Backstage photo of Matthew McConaughey at Willie Nelson reminds us why he is Austin’s spirit animal

Austin loves McConaughey like McConaughey loves Austin.

Matthew McConaughey introduces Willie Nelson before his performance at The Austin City Limits Music Festival on October 9, 2016.  (Tamir Kalifa for American-Statesman)
Matthew McConaughey introduces Willie Nelson before his performance at The Austin City Limits Music Festival on October 9, 2016. (Tamir Kalifa for American-Statesman)

In the latest installment in the love story between the two, a picture of Matthew McConaughey backstage at Willie Nelson’s ACL show balancing the country music legend’s famed, stuffed armadillo mascot on his knee (donning a burnt orange T-shirt, of course) reminds us of why the actor is basically the city’s mascot.

The picture was posted to a “That’s #SoAustin” Facebook account, and we can’t say we disagree.

McConaughey made a surprise appearance to introduce Nelson ahead of his Sunday ACL set by asking the crowd to give him a “big, badass rowdy hello and welcome.” You know things are about to get “#SoAustin” when McConaughey is your opening act. And that’s alright (alright, alright) with us.

READ: A native Austinite’s impression upon seeing Willie Nelson perform live for the first time

WATCH: Matthew McConaughey’s pregame speech to Texas is award-worthy

Excited for Kanye in Austin? Here’s a recap of his last two months

Yeezy will grace Austin with his presence tonight for his latest stop in the “Saint Pablo” tour.

FILE - In this Sunday, Aug. 30, 2015, file photo, Kanye West accepts the video vanguard award at the MTV Video Music Awards at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles. After six weeks of streaming exclusively on Tidal, the Jay-Z-backed music service, West’s latest album, “The Life of Pablo,” was finally released to other streaming platforms like Spotify and Apple Music and put up for sale on his website. West tweeted on Feb. 15, 2016, that the album “will never never never be on Apple. And it will never be for sale.” (Photo by Matt Sayles/Invision/AP, File)
File photo.” (Photo by Matt Sayles/Invision/AP, File)

During Kanye West’s performance at the Frank Erwin Center, you can expect a mixture of old faves and new hits, his hovering over the audience on a floating stage platform and all in all, a great performance. In light of his concert, let’s take the opportunity to catch up on what West’s been up to recently.

In latest news, West finally joined Instagram. His username is kanywest and so far, there’s only one photo that shows a scene from 1990’s “Total Recall,” starring Arnold Schwarzenegger. Of course, there was no caption and we may never know why he chose this image. Stay mysterious, Ye.

https://twitter.com/kanyewest/status/709408940908486657?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw

Last week, West made headlines for what looked to be the start of a feud between himself and former protege Kid Cudi. Kid Cudi had tweeted out a series of posts criticizing the “fake ones” and calling out West and Drake. West then ranted against him during a show in Tampa, Fla. But during his show in Houston, People reports that West ended the feud with an on-stage message for Kid Cudi saying “I just wanted to take time out to say Kid Cudi is my brother,” he said, calling him “the most influential artist of the past 10 years, and I hope he’s doing well.”

https://twitter.com/KidCudi/status/776101970461327361

“Project Runway” star Tim Gunn also had something to say about West this month. He said the only thing dumber than West’s fashion line is whoever’s buying it. “I’m totally perplexed about why the fashion industry has not looked at these, frankly, dumb basic clothes and cried hoax. Hoax,” Gunn said during an interview with Access Hollywood.

Let’s not forget about how MTV gave West four minutes to say whatever he wanted at the VMA’s in August. He talked about Taylor Swift, Beyonce, people being shot in Chicago and his “Famous” video during his allotted time. Read the whole transcript here. 

It was also announced in August that Ye now has more Top 40 songs than Michael Jackson who had 39 — now that’s an accomplishment. West is currently 10th for most top 40 hits by a male artist all-time, losing to the likes of Elvis Presley.

Whether or not you’re going to his concert in Austin, it’s always entertaining to know what West is up to. But seriously, we’re all secretly hoping he visits a local taco joint and posts about it on Twitter tonight.

