, is not being tried for a crime. But the three-day-long interrogation into the 38-year-old’s sexual relationships with both Uresti, 58, and his former business partner, Stan Bates, 45, would make any spectator think otherwise. In the past weeks, the all-male defense and prosecution attorneys (aided by the court of public opinion) have used Cantu’s testimony to nudge her into the easy, outdated role of a vindictive, plotting and promiscuous younger woman — while all but ignoring the real reason she’s been called to testify. Let’s start with the facts. Cantu is a woman who, after surviving a traumatic car crash in 2010 that killed her 13-yearold daughter, 4-year-old-son, and their two friends, hired Uresti (a lawmaker and a personal injury lawyer) to sue the companies responsible for selling her faulty car tires. During this period of time, Cantu developed a friendship and romantic relationship with Uresti, although he’s denied the latter claim. Cantu eventually won over $1 million in a settlement payout — a number that Cantu said was the largest amount of money she’s ever had in her life. That’s when Uresti, her trusted friend and legal advisor, allegedly asked her: “Are you ready to make some money?” By 2014, Uresti had convinced Cantu

to invest nearly all of her settlement, $900,000, into FourWinds, a company that sold sand to fracking companies in South Texas. According to her testimony, Cantu had no idea that Uresti owned a portion of the company, and would get a 10 percent commission from any new investors he brought in. She, like the other investors with the now-bankrupt company, also didn’t know that the FourWinds bank statements she was shown before investing were faked to make the company appear financially successful. Cantu lost $800,000 of her original investment when FourWinds filed for bankruptcy in 2015. Uresti was indicted on 11 different federal charges, including bribery, wire fraud and money laundering, in early 2017. Uresti didn’t work alone — FourWinds’ CEO Stan Bates also worked with Cantu to keep her dollars in the company when she began to question her investment. Bates, who pleaded guilty to eight felony charges involving fraud in January, also had a brief romantic relationship with Cantu. In court, Cantu has been critiqued by attorneys for dating more than one man at a time. She’s been asked to re-read and elaborate on dozens of explicit text messages exchanged with both Uresti and Bates. News outlets have called her Uresti’s “mistress,” a term the AP Stylebook (the go-to style guide for U.S. journalists) axed in 2016, since there was no male equivalent of the word. Other publications described her relationship as “lurid” and “X-rated.” Members of the public have called Cantu a “whore” and a “skank” in Facebook comments, responding to news reports. Uresti, meanwhile, is often referred to

as “the Senator” in court. On Thursday, Feburary 1, Cantu was asked by the prosecution to fill in the blank of a text message she received from Uresti reading: “U want to see my big … ?” She complied. The following day, Cantu fielded a litany of questions from Uresti’s lead defense attorney, Michael McCrum. “Do you remember saying to [Bates] that he made you sexually aroused?” McCrum asked, paraphrasing Cantu’s text messages. “Do you remember saying it affected your body in a certain way?” “Yes,” she replied, quietly. To her right, members of the jury jotted down unseen notes on their steno pads. Sitting next to his lawyers, hands clasped tightly, Uresti watched their reactions. The next day in court, Uresti’s wife Lleanna would attend the trial, sitting directly behind her husband with her eyes fixed on Cantu. Uresti’s lawyers criticized Cantu for having a hard time recalling the timeline of her involvement in FourWinds. But with the vilification she’s received in the courtroom alone (paired with evidence that memory loss often follows severe trauma — like witnessing your kids die), her uncertainty comes as no surprise. The dramatized re-telling of Cantu’s sexual relationships with these men has made it dangerously easy to forget why we’re here: To determine whether or not a sitting state senator willfully engaged in a sloppy Ponzi scheme that lost investors (who trusted a longtime lawmaker’s financial guidance) hundreds of thousands of dollars. Cantu having consensual sex with two men during the same period of time has only

been a headline-grabbing red herring. If found guilty, Uresti would lose his political career, law firm, and likely join Bates in federal prison. Regardless of the outcome, the trial has painted Uresti as a wildly irresponsible businessman — someone who trusted a con man simply because he had served in the military, ignored obvious financial red flags, and dismissed warnings from lawyer friends about the “shady” company. These errors, however, aren’t illegal. If he walks free, the Democratic lawmaker described as an innocent, uninformed investor by his attorneys will return to the state Capitol to resume his duties as a member of the Senate Finance Committee — the legislative group charged with allocating the state’s budget. The Texas Democratic Party has declined to comment on Uresti’s federal charges. It’s important to note that Uresti’s also brushed off claims from former female legislative staffers that he’s dished out “constant” sexual harassment, as reported by the Daily Beast. Cantu doesn’t have the luxury to return to normalcy. She’s lost her two young children. She’s lost her one shot at investing money to support her two remaining kids, a loss that may have inspired her to commit armed robbery in November. She’s likely lost her ability to trust any man. And, trial lawyers have made sure she’s lost what dignity she had left in the courtroom. Asked multiple times why she didn’t initially tell investigators that she had been intimate with Uresti and Bates, Cantu repeated the same line: “I was ashamed and embarrassed.” • February 14-20, 2018 • CURRENT 9









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Writing on the Wall

one of ten LGBTQ chapters nationally that focuses on issues impacting the LGBTQ Latino community, said Rocha’s position in the letter went against the resolution members voted on in the last national LULAC convention. “Many of us feel that President Rocha had betrayed the membership by issuing his own letter and going rogue ... and not taking into consideration the entire membership base,” Salcido said. While a majority of LULAC members MARIA CRISTINA GARDNER in the chapter he’s associated with are in opposition to Rocha’s actions, he said there are those in the larger LULAC wall, ending a visa lottery system, creating "Outrage" is what some members of membership who do support Rocha’s the League of United Latin American a pathway to citizenship for immigrants position on immigration. brought to the U.S. as children and limiting Citizens local chapters members have Some believe “he’s doing what’s characterized their reaction to LULAC family sponsorship to a spouse and children, necessary in a realistic world in order to not parents. national president’s Roger Rocha’s letter in move forward with some compromise,” If Rocha had illusions that the president support of President Donald Trump’s “four according to Salcido. “How much pillars of immigration” policy, which has was reasonable and not plainly anticompromise to the detriment of the exposed a divide and friction in the oldest and immigrant, the president’s State of the Union immigration population do we take?” largest national Latino civil rights organization. address on January 30 squashed that. With no restrictions to what a member’s Trump’s speech plainly suggested In the letter to President Trump dated political affiliations are, the LULAC that immigrants are either members of January 28, Rocha states: “The four pillars membership draws from diverse ideologies murderous gangs or are stealing jobs from which you have outlined (Border Security, and religious backgrounds, Salcido said. American workers. DACA legalization, Protect the Nuclear With an estimated 100 chapters in San Rocha’s letter wasn’t a message local Family, and Elimination of the Lottery and Antonio alone (the largest regional district LULAC members endorse or embrace. Repurpose Visa) are items that LULAC can nationally), there’s a diversity in political In a press release on February 2, Rocha support if they remain within the current backgrounds amongst LULAC members. admitted he made a mistake, but continued framework you have proposed.” When the Current asked Bob Tomez, to defend the letter. Rocha is referring to Trump’s latest LULAC’s Chapter #2 president what the Robert Salcido, president of LULAC agenda on immigration announced January chapter’s stance is on the immigration issue, chapter 22198 “Orgullo de San Antonio,” 25, which includes funds for a border he said, “We are not into the politics ... our

San Antonio LULAC chapters feel “betrayed” by President Rocha’s Pro-Trump stance



Proof or Politics?

FBI rules out immigrant “attack” in death of Border Patrol agent ALEX ZIELINSKI | @ALEX_ZEE

Over the past three months, the FBI has conducted more than 650 interviews with first responders, medical personnel, and other law enforcement officials who may have any knowledge of how Border Security agent Rogelio Martinez died on November 19, 2017. On February 8, the agency issued a memo

reporting it had found no evidence that he was assaulted by another person. This fact matters because ever since Martinez was found with a fractured skull in a West Texas culvert, conservative lawmakers and media outlets have eagerly blamed undocumented immigrants for his death. There has yet to be any substantive evidence to prove this, a point further underscored by the FBI’s report. Martinez was found November 19 with fellow agent Stephen Garland, who had also been seriously injured — but survived the incident. Both men had been out on patrol that morning. Garland’s head injuries has wiped this memory of the incident. Shortly after the men were found, local law enforcement and investigators suggested the men had been side-swiped by a vehicle before falling down the 8-foot culvert. But, politicians like Senator Ted Cruz and Governor Greg Abbott saw Martinez’ death moment to score political points. Abbott called it an “attack” via Twitter and offered a $20,000 reward for anyone who came forward with information about the agent’s death. Cruz, meanwhile, released a statement calling the incident a “stark reminder of the ongoing threat that an unsecure border poses to the safety of our communities and those charged with defending them.” It appears these were baseless assumptions. The FBI reports the only footprints at the scene of the incident belonged to the agents and first responders.

focus is on education.” Tomez said he’s waiting for the state leadership to make a formal response to Rocha’s letter and take a stance on whether he should resign. Although local chapters may not be made aware of it, LULAC Texas State Board did send a letter Sunday,February 4 asking for Rocha’s resignation, according to Connie Martinez, LULAC Texas state treasurer. Lupe Torres, LULAC Texas director, who sits on the national board, was not available for comment. In the letter officials reference the Saturday meeting LULAC national board held in which they asked Rocha to resign, which he refused to do, according to the San Antonio Express-News. To refute Rocha’s position stated in the letter, LULAC released a statement listing the resolutions they’ve adopted nationally. LULAC’s national board’s next scheduled face-to-face meeting is February 15, where Rocha’s status as president will be discussed. Regardless of Rocha’s letter, San Antonio’s Rosa Rosales — LULAC national civil rights chair and former LULAC national president — said LULAC’s position on immigration has not changed. “We have passed numerous times past resolutions in reference to our support for the dreamers, in reference to our strong support for immigrants,” Rosales said. “We are totally against any wall; we’ve always been against it.”

“There were no defensive wounds” on Martinez and Garland and “there was no third-party blood or DNA evidence from the scene or from the agents’ clothing,” reads a memo sent by US Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Kevin McAleenan. The memo notes that the Border Patrol dispatcher who took Garland’s distress call on November 19 specifically wrote in a log book that Garland had told him the men had “ran into a culvert.” Abbott and Cruz have remained unusually quiet about the FBI findings. But Chris Cabrera, a spokesman for the National Border Patrol Council, has remarkably discounted the FBI’s extensive findings. “Our view hasn’t changed. Our view is he was attacked,” Cabrera told CNN. “There’s no way he fell and dropped off that culvert. It’s just dumb, the physics aren’t there.” In an interview with the Current at the Border Security Expo last week, Cabrera said he knows with “absolute certainty” any claims that Martinez wasn’t attacked are false. His evidence comes from his own “investigation” into the scene of the incident. While the FBI memo throws out the idea the men were attacked, it still doesn’t offer an explanation. “The absence of evidence is a key factor in this case — not due to lack of effort or determination, but because evidence which would indicate the presence of other persons or the commission of a criminal act is not present,” the memo reads. • February 14-20, 2018 • CURRENT 11


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CURRENT • February 14-20, 2018 •




half a millennium ago, Europe was still recovering from the Black Plague, Catholics and Protestants were fighting homicidally, and the continent was wracked with worry. Among both the faithful and the political schemers, a movement spread to name the cause of the anxiety and quash it. Women eventually were denounced as the source of the trouble — women witches. A formidable bureaucracy emerged to identify, imprison, prosecute and kill them. The hunt for threatening women later spread to some of the American colonies. Theologians were one sector of the security bureaucracy. They railed against females and their sexual consorts with Lucifer, their filthy incubi and succubi, even their slaughter and cannibalism of infants. From the pulpits, God’s servants thundered. The other members of the bureaucracy were the technicians. Calmly and with little fuss, they traveled from town to town brandishing the investigative manual Malleus Malificarium, and sophisticated enforcement methodologies. One was measured use of the “rack” — the application of excruciating torture, followed by interrogations, then more torture, and then additional questioning. Cutting-edge “medical research” was also employed. In the colonies, suspected witches were compelled to submit to genital exams to find “devil’s marks”. One woman

