Five stories that have North Texas talking: Macaulay Culkin’s band is coming to Dallas; UNT scores big in the Heart of Dallas Bowl; the top Texas albums of 2013, and more:
- Did you know that “Home Alone” star Macaulay Culkin has a pizza-themed Velvet Underground tribute band? Well, now you do. And his group is coming to Dallas in March. The Pizza Underground performs March 12 at Club Dada. The Dallas Observer reports that overs include “Papa John Says,” “I’m Beginning to Eat the Slice,” “I’m Waiting for Delivery Man,” “Cheese Days” and “Take a Bite of the Wild Slice.” Astute “Home Alone” scholars might recall pizza was featured in the 1990 classic. Culkin’s character, Kevin McCallister, loves cheese pizza. A pie is delivered to his house. He opens the door and brings it inside: “A lovely cheese pizza, just for me!” And now we present a grown-up Culkin as he enjoys a slice of pizza. More than 1 million folks have watched this.
- What were the top Texas albums from 2013? David Okamoto chimed in on the topic this week in a commentary on KERA. He gave Denton band Midlake the No. 2 ranking for Antiphon: “Guitarist Eric Pulido steps up after the departure of leader Tim Smith and helps the Denton band reinvent itself by expanding upon the ethereal grooves of ‘60s psychedelia and ‘70s progressive rock — with all of the hypnotic beauty and none of the bombast.” And No. 1 goes to Kacey Musgraves for Same Trailer Different Park: “Her East Texas roots lend an irreverent edge to her introspective tales of small town dead ends and wilting relationships, and her honey-coated voice exudes grace and confidence. As the 25-year-old cleverly jabs at indifference and intolerance on Nashville hits like ‘Merry Go Round’ and ‘Follow Your Arrow,’ Musgraves doesn’t just sound fearless – she sounds like the future.”
- The University of North Texas earned its third postseason victory New Year’s Day. Mean Green crushed University of Nevada-Las Vegas 36-14 in the Heart of Dallas Bowl. It was UNT’s first bowl win since 2002. UNT Quarterback Derek Thompson was named the Most Valuable Player after completing 21 of 30 passes for 256 yards. He also earned two touchdowns and no interceptions. It was practically a home game for UNT. The Cotton Bowl was filled with hues of green — 38,380 were on hand to watch the victory. [ESPN, UNT]
- Dallas-Fort Worth has a reputation for shooting off guns to ring in the New Year. But perhaps the tradition is dying. Dallas Police Department reports it received 256 calls concerning the firing of guns or the shooting of fireworks, The Dallas Morning News reports. That’s down from 1,564 in January 2009.
- “Don’t let your babies grow up to be teachers.” That’s the warning from Kathy Palomino, a first-grade teacher in Rowlett, who recently wrote a column in The Dallas Morning News. She says the pressure of No Child Left Behind means “the onus of student success has fallen on the teacher” and that teachers are now responsible for “cultural differences, economic differences and parental style differences.” Palomino writes: “So, after 20 years of being a teacher, all I can say is: Help. Write to your legislator about providing funds to lower class sizes. Give us more paid time to plan. Pay more of our health plan so that it doesn’t cost $675 a month to provide insurance for our families. Pray for us. Above all, don’t let your babies grow up to be teachers until the profession reforms. We’re hurting out here, and something has to change — for the sake of our children.”