Things To Do

The 21 Best Things to Do in Dallas, August 12-18

NorthPark hosts an auto show.
NorthPark hosts an auto show. courtesy NorthPark Center

Monday, August 12

NorthPark AutoShow
You call this an auto show? Where are the booths selling ShamWows, the conversion vans, the hordes of grubby children leaving sticky fingerprints all over polished metal bodies? Where are the hot women in short dresses extolling the virtues of anti-lock brakes? Oh, this is the NorthPark AutoShow, the one in the fancy mall. You might not leave with a bag full of swag, but then run-of-the-mill auto exhibits — at least those we go to — don't generally have loads of cars from McLaren, Rolls-Royce, Tesla or Bentley Motors. Through Aug. 26, the mall/art gallery will offer a different kind of sculpture in its hallways, with more than 40 cars from high-end makers on display. It's free, assuming you can go to the mall and not buy anything else, and a good change of scenery for daily mall-walkers. NorthPark Center is located at 8687 N. Central Expressway. Patrick Williams

Trees Marie
Trees Marie fronts the Americana-Southern rock band Trees Marie and The Heavy Hearts. Ever since she was a teenager, Marie has been playing music, recording songs and performing in Deep Ellum. In 2016, Marie formed her band with local musicians Josh Vaughn on guitar, James Jones on drums and Wes Jett on bass. The band plays pretty frequently in DFW and can be seen this month at places like Adair's Saloon, Armoury D.E. and The Foundry. This Monday, however, Marie will hit the stage solo at The Rustic in Dallas as part of the restaurant-venue combo's Women in Music concert series "honoring the music of the greatest female singer-songwriters of our time." The concert series runs through August and will also include other North Texas artists like Frankie Leonie, Sir Woman (Kelsey Wilson of Wild Child), Kylie Rae Harris and many more. The free show starts at 8:30 p.m. Monday at The Rustic, 3656 Howell St. Jacob Vaughn

Tuesday, August 13

Brown Bag Lecture
Dr. Janice Hall, professor of humanities and music at Mountain View College, composer, musician and music director, will talk about African-American influences in jazz, blues, rock, Tejano and country music at the Hall of State in Fair Park, 3939 Grand Ave. The talk is part of the Dallas Historical Society's brown bag luncheon series, so pack your own meal and hear Hall, a composer of musical theater works who also teaches courses in American minority studies, trace the intersection of musical genres. The talk happens at noon and is free to attend. Patrick Williams

The Claypool Lennon Delirium
The American-psychedelic-rock duo The Claypool Lennon Delirium is the ultimate mash-up, comprised of Primus' Les Claypool and son of John Lennon, Sean Lennon. After touring alongside each other in their respective bands, Primus and The Ghost of a Saber Tooth Tiger, the two artists coupled together to form a new project. That year, The Claypool Lennon Delirium released its first album, Monolith of Phobos, which debuted on Billboard's Top 10 charts for Top Vinyl Albums, Top Tastemakers Albums and Top Alternative Albums. In late 2018, the band released the 6½-minute-long single "Blood and Rockets." In February, the band released its second album South of Reality and, to date, shows no sign of slowing down. The show starts at 7 p.m. Tuesday at House of Blues, 2200 N. Lamar St. Tickets are $35 at Jacob Vaughn

Wednesday, August 14

Dan Fesperman: Safe Houses
Dan Fesperman, a former Baltimore Sun reporter turned award-winning literary thriller author, will talk about his latest novel, Safe Houses, at Interabang Books, 10720 Preston Road, Suite 1009B, at 6 p.m. Wednesday. Named a best thriller of the summer by the New York Post, Safe Houses traces the story of a female CIA employee in Berlin during the Cold War who discovers a mysterious secret. She's forced to lam it, and after she and her husband are murdered years later, her daughter is left to unravel the mystery in what critics say is a gripping, superior espionage thriller. The talk and book-signing begins at 6 p.m. and is free to attend. Patrick Williams

click to enlarge Local trio The Bralettes play Ridglea Theater in Fort Worth this Thursday. - ROGER GALLEGOS
Local trio The Bralettes play Ridglea Theater in Fort Worth this Thursday.
Roger Gallegos

