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For the past four years, The Joy Formidable has toured to play their particular brand of brash energetic sci-fi groove that is hard to describe, but easy to love. 


Ritzy Bryan, the diminutive blond guitarist and powerhouse singer of the Welsh trio, called in from Atlanta to talk with The Daily Texan about the tour and why you should know where Wales is on a map.


The Daily Texan: How do you keep your energy up throughout the tour? 


Ritzy Bryan: Well, we have toured a lot.  The live side is a huge part of this band.  I think we’ve found a rhythm.  We have a good pace.  We know how to find a balance.  We have a really good time on the road and just make sure we put on the best possible show each night.  We’re old pros now.  This is our third year without much of a break from touring, so we’ve definitely found our rhythm.  


DT: Do you get a chance to explore the cities while you’re touring?


RB:  We always want to do that before a show, after a show, whenever we can. I’m more of that mindset where you should really enjoy soaking up different places, food and culture.  It makes for a better show, a better connection with the people, playing festivals.  We definitely want to get out on site, see who’s playing, see what the vibe is.


DT: What’s the weirdest thing you’ve gotten from a fan?


RB:  The strangest is when we were doing a show back in the UK, and they had obviously gotten pretty organized, because the first four rows of the audience were actually wearing masks with our faces printed on them.  And no one warned us! None of our crew guys said, “When you go out there, you’re going to be faced with something quite weird.”


DT: A few sites say that you are from North Wales, Ireland (North Wales is in Wales, which is part of Great Britain).


RB: We don’t get too worked up about it, but it is quite nice to be able to put North Wales on the map. All too often, we get questions like, “Is that in Scotland?” or, “Is that in France?” and it’s like, “No! It’s a fucking country, a really old country, and we’ve got our own language.  It’s a very old language.”  It’s kind of nice when you can put it on the musical map a little bit more.  


DT: Wolf’s Law has been really well received. Are you already writing songs for the next album?


RB:  We’ve definitely been writing quite a bit on this tour and over the summer, but we never put any pressure on ourselves to make the next record. We’re very much at peace with our own creativity, and how and when and at what intensity that comes, and it has it’s own natural flow. It’s been a great year for us, releasing Wolf’s Law and touring, and we’re just very excited about the future.



The Daily Texan: How’s the tour going?


Ritzy Bryan: Very well.  We had a little hiccup a couple nights ago. We had to cancel because of the weather.  That was disappointing.  None of us like to cancel shows, but it was out of our control.  Other than that, we’ve made it to Atlanta, and it’s been a really good first week.


DT: What are some of the more interesting things you’ve found while on tour?


RT: Anything and everything. I love nature, so, in any sort of urban setting, I always try to head for the greenery, the open space.  I love being in Austin and seeing the shows and the vibrancy of the city. And, if we’re here for a whole day, I always try to find a moment to go down to the river or see the bats going out. It’s nice to see all the flavors a city can give you.


DT: Which bands are you excited to see at ACL?


RB: I’ve said that this weekend is when we are seeing everyone, because we saw no one last weekend.  We were so busy.  So, I definitely want to see Wilco.  I’m going to get off stage and leg it over to see them.  I really want to see The Cure, and, if we get in early enough on Friday night, I’d love to see Queens of the Stone Age as well.  And, if I can persuade everyone to stay long enough on Sunday, I would love to see Lionel Richie.  It’s a great lineup.


DT: Do Americans mistake your accent for Australian? That often happens to my English friends.


RB: Yeah, actually, they do.  It does happen quite a bit, but we’re very pale, which I would have thought would give us away as not being Australian.


DT: Any injuries yet on tour? You’ve said before you’re a bit clumsy.


RB:  When I’m on stage, I tend to zone out.  I think it’s the sign of a good gig if you end up a little bit unaware of your surroundings, and you get in a trance or a bit of a bubble when you’re performing, but that isn’t always great for my coordination, which, even when I’m paying attention, isn’t always the best.  I’m pretty good at falling well these days.  It comes with the gig, though.  If you have some cuts and scrapes and bruises, it shows you were putting a bit of effort in.

