The 15 People You Meet in Dallas Nightlife

Categories: Columns

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Roderick Pullum
Keep chugging and we'll put you on this list: Dallas night life is full of characters

By Amy McCarthy and Jaime-Paul Falcon

Bars, clubs, and music venues are generally great places to be, especially when you factor in copious amounts of alcohol and loud live music. Still, there are plenty of people in Dallas who are dead-set on harshing your mellow while you're taking in a show at Club Dada or drinking at Twilite Lounge.

There's no question that most of us spend too much time out at the bar, which means that you've inevitably run into these 15 people in the pursuit of a drunkenness and a good time. It is also likely that you fall into one of these categories, but that isn't necessarily a bad thing or an indictment of your character. Just know that we've got your number, Dallas.


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The New Bedhead Box Set is the Most Essential Dallas Reissue of 2014

Categories: Columns

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Courtesy the artist
Bedhead are best heard with headphones -- even if you're Bedhead

Last week, Bedhead, the renowned slowcore pioneers from Dallas led by brothers Matthew and Bubba Kadane, saw the re-release of its entire body of recorded work. Chicago-based record label Numero Group, a label that specializes in offering up richly detailed, comprehensive collections from artists deserving of further inspection, released the box set Bedhead: 1992-1998. The collection contains the band's three studio albums (1994's WhatFunLifeWas, 1996's Beheaded and 1998's Transaction de Novo) in addition to an extra disc of demos, singles and unreleased tracks.

2014 has been a year rife with backward-looking reissues (Dallas artists have been no exception to the rule), but when one takes into account the thoughtfully written 25,000 word essay/book, this box set is a stunning addition to any personal music collection. Don't just take our word for it - Pitchfork, NPR and the A.V. Club are but a few of the notable outlets hurling hosannas at the band and this early Christmas gift.

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Dallas Hip Hop Needs a Unified Sound to Get National Attention

Categories: Columns

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Nicholas James Harris
Buffalo Black is one of Dallas' hottest rappers. No one else sounds quite like him
The most popular rapper to have ever come from North Texas is one Robert Matthew Van Winkle. You probably know him as Vanilla Ice. This is nothing short of equal parts silly and embarrassing. Vanilla Ice is the Psy of the '90s and "Ice Ice Baby" is hands down the "Gangham Style" of those times. Drop those songs back-to-back in a club and the same people will sing and dance to them both. The same people will also sit the fuck down.

It's very important to be wholly transparent right now and say that this is not the fault of rappers in Dallas, Fort Worth, Denton or -- well, those are the only places that have rap around here, right? It's all on the average consumer, who relishes a simple familiarity.

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Can Fun Fun Fun Fest Stay Texas' Coolest Festival?

Categories: Columns

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Mike Brooks
Kowabunga, dudes! Fun Fun Fun Fest featured beautiful weather and lots of crowd surfing in 2014
Music festivals are a tough business. It's hard to make them stick. Organizers don't usually expect to break even for the first five years, often longer. Even if a festival survives, it's not the end of the story. Maintaining what you have often means expanding your model and your audience. But for many festivals, that goes against what makes them great in the first place.

Exhibit A: Fun Fun Fun Fest, which took place last weekend at Auditorium Shores in Austin. Now in its ninth year, its voluminous credibility is built on its status as a small, well-curated event. But while this year's installment was an overall success, there were hints of a festival that's hit a crossroads.

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No Thanks Fest is a Gem of North Texas Metal

Categories: Columns

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Kathleen Kennedy
No Thanks Fest attendees brave the great outdoors for the festival in 2013

Man's connection to nature, his desire to simultaneously embrace, tame and succumb to the siren song of the wild, has been expressed through art for centuries. And there's no more fitting musical accompaniment to Mother Nature than metal and punk, two genres that place a premium on organic, unvarnished performances and visceral, atavistic live displays.

Unfortunately, festivals that combine an appreciation for both the outdoors and musical extremes are rare in our neck of the woods: Europe essentially claims a monopoly on them, particularly in the metal genre. But this weekend, for the eighth year in a row, the sleepy northeast Texas town of Emory will be home to No Thanks Fest, one of the U.S.'s few multi-day, outdoor metal and punk music festivals.


