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PUBLIC NEWS #43 March 29 - April 18, 2017 COLUMNS

LETTER RIP .......................................... 4 ANDY SINGER ..................................... 4 TO THE REPUBLIC ............................. 5 LET FREEDOM RING ........................ 5 OWN YOUR GREATNESS ............... 6 SAUCEPAN ........................................ 24 NEWS .................................... 8 - 11 EVENTS...............................12-15 COVER STORY ....................16-19 MUSIC ................................ 20-23 FOOD ................................. 24-25 FILM ................................... 26-27


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MARCH 29 - APRIL 18, 2017



HOUSTON PRESS BUYS PUBLIC NEWS, AGAIN It’s like Deja Vu all over again! Psych! EDITORIAL CHAIRMAN KEN PETTY MUSIC EDITOR MARK CRAMPTON FILM EDITOR GLEN RYAN TADYCH ART EDITOR MISSY JOHANSEN CONTRIBUTING WRITERS: MIKE BAXTER, ROBERT CASTRO, MARK CRAMPTON, ROXANNE DAVIS, SUSAN LOVE FITTS, CINDY GROOVER, TOM DAREN LISKEY, BART PEARSTON, ANNA ‘PINION’ PENA, ANDY SINGER, DEBBY WARREN PHOTOGRAPHY: KEN PETTY GRAPHICS/LAYOUT: KEN PETTY ADVERTISING EXECUTIVE: KEN PETTY DISTRIBUTION PARTNERS: ISSUU, PRESS READER FAKE CELEBRITY INTERN: FRANK OZ Public News is an arts & entertainment fortnightly published on Thursday and distributed to metro Houston subscribers via email, distribution channel partners and to anyone else via our website. We welcome community news, press releases, and article ideas; sent by mail or email. Deadline for calendar items and advertising is the Friday prior to our Thursday publication date. Letters to the Editor and filtered Hate Mail are always encouraged. Subscriptions to the Public News are free and can be obtained by going to the subscribe link on our website: Subscriber benefits include special perks and voting in the Readers Choice Awards this summer. Contents of Public News are the sole property of Public News Co. and are protected under copyright. No portion may be reproduced in whole or in part without the written permission of the publisher... he does check things out most times. You are encouraged to share as many copies of the Public News to as many friends as you’d like! Feel free to share on any and all social media outlets. #PublicNews

Dear Readers, This will be the final issue of the Public News. I never thought that I would have to write this, but the Public News is entertaining an offer by the Houston Press to buy our little newspaper. I’ve made the demands for the buyout pretty high and the folks at Voice Media (the corporate owners of Houston Press) did not blink an eye, at least not that I could tell over the telephone. Ken Petty From the genesis of Public News 2.0 back in 2006, we narrowed our market reach to the tens of thousands of readers normally ignored by the Press in the north and northwest metro areas. In fact, it’s difficult to find print copies of the Press in the Public News coverage area, something that may have ignited the desire to kill off, I mean buyout, the Public News. When a publication goes into a print death cycle from over 100,000 copies down to around 40,000 the reaction is naturally to kill off competition. This is the sort of thing that happened to Public News 1.0, I can only imagine. I mean, when you really look at it, when the Public News went fully

digital, print papers hated the transition. The albatross around the neck of papers like the Houston Press is the question of legacy costs. How do you keep making money when your print circulation is dying off? Again, the answer is to kill off your competition. The Public News is flattered by the overture. In all honesty, this was an early April Fool’s joke. The Public News is not going anywhere. We are stronger than we’ve ever been. In fact, print papers like the Houston Press are finding out that digital is the way to go. How they find their way there is another story. We wish

them well as they learn to play in the digital backyard that the Public News has called home since 2014. Our numbers are going up. Readers are loving the fact that you don’t have to get dressed, get in the car and waste gas looking for a copy of the Public News. We’re online! We are downloadable! We have all back issues available to read with our distribution partners. We figured out the way to monetize this little newspaper’s existence. No matter what the Press does, the Public News has already won.


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by Bart Pearston

In light of last weeks’ brutal rape of a 14 year old girl in a Rockville Maryland High School bathroom by two illegal immigrant gang members with past criminal arrests aged 17 and 18, you may be wondering what that has to do with a North Houston online newspaper article. Did you know they were originally arrested in 2016 for crossing the border into Texas and came through Houston with identifying MS-13 tattoos? I’m betting outside of this paper you never had heard that anywhere. Closer to home, a 16 year old Jersey Village girl was murdered for tearing down the Satanic altar of two Illegal Immigrants just earlier this month? They were both previously arrested for crimes but never turned over to ICE for deportation because of our unofficial “Sanctuary” city status.


Social Media Advice Many of you see that my articles about shutting down public schools, ending welfare, or pulling out of NATO get plenty of negative comments. You may think, “Hell, if Arvin’s getting that kind of blowback, there is no way I’m going to speak the truth. I’ll just focus on ending the drug war, or eminent domain, or the other easy areas. Or maybe I’ll focus on policy ideas so obscure that no one has an opinion on them.”

ferred to as “Unaccompanied Minors’. Under Obama’s DACA and DAPA Executive orders, these minors are no longer deported. If anything, millions are spent to accommodate them here now.

A department created in 1980 under the Department of Health and Human Services called the Office of Refugee Resettlement was given the responsibility of providing round the clock youth care workers, teachers, clinicians, case managers, cooks, maintenance, administrators, and management. Unaccompanied Minors are currently provided care by Southwest Key. This is a private 501(c) nonprofit which is almost completely funded by federal and state grants (98.2%). In 2014, 20,000 U.A.’s were housed at a SWK center alone. They I’m sure you are thinking this is either have become a publicized destination a trick question and there isn’t any dif- for those coming from our southern ference or a really tough question and border illegally. It is also a transitional you have no idea. The answer is legally, center for refugee minors. As I had previously reported, Gov. Abbott’s since 2002, a huge difference; A little background first. INS was responsible “refusal” to accept “Syrian Refugees” in for ALL Illegal aliens and by law they 2016 was actually just a denial of state funding for the centers for adults and were to be deported to their country children from Syria. Although Texas of origin. In 1997, the Flores Settlehas received more refugees than any ment decision set new standards for detention, release, and treatment of all other state, it has no power to refuse to accept them, only to refuse to help pay Illegal alien juveniles. With the creation of the Department of Homeland for them. Security after 9-11, EVERYTHING The reason for this lengthy introducchanged. No longer were they legally tion and background is that of the 27 under INS care and now legally re-

But here’s what you don’t see. First, those posts that get 20 negative comments get 40 friend requests. Many people agree with the real Libertarian Arvin Vohra positions. Right now, my friend request list is hundreds of people past Facebook’s max limit. The negative comments mostly come from the same few people, and I could block them. However, their comments drive up the visibility of the post. The more comments a post gets, even negative ones, the more the post is seen. And the negative comments show the post to the friends of the commenter, which allows the ideas to spread into groups of people not normally exposed to them. When I see a negative comment, I just think, “Thanks for the share”, since negative commenting has basically the same effect as sharing or liking. My advice: don’t look for common ground with loud statists. They aren’t your allies. Southwest Key facilities in Arizona, Texas, and California, one of its largest facilities is the almost unknown existence of a 37 acre Southwest Kety Center at 10393 LEAGUE LINE RD on the far northern edge of Conroe. Why is a government funded center so hidden and lacking transparency? I believe it is part of the desire to escape the deserved scrutiny of budget reduction. It is hard to justify the spending of tax dollars on facilities for those who legally shouldn’t be here while cutting funding for numerous programs for the citizens of this country. Its Annual report for 2015 showed it PUBLIC NEWS

Those people are in a culture where they feel totally fine mouthing off oppressive nonsense. Instead, strike at the heart of statism. Find messages that do not fit inside the cult of the omnipotent state. Look for uncommon ground. Your real allies are the silent Libertarians, the ones who do not feel comfortable speaking out yet. Remember: the single largest voting block is nonvoters. Many nonvoters (including myself in the past) don’t vote because they don’t like anything the government does, and see no difference between Democrats and Republicans. Show them something different. Show them there are people who are willing to say what they already think. When Democrats are #LiterallyCrying at you or old Republicans tell you your views aren’t #RespectableEnough, ignore them. You don’t need to play along in the fantasy world in which teachers’ unions are “heroic”, signing up to fight an idiotic war is considered clever, taxation isn’t theft, speeding tickets are legitimate, or vice is an actual crime. Break out of that mental prison. Reject the cult of statism. Speak out against public schools, NATO, policing the world, victimless crimes, needless military budgets, the FDA. You’ll have a lot more allies than you’d expect. In Liberty, Respectfully, Arvin Vohra

took in $159 Million and spent $150. Nevermind that is tax dollars spent on those here illegally, this “Non Profit” private charity made $9 million in 2015 on the taxpayers! It is bad enough that we cut programs which benefit the public, but to save grant programs which jeopardize our safety is indefensible. Maybe that is why centers like Southwest Key is so under the radar. In the next issue I will reveal even more unreported facts about them and what they are doing right here in Montgomery County. MARCH 29 - APRIL 18, 2017



ANXIETY VS DEPRESSION, Part 2 In my last article you learned that depression and anxiety come from two different places and have different affects on us as a whole. We discovered that depression comes from your past. It is that defeated feeling that leaves us with no motivation, energy or desire to do anything. After all, the past is the past, we cannot go Debbie Warren back and change it. Thus, it can leave us feeling defeated. However, remember, we have the ultimate choice to use that past to make us stronger better people. That same past that may haunt us, also empowers us to be better for ourselves and others. Now, let’s take a look at anxiety and where it originates. Anxiety comes from the future and our concerns about it, our goals, plans etc. How will we get there, what about all of the road blocks, can we actually accomplish it, and will we be okay? Anxiety is that overwhelming feeling or ultimate concern of, what is going to happen to me and will I be okay? It is that never ending mental storm that does not seem to let up or give us a break. As a result, we struggle to sleep, focus and tend to put things off, therefore, creating even more anxiety. This can affect us as we struggle socially and try to avoid some or any outside socialization at all. The very thought of getting out and around others can be debilitating. Sometimes, causing us to avoid even our closest family and friends. Just as depres-


MARCH 29 - APRIL 18, 2017

sion wants to keep us secluded, so does anxiety. It causes us to question everything we do or say, leaving us feeling insecure and even inadequate. This leads us to the question, “can anxiety be treated?” First, it is important to understand the cause, the concerns and reasons we may be dealing with anxiety. Is it chemical, trauma induced, a fear, or can it be a deficiency of some sort? Once determined, it is easier to move forward with treatment. Keep in mind, there are many forms of anxiety, for example, obsessive compulsive disorders, social anxiety, post traumatic stress, phobias and others. Anyone who has had to deal with a panic attack or anxiety attack is all too familiar with how debilitating it is both emotionally and physically. It is without doubt, in that moment, all consuming. What are some things we can do to help calm the storm? First, realize what is happening and that you can indeed control this attack. If possible, remove yourself from the situation and go somewhere you can be alone and refocus. Connect with your breathing, close your eyes and put all of your attention on every breath. Breathe in through your nose, out through your mouth, slow and cleansing breaths. Keeping your eyes closed, continue this until you can regain some calm and understanding of the situation. In addition, music is known to be very therapeutic, it actually does help us to relax. I am a firm believer of meditation, connecting to yourself, emotionally, physically and spiritually. Yoga is also a great source of relaxation and stress relief.