No. 3 Texas Golf looks to repeat as Champions

The defending champion Texas men’s golf team came in third place in the Fayetteville region of the NCAA Tournament to advance to the NCAA Championship for the seventh straight season and 59th time overall.

The Longhorns (285-295-297) as a team finished at a 16-over 880, good for third place in the region behind Illinois and host No. 13 Arkansas.

Texas was led by senior Cody Gribble (70-74-75) tied for 10th place at 3-over 219 . Kramer Hickok (74-74-73) and Toni Hakula (69-76-76) tied for 18th at 5-over 221, while Brandon Stone 72-74-79 tied for 26th at a 9-over 225.

NCAA Championship play begins Tuesday the 28th of May and continues through the Second of June. 150 golfers from 30 teams will compete at The Capital City Club, Crabapple Course in Atlanta.

Six additional golfers with the best scores in the regional on teams that didn’t advance, will have the chance to be crowned individual champion along with the 150 on teams that made the field.

The NCAA Championship consists of teams playing three rounds with the top four scores out of the teams of five being counted. The top eight teams then advance to five on five match-play to determine the best team in the nation.

Last season Texas squeaked by Alabama in the championship pairing to claim the Longhorn’s first title since 1972. The Crimson Tide rank second in the country and are back in the field - along with No. 6 Washington, the team Texas knocked out of the quarterfinals in last year’s tournament. 

With the tournament being held in Atlanta, No. 8 Georgia Tech is the host and is looking for its first title since 2005.  Four other Big 12 teams made the field of 30 along with Texas: Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, TCU and Texas Tech.

While Wichita State’s basketball team aimed for a win in Atlanta, the school’s volleyball team pushed for its own Saturday in Austin.

After five sets, Texas pulled off a 3-2 win over the Shockers just before a national championship banner was lowered in honor of the Longhorns.

Rising senior setter Hannah Allison served to kick off Texas’ first game back in Austin after claiming the 2012 national championship trophy in Louisville. The Longhorns sailed through the first set with ease, as rising junior outside hitter Haley Eckerman launched six kills. Rising sophomore Amy Neal made her presence known early on, with three kills in the set and seven more to follow later. 

Texas continued smoothly through the second set, with incoming freshman Chloe Collins hammering the ball over the net and Eckerman closing the set with a kill. 

The third set marked a shift in play as Texas struggled with inconsistency and a string of sloppy plays. Wichita State earned point after point to win the set and force a fourth. The fourth set included nine ties and a continuous battle for points before the Shockers polished it off, 25-21. 

The fifth set began with a Wichita State lead until Eckerman grabbed the reins and killed the ball to bring Texas ahead. The Longhorns concluded the set with a 15-11 win to claim the game. 

Mayor of Atlanta Kasim Reed speaks on gun law reforms and explains his plans for the public education system and poverty reforms at an interview in KLRU’s studio Tuesday morning.

Photo Credit: Jonathan Garza | Daily Texan Staff

On Tuesday morning, Kasim Reed, the 59th mayor of Atlanta, made a special appearance on Overheard, a KLRU-hosted television series hosted by Evan Smith, editor in chief and CEO of The Texas Tribune.

During the interview, Evan Smith asked Reed pressing questions about gun law reforms, the present and future status of Atlanta’s public education system and poverty reforms.

While Reed expressed Atlanta’s great respect for the second amendment, he also voiced several precautions he said must be taken in order to protect the city and the country.

“What I care about more than folks wanting to have access to soft guns are the women and men and the 1,900 police officers that work for the system,” Reed said. “I don’t want them to ever arrive to the scene and feel outgunned.”

Since Reed was elected in 2010, Atlanta has seen the lowest number of felonies since 1969. Reed attributes this success to building the biggest police force in the history of the city.

“Crime reduction is not really rocket science,” Reed said. “You choose where you’re going to put your resources.”

In addition to hiring 700 new police officers, Reed chose to pool his resources into upgrading video technology and modernizing techniques such as crime mapping. 

