Peer into Deep Ellum Windows to Glimpse Some Really Cool Art

Categories: Visual Art

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Deep Ellum Windows

If you strolled down Main Street Saturday night, you may have seen an elephant plodding in place in the window of a deserted building. No doubt it caused many a double take, or momentary lingering. But a few curious souls, and those of us with a map, ventured inside for a stop on the most notable Deep Ellum Windows exhibitions on record this year.


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A Play by Play of the Denton Jazz & Arts Fest

Categories: Events

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Denton Jazz & Arts Festival

Every April thousands of north Texas musicians, aficionados, artists and party-lovers from all life's walks come out of the woodwork and converge on a 20-acre historic park in Denton to enjoy seven stages of music and an arts exhibition space of 17,000 square feet. Thousands more travel from across the state for the Denton Arts & Jazz Festival, which averages 200,000 attendees and is now in its 34th year.


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16 Awesome Things to Do this Weekend, April 24-27

Categories: Dallas Stories

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Look, you've been treating earth pretty poorly. You drive an SUV, don't recycle as much as you should, and let's not even discuss how much Tupperware you own. Sure, Earth Day was technically Tuesday, but don't you think you owe your home planet a little bit more love? Lucky for you, the biggest Earth Day celebration in Dallas takes place this weekend with events kicking off Saturday and culminating in a free concert from The Polyphonic Spree at 5 p.m. Sunday. Earth Day Texas 2014 gives us all plenty of ways to honor and celebrate old Mother Earth from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. this Saturday and Sunday in Fair Park, 3809 Grand Ave. There will be exhibits, vendors, entertainment and celebrity appearances all geared toward sustainable lifestyles, or techniques to make your home and garden more earth-friendly. Admission is free.


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Mad Men Needs Less Staring, More Dying

Categories: Alice Column

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Equals Alice's kind of show.
I don't like Mad Men. Maybe it's because I used to be a copywriter in an ad agency. Hearing ad people love on Mad Men is grosser than watching your parents make out. "As an art director, I love the art direction." "I really feel like Peggy and I are the same person sometimes -- how come I have to do all the dildo ads, right? Oh, because I'm a girl? I CAN'T BELIEVE IT'S STILL 1950. UGH."

Maybe it's because I heard it was a comedy and I watched the whole first season waiting for Joan's boobs to crack a joke.

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Intermission: Who Needs It?

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ATTPAC
Last week, my sister invited me to be her date to Beauty & the Beast at the Winspear Opera House. I happily obliged, because I'm a sucker for nostalgia. She's also a member of the press, so we had killer seats in the center of the orchestra section. We purchased our sippy cups of wine that we could cry into when the blissful memories of childhood became too much. We plopped into our seats and as the familiar melody of the overture began to play, we both realized we would very quickly be in need of trips to the restroom. She climbed over the patrons to our left, eliciting what sounded like, "are you f**king kidding?" And I cowered in my seat, legs crossed, praying for intermission.

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Three Reasons to Hear the Dallas Symphony Orchestra Do Beethoven

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How well do you know your Beethoven, Dallas? Time to get intimate.
One of the best ways to get to know an individual artist is to see a really well curated retrospective of his or her work. Whether its organized thematically or chronologically doesn't really matter, the benefit is in the bulk.

There's something about seeing a lifetime's worth of work in one space that is extremely intimate. You walk out of the museum or gallery with a deeper, more personal connection to the artist than you had before and, ideally, every encounter you have with that artists' work in the future is changed -- there's a more complete understanding, an instant recognition of personality.

On Monday, the Dallas Symphony Orchestra is kicking off a retrospective of sorts, a three-week-long Beethoven Festival that includes performances of all 10 of the composer's violin sonatas, three of his nine symphonies (Nos. 5, 7 and 9), a monster of a piano concerto (No. 5, "The Emperor"), and a smattering of some half a dozen of his other works for orchestra, piano solo and strings. Basically, it's an all-out Beethoven binge sesh, and a really great way to get to know this important musical artist better.

Below are three pretty solid reasons to check out at least one of the DSO's upcoming Beethoven Fest concerts. If any of them are true for you, get on the DSO's website and start snagging tickets because some of these concerts will likely sell out.

