Texas Music Cafe: Rising Stars & Lone Star Legends

by Runako Gee

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Texas Music Cafe has a long and storied history of promoting regional and national musicians.

Waco is no stranger to live music with regular performances by local, national, and international musicians across multiple genres. As the city continues to grow, many are looking for ways to feed their musical interests. But what if you could condense a variety of genres into one place, as one experience, across multiple nights? Texas Music Cafe, the long-running television show filmed at different locations across Texas, is a multifaceted—and more relevant than ever—live music experience that bridges the connection between artists and audiences.

Now, the acclaimed music series is relocating to downtown Waco’s Cultural District, with its own studio and performance venue at 715 Washington Avenue. From this new base of operations, Texas Music Cafe will continue to offer intimate exhibitions of talent that encompass the unheard and undiscovered as well as overlooked music industry icons. Expand your mind through music and art as you engage with artists’ sounds, songwriting, and music passions in a high-quality performance setting.

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Between the Bindings: ‘The Promise’ by Damon Galgut

by Jim McKeown

The 2021 Booker Prize was awarded to Damon Galgut for his stunning novel, The Promise. This was his third trip to the shortlist, and his novels have been nominated for both the Walter Scott and Folio Prizes and translated into sixteen languages (so far). A film adaptation of his 2004 novel The Quarry was released in 2020. Galgut lives and works in Cape Town, South Africa.

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Between the Bindings: ‘Matrix’ by Lauren Groff

by Jim McKeown

Lauren Groff is an American writer, who has published two short-story collections and four novels, including Fates and Furies (2015), Florida (2018), and Matrix (2021). In a starred review, Publishers Weekly praised Matrix’s “boldly original narrative” and Groff’s “transcendent prose and vividly described settings” for bringing to life “historic events, from the Crusades to the papal interdict of 1208.” Kirkus Reviews added, “Groff’s trademarkworthy sentences bring vivid buoyancy to a magisterial story.”

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Between the Bindings: Marguerite Duras’s The Lover

by Jim McKeown

Maguerite Duras’s best-selling, highly fictionalized, autobiographical novel L’Amant (1984), translated into English as The Lover, describes her youthful affair with a Chinese-Vietnamese man. The story of her adolescence also appears in The Sea WallEden Cinema, and The North China Lover. Duras wrote plays, films, interviews, essays, short fiction, and novels, and her major works include Le Ravissement de Lol V. Stein (1964) and L’Homme assis dans le couloir (1980).

According to The Lover‘s dust jacket, “Marguerite Duras’s extraordinary novel caught France by surprise. Published in August 1984, it swept the country like a summer brush fire. By the end of the year, it had sold close to 700,000 copies, headed the French best-seller list for months, and won the Goncourt Prize.” Duras has written a mystical story of a young girl’s life in prewar Indochina in 1929. This unforgettable story will blow you away.

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Between the Bindings: Francine Prose’s The Glorious Ones

by Jim McKeown

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Francine Prose has written scads of interesting, sometimes bawdy, and frequently funny pieces of literature. In addition to The Glorious Ones, she is the author of the New York Times bestseller Reading Like a Writer as well as fifteen books of fiction, including A Changed Man, winner of the Dayton Literary Peace Prize, and Blue Angel, a finalist for the National Book Award. A distinguished critic and essayist, Prose has taught literature and writing for more than thirty years and lives in New York City.

One of Francine Prose’s funniest novels is The Glorious Ones, which was later made into a musical. The story, set in 17th-century Italy, is told by seven members of a troupe of actors: Armanda Ragusa, Brighella, Pantalone, Francesco Andrena, Dottore Graziano, Columbina, and Isabella.

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Between the Bindings: John Banville’s Ancient Light

by Jim McKeown

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Ancient Light is the final book in The Cleave Trilogy and is narrated by aging actor Alexander Cleave. In his Minneapolis Star Tribune review, Malcolm Forbes called it “a brilliant meditation on desire and loss.” Its events take place ten years after the second book, Eclipse, where Cleave’s daughter Cass dies. She’s a main character in Shroud, the trilogy’s first entry, where she threatens to expose a decades-old academic scandal.

John Banville has long been one of my top favorite writers. His stories are detailed, enthralling, sometimes comical, but always serious. His 2012 novel, Ancient Light, promised to be another absorbing story of love and heartbreak.

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