While most of the interview focused on gun violence, Reed mentioned improving Atlanta’s schools by removing the school board so that the state could implement reforms.

“We’re going to recruit a superintendent like you would recruit a football coach for UT,” Reed said. 

Allie Sandza, public affairs producer at KLRU, said the show is expected to air March 21.

“Evan Smith, who hosts the show is super connected, so we were able to get the mayor while he was originally here for the Texas Legislative Back Caucus Summit,” Sandza said.

Overheard with Evan Smith is in its third season and showcases in-depth interviews with guests from a variety of fields.

Smith ended the interview by asking about the possibility of Reed campaigning for a higher office.

“Fighters don’t become champions when they fight too early,” Reed said. “I made a promise to Atlanta and I want to finish the job I have.”

Published on February 27, 2013 as " Atlanta mayor talks policy to KLRU". 

Atlanta-based artist Radcliffe Bailey takes relics from his family’s history to create works that explore the African-American experience. 

“I think that art comes from a place that’s pretty close to me,” Bailey said Monday night at the Blanton Museum of Art Auditorium. “My grandmother gave me about 400 photographs right before she died and since then I’ve always tried to make things that would connect with my family members.”

Bailey said each image to him is like a deity. Part of the relationship with his art is tied to his family and conversations he has had with them.

“I always feel like I live between two different worlds, things that are tangible and things that are non-tangible and the paintings deal with things that are non-tangible, so I’ve always sort of played by the idea that we set ourselves between crossroads, between life and death,” Bailey said.

UT professor Michael Ray Charles moderated the talk with Bailey. The talk was presented in partnership with the UT Center for Art of Africa and its Diasporas and explored the origins of Bailey’s sculptures, photographs and mixed-media paintings.

Charles said he is intrigued by Bailey’s photographs and the context in terms of how the images come about.

“These photos are all post-reconstruction, so your work poses as an opportunity for African-Americans to reconstruct images themselves as opposed to being constructed,” Charles said.

Charles said Bailey seems to connect with his images, with the faces and with the people.

“You use your art to reconfigure their lives, and I’ve never heard anybody speak about that aspect in your work,” Charles said.

Bailey relies on his memory for his artwork and says photographs were like his first form of DNA. He also he approaches his art much like a dance while in the studio.

“It’s very normal for me to be working on 30 different things at one time but I have to bounce around each one,” Bailey said. “I’m staying busy not just because I have a deadline, but I have to keep moving because I can’t sit on one page. I have times where I just don’t work at all.”

Bailey said to this day he couldn’t have guessed he would be an artist. He says he did art in college because of his inability to play baseball.

“I think when I first started making art it wasn’t about me,” Bailey said. “I see myself as a vessel and things come through me rather than become about me.”

NFC Championship Game a Matchup of Youth, Inexperience

When the San Francisco 49ers and the Atlanta Falcons face off in Sunday’s NFC Championship game, there are bound to be some players with wide-eyed expressions on their faces.  That’s because neither team boasts many players with much playoff experience, as both Matt Ryan and Colin Kaepernick earned their first playoff victories last week.  With so much at stake, how these teams handle this unfamiliar territory will determine who moves on to the Super Bowl.  With that, here are a few storylines to keep in mind heading into Atlanta on Sunday:

1) Can the Falcons’ Offense Fly High?

Boasting a fearsome duo at the wide receiver position in Julio Jones and Roddy White, Atlanta posses some serious talent at its skill positions on offense.  Oh, and they also have Tony Gonzalez, who’s still playing at a hall of fame level despite his age.  However, the 49ers defense, lead by linebacker Patrick Willis and defensive end Aldon Smith, is a physical unit that is capable of pressuring opposing quarterbacks at will.  How Matt Ryan handles San Francisco’s blitzes will play a huge role in this game.

2) Slowing Down Kaepernick

If the Falcons want to stand a chance, it’s imperative that they slow down 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who amassed more than 400 total yards of offense against Green Bay last week, rushing for two touchdowns and passing for two more scores.  What makes Kaepernick most dangerous is his ability to get out of the pocket and throw on the run.  In order for Atlanta to be successful, they need to keep Kaepernick stationary and contain him when he runs the read-option.