Thursday, August 15

The Bralettes
The Oak Cliff-bred girl power punk-rock trio The Bralettes make people move at all its shows. The band's simple but catchy licks on guitar and bass, played by Paulina Costilla and Molly Hernandez, respectively, enhance the frontwomen's crisp, powerful vocals as Andy Cantu drives the songs forward with heavy drum beats. To date, the band has put out 16 streamable songs, 10 of which are from its debut full-length album Cheers! that was released at the beginning of the year. The Bralettes will be hitting the Fort Worth stage at Ridglea Theater on Thursday night, sharing it with local bands Joe Gorgeous and Trauma Ray. The show starts at 7 p.m. on Thursday at Ridglea Theater, 6025 Camp Bowie Blvd., Fort Worth. Tickets are $8 at Jacob Vaughn

The Cake
Closing Uptown Players’ 18th season is the regional premiere of The Cake, a comedy by Bekah Brunstetter (of NBC’s This Is Us writers’ room). Cheryl Denson directs the show at Kalita Humphreys Theater, 3636 Turtle Creek Blvd. Setting is Della’s Bakery in North Carolina, where Della’s best friend’s daughter from New York has just placed an order for the cake for her wedding. Then Della finds out that there’s no groom’s cake because there’s no groom – only two brides! What’s a Christian lady baker to do? For info and tickets, $20-$40, call 214-219-2718 or go to Reba Liner

Women Texas Film Festival
The Dallas film festival scene has a lot to love. There’s been so much growth in the past decade, and it's put a spotlight on our cinematic community despite the distance from New York and Los Angeles. One of the more exciting entries to the local festival circuit is the Women Texas Film Festival, which hosts its fourth iteration Thursday through Sunday, Aug. 15-18. The festival, which began as an under-the-radar celebration of female filmmakers, has grown into a must-see creative showcase boasting a hot-ticket red carpet kickoff and nearly double the programming from previous years. This year, Emily Crohn’s CRSHD is the opening selection; Emmett (Boy Genius) serves as the closer, and the rest of the lineup includes documentaries, genre-busting features, short films, Q&As and panels. The festival is anchored at the historic Texas Theatre, 231 W. Jefferson Blvd., with screenings and panels at locations across southern Dallas. For the full lineup, see; festival passes are $35 to $75, with individual tickets priced at $11. Jennifer Davis-Lamm

The Infamous Stringdusters
In a similar vein to bands such as Greensky Bluegrass and the Grateful Dead, The Infamous Stringdusters are a progressive bluegrass outfit with a jam-band mentality and a Grammy award under their belt. However, as far as labels and genres can go to describe distinct sounds, they still fall short of pinning down the Stringdusters. They sound at times as mainstream as progressive bluegrass ever has while also fusing elements of jazz, funk and rock into a mélange of notes that stretches ears and more than earns the band their name. As the band’s dobro player, Andy Hall, explained to Colorado Public Radio, a stringduster is classified as a hot picker who keeps his strings ever clean through repeated plucking. Considering the level of talent spread across the band’s five members, it doesn’t take long to figure out the first part of their name. The Infamous Stringdusters are as complex as they are easy to listen to, but seeing them is almost required for any real fan. The show starts at 8 p.m. on Aug. 15, at The Rustic Dallas, 3656 Howell St. Tickets are $20 at Nicholas Bostick

Up, up and away. - MIKE MEZEUL
Up, up and away.
Mike Mezeul

Friday, August 16

AnimeFest is four days of art shows, autographs, nightly dances and a Dealer Room where you can cop plushies, posters, games and other merchandise. This year’s theme is “Pirates,” but only the swashbuckling “arr, matey” variety are welcome — no bootleg merchandise. If you bust your costume busting a move, the Stitch Witch will be on hand offering free repairs at the Cosplay Hospital. AnimeFest runs Friday through Monday at the Sheraton Dallas Hotel, 400 N. Olive St. Admission to the full convention is included with purchase of 2019 membership to World Fandom, which is $70 for ages 13 and older, $15 for Youth Membership for ages 8 to 12 or $2 for Child Membership for ages 7 and younger; members younger than 13 must be chaperoned by a World Fandom member who is 18 or older. Single-day membership and admission is available for $40 Friday and $50 Saturday, Sunday or Monday. Membership also includes admission to GameFest 2019, a concurrent offshoot World Fandom gaming convention. Visit to register or find out more. Jesse Hughey

click to enlarge Anime Fest  is back and as animated as ever. - KATHY TRAN
Anime Fest is back and as animated as ever.
Kathy Tran

