Mike Brooks

  • Blogs

    November 13, 2014

    Can Fun Fun Fun Fest Stay Texas' Coolest Festival?

    Music festivals are a tough business. It's hard to make them stick. Organizers don't usually expect to break even for the first five years, often longer. Even if a festival survives, it's not the end of the story. Maintaining what you have often means expanding your model and your audience. But for ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 18, 2014

    KXT Summer Cut at Gexa Energy Pavilion, 8/15/14

    KXT Summer Cut With Death Cab for Cutie, Iron & Wine, Hold Steady Gexa Energy Pavilion, Dallas Friday, August 15, 2014 At the corner of Martin Luther King, Jr. boulevard, and Malcolm X boulevard sits the Dallas MLK Center, where on Friday, six days after Missouri teenager Michael Brown was killed, ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 24, 2014

    JEFF the Brotherhood at Club Dada, 7/23/14

    JEFF the Brotherhood With Sealion and Not in the Face Club Dada, Dallas Wednesday, July 23, 2014 The headliner gets the smoke machine. JEFF The Brotherhood is the headliner, therefore, they get the smoke machine. The band is tucked neatly under tufts of smoke, playing their hearts out to a crowd of ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 21, 2014

    The Antlers at Trees, 7/19/14

    The Antlers With Thus Owls Trees, Dallas Saturday, July 19, 2014 I was more than a little shocked when I walked in to Trees on Saturday night. Call me stupid, but my expectation was a respectable and respectful turnout for the Antlers. After all, this is a band whose main currency is lyrical explor ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 1, 2014

    The Best North Texas Concerts of 2014, So Far

    Six months is a long time. Well, maybe not that long, but measured by concert calendar time, it's more than long enough to fit in lots of memorable experiences. So as we cross the midpoint of 2014 with the first day of July, DC9 at Night is continuing its recent look back at the year to date with a ... More >>

  • Blogs

    June 26, 2014

    Diarrhea Planet Didn't Give a Shit About Getting Old at Three Links

    Diarrhea Planet With Lee Bains III & the Glory Fires and Party Static Three Links Wednesday, June 25, 2015 What's it mean to party? The guys in Diarrhea Planet know a thing or two about it. In fact, they almost have it down to a science. It involves lots of guitars, plenty of long hair and a touch ... More >>

  • Blogs

    June 16, 2014

    A Full Moon, Shots and Donuts at Friday's Elm Street Music and Tattoo Festival

    It's as if Dallas collectively decided to self-fulfill the prophecy of the full honey moon on the 13th causing a crazy night. As the whiskey flowed in the packed bars of Elm St., the bands of the festival smiled and played to crowds of freshly inked fans, the majority of whom seemed to be sporting f ... More >>

  • Blogs

    June 4, 2014

    Parquet Courts "Fucking Rocked" at Club Dada

    Parquet Courts With Swearin' and Radioactivity Club Dada, Dallas Tuesday, June 3, 2014 About midway through Parquet Courts' blistering set at Club Dada last night a trio of youthful looking concertgoers stood at the bar ordering cokes. The band had hit a lull in a song, then drove full bore into te ... More >>

  • Blogs

    May 12, 2014

    Homegrown Festival Stretches Its Legs in Fifth Installment

    This Saturday, the heart of downtown was buzzing with a sense of local pride specific to the fifth annual Homegrown Festival. Upon entering through the shut-down stretch of Main Street between Hardwood and Saint Paul, the barrage of sights, sounds and smells were enough to put a smile on the face of ... More >>

  • Blogs

    March 24, 2014

    Punk Rock's Return to Deep Ellum is Not to Be Stifled

    This past Friday, the glowing red canopy at 2617 Commerce St. was illuminated once again for the reopening of the storied Dallas punk club, RBC. Walking through the venue's tunneling entrance vaguely evoked walking through a time machine. It was as though the past seven years RBC has been closed zip ... More >>

  • Blogs

    March 18, 2014

    The Six Best Performances at Spillover Music Festival

    Every year, Dallas' most highly anticipated SXSW off-shoot is Parade Of Flesh's Spillover Music Festival. This past Sunday, head talent buyer John Iskander and his crew really stepped their game up. Spillover 2014 moved from Sandbar Cantina to Elm Street, filling stages at Club Dada and Three Links ... More >>

  • Blogs

    February 21, 2014

    RiFF RaFF, with Dorrough and Mike Jones: What the Hell Just Happened in Arlington?

