Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

All content by Hannah Smothers

Former Life & Arts editor leaves the basement for the big, scary world

Hannah Smothers December 5, 2014

On the days I came home from school crying because I felt like I didn’t fit in, my mom always promised I would find people like me in college. I’m sure I didn’t believe her. But if there...

Texas Sexes Column: Why I’m in love with my IUD

Hannah Smothers October 17, 2014

I spent last Christmas Eve throwing up out of my mom’s SUV window onto Interstate 10. Nat King Cole was playing on the radio, and, every few minutes, I rolled the window down to throw up the dinner...


Column: All the questions about HB2 you’ve always wanted to ask

Hannah Smothers September 19, 2014

I’m more likely to have an abortion in the next three years than I will be for the rest of my life. The statistics say women in my 20-24 age group account for one-third of all abortion procedures...

Upcoming album releases for the rest of 2014

Hannah Smothers August 25, 2014

August was filled with strange and exciting album release announcements. From Aphex Twin’s weird blimp over London to Taylor Swift’s Yahoo live stream atop the Empire State Building, several...


Andrew Bird and the Hands of Glory construct elaborate music at the Parmount

Hannah Smothers June 18, 2014

If Andrew Bird were to build a nest, it would be made from deep, richly colored wood and would be lined with a soft, warm interior. Light would shine in through a few holes and gently worn rugs would cover...


Explore the area around campus while avoiding the Drag

Hannah Smothers June 9, 2014

Living on or near campus, especially without a car, usually results in a lot of time spent perusing the restaurants and businesses on the Drag. But within two months of school, you’ll be sick of...


Many things have changed, but prom remains the same at West High School

Hannah Smothers April 17, 2014

WEST — One day before the anniversary of the West fertilizer plant explosion, Lauren Wernet, a senior at West High School, picked her red nail polish, left over from prom, off her fingernails. Wernet...

Mac DeMarco is living his own salad days

Hannah Smothers April 14, 2014

Wearing a large, white T-shirt, red sneakers and navy slacks, Mac DeMarco looked more like a boarding school runaway than a rockstar on stage at The Mohawk. But that, along with a nondescript baseball...


Mavis Staples and Graham Nash influence the civil rights movement through music

Hannah Smothers April 9, 2014

The Music and Social Consciousness panel on the first day of the Civil Rights Summit gave a nod to popular culture’s involvement in the civil rights movement. Mavis Staples and Graham Nash, two...


The highlights of SXSW Music

The music portion of South By Southwest is the most unpredictable aspect of the festival. Unlike traditional music festivals such as Austin City Limits or Fun Fun Fun Fest, where schedules are solidified...

UT alumnus Charles Mulford talks about his SXSW film premiere

Hannah Smothers March 9, 2014

Charles Mulford is a UT radio-television-film graduate. He is at SXSW 2014 with his latest film “Two Step,” which he produced with writer-director Alex R. Johnson. The film follows a directionless...


The Daily Texan’s guide to Austin festivals in the spring

Hannah Smothers and Lauren L'Amie January 13, 2014

Newcomers and long-time Austinites alike should know that springtime in Austin brings a festival to the city almost every weekend. From the uber-popular South By Southwest to smaller initiatives, such...


What to get for a hipster friend

The Wes Anderson Collection by Matt Zoller Seitz and Michael Chabon, Book People, $40 For the friend who claims “The Royal Tenenbaums” was based on their family, or that they would marry...

The best moments in culture from 2013

From Beyonce’s Super Bowl extravaganza in January to last week’s debut of the “Bound 2” video, The Daily Texan Life & Arts staff fondly recounts some of the best pop culture...


Thanksgiving alone in Austin offers opportunities for charity and pie

Hannah Smothers and Sarah-Grace Sweeney November 27, 2013

Whether you are from the City of the Violet Crown or you’ve decided to stick around for Thanksgiving, there’s plenty of fun to be had and mounds of food to be eaten. If staying in Austin means...


Lone Star Jedi not just another fan group

Hannah Smothers November 20, 2013

A small piece of a galaxy far, far away comes to Butler Park every Monday night around 6:30 p.m. “On the far away world of Dantooine, a Jedi knight observes the way of the force,” said Paul...


Fun Fun Fun Fest takes over Auditorium Shores this weekend

Hannah Smothers and Sarah-Grace Sweeney November 8, 2013

Fun Fun Fun Festival is here, and it’s still only one weekend long. This weekend, it is the grass at Auditorium Shores that will be ravaged and torn apart as the audicence members of FFF Fest fill...


