New Life: In addition to the Palladium Ballroom's grand unveiling, Deep Ellum saw a new venue opening. Who knew the Life in Deep Ellum complex was gonna be such a refined and spacious spot? Entering the complex, one is immediately greeted with polished concrete floors, decent art on the spotless white walls and that cool loft feel that everybody goes apeshit for. It's kind of like a mini Nasher Center. Off to the side is the coffeeshop, cozy and hip with its brown walls and funkiness. In the back is the good-sized ellum:ONSTAGE, the Deep's newest all-ages spot. It's a great room, a bit Spartan, but with an excellent sound system (though, as a friend noted, they need to dampen the walls—the sound bounces everywhere) and one of the nicest, most spacious stages ever to be erected on this side of Good-Latimer. All in all, a good alternative to the bar scene, unless that's what you are into, in which case, you'll hate it. Time will tell if the multi-use concept will work. Meantime, one bit of unsolicited advice to the Life folks: enough with the lowercase/uppercase names, please?
Two Turntables and a Microphone: Las Colinas may be a bit far from the gritty glamour of Dallas' DJing world, but if you want to learn how to master the ones and twos, it's the place to go. Dallas Sound Lab, located in the L.C., is offering Turntablism 101, a four-week course in the art of mixing, scratching, battling and wearing old-school Adidas warmups. For $600, you get classes two nights a week, for a total of 16 hours, from local DJ Planet (who makes a living as an actual DJ!). According to Tracy Terrell, a producer at the Sound Lab, it's "the coolest class ever!" A new round of lessons begins February 12. Call 972-869-1122 for deets.
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It's all very Entourage: According to sources close to the Observer, local bad-asses Calhoun will get their star-fuck on when they play a Sundance Film Festival party at the Star Bar in Park City, Utah, with the slightly hippie-ish West Indian Girl.
Damn, we missed it: Oops, seems we left out the biggest name in our list of Dallas-based artists up for Grammy Awards a few weeks back. Or names, actually: Producers Play-N-Skillz, aka brothers Juan Salinas Jr. and Oscar Salinas, just happen to be born and based in Dallas and also just happen to be the men behind a trunkload of hip-hop hits, including the ubiquitous "Ridin'" by Houston's Chamillionaire, which just happens to have been nominated for Best Rap Song. 'Bout time those Grammy folks gave us some love...though someone should let them know, the last time "rap" was consistently used as a bonafide term, Nancy Reagan still lived in the White House. Just say no, y'all.