Attendees listen to a panel discussion at the 2018 national Border Secuiruty Expo

was found to have “an apparent teat in her secret parts.” Another had a strange growth similar “in shape to a dogs eare.”Seventy-one-year-old Rebecca Nurse, in Salem, Massachusetts, had “a preternatural excressense of flesh between ye pudendum and Anus.” Nurse was hanged. The only thing missing from this crazed and deadly bureaucracy was a Witch Hunt Security Expo, with keynote speeches, plenaries, PowerPoints, breakout sessions, and booths of vendors hawking their wares. Well, that was then, this is now, and today we’ve got an annual event in San Antonio: the Border Security Expo. Both times that the Expo has taken place since Trump’s inauguration, it has featured an emotional Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) and a hyperventilating Department of Homeland Security (DHS), plus an array of tranquil techies who hope to sell their products to the feds. They’re especially pumped up now that DHS has proposed that Congress swell CBP’s and ICE’s budgets for the coming year. Last year, their combined budget totalled $20 billion. DHS now wants a 30 percent increase for ICE, and 21 percent for CBP. The CBP increase, about $3 billion, is almost entirely earmarked to build a border wall and to add massive surveillance technology and equipment to the southern border. Sugarplum visions of those billions danced at the Expo a couple of weeks ago. But as I listened to speakers and picked up exhibitor swag, I

thought less about fairyland then about cauldrons, broomsticks and bonfires — and more about the big hunt at the San Antonio Expo for our nation’s new witches: Immigrants. ••• Manny Padilla is the Border Patrol sector chief for the Rio Grande Valley. Along with most CBP biggies at the expo, he moved like a tin soldier, in full, starched, green uniform. In his keynote presentation, Padilla noted that his agents these days — and indeed, agents all along the southern border — are catching far fewer immigrants than they have for decades. (On average, one Border Patrol agent working an entire month and earning about $6,000 during that time catches two immigrants). The Trump intimidation factor is one reason for the decline in people trying to cross the border without documents. But, as Padilla explained, Mexico’s birth rate is falling, and job opportunities in that country have improved. The current problem for his agency, Padilla said, is the children and families identifying as refugees and seeking asylum. He was referring to the people fleeing Central America because of the growing violence directed against civilians by gangs, with the complicity of police. These migrants are “non-impactable traffic,” as Padilla put it — they can’t be deterred by walls or more enforcement. This is because they literally walk up to Border Patrol agents and beg to be taken. During an interview with Border Patrol union podcast • February 14-20, 2018 • CURRENT 13


How border security advances under Trump have ignited a 21st century witch hunt

11th annual

FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 16, 6 - 9 pm: ON & OFF FRED AUTOGRAPH PARTY Opening Reception @ Bihl Haus Arts • 2803 Fredericksburg Road • 210.383.9723 Music by Los Nahuatlatos • hors d’oeuvres & libations • 80+ featured visual artists & more than 200 guest poets, musicians & performance & visual artists!

Admission for two to Fred events is free with the purchase of the tour catalog (excluding theatre performances). Advance catalogs ($10) available at these area businesses:

SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 17, 11 am - 6 pm &

DECO PIZZERIA 1815 Fredericksburg Rd • 210.732.3326 THE JUNCTION 1704 Blanco Rd • 210.273.3439 VEE’S SALON 1022 Donaldson • 210.733.7131 THE TWIG at The Pearl Brewery • 210.826.6411 BARNES & NOBLE at La Cantera • 210.558.2078

SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 18, Noon - 5 pm:

ON & OFF FRED ROAD STUDIO TOUR Buy a catalog, follow the map, look for yellow balloons & yard signs! Spend the weekend meandering through artists’ studios and area galleries. From reclaimed former neighborhood grocery stores to intimate backyard sanctuaries, the studios on the tour provide environments in which local contemporary artists create a variety of works, such as large-scale ceramic sculptures, metalwork, one-of-a-kind light fixtures, art photography, bead work and embroidery, and painting in a variety of styles. Demonstrations, hospitality, and opportunities to purchase art directly from the artists are all part of the On & Off Fred experience. | (210) 383-9723 Presented by:



CURRENT • February 14-20, 2018 •

Catalogs will also be available during the tour for $15 at Bihl Haus on Feb. 17 and 18. Join us for the ON & OFF FRED AUTOGRAPH PARTY at Bihl Haus Arts, 2803 Fredericksburg Road, 6-9 pm on Friday, February 16, 2018. Admission for two to this event is included with the purchase of the ON & OFF FRED CATALOG. So please purchase a catalog and bring a friend!



Sponsored in part by:



The "POLICE" lettering is a recent addition to the Border Patrol uniform.

hosts after his talk, Padilla said of the Central Americans, “We’re not arresting them; they’re arresting us!” ••• One might have expected some speaker at the expo to characterize these families as “vulnerable.” After all, they are at great risk of being hurt or killed if they stay in their nations. They make long, dangerous trips through hostile countries and terrain, with children on their hips. But, no. No one called them “vulnerable.” Instead, as DHS Deputy Secretary Elaine Duke put it during her talk at the expo, these parents and kids were making the United States vulnerable — presumably because Americans of all political stripes actually feel sympathy for them. No normal human being, regardless of his or her political views, wants to see mothers and little children suffer or die. Under Trump, legal protections for immigrants are being mercilessly whittled away. But when “unaccompanied children” and “family units” arrive at the border, they’re still afforded some protection from being summarily ejected from the U.S.

So, what to do about these dusky, decidedly unNorwegian, and dangerous “vulnerabilities”? “Push out the borders,” said Duke, and several other officials at the expo. By this, she means working with — and directly inside of — countries south of the border, including Mexico. (“We have 65 attache,” one official bragged). Doing so impedes the “vulnerabilities” from ever getting here in the first place. ••• I got a taste of the “push” a few months ago, after hearing that CBP agents working at border bridges were denying migrants their legal right to claim refugee status and asylum. To investigate, I went to the pedestrian path of an international bridge connecting Reynosa, Mexico with Texas. A fresh-faced, buff young man stood on the Mexico side, wearing a polo shirt on which the little alligator was replaced with the logo of Mexico’s migration secretariat — equivalent to our Border Patrol. “I’m here looking at people walking to the US side, headed for the office there,” he said cheerily. “I look. And if they don’t appear to be Mexican, I stop them and turn them back.”

According to expo speakers, this young man’s colleagues are not just turning people back a few feet from the border. They’re also using hi-tech methods to classify and reject migrants before they get anywhere near a bridge. So far, they’re doing this by fingerprinting people stopped in Southern Mexico. The U.S. wants Mexican officials to use facial recognition, iris scanning and voice recognition technologies. But what about those crafty “vulnerabilities” who somehow do make it across the Rio Grande? Rumors have been floating for months that DHS is poised to shut down the family detention centers that hold these crossers, not in order to release families on bond, but, instead, to separate children from parents and lock them up apart from each other. At the expo’s “Biometrics in Border Security” panel, DHS and CBP officials said they want to clear legislative and legal hurdles so that they can do other things to punish families, like taking DNA swabs from cheeks to verify their relationship. Before Trump took office, DHS was forbidden from doing this. Now, according to DHS, it’s just a matter of time before the government starts doing 90-minute rapid testing in order to ferret out families • February 14-20, 2018 • CURRENT 15

16  CURRENT • February 14-20, 2018 •


who are lying about the children being theirs. Imagine the effect on these families, of a DNA exam revealing the skeletons in a family closet. Say a mother once had an affair without her husband knowing. He’s always believed he’s the dad, and acted like a dad. But now, after a quick swab in detention, he finds out otherwise. Or what of a Guatemalan child whose mother gave him up to cousins or friends because of dire poverty, and now, with the swab, the child discovers that the people he knew and loved as parents are what the government denounces as liars. Imagine the government prosecuting those liars for “smuggling.” Or worse, “trafficking.” •••


In the main expo hall, vendors displayed drones; camouflageable cameras; and a monster, twostory, telescoping tower. One vendor from a Middle Eastern country (“a shithole,” he quipped) displayed a huge computer with a multi-screen, telephotocapable view of graduation festivities this past spring at New York University. Three or four decades ago, a Border Patrol agent published a guide to the venerable skill of following immigrants through the wild by interpreting their footprints in the dirt. Tracking, the skill was called. As practiced by this agent, it was funkily Cormac McCarthyesque, and racist. When you encounter human feces in the sand, the agent advised, poke at them with a stick. If you see red chili in the excrement, it means the person is a Mexican. Keep tracking. Today, all you need is polychrome thermal nightvision imaging, radar, aerostats, license-plate-reader systems, and “force multiplier” ground sensors. You don’t even have to be federal to get this stuff. One expo panel exhorted local sheriffs, constables, and cops working near the border (and not so near — as far as three counties up) to apply for “Operation Stonegarden,” a federal money pot that is set to double, from $55 million a year to $110 million, so that local law enforcement can buy gadgets, and pay their officers salaries and overtime, to catch border crossers and smugglers. Several months ago, I was sent almost 200 pages of “Stonegarden Daily Reports” from the small, Rio Grande Valley town of Alamo. The reports showed that police were not catching drug Mafiosi via Stonegarden, nor smugglers of humans, or anyone else who might be putting the border in danger. Instead, police were getting paid overtime to pick rowdy drunks off the streets, and errant youth with doobies in their pockets. No matter. “It’s free money!” said a Border Patrol honcho at the expo. No one at this panel or any other talked about the lowest tech of all: fluids to rehydrate immigrants found collapsed and dying each year during their perilous crossings through the badlands of Texas, Arizona and California; and body bags for the hundreds each year who don’t make it. These items were not on display at the expo.

Members of the Color Gaurd on display at the expo.

Instead, another low-tech product was displayed, by an official who said he was modeling the latest in agency apparel. It was a green vest with letters spelling out not just “Border Patrol,” but also a newly added word: POLICE. Currently, over three percent of the world’s population is in a state of migratory flux. In the United States, an equal proportion of our own people are undocumented, or one person in every 33 of us. Today, paperless immigrants are as necessary to our demographics and commonweal as women always have been in Europe. Today, study after study shows that immigrants, including the undocumented, are productive and energetic—a boon. Is there any point to repeating and re-repeating these obvious facts? Who’s listening? We are hard in the middle of a moral panic, and moral panic always trumps fact. Today we no longer fear Protestants versus Catholics, or the plague or Cotton Mather. Today we are shaken to our bones by the worn out nation-state. It’s worn out because as money surges north to south, east to west and every vice-versa which way, traditional borders are dying. Those of us fortunate enough to be settled may not consciously understand this. But the wanderers do: those three percent who’ve been upended by wandering capital, with its resulting land and job loss, its war,

catastrophic weather, and the grotesque violence of its gigantic black markets. The people trying to escape this mayhem cannot be stopped, regardless of how much money we waste building walls, or how much our leaders throw down the toilet of Border Security Expo tech. There could be another response. We could embrace the migrants, fold them into the bosom of our civic life, celebrate them, make with them a new, post-nation-state world. Instead, the Expo hawked rhetoric and gizmos as crisp and yet disposable as adult diapers, velcroed onto the shrunken loins of a senile old thing we call the “homeland.” To maintain this ghoul on life support, as well as semblance of vitality, Border Patrol recruiters attend professional bull riding events. They’ve chosen to pitch jobs there because, as one official at the Expo put it, bull riding fans tend to be “patriotic.” They also look for people who, as another honcho said, wish to defend “the American experience.” Meanwhile, the tekkies dream up more sophisticated means of tormenting migrants who, in the American homeland — though it’s considered overkill to draw such analogies— are now inarguably quaking in their homes. Their fear is the flipside of our fear. It’s the fear of those women in Salem, whose “American experience” ended with hanging. • February 14-20, 2018 • CURRENT 17