3) Fool Me Once, Shame on You. Fool Me Twice….

The 49ers were that close to earning a Super Bowl appearance last year, when they lost at home to the eventual champion New York Giants in overtime, 20-17.  Here they are a year later in the same position, only this time they’re heading into the Georgia Dome, where the Falcons went 7-1 during the regular season.  Having gotten back to within one game of the Super Bowl for the second straight year, will San Francisco get over the hump, or will Matt Ryan earn his second straight playoff victory having none before 2012?  Either will be a hot topic come Monday morning.


Although the Falcons have been basically unbeatable in the Georgia dome over the past several years, history has shown that teams can challenge them there in the playoffs, as they lost to Green Bay in 2011 and narrowly escaping against the Seahawks last week.  Despite Colin Kaepernick’s inexperience, he will turn in a good enough performance to go along with a strong outing by the San Francisco defense, and the 49ers will be on their way to New Orleans for a long-awaited Super Bowl appearance.

Score: 38-24, San Francisco

Former two-term mayor of Atlanta, Shirley Franklin, will be serving as a visiting professor at the LBJ School of Public Affairs this spring.

Franklin, who served as mayor of the city from 2002 to 2010, will be the college’s first Barbara Jordan Visiting Professor in Ethics and Political Values.

Robert Hutchings, dean of the LBJ School, announced Franklin’s position Tuesday. Hutchings said discussions about filling the professorship began last year.

“I had talked to some alumni, faculty, friends of the school and her name came early,” Hutchings said. “It was not a hard decision; Shirley Franklin is an inspirational figure. I see her playing a crucial national role later on.” 

Franklin was the first female mayor of Atlanta and the first African-American woman to be elected mayor of a Southern city. She was also president of the National Conference of Democratic Mayors and was selected by Time magazine as one of the five best big-city mayors in 2005.

The Barbara Jordan Chair in Ethics and Political Values was created almost 15 years ago but remained vacant until Franklin’s appointment. Jordan was the first black woman elected to the Texas Senate and the first black woman from the South to be elected to the U.S. House of Representatives. She also served as a professor at the LBJ School from 1979 to 1996.

“Barbara Jordan’s legacy was so extraordinary that it was hard to find someone to fill it,” Hutchings said, “which is why the position was vacant for so long.”

Franklin said she is humbled to have her name associated with Jordan.

“When I think of Barbara Jordan I think of integrity, intelligence, courage, persuasion and compassion for the poor,” Franklin said. “I am so thankful.”

Franklin visited UT for the first time in the fall of 2012, when she met with community leaders, students, faculty and representatives of the LBJ Foundation, a nonprofit that supports the college and the LBJ Presidential Library. Franklin said she is looking forward to her new role.

“Austin is a city that for a very long time mayors looked for best practices and innovation,” Hutchings said. “I am looking forward to see what the students have to tell me.”

Hutchings said that he is very proud to have Franklin among the faculty, although her role and the classes she will teach have not yet been determined. 

“More than a specific set of responsibilities, she adds an ethical and moral dimension to the school and the University that we didn’t have before,” Hutchings said. “We are still to talk which classes in specific she might even be giving.”

Franklin is interested in studying trends in megaregions, shaping environmental policy and fighting poverty. Franklin will also play a crucial role in the development of a new urban management program.

“I don’t have the typical credentials of an academic, but I have a lot of practical experience,” Franklin said. “You will find that I have a long history in the issues of fighting poverty and homelessness. There is a lot of expertise in government, and I would like to help build bridges.”

Junior economics major Eric Alanis, who is also an aide at the Texas Capitol, said Franklin’s appointment is a great opportunity for students.

“We have the opportunity to study with and meet with one of the best public administrators there is,” Alanis said. “She is committed to reform and isn’t afraid of big challenges: deficit, inefficiency, structural investment, you name it.”

