Why Are You Wearing Scarves in Summer, Dallas?

Categories: Fashion, Q&A

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Alice Laussade
Even scarves don't want you to wear scarves right now.

Recently, I asked a scarf if it had a moment to sit with me and talk about why it's in Dallas so much this time of year. The scarf was gracious enough to oblige. Here is our interview:

Hey, Scarf. Can I just ask, what the hell? It's 100 degrees outside. Why are people wearing you all over Dallas right now?
I know, right? I saw a dude wearing a woolie beanie in NorthPark Mall the other day, and I almost punched him in the smirky face. We are not at all seasonal right now.

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fashion, scarf

Workaholics' Maribeth Monroe Brings Her All-Female Comedy Troupe Lady Town to Dallas

Categories: Comedy, Q&A

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Courtesy of Lady Town
Workaholics'Maribeth Monroe and Second City's Kate Duffy

Maribeth Monroe is one busy lady. She's starring in a new dark comedy for HBO called The Brink about a geopolitical whirlwind that could bring about World War III. She's gearing up to shoot the new season of Workaholics where she plays the perpetually stressed and enraged boss, Alice. Plus, she has to drive to and from the set everyday in the hellish, Mad Max-ian landscape that is LA's daily commute.

"Honestly, it's exhausting," Monroe says just after walking through the door of her home in LA from a long day on the set.

A schedule like that might call for endless massages in her downtime. Monroe, however, doesn't stop acting when the director yells "Cut!" She also spends some of her evenings and weekends at Second City Hollywood or flying around the country with her comedy improv troupe called Lady Town starring Monroe, Jaime Moyer and Kate Duffy. The group will perform a local show at 10:30 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 2nd at the Dallas Comedy House.


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Taylor "Lil' Bit" Wright of CMT's Party Down South: "I Can Pray With a Beer in My Hand"

Categories: Pop Culture, Q&A

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Andy Batts -- Courtesy CMT
Plenty of reality television shows seem to go the extra mile in supporting stereotypes. Two of the most popular reality shows in the format's history, MTV's Jersey Shore and A&E's Duck Dynasty, certainly focus on -- and capitalize on -- the most outrageous traits of the respective shows' characters. Thick accents, folksy witticism and unique grooming methods have been prominent go-to tools of those shows and have helped hordes of viewers relate to the stars of each series in ways that are usually impossible on competition-intensive productions such as Top Chef or Survivor.

Early this year, seemingly out of the deepest swamps of the dirty South, CMT's Party Down South managed to combine the most appealing -- or least appealing, depending on your perspective -- of the two reality television touchstones as it became the biggest hit of CMT's history (take that, Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders!). Throwing some party-ready dudes (Ryan, Lyle, Murray and Walt) and belles (Taylor, Tiffany, Mattie and Lauren) into a gorgeous waterside house in South Carolina stocked with plenty of Jack Daniel's, light beer, strong personalities and even mightier hormones made for viewing many might put into the guilty pleasure category, but here at Mixmaster, there's never any guilt in the pleasure we take.

The second season of Party Down South, which premiered last Thursday, has all of the cast members from season one reunited. But this time, the crew is tearing up a neighbor-free house in the woods near Athens, Georgia. Taylor "Lil' Bit" Wright, the 24-year-old charming, diminutive and recently divorced Christian who can win a bikini contest as easily as she can send prayers up for her vomiting housemates will be in town this week with another PDS cast member, the take-no-bull-crap Louisiana dynamo Tiffany, hosting the Thrifty Thursday Party at Denton's Rockin' Rodeo.


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Hagfish Drummer Tony Barsotti Still Hammering Away as a Furniture Craftsman

Categories: Q&A

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Ricky Pearson
Tony Barsotti
There's no real way to describe how Tony Barsotti enters a room. It's part Kramer, part swagger, mostly Tony. He's full of energy and confidence and talent. And holy shit, this man has talent. He was the drummer in Hagfish back in the day -- the hard driving, mid-'90s Deep Ellum punk rock days -- and today Barsotti is way more than a drummer. He still dabbles in music and reunites with Hagfish for the occasional show, but he also designs and builds furniture, props and lamps, techs for photographers and, oh yeah, dirt bikes.

