Friday, January 30, 2009

Alleged Houston pimp faces prison for tax evasion

straight up, no ice. via Mary Flood, the chron

different pimp RIP Pimp C

Here’s a tax tip you don’t hear often: Don’t forget to report illegal income from prostitution and other nefarious activities.

That’s what Randall Bradley Jones, 42, of Houston, learned today after pleading guilty before U.S. District Judge Melinda Harmon to one count of tax evasion for failing to inform the IRS about $665,962 in cash he picked up from what authorities said were his six houses of prostitution.


IRS spokeswoman Robin Sabin of Houston suggests Schedule C for the small-business owner and the 1040 line “other income” for the free-lancer. She said this stuff just doesn’t show up on a W2 form.

“You should report your ill-gotten gains just like you report any legal income,” said Sabin.

She said a business name would be fine and that taxpayers needn’t spell out their illegal activity.

“It’s not that we don’t care,” she said. “We want to be able to identify the source.”

Sabin said that, unless someone is suspected of terrorism, the IRS has trouble sharing suspicions of criminal activity and would have to go through a judge to be able to tell another agency of its suspicions.

But, she said, tax-evasion cases involving illegal gain usually come to the IRS the other way — from a criminal investigation done in tandem with another agency or, as in this case, from information from other law enforcement.

“It’s like the Al Capone situation,” Sabin said. “He conducted a lot of illegal activity. It was hard to convict him, though. So what did they get him for? Tax fraud.”

You Missed It

diverseworks Tonight's performance of Pat Graney's House of Mind is sold out!

Words On A Page

Dear Friend of Lawndale Art Center,

Lawndale is conducting a three to five year Strategic Planning process, generously funded through the Warhol Initiative. The process begins with determining where we were, where we are now and where we want to go. As a Lawndale supporter, we appreciate your perspective and value your input.

Please take a moment to fill out this online survey. It should only take a few minutes. All questions are optional except for one, your zip code. Your responses will help guide our discussions as we plan for a bright future for one of Houston's best alternative art spaces. Please fill out the survey before February 12, 2009.

The staff and Board of Directors sincerely appreciate your time and dedication to Lawndale Art Center. We hope to see you soon.


Facebookery (Everyone's Doin It)

Thursday, February 19, 2009
6:00pm - 8:00pm
HPL Downtown Architecture Center Houston
500 McKinney and 315 Capitol

ArchiTypes and the Houston Public Library are pleased to announce the second installment in the series Authors in Architecture. Authors Jodi Wright-Gidley and Jennifer Marines will present Galveston: A City on Stilts.

Galveston: A City on Stilts
A story of the city’s first reconstruction after the September 8, 1900 hurricane that destroyed most of the island city of Galveston and took the lives of more than 6,000 people. Through 200 vintage images with photographs from the Zeva B. Edworthy Collection, Galveston: A City on Stilts documents the rebuilding of the port city and life around Galveston in the early 1900s.

• Epilogue by Lew Fincher, vice president of Hurricane Consulting, Inc., evaluating the successes of the permanent concrete seawall and grade raising of the entire city

• Galvestonians of the early 1900s who demonstrated a strong determination to rebuild their city in a way that reflects the national trend to turn to technology to solve human problems

Couch Potoato Ruffle

FYI: On Friday, January 30, the Late Show with David Letterman will be showing Bill Hicks' infamous banned Letterman set from 1993! Mary Hicks, Bill's mom, will also be a guest
on the show.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Yes Virginia, There Is An Audience

"so I grabbed the little sucker and..."

Lawndale gets up on blogger with a little help from intern Virginia Shaw, who is quite a sweet writer!

One really interesting aspect of the shows this time around is how well all the installations work together, creating a cohesive experience from the first floor to the third floor. Barry Stone’s photography starts it off by presenting works that work with many different ideas, particularly a tenuous balance between real and illusionary space, between natural and urbanized locations. There is also a sound component to Stone’s show, which helps tie his photographs together into a kind of narrative experience. His show moves nice into Kathy Kelley’s installation in the O’Quinn gallery, which has been entirely transformed by her enormous sculptural pieces made out of old tires. The way she has constructed and manipulated the material gives the work a sense of movement, so that it almost seems to become a living landscape, with mysterious orifices and tendrils and pods.

On the mezzanine, Patrick Renner has set up three telephone poles, adorned with ages worth of staples, pins, and nails. Each pole is equipped with mechanisms that, when moved around the pole, translates those nails and staples into sound, as a way to reveal a kind of secret message or communication that is intrinsically embedded in the poles. It works well with Kathy Kelley’s work, as both reutilize urban materials and imbues these otherwise inanimate and well-used objects with a new kind of life.