Questival Adventure Race

Highlighted with a cover story in our previous issue, the LGBT-centric, body-positive burlesque troupe the Pastie Pops have come a long way since their dive-bar days back in 2010. And although they pride themselves on connecting with audiences through intimate performances (at Southtown’s Sexology Institute and other cozy venues across town), the Pops have long dreamed WED of performing on a larger stage to a larger audience. Promising to fulfill that dream with plenty of glitter, feathers, twirling tassels and more than a few special guests, their red-hot Valentine’s Day show at the Aztec is easily their most ambitious endeavor to date. In addition to a mixture of new routines and rampedup classics by troupe members Jasper St. James (“The Big & Tall That Bares It All”), Elle Du Jour (“The Contemporary Tease”), Mary Annette (“The Doll with No Strings Attached”), Lucy Lips (“The Mermaid Queen of Texas”) and emcee Camille Toe (“The One You Want to Pick”), Va-Va-Valentine marks the San Antonio debut for alternative model-turned burlesque star Raquel Reed (a statuesque, tattooed New Yorker who won the title of Queen of Burlesque at last year’s New Orleans Burlesque Festival) and also features performances by local and regional artists such as Lita Deadly, Chola Magnolia, Sabra JohnSin and Lady Lola LeStrange. $20$35, 8pm, Aztec Theatre, 104 N. St. Mary’s St., (210) 812-4355, — Bryan Rindfuss BURLESQUE





The latest entry in Ballet San Antonio’s 2017-2018 season puts whimsy and modernity at its forefront. In RED, the company presents five dances, centered on George Balanchine’s “Rubies,” a wickedly sharp piece set to Igor Stravinsky’s “Capriccio for Piano and Orchestra.” Artistic Director Willy Shives’ choreography is prominently featured in “Elements,” a reflection on San Antonio’s fickle weather set to music by Franz Liszt; The Sorcerer’s Apprentice, a debut featuring children from BSA’s arts education and dance training program, and the jazzy montage “Something Stupid.” Rounding out the program is Gerald Arpino’s “Round of Angels,” a melancholic dance choreographed in memoriam of Arpino’s collaborator and longtime friend, James R. Howell. $24.50-$129, 7:30pm Fri, 2pm & 7:30pm Sat, 2pm Sun, Tobin Center for the Performing Arts, H-E-B Performance Hall, 100 Auditorium Circle, (210) 223-8624, — Kelly Merka Nelson BALLET





An outdoorsy apparel and gear company that aims to “make a positive impact on the world,” Salt Lake Citybased Cotopaxi is bringing its signature Questival Adventure Race to the Alamo City. Billed as “the world’s best outdoor adventure race,” the 24-hour challenge encourages teams of two or more to complete unique tasks grounded in fitness, culture, food and charity. In the vein of The Amazing Race, the Questival might task teams with crafting a functional canoe from cardboard, singing a love song on the Riverwalk, climbing to the top of Enchanted Rock … or donating blood while donning Dracula teeth. Each individual racer will receive a Cotopaxi backpack at the check-in party in Crockett Park (68pm). Attendees can download the Questival app and register online one day before the race to receive their challenge list. Last call for racers to join in on the hunt or assemble a group will be during checkin hours. The 20 groups that complete the most challenges will win a portion of $10,000 worth of FRI-SAT sports gear, trips and other prizes. $47 (entrance fee subject to change), 7pm Fri-7pm Sat, Crockett Park, 1300 N. Main Ave., (844) 2686729, — Lori Salazar SPECIAL EVENT





in Celebration of the Opening of Confluence Park and in support of Las Casas’ performing arts educational programs




CURRENT • February 14-20, 2018 •


MAY 21






Bless Me, Ultima



Porsha Olayiwola 17

On & Off Fredericksburg Road Studio Tour The 11th annual On & Off Fredericksburg Road Studio Tour, featuring its most impressive three-day slate of events and openings yet, goes down this weekend. Spread throughout the neighborhoods of Monticello Park, Jefferson, Woodlawn Lake, Keystone, Beacon Hill and Alta Vista, the art walk/fest makes Bihl Haus Arts its de facto home base, as the whole affair is largely coordinated by that organization’s founder/director, Dr. Kellen McIntyre. You can choose your own arty adventure as you wander the blocks of these historic, artistically lively hoods, or you may opt to schedule out your days, including some of the music, spoken word or other events along with free-range gallery/home studio exploration. For art buyers and appreciators alike, this event offers a unique opportunity to visit galleries and FRI-SUN home studios (some rarely open to the public) full of work from some of SA’s finest artists and artisans. Pro tip: get the catalog. It’s your one-stop guide to all the events and work you can expect to see at each stop. $10-$15 (includes catalog), 6-9pm Fri (autograph party with participating artists), 11am-6pm Sat, noon-5pm Sun, Bihl Haus Arts, 2803 Fredericksburg Road, (210) 383-9723, — James Courtney ART


Dogeared copies of Rudolfo Anaya’s Bless Me, Ultima adorn many a bookshelf, and now San Antonians have an opportunity to see it rendered live on stage. For the next installment of The Classic Theater of San Antonio’s 10th anniversary season, director José Ruben Dé León turns the spotlight on Latinx culture with an adaptation of Anaya’s groundbreaking portrait of the Chicano experience in America. Growing up in rural New Mexico in the 1940s, Antonio Márez must navigate the divide between his mother’s religiosity and father’s aggressive masculinity. While Dante had Virgil as a guide, Antonio has Ultima, a curandera (or folk healer) that comes to live with his family during his childhood. Under Ultima’s protection, Antonio comes of age in a town fraught with conflict, waging the battle of good and evil in the microcosm of his small community. $17-$32, 8pm Fri-Sat, 3pm Sun, The Classic Theatre of San Antonio, 1924 Fredericksburg Road, (210) 589-8450, — KMN THEATER

“Let me just say that I am a very beautiful person. I’m sweet, and funny, and awkward, and I just have to say that I’m a little tired of the stereotype of the ‘angry black woman’,” says Porsha Olayiwola in her spoken-word poem “Angry Black Woman.” The Boston resident by way of Chicago and selfproclaimed black poet, dyke-god, hip-hop feminist and womanist is the reigning Individual World Poetry Slam Champion and the 2015 National Poetry Slam Champion. Olayiwola continues her poem stating that she’s not angry but, actually “pissed off” and often leads the crowd up to an emotionally delivered lines like, “I’m pissed the fuck off, I’m mad because above everything, and at any given time and in any given space, I, as a black SAT woman, can suffer from racism, sexism, homophobia, classism; I can be raped, be burned alive and no one, not a single soul will look up to acknowledge my absence from this universe because I am insignificant, because I am a black woman, and finally you see that I have every right to be pissed the fuck off.” Her work is powerful, emotionally charged, and an important contribution to the conversation on race and homophobia in America. Free (register at, 5-6pm, Trinity University, Skyline Room, One Trinity Pl., (210) 999-7011, — Chris Conde WORDS





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JULY 25 ON SALE FRIDAY! • February 14-20, 2018 • CURRENT 19


20  CURRENT • February 14-20, 2018 •


Asian Festival Though it is their year, no dogs (or pets of any kind, for that matter) are allowed on the grounds of the Institute of Texan Cultures’ celebration of the Lunar New Year. But there will be plenty of pupper figurines, clothing, art and more during the annual Asian Festival, which combines dance, martial arts demonstrations, and, best of all, food from across Asia. Grab a beer or sake at the Asian Libation Station, and pair it with bites hailing from Malaysia, India, Korea, Philippines, Pakistan, China, Vietnam and beyond. With halo-halo from Sari Sari Filipino Restaurant, bulgogi rice bowls from Takorea, masala fries from the Pakistani tent, fried rice from the Chinese Women’s Club and sweet mango lassi milkshakes from Café Bahar, there’ll be something for everyone to enjoy. $5-$12, 10am-5pm, Institute of Texan Cultures, 801 E. César E. Chávez Blvd., (210) 458-2300, — Jessica Elizarraras SPECIAL EVENT



PechaKucha, for the uninitiated, is a lecture format (the phrase means “chit-chat” in Japan, where the concept originated) that invites speakers to prepare a six-minute-and-40-second talk, with a visual component that includes 20 images, each of which can be displayed for only 20 seconds. The unique format forces presenters to be especially deliberate and purposeful about all their choices, making for a fast-paced and highly engaging experience for attendees. TUE San Antonio’s PechaKucha chapter, now in its 29th quarterly incarnation, has a knack for bringing together exciting and diverse groups for presentations on an eclectic mix of topics. Presenters for PechaKucha Vol. 29 are Karina Bharne (interim executive director of the San Antonio Symphony), Bethany Bohall (public arts administrator/innovator), Garrett T. Capps (musician/songwriter), Catherine Cisneros (artistic director of URBAN-15), Lisa Hurst (applied improv facilitator), Frances Limoncelli (managing artistic director of Magik Theatre), Carlos Maestas (Key Ideas founder) and Alexei Wood (photojournalist). $5, 6:30pm, Magik Theatre, 420 S. Alamo St., (210) 227-2751, — JC TALKS PLUS


Kicking off the Briscoe Museum’s 2018 Native Film Series is a double feature TUE screening of two documentaries: 1986’s short Navajo Talking Picture and 2007’s feature Miss Navajo (pictured). In Navajo Talking Picture, director Arlene Bowman turns the camera on her grandmother in hopes of rediscovering her traditional cultural heritage. In Miss Navajo, director Billy Luther explores a young girl’s journey to capture the title of Miss Navajo, a longstanding pageant that includes competitions like sheep butchering, rug weaving and bread making. Funny enough, contemporary talent and evening gown portions are also part of the overall competition. “What inspired me about the beauty pageant was that here was a crossroads where the Western competition met Native influences,” Luther said in a statement. “The result was something not gaudy and glitzy like most beauty pageants, but something beautiful and profound — something that really reveals the true essence of beauty.” Dr. Dustin Tahmahkera (Comanche Nation), indigenous studies professor at the University of Texas at Austin and curator of the Briscoe series, will lead a discussion after the screening. Free, 6:30pm, Briscoe Western Art Museum, 210 W. Market St., (210) 2994499, – KM FILM


Native Film Series • February 14-20, 2018 • CURRENT 21



PechaKucha Vol. 29


With a strong message of promoting “Jewish values and diversity through the medium of film,” the Barshop Jewish Community Center in San Antonio will “raise community awareness of Jewish identity, history and culture” with their annual Jewish Film Festival. This year’s festival will take place over five days and screen 12 feature films and two shorts across a variety of genres and topics, including religious intolerance, children’s literature and confronting anger during the grieving process. Music plays an integral part in the festival via four films — Mr. Bernstein, The Maestro: In Search of the Last Music, A Quiet Heart and the 2017 Oscar-nominated short documentary Joe’s Violin (pictured). The latter tells the story of a 91-year-old Holocaust survivor who donates his violin to a 12-year-old girl from the Bronx. In the 2017 drama Alone in Berlin, a Nazi Germany working-class couple (Emma Thompson and Brendan Gleeson) retaliates against their government when their son dies in WWII. Also, look out for the documentary Monkey Business on Hans and Margret Rey, the writers/illustrators of the Curious George book series. Maybe we’ll finally find out why he’s so curious. $5-$15 per screening, $105 for a festival pack, times vary Sat-Wed, Santikos Palladium Theater, 17703 West I-10 Frontage Road, (210) 302-6820, – Kiko Martinez FILM



Jewish Film Festival




sat. 24

10am - 2pm


ART ”Images of Power” This month, Freight

Gallery presents “Images of Power,” an exhibition of new work by 30 artists from across the country who deal with “current events, historical quandaries and the rising tide of fascism at our doorstep.” Guest curated by Alana Coates and Mark Anthony Martinez, the exhibition brings together a bold array of work and highlights several local artists, including Albert Alvarez, Juan de Dios Mora, Ashley Mireles, Raul Gonzalez, Andrei Renteria and Jose Villalobos. In a statement, Freight owner Sergio Martinez said, “‘Images of Power’ establishes a dialogue that might at times be painful or difficult, but it is timely, meaningful, and worth having.” Free, on view by appointment, 7am-2pm Wednesday-Friday, 7am-2pm Tuesday; Freight Gallery, 1913 S. Flores St., (210) 331-4382.

