Wednesday, July 1, 2015

To Kill A Mockingbird Read-A-Thon

Barnes & Noble is hosting a "To Kill A Mockingbird" read-a-thon on Monday July 13 at all stores nationwide, including our local store (near Parkdale Mall in Beaumont TX). We will be reading from Harper Lee's classic novel during regular store hours - 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. And we are recruiting local newscasters, artists, musicians and celebrities to act as readers! Interested? Please call the store at 409-898-1111.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Brent's Picks July 1st

Brent brings in the month of July with the best in new releases and personal picks for KBTV FOX 4's Southeast Texas Live starting at 3 p.m. Wednesday July 1 - with new music from Kacey Musgraves and Hilary Duff - new comedies including While We're Young and Get Hard - new books from comedians Judd Apatow, Aziz Ansari and more!

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Brent's Picks June 25

Brent's back with the best in new releases and personal picks for KBTV FOX 4's Southeast Texas Live starting at 3 p.m. today - with new music from Giorgio Moroder and Adam Lambert - new movies including Chappie and Kingsman: The Secret Service - as well as new books from James Patterson, Janet Evanovich and more!

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Brent's Picks June 11

Can't get enough of Brent? Get your fix on KBTV FOX 4's Southeast Texas Live starting at 3 p.m. today where be brings the best in new releases and personal picks. New music includes Muse's concept album "Drones" and Pete Townshend's "Classic Quadrophenia" - new movies include the sci-fi thrillers "Jupiter Ascending" and "Project Almanac" and new books include the latest from Stephen King, Sophie Kinsella and more!

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Brent's Picks May 28

Brent braves the roadways in order to bring the best in new releases and personal picks for KBTV FOX 4's Southeast Texas Live starting at 3 p.m. today with Mariah Carey's "#1 To Infinity," "Lost Songs: The Basement Tapes Continued," the original Mad Max trilogy on Blu-Ray, Chuck Palahniuk's new short-story collection "Make Something Up," Nick Offerman's "Gumption" and more!

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Lafayette native honors first ‘King of Zydeco’ Clifton Chenier by writing book about the originator of Zydeco

Chere Coen writes in The Advocate of Todd Mouton's new book “Way Down in Louisiana: Clifton Chenier, Cajun, Zydeco and Swamp Pop Music.” Chenier, credited as the originator of zydeco music, won a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award posthumously in 2014. The book, to be published by the University of Louisiana at Lafayette Press in October, contains interviews with musicians who knew Chenier and whose music influenced their styles. Chenier was born in St. Landry Parish and began recording music in 1954. One of the many albums he made was “Louisiana Blues and Zydeco” in 1965 in Houston, a recording of 18 songs that Mouton believes was the definitive moment for zydeco as a musical form. “One of the biggest questions is: Did he invent zydeco?” Mouton posed. “If he did invent it, when and where did that happen? In my opinion, that happened in 1965 in Houston. It’s not about who used the word first but who put it on wax. And Clifton Chenier did. The question is when does a hybrid become a new variety, that special moment of combustion. I think the black and white musicians were forever changed after that.” Read the full feature at

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Louisiana Germans - The Forgotten Creoles

The more research I do on German immigrants to the south the more fascinating facts I find - for instance, some people don't think that German immigrants to Louisiana are "true Creoles." Some folks think that only Louisiana French, Spanish, Native Americans and Africans are worthy of being deemed Creole. To which I call bullshit. Germans came to Louisiana in 1721, preceding both the Spanish and the Cajuns, and founded the city of Des Allemands. Other German speakers from the Rhine Valley, Switzerland and Belgium also followed the same path to form the "German Coast", now the parishes of St. Charles, St. John the Baptist and St. James. The Louisianan Creole Germans founded farms that supplied food to New Orleans and the rest of the Louisiana Colony. Among German Creoles contributions to Louisiana Creole culture: Boudain. Andouille Sausage. Chicken & Sausage Gumbo. Sausage in Red Beans & Rice. Potato Salad with Gumbo. French Bread (baked by Louisiana German Creoles and sold in the French Market, hence the name). French Fried Potatoes (cooked by Louisiana German Creoles and sold in the French Market, hence the name). Creole Potato Chips. Creole Mustard (spicy brown mustard). And - accordions - which would forever change Cajun music and help inspire the creation of Creole Zydeco! All of those things the Germans brought to the Louisiana Colony - I can't imagine not having any of those today. Suggested reading: "The Settlement of the German Coast of Louisiana and the Creoles of German Descent" by John Hanno Deiler.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Also reading "Louisiana's Creole French People: Our Language, Food & Culture: 500 Years Of Culture" - says writer John LaFluer II: "This unique historic, but forgotten culture existed prior to the arrival of the Acadians, and its cultural and linguistic traditions resulted in Louisiana’s historic "Creole” culture. This multi-ethnic culture's food ways, language and social traditions were hijacked ... and then relabeled "Cajun" with no regard for the pre-existant and dominant history ..." -