Nick Jonas invited people to eat bacon with him in San Antonio this weekend

An evening with a hunky pop star and some delicious bacon? Isn’t that the dream?

Photo via NickJonasVEVO
Photo via NickJonasVEVO

Related: Pierce Brosnan of ‘James Bond’ fame has barbecue lunch in Lockhart

After a concert in San Antonio on Saturday night, Texas-born Nick Jonas tweeted that he would be eating at the city’s Pig Stand, a well-known pig-themed restaurant. On top of that, he also offered to buy anyone who joined him some bacon in celebration of his latest single “Bacon.” 

Read: Chris Pine and Jeff Bridges are in Austin for Texas film ‘Hell or High Water’

Of course fans immediately took him up on that. What ensued was a night of hearty eating and a lot of dancing. Here are some tweets from the evening:

Drake is opening a ‘classy’ strip club in Texas

Just hold on, we’re going — to Drake’s strip club?

Following his Summer Sixteen tour performance this weekend in Houston, Drake invited guests to a mysterious event called “The Ballet.” According to MTV, what Drake called a “new dance experience” turned out to be a first look at his forthcoming strip club.

Drake and Future performed on the Summer Sixteen Tour at the Frank Erwin Center on July 20, 2016 in Austin, Texas. Suzanne Cordeiro for American-Statesman
Drake and Future performed on the Summer Sixteen Tour at the Frank Erwin Center on July 20, 2016 in Austin, Texas. Suzanne Cordeiro for American-Statesman

Read: He said, she said: One dance and two hours with Drake in Austin

Except he’s not calling it a strip club. Yes, there are dancing women featured on stages wearing nothing but bikinis. And yes, Drake made it rain with dollar bills. But Drizzy’s new place is a “classy” dance club, which he says will have a strict business attire dress code.

Photos: Drake’s Summer Sixteen Tour in Austin 

Here’s what he said in a video from the event on Monday:

“There’s a culture out there of dancing and it’s not about no strip club (expletive),” he explained in a video from last night’s event. “It’s about these amazing women that we’ve got in one spot, this music that we’ve got, this Houston culture that we’ve got. I just wanna let you know that I’m going to bring it to you in the most honest and genuine way possible.”

Related: Drake and Rihanna are not dating, Drake’s dad says

According to Drake’s Instagram, The Ballet will open up in early 2017. The post reads, “Tonight is a different take on how it should be done in Houston. Treat yourself don’t cheat yourself. Where the women are on a pedestal and the surroundings are unforgettable.”

5 reasons former Texas Gov. Rick Perry will win ‘Dancing With the Stars’

The news that Rick Perry will compete on the upcoming season of “Dancing With the Stars” stirred up cha-cha-chatter when it was first reported Monday night, as the imaginations of politicos and average Joes alike lindy-hopped to various conclusions. Will the former Texas governor’s spin on the ABC show bring the mirror-ball trophy to the Lone Star State, or will he say adios quicker than you can say “Paso Doble”? Will Perry’s tango with the celebrity ballroom competition be a dance with disaster? Or can the most famous pair of glasses in Texas boot-scoot to victory? Will we still be able to come up with dance puns by the time the show airs?

Former Texas governor Rick Perry will pair with Emma Slater on "Dancing with the Stars, " which starts its new season on Monday, Sept. 12, 2016. (Craig Sjodin/ABC)
Former Texas governor Rick Perry will pair with Emma Slater on “Dancing with the Stars, ” which starts its new season on Monday, Sept. 12, 2016. (Craig Sjodin/ABC)

No matter your political persuasion or your thoughts on Carrie Ann Inaba’s judging abilities versus those of Bruno Tonioli, Perry’s participation is certainly a curiosity. But don’t write off the former presidential candidate’s chances just yet.

READ: Why is Rick Perry taking a turn on reality TV?

Here are five reasons Perry might beat expectations and join Bindi Irwin and Emmitt Smith in the “DWTS” hall of fame.

1. He’s been to more than a few balls: Let’s not pretend that the art of the dance is completely foreign to political life. As longtime governor of Texas (and lieutenant governor before that), Perry was no stranger to inaugural balls, even if he did try to loosen up the black ties with a Ted Nugent performance in 2007.