Bill Collings builds world renowned guitars in the Texas hill country

Hannah Smothers October 7, 2013

Bill Collings knows everything there is to know about guitars — but he cannot play one.  Collings is the man behind Collings Guitars, an internationally renowned brand of acoustic and electric...

Alfred Hitchcock’s “The Birds” is still terrifying

Hannah Smothers October 5, 2013

For movie buffs, the month of October means one thing: 31 days of horror movies. With tons of horror flicks to choose from, The Daily Texan is going to be providing a daily horror recommendation. Whether...


Life & Arts staff writers and editors pick the best artists to see at ACL this weekend

  FRIDAY Underrated band: Savages Stage: Honda Time: 1 p.m. This young all-female post-punk quartet from London might be the most talented and electrifying act of the weekend.   Local...


From music charts to middle parts: ACL bands sport some wild hair styles

Hannah Smothers and Sarah-Grace Sweeney October 3, 2013

Austin City Limits Music Festival is a visual feast. College students walk around Zilker Park in cutoffs and bikini tops, the Austin skyline stands out against the violet sunset in the evenings and...


Neon artist helps restore Roadhouse Relics mural

Hannah Smothers and Claire Gordon August 30, 2013

Countless photos commemorating visits to the capital city feature the words “Greetings From Austin” painted in the background. The mural on the south side of Roadhouse Relics is as iconic as...

A guide to Labor Day weekend activities

Hannah Smothers August 30, 2013

In true overzealous American fashion, we have found plenty of ways to work on the one day of the year dedicated to not working. Back at its introduction, Labor Day was meant to calm angry workers after...

Fall event preview: concerts

Hannah Smothers and Sarah-Grace Sweeney August 28, 2013

James Blake James Blake began his career as a dubstep producer but has since released two full-length albums featuring his crystalline falsetto voice, piano and an echo of the electronic producing of...

Avoid football with these top bands

Hannah Smothers and Sarah-Grace Sweeney August 26, 2013

Sphynx For a good time, go to a Sphynx show. This synth-pop and rock band is known for both ridiculously patterned matching pants and being able to get a crowd dancing in no time. While they’ve...


How to avoid football

Hannah Smothers and Sarah-Grace Sweeney August 26, 2013

Contrary to popular belief, you do not have to don burnt orange T-shirts, hook your horns or be excited about football games at all to be a student at UT. The Daily Texan has compiled a list of anti-football...


Austin festivals offer eclectic, unique experiences

Hannah Smothers August 26, 2013

There are a lot of nicknames for the city of Austin, but perhaps the most appropriate one might be the City of Festivals. It is hard to spend a weekend in the city without happening upon some sort of organized...


The Sir James Paul McCartney Experience

Hannah Smothers May 28, 2013

How does someone who has grown up worshipping the Beatles reflect on seeing one of them live in concert? Are there any words too grandiose for describing the experience of seeing a knighted member of the...


A local’s guide to Fredericksburg

Hannah Smothers May 2, 2013

FREDERICKSBURG — Located about 80 miles west of both Austin and San Antonio is a small Texas town with a long German name. On any given Saturday afternoon in Fredericksburg you can see tourists...


Black bean tacos aren’t just for vegetarians

Hannah Smothers April 30, 2013

In Austin, “taco culture” is a real thing. Try going anywhere without finding tacos on the menu. Whether pre-wrapped in tiny foil spaceships of flavor or freshly made-to-order, tacos are...


Is puppy love worth the cost?

Hannah Smothers April 24, 2013

When my roommates suggested the idea of purchasing a dog for our apartment, my response was a resounding “NO.”  If you can look past the $500 deposit our complex requires for owning...


Comedy makes its way to the set of “Local Live” for the first time with Ramin Nazer

Hannah Smothers April 19, 2013

Although “Local Live"s schedule is typically made up of local musicians and bands, the KVRX special program is not just for music acts. This Sunday the show is taking a break from its weekly...


Being sick in college sucks

Hannah Smothers April 17, 2013

Throughout high school, I took pride in having a superior immune system.  My attendance record was a beautiful, clean slate devoid of any black holes. I never had to depend on classmates to provide...


The Bluebonnet Air Show brings the technology of old wars back into the air

Hannah Smothers April 12, 2013

Just northwest of Austin lies Burnet, a small and relatively quiet city. Churches dot the highways, Dairy Queen signs illuminate the sky and the thick stillness of a rural Texas town can be felt like syrup...

