40 Signs It's Festival Season in Dallas

Categories: Best Of

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Rhombi Survivor
Are you excited to stand in line?! It's festival season in Dallas
It's March, and in Texas that means one thing: festival season is here. North Texas has already dipped its toes in the festival waters with Thin Line Fest up in Denton, but in the next couple weeks everything will go haywire with 35 Denton, Spillover Fest and, of course, SXSW (which will still draw plenty of Dallas music fans down to Austin).

So let's fill our heads with warm thoughts and get excited for the next, oh, eight months of the year, which we can officially call festival season. Here in Dallas, these 40 occurrences are telltale signs that the season is upon us.

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The 10 Best Dive Bars in Dallas-Fort Worth

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Jay Barker
When you're really in the shitter, go find a dive bar like Double Wide

"Have you no pride?" If the answer to that question is a proud, confident, "Of course I don't," then this list is for you. Depending on where you come from -- say, any small town in America -- dive bars aren't necessarily unique so much as they are de rigueur. But when done right, a proper dive bar is highly evolved art form, a tacky, depressing mix of old, dusty lamp shades, dirty mirrors and wood paneling that make for an all-but-perfect watering hole.

Dallas, of course, is chock full of dives, so we can't help but pick out our favorites. Whether you're looking drink away your trouble (not that we'd recommend that) or simply looking for a night cap with characters, these 10 bars will always set you right.


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The 50 Best Red Dirt Texas Country Songs

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Brad Holmes
You can't have a Red Dirt list without Pat Green, but who made it to No. 1?

On their own, the words "Best," Texas" and "Country" are easy to define, even seemingly innocuous. But put together it's a whole other matter. There's no real definition of what makes Texas Country, certainly not one that the genre's diverse fan base could ever agree on. It's an unscientific calculation that involves a little history, a little geography and a whole lot of intuition.

When you mention Texas Country to Texas fans in the know, it's often synonymous with Red Dirt, a sub-genre especially near and dear to country music fans of North Texas. Red Dirt didn't exist in any codified form until the 1990s, when it got on the national radar after artists like Cory Morrow and Robert Earl Keen caught the eye of Nashville.

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The 10 Best Record Stores In Dallas

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Jennifer Brandon Elliott
It's a party, folks! Time to pick the best record shops in Dallas

A year ago it wouldn't have made sense to make a list like this.It would have been quite difficult to number off 10 local record stores, much less 10 good ones, much less ten great ones. But now our city is in the midst of a record store resurgence of sorts (the last few months alone have seen three new entries open shop). Call it fate, call it divine intervention, call it optimistic business planning; it doesn't matter. Regardless of the hows and whys, here we are, and so a victory lap is in order.

It wasn't easy to nail down the list, even less easy to order it. Fingers were dirtied, miles were driven and bank accounts were crippled, but the dirty work rendered a top 10 that makes one thing very clear: When it comes to record shopping options, Dallas is pretty damn lucky.

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The 10 Best Honky Tonks in Dallas

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jonnyfree on Flickr
Mamas, don't let your children grow up to be honky tonkers. Unless they're going to play at Adairs

Being from Texas, country music is pretty well in our blood. It's such a staple of our lives that we could live on Texas country and nothing else, without ever having to know about Nashville. Of course there ain't much that's more country than a good old-fashioned honky tonk -- and whaddya know, we're chock full of those here in Dallas. In fact, many would say that we have the very best honky tonk in all the world right here in North Texas. So don your cowboy hat and your dancing spurs and let's pay tribute to our roots: the best honky tonks in Dallas.


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The 5 Best Female Vocalists in Dallas

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Jason Janik
There's nothing green about Sarah Jaffe's singing at this stage of her career
Even though we live in 2015, the world is still divided in gendered lines. Male and female artists still get separate categories at nearly all awards shows, which is probably a good thing considering that it is most often men who are casting the votes. Despite this glaring state of disparity in the music industry, female vocalists are thriving more than ever, and Dallas is no exception.

The female vocalists in Dallas are among its most successful musicians, attracting attention from fans near and far. This list of five talented women represents some of the best talent our city's music scene has to offer, gender notwithstanding.


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5 Women Making a Difference in Dallas Hip Hop

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Ed Steele
Sam Lao is already plenty familiar to anyone in the know about Dallas hip hop

It's 2015 and it's still hard to be a woman in hip hop. Male rappers on the national scene still far outnumber women in the genre, despite the success of Nicki Minaj and (ugh) Iggy Azalea. Dallas' own scene is as representative of that as any other city with a notable hip-hop presence. But the femcees who are making a name for themselves on the mic in Dallas are fierce, and many of them are making moves into national consciousness.

So even if you're not plugged in to the local rap scene, make sure to add these five talented ladies to your playlist and explore some of the city's best hidden talents.


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The Best Gay Bars in Dallas

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Mike Brooks
Show a little pride: These are the 10 best gay bars in Dallas
It's 2015, people. Get over whatever bullshit misconceptions you've been holding onto all these years (yes, Texas, we're looking squarely at you) and get with the 21st century. Once you do, you'll discover a crucial fact: Nothing beats a party at a gay bar. Let's embrace our inner fabulous and wave the flag for the 10 Best Gay Bars in Dallas.

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The Five Best Dallas Talent Buyers

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Mike Brooks
Spune Productions brings us bands like Future Islands at their annual Index Festival
The life of a talent buyer seems glamorous, but it's much harder than you think. Wrangling up artists, venues, fans, and the relevant authorities is no easy task, which means that the folks that bring Dallas its best live shows are some of the hardest working people in the music industry. Unfortunately, these buyers and bookers often work in the shadows because they are so good at doing their jobs -- the shows that they're able to attract overshadow the work that they did to bring them here.

But we owe Dallas' hard working talent buyers a big debt for the work that they've done to build for Dallas' vibrant and eclectic music scene. On just about any given night in Dallas, you can find excellent live music that is current, fresh, and affordable. Which means that we should be thankful for these five talent buyers.

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The Best Bro Bars in Dallas

Categories: Best Of

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Roderick Pullum
What's the matter? You say "bro bar" like it's a bad thing. We got a DJ and everything!

What do we mean by "bro bar?" More specifically, what do we mean by "best?" (Guess we didn't use up all of our irony with the Best Hipster Bars list.) Well, it's a funny question. For a large segment of the population, "bro bar" means plaid shorts, beer pong and booze so cheap you'll make a bad decision or get into a fight (as if those are mutually exclusive). It might also entail a little racism. Simply put, for a lot of people it's "pure heaven."

Regardless of which side of the argument you land on, these are the creme de la creme of bro bars. Avoid them at all costs or seek them out as your go-to party spots this weekend. The choice is yours.


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