2. He knows how to take instructions: As Texas A&M University’s former head Aggie Yell Leader, Perry should be able to get in formation.

3. He’s got dancing shoes: Though “Dancing With the Stars” is a ballroom contest and not a televised honky-tonk, Perry’s cowboy boot collection shows he prefers his feet to be fancy. You don’t swagger around in “Come and take it” boots unless you want people looking at your footwork.

4. He’s got a sense of rhythm: As columnist Ken Herman points out, Perry is a musician, “including talent on the piano and drums.” He sang and drummed with ZZ Top in 2005, in fact.

5. He has a history of public dance performance: Need we remind you of Austin’s premiere menorah-lighting merry-maker?

On the other hand, Laurie Hernandez will definitely win.

Laurie Hernandez

Happy birthday, Andy Roddick! Let’s relive the Austinite’s Grand Slam win

Austin has every reason to be proud to call Andy Roddick one of their own. He’s one of the greatest tennis players of all time,  a multi-time finalist at Wimbledon and the most recent North American male player to win a Grand Slam singles event — and that’s just the short list.

Read: Tennis star Andy Roddick talks up his foundation at SXSW

ORG XMIT: USO200 Andy Roddick reacts after winning his match against Julien Benneteau of France during the U.S. Open tennis tournament in New York, Sunday, Sept. 4, 2011. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
USO200 Andy Roddick reacts after winning his match against Julien Benneteau of France during the U.S. Open tennis tournament in New York, Sunday, Sept. 4, 2011. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

Roddick: Why after school programs are so critical for Texas

Today, Roddick celebrates his 34th birthday. It’s been exactly four years since he announced his retirement though he still played for the Austin Aces in World Team Tennis in 2014. Now he lives in Austin with his wife and actress Brooklyn Decker and their son, Hank. He also runs the Andy Roddick Foundation, which includes a sports and learning center for youths in East Austin.

Related: Elton John gives star power to Andy Roddick Foundation Gala in Austin

In honor of his birthday, let’s take a moment to relive Roddick’s U.S. Open win in 2003. He beat out Juan Carlos Ferrero at just 21 years old, becoming the last American male to finish the year as the world No. 1. Happy birthday, Andy!

What people are saying about Mexican icon Juan Gabriel’s death

After news broke on Monday that beloved Mexican singer-songwriter Juan Gabriel had died Sunday night at 66, fans everywhere expressed their mourning on social media. As American-Statesman reporter Nancy Flores writes, he leaves behind a musical legacy that spans more than four decades.

FILE - In this Nov. 5, 2009, file photo, Mexican singer Juan Gabriel accepts the person of the year award at the 10th Annual Latin Grammy Awards in Las Vegas. Representatives of Juan Gabriel have reported Sunday, Aug. 28, 2016, that he has died. Gabriel was Mexico's leading singer-songwriter and top-selling artist with sales of more than 100 million albums. The statement says he died Sunday, but did not say where. (AP Photo/Matt Sayles, File)
In this Nov. 5, 2009, file photo, Mexican singer Juan Gabriel accepts the person of the year award at the 10th Annual Latin Grammy Awards in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/Matt Sayles, File)

Here are just a few of the social media posts honoring Juan Gabriel:

“I find myself speechless when expressing my immense sadness for the death of the great @soyjuangabriel. His music and spirit will live on forever.”

“A night dedicated to my dear brother @soyjuangabriel another angel has escaped us…Take care of us.”

“A wonderful composer. Brilliant.”

“We lost the inimitable @juangabrieloficial A great talent who for decades has gifted the world infinite unforgettable melodies! His voice and songs will continue to fill our hearts forever. May he rest in peace.”

‘N Sync’s Lance Bass was in town last night with Austin Pride

LOS ANGELES, CA - AUGUST 19: Singer Lance Bass attend a cocktail reception Benefit for onePULSE Foundation at NeueHouse Hollywood on August 19, 2016 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images)
Singer Lance Bass attend a cocktail reception Benefit for onePULSE Foundation at NeueHouse Hollywood on August 19, 2016 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images)

‘N Sync’s Lance Bass made a trip to Austin last night and spent the evening at Austin Pride’s fourth annual Werk Fashion Show.

