By Kelly Dearmore
By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
By Anna Merlan
By Lee Escobedo
By Alice Laussade
The Door: One for the kids: The Door offers a tobacco- and alcohol-free environment for all ages to see their favorite local and Christian bands. The club includes two stages and an attached coffeehouse for the beatniks, plus signposts pointing toward heaven, hell and the rest rooms. 3202 Elm at Trunk Ave, 214-742-DOOR.
The Door Fort Worth: The sister club to the Deep Ellum original offers local kids, teens and adults a chance to see Christian rock groups other than in their church or a coffeehouse. (Non-Christian bands do play here as well.) A single large room with a stage in front, a non-alcoholic bar in back and thats about it. 2625 Rodeo Plaza, Fort Worth, 817-624-OPEN.
Eisenbergs Skate Park: Located in historic downtown Plano, Eisenbergs offers something for kids of all ages. There are bike and skate ramps, a skate shop, an arcade and the occasional rock show. Just blocks from the DART rail station. 930 E 15th St, Plano, 972-509-7725.
The Elbow Room: Sitting on the outskirts of Deep Ellum, this is the place to unwind from the hustle and bustle of the arts district. A cozy little nook, as the name suggests, it also offers free shuffleboard, darts, cheap pool and a classic-rock-heavy jukebox. 3010 Gaston Ave, 214-828-9488.
Elm St. Bar: With its cheap liquor and cheaper thrills, this is a pretty good place to disappear after a show. Or during: We once left the Galaxy between bands and never made it back, sucked into a few games of pool and a few more adult beverages. One of the few constants on a troubled block of Deep Ellum real estate that might as well be situated on top of a sinkhole. 2812 Elm St, 214-653-1668.
Escapade 2001: Our Hollywood Heights neighborhood is virtually deserted on weekend nights, because most of Dallas surging Latino population is at this hangar-sized hangout, getting their ranchera and cumbia on. Only open Friday through Sunday, they still make more money than every other club in the area. 10707 Finnell St, 214-654-0545.
Escapade 2009: Did you read the item above? Well, same goes here, except the soundtrack is slightly more hip, with techno and rock en espaol added to the mix. 10707 Finnell St, 214-654-9595.
Fort Worth Convention Center: As far as convention centers go, if youve seen one, youve seen them all. This goes for the largest concert venue in Fort Worth. A semi-circular arena provides room for 14,000 fans and, well, room for 14,000 fans. 1111 Houston, Fort Worth, 817-570-2222.
Galaxy Club: With Orbit Room long dead (tip your bottle), this is pretty much the sole provider of all-ages shows. (Which means a 12-year-old and his dad might bum a smoke off you at some point.) Punk and not-so-punk, local and national, bands that have been together for 10 years and some for 10 minutes--they all hit the Galaxys stage at one time or another. Now go stand in front of it. 2820 Main St, 214-742-5299.
Good Records: The record store with its racks covered in yellow paint and colored light bulbs puts up a stage in the back cranny that usually holds a listening center when local bands have a CD release party or when touring bands want a more intimate showcase. 617 N Good Latimer, 214-752-4663.
The Granada Theater: We werent big fans of this former movie house when it redebuted as a live-music venue, but the Granada has been doing better of late. Theyve shored up the sound woes that plagued early shows and started bringing in acts (Sigur Rs, Bob Dylan, Macy Gray) that make audiences forget about the remaining problems. Still kinda hard to see the stage unless youre a few feet away. 3524 Greenville Ave, 214-824-9933.
Gypsy Tea Room: A frequent winner of Best of Dallas and Dallas Observer Music Awards, and rightfully so. The club regularly brings first-rate acts to town (from Wilco to the Roots to Steve Earle to Common to Doves, and thats just a start), and the bathrooms are some of the cleanest and most well-stocked around. 2548 Elm St, 214-74-GYPSY.
Hard Rock Cafe: Enough rock-and-roll memorabilia to knock your socks off--be sure to check out ZZ Tops woolly guitars and the Cheese Club (just ask). True story: This HRC, though now the Supreme Court of Rock & Roll, originally housed a church. 2601 McKinney Ave, 214-855-0007.
Hole in the Wall: Exactly what youd expect given the name: kind of out-of-the-way and tiny as a circus-sideshow attraction. There are few better places in the area to get the blues (or a burger) than Hole in the Wall, where local legend Hash Brown hosts a jam every Wednesday. Come in the summertime, when the patio out back is open. But watch the parking situation: The dirt lot gets muddy after a few drops, and the next-door businesses have tow trucks on speed dial. 11654 Harry Hines Blvd, 972-247-2253.
Humperdinks: Karaoke is something not many do sober, and thats probably how it should be. Luckily, the mugs at this brewpub are fairly large, which helps make Wednesday and Thursday nights at the bar a little more agreeable. 6050 Greenville Ave, 214-368-1203.