Listen to Austin 360 Radio

Von Trapps, Pink Martini, ACL Hall of Fame and more

Michael Barnes
mbarnes@statesman.com

MUSIC: Two years ago, they were still the Von Trapp kids. Now, with the adroit help of Pink Martini, they are the Von Trapps. The four Montana-raised great-grandchildren of Maria and the Captain toured the globe for years singing Austrian folk songs and selections from “The Sound of Music” in four-part harmony. All that practice paid off. Spliced into the supremely eclectic Portland-based Pink Martini act at ACL Live on Sunday, the foursome, dressed in trim cocktail attire, presented original songs and deft takes on classical, swing and world music. They’ve moved from the Austin area to Oregon to be near their mentors, and who wouldn’t? The big-band Pink Martini, led by pianist Thomas Lauderdale and featuring the lush-voiced China Forbes, can take any genre music that, in other hands, would end up kitsch and turn it into clever art and satisfying entertainment. (Both groups have issued new CDs. Can’t wait.)

MUSIC 2: Nelson, Vaughn first to be inducted in ACL Hall of Fame. From Peter Blackstock’s story in the Statesman: “Willie Nelson and Stevie Ray Vaughan & Double Trouble will become the first inductees into the new Austin City Limits Hall of Fame at an April 26 ceremony in the long-running television show’s original studio on the University of Texas campus. Also being inducted are two non-musicians who played crucial roles in the development of “Austin City Limits”: Bill Arhos, who created the show, and the late Longhorns football coach Darrell Royal, who was an ardent supporter of the program in its early years. Nelson, Arhos and Double Trouble members Chris Layton, Tommy Shannon and Reese Wynans will attend the induction. Performing in their honor will be Lyle Lovett, Buddy Guy, Emmylou Harris, Robert Randolph, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Mike Farris, Doyle Bramhall II and Lukas Nelson. Recently retired UT football coach Mack Brown also will participate in the induction ceremony. Admission to the event will be by invitation only. http://shar.es/BjOOc(This going to one coveted ticket.)

CITY: Austin’s rebuilding boom. From Shonda Novak and Lori Hawkins’ story in the Statesman: “Imagine you’re a former Austin resident who has been away for 10 years, and you’re back in town for a visit. It’s a safe bet you almost wouldn’t recognize the place. In the past decade — and accelerating in the past few post-recession years — Austin has been in a rebuilding boom that is changing not only the aesthetic and architectural character of the city but the way people live, work, shop and play here. Spurred by the area’s booming economy and rapid population growth — and encouraged by city leaders’ desire to create more dense, urban housing — Austin has added $13.3 billion in new residential, office and retail development to the tax rolls since 2005, according to the Travis Central Appraisal District. Towering new high-rises have sprouted downtown in the past few years after a hiatus during the recession. Elsewhere around town, older buildings have been torn down to make way for new mixed-use developments. The new construction is perhaps most noticeable in and around downtown, where major redevelopment is occurring at the decommissioned Seaholm Power Plant and Green Water Treatment Plant sites, and along South Lamar Boulevard, South First Street, Barton Springs Road and East Riverside Drive, where new high-end apartment complexes are replacing older, moderately priced housing and aging strip centers. http://shar.es/BjUyI(It doesn’t stop.)

HEALTH: The geography of health. From Noam N. Levey’s story in the Chicago Tribune: “Patients begin lining up outside Capitol City Family Health Center before the doors open at 7:30 a.m. The clinic, on a ragged stretch of the boulevard that separates the black and white sections of town, is a refuge for thousands of this old southern capital’s poorest and sickest residents. They come seeking relief from diabetes, heart disease and other debilitating illnesses. Twelve hundred miles up the Mississippi River, in the shadow of a public housing tower in St. Paul, Minn., the waiting room at the Open Cities Health Center also fills daily with the city’s poorest. But the patients in Minnesota receive a very different kind of care, which leads to very different outcomes. They are more likely to get recommended checkups and cancer screenings. If very ill, they can usually see specialists. Their doctors rely on sophisticated data to track results. http://shar.es/BjQCC(Eye-opening.)