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Fun Fun Fun Fest Is The Best Festival in Texas, and Here's Why

Categories: Columns

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Mike Brooks
There's no place we'd rather be this weekend than Fun Fun Fun Fest

The ninth incarnation of Austin's Fun Fun Fun Fest starts tomorrow, and the growth of the festival shows no signs of slowing. It's a festival that feels loved, that feels like an awful amount of care and attention has gone into it and that is booked by some sort of all-knowing being. (Well okay, it's just Transmission Events, but whatever.) On a related matter, and more importantly, it's the best music festival in Texas. It's also happening this weekend, from Friday, November 7 to Sunday, November 9.

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Denton's Pageantry Find Out What the Fuss is About at the CMJ Music Marathon

Categories: Columns

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Lesley Keller
Pageantry playing in Manhattan during CMJ in October

By Roy Robertson

At the end of October, Denton's Pageantry traveled to New York City for the annual CMJ Music Marathon. We invited singer and guitarist Roy Robertson to reflect on the band's experience there -- their first time attending the convention -- and its potential value to Texas musicians.

We applied to CMJ earlier this year through their online submission form but hadn't really planned on getting in. We thought we might have a chance since we'd done SXSW back in March but we still weren't sure how much clout that would bring to our application. We went ahead and had almost finished booking a West Coast tour for the end of October when the invitation came to play in August. Doing the festival meant we'd have to reschedule our tour and fly up north instead of tour; it was so close to the festival's start date that finding enough shows there and back would be tricky.


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Choice Cuts: Daron Beck of Pinkish Black's 10 Favorite Records

Categories: Columns

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Photo Courtesy Daron Beck


In a new series, Choice Cuts, Jonathan Patrick talks with artists, both local and international, about their favorite records.

Pinkish Black is perhaps the most internationally celebrated of all current DFW acts. Their two LPs, Pinkish Black and Razed to the Ground, were critical darlings, garnering near-unanimous praise throughout the music press. This Friday, the duo (Jon Teague and Daron Beck), alongside Unconscious Collective and Curse, plan to put on one hell of a Halloween show at Fort Worth's The Chat Room. In anticipation of Friday's affair, we caught up with Beck, who plays keys and sings for Pinkish Black, to discuss his favorite records.

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St. Vincent Has Mastered the Art of Playing By Her Own Rules

Categories: Columns

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Rhombi Survivor
St. Vincent was one of the highlights of Austin City Limits last weekend
Annie Clark is having all the fun these days. She does her best to hide it, be it as a would-be cult leader or a guitar-shredding robot. But, as happened on several occasions at Austin City Limits last weekend, it still comes through with the occasional smirk or beaming smile: when she lifts her guitar up and aims it at her fans, as though opening fire on them; when she marches around stage in unison with her bandmate Toko Yasuda; or when she climbs down into the crowd to take a selfie. Being St. Vincent is serious business, but it's also a blast.

And why shouldn't it be? Her latest album, February's St. Vincent, is arguably the best of 2014, and her reputation as an artist is nearly impeccable. Remarkably, she's managed to completely liberate herself and her art in so doing, and she's done it all on her own terms.

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Does Dallas Want Its Own Austin City Limits?

Categories: Columns

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Rhombi Survivor
Music fans flocked to Austin over the weekend for ACL
The past few weeks have been pretty good to Texas music festival goers. The last two weekends of September saw North Texas welcome in two of its most promising events, with Oaktopia landing in Denton the first week and Index Fest taking over Deep Ellum on the next. While still young -- only two and three years old respectively -- both festivals boasted big lineups, plenty of ambition and, crucially, noticeable growth from past years. If anyone wanted signs of that elusive "signature" North Texas festival in the making, there was reason to be optimistic.

And then there was Austin City Limits Festival, which held its first of two weekends of music this past weekend for those compelled to make the trip down south. Now in its 13th year, it's hard to argue with how ACL does business; it's inarguably the state's most prominent festival outside of SXSW. Which begs the question: What can our local festivals learn from ACL? And do we even want an event like it in Dallas?

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