West Texas Talk

West Texas Talk is your nightly interview program that broadcasts Thursday at 6 pm, and rebroadcasts Friday at 9 am.

The program features interviews with community members discussing issues that affect our region, along with upcoming local programs and events. You’ll also hear from local and visiting, artists, musicians, authors, scientists, and other interesting personalities.

The program made its debut when the station launched, and as a result, it’s become a repository of hundreds of local profiles. The program is hosted by a revolving list of community members. The theme music for West Texas Talk was composed by Andy Stack.

Do you have an idea for a West Texas Talk topic or guest suggestion? Email diana (at) marfapublicradio (dot) org. Below is a list of current interviews. See previous interviews here.

Listeners can sign up for our podcast feed on iTunes. Subscribe today.

Recently on West Texas Talk:

Wednesday, Apr 18, 2018:
Kelsey Lu On Live Performance, Mix-Making, And Her New Song Shades of Blue

LA-based musician Kelsey Lu says that when tried to reproduce the raw feeling of performance while recording her debut EP Church in the studio, it just didn’t work. So she recorded it live, from inside of Brooklyn’s Holy Roman Catholic Church.

Lu’s a vocalist and classically-trained cellist. She works on film soundtracks, and hosts a monthly show on NTS Radio called Pteropods.

Her live performances are stripped down – just Lu and her cello and a loop pedal. She recently played the Marfa Myths music festival, where we caught up with her. In this interview Lu tells us what’s running through her mind when she performs live, and how music has sustained her through periods of depression.

She also talks about the process of creating mixes for NTS Radio. She digs for unexpected sounds by musicians of color to feature on her show.

“Society being like, I know exactly what these people do and what kind of music they make…and this music is for these people, and everything is separated and in its own category – I just don’t believe that,” says Lu.

She says history has proven otherwise, and that people need to put in their own hours digging that up. But if she gets to do the work through music, “that’s winning, for sure.”

Tune in to the interview hear Lu’s new song, Shades of Blue.

Tuesday, Apr 17, 2018:
Helado Negro On His Musical Influences, the Fragility of the Human Voice, and Composing for S-Town

Roberto Carlos Lange is a New York-based musician. Lange performs under the project Helado Negro. “It’s a name for something to give me the liberty to not think of my own name,” Lange says of the project. “It’s always been important for me to have a way to just start from nothing, there’s no history. I can build a history with that name.”

Helado Negro recently played the Marfa Myths music festival, where we caught up with him. In this interview he tells us about how growing up in Florida shaped the sound of Helado Negro and how his voice is the ‘strangest’ instrument he uses.

Continue reading

Monday, Apr 16, 2018:
William Middleton on Dominique and John de Menil

Jana La Brasca speaks to William Middleton, author of Double Vision: The Unerring Eye of Art World Avatars Dominique and John de Menil.  In this conversation, Middleton talks about some of the individuals who influenced the Menils, and the vital role the couple played in the transformation of Houston as a vibrant arts destination. 

Middleton explains, “They felt very strongly that their position brought a responsibility to give back. To make the world a more intelligent place, a more beautiful place, and a better place… Everything they did was about that.”

Friday, Apr 13, 2018:
Exploring “Hyperobjects” with Laura Copelin, Emilija Škarnulyte, and Tara Donovan

Elise Pepple speaks to Ballroom’s Director, Laura Copelin, and artists Emilija Škarnulyte, and Tara Donovan about Ballroom’s newest exhibition, Hyperobjects. The show is curated by Timothy Morton and Laura Copelin.

Morton defines “hyperobjects” as entities that are bewilderingly huge— like global warming, plastic in the ocean, nuclear waste— which are seemingly incomprehensible. The exhibition seeks to create encounters with artworks and non-art objects that de-center and expand the scale of human perception. 

Hyperobjects opens at 6 pm on Friday the 13th at Ballroom Marfa.

Thursday, Apr 12, 2018:
“All or Nothing:” Stories of Big Risks from Marfa

Here is the full version of live stories from our “All or Nothing” event that took place on Friday, April 6, 2018 at the Crowley Theater. Thank you to the storytellers, Big Bend Brewing Co., and the Crowley Theater.

If you’re interested in telling a story at our forthcoming events, please shoot us an email as storytelling@marfapublicradio.org.