It is imperative to take that negative, restless energy and apply it towards something positive and healthy. Consider going to the gym, cycling, running, creating art or even writing. I recommend to all of my clients that they immediately begin journaling. Not only during times of high anxiety, but before bed, especially. It is important to take the concern and worry out of our head and put it on paper. Quite often, once on paper, things don’t seem to be as scary or overwhelming. Also, put together a healthy, calming, nighttime routine in order to help aid in a good night sleep. A bubble bath with essential oils, or a night time tea that promotes calm and rest. Oils or tea’s to consider may include but are not limited to, lavender, chamomile, valerian, passionflower, etc. I encourage a few minutes of meditation as well. Finally, instead of focusing on the big goal, create small milestones along the way. Celebrate each of those smaller goals as they are reached. After all, without accomplishing the smaller goals, the large ones would

not be attainable. Celebrate the whole process. Also, as you set each small goal, focus on any and all road blocks that may prevent you from reaching this goal. Then, predetermine the solution for each road block, this way, once there, you have already fixed it and planned for it. Therefore, making the goal easier to attain and causing less stress and anxiety along the way. Do not allow road blocks to stop you from reaching your goals! There are always several paths to a destination. You are bigger than your fears and your anxiety. If you have any questions or concerns regarding depression or anxiety that you or someone you know may me struggling with, please reach out. Be blessed and be a blessing! It is time to ‘OWN YOUR GREATNESS’ Debbie Warren Own Your Greatness Life Coaching 936 577 5679 Facebook @Ownyourgr8tness






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Precinct 4 to Open New NW Harris County Park Theatre Under The Stars Raises Nearly $700,000 with its One Night Only Gala The Theatre Under The Stars (TUTS) One Night Only 2017 Gala, which honored Margaret Alkek Williams for her many contributions to the arts community in Houston, was held on Saturday night at the Hobby Center for the Performing Arts. Becky and Bart McAndrews and Paul-David Van Atta chaired the event. The evening raised nearly $700,000! All proceeds from the evening benefit the TUTS Education and Community Outreach Programs. Guests of the gala were transported back to the 1960s as they enjoyed cocktails and dinner inside Sarofim Hall. The stage shimmered in purple and gold, and was filled with flowers, candles and a center table with a mirrored top where the guest of honor was seated. The decor for the evening was created by The Perfect Touch. Entertainment for the evening featured performances by stars from the cast of the upcoming Theatre Under The Stars production of DREAMGIRLS -- Phoenix Best, Ta’Nika Gibson, Zonya Love, Kerissa Arrington, Thomas Hobson, and Wonza Johnson. This year TUTS extended the fun with its first after party -- the Grand Finale - a throwback to the heyday of the 70s club scene complete with disco balls, a roller skating raffle, and disco hits of the 70s and 80s played by the Richard Brown Orchestra. David Peck and Hector Villareal served as chairs for the Grand Finale.


MARCH 29 - APRIL 18, 2017

Precinct 4 is bringing another community closer to nature with the opening of the Kickerillo-Mischer Preserve. People of all ages can canoe the waters of a serene lake, stroll underneath a canopy of trees, or take a rest while observing countless wildlife. In the TUTS One Night Only gala and peaceful setting of this new greenspace, resiGrand Finale after party was support- dents can relax, unwind, and appreciate the ed by longtime partners who provided sights and sounds of nature. The park spans items for the evening’s festivities 80 acres and features the 40-acre Marshall including Zadok Jewelers, Elaine Lake with a 1.7-mile paved trail that circles Turner, Kendra Scott, Van Cleef & the water. Arpels, Gillman Automotive Group, West U Travel and Katz Coffee. The Precinct 4 celebrates the grand opening of event was catered by Culinaire. its newest park with the public on Saturday, April 1 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. During the The evening’s festivities were attended event, visitors can explore the lake by canoe by 400 people. Notable guests of the or from Precinct 4’s pontoon boat, fish from evening included Margaret Alkek the banks, and take in nature presentations. Williams and Jim Daniel, Amy and Rob Pierce, Bobby and Phoebe Tudor, Natural Floodplain Buffer Steve and Leticia Trauber, Faith and Lee Majors, Penny and Paul Loyd, Situated along Hwy. 249, the property is Frank and Demetra Jones, Jay Landa an important anchor park for the Cypress and Daniel Turner, John Nau, Roxann Creek Greenway. The 40-mile linear trail will and Tim Neumann, Randy and Sandy stretch from west of Hwy. 290 eastward to Stilley, Pierce Bush, Roselle and Den- the Spring Creek Greenway at Jesse H. Jones nis Baldwin, TUTS Executive DirecPark & Nature Center. tor, Hillary Hart, and Artistic Advisor, Sheldon Epps. As with other parts of the Cypress Creek Greenway, Kickerillo-Mischer Preserve Theatre Under The Stars (TUTS) is serves as a natural floodplain buffer. “During Houston’s leading Musical Theatre storm events, parks like Kickerillo-Mischer Company since 1968, with a focus on serve as natural detention facilities. They education and community engageact like giant sponges, slowing floodwaters, ment. TUTS is a 501(c)(3) Non Profit capturing sediment, and absorbing runOrganization that relies on the gener- off,” says Dennis Johnston, Precinct 4 parks ous support of our donors to deliver administrator. first-rate theatre experiences. Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital is Though Kickerillo Companies and Mischer the official healthcare partner of The- Investments first donated the land to Preatre Under The Stars and the official cinct 4 back in 2009, construction of staff sponsor of the 2016/17 Season. United offices deep in the floodplain proved cost Airlines is the official airline partner prohibitive. When Prestonwood Forest Utilof Theatre Under The Stars. KTRK ity District (PFUD) agreed to lease its former ABC13 is the official media partner of fire station building, located directly adjacent Theatre Under The Stars. to the property, Commissioner R. Jack Cagle


recognized an opportunity for a staff building and a greenlight to construction of the park. “That agreement with PFUD saved taxpayers about $2 million,” Johnston says. Kickerillo-Mischer Preserve has restrooms and showers, making the newly developed land an ideal camping site for scouts and other community groups in the future. The park will be staffed with a director and onsite caretakers who will provide a variety of Precinct 4 park programming, as well as additional educational offerings in collaboration with Bayou Land Conservancy. Other park features, such as fishing piers, a picnic pavilion, outdoor classroom, and an amphitheater, are being considered as futu re amenities. Grassroots Effort The two-phase, $3.4 million project included road improvements, hike-and-bike trails, construction of parking lots, utility infrastructure, a restroom facility, trail connections to the parking lot, renovation of the old firehouse, fencing, and a bridge across Cypress Creek. PFUD also donated 25 percent of the cost of the new bridge, which totaled $212,832. The preserve was first deemed parkland in the early 2000s, in part thanks to the Friends of Kickerillo-Mischer Preserve. The grassroots organization urged thenowner, Hewlett-Packard, to preserve the land for hikers, bikers, and nature lovers. HewlettPackard stipulated that the wooded preserve be set aside for use as a passive recreational park when the company sold 462 acres to developer Vincent Kickerillo in 2005. Harris County Commissioners Court accepted conveyance of the 80-acre property in 2009 from Vincent Kickerillo and Walt Mischer’s V&W Partners. V&W brought together representatives from Precinct 4, the Friends of the Kickerillo- Mischer Preserve, and local landscape architect, Clark Condon Associates, to create a master plan for the park.


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LSC-Montgomery Student Named Member of All-USA Community College Academic Team Lone Star College-Montgomery student Savannah Martin is one of 20 two-year college students named to the All-USA Community College Academic Team. Savannah is being honored for her outstanding intellectual achievement, leadership, community and campus engagement with a $5,000 scholarship, furnished by Follett Higher Education Group. Savannah will be introduced at Phi Theta Kappa’s Presidents Breakfast held during the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) Convention on April 24, in New Orleans, Louisiana. In addition to scholarship funds, she will be presented with a commemorative medallion. Dr. Rebecca Riley, president at Lone Star College-Montgomery, will also receive recognition for her leadership and a commemorative obelisk. The All-USA program is widely recognized as the most prestigious academic honor for students attending community college. Each college may nominate two students for showing intellectual rigor and demonstrating academic achievement, leadership and civic growth. The program also recognizes students who extend their community college education to better themselves, their schools and their surrounding communities. “Savannah represents the caliber of students at LSC-Montgomery and

her dedication to scholarship and excellence reflects the ideals of Phi Theta Kappa,” said Sarah PalaciosWilhelm, dean of academic support and Phi Theta Kappa advisor at LSC-Montgomery. “As advisors for the Beta Delta Iota Chapter, Melissa (Heselmeyer) and I are very happy to see her hard work and achievements celebrated.” The 2017 All-USA Community College Academic Team is sponsored by Follett Higher Education Group with additional support provided by Phi Theta Kappa and AACC. The team of 20 was selected by an independent panel of judges from colleges, community and national organizations and foundations. Judges considered grades, leadership activities and, most importantly, how students extend their intellectual talents beyond the classroom. Phi Theta Kappa also awards $100,000 additional scholarships through the Coca-Cola New Century Scholars program, sponsored by the Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation and The Coca-Cola Foundation. Phi Theta Kappa is the premier honor society recognizing the academic achievement of community college students to grow as scholars and leaders. The Society is made up of more than 3.2 million members and nearly 1,300 chapters in nine nations.