Another aspect of Renner’s telephone poles was his attempt to connect with childhood memories by turning the poles into music boxes. The mechanisms work in a similar fashion as old music boxes – turn an arm and the sound is created by the striking of a nail. This connection with childhood imagery follows on the third floor with Aram Nagle’s work. By referencing childhood pastimes – football games, toy soldiers, etc. – Nagle attempts to create a basic language to help define one of life’s most complicated events: war. In the project space Nagle has created a large play-battle field, complete with goals and yardlines and players – or, that is, soldiers. The soldiers can be wheeled around, and viewers are invited to create their own game with these elements.

Mutton-head Dutton

The author of "The Art Instinct" disses conceptual art! WTF, dude just needs to give a DP a blowjob and get it over with.

A painting for Tom Marioni, Julia Wallace and Patrick O'Doyle

Too Much Fun In Austin

Beware the Descending SXSW Crowd...

(Hacked construction sign on Lamar in Austin)

via Wooster

spotted by No Fear of the Future

picked up by Austin American-Statesman

demonstrated by I-Hacked

Not So Blind Item

Tim Dorsey, Omar Afra, Peter Brown, Jacob Calle, and Shelby Hohl

So we are sitting in the office working on the Spring Block Party lineup this evening when, lo and behold, City Council member and mayoral candidate Peter Brown walks in...

via Free Press Houston

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Beast With Two Heads

Dueling reviews of Elaine Bradford's "Museum of Unnatural History"

Kelly "Killer Knuckles" Klaasmeyer vs. Douglas "Da Bruiser" Britt

K. K.- Houston Press
"Museum of Unnatural History" Is a Pitch-Perfect Parody

D.B.- Houston Chronicle
Artist Turns Animal Kingdom Upside-Down

opening line:

Elaine Bradford crochets clothes for dead animals.
Houston’s newest natural history museum has everything you’d expect to find in an institution devoted to the latest discoveries from the animal kingdom: dioramas populated with taxidermy animals, colorful documentary photographs and a gift shop stocked with calendars, tote bags and snow globes.

K.K.-1 D.B.-0

Buried thesis:

Her new show at the Art League Houston, "Museum of Unnatural History," is reportedly the artist's farewell to taxidermied animals — she will neither clothe nor mutate them after this.
The warmth of Bradford’s humor matches that of her sweaters, and her fusion of the traditionally male-dominated sci-fi realm with the “woman’s work” of crochet is truly satisfying.

K.K.-2 D.B.-0


From the depressing dirty ocher color of the walls to the wood bases of the dioramas sporting gold letter labels, the installation channels the stuff of school field trips.
In the Sidereal, Mother Nature is handy with a hook and yarn.

K.K.-2.5 D.B.-.5

Name Dropping Ho:

Bradford even collaborated with a writer, J.D. Ho, to create a helpful "guide" to the collection and informational wall text written in museum-ese.
Bradford’s collaborator, J.D. Ho, a Michener Fellow in Writing at the University of Texas at Austin, came up with the pitch-perfect exhibition text, which aptly mirrors what you find in educational museums — complete with cheesy “fast facts” and “did you know?” blurbs.

K.K.-2.5 D.B.-1.5

Flight of Fancy:

Bradford's a talented and inventive artist, and the animals are as witty as they are labor-intensive, but there is also something kind of poignant about staring into the glass eyes of a dead stuffed squirrel clad in a lovingly crocheted bodysuit.
When you consider how much work must have gone into fusing the taxidermy animals’ bodies together and then crocheting their outfits, the pseudo-Darwinistic theories advanced in the wall texts start to seem like a more plausible explanation of how these creatures got here.

K.K.-2.5 D.B.-2.5

Last line:

If you thought she just did deer heads, this is the show for you.
Between Ho’s writing and Bradford’s creations, if you leave the Museum of Unnatural History in a bad mood, that may mean you’re missing one of the most important adaptations for survival in our world — a sense of humor.

K.K. 2.5 ... D.B. 3.5

Oh!!!! Britt from the Chron punches out a woman!!! For shame Britt, for shame.

Who do you think takes the cake???

“We are pleased to raise the bar on the auction business in Houston.”


Mexico City's Louis C. Morton auction house has just bought out Houston’s Kuehnert’s Auction Gallery to bring Mexican collectors' art, antiques and artifacts to the States. The auction house will also add modern and contemporary art to its auctions for the first time.

Caviar Dreams and a Fishstick Budget

Bill Arning, new CAMH director and Muppet extraordinaire

Britt from the Chron
has a quick blurb of status quo from the new Contemporary Arts Museum director, but this bit of a Boston blog from 2006 seems more enlightening. Maybe Arning will keep up the pencil scratchin' down here in Screwston.