The 2012 cheating award for music goes to rap

Hannah Smothers April 9, 2013

Carrie Underwood’s 2005 country anthem “Before He Cheats” not only brought new life to karaoke bars nationwide, but also gave female victims of cheating justification for taking a baseball...


Local Live brings in some especially fresh talent for this Sunday’s show

Hannah Smothers April 5, 2013

Call them talented, call them unprofessional, call them interesting but whatever you do, do not call the three members of local punk-rock band Residual Kid cute. Residual Kid is made up of guitarist...


Milezo, mixed-genre band, emerges from UT

Hannah Smothers April 1, 2013

Back on the campus he called home for several years as an American studies student, Miles Kelley’s frizzy hair, tastefully careless slouch and crossed arms give every indication of someone who has...


Eclectic rap artist ZEALE brings beats to the HSM for Local Live

Hannah Smothers March 29, 2013

Up-and-coming bands sometimes list purchasing a van as a goal, but local indie hip-hop group ZEALE was born in one.  Valin Zamarron and Kellen Courtley Chumley were fellow ice cream scoopers for...


Con Olio Oils and Vinegars brings the flavors of Modena, Italy to Austin

Hannah Smothers March 26, 2013

The gluten free fad may still be alive and well, but a new food revolution could be stirring from a small store at Second and Lavaca streets, and it involves olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Jeff Conarko,...


Primal Static plays cohesive music despite different backgrounds

Hannah Smothers March 22, 2013

The story behind Primal Static is just like the story behind the film “Step Up,” minus Channing Tatum and all of the overdramatic dance scenes. The band’s two members, Houfei Yang and...


The best and worst of #SXSW music

During the five days of South By Southwest music performances, we managed to catch an estimated 100 bands between the three of us. We survived mosh pits at a punk rock show, terrible DJs, incredible lines...


SXSW veteran Ben Sollee ditches the van for a bicycle

Hannah Smothers March 16, 2013

While a common goal for most musicians is to achieve a notability that requires owning a touring van, Ben Sollee’s preferred method of transportation while on tour is his bicycle.  It would...

SXSW Thursday in Music

Hannah Smothers and Sarah-Grace Sweeney March 15, 2013

Day three of South By Southwest began with a trek through East Austin to the Pitchfork day party. We arrived at 1100 Warehouse sometime around 2 p.m. and immediately got free chips and granola bars. We...


SXSW Wednesday in Music

Hannah Smothers March 14, 2013

We began day two of South By Southwest with rested feet, purses full of snacks and renewed pride in the power of our wristbands after realizing getting into shows wouldn’t be as difficult as we anticipated....


How to do SXSW for free: Saturday

Hannah Smothers March 14, 2013

1. Waterloo Records SXSW 2013 Day Party at Waterloo Records parking lot, 12 p.m.–6 p.m. For Waterloo’s final day party, rock band The Zombies are stopping by the parking lot to entertain...


How to do SXSW for free: Friday

Hannah Smothers March 14, 2013

1. Waterloo Records SXSW 2013 Day Party at Waterloo Records parking lot, 12 p.m.–6 p.m. At Waterloo’s Friday set, indie-rock group Alt-J will be entertaining the parking lot crowd. Frightened...


How to do SXSW for free: Thursday

Hannah Smothers March 14, 2013

1. Texas Is Funny // Flannel Girl Records SXSW Label Showcase at Wardenclyffe, 3 p.m.-12:15 a.m. The Flannel Girl Records showcase at this year’s SXSW does not necessarily boast any bands worth...

How to do SXSW for free: Wednesday

Hannah Smothers March 14, 2013

1. Rock On Foundation Presents Sneakers and Speakers Day Party at Club Deville, 12 p.m.-6 p.m. Sneakers and Speakers benefit concerts have been occurring in New Hampshire since 2007, but this year is...


Slackliners brave great heights

Hannah Smothers March 7, 2013

The foot traffic on the MoPac Pedestrian Bridge has come to a standstill. Joggers have interrupted their rhythmic breathing to stand along the guardrail. Bikers have removed their feet from the pedals...


South Congress food trailers disappear

Hannah Smothers March 5, 2013

The iconic cornerstones of the food trailer lot on South Congress Avenue have abandoned their coveted positions, leaving nothing but a patch of matted grass behind. The neon cone that stands atop The...


