If you've ever wondered what motor oil tastes like, go down to your local pub and order a pint of Guinness. We like beer as much as the next guy. In fact, occasionally we have drunk enough for us and the next guy, but Guinness is where we draw the line. On the few occasions we've ingested the thick black liquid, we've awakened the following morning with the strange sensation that we'd eaten one of our pillows while we slept. It was like having a beer float. Call us crazy, but we like to have our dessert with a cup of coffee, not in our beer. Many people out there might scoff at our distaste for the creamy beverage and point out that we are something of a disgrace to our Irish heritage. Fine. We're comfortable with that. At least more comfortable than we'd be if we ever had to drink another pint of Guinness. If you disagree, head down to The Old Monk on Friday to participate in the Great Guinness Toast, an effort to get in The Guinness Book of Records for the most people toasting at the same time. Celtic rock band The Killdares will perform at 8 p.m. The Old Monk is located at 2847 N. Henderson, and there is no cover. Call (214) 821-1880.
The Dallas Video Festival doesn't start for several weeks, but beginning Saturday, The MAC and the Dallas Video Festival are offering a preview of this year's showcase. Well, sort of. The exhibit, Wired for Living, features 13 video and film works by visual artists, including Matthew McCaslin, Nam June Paik, Kaleta Doolin, Brian Fridge, and Nic Nicosia. It's an acknowledgment of how far video art has come, finally on par with "painting and sculpture as collectible items," according to Bart Weiss, director of the Dallas Video Festival. That may be true, but it's still going to take a while to convince us that the medium responsible for Saved By the Bell: The New Class can be thought of in the same terms as painting or sculpture. See for yourself when Wired for Living opens at The MAC, 3120 McKinney, on Saturday with a free reception from 6 p.m. till 8 p.m. The exhibit continues through April 3. The 12th Annual Dallas Video Festival happens on March 25-28. Call (214) 953-1212.
Pardon us for raining on its parade, but the lineup for the two-day Third Annual Texas Independence Day Music Festival doesn't exactly strike us as, uh, exciting. It looks more like a Deep Ellum junior varsity scrimmage, featuring the likes of Shame Shame, Resident Hero, Tiffany Shea Band, Eden Automatic, Seventh Veil, and another fine mess. Kinda makes you wonder who'll be playing at the Galaxy Club and Curtain Club, since all the usual suspects will be at Sons of Hermann Hall for the festival. Of course, there are a few standouts. Well, two, actually: blues man (and Observer contributor) Josh Alan and snotty punks The Visitors. But sorry, fellas, two out of three dozen ain't good. Prove us wrong. The Third Annual Texas Independence Day Music Festival happens 2 p.m.-midnight Sunday and 7 p.m.-2 a.m. Monday at Sons of Hermann Hall, 3414 Elm. Tickets are $15 on Sunday and $10 on Monday. Call (214) 823-3966.
Since December 1990, the USA Film Festival has presented classic films on the first Monday of every month, giving people a chance to see some of the best films Hollywood ever produced as they were intended to be viewed: on a big screen. While we question the film that started the series (Funny Face), for the most part the festival's picks have been unimpeachable--not only critics' faves, but just plain good movies, whether they are Bruce Lee flicks such as Enter the Dragon or underrated gems such as The Night of the Hunter. The USA Film Festival celebrates the 100th screening of its First Monday Classics series with Alfred Hitchcock's masterpiece Notorious, starring Cary Grant and Ingrid Bergman. The screening happens at 7:30 p.m. at the AMC Glen Lakes Theatres, 9450 N. Central Expressway. Tickets are $7, $6 for USA Film Festival members. Call (214) 821-FILM.