“San Antonio 1718: Art from Viceregal Mexico” Presented in collaboration


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with Mexico’s Instituto Nacional de Antropología e Historia (INAH), SAMA’s Tricentennial exhibition “San Antonio 1718: Art from Viceregal Mexico” tells the story of the city’s first century through more than 100 landscapes, portraits, narrative paintings, sculptures, and devotional and decorative objects, many of them never before exhibited in the U.S. The exhibition is organized in three sections: People and Places, The Cycle of Life, and The Church. This Sunday, “San Antonio 1718” comes to light through a gallery talk and guided tour (noon-1pm) and a performance of excerpts from the Spanish opera Los Elementos by local chamber ensemble Musical Offerings (5:30-6:30pm). $8-$20, 10am-5pm Wednesday-Thursday, 10am-9pm Friday, 10am-5pm Saturday-Sunday, 10am-9pm Tuesday; San Antonio Museum of Art, 200 W. Jones Ave., (210) 978-8100.

”Something to Say” “Something to Say”



CURRENT • February 14-20, 2018 •

marks the McNay’s first survey of modern and contemporary African-American art. Encouraging a thoughtful consideration of the plurality of African-American experience and expression, the exhibit represents the museum’s ongoing commitment to “equity, inclusion, and social consciousness as well as artistic excellence.” Also on view: “30 Americans: Rubell Family Collection” boasts some of the most important African-American artists of the past three decades, including Mark Bradford, Nick Cave, Robert Colescott, Glenn Ligon, Kerry James Marshall, Mickalene Thomas, and Kehinde Wiley. And “Haiti’s Revolution in Art: Jacob Lawrence Toussaint L’Ouverture Series” is a portfolio of stunningly powerful prints

from the artist’s 41-panel exploration of the undersung leader of the 18th-century Haitian revolution, which drove out the French colonizers. $5-$10 ($10 surcharge for “Something to Say”), 10am-4pm Wednesday, 10am-9pm Thursday, 10am-4pm Friday, 10am-5pm Saturday, noon-5pm Sunday, 10am-9pm Tuesday; McNay Art Museum, 6000 N. New Braunfels Ave., (210) 824-5368.

”Voz” While it’s often applauded for its

strong art and art history department, and the steady stream of talented artists that emerge from its programs, the University of Texas at San Antonio also boasts a truly wide-ranging collection of contemporary art that comprises paintings, photographs, sculptures, mixed-media and works on paper. Reflective of both the avid collecting habits of former UTSA President Ricardo Romo and the deep insights of curator Arturo Infante Almeida, the collection is typically displayed in interior and exterior spaces across three campuses but comes to light this month in “Voz,” a sprawling group show on view at Centro de Artes through June 10. Celebrating the collection’s strong focus on Latin@ art to the tune of 222 works by 66 artists, the exhibition comes across as a meticulously organized museum show uniting dozens of familiar names (Ana Fernandez, Alberto Mijangos, Franco Mondini-Ruiz, Richard Armendariz, Anita Valencia and Kathy Vargas among them) with many others well worth discovering. Free, 11am-6pm Wednesday-Sunday, 11am-6pm Tuesday; Centro de Artes, 101 S. Santa Rosa Ave., (210) 206-2787.

THEATER Little Women Louisa May Alcott’s

sentimental tale of the four March sisters has been touching hearts since its publication in the mid-1800s. Now it can be enjoyed on the stage as a musical production centered on the boisterous and effervescent Jo, who dreams big but never forgets her roots. At the March home in Concord, Massachusetts, Jo, Beth, Meg, Amy, and honorary March family member Laurie grow together and experience love, loss, and personal discovery in this timeless story that’s partly based on Alcott’s own life. Come celebrate the newly re-christened Public Theater of San Antonio (formerly The Playhouse) as it brings this uplifting story to the stage under the direction of Andy Meyers. $20-$35, 7:30pm Friday-Saturday, 2pm Sunday; The Public Theater of San Antonio, 800 W. Ashby Pl., (210) 733-7258.

My Spanglish Hip Hop Story Iconoclast and Silverback present the theatrical production of poet, writer, artist, author


and dancer Marlon Lizama’s one-man San Antonio. $27.50, 8pm Saturday; show following the timeline of a young Tobin Center for the Performing Arts, 100 immigrant’s journey and influences — from Auditorium Circle, (210) 223-8624. the third world to the ultimate melting pot. SPECIAL EVENTS $20, 7:30pm Saturday; Guadalupe Theater, 1301 Guadalupe St., (210) 271-3151. San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo Celebrating the spirit of Western culture, FILM this year’s San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo features native Texas wildlife expos, Valley Girl Video Dungeon Theatre revives “Swifty Swine” pig races, stunt and acrobat director Martha Coolidge’s 1983 Romeo performers “X-Pogo” and “Chicago Boyz,” and Juliet remix surrounding an unlikely Pompeyo’s circus-themed dog show, and romance between a Valley girl (Deborah “Cowboy Boot Camp” activities for kids. Foreman) and a Hollywood punk (Nicolas The 67th annual event also includes a Cage). Mixtape Johnny spins ’80s on vinyl Western Heritage Parade and multiple after the film. Free, 9pm Thursday; Oak livestock competitions showcasing Hills Tavern, 7920 Fredericksburg Road, talented Texan youth. Occurring daily (210) 614-8855. through February 25, the San Antonio COMEDY favorite also encompasses petting zoos, pony rides, 250 rodeo-themed shops and Andy Gross A former pro racquetball player carnival attractions for the whole family to who retired at the age of 26 to pursue enjoy. Boasting a stacked roster, this year’s a career in entertainment, California rodeo concert series features Rascal Flatts native Andy Gross is a seasoned comic (7pm Wednesday), Alan Jackson (7pm who combines stand-up, magic and Thursday), Goo Goo Dolls (7:30pm Friday), ventriloquism, and counts performing on Luke Combs (1pm Saturday), J Balvin The Ellen Show among his many credits. (7:30pm Saturday), Cam (1pm Sunday), $20, 7:30pm Wednesday-Thursday, 8pm Calibre 50 (7:30pm Sunday) and two nights & 10:15pm Friday-Saturday, 8pm Sunday; of Brad Paisley (7pm Monday-Tuesday). Laugh Out Loud Comedy Club, 618 NW $5-$200, 8am-10pm daily; AT&T Center, Loop 410, (210) 541-8805. One AT&T Center Pkwy., (210) 444-5000. Maija DiGiorgio A director/comedian/talk radio host who’s appeared on Sex and the United San Antonio Pow Wow Founded in 1998, United San Antonio Pow Wow is City, Def Comedy Jam and Comic View, dedicated to promoting the history and Maija Di Giorgio is known for her touring culture of America’s first inhabitants. Each shows America Dehoochified, The Ultimate year, the nonprofit hosts a weekend pow Diversity Guide and RATS: Love & Obsession wow combining a grand entry procession, for Neurotics. $17-$20, 8:30pm Wednesdaytraditional drumming, gourd dances and Thursday, 8pm & 10:15pm Friday-Saturday, a Native American church service. The 8pm Sunday; Improv San Antonio, 849 E. nonprofit’s 20th annual event takes over Commerce St., (210) 229-1420. Mission County Park with a Tricentennial The Big Gig Entering its third year, The Big celebration complete with AmericanGig has cemented its place as one of the Indian vendors, Indian fry bread and premiere nights of live comedy fundraising buffalo burgers. Free, 10am-8pm Saturday, in San Antonio. The two-hour sketch show 10am-4pm Sunday, Mission County Park, is written and performed by members of 6030 Padre Drive, (210) 631-0170. the Nonprofit Council and their supporters in homage to their favorite Saturday DANCE Night Live characters while satirizing Step Afrika! Founded in 1994, the pioneering troupe Step Afrika! blends percussive dance styles practiced by historically African-American fraternities and sororities, African traditional dance and influences from a variety of other dance and art forms. Step Afrika! performances are much more than dance shows; they integrate songs, storytelling, humor and audience participation. Trinity’s Black Student Union brings the company to San Antonio for a free performance in celebration of Black History Month. Free, 5pm Sunday; Trinity University, Laurie Auditorium, One Trinity Pl., (210) 999-7011.

C a r ve r B o x O f f i c e ( 2 1 0 ) 2 0 7-2 2 3 4 o r T i c k e t m a s t e r ( 8 0 0 ) 74 5 -3 0 0 0 | T h e C a r ve r. o r g





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CURRENT • February 14-20, 2018 •


Magik Theatre 420 S ALAMO ST | SAN ANTONIO


Making a Scene

Clockwise from left: scenes from previous Big-Little Comedy Fests (first four photos) and 2018 headliners Parallelogramophonograph (aka PGraph)


The Midwest’s Big-Little Comedy Fest finds a new home at Bexar Stage


Improv comedy is typically based on audience suggestions, but the founders of Bexar Stage already had a plan in mind. “We’ve always had a dream of opening an improv theater,” said Tina Jackson, executive producer, artistic director and co-founder of Bexar Stage, “and we both lived in Chicago where there’s a ton of improv — it’s sort of like the Broadway of improv. Real estate is expensive but also it was oversaturated — there’s like a ton of improv theaters in Chicago — so we wanted to go somewhere where there weren’t improv theaters and build one.” Seeking a new territory for improv after training internationally and coaching for nearly 10 years, Jackson and her business partner, Dan Grimm, ended up in Grimm’s hometown, San Antonio. Bexar Stage opened in May 2017, with improv classes and shows three nights a week featuring stand-up, sketch and improv. Although improv, especially in the long-form narrative format Jackson and Grimm teach, wasn’t previously as well known in San Antonio, Jackson said the theater quickly attracted talented students eager to learn.

“It’s tooting my own horn a little bit,” Jackson said, “but when you bring good teaching to people who have great instincts, the scene has really started taking off in the last six or eight months and growing a lot. Right now, I’m training 50 students in four levels of classes. The fact is, there were always people here interested in improv, they just didn’t know what it was or where to find it.” This year, Bexar Stage will host Jackson and Grimm’s Big-Little Comedy Fest, which began in Grand Rapids, Michigan in 2010 before moving to Cleveland, Ohio. Jackson said she’s excited to use the festival to bring established improv acts, such as Austin-based headliners Parallelogramophonograph (aka PGraph), to her students in San Antonio. “I want to show them people who are really solid, people who have been performing for over a decade and have really honed their craft,” she said. “You have to see what the best in the industry looks like; you have to see this so you know what you’re working toward.” The Big-Little Comedy Fest lineup, Jackson said, includes “about a third”

locals who regularly perform at Bexar Stage or ComedySportz. San Antonio teams include Grumpy Old Men and the all-female Missed Opportunity. The fest will also include shorter, game-focused improv teams, and family-friendly shows on Saturday and Sunday afternoon, including a musical improv team. Opening night will feature a Valentine’s Day-themed show with an improvised romantic comedy and Kismet, Jackson and Grimm’s two-person team, which puts on a relationship-themed show. Jackson said she hopes the Big-Little Comedy Fest will introduce more people in the area to improv. “Improv is not something that is widely known in San Antonio the way that it is to people in Austin,” Jackson said. “So I would like to get more people interested in what we’re doing, ’cause I think it’s universal — laughter at a cheap, fair price and it’s always different.” Big-Little Comedy Fest $15-$135 Wed-Sun, Feb. 14-18 Bexar Stage 1203 Camden St. (210) 281-4259 • February 14-20, 2018 • CURRENT 25

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CURRENT • February 14-20, 2018 •


Primitive Form Early Man lacks creativity of director Nick Park’s past stop-motion animated films



Apart from a character like late comedian Phil Hartman’s Unfrozen Caveman Lawyer on Saturday Night Live in the 1990s, most on-screen Neanderthals have been portrayed as doltish, uncivilized apemen for more than 100 years. In Charlie Chaplin’s 1914 short silent film His Prehistoric Past, the iconic actor wears an animal skin toga and twirls around like a fool trying to win the heart of a pretty cavewoman in a grass skirt. More recently, the 2015 animated film The Good Dinosaur features a feral caveboy who sniffs around and bites things like a rabid chihuahua. If cavepeople still existed today, we’re sure they wouldn’t appreciate the stereotypes associated with them — from clubbing potential mates over the head to ultimately falling into a river of lava since their pea-sized brains can’t process the temperature of molten rock. Sure, Encino Man gave the caveman movie subgenre some credit by transforming Brendan Fraser into an average California teenager, and Fred Flintstone benefi ted from modern-day conveniences like automobiles, telephones and even vending machines, but more often than not, cavemen have always been denied those few extra brain cells when it comes to

movie and TV entertainment. Such is the case once again with British director Nick Park’s newest stop-motion animated film Early Man, which follows a group of friendly primitive characters as they attempt to save their home from being taken over by a greedy monarch who wants to mine their land for ore. Park, best known as the creator of all things Wallace & Gromit and Shaun the Sheep, uses his distinctive claymation style to build a pleasant prehistoric world, but unlike the last two feature films he directed — 2000’s Chicken Run and 2005’s Oscar-winning Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit — Early Man’s script is lacking in creativity and unconventional ideas. In fact, audiences might be gobsmacked to find out that Early Man is actually an underdog sports movie — and a mostly clichéd one at that. When Lord Nooth (Tom Hiddleston) forces the cavepeople out of their valley, so he can dig up precious rock and turn it into bronze, the tribe decides the only way they can protect their homeland is to challenge the banana-nosed aristocrat to a soccer match (football for all you Brits), a sport Lord Nooth and his people consider a “sacred game.” Led by bucktoothed, pig-nosed, matted-haired caveman Dug (Eddie Redmayne) and Goona (Maisie

Williams), a ringer from inside Lord Nooth’s fortress, the two begin to train their ragtag team for a shot at victory. As with many underdog sports movies that have come before, Early Man falls into a typical narrative where a meek and unathletic team relies on its heart to compete against a squad of arrogant professional footballers. The by-the-numbers storyline is disappointing considering how imaginative Park’s work has proven to be for the last 30 years at Britain’s Aardman Animations. Instead, the film struggles to make the humor consistent and falls back on things like anachronistic references and obvious ball puns. Early Man feels like an animated movie that lost its way somewhere in the brainstorming process. There’s no denying the impressive, tangible product Aardman’s talented animators have put on screen. The growling dinosaur-sized duck and Dug’s scene-stealing wild pet pig Hognob are high points. But all the characters feel trapped inside a story that doesn’t belong to them. Park and Aardman might’ve made genre meshing work by turning Chicken Run into a prison-break action fl ick and Were-Rabbit into a mystery thriller, but constructing Early Man as a deadpan caveman version of 1995’s The Big Green knocks them back a couple of spots on the evolutionary chart. • February 14-20, 2018 • CURRENT 27




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>Ditch the mega corn dog for cowboyinspired meals at this year’s rodeo Maria Gardner Lara When thousands of people line up for biscuits, eggs, sausage and bacon at the annual Cowboy Breakfast, a celebratory and fundraising event for scholarships to St. Phillips College now in its 40th year, it means rodeo season is upon us. Aside from being an opportunity to cheer on 7-year-olds clinching onto sheep’s coats as they ride the animal before getting knocked off, or to watch your favorite band, or check out new livestock — the 17-day event is a chance to chomp on rodeo food. Turkey legs, fajitas, barbecue and overthe-top desserts are all on the menu, but this modern feast wasn’t how vaqueros made their way through Texas. How did cowboys eat while herding cattle on trails from South Texas to the North? For Ed Parsons, a world champion chuckwagon cook, answering that question and keeping cowboy food culture alive is what he strives to do. Unlike the variety of foods prepared for cowboys today, the staples of the 1800s and early 1900s were beans and usually a type of bread, such as pan de campo cooked on a skillet. Beans, native to indigenous people of Mexico and Central America, were easy to transport much, like flour, baking powder and salt. These along with a little bit of sugar, coffee and perhaps jerky were the staples of the chuckwagon pantry. “They couldn’t carry fresh meat, but Biedenharn via press release. “We are may have prepared deer or antelope thrilled to be opening a third location in one that a cowboy killed,” Parsons said. For of the largest parts of San Antonio.” breakfast, hot coffee “so thick you can float Aside from pastries, the new location’s a horseshoe on it.” menu will offer breakfast, brunch, lunch and The food, just like the cowboy’s clothes, dinner. Plus, The Rim will also include beer tools and corralling techniques, was and wine service. influenced by the vaqueros of Texas. The bakery is well-beloved locally and has “The cooks were Mexican ... we had a lot even gained national attention, earning industry to learn from them,” Parsons said. awards and was even named a «destination Parson’s pan de campo recipe comes bakery» by Conde Nast Traveler. from Jerry Baird, his mentor and a renowned 17503 La Cantera Pkwy., Suite 108. chuckwagon cook.


Bakery Lorraine's new location and the history of chuckwagon meals

Mac Maniacs

>Bakery Lorraine, which announced back in October that it would open a third San Antonio location, is ready to open its doors at The Rim. Located on La Cantera Parkway, the new location will allow Northwest San Antonio to enjoy macarons and other French pastries beginning Monday, February 12 at 8 a.m. “We’re finally ready to open our doors to the community, especially locals on the North side of the city,” said operator Charlie

Chuckwagon Cooking

Baird, who at 78 years old continues to cook on a chuckwagon for charity events, said he picked up the recipes from the many cooks, including Latin chefs, he worked with over the years on ranches. The Mexican influence can be found in dishes such as “Son of a Gun Stew” — a soup made of an animal heart, liver, and tripe, he said. This doesn’t sound far off from abuela’s menudo. Designed by Charles Goodnight after the Civil War, chuckwagons were a military wagon with a trunk added to it that carried food, cooking supplies, a first aid kit and driven by the cook who rode along the cowboys on the cattle trail, according to the American Chuck Wagon Association website. Besides feeding their fellow cowboys, cooks played many roles, including doctor, nurse and pharmacist. Parsons said a chuckwagon cook’s reputation could help a cowboy determine which ranch to work for. “San Antonio was a major hub where a cook could gather supplies to feed 10 to 15 cowboys for a drive of thousands of cattle that can last up to 30 days,” Parsons said. To meet the demand for beef up north, before the use of railroads to transport cattle, after the Civil War cowboys rode paths such as the Chisolm Trail from Texas up to cattle houses in Kansas, said Sarah Gould, Institute of Texan Cultures, lead curatorial researcher. You won’t have to don chaps or a cowboy hat to try chuckwagon cooking during this year’s rodeo. Have a minimum group size of 15 and you can select a meal such as “Buck’s sourdough chicken fried steak,” a chicken and beef fajita dinner, a 12-ounce Angus ribeye steak dinner or “Not Your Grandma’s Pot Roast Dinner” all cooked using an open fire or in a dutch oven – the cowboy way. Prices range from $28 to $40 per person and include service and gratuity. Similar to what a good meal does to fuel your rodeo experience, for a successful cattle drive, a ranch had to “have a good wagon and a good cook to keep people together, to keep people going,” Baird said. • February 14-20, 2018 • CURRENT 29


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DOG GONE Unpaid taxes and bounced checks linger in wake of Frank San Antonio's abrupt closing JESSICA ELIZARRARAS | @JESSELIZARRARAS

The downtown location of Frank in Austin temporarily closed this past Thursday, February 1. The restaurant, which opened in 2009, was seized by the Texas Comptroller's office as a "result of unpaid taxes," per the Austin-American Statesman's Austin 360 blog. As of Monday, Frank owed the state more than $186,000 sales and alcohol taxes, according to Chris Porter, spokesman for the Texas Alcohol Beverage Commission. Once that debt is paid, the Austin location could reopen. The news comes weeks after the hot dog company closed its San Antonio location via an Instagram post. According to employees who spoke with the Current, owner Daniel Northcutt announced the Monday, January 22 closing to local staff that same day, during a mandatory management meeting. Frank's San Antonio opening was first announced in 2014, with the Austin-based operation hoping to bring their hot dogs and cold beer to the Alamo City in the heart of Southtown. It first opened in early 2016 with a dining room, music venue, bar and lounge inside the former Casbeers at the Church at 1150 S. Alamo St. Several employees told the Current that during the final meeting, they were asked to help load a U-Haul with the restaurant's equipment and alcohol. They allegedly all refused. That U-Haul was parked in the location's back lot. As of Thursday, February 8, there was no U-Haul seen parked on the property. Per Porter and TABC records, the liquor license for the

San Antonio Frank location expired on January 18, three days before the shop closed its doors. In order to lawfully transport liquor in Texas, the commission requires a permit be filed prior to the move, and Porter says, "we have not received or approved an inventory transfer request for Frank, but our folks are reaching out to the business owner to determine what their current status and plans are." The closing of the restaurant came as surprise to most employees, even assistant manager Erica Traylor, who began working for Frank last August. "We were given a goal of $40,000 a month to be profi table, and that was not gonna happen with hot dogs," Traylor said. She said the store routinely hit 50 percent of that goal. "They opened two more locations (Scholz Garden and a pop-up at University of Texas at Austin) and San Antonio fell off," Traylor said. "They didn't give us attention or tell us how to keep sales going ... promotion didn't happen." Since the January 22 closing, at least two Frank employees have told the Current that their final paychecks from the company have bounced — with amounts varying from $75 to $865. According to Annette Rodriguez, who worked at Frank for just over a month, the total number of employees with known bounced checks is closer to 10. Rodriguez didn't cash her check for $100 after getting phone calls and texts from fellow former employees warning her of the bounced checks.

"I'm glad I didn't cash that, it would have sucked," Rodriguez said. The Current reached Northcutt, one of Frank's owners, on Friday, February 2, via email. He confirmed the situation was being handled: "We are currently taking care of any and all checks that had issues. Thank you." Rodriguez received a similar email on Saturday afternoon: "We have issued an email and encouraged all previous managers to alert staff that we became aware of this situation yesterday. We are currently in the process of rectifying the situation as we certainly intend to make this right early next week," Northcutt wrote. "Thank you and apologies for the for the inconvenience. Please help pass the word to your counterparts that we will make this right." As of Wednesday, San Antonio employees have not received their new checks or heard from Northcutt. Most of Frank's social media accounts have been silent since Sunday, January 28. For former Frank bartender Aaron Jarvis, a bounced check and the subsequent fees mean "living off canned veggies and pancakes this week." He reached out to Kristina Recla, director of operations for Frank, who emailed him Wednesday morning saying, "We're almost ready to take care of everyone. We appreciate your patience and apologize for the inconvenience. Will will [sic] be in touch soon." No timeline was given for when Jarvis and his former coworkers will receive their owed wages. • February 14-20, 2018 • CURRENT 31


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Ten, brand-spanking new Diamond pool tables were unveiled this past Thursday as the famed pool hall known as Banana’s made its official comeback. First opened by Frank “Bananas” Rodriguez in the ‘70s, Bananas Billiards became a legendary playground for serious pool players. The hall eventually closed its doors in 2015, but new owner Connie Featherston is hoping to bring it back to its heyday. Featherston, an Air Force veteran and pool league player, first visited Bananas in the mid-'90s. “Anybody who was anybody that played pool here at some point,” Featherston said. She leased the 7,000-plus square-foot space this past September and has been fixing up the joint to include new tables, a new jukebox, new ATM, new light fixtures, fresh paint, new chairs, new purse hooks on the

bar and deep-cleaning the kitchen, where she hopes to bring back food specials and bar snacks in March. “We want to have meatloaf Mondays, an Italian day, Fish Fridays, chicken fried steaks, hamburgers, hot dogs,” Featherston said. On the bar side, expect domestics and imported beers served trough style, bucket specials, and a full bar, with happy hour running from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. “We want to appeal to the college student down the road, the old regulars [railbirds], and the neighborhood,” Featherston said. Though she hopes to add Hold ‘Em poker, a game room in the near future, and live music, Bananas will still be primarily a pool hall with league play. Table rentals will be $7 per hour per person. Bananas will open 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. daily. 2003 San Pedro Ave., (210) 226-2627.

