DC9 at Night Mixtape with Michael Todd

Categories: Mixtape

Michael Todd still behind the decks after 26 years.

There are veteran DJs and then there are guys like Michael Todd. Todd has been a constant force in the Dallas DJ community for 26 years. At one point or another, he has played almost every spot you can play in DFW thanks to a variety of guest slots and weekly residencies. Some of his notable old school haunts include the upstairs at Club One, Mick's, Nervosa at 8.0 in Fort Worth and Liquid. Nowadays he can be found at his monthly Ellumental event at Red Light Lounge that he throws with his partner JWho. For this week's mixtape Q&A Todd gives touches on his favorite music and his DJ grind.

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The Best North Texas Country Albums of 2014

Categories: Best Of

Shane Kislack
Matt Hillyer's debut solo-effort was worth the wait.

Just because we handed out some trophies last week doesn't mean we're done celebrating the best music that came out of our area this year. As a historical matter of fact, North Texas has long enjoyed a rich abundance of country music talent. In 2014, we've seen that many beloved vets of the Dallas and Fort Worth honky tonks have just as much creative power as some of the brightest younger talents do.

For those with hearing that extends beyond mainstream radio and the ability to step into a club that may not be inside the hipster-safe confines of Dallas proper, country music in all of its myriad forms are well-represented between Grand Prairie and Denton. Twangy songs inflected with blues, folk and rock have been a part of the country stew for generations, and north Texas in 2014 has certainly been no exception to that. Here's our Top Five North Texas Country Albums for 2014.

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The Zombies to Headline 35 Denton's 2015 Return

Categories: Festivals

Ed Steele
35 Denton held a party earlier this fall at Hailey's as a lead-up to today's announcement
Don't call it a comeback, kids. After a year on the bench, Denton's one-time premiere music festival NXNW -- er, 35 Confederate -- er, 35 Denton -- is poised to jump back into the fray in 2015. It'll be a slightly different landscape than when the festival last took place back in the spring of 2013; since then, another Denton festival, Oaktopia, has happened not once but twice, drawing on much the same format and establishing itself pretty well in its second go-round.

Then again, the two festivals take place six months apart (35 Denton in March, Oaktopia in September) and they offer pretty different lineups. Where Oaktopia draws more heavily on hip hop and electronic music, 35 Denton is hearkening its return with a headliner from the land of '60s pop: the Zombies.

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Barak Epstein Wants Texas Theatre to Be a Premiere Dallas Music Venue

Categories: Interviews

Juan Vargas
iill performs at Texas Theatre's Behind the Screen series back in November

For Aviation Cinemas co-owner Barak Epstein, the Texas Theatre is an integral part of the Dallas film and music scene. And he has a pretty damn good point: The historic theater screens 35mm prints of cult-classic films, has a full-service bar that serves movie-themed drinks complete with a safe-room art gallery, and is a formidable music venue.

In fact, that last one is a bit of a sleeper: Texas Theatre has showcased national touring acts like Thurston Moore, No Age and Goblin as well as locals such George Quartz, Black Dots and Def Rain. And a big part of that cred can be attributed to the one-of-a-kind experience offered by Epstein's Behind the Screen series.

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The Best North Texas Songs of 2014

Categories: Best Of

Mike Brooks
Blue, the Misfit

It's been an exciting year for Dallas music. If there were any room before to doube whether the local scene was on the rise, there should be none left after 2014. There are plenty of ways to judge that, from the reemergence of Deep Ellum to the artists who've gotten national attention, be it from major labels of festival slots. Most nights of the week, there's a great show with a local artist happening in almost any neighborhood.

But of course it all boils down to the songs -- and there, too, Dallas is in rude health. From hip hop to punk rock, dance tracks and deep album cuts, there were dozens of memorable songs from local artists in 2014. Today we've picked out 20 of the best.

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Dallas' Narrow Head Found Shoegaze Through a Shared Love of Hardcore Music

Categories: Interviews

Kiran Khattra
Narrow Head's members come from both Dallas and Houston
The band is called Narrow Head. You probably haven't heard of them yet. You will. Formed in 2013 by guitarist and vocalist Ryan Hughes, bass player Jay Chary, Houston's guitarist and vocalist Jacob Duarte and drummer Keaton Khonsari (since replaced by Houston resident Carson Wilcox), Narrow Head has become a vehicle for its members to explore their interest in shoegaze and '90s alternative rock. Yet their oldest member is just 21 years old.

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Libertine Bar Celebrates 15 Years of Christmas Toy Drives with Concert Tonight

Categories: A Good Cause

Mike Brooks
Ryan Thomas Becker is one of many artists who make return visits to the toy drive
15 years ago, Chad Davenport and Simon McDonald were working at the old Muddy Waters on Greenville Avenue and wanted to start a charity. It was near Christmas time, so a toy drive made sense. That first year's event, which was held at Muddy Waters, was a success, and in the decade-and-a-half since then it's become a neighborhood tradition, having spent a year along the way at Barley House before moving to Libertine Bar when it opened in 2006.

Now in their 40s, McDonald and Davenport have been running the event for nearly half their lives, having started it in their 20s. Tonight they'll be celebrating a golden birthday of sorts, as their host the 15th annual installment on the 15th day of December.

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The Best North Texas Metal Albums of 2014

Categories: Best Of

Courtney Scholari
Baring Teeth released some of North Texas' most forward-thinking metal in 2014
2014 was a good year for Dallas metal. While it wasn't as prolific as years past, the Dallas metal scene's output still possessed a depth of quality. Death metal, thrash, hardcore-punk-influenced metal, heavy metal and sludge were all represented by this year's class of Dallas metal releases. Some could be forgiven for thinking this was a down year for Dallas metal; three of these five albums were released in October or later. That being the case, there were a lot of late entrants into the best albums of 2014 discussion in Dallas metal, from both established and lesser known bands. In the end, this year's class illustrates the diversity of the Dallas metal scene.

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Fleetwood Mac Preached the Power of Change Last Night at American Airlines Center

Categories: Last Night

Tony Nelson
Christine McVie (pictured in Minneapolis) played Dallas with Fleetwood Mac on Sunday

Fleetwood Mac
American Airlines Center, Dallas
Sunday, December 14, 2014

They say that as you get older, your passions get a little less intense. You gain perspective, and the emotions that make each of life's ups and downs feel like the beginning or the end of the world smooth out. Romance takes a back seat to the enduring qualities of friendship.

In the case of Lindsey Buckingham, that's both true and not true. The rawness of his playing, the almost unhinged quality of how he channels his music, is as strong as ever, has maybe even increased as he's gotten older. It's just that it's changed. But as was demonstrated Sunday night at American Airlines Center, one thing that hasn't changed is that those passions, which are so crucial to Fleetwood Mac's music, wouldn't be the same without Christine McVie's calming influence.

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The Best Concerts In Dallas This Week, 12/15-12/21

Categories: Previews

Courtesy the artist
Centro-matic, we hardly knew ye: The boys bid farewell with three nights in Denton

This week, it's time to say farewell to one of the most beloved bands in North Texas, Centro-Matic. They'll play three sold out shows at Dan's Silver Leaf, the last of which will be their final show, on Sunday. Red Bull Sound Select is closing out the year with two shows of its own: one with the Pains of Being Pure at Heart headlining at Dada on Wednesday and the other with Anamanguchi headlining at Trees on Thursday. Jill Scott does the whole WinStar thing. There's plenty of local flavor, too, as Central Track throws a Christmas party with A.Dd+, Sealion and Larry g(EE) and Sudie opens for the Blow at Three Links.

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