AlHaj, who performs in Austin on Friday, is a former political prisoner whose music fuses Eastern and Western influences.
Rahim AlHaj’s music can seem bleak at first. His 2017 album, Letters From Iraq, is a mournful meditation on the violence wrought by the U.S. military invasion of his home country. So it comes as something of a surprise that … Read More
In this contemplative, vulnerable new documentary, a group of friends try to understand why their former classmate embraced radical Islam.
One day in the summer of 2015, Bassam Tariq logged on to Facebook to see a long missive posted by a former friend, Warren Christopher Clark. “I am now currently living in the Islamic state,” Clark wrote. “I’m sure people … Read More
How Graham Reynolds became Texas’ top composer.
How Graham Reynolds became Texas’ top composer. by Rose Cahalan October 14, 2019 Walk into composer Graham Reynolds’ East Austin studio, and the first thing you’ll notice, perhaps surprisingly, is the books. There are two whole walls of them: floor-to-ceiling … Read More
Plus: Weirdness abounds at Wichita Falls Walmarts.
HOOD COUNTY // A man was surprisingly calm upon realizing that a rattlesnake was crawling out of his pickup’s air vent. Instead of crashing in a panic, as this reporter surely would have, Bob Crowell silently filmed a video of … Read More
They’re a time capsule of the destruction wrought by the deadliest storm to hit Texas since 1919.
In a photo taken shortly after Hurricane Harvey swamped Houston two years ago, a black luxury SUV sits submerged in murky brown floodwaters. In the background, a yellow construction crane hangs over a half-finished building—evidence of the city’s insatiable appetite … Read More
An electrifying new documentary captures a forgotten conflict in the sleepy coastal community of Seadrift.
The new documentary Seadrift opens with a tranquil shot of the bay in the tiny Gulf Coast fishing town that lends the film its title. Frogs jump and a heron preens its feathers as the last of the day’s light … Read More
Plus: a matchmaking scam, a thief’s Beto O’Rourke cover story, and a footlong shrimp.
POLK COUNTY // An alligator stopped traffic while it lounged on a highway near Lake Livingston. KFDM reports that the gator was so comfortable, Texas Parks and Wildlife officials resorted to using “large towing straps” to remove it from the … Read More
We want your stories!
Fernando A. Flores used to hate the Texas Observer Short Story Contest. Year after year, he diligently entered his writing in the contest, and year after year, he lost — about five times, he recalls. “It was actually the bane … Read More
Weird news from far-flung Texas.
ATASCOCITA // A man tested the limits of Petco’s “all leashed pets allowed” policy by walking his 1,600-pound steer into the store. A Facebook video shows Shelly Lumpkin leading Oliver, a 14-year-old Ankole-Watusi, through the sliding doors as the steer … Read More