    Neon-laced Texan trill was the theme of the night at Cowboys Dancehall in Arlington, where RiFF RaFF served as ringleader for a live set featuring Texas hip-hop legends, glow-in-the-dark twerking ballerinas, and hundreds of entranced pre-spring breakers. It just might have been the greatest show on ... More >>

  • Blogs

    February 10, 2014

    Yuck, Son of Stan and Blackstone Rangers at Trees: Photos

    On Friday, post-punk darlings Yuck played to a packed house at Trees. It was third third and final Texas show this year, and the new lineup proved an even more impressive live unit than the old one. Locals Son of Stan and Blackstone Rangers opened. Photographer Mike Brooks was there -- a few of hi ... More >>

  • Blogs

    February 3, 2014

    Inside Outpost Tavern, Oak Cliff's Newest Venue From the Owners of The Foundry and More

    Outpost American Tavern sits north and east of Bishop Arts District a few blocks away from the Houston Viaduct. With it, Chris Jeffers and his business partners (the ones also behind Smoke, Bolsa and The Foundry) continue a run of carefully conceived restaurants and bars -- ones that transport you. ... More >>

  • Blogs

    January 9, 2014

    Photos: Inside The Vagabond, a Neighborhood Bar and Texas Songwriter Hangout

    There was still bubble wrap on the rafters and plastic over the doorway at the Vagabond last night, but it was still easy to see what the newest bar from some familiar faces will become. "It's just a neighborhood bar with snappy background decor," says owner John Kenyon. They'll have music every W ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 17, 2013

    Dallas Music's Holiday Party: Scenes From Chad D's Toy Drive and Cancer Benefit

    Nothing says Christmas like the members of Unconscious Collective, in body paint and loin cloths, bashing through elaborate improvisations. That was Chad D's 14th Annual Toy Drive and Cancer Benefit, this year expanded from one very boisterous Libertine to four stages on Lower Greenville. There wa ... More >>

  • Blogs

    November 25, 2013

    CHVRCHES Have the Best Light Show in Music: Eight Photos That Prove It

    CHVRCHES' rise has been remarkable. On Friday, the Glaswegian trio made its second 2013 trip to Dallas, this time to the South Side Ballroom. They've packed both shows, a remarkable feat given that their debut album came out in September. But they sound like the moment, loud and synth-based. And wow ... More >>

  • Blogs

    October 1, 2013

    The 2013 Dallas Observer Music Award Nominees

    For the 25th year, The Dallas Observer will honor the fine work of North Texas musicians (and a few behind-the-scenes people as well) with the Dallas Observer Music Awards. We've asked experts of all stripes to help us compile a list of the area's best talent in 40 categories, which you can see be ... More >>

  • Blogs

    September 20, 2013

    Matt & Kim's Five Step Pre-Show Warm-Up Routine

    Matt & Kim will play at 6 p.m. this Saturday at the Breakaway Music Festival. They will burn more calories during their set than the entire roster of the Wu-Tang Clan a couple hours later. That has become the band's calling card -- a live show that needs a descriptor more vivid than energetic. I hav ... More >>

  • Blogs

    September 9, 2013

    The Many Hairstyles of Erykah Badu: Photos

    This weekend, Erykah Badu was the grand marshal of the Natural Hair Parade, which ended with a festival at the Pan-African Connection across from Fair Park. The parade and festival are the efforts of Isis Brantley, who has long been an outspoken defender of African-American identity. She was arreste ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 27, 2013

    The Ten Best Shows of the Summer in Dallas

    This summer Dallas brought the heat when it came to live music offerings. From Queen Bey's legendary turn at American Airlines Center to Greg Barrett's genre mashing Animal House party at Sandaga 813, there were plenty of shows we'll still be talking about this time next year. We've narrowed the fie ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 5, 2013

    Warped Tour, 8/2/13, Gexa Energy Pavilion: Review and Photos

    Usually for those hitting up the Warped Tour bright and early in the midday, you don't have to sit in a long line of traffic. Not this year. Traffic for the Summer Adventures at Fair Park bled into the traffic going to Gexa, so a usual short drive turned into almost a half-hour. I missed Mixtapes, a ... More >>

  • Blogs

    June 21, 2013

    Behold, the Majesty of Robert Plant: Photos from Last Night's Palladium Show

    There are wheezing old rock stars, cashing in on the long-gone fire of their youths. And there is Robert Plant, who is older than them and still more colossal onstage than pretty much all the kids who owe him their careers. The most famous living front man made a stop in Dallas last night with his ... More >>

  • Blogs

    June 7, 2013

    CHVRCHES - Granada Theater - June 6, 2013

    I find it entertaining when there's some ambiguity over a band's name. CHVRCHES, with that V incongruously placed into the vowel space, is a perfect example. Churches? Cher-ver-ches? It's a lot more fun for it to be the second one. Of course, as the band themselves reveal two songs in, they've got n ... More >>

  • Blogs

    April 22, 2013

    Untapped Fest: No Matter How Crappy Things Get, There Will Always be Music and Beer

    As Untapped festival headliner Deer Tick prepared to take the stage closing beer booths, an impromptu chorus of the "Star Spangled Banner" emitted from the front of the crowd, and grew louder with every verse as it felt like the entire fest joined in to sing our national anthem. Immediately after we ... More >>

