'Welcome to Dollyverse': Dolly Parton performs classic hits on the blockchain in action-packed SXSW show
Dolly Parton may not have a 9-5, but she still knows how to make a livin'.
In true Austin fashion, the 76-year-old country music star live streamed her first SXSW appearance through the blockchain, launched a Web3 platform dubbed the "Dollyverse," spoke with famous author James Patterson about their new book-slash-album "Run, Rose, Run," and performed new and old hits at Austin City Limits Live Friday night.
Parton drew both laughs and tears as she promoted the new Dollyverse, which is powered through Blockchain Creative Labs, and told her life story with wisdom, wit and plenty of song breaks.
Parton, Patterson and Britton discussed the duo's new album-and-book combo, which is soon to be a Reese Witherspoon movie. (Claire Partain/Austonia)
The singer took to her first SXSW stage with Connie Britton of the Austin-filmed Friday Night Lights fame and a rhinestone-clad Patterson, who has sold over 400 million book copies in his career.
Parton said Patterson does more than complement her outfits—the two became fast friends as they completed the yearlong project.
"I heard (Patterson) wanted to write a book with me, and I just thought, 'Why?'" Parton joked. "He just seemed like a new old friend..pretty much we're both crazy, we've got a warped sense of humor and we're both creative, so we got the job done in short order."
Though they don't collaborate well musically—Patterson's talents don't translate to good singing, Parton said—the two are proud of the book, which was released alongside her 12-song album of the same name earlier this month. The story mirrors Parton's own life as a young singer-songwriter traveling to Nashville at first but quickly delves into a darker, Patterson-twinged thriller.
"(Dolly) said to make it scarier," Patterson said. "I've never heard of anything like it before, a book with a soundtrack."
Both Patterson and Parton marveled at trying something new at their not-so-young ages as they revealed that a movie adaptation for "Run, Rose Run" is in the works with Reese Witherspoon.
"We both grew up in small towns, smaller than small," Patterson said. "And I consider it a blessing that I still look at the world as though I was the kid in that town. So now I'm here with Dolly Parton, holy shit!"
After singing an "Happy Birthday" rendition to Patterson and taking a few crowd questions, Parton switched into another country-glam outfit and took to the stage once more to sing three songs off the new album: ""Big Dreams and Faded Jeans," "Snakes in the Grass" and the very well-received "Woman Up (And Take It Like a Man)."
As if fusing the elements of "Run, Rose Run," Parton then took the crowd through her biggest hits with storytelling and song, weaving razor-sharp punchlines with chill-inducing life lessons and choir hymns. Parton, who grew up "Holy Rollers" Pentecostal in a poor Tennessee family with a dozen siblings, talked about discovering her love for music with her grandfather in the church and learning from her father, who couldn't read or write but was the smartest man she knew.
Parton honored her mother, too, with a story about the now-famous patchwork coat her mother made for her behind the classic hit "Coat of Many Colors" before quickly pivoting to the tale of the infamous auburn-haired bank teller her husband flirted with, inspiring the hit song "Jolene."
Parton's big blonde hair never wavered as she finished the show with the worker's anthem "9-5" and classic "I Will Always Love You."
"If somebody walks by without a smile, just give them one of yours," Parton told the crowd, and concertgoers left with that smile and a free limited-edition rose NFT to boot as they walked (or logged out) of the Dollyverse to finish the show.
- SXSW 2022: Pete Buttigieg rides on Austin public transit, talks ›
- Austonia's complete guide to the local musicians at SXSW 2022 ... ›
- ICON debuts 3D-printed House Zero ahead of SXSW tours - austonia ›
- 11 unofficial SXSW events that anyone can attend - austonia ›
- SXSW plans for hybrid festival, announces round of speakers ... ›
- 5 more unofficial free SXSW events to close out the festival - austonia ›
- SXSW 2022 live blog day 1: Future of DAOs, Banksy in Austin ... ›
- Broken Spoke to celebrate 57th birthday, late owner - austonia ›
Flyers are less satisfied with the Austin-Bergstrom International Airport than a year ago, a new study shows.
Research firm J.D. Power placed ABIA at No. 15 on a list ranking overall customer satisfaction at large airports, a slip from last year’s spot at No. 7. Other Texas airports secured rankings ahead of Austin, with Dallas Love Field at third, Houston Hobby at eight, and San Antonio International Airport at ninth.
Dallas/Ft. Worth ranked eight in the "mega airport" category.
The study examined airports based on the following factors: terminal facilities; airport arrival/departure; baggage claim; security check; check-in/baggage check; and food, beverage and retail.
On a 1,000-point scale, Austin-Bergstrom received 785 points this year compared to its score of 819 in 2021.
