22 Awesome Things to Do in Dallas This Weekend: February 21 to 24

Yes, that's a Monster Truck school bus named Higher Education. Yes, I think that you should mute it, and play this song instead.

What do you want, Dallas? Samurai silent films with live experimental music? Done. Amazing fashion shows with booze served from fire trucks? Alright. How about sword swallowing, tons of art, Monster Jam, beauty tips, Oscar parties and cosplay burlesque? Well shoot, we got that too.

Start navigating your weekend now, and click on the event titles for more information. I'll see you out there. (I'll be the one flirting with the Pin Show's firefighter bartenders.)

Thursday 2.21 Science Cafe at Anvil Pub -- Alright, I think Perot might be onto us. They've started offering events that combine science and heavy drinking, which is my favorite "life titration." On Thursday, you'll join Dr. Frederick Grinnell in a spirited discussion about Bioethics while pounding drinks at Anvil Pub. Now, Anvil isn't the calmest, most upscale bar in Dallas. In fact, I aspire to someday (read: tonight) start a bar fight there; preferably one regarding the moral implications surrounding that half-cylon baby from Battlestar Galactica.

It Came From Dallas -- Dallas Producer's Association and Women in Film Dallas are behind this celebration of Lone Star cinema. They'll screen clips from favorites that grew out of our cracked clay dirt, like True Stories, Urban Cowboy and Office Space. It's free, but be nice and kick $10 in the drawer; donations benefit the Texas Motion Picture Alliance.

Process at W.A.A.S. Gallery -- W.A.A.S. does up an art opening like no other gallery in town. Tonight, you can go early for a chill art talk from 6 to 7 p.m. where you'll hear Eric Cox discuss his nature-rich process (hint: he lets the elements do some of the heavy lifting), and get an earful of Jonathan Ramirez who likes to represent the freakier, more grotesque side of the human condition in his sculptures and paintings. Then, there's a party, and Cutter's playing.

Six Short Stories, by Richard Patterson at Texas Theatre -- Previously aired as a component of Twain, a recent exhibition by thinkers/doers/shakers/makers, The Art Foundation, this series of vignettes gets a second Dallas reveal. It's free to attend this collage of shorts, and there's a chat between Patterson and D Magazine's, and Art Foundation's by marriage, on the wife's side, Peter Simek.

Nerdlesque -- I like to think this fan girl tribute to burlesque is hot enough to melt Hoth's arctic surface. Friday 2.22 Frank Caliendo at Addison Improv -- Here's the deal, if you and I were good at impressions, we'd waste the skill and just order fake pizza deliveries as Stephen Hawking. Frank Caliendo took the smarter route and built a legit career out of it. He's got two nights: Friday and Saturday.

The Chairs at Kitchen Dog -- I love this theater group. They consistently take the road less acted -- case in point, this absurdest stage production by Eugene Ionesco that's rarely performed in the United States. Our Theater Critic Elaine Liner told me that she "laughed muchly." That's a solid green light, kids.

Lana Paninchul 'This Makes Me Sad' at Oliver Francis -- Upbeat? Probably not. Still, at least they tell you up front. Lana Paninchul's current artful focus is centered around animal rights, which you probably gathered if you saw her pieces "Foie Gras" and "Pet Gate" at last week's one-day installation show, My My Misfire. This Friday she'll apply similar sentiment all over Oliver Francis Gallery, for her one-lady exhibition.

Critical Mass and Closing Party for Sunday Peoples Bicycle Art Show -- Not one to do a quiet uninstall, The Public Trust closes out its current celebration of peddle power via art, Sunday Peoples, with a critical mass. It starts at Switching Gears and ends at The Public Trust, where you'll be magically greeted by food trucks, along with free beer and wine.