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“I always love going back to Texas; it’s home,” Sarah said. Although she was born in Oklahoma, her parents “moved to the Lone Star State as soon as we could,” according to her mother, Patricia Gross. Mary Sarah attended Foster High School in Richmond and knew then that music was her calling. She credits her piano teacher for recognizing her talent at age 8. “My teacher told me, ‘You have a natural vibrato; you should get a vocal coach,’ ” she said. By age 12, she was a featured lead vocalist and dancer for Kidz Bop. “It exposed me to the touring life and I got the experience of singing in front of tens of thousands,” Mary Sarah said. “I was able to connect with an audience and I just fell in love with it.” Her whole family has supported MARY SARAH - BY CHRIS HOLLO her pursuit of music as a career. “It’s become a dream of all of ours,” she said. “My sister, brother, mom and dad all work extremely hard. They saw a passion in me, and they support me 100 percent.” Mary Sarah released her first album “Crazy Good” in 2010. Event celebrating arts and culture in the Lone second album, “Bridges,” in Star State brings first-class country act to Conroe Her 2014 showcased duets with some of country music’s biggest names including Dolly Parton, Willie Nelson, Merle Haggard, Vince Singer Mary Sarah has made her around Texas for a fete of visual, Gill and The Oak Ridge Boys. way from singing in churches to performing, literary and cultural In 2016, Mary Sarah stepped Nashville stardom – moving from arts. into the national spotlight stages in Houston to the set of The evening will feature the through NBC’s “The Voice.” She the popular television show “The raising of the 13 flags that have finished in fifth place on #TeamVoice,” and from regional Opry flown over Texas, and Mary Sarah Blake in Season 10, making her theaters to the spotlight of the will serve as a special guest, sing- Grand Ole Opry debut the same Grand Ole Opry itself. ing “The Star-Spangled Banner” a year, and has since graced the Now the effervescent country cappella and “God Bless America” iconic stage a number of times. star is preparing to shine in Con- accompanied by guitar. In the 11th season of “The Voice,” roe as part of the Rising Stars & On Saturday, April 22, Mary Mary Sarah was invited back to Legends of Texas, a celebration of Sarah will perform a 45-minco-host the show’s Kohl’s Green arts and culture in the Lone Star ute concert at 1 p.m. at Heritage Room. State. Place, later singing the national Now Mary Sarah is back to writDuring the special event, which anthem at the beginning of the ing songs, and working on a new kicks off at 6 p.m. on Friday, April Conroe Symphony Orchestra’s project due out this year. 21, at the Lone Star Monument “Celebrating the Classics” con“The beautiful thing about writand Historical Flag Park, 104 In- cert, which begins at 7:30 p.m. ing is you can find inspiration terstate 45 in Conroe, the Greater on Saturday, April 22, at Conroe almost anywhere around you,” Conroe Arts Alliance will present High School located at 3200 W. she said. “Music is the one thing art and artists from Conroe and Davis St. that connects us all. I love to 10 PUBLIC NEWS MARCH 29 - APRIL 18, 2017

Country Singer Mary Sarah to Perform at Rising Stars & Legends of Texas

write about challenges I face. I’m imperfect, and that’s ok. It’s not just forgiveness of others that’s important. You have to be able to forgive yourself.” Rising Stars & Legends of Texas kicks off at 6:00 p.m. on Friday, April 21, at Lone Star Monument and Historical Flag Park with the raising of the 13 flags that have flown over Texas, musical entertainment and special guests. The festivities move to downtown Conroe until 10:00 p.m. and continue on Saturday, April 22, from noon - 10:00 p.m. when the streets will be filled with fun, food, entertainment for the whole family and lots of fabulous art. There is no entrance fee to Rising Stars & Legends of Texas. Food trucks will be available, shops will be open, and there will be many opportunities to purchase fine art. Tickets for Stage Right’s production of a full-length play by Texas playwright Jesse Jones will be available for purchase, as will tickets to Conroe Symphony Orchestra’s Saturday evening concert with a full program of entertainment. Rising Stars & Legends of Texas is presented by the Greater Conroe Arts Alliance, comprising 13 arts and culture organizations and encompassing the visual, performing, literary and cultural arts. Generous sponsors of this exciting event include: First Financial Bank, Impact Printing, James Avery, Mack Barnhill State Farm, Woodforest National Bank, Keating Honda-Nissan, Soules Insurance, Hailey-Sadler Properties, Conroe Convention & Visitors Bureau, Lone Star Community Radio, Hello Beautiful Boutique, and Alice and John Eckstrum, Lone Star College-Montgomery, The Courier, Mike and Patsy McLemore, City of Conroe and Spirit of Texas Bank. For more information about the young country star, visit For more information about Rising Stars & Legends of Texas, visit



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LSC-Montgomery students conduct next-level research Community colleges are not normally known for their undergraduate research, but Lone Star College-Montgomery students are forging their own path. Five professors and one student have been awarded grants from LSCMontgomery’s newly formed Undergraduate Research Institute (URI). URI seeks to support the development of undergraduate research opportunities for LSC-Montgomery students in the Arts, Humanities, Sciences, and Social Sciences. The primary goal of the URI is to empower students to take an active role in developing and defining their educational experiences by collaborating with faculty to make original contributions to the academic conversation. “Studies have shown that participation in research develops students’ problem-solving skills, communication and teamwork,” said Dr. Rebecca Riley, LSC-Montgomery president. “These are important skills needed in a job or when transferring to a university or college. It is our goal to give LSC-Montgomery students the experience they need to succeed, and research is proving to be an important tool to help our students put their best foot forward.” Projects range from a community service learning-collaboration project to growing your food to using algae to make products that fight inflammation and help the immune system. Vasupradha Vasudevan is conducting the later experiment. She is cracking algae open, inserting instructions to make proteins, then harvesting those proteins. “I feel empowered at LSC-Mont-

gomery,” said Vasudevan. “You can compare the research I am performing to human cells and how they respond, so what I am doing has direct applications to fighting diseases.” For Vasudevan, the research is personal. “My younger brother died of cancer,” she said. “He was diagnosed with stage four Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. My family is everything to me, so it was a huge shock when he passed away. He was my only sibling. The experience made me think that whatever education I had so far was useless, I wanted to help find a cure.” As part of the grant, Vasudevan works with Dr. Janeu Houston, a faculty advisor. “One of the molecules we are investigating helps boost the immune system and has been used to fight cancer or other inflammatory diseases,” said Dr. Houston. “Because of Vasupradha’s brother the focus of our research has always been increasing immunity and immune health. As a scientist, one of the things that is always at the forefront of our minds is the opportunity to work on something that could save somebody else from going through pain you have experienced.” Vasudevan has been chosen to present her research at the prestigious 2017 National Conference on Undergraduate Research. Of the 4,000 abstracts submitted for the entire conference, only about 100 from across the country were chosen to present research in Molecular Biology. She was chosen to present two of these 25 research projects, and she is the only community college student to present in the category of Molecular Biology.

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street festivals in Texas. Every year, on the very last weekend in March, festival-goers break out their Lederhosen and Dirndls “Go German” for the area’s largest festival March 31st through April 2nd celebrating the heritage of the original DOWNTOWN TOMBALL German families that settled this area beTomball ginning in about 1840. In other words in the case of German heritage there is much to celebrate in this part of Texas! The 2017 Tomball German Heritage Kick-off Party with Alex Meixner Festival will be held March 31st – April Tomball German Fest Kick-off Party 1st and 2nd. Located on the old downGet the weekend party started with great town streets of Tomball, TX near 201 S. music by Alex Meixner at the new Fire Elm St., Main St. (FM 2920) and Market Ant Brewing Co. St, it is a music/street festival celebrating German Heritage Festival Contest Fun! German and ethnic heritage with 4 stages Make plans to visit, volunteer, dance and of live music performances “happy music shop again this year? We have assembled for happy people”, special contest, ethnic a great line-up of vendors, contests & and festival food, beer, wine, 175 street entertainment for the whole family to vendors, all kinds of German souvenirs enjoy! REMINDER: Don’t forget about the and clothing, arts crafts, antiques, Heritage Chicken Dance Contest, Hollerin Contests Center, carnival, pony ride, petting zoo, and Best Dressed German Contests. Come strolling music makers, street performand enjoy the fun! ers, and much more. Like Oktoberfest in The Carnival opens Thursday evening, April! Admission, parking and shuttle are March 30th, with a $15 special price for FREE!. the “all you can ride” armband. See you Beginning with one Oompah band on at the corner of Main and Cherry for this a flat-bed trailer sixteen years ago the Thursday ONLY special. On Friday, March festival has become an annual tradition 31st at 6:00 p.m. till 10:00 p.m. shop street in Tomball and one of the best music/


MARCH 29 - APRIL 18, 2017


vendors and enjoy various performances. Saturday, April 1st at 10:00 a.m. till 10:00 p.m. begins with the “tapping of the keg” and Willkommen ceremony for German exchange students and Tomball host families, and official opening by the Mayor of Tomball Gretchen Fagan. Alex Meixner will be the featured entertainer once again with music and dancing all day and into the night with Alpenmusikanten, Chris Rybak and Das Ist Lustig and much, much more. Enjoy the final day of the festivel Sunday, April 2nd at 10:00 a.m. till 6:00 p.m. Check out the amazing view from above Main Street in Tomball. As you can see, our festival with plenty of room for fun and entertainment for the whole family has grown over the years. We sure hope to see you among the crowds. German Festival sky view over Tomball The festival is sponsored by the Tomball/ Telgte Sister City, Org. Wir sprechen Deutsch. Call 281-379-6844 or email Grady Martin for information. For additional info, visit facebook, and Valina Polka.



Houston Whatever Fest, the City’s most eclectic street festival, will return to the East End of downtown with another exciting year of unique music, comedy and art programming April 1 - 2, 2017. The third annual festival will include more than 80 acts on 5 stages featuring a diverse mix music genres, top-tier comedy acts and a variety of art experiences along with culinary options from some of the best local food trucks, Houston-centric vendors, unique street performers, and more! Continuing with its commitment to showcasing national talent alongside upand- coming performers, the festival aims to provide opportunities for local acts, from musicians and comedians to artists, as part of the annual line up. “We are eager to bring Houstonians another year of new experiences as part of our festival. In our third year, we continue


to be an outlet that allows people from all walks of life and backgrounds the opportunity to come together, for an economical price point, and experience all that the City has to offer from live music, comedy and the growing arts scene,” said festival co-founder Jason Price. “The festival is the largest collection of local talent of any annual event in Houston and we are dedicated to keeping that as part of our mission as the event grows.” Price continued, “We will continue to elevate the VIP experiences at the festival while also maintaining a base-level price point that provides the best value in the City for the entertainment dollar. In short, we want to ensure that our event is accessible for fans of all socio-economic backgrounds.”


APRIL 15th 11 a.m. - 8 p.m. LAST CONCERT CAFE Houston


it, they’re going to come! Local restaurants, eateries and burger joints will be invited to set up shop on the festival grounds and fill the air with the scintillating scents of burgers on the grill. Live music supplied on stage by local bands, including local headliner, Parker Mc Collum will keep the energy high and the appetites large. And who can resist a little competition, especially when it includes local celebrity judges and bragging rights for “Best Burger at Throwdown?” Kids ages 12 & under are free, First Responders, Law Enforcement, Military, and Teachers are free with I.D. Early Bird General Admission Tickets are $10. For more information on music lineup, restaurant competitors, & ticket info please visit or visit them on social media at A special thanks to our Premier Sponsor’s, America’s ER & Randall Reed Planet Ford. This is one festival you don’t want to miss being a part of!