Facts vs Fiction - The Cajunization Of Creole Culture

Reading "Louisiana's French Creole Culinary & Linguistic Traditions - Facts vs Fiction Before and Since Cajunization" - says writer John LaFluer II: "For the last four decades, Louisiana has promoted its 500 year old French Colonial Creole culture as "Cajun" implying that this culture had its origin in Acadian Canada. Nothing could be farthest from the truth." - "Louisiana's historic multi-ethnic Creole culture would change to a weird stereotyping of only white French-speakers as "Cajun" and only black French-speakers as "Creole" - regardless of the facts of history, genealogy, geography and reality. Today, the meaning of "Cajun" has once again changed into something which seeks to encompass a so-called "regional identity" which again, ignores its own past and historical meaning." -

Brent's Picks For The 20th Of May

Brent brings the best in new releases and personal picks to KBTV FOX 4's Southeast Texas Live starting at 3 p.m. today - with new music from Jamie Foxx and Snoop Dog - new movies including American Sniper and Hot Tub Time Machine 2 - new books by James Patterson, Neal Stephenson and more!

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Brent's Picks 4 May's Lucky 13

Bringing more new releases and personal picks for KBTV FOX 4'a "Southeast Texas Live" starting at 3 p.m. on Wednesday, May 13 - with new music from Emmy Lou Harris & Rodney Crowell and the Pitch Perfect 2 soundtrack - and new books including Harry Potter Magical Places From The Films, The Gospel of Loki, Richard Rawlings of "Fast N' Loud" "Blood Sweat and Beers," Tom Brokaw's "Lucky Life Interrupted" and more!

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Debut Novel Explores Texas Creole Culture

Bobby Booker of the Philadelphia Tribune has written a piece on Houston native Marcus J. Guillory’s debut novel, "Red Now and Laters" (Atria Books; $15) which explores the little-written-about Texas Creole culture. While (too) many people mistakenly think that only Cajuns populated Louisiana and moved west to Texas, the diverse Creole culture preceded the Cajuns by nearly a century. Guillory describes the new book as "a coming-of-age" tale, "that tells the story of several generations of southwestern Louisiana Creole men that have a gift — in Louisiana we call them ‘traiteur’; you may consider them faith healers — each of them has a gift and each one of them chooses to use the gift differently, starting from the 1830s through 1991. So, you get to see them coming of age, trying to negotiate the environment around them, the changing times and dealing with spirituality." Guillory has worked as a Los Angeles-based screenwriter and producer for more than a decade. He also recently teamed up with LA radio star Garth Trinidad (89.9 KCRW) for the spoken literature/house music mash-up "Lit House." His next project will the spoken literature album, "Postcards From Strangers" on house music artist's Osunlade’s Yoruba Records. Check out the full article at:

Friday, May 8, 2015

German Creoles Represent

The German-Creoles contributed many things (including food and music) to Louisiana and Texas life, but rarely get any mention in discussions of regional culture. An interesting read on German-Creoles of Louisiana and Texas, called by some "the forgotten Creoles" - David Cheramie of MyNewOrleans.Com writes: "German speakers from the Rhine Valley, Switzerland and Belgium (formed) the (Louisiana) German Coast, now the parishes of St. Charles, St. John the Baptist and St. James. Without the produce supplied by their farms in the 1730s, New Orleans would probably have collapsed from famine. It is difficult to imagine that one could starve in Louisiana, but the threat was always there in the beginning. Despite several families who claim "Cajun" roots with names like Waguespack, Zaunbrecher, Schexnayder or Zeringue, we do not often take into account the importance of German immigration in our history and their contribution to our cultural gumbo." - For more check out his essay at: