weekend links: Maxo Kream, alien abductions, Leslie Jamison

 David Huggins,  Implant. Image courtesy of  Love & Saucers/Artsy.

David Huggins, Implant. Image courtesy of Love & Saucers/Artsy.

Houston rapper Maxo Kream has been on a steady upward trajectory since 2012, but his most recent project may be the thing that tips him into stardom. His most recent album, Punken, highlights Kream’s accomplishments, including opening for Chief Keef and being consigned by A$AP Ant, and chronicles hard-hitting times in his life such as Hurricane Harvey and growing up in a dangerous neighborhood. Given Punken’s unfiltered storytelling and Kream’s impeccable delivery, the future of trap music looks bright. [DJ Booth]

Have you ever been abducted by aliens constantly to the point where you grow an attachment to them? 74-year-old painter David Huggins has. He claims that he has life-long connections with extraterrestrials and has personally fathered a number of alien-human babies. Throughout the years, most have dismissed Huggins’s claims as impossible, but filmmaker Brad Abrahams believed Huggins enough to make a short documentary titled Love & Saucers that features some of Huggins’ paintings of his alternative life with aliens. [Artsy]

South Dallas visual artist William Binnie is debuting his first exhibit at the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art this March. His work, titled The Vine that Ate the South, focuses on America, with an overarching theme of suffocation, a theme he says is rooted in America’s past and national identity. In this piece, Binnie discusses his art as a reflection of America and explains how his relationship to various arts scenes has influenced his work. [Dallas Observer]

Life after a breakup can be a terrible mess where one feels like everything in life is over, but, simultaneously, it can also be an experience that propels you to learn more about yourself. For that reason, Chicago comedian-turned-HBO star Pete Holmes made a TV show out of it. Holmes took the time to talk about the creation of his series, Crashing, and how a devastating breakup dovetailed with his early years as a comic. [Chicago Reader]

Novelist and essayist Leslie Jamison enters a years-long debate about one of the most prevalent stereotypes about women: they are “overly emotional.” “For years, I described myself as someone who wasn’t prone to anger,” Jamison says, claiming that sadness is seen as more “selfless” or “redefined.” From here, she argues that this inclination is not only inaccurate but can be damaging to one’s psyche in the long run. [New York Times]

Big Bill is slowly becoming a household name in Austin, and their most recent LP explores absurdism in a new and refreshing way as they try their hardest to rebel against punk stereotypes. Eric Braden, the band’s frontman, describes their new material as “unsettling” and “an element of attack,” and after listening, we can definitely agree that the band is unlike anything else in the Austin scene. [Austin Chronicle]

Kaveh Akbar, author of the stunning poetry collection Calling a Wolf a Wolf has been named poetry’s “biggest cheerleader.” Along with his daily writing, he runs Divedapper, a site where he conducts in-depth interviews with poets that shape the literary scene. If you’re not yet familiar with Akbar’s work, check out our interview with him in our newest issue. [NPR]

A group of Austin arts organizations have worked to persuade the city’s Parks and Recreation department to make cultural centers more available to artists, but to no avail. Laura Esparanza, division manager for Austin museums and cultural programs, said they are trying their best to accompany artists, but will this be enough to make the city’s artistic communities happy and sustainable? [Austin Monitor]

In a span of two years, Aryeh Nussbaum Cohen went from being rejected by every graduate school music program to which he applied to being a New York Times-cosigned star. Just last year, he competed in the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions and won Houston Grand Opera’s Eleanor McCollum Competition, the latter of which landed him a spot in the world-renowned Houston Grand Opera Studio. Cohen’s story is a reminder that we should embrace failure and not let it keep us from pursuing our dreams. [Arts and Culture TX]

Through January 28, The Getty in LA will be featuring Photography in Argentina, 1850–2010: Contradiction and Continuity, an exhibit that uses photography as a primary identifier of Argentina’s identity after colonialism. Through the depiction of everyday life as an Argentinian, this exhibit aims to show how photography through the centuries has preserved history for the entire region. Looking through the images gives insight into what it means to be an Argentinian. [Hyperallergic]

—Nia KB

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