Some organic foods may be worth the extra money

Hannah Smothers February 27, 2013

Organic food is not just restricted to grocery store elitists, people in yoga pants and health enthusiasts. While most college students cannot afford to make regular grocery trips to stores like Whole...


Closing time for the South Congress food trailers

Hannah Smothers February 25, 2013

— A column by Hannah Smothers —  Despite the technically temporary nature of the food trailers that reside on the lot between Milton and Monroe Streets on South Congress Avenue, the...


Austin street musicians fight to remain in business

Hannah Smothers February 22, 2013

“Welcome to the battleground,” Woodrow “Woody” Wentworth said as he led me right up to the brink of chaos. Just ahead of us was Woody’s personal war zone: Sixth Street...


Why run a marathon when you can watch a marathon?

Hannah Smothers February 18, 2013

There is nothing like a horde of fit, motivated marathon runners washing over the city to make a person feel inadequate.  Every year, thousands of marathon runners crowd the closed streets of Austin...


Listening to music isn’t just entertaining, it’s also therapeutic

Hannah Smothers February 5, 2013

Music will probably not save the human race or bring about world peace, but according to current psychological research, it does possess certain healing powers. From the prehistoric chanting of primitive...


Living in Austin is nice, but it ain’t cheap

Hannah Smothers January 29, 2013

Once again, Forbes has placed Austin at the top of its annual list of the country’s biggest boomtowns. According to the business magazine, Austin is the third fastest-growing city in the nation....


Vinyl records are making a comeback as consumers search for more authentic music

Hannah Smothers January 25, 2013

When Waterloo Records first opened in 1982, CDs were just coming of age, digital formats were nothing but a futuristic myth and vinyl albums and cassettes reigned supreme when it came to music sales. Now,...


Local 17-year-old rocks the electronica world

Hannah Smothers January 24, 2013

Like many 17-year-old boys, Eric Dingus tends to spend a lot of his time tucked away in his South Austin bedroom. Instead of toiling away in front of a gaming device, Dingus sits behind his laptop producing...


Local SIMS Foundation helps musicians with mental health and substance abuse issues

Hannah Smothers January 17, 2013

Austin is a city that cares about the preservation of its natural resources. Parks and nature areas dot the spaces between buildings and businesses and recycling bins line the sidewalks. However, the resource...


Sometimes when you feel sad, it’s winter’s fault.

Hannah Smothers January 16, 2013

If these are supposed to be the best years of our lives, then why are we all so sad? The return to school for the beginning of the spring semester is a bittersweet journey. The freedom of living independently...


Band fuses sounds, colors

Hannah Smothers January 14, 2013

Local ensemble A Is Red has managed to take what should be a displeasing cacophony of culture and transform it into an enjoyable fusion of sound and – for some people – color. The band title...


Former UT student revives the tradition of Christmas lights on 37th Street

Hannah Smothers December 7, 2012

One of Austin’s highly regarded Christmas traditions has been suffering a slow and steady death over the past few years. The Christmas lights displayed by the residents of West 37th Street once...

Dark Dark Dark emerges with new album

Hannah Smothers December 5, 2012

Folk-pop band Dark Dark Dark has emerged from, well, the dark with their third full-length album Who Needs Who. The band is currently touring after a brief two year respite spent recording, and perhaps...


Cathedral of Junk draws tourists, inspires visitors

Hannah Smothers December 3, 2012

Editors Note: The Record is a biweekly segment dedicated to featuring the people and traditions that make The University of Texas such a distinct place. Follow The Record on Twitter. If there...


The Continuums explain their origins while preparing to headline Just Us Friends’ upcoming Music Extravaganza

Hannah Smothers November 29, 2012

Local rock band The Continuums have big plans for the next five years, but they might consider getting a manager in the meantime. “In five years, I hope we’re headlining [ACL], playing...


Street art preserved amid graffiti

Hannah Smothers November 28, 2012

The stretch of Guadalupe Street that runs along the western edge of the UT campus serves as a condensed sampling of all things Austin. From the taco bars to kitschy vintage clothing stores, the Drag provides...


Vegetarians, vegans turn to local businesses for Thanksgiving substitutes

Hannah Smothers November 21, 2012

The traditional Thanksgiving Day centerpiece of a plump, shining bird covered in a thin layer of fat has been replaced by a lean slice of wheat gluten on many American dining tables. Vegetarians and...


