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The Plano Balloon festival will be a pretty sight over Oak Point Park this weekend.EXPAND
The Plano Balloon festival will be a pretty sight over Oak Point Park this weekend.
Shutterstock/ liseykina

The 21 Best Things to Do in Dallas, Sept. 16-22

Monday, September 16

Away from the White House: Presidential Retreats
George W. Bush Presidential Center presents Away from the White House: Presidential Retreats, an exhibition of photographs of various presidential hideaways and homes away from the White House, from Mount Vernon to Mar-a-Lago. With historical artifacts, like Ronald Reagan’s aviator sunglasses and Jimmy Carter’s handwritten notes, the exhibition attempts to portray the first families in intimacy and leisure, though no doubt some spent more time at leisure than others. It runs through Oct. 6, at 2943 SMU Blvd. The exhibition opens at 9 a.m., and at noon on weekends. Tickets are $16 at bushcenter.org. Eva Raggio

Paul Slavens & Friends

Like on most Mondays, the spontaneous song generator, DJ and Ten Hands frontman Paul Slavens will take the stage at Dan’s Silverleaf. Slavens writes and performs songs on the spot, improvising about whatever comes to mind. Song title suggestions get thrown at him from the crowd and he just runs with them. Attendees might hear songs about escaping the spiraling vortex of Ikea, robot children or whatever else they can think of. If this isn’t part of your Monday music routine by now, it should be. The free show starts at 9 p.m. on Monday, Sept. 16, at Dan's Silverleaf, 103 Industrial St., Denton. Jacob Vaughn

Tuesday, September 17

Jason Bucklin Trio 
When Jason Bucklin isn’t teaching guitar and bass lessons, like he’s done for most of his life, he’s usually onstage with his jazz trio at The Balcony Club. In teaching guitar and bass, including master classes at the University of North Texas, Bucklin has grown an appreciation and passion for all kinds of music. But jazz was his first love. Bucklin used to play with Café Noir, the Dallas-based sextet, but every Tuesday, at least from now until sometime in December, Bucklin hits The Balcony Club stage with his trio for a night of jazz. And, it’s free. Go see the Jason Bucklin Trio while you still can. It starts at 9:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 17, at The Balcony Club, 1825 Abrams Road. Jacob Vaughn

DMA Arts & Letters Live: Tracy Chevalier
The New York Times’ best-selling writer Tracy Chevalier is the author of Girl with a Pearl Earring, the fictional, grim story behind Vermeer’s mysterious subject, later adapted into an Oscar-nominated film. Chevalier will be at the Dallas Museum of Art to discuss her latest book, A Single Thread. The author’s 10th novel is about a World War II widow who finds a new skill and community as an embroiderer for a cathedral. The event starts at 7:30 p.m. at 1717 N. Harwood St. Tickets are $40, with discounts for members, educators and students, at dma.org. Eva Raggio

Wednesday, September 18

Dallas Holocaust and Human Rights Museum Opening Day
The Dallas Holocaust and Human Rights Museum, at 300 N. Houston St., has undergone a major remodel and expansion. Now five times larger in size, the Dallas institution is broadening its focus to include the history of civil rights in America and international genocide. One of the museum’s new state-of-the-art features gives visitors the ability to interact with the hologram of a 91-year-old Holocaust survivor, who recorded over 1,000 answers about his life before, during and after World War II. Hours are 9:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m. on weekdays, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. on weekends. Admission is $16 for adults, with various discounts available for students, educators, seniors and those with disabilities, at dhhrm.org. Eva Raggio

Starfish Dallas Dance Concert
Like many other big cities, Dallas has a growing homeless population. Many suggest the best way to tackle the issue and reverse the numbers is by helping homeless on an individual level. Starfish Dallas promotes community interaction by providing awareness of homelessness through dance. A vocal, visual and choreographed event, the production approaches the difference that Dallas residents could make by helping the homeless one at a time. Starfish Dance begins at 7 p.m. Wednesday at Moody Performance Hall, 2520 Flora St., with a cocktail reception in the lobby at 5:30 p.m. Tickets are $14, and proceeds benefit St. Jude and Our Friends Place. Purchase them at ticketdfw.com. Merritt Martin

