Houston and Dallas Can Probably Just Get Along: I Miss Bombón Already
There is some magic to the heat of August in Texas. It's sticky and unrelenting, and in the right moment, it's sexy. It unites us, even if only in complaint.
So when an invitation to an anniversary party in the back lot of Studio 410 made the rounds, there was no question about whether or not to stand in the heat of an Oak Cliff night. We all knew it would be made hotter by the crowd and hotter still by the dancing.
There would be cold drinks, there would be no breeze, but a good Cumbia partner can put a little wind in your hair and we can't stay locked up in our AC temples forever.
Miriam Ortega, featured recently in the Dallas Observer People's issue, and her gang of Lady Misfits (which, in the interest of full disclosure, includes Observer Clubs Editor Vanessa Quilantan) were celebrating a lucky seventh anniversary. It was at a Cinco de Mayo party where I was first seduced by the Misfit flavor of festivity; where a parking lot merely needs a gate and a DJ to become Dallas' most interesting, if infrequent, dance floor. To mark the special occasion, the Lady Misfits hosted the DJ collective from Houston's Bombón, made up of Gracie Chavez, Navó, OG Bobby Trill and Panchitron. Houston's well-known insularity in their music scene means there are some well-kept secrets, and Bombón is one exciting skeleton. It's a shame that it's taken this long for them to be properly presented to the 214.
As I rounded the corner walking into the Studio 410 salon space, I could see through the window a curling iron twirling the hair of gorgeous brunette in the chair. I was immediately greeted with cheek kisses from Misfit Jake, and I excitedly asked if they were freshening up dos for the evening. Oh. Those are the DJs.
I don't know why exactly the scene was so heart-warming. Maybe because I have sat in the chairs at 410 and felt taken care of, leaving the salon after an afternoon of laughing hysterically, or drinking too much wine or having a heart-to-heart. I always feel beautiful but I occasionally even feel heard or engaged or when Ortega is really in the zone, empowered.
Sitting there watching the Misfits orbit around Bombón and friends of Bombón, hair twirling and teasing, ladies primping in the mirror on one side, fellows relaxed in the chairs across the entry way - it all looked like the scene of the Quinceañera we'd really dreamed of or the school dance of our lives. Gracie Chavez was already on the decks outside, I could hear the music pouring in from the exterior and the sense that it was a good night to be in Dallas was palpable. The sense was that you should find yourself at 410 celebrating, that you should do your hair and that you should dress up even if the heat would punish that beehive or melt your cat-eye a little. Mel Boogs was in the shop when I walked in, striking and bubbly as the group petted each other in the mirror. She took a hip sway and a supermodel stomp to get to the DJ booth. She picked up the mic. She got the party started.
I should mention that the good vibes seemed to start vibrating earlier in the day. Many of the guests I saw pouring into the back lot I had previously run into throughout the day at the Dallas Contemporary's Design District Market, where another Oak Cliff icon, the Sour Grapes Crew, were among those offering the wares of their collective. Their booth also ended up serving as a make-shift meet up spot among the dumpster pools and open bars, sweaty Dallasites of every stripe, all promising to meet each other later to finally witness Bombón and toast the anniversary.