Tipple Test The Bin’s Spanish-influenced happy hour ERIN WINCH

the bar was empty, so with ample seating, I took a seat at the bar and asked about specials. The friendly Background: The Bin opened in late summer of 2016, bartender handed out a happy hour menu and let in what used to be the first Bakery Lorraine location off me know that there were a couple of other specials Grayson. The small bar, located just down the street they feature on Wednesdays, for the Wine Down from the Pearl Brewery, is a cozy joint that serves Wednesday promotion that runs in conjunction with Grayze and Shuck Shack. Wanting to stick with the traditional Spanish-style cocktails, wine, and tapas.  traditional happy hour menu I ordered the gin and tonic and the sandwiches, gildas, and pan tomate. Happy Hour: The happy hour at the Bin runs from 4 to 6:30 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and Since tapas are so affordable, every happy hour snack features specials on snacks and drinks. The menu of could be ordered and only cost $8.50. The cocktail was simple and refreshing, not outstanding — but discounted tapas to choose from includes deviled eggs for 50 cents, pan tomate for $1.50, gildas (olives perfect for the summer, and while you can’t choose the gin that is used, the bartender does take requests skewers) for $.50, and goat cheese sandwiches for $6. For libations, you can score a cocktail, shot, glass on the tonic that is paired with it. The tapas paired of wine, beer, or gin and tonic for $6 or less.  well with the lighter cocktail. The smaller tapas were the perfect size for a pre-dinner bite, while the goat cheese sandwiches are a nice option if you want more Patrons: Patrons were typically just couples or a sustenance. Overall, the Bin happy hour offers a break group of two friends that would order and retreat to their own table. Occasionally there were some service from the chips and salsa, on its own terms, inside a industry folk that would walk in, shake hands with the storied location. It’s a great place for those looking for bartender, order a quick drink and engage in a bit of a relaxing place to grab a drink and light bite, or for two friends that are looking for a laid-back joint to sit, conversation before heading to their shift. snack and talk.  Experience: I stopped in when they first opened and 511 E. Grayson St., (210) 994-8099. Name: The Bin


Erin Winch writes about boozin’ in the Alamo City on her blog Drinking In SA. Follow her on Instagram at for more. • February 14-20, 2018 • CURRENT 35

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Back the Rack Meet the two San Antonio bartenders heading to Speed Rack Southwest in Phoenix




Vara (left) and Ledesma (right) will compete in Arizona this Sunday


Arizona will be the battleground for a group of all-female bartenders to clinch a spot at Speed Rack Nationals, and two of San Antonio’s own are making the trek to Phoenix this Sunday to duke it out. Speed Rack is an all-female bartender showdown that pits cocktail queens from across the country against each other in a tournament-style pour off. A batch of close to 20 bartenders is whittled down to eight and then broken down into pairs that go head-to-head in precise and speedy cocktail making. Judges call out names of classic cocktails for the competitors to make in as little time as possible and time is added to their final score. The bartender with the final shortest time wins. Proceeds from events and competitions benefit breast cancer research. Competitions are lively, intense, and often chaotic as bartenders compete behind catering wells. Previous contenders from San Antonio include Karah Carmack (San Antonio Cocktail Conference),

Elisabeth Forsythe (now with Silo), Zulcoralis Rodriguez (Paramour) and Hillary Woodhouse (The Squeezebox) and most recently Liberty Bar’s Ana Cabrera who competed in Speed Rack Southeast in New Orleans earlier this year. In Phoenix, Vanessa Vara and Natalie Ledesma are San Antonio’s contenders for a crack at the top eight and hopefully the finals in Chicago this May. Let’s get to know the girls. Natalie Ledesma Age: 23 Bartends at: Paramour How She Started: Ledesma joined the ranks at aramour after stints as a corporate trainer for Bowlero, and a speed bartender at Aloft Hotel, and Jack’s Patio Bar. “It was where I got the speed and was forced to pick up the pace,” Ledesma said. Her ease around bars stems from early days behind the bar with her father. “I used to sit on the bar and play with the machines,” Ledesma

said. “He’s my biggest supporter.” On Meeting Her Sensei: Ledesma began barbacking at Paramour in May of 2017 and met former Miss Speed Rack Texas Zulcoralis Rodriguez later that year. Leading up to the competition Rodriguez created every drink on the classics list used by Speed Rack Ledesma was unfamiliar with. The young grasshopper took photos and notes to improve her speed. She was averaging a minute and a half during her earlier rounds. Why She Backs the Rack: Ledesma lost her great grandmother Natalia F. Chavez to breast cancer at age 4. “I’m doing this as my tribute to her, win or lose.” Vanessa Vara Age: 27 Bartends at: Hotel Emma How She Started: Just a semester and a half shy of graduating from UTSA, Vara jumped into the exciting world of service as a cocktail waitress for George’s Keep. From there, the cocktail novice taught herself

how to bartend while learning from local bartenders such as Steven Raul Martín, Derik Cortez and Mike Rogers. She’s stayed with the Steve Mahoney bar group for a year before moving into Rumble and most recently Hotel Emma. Guidance From All: As a member of Girl Gang, San Antonio’s all-female bartender pop-up organization, with fellow member Zulcoralis Rodriguez, Vara’s getting pointers from her predecessors and partner Stephan Mendez, a frequent barback at Speed Rack competitions. Practice Makes Perfect: Though she was poppin’ beers and simple cocktails at Rumble, Vara credits her last year at Hotel Emma’s Sternewirth with helping her harness the craft. “Each cocktail has four, five ingredients, and guests want them fast,” Vara said. Still, she realizes speed isn’t the only thing that can set you back at the Rack. “It’ll come down to how I’m going to react in that situation,” Vara said. “ I have to get over my anxiety, get out of my head.” • February 14-20, 2018 • CURRENT 37

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est 2003



Femina-X releases stunning Aztec-inspired video





Local rock outfit Femina-X, who’s sound is a mix of electronic, tribal and indie rock, aren’t strangers to releasing videos with heavy symbolism and relatively dark visuals. On Wednesday, the group released the video for “Black Tongue,” from the group’s 2017 record Multiverse, and you can expect to see more cryptic metaphors and even more stunning imagery as director Diego Lozano pulls viewers through an Aztec underworld filled with moments of sexuality and parts that are actually a little frightening. The song was written about front-woman Daniela Rioja’s experiences of feeling betrayed and experiencing a failing relationship, according to a press release. Riojas also incorporated the story of Aztec goddess Tlazoteotl, “The Filth Eater,” who purified souls of sinners, into the song. She identified with the visual of the priestesses and temple keepers of Tlazoteotl, who could be seen in Aztec society with black mouths, attained by chewing on black, organic material. “This visual became the center point for developing the character (me) in a situation where her toxic relationship becomes the antithesis of Tlazoteotl,” said Riojas. “Where,

instead of being purified, her partner injects toxicity and filth into her and they become inevitably entangled in suffering.” The video is loosely based on the Aztec story of Coatlicue, “The Serpent Goddess” and mother of the gods, sun, moon and stars, and Mictlantecuhtli, ruler of the lowest underworld. Set in an Aztec futuristic aesthetic, Coatlicue is betrayed by Mictlantecuhtli and overcome with grief and anger as she is trapped deep into the underworld. Following the song, the video calls to use negative experiences as fuel to become better and wiser versions of ourselves in order to find clarity amidst darkness. “It’s definitely the largest production we’ve done so far,” Riojas told the Current, mentioning that they spent about $18-$19,000 on the video. The singer said that she enjoyed working with the production crew, who were also people of color. “It ended up being a super power group, a lot of brown people ... brown artists doing brown work. It felt really good to come together, and we’ve never seen anything like this [video] before.” Overall, the video is dope, and proves once again that Femina-X are continuing to raise the bar for the local San Antonio music scene. Check out the video at

Paper Tiger’s Heatwave announces first and second round of SXSW “spillover” artists

Linked by the heartbeat of the I-35 corridor, Austin and San Antonio’s music scenes have been connected for decades. “Spillover” from fests like South By Southwest, as it’s grown over the years, are common as bands with official and unofficial showcases at the festival trek an hour and change south to rip in the Alamo City. Ryan Brummett, the talent buyer and operations manager for St. Mary’s Strip venue Paper Tiger and head honcho at the booking company Mondo Nation, has been bringing artists who usually play SXSW down to San Antonio. Brummett is the mastermind behind the Heatwave showcase, where well-known indie and punk bands like Protomartyr, Chastity Belt and Downtowners headlined in years past. This March, Heatwave will span seven days and feature numerous performers (the majority of which have official SXSW showcases this year), including the emotional synth pop of Night Drive, skate-punkers the Dwarves, indie


Splish Splash, Bruh CHRIS CONDE

rockers BRONCHO, vintage pop outfit U.S. Girls, post-punk groups Shopping and French Vanilla, as well as the avant garde punk rock of Ed Schraeder’s Music Beat, to name a few. The first round of artists are listed below, though Brummett said the full lineup will be announced sometime this week. “Our whole goal is to make it that people don’t really need to go to Austin,” Brummett told the Current. “We’re gonna bring all the bands to Paper Tiger and people can buy one ticket and just go every day.” Brummett explained that show-goers can either buy one week long pass for $50, or buy individual day passes which will vary in price ($10-$17). Also, this year’s SXSW lineup isn’t filled with heavyhitters like in the past. It’s actually filled to the brim (get it? ‘cause “spillover”) with a ton of up-and-coming artists and bands in the industry, which is actually pretty cool. But if you’re trying to see At The Drive In or Erykah Badu like

2017, you might be disappointed. Here’s the first and second round of artists: The Coathangers, Cro-Mags, Dwarves, BRONCHO, The Memories, U.S. Girls, Shopping, Nightdrive, Drab Majesty, White Fang, Public Access T.V., French Vanilla, the Buttertones, Junkie, Topo Chica, Soda Boys, The Marias, Pinko, New Berlin, Anatomy, De Lux, Nick Oliveri, The Cowboys, Everything Is Terrible, Sojii, A Giant Kitty, Sports, Ed Schraeders Music Beat, Mutant, Dinola, Current Joys, Count Vaseline, Ape Not Kill Ape, Descartes A Kant, Sloppy Jane, Ohmme, Egrets on Ergot, Filthy, Moaning, Trunkweed, Sadgirl, Wire Spine, Idgy Dean, Bruiser Queen, Hairkut. $10-$17 individual day pass, $50 week pass, March 12-18, times vary, Paper Tiger, 2410 N. St. Mary’s St., • February 14-20, 2018 • CURRENT 39

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The Expendables + Through The Roots + Pacific Dub Straight off the beaches of Santa Cruz, The Expendables blend a fun mix of surf rock, reggae, punk rock and ska – perfect listening for bombing a hill on your skateboard or taking part in some herbal refreshment (or both!). Last year, the band brought Virginia’s weirdo indie-pop rap band RDGLDGRN, but this round have secured San Diego reggae-rockers Through The Roots, and Pacific Dub a rock band from Orange County that has more than a little island influence in their music. 8pm, $18-$65, Paper Tiger, 2410 N. St. Mary’s St, – Chris Conde WED



