Night & Day hasn't quite grasped the concept of Art Bar, one-fourth of the four-bars-in-one concept that also includes Club Clearview, Blind Lemon, and Red. Essentially an art gallery inside a bar, Art Bar is definitely more one than the other. We've been there a handful of times, but we'll be damned if we can recollect seeing even one work of art hanging on its walls. Not that there was any false advertising on Art Bar's part, we just can't remember anything we saw. Face it, you get us around an open bar, and you'll be lucky if we can recall our middle name a few hours later. We know there have been more than a few exhibits at Art Bar worthy of our time and attention--like Cabe Booth's excellent collection of portraits several months ago--and we may have even seen some of them. But the only memory we've ever really left Art Bar with is this: Accidentally walking the wrong way to the restroom one time, ending up in Blind Lemon, and having a fortysomething woman--who looked every second of her age--halting our progress and, uh, dirty-dancing with us. Well, she tried anyway. So, it's rather unfortunate that fashion designer Emily Bricker's three-year retrospective of her work, Fur and Function, happens to be displayed at Art Bar this month. Of course, there's a chance that a few people will go to see her work and maybe have a drink later. But if it's the other way around, the walls might as well be blank. Fur and Function opens on Thursday with a reception from 8 to 10 p.m. at the Art Bar, 2803 Main, and continues through April 25. The reception is free. Call (214) 939-0077.
We have nothing personal against Clebo Rainey or any of the other local performance poets in the area. And we'll admit that anyone who can get up in front of an audience and perform, no matter what their particular talent, has more, uh, guts than we do. (The last time we performed anything in public was a grade-school talent show in which we played the theme from Star Wars on piano. Hey, we never said we weren't nerds.) So, with that in mind, we wish all the participants competing to be a part of the Dallas Slam Team--among them Rainey, GNO, Jason Edwards, Jason Carney, Jena Weatherly, Kirsten Macy, Christopher Lane, Sean Pool, and Tara Sheth--the best of luck. The team of four members and one alternate will go on to the National Poetry Slam Competition in Chicago, trying to better last year's second-place finish. The slam-off happens Friday at 8:30 p.m. at Red, 2803 Main. A $5 cover charge goes toward the team's travel expenses. Call (214) 942-6812.
Who knows what will happen when Denton's Good/Bad Art Collective is unleashed on a real museum, specifically the Arlington Museum of Art? All we know is that we like the possibilities. The group's unusual take on the definition of art should brush up nicely against the staid environs of the AMA. But the G/BAC is only a small part--albeit certainly one of the best ones--of the AMA's True Stories, a group exhibit featuring Texas artists exploring the boundaries of contemporary photography, including works by Martin Brief, Heather Grace, Carol Nace, Jennifer Theis, and Karen Weiner. It should be well worth the trip, if only because the Dooms U.K.s' sock-stuffing frontman John Freeman has long been associated with Good/Bad, and knowing he might be involved makes anything worthwhile. True Stories opens on April 3 at the Arlington Museum of Art, 301 W. Main in Arlington, and continues through June 5. Call (817) 275-4600.
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A few weeks ago, we met our parents at Dick's Last Resort before they shipped off for a week of gambling in Sin City. Apparently, Dick's qualified as "somewhere neat," the only condition our folks have ever applied when it comes to eating in Dallas. In all fairness, if you lived in our parents' town, where going to Dairy Queen is considered fine dining, you'd likely say the same thing. And, boy, is Dick's ever "neat." Especially if you believe that everyone should be forced to wear a plastic bib--complete with cartoon lobster, no less--while they eat. But the restaurant does have its moments, particularly on Sunday mornings, when Betty Lewis and her gospel band perform. It's a rare soulful display from a place that usually seems to be without one. Strangely, it just might be the best place to kick off Easter Sunday. Unfortunate fact: Lewis' backup band proves that four white guys with mullets most certainly do not look good in choir robes. Dick's Gospel Brunch happens Sunday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The all-you-can-eat buffet is $13.99 for adults, $5.99 for children under 12. Dick's is located at the corner of Ross and Record Streets in the West End. Call (214) 747-0001.
The 1939 film adaptation of Emily Brontë's classic novel Wuthering Heights is one of the few films based on a novel that does the book justice. And thanks to the incendiary chemistry between Laurence Olivier (years before he stooped to playing Zeus in 1981's Clash of the Titans) and the luminous Merle Oberon, it works on its own as well. It certainly has every right to be included in the USA Film Festival's First Monday Classics series, even though it was not a box-office smash when it was released. Of course, if being a classic only had to do with the bottom line, Titanic would be the best film ever made. Sadly, we'll never be able to say that about a film starring Leonardo DiCaprio. We remember all too well his stint as Luke, the homeless smart-ass who popped up on Growing Pains during its stagger to the finish line. Wuthering Heights screens Monday at 7:30 p.m. at AMC Glen Lakes Theatres, 9450 N. Central Expressway. Tickets are $7, $6 for USA Film Festival members. Call (214) 821-FILM.
It's been nearly two decades, yet we can still remember the summer we lived in McAllen, Texas--just over the border from Mexico--when our parents and other relatives ran a fireworks stand. What we remember the most about that time, aside from our pop melting his polyester pants to his leg in a whistle-chaser mishap, is the music we heard when we would cross the border. On Tuesday, the University of North Texas and Texas Woman's University give us a chance to relive those days with the cleverly titled Music Festival From Mexico, featuring more than 70 acts from three states in Mexico. The festival is part of UNT's International Week, and it should bring back memories--good and bad--for anyone who has ever wasted a spring-break night knocking back Carta Blancas in a dusty Mexican cantina. Or maybe that's just us. Music Festival from Mexico happens April 6-9 and is free. Tuesday's performance happens at the University Union Courtyard on the UNT campus, one block west of Welch and Prairie. Call (940) 565-2671.
The latest installment of Arts & Letters Live's Literary Cafe is billed as "journalists by day, fiction writers by night." Well, we would have to protest that statement. Not as applied to Nancy Kruh, Ruth Pennebaker, Kate Seago, or Howard Swindle, who'll read from their latest works on Wednesday. No, they have every right to that distinction. We're talking about Helen Bryant, the insipid society columnist of The Dallas Morning News. Reporting where you saw Troy Aikman grabbing a bite to eat or, God forbid, Chuck Norris having a few beers isn't really journalism. Helen, if dropping the names of minor celebrities floats your boat, more power to you. Just don't call it journalism. Literary Cafe happens at Club Dada, 2720 Elm, on Wednesday at 8 p.m. Free. Call (214) 922-1219.