  • Blogs

    March 10, 2013

    The Stage Crew Diaries: A Tribute to the Volunteers of 35 Denton

    Saturday night, 9:20 pm, Inside The Hive The woman I indirectly report to slides a clear storage box at me in the green room area just behind the stage. The box is filled with plastic-ware, individual sized chip bags, bottled water and napkins. "Make it look pretty!" she says, not intentionally ye ... More >>

  • Blogs

    March 9, 2013

    The Best from 35 Denton Night Two: Metal Wrestling and Fence Repair

    By the calendar, we're halfway through 35 Denton 2013, though much of the good stuff is yet to come. Keep checking DC9 for daily updates from the fest. The highlights below are in a very (very) loose chronological order. In cases where the photos don't refer directly to the words on either side of t ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 3, 2012

    The Crowd Surfing of Unsilent Night 2012

    If there isn't a passage in some physics textbook that uses crowd surfing as a metaphor for chaos theory, then physicists are missing out on a perfect lesson. So many disciplines can applied in the dynamic system: inertia, gravity and ass support. See also: The People of Unsilent Night 2012 All w ... More >>

  • Blogs

    November 12, 2012

    10 Awesome Photos From Saturday's Dallas Observer Music Awards Showcase

    What a night it was. Saturday's music awards showcase on Elm Street left our web editor Nick Rallo voiceless, a man at Reno's toothless, and accounted for some epic hangovers the next day. It was a glorious night filled with memorable sets, and those little moments of bodily chaos, as we all hurried ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 30, 2012

    Ten of August's Best Music Photos

    August is typically the cruelest month, in terms of temperatures, lack of energy and things to do. Looking back through the blog, however, we certainly got our fair share of photo ops. Here are a few to remind you of the month that was.

  • Blogs

    July 3, 2012

    Photographer Mike Brooks Was a Late Bloomer

    Freelance photographer (and Observer contributor) Mike Brooks grew up in Hawaii. Pretty easy to fall in love with the visual arts there, but he didn't start out as a music photographer. Since his days at the Punahou School in Honolulu, and two colleges in Northern California, he's built a rep shoo ... More >>

  • Blogs

    May 28, 2012

    The Best Music Photos from Memorial Day Weekend

    Let the wild rumpus begin, Dallas. You had a buzzing, humming, sexy weekend of music. Like, a real luxury yacht of fiery shows. There's more to come to this summer, of course, with KXT's Summer Cut up next weekend (Mmm...Flaming Lips). Somewhere in the crowds for Homegrown Fest, FLOAT, The Darkness, ... More >>

  • Blogs

    February 20, 2012

    A Strange Derek Holland Photo I Would Frame

    Photo by Mike Brooks​Whilst awaiting some return calls on this slow Presidents Day I was flipping through Mike Brooks's two TicketStock slideshows, taken over the weekend at the Irving Convention Center. Toward the end of the first was this one, featuring Rangers lefty Derek Holland and ... I have ... More >>

  • Blogs

    January 30, 2012

    New Erykah Badu/Flaming Lips Track Samples Siri, Sounds Fucking Trippy

    Mike Brooks​The saga continues: From the Internet ether comes the (partial) fruits of that Erykah Badu/Flaming Lips collaboration we talked about a few weeks ago. "Now I Understand" sounds about right coming from the left/right brains of these two. Ambient, heavy-lidded, soulful and it featu ... More >>

  • Blogs

    January 24, 2012

    PHOTOS: The Kills at the Granada Theater

    The Kills blazed a sold-out Granada Theater last night, along with Jeff the Brotherhood and Hunters. Oh yes, blood pressures were raised. Take a gander via Mike Brooks' photos.

  • Blogs

    January 15, 2012

    PHOTOS: Erykah Badu and The Rebirth Brass Band's "Final Voyage"

    Before Erykah Badu completed the PM Nightlife Lounge's final DJ set last night, there was a motorcade and funeral band in the streets. The New Orleans-style procession started late, 'round 11:30, at Pegasus Plaza, and completed its "final voyage" outside the Joule Hotel. The funeral band was, of cou ... More >>

  • Blogs

    January 9, 2012

    The Lollie Bombs Burlesque: Tease Us Longer (NSFW)

    Dallas burlesque fans scored some action Friday night when long-standing performers The Lollie Bombs shook their money makers. And we've got the pictures to prove it.