People’s online presences influence how they create identities and interact in real life

Hannah Smothers November 15, 2012

Social networking interfaces such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are more than just communication catalysts. According to multiple studies, these websites, which many users check before getting out...


Psychology professor spreads meditation techniques, medical benefits

Hannah Smothers November 13, 2012

There is a calming stillness that resonates throughout the third floor of the Sarah M. and Charles E. Seay Building. Aside from the occasional drumming of footsteps or the rare interruption of a ringing...


Music and comedy fans brave storms of dust at Fun Fun Fun Fest

Hannah Smothers and Shane Miller November 5, 2012

Check out Daily Texan Multimedia's video recap of Fun Fun Fun Fest 2012. An army of bandana-covered fans marched through dust-covered Auditorium Shores for the offbeat Fun Fun Fun Fest to see the...

Fun Fun Fun Fest keeps its own beat

Hannah Smothers November 2, 2012

Rising from the still settling dust, or mud, of this year’s Austin City Limits Music Festival, comes the seventh annual Fun Fun Fun Fest, Austin’s premier “anti” music festival. “Nothing...


Fun Fun Fun Fest features big acts and underground artists, three days of music

Hannah Smothers and Shane Miller November 2, 2012

A comprehensive lineup of musicians and comedians will assemble at the seventh annual Fun Fun Fun Fest this weekend at Auditorium Shores. FFFFest’s four stages will run from noon to 10 p.m....


Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros to bring creative energy to Fun Fun Fun Fest

Hannah Smothers November 1, 2012

Indie rock band Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros has managed to keep itself somewhat removed from the mainstream avenue of the music scene despite its growing success. While a generation of starry-eyed...


KVRX and TSTV’S Local Live stays true to local bands while expanding its media outlets

Hannah Smothers October 25, 2012

The sprawling lines that were once a common occurrence in the College of Communication’s plaza have disappeared since “Austin City Limits” moved its taping facility to a bigger venue...


NASA video enhances UT Wind Ensemble’s performance of “The Planets”

Hannah Smothers October 18, 2012

Antiquated art meets modern science in the University of Texas Wind Ensemble’s dynamic performance of Gustav Holst’s original composition, “The Planets.” Holst’s most famous...


The Daily Texan recaps the happenings and bands at ACL weekend

Shane Miller and Hannah Smothers October 15, 2012

Out-of-town artists and musicians at this weekend’s Austin City Limits Music Festival received a good sampling of the unpredictable weather that is characteristic of an Austin fall. High humidity...

Austin City Limits provides opportunities to local bands

Hannah Smothers October 12, 2012

The underground of starving Austin hipsters is abuzz with claims that Austin City Limits Music Festival has become a commercialized nuisance that stomps on real local talent. Matthew Hines of local band...


ACL performance promises magic

Hannah Smothers October 11, 2012

Patrick Watson’s debut Austin City Limits Music Festival performance may turn out to be more of a magic show than a musical performance. Patrick Watson is not the lonely, goateed singer-songwriter...


New literary journal struggles to find footing

Hannah Smothers October 3, 2012

The metaphorical tug-of-war between print literature enthusiasts and tech-savvy e-reader junkies is an especially concerning issue for Daniel Mejia, the founder and editor-in-chief of Foxing Quarterly. Foxing...


Dark Dark Dark deliver eclectic mix of folk tunes with third album “Who Needs Who”

Hannah Smothers October 1, 2012

Slowly replacing the spandex-clad, ultra feminine pop stars of the early 2000s is a new breed of unabashed, bold female musicians like Nona Marie Invie, the feminist front-woman of Minneapolis-based folk-pop...


Fall 2012 Pecan Street Festival joins artists, fans in quaint tradition

Hannah Smothers September 28, 2012

If there is one thing Austinites love more than their breakfast tacos, it’s their festivals. Whether it be the three-day, hipster dance party of Austin City Limits Music Festival; the Rastafarian...


Whalers band sail past marketing, focus on music

Hannah Smothers September 19, 2012

There is a line that separates cool impartiality from blatant unprofessionalism, and local alternative-rock band Whalers is attempting to build their career by flirting with that line. Made up of five...


The realism of Emily Wolfe sets her apart from others

Hannah Smothers September 14, 2012

Emily Wolfe transcends the ranks of ordinary musicians. Already the charming innocence and genuineness that are all her own are apparent as she confesses that this is her very first time inside Caffe Medici....

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