THROUGH APRIL 4th Conroe Art League

Featured Artist, local painter Kathy Fediw will be showing select artwork from her series “Land-River-Sky” at the Conroe Art League Gallery through April 4, 2017. This series of impressionistic Kickin’ Events & Promotions knows paintings in both oils and pastels explores what you want, and they’ve answered the ever-changing American landscape, the call! They’re giving it all to you with with many featuring the skies, rivers and 2nd Annual Throwdown Texas Burger & land of Texas and our local area. Fediw Music Fest benefitting The Montgomery frequently paints outdoors en plein aire County Foodbank, coming back to The Woodlands area on April 29, 2017 at Town and her paintings are marked with a loose painterly style, expressive brush Green Park in the heart of The Woodstrokes and luminous colors. Her work lands. has been inspired by impressionist and Why here and why now? The Woodlands is rapidly becoming the post-impressionist artists including Van Gogh, Emil Nolde, Odilon Redon, Renoir hot spot of the northern Houston area, and some of the lesser-known Nordic with world-class entertainment occurring daily at its performance venues such artists. Kathy has studied with some of America’s finest artists. She won Best as The Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion of Show in her first art competition and located right next door to Town Green has gone on to win numerous awards in Park. The area plays host to countless concerts, festivals, and other activities that other art shows and contests. Two of her paintings were featured in the juried show cater to everyone from young singles to entire families. Not only is the continuing “Art of the Pastel 2016” and she is a juried member of the Pastel Society of America. growth of The Woodlands and Montgomery County a prime reason to initiate She is also a member of the Conroe Art League, Woodlands Art League, American such a great festival, but the time of year Impressionists Society, and Pastel Society has also been chosen to maximize the experience: April in this area is the perfect of Southeast Texas. On March 31 and April 1 Fediw will be teaching a workshop, month for a daylong outside activity that “Painting the Landscape with Pastels,” the entire family can enjoy. for the Conroe Art League. This is a rare If you cook it, they will come. If you pour it, they will come. If you… Let’s face opportunity to learn from a master and APRIL 29th 11 a.m. - 8 p.m. TOWN PARK GREEN The Woodlands

demic world, and personal relationships. The gallery walk provides students with a chance to put the communication skills they’ve learned in the program into action, and gives the community an opportunity WOODLANDS WATERWAY to learn more about the curriculum the students are taught. ARTS FESTIVAL “Guests will be able to wander from APRIL 7th through 9th display to display as lifePATH™ students TOWN CENTER WATERWAY share details about some of their best The Woodlands spring 2017 classwork, emphasizing how The 12th Annual Woodlands Waterway they’ve grown and what they’ve learned Arts Festival, presented by The Woodlands during the semester,” Ginnett explained. “Although there will be opening remarks Arts Council (TWAC), offers a weekend when the event begins, guests are free to escape for art and music enthusiasts of come and go at their convenience.” all ages and is scheduled for April 7-9. LSC-Tomball’s lifePATH™ is a four-year Proceeds from the festival directly fund comprehensive model of post-secondary Because Art Matters, the year-round comeducational opportunities for students munity and education outreach programs who have disabilities that affect executive of TWAC. functioning. Students can earn various Recently ranked in the top five of America’s Best Fine Arts Fairs by ArtFair- Lone Star College certificates in, The Woodlands Waterway tional Studies, ACT® WorkKeys® Assessments, the ACT® National Career ReadiArts Festival features 225 juried national ness Certification, and can choose to earn and regional artist exhibits along the college credit in general Lone Star College scenic pathways lining The Woodlands Waterway. The art represents a diverse mix credit courses. Students can exit lifePATH™ after two of painting, drawing, fiber art, sculpture, years, receiving a Lone Star College jewelry, glass, woodworking, photograCertificate in Foundational Occupational phy, mixed media, clay-works and digital Studies. All students who choose the art and more representing fourteen art four-year lifePATH™ option participate categories. in an internship during their fourth year. The continued success of The WoodAdmissions is selective and students join lands Waterway Arts Festival is made poslifePATH as part of a cohort. Each cohort sible by the generous support of anchor remains together for all classes during the sponsors: The Woodlands Development first two years. During years three and Company, a Division of four, students continue to take lifePATH™ The Howard Hughes Corporation; Stella core classes as a cohort. Artois, the official beer of the Festival; The Woodlands Convention and Visitors Bureau; and Mercedes-Benz of The PERFORMING ARTS Woodlands, the official luxury vehicle of WOODS MITCHELL PAVILION the festival. The Woodlands registrations are being accepted at the Conroe gallery. Beginners especially are welcomed to sign up to explore painting the landscape with Fediw.


LONE STAR COLLEGE - TOMBALL March 31st 10 a.m. - noon Tomball

Dr. Anne Ginnett, director of Lone Star College-Tomball’s lifePATH™ program, is inviting the community to meet and visit with LSC-Tomball lifePATH™ students while they share their Spring 2017 semester work during the lifePATH™ Partners Gallery Walk. The lifePATH™ Partners Gallery Walk will take place Friday, March 31, from 10 a.m. to noon in the LSC-Tomball Beckendorf Conference Center. LSC-Tomball’s lifePATH™ program empowers adult students with cognitive disabilities by providing an opportunity to learn academic skills and the social skills needed in the business world, the aca-


Friday, April 21 The Music of Led Zeppelin Houston Symphony Martin Herman, conductor 8 p.m. / Gates: 7 p.m. Tickets: $20 orchestra seating / Free mezzanine & lawn seating Sponsored by: Huntsman Thursday, April 27 Bond and Beyond Houston Symphony Michael Krajewski, conductor Debbie Gravitte, vocalist 8 p.m. / Gates: 7 p.m. Tickets: $20 orchestra seating / Free mezzanine & lawn seating Sponsored by: Anadarko Petroleum Corporation

continued on page 25 13 MARCH 29 - APRIL 18, 2017

Hhomes istoriC tour G A LV E S T O N

M AY 6 , 7 , 1 3 & 1 4 , 2 0 1 7

A G E D T O P E R F E C T I O N Galveston Historical Foundation opens the doors to the island’s architectural history through public tours of ten privately owned historic homes.

T I C K E T S N O W O N S A L E A T G A LV E S T O N H I S T O RY. O R G .



MARCH 8 - 28, 2017



EVENTS ARTS Conroe Art League Every Monday 9:30am-12:30pm Every Tuesday 6pm-9pm Every Wednesday 1pm The Wonders of Watercolor Classes with Carrie Allbritton! Carrie discounts that old saying that watercolor is the hardest media and unforgiving, believing instead that when you understand the paints and what they do on paper, you will find it fun, rewarding and very forgiving. Ongoing watercolor classes every Monday from 9:30am - 12:30pm AND every Tuesday from 6:00pm - 9:00pm at the Conroe Art League Gallery. Contact Carrie directly at: carrieallbritton@ or 936-444-7303 Cost: $25 per class (payable a month in advance) Conroe Art League Every Tuesday 1pm-3:30pm Oil Painting Classes w/Gary Hernandez Each student works at his/her own pace in a creative and pleasant atmosphere. The students will learn the tools and materials of oil painting. New students will be painting a new painting at the first session. You will copy master paintings as a pathway to creating your own style of painting. You will learn.... -How to use a grid to quickly layout the painting. -How to select the right palette. -How to select and mix colors. -How to select the right paint brushes -How to apply color theory and use the color wheel. -How to pick the right canvas and how to coat a canvas. -How to varnish a painting. -How to paint in Grisaille These are only a few of the tips I will teach you to create successful paintings and more importantly have an enjoyable painting experience. Ongoing classes every Tuesday from 1:00pm 3:30pm at the Conroe Art League Gallery- 127 Simonton St. - Conroe, TX 77301 Contact Gary Hernandez directly to sign up: 713-569-9209 or garyhernandezstudio@yahoo. com Cost: $35/per class paid in advance monthly. Conroe Art League First Thursday of the month 11am-5pm Photography Learning Center w/Ed Gorman The Photography Learning Center is back at the Conroe Art Gallery!! If you have questions about photography or how to use your camera, whether it’s a DSLR, SLR, film, cell phone, iPad, etc., then come to the Conroe Art Gallery on the first Thursday of each month from 11am - 5pm. The Conroe Art Gallery is at 127 Simonton St., Conroe, TX 77301. Ed will show you how to work your camera and take better photographs. Contact Ed Gorman: edgorman1973@gmail. com or call 936-443-3487 for more information. Conroe Art League First and Third Thursday 1pm-3:30pm Figure Drawing Group Classes are at the Conroe Art League Gallery 127 Simonton St. Conroe, TX 77301 Live Model, All Skill Levels Welcome!

For more information contact: Darby Kachmar 936-228-5126 or Marilyn Lowry or 936447-1579 Fee is $10 per session, no reservation necessary Conroe Art League Every Thursday 2pm-4:30pm Painting with Pastels This is an ongoing weekly course, beginning February 5, 2015. The class meets every Thursday from 2:00pm - 4:30pm in the upstairs classroom at the Conroe Art League Gallery 127 Simonton St. - Conroe, TX 77301. Painting in pastels is quick, easy, colorful, beautiful, very portable - and FUN! Handled correctly, pastels will last many lifetimes and their pure colors never fade, crack, or peel. No stress and no pressure here to paint a masterpiece. You’ll learn how to turn “happy accidents” into a part of your painting, or erase it - pastels are very forgiving. Everyone will hjave a chance to experiment with different techniques and materials, and you’ll develop your own unique style over time. For those who are new to art, you’ll learn the basics of drawing and painting. For more experienced artists who are new to pastels, you’ll learn the characteristics and techniques that are unique to pastels. At the end of each class, you’ll have a finished or nearly-finished painting to take home, ready for framing. Each student is encouraged to learn at their own pace. You are welcomed to do a classbased painting from reference photos provided by the instructor, or bring in your own reference materials to use. We may also paint from life, or go outdoors to paint as the weather permits. During this ongoing course, you will: -Improve your drawing skills, including proportions and perspective. -Learn how to see and paint values, types of underpaintings, both wet and dry. -Create different effects using hard vs. soft pastels. -Layer and blend pastels to get exactly the color you want. -Develop and use a portable pastel kit for outdoor painting and travel. -Know how to paint trees, clouds and water. -Learn how to paint and draw from life and en plein air (outdoors). There’s no pressure to develop a masterpiece or “do it right”. This class is all about having fun and discovering the artist in you. You’ll have lots of individual attention from the instructor with helpful feedback so your paintings keep getting better. Your supply list has options to fit a budget, and everyone is welcomed to register and join us any time. Please contact the instructor, Kathy Fediw, at or call her business number at 281-687-6966, if you have any questions and for a list of materials. Cost: $30.00 per class, payable at the first of each month or at the beginning of each session. Instructor: Kathy Fediw, LEED AP ID+C, CLP, CLT

EDUCATION Barbara Bush Branch Library Ongoing [call for class dates & times] Ongoing Computer Classes Dave Smith, computer instructor, will be teaching seven different computer classes at the Barbara Bush Branch Library in March 2015.