Printed on Thursday, January 17, 2013 as: Prominent mayor to join LBJ faculty 

ATLANTA — The philanthropic arm of shipping giant UPS said it will no longer give money to the Boy Scouts of America as long as the group discriminates against gays, the second major corporation to recently strip funding from the scouts.

The UPS Foundation made the change Thursday after an online petition protesting its annual grants to the Boy Scouts attracted more than 80,000 signatures. UPS, based in Atlanta, follows computer chip maker Intel in withdrawing corporate support for the Boy Scouts.

The UPS Foundation gave more than $85,000 to the Boy Scouts in 2011, according to its federal tax return.

Federal tax returns for 2011 for Intel, the world’s largest chip maker, were not immediately available. Some media reported the Calif.-based company gave hundreds of thousands of dollars over the years.

UPS spokeswoman Kristen Petrella said grant applicants will have to adhere to the same standards UPS does by not discriminating against anyone based on race, religion, disability or sexual orientation.

The UPS Foundation distributed $45.3 million in grants last year. Petrella said she was not aware of any other grant recipients who would be affected by the new policy.

Petrella said the company had been concerned about discrimination by the Boy Scouts before the petition drive. 

Q&A: Brittany Bosco

Atlanta based artist Bosco, has risen to relative internet prominence with her new video, “Joker,” off her recently released “Let Me Go” EP. Like her array of talents as an artist, singer, designer, and musician, her music spans across genres in a self described, “experimental, feel good, textural, ambient, R&B blend” of music. The Daily Texan spoke with Bosco when she visted Austin for SXSW.

Daily Texan: Atlanta seems to be kind of absent from the indie scene. How has that affected your music?
Brittany Bosco
: I think that the music scene here is very rich, and continuously growing. The thing that people really don’t know, is what’s really going on here, and the synergy that’s bubbling. All of these great artists are starting to merge. We have a really, really good indie scene here. [Atlanta] definitely makes you work harder, especially compared to New York or Los Angeles, it definitely has this raw energy, and this grit to just get things done. I think it really helps my music a lot.

Daily Texan: Has being in Atlanta contributed to the more hip-hop R&B influences that permeate into your music, or do you think that is something you would have found no matter what?
I love rhythm and blues, and I think that rhythm and blues is a large part of my sounds, but incorporating different genres with that , and making a nice blend is what I like. Atlanta is definitely known for its rap scene. Being here, I’m just trying to turn that around and show it in a different light. As an independent artist you really can pick a voice and have a voice. So I do play off of that just a little bit.

DT: Your new video, “Joker,” blew up on the internet and was pretty graphic. Care to comment on that at all?
A lot of people love the video, and there a couple blogs pushing too far because of the race issue and lynching. People draw so much from the video. Originally the song was about a relationship between a couple about just playing the game. Doing what’s right, and going through the motion. You realize that things you despise about the person in the relationship, are the same traits that you have too. How can you hate or love them, or love or hate them? I wanted to push the visual aspect because of course you have domestic violence. It’s an issue that is continuously pushed under the rug, so I wanted to bring that to the forefront. I also just wanted to push the boundaries a little bit.

DT: Do you have plans for future videos?
Yeah, we’re gonna do one more video. I think we’re gonna do a video for, “It was you,” next.

DT: Do you have plans for what you want to do in that video
I haven’t really given it much thought, coming off the Joker video, and doing shows at SXSW. My brain is always working and creating

Fun Fun Fun Fest 2011: Black Lips Q&A

Matured from their younger days of vomit, blood, urine and nudity-ridden stage performances, The Black Lips have especially proven since the release of their acclaimed sixth album, Arabia Mountain, that there are more up their sleeves than outrageous antics. From their refined and bold sound and lyrics, to the their cleaned up front-page close-up in Spin's July issue, to the band's calm but powerful performances, the Atlanta, Georgia natives have finally found their center.

Best known for their hits "Bad Kids" and "Modern Art," Black Lips are no strangers to Austin, having played at Austin City Limits last year and South By Southwest countless times. The band will be playing on the black stage at Fun Fun Fun Fest on Sunday at 7:30p.m. 