Jeff GoldblumEXPAND
Jeff Goldblum
Courtesy ATTPAC

Thursday, September 19

Jeff Goldblum and The Mildred Snitzer Orchestra
He has survived dinosaur attacks and stopped an alien invasion of Earth with a computer virus. He even won the heart of Gina Davis while turning into a giant insect in the most disgusting movie ever made, The Fly. Actor Jeff Goldblum has done it all while wearing an air of sly, wry humor, which tells viewers that while he may well be the coolest cat on film, that's all right because we're all here to have a little fun. Of course, a man who makes the Dos Equis guy look like a nerd plays jazz piano and has his own orchestra. He's Jeff Freakin' Goldblum, and he and The Mildred Snitzer Orchestra are coming to Strauss Square, 2389 Flora St., to perform jazz and show tunes and regale listeners with humor at 8 p.m. Thursday. Our forecast for this outdoor show is for very cool and extremely dry conditions, with gusts of laughter. Tickets start at $43.50. Patrick Williams

Addison Oktoberfest
Whip out the lederhosen and start yodeling, because it’s time to drink some beer and celebrate Deutschland. Addison has long been a destination for spilled beers and international cuisine and, between Sept. 19-22, Oktoberfest will transform the suburb into Munich, with German food, copious beer, music and family-friendly attractions like a Marketplaz and karneval (We know you likely don’t speak German, but even you can figure that out). If you’re into pickled food with names that are fun to pronounce, and again, all the beer, make your way to 4970 Addison Circle Drive. The fest runs from 6-11 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 11 a.m-11 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. The event is free to attend on Thursday and Sunday, while Friday and Saturday’s entrance costs $10, except for children under 10, who get in free. Free parking is available near the venue. Find tickets and more info at addisonoktoberfest.com. Eva Raggio

Big Tex Barn Dance Social
The State Fair of Texas is giving fair fans an early taste of the celebration with its first-ever Big Tex Barn Dance Social in the livestock judging pavilion in Fair Park. Eleven Hundred Springs and Frankie Leonie are scheduled to provide the tunes for this two-steppin' night out. Tickets are $75 per person and get you two drink tickets and snacks (they'll also have a cash bar). The party is 8 p.m.-midnight. Parking is free and proceeds benefit the Big Tex Youth Livestock Auction and Scholarship Program. Patrick Williams

Senses Fail 
Post-hardcore band Senses Fail joined the scene in the early 2000s with Let It Enfold You, an album catchy and edgy enough to earn plenty of praise in the post-hardcore world. These days, only one original member remains, lead singer Buddy Nielse; but Senses Fail easily draws in crowds nonetheless. The band released its seventh full-length studio album, If There Is A Light, It Will Find You, last year. Just months later, at the start of 2019, in an interview with Alternative Press, Nielse dropped what he believes will be the name of the band's next album. He says he thinks it will be called Hell is in Your Head. So, stay on the lookout for news on a new album and make sure to catch the band at Gas Monkey Bar N' Grill this Thursday. Senses Fail will share the stage with Hot Mulligan and Yours Truly. The show starts at 8 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 19, at Gas Monkey Bar N' Grill, 10261 Technology Blvd. E. Tickets are $18.50 at eventbrite.com. Diamond Rodrigue

Friday, September 20

Plano Balloon Festival
Actually, it's the In Touch Credit Union Plano Balloon Festival, but we'll forgo our usual complaints about paid sponsorships attaching their names to long-running events. The balloons will be just as massive and pretty hanging in the air, the parachute exhibitions just as thrilling. There will be the usual food, live music, tethered balloon rides, foot races and more at the three-day event at Oak Point Park, 2801 E. Spring Creek Parkway. The festival runs 4-10 p.m. Friday, 6 a.m.-10 p.m. Saturday and 6 a.m.-7 p.m. Sunday. Tickets are $20 for a full weekend pass or $10 daily, with discounts for children and the elderly. Find them and a full schedule planoballoonfest.org. Patrick Williams

Evita
Ignore the Madonna movie and see how great musicals should be performed when Lyric Stage opens its 27th season with Evita on Friday through Sunday at the Majestic Theatre, 1925 Elm St. Catherine Carpenter-Cox takes the title role, which she played for Lyric in 2006. Committed to developing local talent, the cast includes artists from Theatre TCU and DFW high school students. Len Pfluger is director/choreographer of the Tim Rice-Andrew Lloyd Webber musical tracing the rise of poor child Eva Duarte to Eva Peron, dictator and most powerful woman in South America. Go home humming "Don't Cry for Me Argentina." Music director Scott A. Eckert conducts the 19-piece orchestra. Call 214-871-5000 for tickets ($29.50-$56.50) or visit ticketdfw.com. Reba Liner