The classes are Computer Basics, Introduction to the Internet, Email, MS Word, MS Excel, MS PowerPoint, and MS Publisher. He also teaches additional classes which are offered at various times throughout the year, including Digital Photography and Smartphone Tips. Please call for the dates and times of the classes and to register. Each class meets for a single 2-hour session. As class size is limited to 12 people, pre-registration is required for each class. Registration is on a first-come, first-served basis. Registration opens 30 days prior to the class. Please visit the website ( or call the library at 281-376-4610 for more information and to register for these classes. The classes are held in the Barbara Bush Library Friends Computer Lab at 6817 Cypresswood Drive in Spring. Baldwin Boettcher Library Ongoing English As A Second Language The Baldwin Boettcher Library Staff provides ESL classes for folks who want to learn to speak English or improve their English speaking skills. Our beginning classes are scheduled on Mondays, 6-7:30 pm; Fridays 1-3 pm; Our intermediate ESL classes are on Wednesdays, 6-7:30 pm and Thursdays, 1-3 pm; Our conversational English class is on Tuesdays 10-12 pm; Our advanced English class is on Tuesdays 4-5 pm. Call the library at 281-821-1320 for more information about the ESL classes.

terpiece to take home with you at the end of the night. For additional purchase hand crafted frames made specially to display the 2 canvases as 1, will be available following the class. Cost $90 per couple. Paint On Tap Matthew Haug 281-740-3986 Facebook event: events/164427764050796/

GAMING Pokémon Monday and Wednesday 5-8 Whether you are a new play wanting to learn to play the Pokémon trading card game and how to build a deck or you are a world champion there is fun to be had at this league! Come and go as you please. Play the card game or video game and have fun meeting new players of all ages! At Space Cadets, click here for info. Magic The Gathering new player night Wednesday at 6pm If you’re new Magic the Gathering or just need a refresher, Wednesday nights are for you. Everyone who shows up will receive a free 60 card deck (non standard legal) to learn the game. We’ll teach you the basics and give some good tips on deck building. At Space Cadets, click here for info.

Magic The Gathering commanders night Thursday 6pm Barbara Bush Branch Library This is your 100 card deck slugfest! A comEvery Thursday noon-1pm mander deck features 100 cards with no dupliYoga For Stress Relief cates (aside from lands). Your Commander is Certified yoga instructor, Linda Popinksi, offers called in when needed and when it leaves, you this free class every Thursday from 12:00-1:00 can summon again for just 2 mana more. At in the Earl Elliott Room at the Barbara Bush Space Cadets, click here for info. Branch Library, 6817 Cypresswood Drive in Spring. Both men and women are welcome. Magic The Gathering Friday night magic Bring your own yoga mat and a beach towel. Friday 6:30 pm You’re a powerful wizard summoning mighty monsters, vampires, elves and more to do your AREA TOURS bidding. Are you slow and methodical or quick and relentless? Our regular Friday Night MagConroe Art League ic events. The format will vary from week to By Appointment week, but mostly it’ll be Standard construction Conroe Art League with a $5 entry. Prizes consist of store credit 127 Simonton, Conroe TX 77301 and/or booster packs depending on number of The Conroe Art League invites all Montgomery players. At Space Cadets, click here for info. County residents and friends to come in and see their award-winning artists and their masVanguard Fridays 6-8pm terpieces. They are located at 127 Simonton, The popular Bushiroad game, Cardfight VanConroe 77301. Their gallery exhibit includes guard, is played every Friday at 6 p.m. Choose paintings, prints, sculptures, pottery, jewelry your Vanguard character and bolster them with and much, much more. If you are wondering support from rear guard positions. Boost them what to do for fun this summer, contact Kerry up and annihilate the competition! OfferConkling at to arrange ing regular and special event play. At Space a guided tour of the 103 year old historic galCadets, click here for info. lery for groups of from 5 – 25 people. Your free tour includes refreshments (coffee, afterStar Wars x-wing every Friday 7pm and noon tea or happy hour) and an artist demon3rd Saturday 3pm stration. This would be great fun for couples or Switching from the slower bulk cruisers to for a group of friends. nimble dog fighters, Star Wars X-Wing is a miniatures game featuring all of your favorSouthern Star Brewing ite star fighters from the franchise!. Deftly March 15 7pm-10pm maneuver around debris, opponents and your Couples Painting Party own ships as you attempt to obliterate your opPaint On Tap presents Date Night: Couples ponents. At Space Cadets, click here for info. Night Painting Party on Wednesday, March 15th from 7:00pm to 10:00pm in the Southern Star Brewing Company Taproom. Look no further for a great evening out to share with your special someone, 3 hour painting party includes 3 beers per person and delectable Hors d’oeuvres available during the class. The painting is split on two canvases to make one mas-


MARCH 29 - APRIL 18, 2017






MARCH 29 - APRIL 18, 2017


Peyton Stilling is the kind of teen that will make you forget she is one. At 17, this witty young woman already has the confidence and maturity, as well as an impressive professionalism on stage that teenagers often lack during those awkward high school years.

Peyton dreams big but keeps herself grounded. For someone who is still attending high school and decided to make music her career only few years ago, she is surprisingly pragmatic about the reality of a business that can be as shallow as it is greedy.

“I just want to do music,” she says. “Being in the music industry it can be very overwhelming and I know At 15, Peyton was perform- from experience that it’s easy to ing shows at local establishstart comparing yourself to other ments and since then she has artists. What I have learned is that honed a clear, powerful voice the music industry is so diverse and that seamlessly and effortless- music is so subjective and that the ly projects a soulful contem- only way to succeed is through hard work and a believing in yourself porary Jazz feel. From singing and the music you are creating.”

to playing the guitar, Peyton is a Singer-Songwriter with a mission.

Influenced by singer-songwriters like John Mayor but also “people who really paved the way of music” like Norah Jones and Carole King, Peyton says” she thinks of Tori Kelly because she is such a huge inspiration to my music. She wrote and produced her own music and never gave up on herself. She shows me what its like to believe in my music and myself. Peyton shines most as a singersongwriter, where simple instrumental arrangements leave room for heartfelt lyrics and a warm voice that gets under your skin. She believes there has to be an in between to really come out with a great song. A good song she believes should have a good message. “Music has been such a blessing in my life in ways I cant even describe,” she says. “It’s given me an outlet to express my emotions, be myself, and have confidence. Also music gives me the opportunity to write and perform original music that truly connects with others. Through music I have also been able to raise money for a non-profit organization that helps give relief to families with special needs kids. She continues.

Inspired by her high school friends, Peyton loves to write songs either about her life or her friend’s life. I like to write songs that lots of people can relate too. Peyton belongs to a new generation of Anti-Miley Cyrus singers that are young, brainy and independent. PN: How important is image? Peyton: Image is so important in the music industry. I have really made a brand for myself that is unique to me and stays true to who I am and what I represent as an artist. PN: What is a typical day/week like for you? Peyton: A typical day is me going to school and then coming home doing homework, practicing my music, and then normally I have music lessons of some kind or I have a show. PN: How would you describe your perfect day? Peyton: My perfect day would include going to eat breakfast at my favorite restaurant, Coffee House Cafe, and going shopping with my friends. Then at night playing a show would be the perfect end to continued on page 19 PUBLIC NEWS

MARCH 29 - APRIL 18, 2017



MARCH 29 - APRIL 18, 2017


continued from page 17 my perfect day.

at my website:

PN: Is there anyone you’d like to PN: What would your friends say they appreciate the most about you? acknowledge for offering financial or emotional support. Peyton: I am a very good listener Peyton: I would love to thank my and very intentional with all my parents for believing in me and friendships. my music. I also want to thank my friends for being so supportive and PN: If you could blink your eyes and be in a favorite place right now, for coming to all of my shows. Also huge thanks to Jayne Lybrand and where would that place be? Brianna Ruelas for pushing me vocally and inspiring me. Lastly big Peyton: I would want to be on the thanks to Brad Barnes for pushing beach (specifically Hawaii but any me to strive to be a better guitar beach would do) player. PN: What do you like to do outside PN: Who were you, or would you of music that contributes to their musicality; in essence, a hobby that be nervous to meet? they turn to in order to rejuvenate Peyton: If I were to meet Tori Kelly their creativity. or Norah Jones I would probably hyperventilate [laughs] Peyton: Outside of music I love to do crafts. I absolutely love getting PN: Where would you like to find on Pinterest and finding some fun yourself in ten years? craft or project to do. PN: What has been your biggest challenge and have you been able to overcome that challenge? If so, how? Peyton: My biggest challenge was when my mom was diagnosed with Breast Cancer. It was hard for me to fathom life with out my mom and really made me question my faith. My mom is now 6 years in remission and I am so proud of her. During this time I learned a lot about myself and really grew in my faith. I am so thankful for her in my life and I don’t think I would have become the person I am today without that very difficult challenge.

Peyton: I would like to see myself on tour, verified on social media, and signed to a record label. “Everyday I strive to work harder and push myself to be the best person I can be. I want my music to reflect my beliefs and values,” she says. “ I also want it to inspire others going through the same situations or feelings. Her goals in music are to release an EP (hopefully soon), to continue raising money for non-profit organizations, and to go on tour.

Say what you will about the effect that the internet (more specifically, social media) has had on our everyday lives, but as a tool of disPN: Do you have a record label? covery, it’s changing lives every day. Are you a member of any music Especially for musicians who don’t organizations? hail from hub cities with built-in networks of industry personnel, a Peyton: I am not a part of any record label or music organization. simple Sound cloud account can end up being a golden ticket. Check But hopefully really soon out one of Peyton’s newest songs, PN: How can fans-to-be gain access I promise you will just fall in love to your music? Do you have a web- with her. site with sample songs track/1039938/the-rain?feature_ Peyton: Fans can gain access to me id=242100 PUBLIC NEWS

MARCH 29 - APRIL 18, 2017



MARCH 29 - APRIL 18, 2017




Conroe Americana Music Festival to take over Downtown Conroe The Conroe Americana Music Festival is moving along quickly to becoming a high-energy explosion with a confirmation of over 50 bands from throughout the state and beyond on May 5-7, 2017 in Downtown Conroe. The Conroe Downtown Area Association will hold the inaugural event at six venues, Martin’s Event Hall, The Corner Pub, The Red Brick Tavern, Conroe Sparkle Event Hall, and 2 temporary outdoor tents to be set up on Main Street at Metcalf and Metcalf at Thompson. Since all the venues are within a 2-3 block walking distance in the Downtown Conroe shopping/restaurant square, participants are able to wander throughout the area to hear a plethora of musical talent playing bluegrass, rockabilly, folk, outlaw country, and Southern Texas Country. Even a little indie, Southern Rock! Bands confirmed include Carolyn Wonderland, Billie Joe Shaver, Dale Watson/Ray Benson, Ruthie Foster, Bruce Robison/Kelly Willis, Green River Ordinance, The Peterson Brothers, BettySoo, The Mastersons. Charlie Faye and the Fayettes, Hard Luck Revival, Band of Heathens, Folk Family Revival, Bart Crow, Uncle Lucius, The O;s, Ray Bonneville, Nikki Hill, Nick Verzosa, Mike Farris, Two Tons of Steel, Dirty River Boys, The Shady Rest Band, Bottom Dollar String Dollar, The Offenders, Lost and Nameless, and the Chubby Knuckles Choir. For the full line up see the website. “As the Mayor of Conroe, I’m very proud of our Downtown Area Association for creating the Conroe Americana Music Festival and welcome all to come and enjoy the hospitality”, said Mayor Toby Powell.