Storytellers from the event: 

  • 00:00 – Alex Gates is the owner and chef at Cochineal in Marfa. She moved here with  her husband and daughter to pursue a life-long dream.
  • 7:40 – Jeff has lived in Marfa for 6 years. He grew up in Illinois and studied philosophy in Kentucky. At one point in his life, he ended up in California.
  • 24:00 – Chloe Gallagher is a West Coast born writer, muppet enthusiast, and all around amateur. When she’s not complaining about the heat in the kitchen at Stellina – she can be found talking to flowers and trying to befriend stray dogs. She says she spends the majority of her free time boring people with stories they didn’t ask to hear about people they’ve never met.
  • 35:40 – General Manager Elise Pepple tells about her past life as a park ranger in Alaska.

Thursday, Apr 5, 2018:
All or Nothing: Live Stories from Odessa

Here is the full version of live stories from our All or Nothing event that took place on Monday, April 2 at The Rose Building. Thank you to the storytellers for sharing, Odessa Arts for sponsoring this event, the Roses for hosting us, and to Black Tulip for decorating the space. 

If you’re interested in telling a story at our forthcoming events, please shoot us an email as storytelling@marfapublicradio.org.

Here are the storytellers from the evening:

  • 00:00 – General Manager Elise Pepple tells the story of when she moved to Alaska and became a park ranger.
  • 19:00 – Corey Paul is a reporter for the Odessa American who covers local government and business. He moved here in 2012 with his girlfriend, now fiancee, Mary. They have a Welsh corgi named Mavis.
  • 27:24 – Bill Dingus is a small-time oilman that lives in Midland. He’s married with three children. 
  • 41:29 – Jesamy Ferguson lives in Odessa and spends the majority of her time trying to manage the chaos of her blended family. 
  • 51:00 – Nick Fowler was born and raised in Odessa. Fowler is the founder and CEO of two petrochemical companies.

Thursday, Mar 29, 2018:
Lonn Taylor and Avram Dumitrescu on “Marfa for the Perplexed”

On this episode, Diana Nguyen speaks to historian Lonn Taylor and Alpine-based artist Avram Dumitrescu about Taylor’s newest book, Marfa for the Perplexed. 

The book is a collection of essays Taylor has written throughout his time in the Big Bend. The essays focus on important characters and historical events in Marfa and Presidio County. Marfa for the Perplexed is a Marfa Book Co. publication.

“The thesis of the book is really that Marfa has always been a refuge for individualists and eccentrics,” Taylor explains. “[T]he current crop are just the latest in a long, long tradition of people doing what they feel like doing here.”

On Friday, March 30th, Lonn Taylor will speak about the book at 6 pm at the Crowley Theater. 

An exhibition of Avram Dumitrescu’s illustrations will be on display at the Greasewood Gallery in the Hotel Paisano from March 31- May 28. The show opens on Saturday. March 31 at 6 pm. 

Thursday, Mar 22, 2018:
Behind the Stories: Sierra Blanca ISD, El Mac’s Presidio Mural, and the Trans-Pecos Pipeline

On this episode, Diana Nguyen speaks to reporters Carlos Morales, Bayla Metzger, and Sally Beauvais about their most recent stories.

Thursday, Mar 15, 2018:
Exploring the Gray with Barak Goodman

On this episode, Diana Nguyen speaks to Barak Goodman. Over the course of twenty years, he’s made more than thirty films, and has become an acclaimed nonfiction filmmaker. They discuss his work and changes in the documentary landscape over the years. Goodman emphasizes the importance of exploring complicated, nuanced perspectives in his films.

The filmmaker talks about his current production which examines the impact of gerrymandering on the United States’ democracy.

Barak Goodman will speak as part of Midland College’s Davidson Distinguished Lecture Series on Tuesday, March 20 at the Al G. Langford Chaparral Center. The filmmaker’s lecture, “Exploring the Gray: A Life in Documentary Film” will begin at 7:30 pm.

Midland college is an underwriter of this station.

Thursday, Mar 8, 2018:
Lannan Resident Adam Fitzgerald

On this episode, Jana La Brasca speaks to poet Adam Fitzgerald. He reads “The Lordly Hudson,” “Oregon Trail,” and “Dead Girls.”

Fitzgerald will read at 6 pm on Sunday, March 11 at The Crowley Theater.

Adam Fitzgerald is the author of the poetry collections The Late Parade (2013) and George Washington (2016). The founding editor of poetry journal Maggy, he is currently a contributing editor for Literary Hub where he regularly features and interviews contemporary poets.