Cure For Paranoia
The award-winning Deep Ellum hip-hop soul band Cure for Paranoia has helped take the historic neighborhood worldwide. The group, made up of Tomahawk Jones, Jay Analogue, Stanley Francisko and Cameron McCloud, left their hometown seeking shelter from a rumored deadly scourge that would destroy the planet. The end of the world didn’t happen, but the birth of their band did. Since then, the group has taken home several Dallas Observer Music Awards and played at three of Erykah Badu’s Birthday Bashes. Their aggressive funk fusion will bounce off the walls of the Uptown Dallas spot The Common table this Friday. You won't want to miss it. The free show starts at 11 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 20 at The Common Table, 2917 Fairmount St. Jacob Vaughn

Hip-hop soul group Cure for Paranoia plays Friday in Dallas.
Hip-hop soul group Cure for Paranoia plays Friday in Dallas.
Gavin Lueking

Saturday, September 21

Smoked Dallas
Where would Texas be without the divine miracle that is barbecue? It would just be a barren wasteland on the map of America with nothing but dust, land and Mark Cuban. So when you're biting into a delicious piece of flesh at the Smoked Dallas barbecue festival on Saturday, Sept. 21, at Main Street Garden Park, remember that it's more than just a decadent meal. It's the foundation of a whole civilization. Twenty pitmasters from some of the city and the state's best meat palaces like Ferris Wheelers, the Lockhart Smokehouse and Evie Mae's Pit Barbeque will serve up their tastiest dishes. The celebration will also feature performances by Dale Watson, Straight Tequila Night and The 40 Acre Mule. The Main Street Garden Park is located at 1902 Main St. in downtown Dallas. The event runs from 2 to 6 p.m. with complimentary food from every restaurant served until 5 p.m. Tickets are $50 or $96 for VIP passes that will get you in to the event an hour earlier. Tickets for children ages 6-12 are $14 each and children under 5 get in free. Tickets are available at smokedbbqfest.com. Danny Gallagher

In the Heights
The 2008 Tony award winner for Best Musical, In the Heights, takes place over three days during a heat wave in the largely Latin New York neighborhood Washington Heights, whose spirited residents, of course, will best convey their hopes and dreams through choreographed numbers. The story was conceived by Broadway superstar and Hamilton creator Lin Manuel Miranda, who wrote the music and lyrics, which include rap, bodega and salsa. The family-friendly show has long been a Broadway hit, and is now soon to be a film, set to be released early next year. It runs from Sept. 21 to Oct. 20 at the Wyly Theater, 2400 Flora St. Tickets start at $15 at dallastheatercenter.org. Eva Raggio

Put a little yee in your haw at the Big Tex Barn Dance Social.EXPAND
Put a little yee in your haw at the Big Tex Barn Dance Social.
Jim Schutze

Stereolab
Self-described as "space-age, bachelor pad music," Stereolab has been shattering genres and expectations since 1990. With trance-like beats, pulsating synthesizers and hypnotically resonant tones, the group has weathered changing musical fads, breakups and the tragic death of a longtime member. The fact that they are still going strong is a testament to their magnetic will and their dedication to the craft. With 11 studio albums, close to two dozen EPs, and a bevy of soundtrack, art installation and compilation appearances, the quartet has multitudes of material from which to draw a set list. The rarity of their Texas appearances should draw a sizable crowd of loyalists to Saturday's Granada show. However, should you find yourself an intrigued novice to their sound, don't worry, the vibes and communal harmony provided should have you humming along within a few minutes of the show's start. The sold-out show starts at 8 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 21, at The Granada Theater, 3524 Greenville Ave. Jeff Strowe

