January 26th, 2012
Listomania: 10 Oscar-Worthy Houston Performances
In the spirit and tradition of giving gold-plated bald men with swords to folks we revere, the nominations are in for Houston’s Oscar-worthy performances. Drumroll please…
10.) Best Visual Effects: Freedom Over Texas
Not to be bullied by the Beijing Weather Modification Office, Houston’s Freedom Over Texas celebration spit right in the eye of a crippling drought. While other communities bowed to their weather-modifying overlords on July 4, FOT popped caps anyway. Smell like rain? Nope… smells like independence.
9.) Best Original Score: Literary Greats, “Black Blizzard”
The opening track alone, “Chinaberry Trees”, catapults this album above its peers in the consistently deepening stable of good Houston music. It’s the energy and riffs of an Almond Brothers performance melted over the complexity of something akin to Jack White. The Greats’ style only grows more pronounced as its higher tempo beats mix and mingle among brass, piano, mandolin and banjo. Setting them apart even further is their ability to remain unpretentious and loose with their tunes. “One More Thing” might be as catchy a song as you’re likely to hear. Their shows are cheap, their appearances often. Catch ‘em now.
8.) Best Makeup: Hubcap and the Yelper
“Kenny M” became infamous-ish when he went after Hubcap Grill’s supply-chain shortcomings via Yelp. After being called out and passing the peace pipe with owner Ricky Craig, he switched his one star review to a fiver. He now lists it among his most favoritest things ever. Glad you guys made up. (SWWDT?)
7.) Best Foreign Language Film: The Rice Box
Even in a city as diverse as Houston, the plight of the immigrant, no matter their origin, can be fraught with hardship. The advantages naturally afforded to U.S. “natives” often…wait a second- the owners are two guys named Arthur Wentworth and John Peterson? That can’t be right. Sure enough, while their names sound more like something you’d see on a billboard ad for a divorce attorney, they’ve seen their fair share of hardship in the battle for street food prominence. They may be speaking in another language with their grub, but the taste certainly isn’t lost in translation.
6.) Best Documentary Feature: Zach Jankovic, “The Astronaut’s Secret”
No, it’s not exactly out yet. Does that mean it’s not deserving of this award? Not with a premise like this. It’s the story of Rich Clifford, an astronaut diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease in 1994. You might be thinking he quit his job after finding out? Not so. He didn’t just cope with the disease, he put it in its place and continued flying about in space—business as usual with NASA fully aware. He now tours the country speaking about the necessities of awareness and most importantly, early detection.
5.) Best Director: Bobby Heugel
You still may see Bobby tinkering around at Anvil, but he won’t ever take it in a direction it shouldn’t go. Sure, he’s on to other projects that are shaping the future of Houston (OKRA / Hay Merchant / Blacksmith Coffee / Underbelly), but at least he won’t ruin Indiana Jones.
4.) Best Costume Design: Roosevelt
Men in gold-leafed dragon t-shirts and jeans with buttonable flaps on the ass pockets. Women in dresses made from trashbag material that you swear you’ve seen in a Zone D’Erotica window display. Hair gel. Let’s hope this is a period piece.
3.) Best Art Direction: Alex Luster and Tony Reyes “Stick ‘Em Up”
You’re probably all too familiar with Alex Luster’s wheat paste documenting endeavors featuring the art of Give Up, Cutthroat, Dual, 2:12, Eyesore, Vote Right, Garro and Shreddi. The film delves into the motives and inspiration behind the street art movement in Houston. Would the artists still create if their workspace were legal? Would anyone want to see it?
2.) Best Animated Film: Liberty Kitchen vs. Alison Cook
We could have let sleeping dogs lie, but did coyote show the same discretion to roadrunner? Besides, this little spat rivals any Warner Brothers classic. Whoever was the Brain behind Liberty Kitchen’s display against Ms. Cook ended up getting the finger…and it wasn’t a Pinky. Badee, badee, badee- that’s all folks! For now.
1.) Best Actor/Actress in a Leading Role: Gary Kubiak
We’re bestowing honors on Kubes just to make you groan like you did when Janet Gaynor took one home for “Street Angel”, feel us on that? Randy Quaid made Independence Day what it was while Bill Pullman pranced as the prez, and without Gary’s supporting cast, would he really be up here sobbing like Halle Berry? When Wade hears about this award, he’s gonna be soooo pissed.