Combining guitar and bass with didgeridoo, Native American flutes and hand drums, Celtic, tribal, gypsy rockers Tuatha Dea have a sound that’s sort of renaissance fair meets eclectic drum circle, and if any of those things are your thing you’re gonna have a great time. Hailing from East Tennessee, the nine-piece group encourage audience participation at their shows giving audience members an opportunity to fantasize about … running away with a gypsy gang, if they can really get used to patchouli or how long it takes to learn the flute. And if dreaming about being a part of traveling gypsy clan isn’t good enough (which, actually sounds like it could be pretty fun), their cover of Metallica’s “Whiskey in a Jar” will be worth the cover alone. $10-$40, 8pm, Sam’s Burger Joint, 330 E. Grayson St., (210) 223-2830, – CC WED




Tuatha Dea

Shenandoah Davis

Hailing from Seattle, Washington Shenandoah Davis sort of sounds like Arcade Fire meets Sufjan Stevens meets a Broadway musical. There’s a ton of orchestration and brilliant songwriting but her vocal timbre is almost like sing/talking – kind of like a Disney movie. I don’t know, it’s actually really great and a refreshingly different combination of sounds to come out of the indie music genre. Joining the ranks of weird voices like the likes of Joanna Newsom (you know, the harpist who sort of sounds like Lisa Simpson), Davis might be your new favorite indie rocker you’ve never heard of. $3, 8pm, La Botanica, 2911 N. St. Mary’s St., – CC THU



Davy Knowles, Joe Taylor Group Presented in part by the San Antonio Blues Society, this show is a can’t-miss if you’re a fan of said genre — whether you know it yet or not. Hailing from the Isle of Man, the young and gifted blues guitarist/singer Davy Knowles has, with his old group Back Door Slam and solo, established himself as a player with ambition and imagination that match his considerable technical skill. His knack for fusing Celtic folk with blues rock is way more rewarding than it seems like it should be. Also on the bill is the Joe Taylor Group, a band with a fiery, classic blues-rockin’ live show that features (in addition to Taylor, a blues guitar master) Steve Holley of Paul McCartney and Wings. $15-$45, 8pm, Sam’s Burger Joint, 330 E. Grayson St., (210) 223-2830, – James Courtney



15 • February 14-20, 2018 • CURRENT 41



Love and Happiness: The Nightowls Present Al Green THUR., FEB 15 • 7PM • ALL AGES



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Super Love Jam Real talk: whether you’re down with all that lovey dovey stuff or not, sweet sensual soul music, that velvety proto-R&B good stuff, is spiritually edifying way beyond its status as a catalyst of the ol’ the bump and grind. Friday’s classic R&B/soul/lover’s funk jam is here to soothe you, whether that sweet remedy leads you to the arms of a sweetheart is entirely up to you. Peaches and Herb, best known for their hits “Reunited” and “Shake Your Groove Thing,” The Manhattans, whose hits include “Kiss and Say Goodbye” and “Shining Star,” and Color Me Badd (“I Wanna Sex You Up,” anyone?) are just a few of the choice acts you can look forward to catching at this special showcase. $36.50-$56.50, 7:30pm, Alamodome, 100 Montana St., (210) 207-3663, – JC FRI



Sort of Austin’s answer to Dave Matthews Band, Bob Schneider gets listed under “adult contemporary” a lot of places even though he sort of raps and occasionally utilizes electronic beats in his music. But, I guess since he’s mostly acoustic guitar based, his shit falls under that genre? Is adult contemporary just like new music with old sounds? Anyway, Bob Schneider makes acoustic based songs with electronic beats and noises in the background, up-tempo Latin songs, straightforward pop songs with non-straightforward lyrics, and other types of cross-genre music. If you’ve never seen him live, he’s definitely worth checking out. $15-$20, 8pm, Sam’s Burger Joint, 330 E. Grayson St., (210) 223-2830, – CC

Country music has this way of wrapping up seriously sad subject matter in happy, carefree overtones that give you permission to be sad. Bret Mullins’ “Cry a Little” does just that. And while the singer-songwriter’s aesthetic is definitely classic country, Mullins manages to mix in enough pop to reach audiences beyond the genre. The music is, comparatively speaking, rooted in a much more traditional, Texas country sound. If you like Willie and Waylon and the boys, we’re betting you’ll like his rollin’ and ramblin’ songs of drinkin’, travelin’ and heartache. Free, 7pm, Old Main Ice House, 110 N. Main St., Cibolo, (210) 455-5275, – CC FRI

Bret Mullins Band

Bob Schneider




The first time I heard Filthy was early 2017 at some house show I had been invited to while researching the electronic noise scene in the Alamo City. The show actually was a West Coast tour kick-off show for the threepiece dark wave band. And even though they only got to play three songs (the cops were called), I knew that Filthy was an important contribution to the San Antonio sound. Their ’80s-revival aesthetic incorporated drum pads and sequencers and matched noisy-pop guitar hooks with guitarist/singer Leonard Guerra’s brooding vocals for a sound that was equally vintage and contemporary. Seriously, if you haven’t checked these dudes out, now’s your chance. $3, 9pm, Limelight, 2718 N. St. Mary’s St., – CC




17 • February 14-20, 2018 • CURRENT 43


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CURRENT • February 14-20, 2018 •

WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 14 Bru’s Tunes Live acoustic music by Bru’s Tunes. Free. La Hacienda De Los Barrios, 6-9pm.

Howard Jones New wave artist from Hampshire, England performs original top ten hits. $39.50-$75. Tobin Center for the Performing Arts, 7:30pm.

Love and Happiness: The Nightowls Doc Watkins and His Orchestra South Present Al Green Soul band from Texas jazz musician Brent “Doc” Watkins Austin performs music from Al Green. and his orchestra perform hits from $10. Paper Tiger, 7pm. Sinatra, Ellington, Basie and more. Ticket includes a three-course dinner inspired Rihanna Nite Dance party featuring hit by Chef Lorenzo Morales. $100. Jazz, songs from pop-star and R&B singer TX 6-8pm & 9-11pm. Rihanna. DJ Eddie will be mixing tunes from the late '90s and 2000s. Free. The Expendables Reggae punk rock Industry Nightclub, 10pm-2am. from Santa Cruz performs live with Tribal Theory of San Diego. $18-$65. Paper Salsa Night Mainstream Latin jazz artist Tiger, 7pm. Jose Amador performs with the NATIAO Latin jazz group. $10. Jazz, TX, 8:30Rascal Flatts Country band from 11:30pm. Columbus performs live during their Back to Us tour. $27-$200. AT&T Spell 27 Electronic rock band Shadow Center, 7pm. Fashion performs live with local gothic rock band Spell 27. Free. Bottom Tuatha Dea Celtic tribal Gypsy rock Bracket Social Club, 10pm-1:30am. Tuatha Dea is pure primal energy with a Celtic and World twist. $10-$40. Sam’s FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 16 Burger Joint, 8pm. Bob Schneider Austin based country Valentine’s Day Dale Watson & His singer and former lead singer of Ugly Lone Stars Dale Watson is a honkyAmericans performs live with The Reed tonk hero and country music maverick. Brothers of San Antonio. $15-$20. John A member of the Austin Music Hall of T. Floore Country Store, 7pm. Fame, he stands alongside Waylon Carolyn Wonderland A musical force Jennings, Willie Nelson, and George equipped with the soulful vocals of Janis Strait as one of the finest country singers Joplin and the guitar slinging skills of and songwriters from the Lone Star Stevie Ray, Carolyn Wonderland reaches State. $10. Gruene Hall, 8pm. into the depths of the Texas blues THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 15 tradition with the wit of a poet. $15-$70 Sam’s Burger Joint, 9pm. Cpt. Kirk Covington Quintet Cpt. Kirk Covington Quintet brings upbeat jazz to Heart vs. Fleetwood Mac Valentine the Luna bar. $5. Luna, 8pm. Hangover Aztec Theater presents two iconic '70s rock 'n' roll bands in a Davy Knowles Blues solo artist performs duo concert, Heart vs. Fleetwood Mac live during his 1932 tour. $15-$45. Valentine Hangover. $12.50-$48. Aztec Sam’s Burger Joint, 8pm. Theatre, 8pm. The Dirty River Dixie Band Inspired by Morry Sochat & The Special 20s Louis Armstrong and the Hot Five, Kid P Performing a mix of classic blues, swing Ory and Bix Beiderbecke, The Dirty River and rock ‘n’ roll from the 1950s, Morry Dixie band performs a traditional 1920s Sochat and The Special 20s brings jazz style of original songs. Free. Jazz, Chicago blues down to San Antonio. TX, 5:30-7:30pm. $10. Luna, 8pm. Duelo Norteno band from Roma, Texas New Orleans Night South Texas jazz performs over 16 years of original hits live. musician, Brent "Doc" Watkins is $25-$50. Cowboys Dancehall, 7pm. joined Pierre Poree of New Orleans


and friends to perform live. $20. Jazz, TX, 8:30-11:30pm.

staple anthem for fans of the genre. $15$200. AT&T Center, 1pm.

Ray Wylie Hubbard Iconoclastic Texas Goo Goo Dolls Rock band formed in songwriter is back to continue his hot Buffalo, New York who wrote the hit "Iris" streak with his 16th album, The Ruffian’s performs live originals. $15-$200. AT&T Misfortune. $17.50-$22. John T. Floore Center, 7:30pm. Country Store, 8:30pm. Roshii, The Cherry Cola Club Punk band The Selfless Lovers Established the fall performs live with indie band The Frog of 2015, The Selfless Lovers mix funk, Bandit and Vintage Pictures. $5. Imagine indie rock, soul and R&B to perform live. Books and Records, 8pm-midnight Free. The Rustic, 9:30-11pm. Valentines Super Love Jam Bringing you an evening of old school R&B Peaches & Whitey Johnson Band Recently discovered Texas blues singer-songwriter Herb, The Manhattans, GQ, Bloodstone, performs originals with his band. $10. Color Me Badd, Lighter Shade of Brown, Luna, 8pm. Eddie Holman, Malo and JOJO of the Mary Jane Girls perform live. $29.50SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 18 $115. Alamodome, 7:30pm. Calibre 50 Originally from Mazatlan and SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 17 Sinaloa, Mexico, Calibre 50 is an awardwinning quartet founded in 2010 by Doc Watkins and His Orchestra South Eden Muñoz, Armando Ramos, Martín Texas jazz musician Brent “Doc” Watkins López, and Augusto. $15-$200. AT&T and his orchestra perform live. $30. Center, 7:30pm. Jazz, TX, 8:30-11:30pm. The Heroine Combining rock ‘n’ roll and soul The Heroine performs live with boogie rock band Jason Kane & The Jive and Recreating Eden for their tour kickoff. Free. 502 Bar, 8pm.

Cam California singer-songwriter Cam emerged as one of the true breakthrough artists of the past two years and performs at this year's rodeo. $15-$200. AT&T Center, 1pm.

Love & Happiness Show R&B singersongwriter Charlie Wilson of Tulsa, Oklahoma performs live with soul artist Keith Sweat from Harlem, NYC. $48.50-$108.50. Alamodome, 7:30pm.

MONDAY, FEBRUARY 19 Brad Paisley Grammy award winning country singer, songwriter, guitarist and entertainer Brad Paisley performs live at the Rodeo. $15-$200. Monday, Tuesday, AT&T Center, 7pm.