Iron Maiden is still kicking ass.
Iron Maiden is still kicking ass.
Mike Brooks

Iron Maiden
Just about any metal head worth their salt is bound to own and treasure at least one piece of Eddie-emblazed Iron Maiden merch. The band is practically required listening even nearly half a century after forming. At 61, lead singer Bruce Dickinson can belt out classics like “Fear of the Dark” and “Run to the Hills” as well as anyone could reasonably expect. Yet despite the added gravel to his voice, the band is backed by a triple-guitar setup provided by longtime band members Dave Murray, Janick Gers and Adrian Smith. Originally formed on Christmas Day by the band’s founder and sole original member, Steve Harris, Iron Maiden was on the forefront of the 1970s “New Wave of British Heavy Metal” and subsequently helped give birth to the rise of trash metal acts such as Slayer and Metallica over on this side of the pond. This legendary band is worth seeing live even if only to say you did. The fact that Iron Maiden can still kick ass is just gravy.  The show starts at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 21, at Dos Equis Pavilion, 3839 S. Fitzhugh Ave. Tickets are $39.50 at livenation.com. Nicholas Bostick

Baptist Generals
Stroll the streets of Denton's downtown square on any given night and you'll hear plenty of live music from buskers with guitar cases propped open in hopes of passersby throwing in a few coins ... dollar bills if they're  lucky. They're not all great musicians, some are even bad, but a few really stand out and you wonder how they aren't booked at clubs yet. Flash back 20 years ago to Denton's Fry Street District, and The Baptist Generals –– one of Denton's most talented and successful indie rock bands –– took to these concrete stages in their very early days, with not much more than the hope of earning some beer money. Two critically successful full-length albums later, and a signature of approval from the indie record label Sub Pop, the Generals, led by Chris Flemmons, proved that their musical prowess stretches far beyond those sidewalks. Celebrating 20 years of music making, the band  –– which also includes Ten Hands' frontman Paul Slavens and former drummer for St. Vincent Jeff Ryan ––  are on a three-gig Texas tour. Catch them at their home bar Dan's Silverleaf on Saturday at 9 p.m. Tickets are $15 at danssilverleaf.com. Diamond Rodrigue

Tiger Army
Get ready to do the psychobilly stomp, because Tiger Army has released its new album Retrofuture, and they're kicking the supporting tour off in Texas with Dallas as the third stop. Since 1996, Tiger Army has been mixing rockabilly music with punk rock, producing a sound that can be as soft and romantic as it is dark and mysterious. Released after a near decade-long hiatus that saw lead singer Nick 13 releasing a country album, the band's 2016 release, V •••, displayed a lot of the band's softer side. Their second album on Rise Records released on Friday, Retrofuture, shows a return to the band's early days on Hellcat Records when there was a lot more stomping than swaying. Tiger Army is touring with fellow Los Angeles band SadGirl, a band known for blending Motor City soul with Pacific Northwest surf rock to create a vintage sound with a modern twist. It's sure to be a night of nostalgia. The show starts at 8 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 21, at Canton Hall, 2727 Canton St. Tickets are $26.50 at ticketfly.com. David Fletcher

Sunday, September 22

Pharmakon
Pharmakon, aka New Yorker Margaret Chardiet, renders ugliness and hellish noise as something at once beautiful, all consuming, tremendously complex, yet viscerally uncomplicated. Countless themes are implied in her music — from physical and emotional abuse and the fragile nature of human existence to the oppression of the female body — but the effect is immediate, almost simple. Through swells of static, industrial chaos, pummeling percussion and pained roars, screams and howls, the often painful but always fascinating wrinkles of human experience are communicated more directly than any other band could. Sifting through the more forceful moments of acts like Throbbing Gristle and Swans and then updating them with today’s tech and the nuances of the contemporary political climate, Pharmakon’s art carves out fresh perspectives from the aesthetic echoes of the past. Suffering never felt so good. The show starts at 9 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 22, at The Nines, 2911 Main St. Tickets are $12 at eventbrite.com. Jonathan Patrick

Revelers Hall is an old-timey haven for vagabonds and jazz cats.
Revelers Hall is an old-timey haven for vagabonds and jazz cats.
Jason Roberts

Revelers Hall Band
Every Saturday and Sunday from 2 to 5 p.m., the Revelers Hall Band makes a not-so-subtle stop at their home venue. The six-piece brass band packs a punch that is near impossible to stand still against. The band embodies what Revelers Hall co-owner Jason Roberts and music director Kevin Butler want to get out of all the performers at the venue. It's acoustic, and they play real pianos and upright basses, instead of electric. Even if the power goes out, the Revelers Hall Band will keep the show going. The band can also be heard accompanying other acts booked at the venue throughout the week. The free show starts at 2 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 23, at Revelers Hall, 412 N. Bishop Ave. Jacob Vaughn

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