Passenger experiences at Austin-Bergstrom have been influenced by population growth in Central Texas, which has brought record traffic and longer wait times at TSA. And a recent power outage at Austin-Bergstrom caused flight delays. Michael Taylor, travel intelligence lead at J.D. Power., said that consumer satisfaction with flying has decreased overall.
“The combination of pent-up demand for air travel, the nationwide labor shortage and steadily rising prices on everything from jet fuel to a bottle of water have created a scenario in which airports are extremely crowded and passengers are increasingly frustrated—and it is likely to continue through 2023,” Taylor said.
Bailey Grimmett, a spokesperson for ABIA, commented on the ranking.
“We're grateful that AUS customers continue to rank our airport above average, especially during this year that saw air travel disruption here in Austin and across the globe as airports, airlines and the air travel industry continued navigating the impacts of the pandemic,” Grimmett said. “We look forward to delivering near-term and long-term improvements through our Journey With AUS program to improve the passenger experience.”
That program is slated to bring a new midfield concourse to increase gates and connect to the Barbara Jordan Terminal through an underground connector tunnel.
- July was Austin-Bergstrom airport's fifth-busiest month ever amid ... ›
- Complete guide to Austin-Bergstrom International Airport - austonia ›
- New changes coming to the Austin Airport in 2022 - austonia ›
- Austin-Bergstrom International Airport sees high traffic - austonia ›
- Traffic plans as Austin airport expects 20M people this year - austonia ›
- Busy Memorial Day travel season starts smoothly at the airport ... ›
- Austin airport will close South Terminal as part of expansion - austonia ›
By Jonathan Lee
The Planning Commission was split Tuesday on whether to help save an eclectic lakefront estate from demolition by zoning it historic amid concerns over tax breaks and the likelihood that a previous owner participated in segregation as a business owner.
The property in question, known as the Delisle House, is located at 2002 Scenic Drive in Tarrytown. The main house, with Spanish and Modern influences, was built in 1923 by Raymond Delisle, an optician. A Gothic Revival accessory apartment was built in 1946. The current owner applied to demolish the structures in order to build a new home.'
Historic preservationists, for their part, overwhelmingly support historic zoning, which would preserve the buildings in perpetuity. The Historic Landmark Commission unanimously voted to initiate historic zoning in July, citing architectural significance, landscape features and association to historic figures. City staffers recommend historic zoning, calling both structures one-of-a-kind examples of vernacular architecture.
Tarrytown neighbors have also banded together to stop the demolition. Many have written letters, and a few spoke at the meeting. “How could anyone buy this property with the intent of destroying it?” Ila Falvey said. “I think it’s an architectural treasure.”
Michael Whellan, an attorney representing the property owner, said that the claims made by preservationists are shaky. The buildings are run down, he said, and have had substantial renovations. A structural engineer hired by the owner said any attempt at preservation would involve tearing down and rebuilding – an undertaking Whellan said would likely cost millions.
Whellan also argued that any historical significance derived from the property’s association with Delisle and longtime owner C.H. Slator is dubious. “These men are not noted for any civic, philanthropic or historic impact,” he said.
What’s more, according to Whellan, Slator likely participated in segregation as the owner of the Tavern on North Lamar Boulevard between 1953 and 1960.
A city staffer, however, said she found no evidence to support the claim. “We would never landmark a property where a segregationist lived, or there was a racist person,” Kimberly Collins with the Historic Preservation Office said.
Commissioner Awais Azhar couldn’t support historic zoning in part due to lingering uncertainty about Slator. “Focusing on that factor is not here to disparage an individual or family. It is not about playing the race card. This is an important assertion for us to consider as Planning commissioners,” Azhar said.
Commissioner Carmen Llanes Pulido said that allegations of racism should come as no surprise. “We’re talking about white male property owners in the 1950s, in Austin, on the west side – and of course they were racist,” she said. But she argued that allowing the house to be demolished based on these grounds does nothing to help people of color who have been harmed by racism and segregation.
The question of tax breaks was also controversial. Michael Gaudini, representing the property owner, said that the tax breaks associated with historic zoning would exacerbate inequality by shifting property tax burdens to less affluent communities. City staffers estimate that the property, appraised at $3.5 million, would get either a $8,500 or $16,107 property tax break annually, depending on whether a homestead exemption is applied.
Commissioner Grayson Cox preferred the commission focus not on tax breaks but on whether the structures merit preservation. “To me, nothing in the historic preservation criteria lists, is this person deserving of a tax break or not?”
Azhar, on the other hand, said he plans to propose a code amendment getting rid of city property tax breaks for historic properties.
The commission fell one vote short of recommending historic zoning, with six commissioners in support and three opposed. Azhar and commissioners Claire Hempel and Greg Anderson voted against.
The odds of City Council zoning over an owner’s wishes are slim. Nine out of 11 members must vote in favor, and there have only been a handful of such cases over the past several decades.