The Daily Texan exchanged emails with bassist and singer Jared Swiley about good and bad times in Austin, working with music producer Mark Ronson and their Southern roots. 

The Daily Texan: This is definitely not Black Lips first time in Austin. Y'all were here in April with Vivian Girls for a show at Emo's and other times for ACL and South By. What has been your best and worst moments in this city? 

Jared Swiley: Yes, we are very familiar with Austin. My worst experience there was the first show we played at SXSW, which was probably 2006. I tried this old wrestling move called "icing" where you make a small incision on your forehead and it produces a lot of blood. I was drunk so instead of a small incision I made a huge gash and lost about a liter of blood and had to spend the night in the hospital and made my friend cry. On a good note, I at least had a place to sleep. The other guys all had to sleep in the van.

My favorite moment was when we played ACL I think and we got 200 hamburgers from McDonalds and threw them into the audience. People were throwing them and eating them. GZA, who is vegan, was standing by my amp onstage and got hit with one. It was the closest he had been to meat in a decade.

DT: You guys gained quite a following back in the day due to your crazy, out-of-control performances. You guys were inspired by GG Allin, but were there any other influences in regards to your live performances (Gwar, Alice Cooper, Iggy Pop)? 

Swiley: We respect GG Allin for his dedication, but we're like kindergartners compared to him. Iggy was definitely an inspiration.  My main influences are pure entertainers like Little Richard and James Brown and Chuck Berry. They played amazing music and really put on a show. I like Jerry Lee setting his piano on fire, I like Lux Interior giving head to the mic, we just wanna give it our all. You are up on stage and you owe it to the audience. Otherwise they can just go and see a 3-D movie.

DT: People and critics have been saying that your performances have been less "chaotic" and "more reserved," would you agree?

Swiley: That just depends on how you judge the performance. If you had seen us in 2003 or 2004, then you would have seen vomit and piss, but no music. Now we have a balance. We know how to make songs and don't have to resort to performance art techniques. The shows are still crazy compared to everything else that's going on.

DT: There's that infamous London stage invasion that was all over YouTube. The invasion reminded me of the hardcore punk scene back in the '80s with CBGBs and how audience members could jump onstage and interact with the band. Is that something you try to do with your shows when you can, or do you just see what happens with every performance?  

Swiley: I like that that happens. It doesn't happen all of the time, but it happens most of the time. You can't force it. It has to be natural. Primal instincts of the masses. I always hated when bands would ask/tell everyone to move forward and get closer to the stage. You can't tell them what to do. They do what they feel like doing, and if they don't do what you want then it's your own fault.

DT: You worked with Mark Ronson for part of your latest album, Arabia Mountain. How was the recording process and working with Ronson? 

Swiley: Working with Mark was absolutely magical. We just really clicked with him. It was everything we had done before and he came in and sprinkled that magic fairy dust on us.

DT: Have you guys already started working on your seventh? What can fans expect? 

Swiley: We have started recording our own demos and getting the pre-game on. We are always working towards our next venture.

DT: Currently, what is the band inspired by? 

Swiley: I hear amazing new music everyday and am constantly inspired by music made decades before I was born. I'm listening to the Lonesome Drifter as I write this and it makes me want to get back to my roots and do a country album. 

DT: Atlanta has such an eclectic music scene. Did Atlanta's musical culture have any influence on the band? Are there any collaborations you would want to do with any of them (say maybe an Outkast/Black Lips split)? 

Swiley: Growing up in Georgia had a huge influence on us. Country, gospel, soul, hip-hop — music is all around there. I grew up in a gospel church and that had a big influence on what I do. To this day I've never seen people freak out at a rock show like they do on Sunday morning speaking in tongues and drunk in the Holy Spirit. I've tried to recreate that but it's all in vain. That being said, doing something with Andre 3000 would be amazing. Or Goodie Mob. 

DT: Lastly, as Southern gentlemen, how have you guys balanced being the crazy punk rockers that you are to being charming men? 

Swiley:You can do both at the same time. We aren't crazy all the time. In fact we are probably the nicest guys you'd ever meet. That's just how we were raised.