When his band broke up back in the '90s most of the guys were headed to Cozumel, but Barsotti skipped out and said, "I think I'm going to buy a table saw." After that, he took on jobs as they came in. "People would say 'I need this' and I'd go, 'OK, give me a week, I'll get the tool and figure it out.'" Those early projects weren't perfect, but they were passable, and the work continued to come in. In the beginning, his design skills surpassed his construction, but over the years his building abilities caught up. Now he's going back to his design roots and calling on others to do some of the assembly -- "Like if I don't want to do a high gloss, I'll call and say, 'Hey, can you spray this for me?'"

He runs the gamut on building what he calls "fine ... fine-ish" furniture to prop tables for Penney's and one-off pop-up jobs along the way. He just completed a massive modular desk for a Dallas local and was also called on to make an 8-foot pencil for a design business moving to town.

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Spike of Spike & Mike's Sick and Twisted Festival of Animation Talks About His Late Partner and Cartooning in the Digital Age

Categories: Q&A

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Courtesy of Spike & Mike
Craig "Spike" Decker and his garden gnome.

Long before Adult Swim, MTV's Liquid Television and even most of the cartoons that penetrated your sugar riddled brain on Saturday mornings, Spike & Mike were traveling the globe introducing audiences to the joy and magic of animation.

"We were with Pixar before Steve Jobs was with Pixar," Spike said from his office in California. "We were doing shows with Tim Burton. The list goes on and on. I can honestly say we were there first with our fingers on the pulse before anyone in the world with Sick and Twisted as well creating a new genre of twisted animation and showing that it can be edgy and part of popular culture."

Craig "Spike" Decker and Mike Gribble, the founders and hosts of the roving Spike & Mike's Festival of Animation and Sick and Twisted Festival of Animation, had such a passion for short animated films that they brought them to audiences all over the world. Spike continues to tour internationally with his newest batches of animated movies as one-half of the group after Gribble passed away in 1994 from pancreatic cancer.

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Dallas Comic-Con Stars Recall Their Strangest Convention Moments

Categories: Q&A

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Ed Steele
Not Manu Bennett at right.
Fandom is an interesting driver. It drives some people to permanently paint their bodies with portraits of their favorite characters or spend scads of money and effort on elaborate costumes and disguises to express their love for their favorite TV shows, movies and comic books.

Seeing someone in a full Gouki costume outside of Halloween or Mardi Gras may sound unusual if you aren't a convention regular, but for the stars of this year's Dallas Comic-Con, dedicated cosplayers are reminders of how deeply their work can touch their audience.

Michael Rooker, Manu Bennett and Stan Lee have been to countless comic conventions and have made the days of an untold number of fans who wait in long lines to spend less than two minutes getting something autographed, snapping a selfie or pressing the flesh.

"From an outsider looking in, all of it is weird," said Rooker who played Merle Dixon on AMC's The Walking Dead, "but for someone who's been in theater and show business as long as I have, the con and how it's grown over the years has been really joyous to see. You get people who dress up and get to come and hangout in line and meet actors from star wars and some of my favorites, and even the newer things like my show The Walking Dead."

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Oak Cliff Soap's Ariel Saldivar Comes Clean on Art, Business and the Worst Scent Ever

Categories: Q&A

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Dan Johnson
Ariel Saldivar, Renaissance woman.
I first became aware of Ariel Saldivar at Wigwam, the Oak Cliff holiday pop-up shop most recently hosted at Oil & Cotton. Her Oak Cliff Soap Co. soaps were for sale and I bought three. Fancy soaps are one of those rare treats -- like a bag of gummy bears, but less likely to induce a diabetic coma.

Handcrafted soaps are just one facet of Saldivar's creative work, though. Not long after our interview, she popped up in 5x6, short film that put five questions to six local, working artists, getting their thoughts about creativity, art and what it means to be an artist. Salidvar was featured for her national jewelry line, Olivia K. If you're keeping track, that's two crafts -- soap making and jewelry, but wait, there's more. She also sings opera, lent her vocals to Broken Social Scene and once had an impromptu lunch with Sir Richard Branson. She's currently the associate director of the Goss-Michael Foundation and blogs about art history in her spare time.

