By Kelly Dearmore
By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
By Anna Merlan
By Lee Escobedo
By Alice Laussade
Indigo: The (somewhat) unfinished interior and (generally) unvarnished lineups suggest a club still finding its way, but the scrappy staff seems sure theyll get there. Seen some good shows there, and some bad ones, which is pretty much standard operating procedure when talking about a club that feels like the minor leagues. We mean that as a compliment. 2702 Main St, 214-651-7377.
Jefferson Freedom Cafe: Consider this the Fort Worth branch of the venerable Uncle Calvins Coffeehouse: family-friendly, largely acoustic and housed in a church. Shows happen on the third Saturday of every month. 1959 Sandy Lane, Unitarian Church, Fort Worth, 817-424-2727.
J & J Blues Bar: Occasionally strays into other genres, but J & Js is still a slice of blues heaven. Because of the music? Yeah, sure. They bring in some pretty swell national and regional gee-tar slingers. Or because of the cheap drinks and free parking? Trust us, they know what side gets the butter; check out the phone number. 937 Woodward, Fort Worth, 817-870-BEER.
Lakewood Bar and Grill: A top-notch East Dallas bar. Especially fond of trivia on Saturday nights, but the weekend band lineup and special events (dinner and movie with Animal House...nuff said) make the LBGs cold beer taste all the better. 6340 Gaston Ave, 214-826-3888.
Liquid: The former home of the Arcadia Theater, this Lower Greenville haunt has had more face-lifts than Joan Rivers, but its latest makeover--a place where young professional types can dance off some steam--seems to have stuck. You wont find a better-looking nightclub around, its art-deco details remaining through every incarnation. And its got a huge dance floor, theater seating for relaxing and a bar at every turn. Which should have been the first thing we said. 2005 Greenville Ave, 214-823-9700.
Liquid Lounge: The Curtain Clubs lil sibling has a small capacity and a small stage decorated with a parachute. The more mellow setting includes lots of booths and tables and chairs, plus a balcony for optimal viewing. 2800 Main St, 214-742-2336.
Lizard Lounge: Maybe best known for hosting goth-friendly The Church on Sunday nights, Lizard Lounge also features some of the worlds best DJs on a regular basis. Several rooms plus a rooftop deck offer a good combination of dance floor and dark corners. Fun fact: Madonna tried to buy this place. Yes, that Madonna. 2424 Swiss Ave, 214-826-4768.
Majestic Theatre: A restored theater dating back to the 20s, the Majestic offers everything from fringe theater to mainstream touring acts, from spoken word and comedy to rock bands. 1925 Elm St, 214-880-0137.
The Meridian Room: This Expo Park staple has the look of an old speakeasy with lots of polished wood, low lighting, a long mirror-backed bar and a row of booths against the exposed brick. Despite the laid-back attitude, the service is fast and accurate. Oh, and the mood music is good, too. 3611 Parry Ave, 214-826-8383.
Micks Bar: This shotgun bar has a stylish midcentury look, a DJ on the wheels nightly (if you feel like dancing) and a swinging bar area (if you dont). Rule of thumb: Come early to grab one of the booths. 2827 Greenville Ave, 214-827-0039.
Moose and Vinnys: If you remember the scene in Ghost World where Steve Buscemis blues fetishist endures an aural assault from Blues Hammer in a strip-mall club, you kind of already know what its like to walk into this sports-bar chain that attempts to draw in local blues purists. M and Vs does, however, offer a pretty jumping jam session every Wednesday with Tutu Jones. So theyve got that going for them. Which is nice. 9220 Skillman St #115, 214-342-BEER.
Muddy Waters: Dallas music up-close and personal, Muddy Waters is home to many a blues act (hence the name), such as Homer Hendersons One Man Band, but dont let that deter you if blues aint your bag. The bar also hosts some of Dallas best pop, rock and acoustic acts. 1518 Greenville Ave, 214-823-1518.
New Amsterdam Coffeehaus: This comfy coffeehouse/bar is the perfect stop after a leisurely stroll through Fair Park. A great beer selection and jovial bartenders make for a nice neighborhood pub, conducive to intimate conversation and smooth jazz. 831 Exposition, 214-824-5301.
NextStage: We dont mean to play favorites, but this is probably the best place in the D-FW extended family to see a big-name touring act. Everything is top-freaking-notch; parking is a snap, the seats are perfectly positioned and comfortable as a recliner, and the staff is nicer than most grandparents. The concessions are reasonable, too. And, oh yeah, the lineup of bands is good and only getting better. More, please. 1001 NextStage Drive, Grand Prairie, 214-373-8000.
Old Crow: The last time we were here, our obnoxious, very drunk friend almost got thrown through a plate-glass window. Its one of the many reasons we love this spare, simple Lower Greenville bar. And the hotties. Plenty of hotties. 1911 Greenville Ave, 214-828-2769.
One: A hit-and-miss veteran of the local dance scene, One is rarely the loneliest number. Frustratingly crowded, it sometimes feels like your favorite T-shirt has shrunk in the wash. That said, when its on, you wont notice. 3025 Main St, 214-741-1111.