Backwoods Saloon

Mak’s Place Sports Bar & Grill

230 Lexington Ct., 936-273-0203

The Corner Pub

Sponsors to date for the Conroe Americana Music Festival include the City of Conroe, the Conroe/Lake Conroe Chamber of Commerce, the Conroe Convention and Visitors Bureau, Southern Star Brewing Company, Waxtaps, Bronze Taps, and Janie & Richard Kobes. Sponsorships range from $500 to the Platinum Level of $10,000. In kind sponsors are also needed with a complete list under Sponsorships on the webpage. Confirmed ticket holders can call the participating hoteliers to get discounted packages on their lodging. Partnering organizations include the Holiday Inn Express and Suites, Hampton Inn and Suites, Comfort Inn and Suites, La Quinta Inn and Suites, and the Fairfield Inn and Suites by Marriott. Festival hours are Friday, May 5th 6:00pm-midnight, Saturday, May 6th 10:00am-midnight, and Sunday May 7th 12 noon-6:00pm. Tickets may be purchased for a 3-day wrist band with entrance to all venues for $75 or a day pass for $35 by paying online through the website. The Conroe Downtown Area Association is a 501(c ) 4 non-profit organization and proceeds from the event will go towards wayfinding signs and beautification projects. Community Youth Outreach (CYO) has been chosen as the charitable organization receiving 10% of all net profits. CYO is a collaboration of Angel Reach, CASA-Child Advocates of Montgomery County, and Montgomery County Youth Services (MCYS), working together to end youth homelessness by harnessing the collective power of the community through active engagement and resources. Learn more about CYO and their mission on their website.

302 N. Main St., 936-788-2390

Game On Sports Bar

1717 N. Fraiser 936-788-6209 Bingo, Beer and Bands!

Kat Daddy Bar

463 FM 1488, 936-273-9342 Live Music Sunday Afternoons

Red Brick Tavern

119 Simonton, 936-539-2000

MAGNOLIA Genuwine Tasting Room

6503 FM 1488 #401 832-934-2675

NORTH SPRING 19th Hole Grill & Bar

202 Sawdust Rd #118, 281-363-2574 [$10 cover on all shows] Hard rock and metal bands Thursday through Saturday

Dosey Doe Big Barn

25911 I-45 N., 281-367-3774 Great dinner/music venue in a rebuilt barn


3939 FM 1960 W., 281-893-2860

BFE Rock Club

11528 Jones Rd. (281) 894-1811

The Concert Pub North

2470 Cypress Creek Pkwy., 281-583-8111 Great cover band venue


5200 Louetta Rd., 832-698-1611

That One Bar

4660 Louetta #100, 832-562-3942

THE WOODLANDS Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion

2005 Lake Robbins, 281-210-1105 The larget venue for live music in North Houston

TOMBALL Brautigams Bar & Grill

106 Market St, 832-698-4461

Main Street Crossing

111 West Main St., 281-290-0431

WEST HOUSTON Shakespeare Pub

14129 Memorial Dr, (281) 497-4625


1403 Nance St. (713) 226-8563

THE HEIGHTS Dan Electros

1031 E 24th St (832) 831-2553


2705 White Oak Dr.,


2010 Waugh Dr (713) 521-0521 Live local music - Public News recommended

McGonigel’s Mucky Duck

Jailhouse Saloon

2425 Norfolk St (713) 528-5999 Live Music Nightly



310 Preston, Spring 281-288-0255 100 Main St, Spring 281-350-3376

Tularosa Southwestern Grill

1522 Kingwood Dr (346) 616-5178 Live Music Friday, Saturday and Sunday


MARCH 29 - APRIL 18, 2017






by Mark Crampton

Both my folks were school teachers, so we moved around a lot when I was young, mostly in East Texas, but I did spend my Freshman and Sophomore High School years in southern California. Indeed, we moved there just in time for me to catch the “Summer of Love” in LA in ‘67. Those two years changed my music taste beyond belief! I got HEAVILY into rock – hard rock, acid rock, psychedelic rock. I’m talking Iron Butterfly, Hendrix, Doors, Mothers of Invention, Quicksilver Messenger Service, Blue Cheer, Jefferson Airplane, Cream, It’s a Beautiful Day, Arthur Brown, Cold Blood, King Crimson, Ten Years After, 13th Floor Elevators psychedelic rock! [NOTE: See past article about Arthur Brown and Cold Blood. Look for upcoming articles on Ten Years After, Blue Cheer, It’s a Beautiful Day and King Crimson. Please let my publisher know if any of these particularily interests you.] So when the family moved back to what seemed like (to me!) ‘Goat-Roper Paradise’ (Little Cypress-Mauriceville school district just north of Orange, Texas) in the late summer of ‘69, I quickly discovered that if I wanted hard rock music, well, there wasn’t much compared to California! I honestly don’t remember ANY local radio stations playing anything but bubblegum or ‘Top 40’ - I’m talking 1910 Fruitgum Company, Ohio Express, Archies, Cowsills, Brady Bunch (Oh yes, even the Brady Bunch released some singles!), Partridge Family, Jackson 5, Osmonds, Tommy James and the Shondells, Tommy Roe, Bobby Sherman here, folks! The Monkees were often played as bubblegum, too, but I will dispute that falsehood! How many of you will admit to knowing – let alone listening to – those groups? Anyway, real Hard/Psychedelic rock music over the radio mostly came from ‘pirate stations’ who BLASTED the airwaves illegally


MARCH 29 - APRIL 18, 2017

from Mexico, or listening to Chicago and New Orleans stations when they “skipped” through the atmosphere late oh so late at night! But, folks, what Hard/Psychedelic rock that was available then in East Texas was truly AWESOME beyond compare! For a start, only a few local clubs, like the Lighthouse in Nederland, the Cellers (there were 5 – 3 in Dallas, 1 each in Houston and Austin (the waitresses wore bikinis and often stripped on a runway by the band as they played!), the Love Street Light Circus Feel Good Machine (take your pick! – in the Sunset Coffee Building on Commerce at Main Street – Allen’s Landing – the building is empty now but still stands) in Houston, the Walrus in Dallas, the Vulcan Gas Company in Austin and the Circus in Bosier City, Louisiana catered to the live music Hard/ Psychedelic rock crowd in that era. Probably the two most well-known and accessible live music clubs of this era – to me, anyway - were not in Texas at all, but 5 miles east of Orange on IH 10 in Vinton, Louisiana: the Texas Pelican Club and the Circle Club. I cannot tell you how many nights I spent in these my last two years in High School, or the bands I heard there. [NOTE: At those Louisiana clubs, in those days, if you could reach up to the counter to pay your admission, you could get in!] [NOTE: I am researching a possible future article on these clubs – anyone interested? Let my publisher know! And if you have any firsthand memories or knowledge of these rock clubs back “in the day” please let me know!] So, here in alphabetical order, are some of the early East Texas Hard/Psychedelic rock bands I listened to: 1) The 13th Floor Elevators from Austin were formed by Tommy Hall (electric jug – yes, electric jug!), Stacy Sutherland (guitar) and Roky Erickson (vocals/guitar) in ’66


in Austin, and played primarily Austin and Houston clubs (and a couple of times in San Francisco) until they broke up in ‘69, but did all their recording in Houston. Recognized by many as the genuine, number 1 very first American ‘Psychedelic Rock’ band (most of the other such bands were British), Hall claims he actually coined this specific term for their music - stemming from the bands publically boasted custom of dropping LSD before playing every show. [Don’t ask ME how they could actually play concert sets tripping on acid!] Other groups did call their music ‘Psychedelic’, but not necessarily ‘Psychedelic Rock’. This is their first hit, You’re Gonna Miss Me from their ’66 debut album The Psychedelic Sounds of the 13th Floor Elevators This is one of the few live videos of the band in this time ever to surface – they are erroneously introduced as Roky and the 13th Floor Elevators on this video. This song was written by Roky as a tribute to Muddy Waters’ song of the same name, but is not a cover. Here are two of my favorite songs by the band: and Everybody Needs Somebody to Love from ’66 (a cover of Solomon Burke’s 1964 release – later covered by everybody else in the world!) and It’s All Over Now, Baby Blue from ’67 (a cover of Bod Dylan’s 1965 release.) The 13th Floor Elevators released seven singles and four original albums, with several later compilations and ‘revival’ albums. Janis Joplin from Port Arthur was a friend of Hall’s wife, and sometimes opened for and/or sang with the band when she was around, and Billy Gibbons often played with them in Houston sets in ‘68, as well. 2) American Blues from Dallas was formed in ’66, by brothers Rocky Hill (guitar) and Dusty Hill (bass) and Frank Beard (drums).

They played what Rocky called “psychedelic blues” (ala the 13th Floor Elevators), and were extremely popular in local clubs. American Blues were regulars at all three Dallas and the Houston Cellar locations, as well as the Houston Love Street Light Circus Feel Good Machine. Their first album American Blues is Here was released in’68, after which the band moved to Houston, where they released a second album American Blues ‘Do Their Thing’. Of course, American Blues is Here is in my CD Library! Not long after the move and second album, the band broke up. Rocky left to return to his traditional blues guitar roots (where, among things, he was known as an inspiration and mentor to Stevie Ray Vaughn), while Dusty and Frank looked for something more ‘rock’ – see more about that below! 3) Bloodrock began as The Naturals in Fort Worth in ‘63, and actually released one single in ’65. Their lineup changed then, as did their name, to Crowd + 1 until ’69, when they were very briefly called themselves Texas. The group’s newest producer changed their name for the last time, to Bloodrock, and they released their first, selftitled album in ’70. Their most successful album, Bloodrock 2 was released in ‘71, containing the group’s only hit, DOA, which probably is the CREEPIEST song ever to be played on the radio – I remember DJs at the SFA college radio station warning listeners before playing it! EXPLICIT WARNING: this is ABSOLUTELY the CREEPIEST, BLOODIEST, MOST disturbing music video probably EVER in the history of music videos! Watch it at your own peril – NOW I know you’ll ALL watch it! bUkeu4Zj7pA Although this official video – made years after the song was originally released - is about a car crash, the song was



actually written about a plane crash. Bloodrock played primarily in the Dallas and Houston clubs for most of their career, and released six original albums, a bunch of singles, and later on, a bunch of compellation albums. 4) Bubble Puppy was formed in ’67 in Corpus Christi, by Rod Prince and Roy Cox of The Bad Seeds from Corpus Christi (not to be confused with The Bad Seeds from Kilgore). They were unusual for having two lead guitars (which other bands later copied), and went through a period of trial and error before settling on their final lineup and sound. [NOTE: Wiki and the band’s website both claim Bubble Puppy’s first public appearance was opening the San Antonio show for The Who’s ’67 tour! Except that, according to The Who’s official website: 1) that tour played only Houston and Dallas, not SA; and 2) The Who were themselves the opening act for Herman’s Hermits, not the headliners! So I don’t know what to believe on this one!] At any rate, once their line-up was solid, Bubble Puppy relocated to Austin to play, and began recording in Houston, releasing their only hit Hot Smoke and Sassafras as a single early ’69. They released their only original album A Gathering Of Promises later that year. Why even ask? Yes, it is in my CD Library! In ’70 the band hired a new manager, moved to LA and changed their name to Demian, released one self-titled album, then broke up in ’72. The original band members reunited for a while in ’84 and released a second album early in ’87, then broke up again. In March ’11 Bubble Puppy reformed yet again, in Austin, around three of the original members (Prince, Cox and David Fore) and some members of Fore’s subsequent Austin bands, and began playing the Austin club circuit. Cox passed away in April ’13, but Bubble Puppy continues playing Austin area clubs! Check their website: bubblepuppy. com/