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One Night, Two Gallery Walks, 10 Must-See Shows

Categories: Visual Art

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Kettle Art Gallery

This weekend promises beautiful spring weather, a plethora of events and on opposite sides of town two day-long art gallery walks. In the Design District, Dallas Art Dealers Association hosts its annual spring bike swarm and gallery walk, during which visitors stop off at numerous participating spaces to see new artworks and curated shows.* Then, in Deep Ellum, the 15th Semiannual Gallery Walk features more than 15 stops throughout East Dallas, including the Continental Gin Open Studios, which offers a glimpse into the spaces of working artists.

With more than 50 spaces to choose from, and only 8 hours to visit (all the galleries will be open noon to 8 p.m.) it's going to be a long day, so we picked our top 10. Obviously these aren't necessarily the "best," just the ones that we feel we can look you in the eye and recommend. Whatever else you're doing Saturday, Shakespeare said it best, "Get thee to a gallery."

*Editor's note: Although these are billed as gallery "walks," actually walking from place to place is impossible.

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Five Low-Budget Horror and Sci-fi Gems Deep from the Bloody Heart of Texas

Categories: Film and TV

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Bloodsuckers from Outer Space: In Texas, family and friendliness are values shared by everyone, even the undead.

Texas has spawned dozens of low-budget horror and sci-fi films since the 1960s. Unfortunately most of them suck, although not in the ways most normal, well adjusted filmgoers would think. B-movie fans are some of the most forgiving audiences in the world and will gladly let glaring deficiencies in budget and plot slide provided the film delivers the entertainment goods, intentionally or otherwise. For the true trash connoisseur the only unpardonable sin is to be boring, and many of these regional nightmares have rightfully been condemned to languish in the hell of obscurity. It's a just sentence for tricking a generation of kids into renting them with their lurid box art and empty promises of entertainment. For every Texas Chainsaw Massacre or Robocop on the shelves of the local video store there were a half dozen horror movies that make Andy Warhol's cinematic oeuvre look positively frenetic in comparison.

Often released only on VHS, many of these films stand on the brink of oblivion thanks to the digital slow death of the mom-and-pop video store. In many instances this is no great loss to the world of cinema. Despite this high garbage-to-gold ratio the occasional forgotten gem still turns up in thrift stores and garage sales waiting to be picked like a psychedelic mushroom in a pile of longhorn manure.

In honor of the 2014 Texas Frightmare Weekend May 2-4 at the Hyatt Regency DFW (2334 North International Parkway) we bring you the best of homegrown horror and sci-fi from the '80s and '90s, the golden age of the VCR so often neglected by regional film historians. Although our standards and judgement may have been severely warped by prolonged exposure to Texas crude, the following films have been deemed worthy of rescue from the eternal cut-out bin, of interest to the discerning cinematic bottom-feeder or anyone curious to see what Dallas or Houston looked like before suburban sprawl fully set in.


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The Dallas Opera Announces Exit of Artistic Director Jonathan Pell. Sort Of.

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Jonathan Pell at the Winspear Opera House

You may not recognize his face, but if you've gone to an opera in Dallas at some point over the last 30 years, you're likely familiar with the result of his work. Jonathan Pell, The Dallas Opera's artistic director, has been the company's resident taste-maker for three decades, making important decisions about everything from which operas get staged to who stars in them.

This morning, TDO announced that Pell will be leaving the company at the end of this year. Well, sort of leaving. Pell asked to step down from his full-time position as artistic director to "do some other things that [he has] long wanted to do but for which [he] never had the time." But, at the request of the company, Pell has agreed to stay on as "artistic adviser" through the 2016/17 season to help with "artistic continuity."


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Klyde Warren Park Announces Classic Film Series to Start May 3

Categories: Film and TV

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The Big Sleep

You know what sounds nice? Lounging on a picnic blanket, with a couple of sandwiches from Jimmy's Food Store and a glass of wine, while watching good guy Humphrey Bogart suck face with Lauren Bacall. Apparently that's not just me, either, because the good people at Klyde Warren Park just announced its first annual (we hope!) film series and the line-up is pretty stellar. High-five, park people! (Full disclosure, I used to run the park's Facebook. You might remember my excessive use of exclamation points...)


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