Why soap? At the time she was trying to come up with a fundraiser for Oil & Cotton, the creative exchange and art education forum in Bishop Arts. Soap was something she could make that would generate scholarship funds so little neighborhood Picassos could attend classes for free. Oak Cliff Soap Co. premiered at the third Wigwam and raised over $1,000 for students. At six bucks a pop, that's pretty impressive. Keep in mind this was the second business Saldivar launched and her years creating and marketing Olivia K certainly helped her avoid some earlier missteps.

"It's great to have big dreams and big visions, but the reality comes down to dollars and cents. There are things to consider that none of us really want to consider -- not just the cost for supplies, but the cost of branding, too."

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We Are 1976's Vynsie Law on Inspiration and Competitive Bowling

Categories: Q&A

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Darren Braun

When we first approached Vynsie Law for an interview, she was reluctant. Not because VoiceMemo on iPhone freaks her out, but she was afraid she'd come off like a real snoozer. That's the beauty of Law though. She's a cool kid who has no idea she's a cool kid.

Law is part of the trifecta that make up the owners/buyers/exceptional-taste-havers that own We Are 1976. If you've been in Dallas for more than a day, you're familiar with the shop - it's stocked with Japanese cutie things like crocheted cacti, tiny pistol necklaces and posters by local and national screenprinters - but what you're probably not familiar with is the humans behind the shop. And that's where we come in.


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Getting to Know Matt McCrimmon, the Man Behind the Mirrors

Categories: Q&A

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Krista Hogg
In addition to being a cat king (obviously), Matt McCrimmon is the owner and chief mirror maker at Field Day He's also currently a finalist in the Uncommon Goods designer competition.
Get to know the people behind some of Dallas' interesting, unique, art-inspired local businesses. Know any good ones? Drop us a tip in the comments.

Matt McCrimmon makes mirrors. Not the big sheets of nothing you find on bathroom walls, but ones that are circular, inspired by astrology and wrapped in flat-brushed copper. He's come a long way from his first job stocking the shelves of Kmart where aco-worker informed him that he had to shake the bottles of Italian dressing before straightening them because they sell better that way. Of course, that was a hazing ritual and no doubt the first in a long line of BS he's been fed from job to job. We've all been there, but McCrimmon actually did something about it. He spent 34 years trying his hand at furniture making, business owning and wine pairing, and his latest endeavor is just the right fit.

Mirrors an extremely niche product and such an unusual thing to specialize in, so how exactly did McCrimmon learn how to do what he does? He asked questions. In fact, he "asked one million and one fucking questions." He talked to everyone in the Dallas area who made mirrors, cut glass, new how to adhere this surface to that one. Everyone. He picked up the phone, met people in person and just kept following that trail of knowledge. Old-timers were always happy to share their wisdom, even if they didn't quite understand McCrimmon's vision. Maybe none of them had seen the constellation Aries hand cut in brass and set in a mirror, but they were about to.

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William Sarradet: A Need-to-Know Artist in Dallas' Underground Art Scene

Categories: Q&A

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There's a revolution brewing just off Greenville Avenue. With a handful of cords, a projector and a few speakers, a DIY collective waves its middle fingers in the air at the fine art market. This is Two Bronze Doors. By day a small, nondescript house sits right off Lower Greenville's strip of bars and restaurants strip. On weekends and nights, the house becomes performance space. The porch fills with its passionate followers, there to cut their teeth on experimental art, video projections, harsh noise and glitch music. At the heart of TBD stands artist, performer, resident VJ, and one of the most forward-
thinking acts in Dallas, William Sarradet, also known as Half Asexual.

Sarradet curates the Viral Fantasy shows at TBD, a mixture of milky pop, early 2000's music video re-animation and performance art. Sarradet selects videos, sometimes with guest curators, that meditate on media singularity through pop music's most important epochs.

At a Half Asexual show you are peering into the looking glass. Staring back at you is Van Gogh's ear, Sauron's eye and Skynet's grin. We sat down with Sarradet to learn about his approach to creating the future by gathering the past, his DIY philosophy and the great American cartoon, Arthur.


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