Y La Bamba

There's some disconnect between the soft, Mexican-influenced, acoustic, lo-fi debut release for Portland folk-rock act Y La Bamba Alida St. and its 2019 album Mujeres. The latest release sounds more electric and more produce, bordering on poppy with songs like "Conocidos" or "Cuatro Crazy." Y La Bamba, driven by singer-songwriter Luz Elena Mendoza, has transformed a lot since it debuted in 2008. That transformation is traceable through the different albums Y La Bamba has put out through the years. By the artist's second album, Lupon, the recordings began to sound cleaner and, structurally, more conventional. In 2011, Y La Bamba appeared on NPR's Tiny Desk concert series and has maintained the attention of the station  ever since. Five years later, the artist's fifth release Ojos Del Sol ended up on NPR's Top 50 Albums of 2016. While the band's music has changed, its roots still shine through with heavy Mexican-influence, which Mendoza likely gets from her father who immigrated to the U.S. from Mexico, on songs from the new album, like "Boca Llena" and "Bruja de Brujas." In Mujeres, Mendoza explores where women fit in the "American story." The show starts at 6 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 16, at Ruins, 2653 Commerce St. Tickets are $12-$15 at Jacob Vaughn

Being a teenager in this world can be like preparing for battle every day. It can have moments of joy, but amid the torment of a changing body comes the prospect of bullying, social pressures and social media issues parents can’t possibly understand. Junior Players closes out a five-year series of dance productions with Revolution at Moody Performance Hall, 2520 Flora St., 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday. The performance tackles teen struggles using both stage combat and dynamic choreography and features a cast of North Texas teens. Tickets are $10, and are available at Merritt Martin

Ted Joyner and Grant Widmer have been making music as a duo called Generationals for well over a decade. Based out of New Orleans, they specialize in creating crafty, catchy, hook-filled indie rock that is tailor-made to soundtrack quirky Netflix shows, uptempo television advertisements, or the day-to-day minutiae of life. With a steady output of singles and EPs, they've never really gone away, but they've just released Reader As Detective, their first full-length album in five years. It's a good mix of genres and an album that continues their expert blending of the classic and contemporary. Mixed in alongside their staple of solid material, the new tracks should make for a nice night of tunes as they perform them in the dark confines of Club Dada. The show starts at 8 p.m. Friday, Club Dada, 2720 Elm Street. Tickets are $15-$17 at Jeff Strowe

Highland Village Lions Club Balloon Festival
The Highland Village Lions Club presents their 32nd annual Balloon Festival, a celebration of arguably the most dangerous form of transportation in America. With spitting flames just feet above riders’ heads, unruly wind-dependent maneuvering and poor safety features, hot air balloons remain a thrill-seekers paradise. Complete with family-friendly activities like arts & crafts, live music, a car show and plenty of food vendors, the festival offers something for everyone, whether you’re an unwitting child or death-defying daredevil. The Highland Village Lions Balloon Festival starts at 5 p.m. Friday, Aug. 16, and ends at 10 a.m. Sunday, Aug. 18, at Unity Park, 12200 Briarhill Blvd, Highland Village. The festival is free. More info at Jonathan Patrick

Grace VanderWaal
At 15 years old, most of us were still fantasizing about what we wanted to be when we grew up. Grace VanderWaal is already living that grown-up dream. When the Kansas native was just 12, she won the 11th season of America's Got Talent and has since released one EP and one full-length album. She's toured with Imagine Dragons and is set to star in the upcoming Disney movie Stargirl. VanderWaal is known for her unique and raspy vocals and often accompanies herself with the ukulele. Her 2017 indie-pop album Just The Beginning is a more amped up collection of songs compared to her earlier EP. VanderWaal's charm surpasses her time on AGT, and she's likely to stick around the charts for a while. The sold-out show starts at 8 p.m. Friday at Granada Theater, 3524 Greenville Ave. Diamond Rodrigue

Saturday, August 17

Big3 Ballout
BIG3, Ice Cube’s three-on-three basketball league starring former NBA and international pros, is bringing local heroes Jason Terry and DeShawn Stevenson from the 2011 Dallas Mavericks champion team back to compete once again on the American Airlines Center hardwood — albeit on a half-court and for teams called Trilogy and the Ball Hogs, respectively. The Big 3 Ballout not only includes all 12 teams in the league playing in the final six games of the season to decide who makes next week’s playoffs, but also performances by T.I. and Dallas’ own Yella Beezy. Most tickets range from $12.50 to $27.50, but there are $75 courtside seats and even a few $500 seats in Section 11 for the biggest of ballers. Doors open at 11 a.m. and tipoff is at 1 p.m. at the AAC, 2500 Victory Ave. Visit for tickets and more information. Jesse Hughey