J Balvin Reggaetón singer hailing from Swing Nite with Lindsay Beaver Lindsay Medellin, Colombia performs original hits Beaver is a fierce Canadian born singer live. $15-$20 AT&T Center, 7:30pm. drummer who is now based in Austin. She draws inspiration from the music of Luke Combs With grizzled vocals, brazen the mid-'40s, late '60s era of rock 'n' roll, songwriting talent and one hell of a live soul and blues. $7-$10. Sam’s Burger show, Luke Combs stormed onto country Joint, 8:30pm. music landscape and quickly become a • February 14-20, 2018 • CURRENT 45






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I’m 27 years old and I’ve been married to my partner for two years. I’m facing a conundrum: A relative sexually abused me when I was younger. It happened a handful of times, and I’ve never told anyone other than my partner. I’m now struggling to decide not whether I should tell my parents (I should), but when. The abuse fucked me up in some ways, but I have been working through it with a therapist. The problem is my siblings and cousins have started having their own children, and seeing this relative — a member of my extended family— with their kids is dredging up a lot of uncomfortable memories. I see this relative frequently, as we all live in the area and get together as a family at least once a month. I don’t have children of my own yet, but my partner and I have already decided that this relative will never touch or hold the ones we do have. So do I tell my parents now? My extended family is tightly knit, and I fear the issues that sharing this secret will inevitably create. Am I starting unnecessary drama since I’m not even pregnant yet? My Family Kinda Sucks

wrong with being gay.) We’re wondering if there is a sex-positive word we should be using to describe these guys. If not, your readers should coin one, so all us straight dudes who love dick can take pride in our desires. Fill in the blank: “_______: a 100 percent straight guy who also loves sucking dick (and perhaps taking it in the ass).” Cocksuckers Need Noun

The kink you describe already has a name — forced bi — and a forced bi scene usually goes something like this: A guy who would never, ever suck a cock because he’s totally straight gets down on his knees and sucks cocks on the orders of his female dominant. Since this totally straight guy sucks cock only to please a woman, there’s nothing gay and/or bi about all the cocks he puts in his mouth. It’s one very particular way in which male bisexuality is expressed — think of it as male bisexual desire after hetero fragility, gay panic, denial, religion, gender norms, and football get through kicking the shit out of it. Paradoxically, CNN, by the time a guy asks a woman to force him to suck a cock, he’s allowing himself to suck a cock and therefore no longer in denial. (And, yes, guys into forced bi are free to identify as straight — indeed, they have to keep identifying as straight, since Your kids may not yet exist, MFKS, but your young nieces, nephews, and cousins identifying as bi would fatally undermine the transgression that makes their perfectly do — and your abuser has access to them. So the drama you fear creating isn’t legitimate kink arousing.) But what to call these guys? unnecessary — it’s incredibly necessary. Well, CNN, some people into And since you were planning to tell your parents eventually, the drama is inevitable. BDSM call themselves “BDSMers.” But “forcedbi’ers” doesn’t trip quite But let’s say you wait to tell your parents until you have children of your own — how so easily off the tongue — so maybe we go with “cocksuckers”? It’s an will you feel if you learn, after the curtain emasculating slur, one that straightgoes up on this drama, that this relative identified men throw around to get, had sexually abused another child in um, a rise out of each other. (Call an your family (or multiple children in your out-and-over-it gay man a cocksucker, family, or children outside your family) and all you’ll get in return is a “No shit.”) in the weeks, months, or years between your decision to tell your parents and the But while “You’re a cocksucker” may be fighting words for a straight guy, they’re moment you told them? highly arousing ones for a straightidentified guy into forced bi. My partner does phone sex work. A lot of the calls are from “straight” guys who ask to be “forced” to suck @fakedansavage on Twitter cock. (We assume the forced part is because they think there’s something



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“Running Free” — it’s freestyle, sobeit. ACROSS 1 Big meals 8 Abrasive stones 15 Restricted, one way 16 Amount of a minor shock 17 Frazzle 18 Thorny problem 19 Glance of contempt 20 Oprah’s longtime partner Graham 21 They hold onto everything 23 Barnyard noise 24 Give permission 28 Reason for news to interrupt regular programming 36 Roam (about) 37 “Le Misanthrope” playwright 38 Assessment that may determine how well you work with others 40 In a way 41 “411” 43 Fuel-efficient vehicle 50 Tiny organism 54 Lovingly, in music 55 Freeloaders 56 Fallen for 57 First name on Mount

Rushmore 58 “Gimme,” in more words 59 Tooth component 60 Egg containers DOWN 1 Early Baseball Hall-ofFamer Edd 2 Film composer Morricone 3 “Bear” that’s not a bear 4 Like ___ in the headlights 5 Fathered 6 “Fiddler on the Roof” protagonist 7 Completely avoid, with “of” 8 Detergent containers that I shouldn’t have to tell you never to eat 9 Fathom, e.g. 10 “___ Kalikimaka” (Bing Crosby holiday song) 11 Exclamation akin to “Eureka!” 12 Council 13 Jazz trumpeter Ziggy 14 Played terribly 22 Sound of lament 25 Relating to coins or currency 26 Mail delivery site?

27 ___ May Clampett (“Beverly Hillbillies” daughter) 28 Oil additive letters 29 Early start? 30 Food involved in “typewriter eating,” according to 31 Caption seen early in an alphabet book, maybe 32 NASDAQ newcomers 33 “It comes ___ surprise ...” 34 E-file agency 35 Badminton divider 39 Some capts.-to-be 41 “Grrr!” 42 Mythological weeper 44 Kitchen appliance brand 45 TV weatherman Al 46 Armour’s Spam rival 47 Apartment that’s owned 48 “Lord of the Rings” actor Sean 49 “The Tonight Show” house band, with “The” 51 “Fancy meeting you here!” 52 Rowan Atkinson’s “Mr.” character 53 J.D. Salinger title character


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FREE WILL ASTROLOGY by Rob Brezsny ARIES (March 21-April 19): At 12,388 feet, Mount Fuji is Japan’s highest peak. If you’re in good shape, you can reach the top in seven hours. The return trip can be done in half the time — if you’re cautious. The loose rocks on the steep trail are more likely to knock you off your feet on the way down than on the way up. I suspect this is an apt metaphor for you in the coming weeks, Aries. Your necessary descent may be deceptively challenging. So make haste slowly! Your power animals are the rabbit and the snail. TAURUS (April 20-May 20): In 1903, Orville and Wilbur Wright made a few short jaunts through the air in a flying machine they called the Flyer. It was a germinal step in a process that ultimately led to your ability to travel 600 miles per hour while sitting in a chair 30,000 feet above the earth. Less than 66 years after the Wright Brothers’ breakthrough, American astronauts landed a space capsule on the moon. They had with them a patch of fabric from the left wing of the Flyer. I expect that during the coming weeks, you will be climaxing a long-running process that deserves a comparable ritual. Revisit the early stages of the work that enabled you to be where you are now. GEMINI (May 21-June 20): In 2006, five percent of the world’s astronomers gathered at an international conference and voted to demote Pluto from a planet to a “dwarf planet.” Much of the world agreed to honor their declaration. Since then, though, there has arisen a campaign by equally authoritative astronomers to restore Pluto to full planet status. The crux of the issue is this: How shall we define the nature of a planet? But for the people of New Mexico, the question has been resolved. State legislators there formally voted to regard Pluto as a planet. They didn’t accept the demotion. I encourage you to be inspired by their example, Gemini. Whenever there are good arguments from opposing sides about important matters, trust your gut feelings. Stand up for your preferred version of the story. CANCER (June 21-July 22): Ray Bradbury’s dystopian bestseller Fahrenheit 451 was among the most successful of the 27 novels he wrote. It won numerous awards and has been adopted into films, plays, and graphic novels. Bradbury wrote the original version of the story in nine days, using a typewriter he rented for 20 cents per hour. When his publisher urged him to double the manuscript’s length, he spent another nine days doing so. According to my reading of the planetary configurations, you Cancerians now have a similar potential to be surprisingly efficient and economical as you work on an interesting creation or breakthrough —

especially if you mix a lot of play and delight into your labors.

your intuition even though few people have appreciated what you were doing.

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): Poet Louise Glück has characterized herself as “afflicted with longing yet incapable of forming durable attachments.” If there is anything in you that even partially fits that description, I have good news: In the coming weeks, you’re likely to feel blessed by longing rather than afflicted by it. The foreseeable future will also be prime time for you to increase your motivation and capacity to form durable attachments. Take full advantage of this fertile grace period!

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): The growth you can and should foster in the coming weeks will be stimulated by quirky and unexpected prods. To get you started, here are a few such prods. 1. What’s your hidden or dormant talent, and what could you do to awaken and mobilize it? 2. What’s something you’re afraid of but might be able to turn into a resource? 3. If you were a different gender for a week, what would you do and what would your life be like? 4. Visualize a dream you’d like to have while you’re asleep tonight. 5. If you could transform anything about yourself, what would it be? 6. Imagine you’ve won a free vacation to anywhere you want. Where would you go?

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): The posh magazine Tatler came up with a list of fashionable new names for parents who want to ensure their babies get a swanky start in life. Since you Aquarians are in a phase when you can generate good fortune by rebranding yourself or remaking your image, I figure you might be interested in using one of these monikers as a nickname or alias. At the very least, hearing them could whet your imagination to come up with your own ideas. Here are Tatler’s chic avant-garde names for girls: Czar-Czar; Debonaire; Estonia; Figgy; Gethsemane; Power; Queenie. Here are some boys’ names: Barclay; Euripides; Gustav; Innsbruck; Ra; Uxorious; Wigbert; Zebedee.

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): You may think you have uncovered the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. But according to my analysis of the astrological omens, you’re just a bit more than halfway there. In order to get the rest of the goods, you’ll have to ignore your itch to be done with the search. You’ll have to be unattached to being right and smart and authoritative. So please cultivate patience. Be expansive and magnanimous as you dig deeper. For best results, align yourself with poet Richard Siken’s definition: “The truth is complicated.

PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): Now that you have finally paid off one of your debts to the past, you can start window-shopping for the future’s best offers. The coming days will be a transition time as you vacate the power spot you’ve outgrown and ramble out to reconnoiter potential new power spots. So bid your crisp farewells to waning traditions, lost causes, ghostly temptations, and the deadweight of people’s expectations. Then start preparing a vigorous first impression to present to promising allies out there in the frontier.

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): In 2004, a man named Jerry Lynn tied a battery-operated alarm clock to a string and dangled it down a vent in his house. He was hoping that when the alarm sounded, he would get a sense of the best place to drill a hole in his wall to run a wire for his TV. But the knot he’d made wasn’t perfect, and the clock slipped off and plunged into an inaccessible spot behind the wall. Then, every night for 13 years, the alarm rang for a minute. The battery was unusually strong! A few months ago, Lynn decided to end the mild but constant irritation. Calling on the help of duct specialists, he retrieved the persistent clock. With this story as your inspiration, and in accordance with astrological omens, I urge you Virgos to finally put an end to your equivalent of the maddening alarm clock. (Read the story:

It’s two-toned, multi-vocal, bittersweet.”


LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): Was Napoléon Bonaparte an oppressor or liberator? The answer is both. His work in the world hurt a lot of people and helped a lot of people. One of his more magnanimous escapades transpired in June 1798, when he and his naval forces invaded the island of Malta. During his six-day stay, he released political prisoners, abolished slavery, granted religious freedom to Jews, opened 15 schools, established the right to free speech, and shut down the Inquisition. What do his heroics have to do with you? I don’t want to exaggerate, but I expect that you, too, now have the power to unleash a blizzard of benevolence in your sphere. Do it in your own style, of course, not Napoléon’s. SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): “Trees that are slow to grow bear the best fruit,” said French playwright Molière. I’m going to make that your motto for now, Scorpio. You have pursued a gradual, steady approach to ripening, and soon it will pay off in the form of big bright blooms. Congratulations on having the faith to keep plugging away in the dark! I applaud your determination to be dogged and persistent about following • February 14-20, 2018 • CURRENT 49



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San Antonio Current – February 14, 2018  
San Antonio Current – February 14, 2018