Saturday 2.23

The Pin Show -- There's a reason we gave this Best Fashion Show of 2012, the Pin Show is a testament to how well-designed runway properly shows off its designers. Also, it's a really fun party, one that will be elevated this year by a venue and aesthetic shift. While the last Pin took us to the Fairmont's luxe ballroom, this installment takes over a West Dallas warehouse, drops the runway to the ground and sends ladies out to the live soul tunes of the Danny Church Band. Also: booze served from actual firetrucks. Tickets are cheap. Buy them.

The Serpent with Live Score by Montopolis at Texas Theatre -- Montopolis is back, and if you saw their accompaniment to Man With a Movie Camera when they last came through, you know that their silent film collaborations are not-to-be-missed affairs. And this film, The Serpent, has lots of samurai sword fighting -- you LOVE THAT. Wait, it gets better: We're doing a ticket giveaway for this show. Check it out.

Monster Jam -- IT'S BACK! Now, I don't want to over excite you but this Jam brings along a monster school bus named Higher Education. Whatever you do, don't call dibs on that back seat. Get all crush-y with the Jam on Saturday night, y'all. National Sword Swallowers' Day -- Yes, this is a thing that's happening on Earth. Also: I've got a lot of questions. How do you know that you have the skill to be a sword swallower? Are there internships? What's required of one, administratively? I have others, and they'll all be answered at Ripley's Odditorium on Saturday afternoon when a bunch of daredevils swallow 18 to 20 inches of blade, repeatedly, for your amusement. It's free to watch. Hooch and Pooch -- This swank shindig happens Saturday night at Four Corners Brewery and it benefits that plucky theatre company, Kitchen Dog. I know that there are a lot of dog references in the name, but don't bring your pet. It ain't that kind of party. Do bring your poshest outfit and a little spending cash for that silent auction.

--- Art, a Rock Block ---
Basement Gallery's Grand Opening

-- You might still think of it as DIY Gallery, but now it's getting called the Basement. There's a big art show with DJs, live body painting and all that action at the Saturday opening.

The Gallery Shows, Like What -- Come back to Mixmaster later today or tomorrow -- or both, I like having you around. We'll have a basic guide to navigating Saturday's art openings. If you can only see five shows, I'd play it out like this: 1.) Start at Conduit for a three parter where artist Michael Tole explores flesh's ability to drive our existence; Roberto Munguia tackles the metaphysical through a variety of mediums; and Jason Flowers takes over the Project Room with a perversely Frankensteined sound art project that resembles a futuristic memory incubator.

2.) Hit up Photographs Do Not Bend for Bunny Yeager -- Long live the Miami queen of cheesecake photography! Without Bunny, we wouldn't have our favorite Bettie Page pin-ups. PDNB is showing a collection of her prints, so do check it out.

3.) Dallas. Punk!, at Cohn Drennan -- YES + PLEASE = YES PLEASE. It's a collection of artifacts, photography and general relics of the time when we all wore eyeliner.

4.) Land Ho -- Let's hear this one's event description: "LAND HO is an outward expression of the creative process and the travel mind set of two distinct artists who come together in intervals of great intensity." I'm into that. All of it.

5.) Layered (re.ver.ie.) at Red Arrow Contemporary -- It's grey matter exploring grey space on Saturday night, as three artists tackle the zone between black and white, known and unknown. Real world analogy: that surreal realm you enter when falling asleep wearing a nicotine patch.

Sunday 2.24 MakeUp Forever Teaches You How To Be A Lady -- Well, not really. But they are pulling up to NorthPark in mobile studios and teaching you how to do make up. (You'll want to book a resie.) Also -- and this is cool -- they invite you to bring a piece of make up from your collection that you don't know how to use, even if it's not their product, and they'll teach you about it. They'll also tell you what tones and colors you should lean towards so you stop leaving the house looking like a Disney prostitute.

Oscar Viewing Parties -- There's a few happening, but the best one is at Texas Theatre. They invite you to dress in your red carpet best and enter their 'Guess the Winners' contest. Also, it's free and they'll have Oscars-themed booze specials all night.

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