Jade Nickol
Back in June, local singer-songwriter Jade Nickol released her debut EP Murphy’s Law after putting out her second single "Marijuana and Gin." The single and the EP starkly contrast Nickol's first release “Best Friends,” in which she tried her hand at country music. In May, Nickol told the Observer that she tried to wipe the internet clean of "Best Friends," frustrated with the initial direction she tried to take her music. "Marijuana and Gin" marked a new beginning for Nickol's music career, in which she wants to write songs that are more true to herself. Nickol's set this Saturday is the official release show for her EP. Help her celebrate at Sundown at Granada, 3520 Greenville Ave. at 8 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 17. Tickets are $8 at Jacob Vaughn

Kraig Parker: Elvis Through the Ages
It's not that hard to do a bad Elvis impersonation. You curl your lip. You put on a rhinestone jumpsuit and a cape. You don't eat any vegetables except if they are in a Pepsi Cola salad (yes, that's a real thing). To do a good Elvis is hard, and harder still is doing a full-on Elvis tribute. Singer Kraig Parker has made an impressive living out of performing as some of the rock 'n' roll's greatest icons. At 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 17 at the Eisemann Center, Parker performs Elvis through time from his early rise to stardom starting from his first recording at SUN Studio in Memphis to his legendary Las Vegas show. The Eisemann Center is located at 2351 Performance Drive in Richardson. Remaining tickets are between $27-$42 and can be purchased at the box office or online at Danny Gallagher

click to enlarge North Texas Fair and Rodeo - BRIAN MASCHINO
North Texas Fair and Rodeo
Brian Maschino

North Texas Fair and Rodeo
What?!? You've lived in Texas for how long and you've never been to a rodeo? You should go to one immediately. You may be committing a felony. Now's the perfect time to avoid a jail sentence as the North Texas Fair & Rodeo in Denton through Aug. 24. This Texas tradition features some of the world's best riders and ropers competing for the top prize. If rodeo isn't your thing (don't say that out loud), there's still plenty of stuff to see and do such as livestock and horse shows, barbecue cookoffs and live performances by country stars like Tracy Lawrence, Pat Green, Mike and the Moonpies and Flatland Cavalry. The nine-day event kicks off at 10 a.m. Saturday with the opening fair and rodeo parade. One-day tickets are $15 for adults Monday-Wednesday and Saturday-Sunday before 6 p.m. and $20 for adults from Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Children 7-12 get in for $5 on any day and children 6 and under get in for free. Four-day tickets are $60 and season passes are $120. Seniors and military members and veterans get in for $14 per day with proper ID. Teachers get a $5 with a school district ID card. The fairgrounds are located at 2217 N. Carroll Blvd. Tickets are available at the fair and online at Danny Gallagher

Zlatan with DJ Bode and DJ Oladex
Exceedingly popular Nigerian songwriter and rapper Zlatan swings through Dallas for his first performance in the U.S. All but unavoidable in his home country, the artist’s singles suspend Nigerian trap amid dapples of U.K. grime and undulating Afrobeat pulses, all punctuated by the emcee’s blasé delivery and casual swagger. Falsely arrested earlier this year by Nigeria’s Economic and Financial Crimes Commission on cyber fraud, Zlatan’s output has gone from consistent to feverish in the last few months, each release and collaboration a veritable protest for the causes of free speech and poetic license. Like revolutionary musician and Nigerian activist Flea Kuti before him, Zlatan cooly sidesteps tyrannical political restraints, giving voice to thousands of others who were previously silenced. The show takes place at 10 p.m. Saturday at Swayz Ballroom, 9750 Walnut St. Tickets are $30 at Jonathan Patrick

Sunday, August 18

"Sheila Hicks" Closing Day
For decades, artist Sheila Hicks has demanded viewers’ undivided attention through her monumental, striking and boldly colorful textile sculptures. For her installation at the Nasher Sculpture Center, she continued a recent streak of work with outdoor interventions (as she did in Paris and New York) by weaving her sculptures in the museum’s gardens, depicting the relationships between man-made structures and nature while exploring themes on latency, form and antiform. Aug. 18 marks the exhibition’s last day at 2001 Flora St. Museum hours are 11 a.m to 5 p.m. Adult tickets are $10, with various discounts available at Eva Raggio
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