Photos: A-List: 2015 Austin Pride Parade

The former boy-band member co-hosted the show at ACL Live at The Moody Theater with YouTube star and drag queen Coco Peru. The Werk Fashion Show was held to raise funds for Austin LGBT programs like OutYouth Austin, Austin Galano Club and AIDS Services of Austin.

Related: NSYNC reunites to celebrate JC Chasez’s 40th birthday

 

Take this opportunity to revisit Ryan Lochte’s amazing tweets about movies

Siskel would have never. Ebert could only have dreamed. Maltin wishes. America’s greatest movie critic: Olympic swimmer, platinum blond and person-who-was-maybe-robbed-but-also-possibly-not Ryan Lochte.

Ryan Lochte (USA), is seen during the Swimming Press Conference of team USA at the Main Press Center at Olympic Park Barra prior to the Rio 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Aug. 3, 2016. (Michael Kappeler/DPA/Abaca Press/TNS)
Ryan Lochte (USA), is seen during the Swimming Press Conference of team USA at the Main Press Center at Olympic Park Barra prior to the Rio 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Aug. 3, 2016. (Michael Kappeler/DPA/Abaca Press/TNS)

Lochte claimed Sunday that he and three other U.S. swimmers — including University of Texas senior Jack Conger, former Longhorn Jimmy Feigen and Gunnar Bentz —had been robbed at gunpoint in Rio de Janeiro by someone posing as a police officer. In the following days, the veracity of Lochte’s claims were called into question by Brazilian officials. The Associated Press on Thursday reported that Conger told police that Lochte fabricated the robbery narrative.

Over the years, Lochte has garnered a reputation in pop culture as a bro with enthusiasm in place of intellectual prowess. A reality show called “What Would Ryan Lochte Do?” attempted to answer the titular question in amusing ways, and the swimmer famously lampooned his image as a “sex idiot” on “30 Rock.”

What better time than now to revisit the gems to be found in Lochte’s Twitter feed? In late June, Buzzfeed staff writer Grace Spelman went on quite the spree of Lochte archaeology (Lochteology), unearthing the swimmer’s passionate endorsement of various movies.

The resulting thread is a journey into a world where the concepts of ego and superego have been drowned at the bottom of a murky, green swimming pool and cultural criticism is rooted in pure, delighted id. Here are some of the best Lochte tweets curated by Spelman.

Relive all the magic on Spelman’s Twitter thread. Jeah.

 

Amber Heard, Johnny Depp reach divorce settlement

Amber Heard and Johnny Depp have reached a settlement in their divorce case, TMZ reports.

Amber Heard, Johnny Depp
In this Jan. 2, 2016 file photo, Amber Heard, left, and Johnny Depp arrive at the 27th annual Palm Springs International Film Festival Awards Gala in Palm Springs, Calif. Heard is withdrawing allegations that Depp physically abused her and has settled her divorce case with the Oscar-nominated actor. Heard filed for divorce in May and days later obtained a temporary restraining order accusing the “Pirates of the Caribbean” star of hitting her during a fight in their Los Angeles apartment in May. Depp denied he abused her, and police said they found no evidence of a crime. (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP, File)

Depp agreed to settle for $7 million and Heard dropped her request for a domestic violence restraining order. Heard filed for divorce from Depp in May, which is also when she alleged that Depp abused her. She has now dismissed the  domestic violence case with prejudice, meaning she can’t file it again.

More— Remember: ‘Magic Mike XXL’ star Amber Heard is one of Austin’s own

According to TMZ, Heard and Depp released a joint statement through their lawyers Tuesday that said,

“Our relationship was intensely passionate and at times volatile, but always bound by love. Neither party has made false accusations for financial gains. There was never an intent of physical or emotional harm. Amber wishes the best for Johnny in the future. Amber will be donating financial proceeds from the divorce to a charity.”