5) Fever Tree began in Houston as folk-rock band The Bostwick Vines in ’66, but with new producers changed their name the next year, along with a new line-up featuring keyboardist Rob Landes and a new style of music – Psychedelic Rock. They were quite popular in local Houston clubs. Fever Tree’s new producers also wrote all their music, and the band only had one hit in their entire career, San Francisco Girls in ’68 from their self-titled first album https:// . After moving to LA, the band broke up with their producers/writers, then fell apart as a group by ’70. Guitarist Michael Knust was the other noteworthy member of Fever Tree – he reformed the group in ’78, but passed in ’03. Billy Gibbons often played with Fever Tree in Houston, and can recognizably be heard on their first album, although uncredited. I know I did have this CD, but can’t seem to locate it now – I may have to order another copy. Besides, I always thought their 3rd album, Creation, which I do still have, was their best effort! Fever Tree released four original albums, and several later compilations. 6) The Moving Sidewalks sort of began in Hollywood, where Houston’s Billy Gibbons was attending art school in the early 60’s. He organized a succession of surf-rock bands there: the Saints, Billy G and the Blueflames, the Coachmen, but by ’67 he had returned to his hometown of Houston. Gibbons’ friend and mentor Roky Erickson of The 13th Floor Elevators helped him and drummer Dan Mitchell form Moving Sidewalks with organist Tom Moore and bass player Don Summers in Houston in ‘67, to play what Gibbons perceived as ‘psychedelic blues rock’. Moving Sidewalks was quite popular on the Houston club scene, and opened several shows for the 13th Floor Elevators when that band played Houston clubs – including that notorious show at the Love Street Light Circus Feel Good Machine which was raided by Houston PD, and members of the Elevators arrested on stage for drug possession. (Pot,

not their professed LSD!) [NOTE: Many PDs – expecially HPD! - were notorious for raiding rock music clubs (but NOT strip clubs!) Houston’s Catacombs Club, Houston’s Cellar, along with Austin’s Vulcan Gas Company, never even bothered to get liquor licenses or sold booze, they were raided so often! However, rather than drugs or alcohol violations, these raids were actually conducted for pure ‘Hippie harassment’ – usually citing ‘electrical violations’ - the ‘electric light shows’ were deemed to be harmful to patrons! Ask me sometime how ‘Hippies’ were treated in Orange, Texas in that era!] Anyway, while living in California, Gibbons had formed an intense friendship with Jimi Hendrix, and Moving Sidewalks also opened four concerts for him on tour. Moving Sidewalks released three singles and one album, Flash WPheF4Gw-K0 of which 99th Floor was the biggest hit. Yes, I have this album in my CD library. In the years since, no less than 5 compilation albums and an EP of the Moving Sidewalks music have been released. Moving Sidewalks reunited in 2013 for 3 benefit concerts, in NYC, Austin and Houston. Here is their performance of 99th Floor from the NYC show bTusGNQvG4Q . 7) The Nomads from Texas City - NOT to be confused with the Nomads from Ft. Worth or Nomads from San Antonio – come to think of it, there were probably twenty bands called the Nomads! Anyway, the Nomads from Texas City formed in the early ‘60s by vocalist Frank Ziegel, and were popular in clubs on the south and east sides of Houston. They released two singles, I Walk Alone and I’ll Be There in ’67, and another in ‘68. The ’68 single earned the group a move to California in ‘69, where guitarist Johnny Orvis took over the band and they turned into The Smoke - not to be confused with the bands of the same name from Australia or England – and recorded several albums before breaking up. They never recorded any albums as The Nomads from Texas City. 8) In ’69, after Moore and Summers of Moving Sidewalks were drafted into the Army, Billy Gibbons and Dan Mitchell formed a new trio (bands back then were usually at least 4-5 or more members) with organist Lanier Greig. Gibbons says he came up with the new band’s name from two posters of BB King and ZZ Hill on his apartment wall – ZZ Top!


This original lineup of ZZ Top released their first single, Salt Lick dfjAcPRrFfE , the flip side of which was Miller’s Garage in ’69. After this release, Greig was replaced by bassist Billy Ethridge (of Stevie Ray Vaughan’s band), and Mitchell was replaced by Frank Beard of the American Blues from Dallas. Ethridge was then replaced by Dusty Hill also of the American Blues. The band’s lineup has never changed again. The new ZZ Top played their first concert together at a dance at the Knights of Columbus Hall in Beaumont on February 10, 1970, and was very popular in East Texas, playing local clubs, high school dances, etc. And yes, for those of you who caught my reference to Little Cypress-Mauriceville early in this article, ZZ Top played MY High School Senior Prom at the Jack Tar Hotel in Orange in the spring of ’71! Here’s the band’s photo from my yearbook: They had actually recorded (but not released) ZZ Top’s First Album https://youtu. be/aOy4XdMYQb0 by then, and their producer tried to get them out of the contract, but our school refused. To my recollection, they played the usual litany of Top-40 and radio hit covers customary to a high school dance, none of their own music. [LCM classmates help me out here – what do you remember?] The later hype the band’s PR people put out about crowds trying to crash the dance, people climbing through bathroom windows at the hotel, etc. is NONSENSE – no one had heard their first album yet (I myself first heard it late that fall!) and at that time they were just another local garage band who could be heard at local clubs or dances on any weekend, playing radio covers! Much later in their career, ZZ Top did play the ’97 Super Bowl Halftime show https:// and the 2008 Orange Bowl Halftime show . I don’t know if anyone has actually counted how many albums ZZ Top have released over the years – I have 18 in my CD Library, and just got in a packaged compilation of their first 10 CDs! There you have it folks. A quick breakdown of eight of the more popular psychedelic bands of late ‘60s East Texas, two of whom – ZZ Top and Bubble Puppy – are still together and playing! Not all the bands of that era and ilk, of course. Maybe there’s enough for another article.

MARCH 29 - APRIL 18, 2017





spent his life savings on Lyndley’s, encouraging words and how they a beautiful BBQ truck. He designed made him feel. It felt good that it himself, with an enormous slow others recognized when love and smoker on the back end and T.V’s passion were put into the dishes Lynn Marks told me as a young on one side. He had a company in that were made. boy he would watch his mother Georgia specially make it just for Like most of us, Lynn didn’t and grandmother jump on his calling right away. He him. There are no other food trucks cook, for big that are anything like it. Once groups of people. got a job as an inspector in the oil completed, he drove to Georgia, and gas industry. He worked for He remembers paid cash and hooked it up to his the accolades they someone else to pay the bills and to feed his family, although he did truck and drove it back to the great would receive still dabble in the culinary arts. He state of Texas. Lynn had a dream of and the words of remembers fondly working at Blue- making great BBQ and he rode that encouragement we all love to hear. bonnet Café in Old Town Spring in dream all the way through. He started doing catering and the 1980’s. An eatery that has been Matt Vernon His inspirations took his new truck to events, like long gone and forgotten by most, were like magiexcept him and the memories and Bareback. Eventually, he wound cians of cuisine. He would hear; up as my friend and neighbor at the food that he created there. “how did you do this?” Bernie’s. There was already a BBQ Lynn became more mature and “What’s your secret?” truck at Bernie’s, so Lynn had to “How did you get this to come his kids grew up. but his love for come up with a back-up plan. He food, however, never abated. out so good?” started serving Cajun food that was A little over 2 years ago, Lynn As a child, he remembers the 24 MARCH 29 - APRIL 18, 2017 PUBLIC NEWS Lynn Marks own’s Lyndley’s food truck.

truly legit! I remember having the best Mountain Oysters of my life there. I wish he still served them! After a few months, he left Bernie’s and reemerged at Cash County Line. I knew how good his food was and wanted to check how good his BBQ was. I ordered some to take home and I was hooked. Lynn is a master smoker, yet if you ask him he says he’s just an old man who likes to cook. Lynn Marks believes in his dream of serving great BBQ and his food is what dreams are made of. He can be found often at Deacon Baldy’s 5447 FM 1488. Follow him on Facebook for his schedule and delicious specials he’ll be featuring. Tell him Matt sent you!


EVENTS continued from page 13 Friday, May 5 Madame Butterfly Houston Ballet 8 p.m. / Gates: 7 p.m. Tickets: $20 orchestra seating / Free mezzanine & lawn seating Sponsored by: The Wortham Foundation Friday, May 26 The Elixir of Love (full production, English subtitles) Houston Grand Opera 8 p.m. / Gates: 7 p.m. Tickets: $20 orchestra seating / Free mezzanine & lawn seating Sponsored by: The Wortham Foundation Friday, June 9 Matilda In Concert Houston Symphony David Newman, conductor 8 p.m. / Gates: 6:30 p.m. Tickets: $20 orchestra seating / Free mezzanine & lawn seating Sponsored by: The Humphreys Foundation Hats Off to Reading Celebration in The Pavilion Event Center begins at 5:30 p.m.

Saturday, June 17 The Suffers with the Houston Symphony Houston Symphony Steven Reineke, conductor 8 p.m. / Gates: 7 p.m. Tickets: $25 orchestra seating / Free mezzanine & lawn seating Sponsored by: Insperity





5210 FM 2920 StE 600 SprINg, TX 77388 (832) 823-5157

1522 Kingwood Dr Kingwood, TX 77339 (346) 616-5178


You’ve been picked!


Ken Petty Taco Carbon Plate Tularosa Southwestern Grill in Kingwood Metro North Houston Foodie page PUBLIC NEWS

MARCH 29 - APRIL 18, 2017



The Nukes Gotta Go: The Evolution of Comics in Cinema by Glen Ryan Tadych

Deadpool, Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice, Captain America: Civil War, and X-Men: Apocalypse all released within three months of one another; a heavy dose of comic book films for such a short span of time. Interestingly enough, the reception for these films is all over the place.

certainly paid off for them given the film’s worldwide gross of $763 million—Deadpool was 2016’s highest grossing film until Civil War surpassed it in May.

eight years now, starting with Iron Man (2008), and having such extensive character arcs from film to film over that span of time means when a friend vs. friend film like Civil War finally comes about, harder and deeper notes will be struck. In a sense, this is what comic books themselves are like, and it’s awesome to see this level of continuity finally finding its way into cinema. I won’t say the MCU is the first franchise to do this, as that credit belongs to Harry Potter, but the MCU is no doubt taking that continuity to a level beyond Harry Potter.

