Line 'Em Up

The Black Rebel Motorcycle Club vrooms into Deep Ellum, sparking hope in a new venue's owners

Where they really hope to have an effect on the venue, though, is in their booking. With some help from a few friends—John Iskander of Parade of Flesh booking and Michael Briggs of Gutterth Production are lending a hand—Jackson figures the club will be able to draw some interesting local and touring acts to his stage. Add that to the fact that every weeknight will boast a different DJ from around town—already, he's confirmed residencies with local favorites Select and Nature of The Party, among others—and Jackson figures he has a winning formula. Even when the Lounge hosts live bands, the resident DJs will still perform, offering their sounds between band sets, Jackson says.

"That way," Magallon explains, "it will feel more like a party and less like a show."

"It's an angle," Jackson says. "It might not work, but we're hoping it will."

BRMC's Peter Hayes sneaks a smoke during his band's second hour-and-a-half-long set on Friday night.
Daniel Rodrigue
BRMC's Peter Hayes sneaks a smoke during his band's second hour-and-a-half-long set on Friday night.

As they walk around their space, Magallon and Jackson, perhaps rightfully, seem more anxious than anything. And though they have no illusions about why they chose to open a club in what seems like a doomed part of town when it comes to live music venues—"Well," Jackson says, "No. 1: It was cheap"—they think they can make a difference within the neighborhood.

"No, Deep Ellum isn't what it was," Jackson says, referring to the area's heyday of the '80s and '90s.

But, in recent years, Deep Ellum hasn't seen lines like the one outside of Dada last weekend either. With their money invested and the Lounge on Elm Street about to open for business, of course Jackson and Magallon might be a little biased. But, to them, that line signaled a potential return to form for the neighborhood.

"Just as long as there's people down here having a good time, that's all we want," Jackson says. "As long as there's a few places for people to go to, it'll almost be like the old days.

"I'm ready to get these doors open and make it happen."

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