The Liquid Lounge is poised to take over where the Dark Room left off, hosting rock shows in an intimate venue, shows that are a little quieter but much more special. Already the club has hosted two shows by Peter Schmidt's Legendary Crystal Chandelier project. (If you haven't heard the former Funland leader's new material, get to the Liquid Lounge now.) The club has also given a showcase to Beats 'n Pieces, which on the surface looks like just another DJ night, but it is much more. That's because the DJs--Mark Crowder and Christopher Ryan--aren't spinning the same kind of records that show up in most other clubs in Deep Ellum (or Li'l Addison, as we like to call it). Crowder and Ryan play an eclectic mix of records, including Britpop, drum 'n' bass, and '60s soul, from The La's to Marvin Gaye and all points in between. Beats 'n Pieces is a beefed-up version of the Sunday-night gig Crowder had at the London Tavern. The atmosphere isn't quite the same, but the music's just as good. The Liquid Lounge, located at 2800 Main, hosts Beats 'n Pieces every Thursday night. Call (214) 742-2336.
Another week, another festival. We don't mean to belittle the assorted festivals that happen almost every weekend between May and October (Who are we kidding? They happen every weekend.), but if we actually went to every festival that was offered, we'd be fat off of "authentic" cuisine--turkey legs--and know every Grand Street Cryers song by heart. If you do happen to be in the mood for a festival--that is to say, you're festive--The Ballpark at Arlington hosts Feast Fest '98--Tastes of Texas, featuring more than 25 chefs, 10 wine connoisseurs, 100 musicians, and three dozen children's entertainers. Headlining musicians include Blood, Sweat & Tears; Jo Dee Messina; Storyville; and--you guessed it--the Grand Street Cryers. We have a better idea: Go to a restaurant, listen to the radio on the way there, then drop your kids off at a movie. Feast Fest '98 happens on Friday (5 p.m. to 11 p.m.), Saturday (11 a.m. to 11 p.m.), and Sunday (1 p.m. to 9 p.m.) at The Ballpark in Arlington. Admission is $5; children 12 and under get in free. Call (214) 855-1881 for information.
Asian-Americans haven't made that much of an impact in the field of stand-up comedy. As far as quality Asian-American stand-ups go, there's Margaret Cho and, uh, Margaret Cho. To her credit, Cho's humor doesn't solely revolve around her ethnicity, even though she easily could have carved out her own niche by trading on the differences between Asian and American cultures. She would rather talk about her problems getting dates than muse on why Americans think that all Asians look alike. That's very fortunate, because the world definitely didn't need an Asian-American version of Yakov Smirnov. Margaret Cho headlines at Addison's Improv, located at 4980 Belt Line, June 25-28. Shows happen on Thursday and Sunday at 8:30 p.m., Friday at 8:30 p.m. and 10:30 p.m., and Saturday at 7 p.m., 9 p.m., and 11 p.m. Tickets are $15. Call (972) 404-8501.
Cosmic Swerly Things takes the 100-monkeys-with-100-typewriters approach to art: If you let the monkeys hammer away long enough, something good will eventually result. The shows produced by the multimedia art production company cover the spectrum from music to video to other types of visual art, throwing everything at the walls and marveling at what sticks. Nobody's Religion is the company's latest grab-bag show, featuring live music by the Nitrons, Corn Mo (who is kind of a combination between music and performance art), Loveswing, and others; video production by Michael Allen; and paintings by Chad W. Hoberer and Conrad Richter. We're guessing that Loveswing won't stick. The show happens at Club Clearview and Red, located at 2806 Elm. Doors open at 8 p.m., and the show lasts until 2 a.m. Admission is $5 ($4 with a canned food item). All proceeds benefit the AIDS Resource Center of Dallas. Call (214) 939-0077.
Everyone knows that shooting fireworks within the city limits is illegal, but isn't that part of the fun of it? Why would you set off marginally legal incendiary devices if there wasn't the threat of arrest or property damage? Yeah, sure, for the pretty explosions. It's the danger of it, the idea that the shady-looking rocket you're holding could either blow up in your hand or burn a hole in your neighbor's 4th of July decorations. Well, if you absolutely have to follow the letter of the law, Holiday Ranch presents You-Pop, a safe, legal place to shoot fireworks. The ranch has several acres of land for whatever fireworks you want to bring, and a kids' area for sparklers and poppers. We're practically bursting with excitement. You-Pop will be open daily June 26 through July 4. Hours are 4 p.m. to 10 p.m, except on July 3 and 4, when the ranch will be open from noon until the last firecracker has been popped. Admission is $3. The ranch is located two miles outside of Mansfield. Call (817) 790-2690 for details and directions.
One day, the South American rainforest will be a parking lot, and all we'll have to show for it is a hole in the ozone layer the size of the moon and a very mediocre Sean Connery film, 1992's Medicine Man. Orinoco: Secrets of the River, the Dallas World Aquarium's latest exhibit, offers a chance for people to see what they'll be missing. The exhibit is a painstaking recreation of a South American rain forest, filled with rare and exotic plants, squirrel monkeys, piranhas, and 85,000 gallons of salt water, including a 22,000-gallon walk-through tunnel. Eventually, Orinoco will look more like the rainforest than the forest does. Where is Sting when we need him? The Dallas World Aquarium is located at 1801 N. Griffin. Admission is $6-$10.95. Call (214) 720-2224.