Moving on to Batman v. Superman and Civil War, it’s obvious the former was just an outright mess, and the film’s 85% drop In my beginnings with Public News, I in ticket sales after one week—a historic presented a so-so review of Avengers: Age Deadpool received an overly welcoming reception from audiences, presenting itself occurrence for such an expensive and of Ultron (2015), what was supposed to highly anticipated film—should serve as as a fresh approach to comic book films, be one of 2015’s biggest movies. It was more than enough evidence to support this but this had more to do with the titular definitely one of last year’s most anticiposition. And if that weren’t enough, actor character than the film itself. Deadpool pated films, behind Star Wars: The Force (Wade Wilson, played by Ryan Reynolds) Jeremy Irons (who played Alfred in BatAwakens and Jurassic World, but the end man v. Superman) said the film’s story was isn’t like most comic characters we see result was on a subpar level compared to on the big screen, and given the long wait “overstuffed” and deserved its negative Batman v. Superman was our introduction previous films in the Marvel Cinematic reception. fans endured for a proper adaptation of to Ben Affleck’s Bruce Wayne/Batman, Universe (MCU), particularly for the the character since the botchery of X-Men and for those who cared about Henry sequel to The Avengers (2012). Origins: Wolverine (2009), it’s fair to say Civil War on the other hand has had an Cavill’s Superman, this film was only his exceptionally superior performance, both second entry, in which case I don’t think expectations were extremely high. Now that we are well into 2016, several commercially and critically. But why most audiences had developed much of heavily anticipated comic book films have is this? If you ask me, I say it’s simply Expectations reached even higher when an attachment to his character. And when hit theaters, with and without favorable because Civil War is a better movie, gener- we’re talking about a climactic fight to the reception. The differences in both the films Deadpool officially received its R rating ally speaking. All the characters and plot death between two iconic characters such and their reviews have sparked numerous from the MPAA, an inevitable decision points aside, better decisions were made given the character’s vulgar nature. This as Batman and Superman, it’s difficult to discussions regarding the status of comic with Civil War in the editing process. Both properly channel an emotional response is a point when most studios will purbook films. Are they getting better? Are films were lengthy, but one could argue sue different directions to make the film from audiences when you’re only in the audiences getting tired of them? I myself Civil War had better pacing than its DC suitable for wider audiences, but there second chapter of your series. have had frequent conversations with a co-worker, an avid comic reader who will comes a time when doing this destroys the counterpart. project’s integrity. So I’ll definitely admit I Yes, Batman v. Superman shows us why be referred to as the Comic Book Guy, was glad to see Fox have the nerve to just Regarding the characters, I feel this is these two would go up against each other, and it’s in these discussions where I’ve but it plays itself out in more of a predictrecognized a pattern regarding these films release Deadpool the way it was meant to more or less self-explanatory, but Civil be seen, despite my not having much inter- War possessed the better character devel- able way because the filmmakers have and the industry. est in either the film or the character, and it opment for obvious reasons. The MCU to rush to fill their 150-minute runtime. has developed these characters in film for


MARCH 29 - APRIL 18, 2017



Another part of Batman v. Superman’s problem was that it just wasn’t about the titular characters, whereas if it had been and nothing else, the plot could have been simpler, possibly resulting in a more balanced movie. Characters like Lex Luthor, Wonder Woman and Doomsday were not needed, and when one thinks of the screen time wasted on these characters, it makes one wonder what more could have been done with the characters that mattered.

hand against Apocalypse because while we know the Avengers are going to split and face each other, Civil War’s story unfolds in a way where we don’t know who will succeed or potentially lose their life, which brings about drama and suspense and emotionally involves the audience in what’s transpiring onscreen. And with all that said, where exactly are these films going?

tries, with a heavily anticipated sequel due for release next year.

ing on what the Comic Book Guy said. I feel a certain type of comic book movie is dying off, meaning the formulaic, predictSo why is the MCU is so consistently suc- able type. Only comic book movies and cessful when most other comic book films, shows that tell deep, emotionally-involved barring a few notable exceptions, tend gain stories with these characters are going to little traction or flop completely? This is survive. It’s the only real way we members one of the many conversations I’ve had of the audience can connect with these with my coworker, the Comic Book Guy, characters. This is why Captain America: and his assessment is rather interesting. The Winter Soldier and the Marvel Netflix It’s hard to say just when the “comic book series Daredevil and Jessica Jones are held movie genre” appeared in cinema because Following his viewing of Apocalypse, the in such high regard, because not only are Now, we finally arrive at X-Men: Apocafor different people, there are different Comic Book Guy said (and for the sake of their heroes understood by the audience, lypse, a film which has the luxury of being starting points. We have Tim Burton’s context it should be noted he is not a huge but the villains are as well. For example, part of a rather questionable franchise. The Batman (1989) in one hand, Blade (1998) fan of Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight in Jessica Jones, we’re not following X-Men films have been down such a rocky in another, as well as various other works, trilogy, particularly the latter two films): someone stopping their nemesis from road since the eponymous film’s release but most probably credit X-Men (2000) gaining absolute power and take over the in 2000, having a strong start with the with cracking the code to the genre’s “Superhero film/show writers, the plot world. We’re watching a woman confront first two entries before going massively commercialization. X-Men was the comic does not have to revolve around an end of a personal tormenter from her past, standdownhill in the third and fourth. Origins: book film to introduce the formula that’s the world event. These nukes, portals and ing up against everything she fears. Wolverine is a film I find so atrocious, I become so predictable with these types apocalyptic plots have become so predictgenerally refuse to acknowledge its exisof movies, though we must remember able that they’re not threatening anymore. For comic book adaptations, we have to tence. X-Men: First Class (2011) saved the it was a brand new thing at the time. XDeadpool, The Dark Knight (which know why the villain chooses their course X-Men franchise the same way Batman Men showed films based on comic book should prove my non-biased opinion), X2, of action, and to a certain extent symBegins (2005) did for Batman after Batcharacters could be grounded in reality yet Civil War, Iron Man, The Incredible Hulk, pathize with them. This is why Vincent man & Robin (1997). Aside from the fact retaining the source material’s fantastic Daredevil, and Raimi’s Spider-man are all D’Onofrio’s Wilson Fisk in Daredevil James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender’s elements, all while being commercial to superhero films where the threat is not an is such a praised character, because we performances as Charles Xavier and Erik audiences on a mass scale. apocalypse. sympathize with him, understand him, Lehnsherr were unexpectedly outstanding, and even root for him most of the time. First Class utilized a simple plot featuring For the next 12 years, numerous films Smaller, personal threats will help explore He’s not just doing something frivolous simple characters with simple motivations, depicting various comic book characters the individual traits and personalities of like blow up the planet. He wants to save while also bringing a less grounded and hit theaters, some performing better than these characters. We learn nothing from, Hell’s Kitchen, just as Daredevil does. The more comic book atmosphere to the fran- others. But the game-changer came in the “Oh the world is ending, I should try hard two go about it in entirely different ways, chise, unlike the first two installments. summer of 2012 when Disney and Marvel to stop that.” But, “I’ll beat the armor off and Fisk’s actions directly affect the other finally debuted the long-awaited team-up of my teammate if it means I’ll keep my characters in the show, whom we also care X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014), film The Avengers. friend safe,” or, “ I’ll kill any and everyabout. It’s more personal and that’s what the sequel to First Class, sort of went in one in my path to get revenge and save my these films need to remain interesting. The the opposite direction by featuring a far The idea of doing a franchise featuring girl,” actually say things about who these fact Netflix is taking on these character more convoluted plot, yet still retaining an ensemble of characters, each of whom people are. arcs in the form of multiple episode arcs the strong comic vibe of its predecessor. would receive a solo introductory film only means we’re going to get more, and Oddly enough, this experiment worked before the grand finale where everyone Read the books, learn WHO they are as frankly proper, development, showing the well for the X-Men series, and served as finally meets, had never really been done well as what they can do, and then keep it subject matter is still very much relevant. an apology for mistakes made with the in live-action cinema. It was a huge simple.” This is what successful live-action comic direction of previous entries. Unfortunate- gamble that started when rights for some book adaptations are evolving into. ly, Days of Future Past worked too well characters were still controlled by different We’ve all heard the phrase, “Comic book because its successor, Apocalypse, wasn’t studios, and not too many people believed movies are dying off.” Director Steven It’s not about making a comic book able to top it in the eyes of most. it would pay off. Many thought AvengSpielberg even commented on this subject movie or show anymore. It’s about makers would come out and either flop, or saying: ing a thriller, a drama or even a comedy. A film like Apocalypse brings about prob- just be OK before fading into a footnote. Civil War and Jessica Jones work because lems because when you’re audience knows This wasn’t the case as Avengers quickly “We were around when the Western died they’re heavily character-driven dramas. the protagonists will face off against an became a smash hit, breaking box office and there will be a time when the superWinter Soldier works because it’s a politiapocalyptic threat before the movie is even records and lasting an entire summer cin- hero movie goes the way of the Western. cal thriller. released, you’ve automatically put yourematic season, an extremely difficult feat It doesn’t mean there won’t be another ocself into a corner. When it comes down these days. casion where the Western comes back and This is a time where these films and shows to it, one of two things will happen: The the superhero movie someday returns. have to rise above the stereotypes associworld will end, or it won’t. And with these Knowing their future was secure, Disney ated with them in the past. Without that, types of films, about 99.9 percent of the and Marvel took the MCU into directions Of course, right now the superhero movie we’ll keep getting generic, predictable time, the world spins on. So right there, some would have thought too farfetched is alive and thriving. I’m only saying that results. Some studios have wised up to you’ve made the more skeptical members in previous years. A film like Guardians these cycles have a finite time in poputhis and some haven’t, which is why some of audience ask, “Why should I care about of the Galaxy (2014) would never have lar culture. There will come a day when projects are an overwhelming success what happens?” In some respects, it can thought to be a success prior to Avengers’ the mythological stories are supplanted and others drastically bomb. Comic book make any characters’ deaths pointless, as release, and even upon announcement of by some other genre that possibly some movies aren’t dying, they’re evolving, and well as the entirety of the film. Guardians, many people including myself young filmmaker is just thinking about in the process of evolution, only the fittest were skeptical of whether it work. As it discovering for all of us.” make it through. The nukes need to go, We’re in a comic book movie era now turned out, Guardians is now one of the and allow depth to flourish. where a film like Civil War has the upper MCU’s most successful and popular enI agree with this to a certain extent, touch-


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Houston's Arts & Entertainment Digital Press March 29 - April 18, 2017