...I'm stalking Bill Arning. I've never asked him, but I think Bill just loves art. He doesn't curate exhibitions or write about exhibitions because the market demands it, he writes and curates because when he sees something he likes, he reacts to it by having to do something ie. curate it into a show, write about it, talk about it, do a dance, something, anything.

That's why the work he does is so intelligent and well done. It's genuine; it's not forced like some other critics and curators who you can tell are working because they want recognition for how smart they are, not because they are actually reacting to the artwork. I love going to hear Bill talk because you can tell he's so excited to talk about artwork that he can barely contain himself. Like a vampire, I feed off of that excitement and it makes me have to go make more of my own work.

-Steve Aishman

Arning theme song

Galveston Architecture (Walking Around in the Sun)




















=Don't forget Galveston=

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Isabella Court: A Grand 'Ol Enigma

pic by LU

Isabella Court Theme Song

Cathy Matusow says the Chron's Corilynn Shropshire's got a little 'splainin' to do when it somes to romanticizing the merits of Isabella Court in Midtown. Let's juxtapose, shall we?

When Vernon Caldera walked through Isabella Court’s ornate wrought-iron gates and spotted the courtyard that seemed magically transplanted from his grandmother’s hometown in Nicaragua, he gasped.

Then he fell in love.

The picturesque 80-year-old building in Midtown, a Spanish Colonial with original porcelain sinks and no-two-are-the-same apartments, “had me at hello,” he said.

When I first heard the Chronicle was doing a story on the building I live in, Isabella Court, I thought, "Oh great, is rent going up now?"

For years, the weekend scene in the courtyard might be tango dancers or mariachis, costumed guests grooving to live music with chatter and liquor flowing into the wee hours.

But in the spirit of full disclosure, just so people know what they're getting into, here's a few things I've seen simply looking out my very window:

-- A person smoking what appeared to be crack (twice);

-- Drunk men lounging by the Dumpster, one of them seemingly dead (he wasn't, he was just extremely wasted, as the cops ascertained);

Or talk to artist Amanda De Rosario, who moved out in 2005 after four years of throwing rocking bashes, including the “treintañera, or quinceañera times two” she hosted for her 30th birthday. The party featured a piñata; De Rosario, decked out in a pale-blue dress and tiara, danced all night to a live band.

“My parties got too big,” she said, giggling. “It got to the point that maybe it was a good idea that I left.”

-- A rotund little man banging on a green Ford Explorer with a shovel (I called the cops and he was arrested; I felt bad because I realized he was mentally ill); and

-- A couple in a domestic dispute pulling over to scream and shove at each other (hey, this was just last night!).

There have also been homeless people sleeping in the front doorway, and, in the area, an insane masturbating man outside the downstairs galleries, anal sex in the park across the street, and a couple of drug deals done quite out in the open.

Weekends now are more a movable feast — cocktails before an evening out, well-appointed dinner parties for 10 or casual evenings in, spent popping from one apartment to the next. There’s a natural sense of community among Isabella residents, who say they share a special connection.

With many of the windows and doors of the 15-unit residence overlooking the courtyard (and, in some cases, offering peeks into neighbors’ apartments) everyone knows everyone else, and they always know when someone’s home. With residents frequently calling on one another, Isabella is a haven for a certain type of animal — a social one. Hermits and introverts need not apply.

Not to mention the recent graffiti problem.

The building long has been home to dancers and opera singers, artists and architects. They’re drawn to its retro glamour: peeling paint on the walls, arched doorways in the arcade, winding staircases and diminutive iron balconies that look down on the courtyard’s broken-tile mosaic floor. Designed by architect William Bordeaux in 1929, the building is tucked away between Main and Fannin, the apartments sitting above two art galleries and some vacant commercial space.

Yesterday, after the story appeared, I was accosted by a nice family on my way to run an errand. "We read about this place in the Chronicle," the mom told me as I was walking to my car. "We were wondering, could you let us in?"

“It’s the exact same people here,” said Caldera, “just different manifestations of ourselves.”

Groves said it was “like a ghost pulling them in.”

“It’s the courtyard,” he said. “It’s kind of magical. It’s like looking at another time.”

In the article's comments section online, one mother writes, "My daughter is about to start college at the Art Institute of Houston, and I think she'd fit right in there. If I put her name on the waiting list, do you think there'd be an opening by Summer 2012 when she graduates?"

Yes, it is a beautiful building, and I love it. As the story says, it's "magical," and the tenants and management are wonderful.

Uno Mas?

Looks like the Menil Collection's Drawing Institute has found an architect. I'm not sure what these illustrations show, since it looks like the Renzo Piano designed Menil Collection in Second Life, but I guess David Chipperfield will build something.