  • Blogs

    January 3, 2012

    Over the Weekend: Deb Does Lights All Night

    Lights All Night Dallas Convention Center Friday, December 30 & Saturday, December 31 Getting ready for Lights All Night, I couldn't help but get nostalgic for my teenage days. Lights All Night was reportedly not a rave, but how about this poorly-kept secret? It was a rave. Those mid-'90s warehou ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 13, 2011

    For Your Tuesday Eve Listening Pleasure: My Morning Jacket, Last Week in Grand Prairie

    Photo by Mike Brooks​Been waiting all day for a call-back for an item I'll post in the morning, regardless. So while we keep waiting, here's this ultimate time-kill: My Morning Jacket taped last week at the Verizon Theatre. First MMJ show I've missed in a long while; those '02 shows really did me ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 9, 2011

    Kirtland Records To Release The Boom Boom Box's Debut LP

    Mike BrooksLast night: Baboon's horsehead blues​ Since we've already got Baboon on the brain today -- have you seen the insane slideshow from last night's Scratch Acid show yet? -- let's add one more bit of news. Kirtland Records will be releasing the debut album from The Boom Boom Box, featur ... More >>

  • Blogs

    November 2, 2011

    10 Excellent Photos from Beirut at the Prophet Bar

    Mike BrooksZach Condon, not in East Harlem​Zach Condon and crew packed 'em in at the Prophet Bar last night for Tactics Productions' Beirut show. The band is touring for their August-released album The Rip Tide, which, as the pictures by contributor and roving photographer Mike Brooks indicate ... More >>

  • Blogs

    October 31, 2011

    The Ten Best Concert Photos of October 2011

    Mike MezeulI know, bro, we're sad too.​Closing out October, for us, is a sad deal. For starters, we're still feeling nostalgic over the incredible time we had at the Dallas Observer Music Awards Showcase and Ceremony. Second, we're waving goodbye to Pete Freedman as he sails off into the Grey Have ... More >>

  • Blogs

    September 15, 2011

    Last Night (and Picture Show): Smith Westerns and Sundress at Dada

    Smith Westerns, SundressDadaSeptember 14, 2011Better than: High School Musical.Mike BrooksOne of Smith Westerns' more heroic looks during last night's show at Dada.​There are times when the five members of Chicago's Smith Westerns very much look their age -- like, just two songs into their 50-minu ... More >>

  • Blogs

    September 8, 2011

    Last Night: Erykah Badu, Mos Def and Talib Kweli at the Prophet Bar Jam Session

    Erykah Badu, Mos Def, Talib Kweli, The GritzProphet BarSeptember 7, 2011Better than: an after-school special.Mike BrooksErykah Badu, aka DJ Lo Down Loretta Brown, kept things going for over an hour. For more photos, check out the slideshow.After-parties can be funny things considering that, by defin ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 3, 2011

    Picture Show: A Friday Night on Elm Street...

    All photos by Mike Brooks / commiebike.comMickey Avalon at Trees​Friend of the Program Mike Brooks was out and about in Deep Ellum on Friday night, toting his trusty camera along as he bounced around from venue to venue, snapping up shots of all things visually interesting and arresting. In partic ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 27, 2011

    Picture Show: Ten Best Concert Shots of July '11

    Mike Brooks​A few weeks ago, you may recall, we listed the top 20 concert photos of the year so far. But those photos were just the start of the visual evidence we've got of what a great music year its been in North Texas. July alone was insanely impressive. From Britney Spears to Gorilla Vs. Bear ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 15, 2011

    (Moving) Picture Show: Tuesday with Fair to Midland, The House Harkonnen, True Widow

    BRAG ALERT: Maybe five people were able to catch True Widow, Dunes, The House Harkonnen and Fair to Midland all on Tuesday night, and I was one of them. It made for an awesome day, let me tell ya. Better yet, let me link ya: True Widow and Dunes played a cool show in a hot setting apparently called ... More >>

  • Blogs

    June 7, 2011

    Picture Show: Guitar Wolf at The Loft

    All photos by Mike Brooks / commiebike.comGuitar Wolf at The Loft, looking like freakin' heroes.​In retrospect, the show we all should have been at this past week happened on Friday night at the Loft, as Japanese punk rockers Guitar Wolf headlined a bill that also featured Nashville's Cheap Time a ... More >>

  • Blogs

    May 23, 2011

    Pictures Galore: Edie Brickell and The New Bohemians Reunion, Jerry Lee Lewis at Wildflower and LMFAO at Cuervo Games

    Mike Brooks / commiebike.comEdie Brickell​ Down in Blanco this weekend, a rare treat: The New Bohemians -- and, yes, with Edie Brickell -- performed a gig, this one coming as part of a benefit concert held to help raise funds for the Blanco High School Band. And, lucky us, Friend of DC9 Mike Brook ... More >>

  • Blogs

    April 8, 2011

    Picture Show: Jeff Beck at the Verizon Theatre

    Mike Brooks / commiebike.comJeff Beck performed at the Verizon Theatre earlier this week.​This, I believe, is what you call karma: Earlier this week, photographer Mike Brooks of was perusing our site and came across a promotion from our marketing department that was offering up a fr ... More >>

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