Arts & Culture News

The 21 Best Things to Do in Dallas, Sept. 2-8

The Wild Detectives straddles the line between coffee shop, bar, book store and performance venue, and it does all of those things well. This weekend it will be hosting panels with journalists, photographers and authors, as well as a salsa party.
The Wild Detectives straddles the line between coffee shop, bar, book store and performance venue, and it does all of those things well. This weekend it will be hosting panels with journalists, photographers and authors, as well as a salsa party. Kathy Tran

Monday, September 2

Garland Labor Day Parade and Car Show
Do you enjoy Labor Day, summer's last hurrah and a time to kick back with beer and barbecue? Well, you'd better get your pleasure in now, because you just never know. America could elect a socialist, globalist president in 2020, and that might well mean we'll be celebrating workers on May 1, like much of the rest of the world. (Stranger things have happened in national elections and not that long ago.) Just think, we'll all have to learn the words to "The Internationale." ("This is the final struggle / Let us group together and tomorrow / The Internationale / Will be the human race.") Take your shot at celebrating Labor Day in true American fashion by ignoring the labor movement that started it and watching the 74th annual Garland Labor Day Parade and Car Show. The parade starts at 9 a.m. on Glenbrook Drive at Avenue D and travels down Glenbrook to Fifth and Austin streets. Attending the parade is free. Entry into the classic car show on the downtown square is $20, and it's open 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Patrick Williams

Tuesday, September 3

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 over the years, 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. The show starts at 9:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 3, at The Balcony Club, 1825 Abrams Road. Jacob Vaughn

Katya: Help Me I'm Dying
Outlandish TV personality Katya Zamolodchikova, the alter ego of comedian Brian McCook, first strutted into our lives as a contestant on RuPaul’s Drag Race and has since found a loyal following with a web series co-hosted by fellow cast member Trixie Mattel. Her multimedia one-woman show, Help Me I'm Dying, in which the diva muses on her experience as a woman, is a wildly entertaining variety act that includes video, stand-up and dance. The show runs from 7 to 10 p.m. at the Majestic Theatre, 1925 Elm St. Tickets range from “Trish’s dumpster special” seating in the furthest row, for $25, to $150 for the “eccentric billionaire benefactor” VIP entrance that includes a meet-and-greet before the show. They can be purchased at Eva Raggio

Thursday, September 5

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John Mayer, who's broken as many hearts as he has guitar strings, is returning to Dallas for a show this Thursday.
John Mayer
After two decades as a musician, and over a decade as a commercially successful one, John Mayer no longer feels the need to appeal to the pop music masses. He's done some reflecting over the last few years and decided it was more important for him to do work that he loves and not get caught up in the music industry hype. And as it turns out, Mayer has a lot more to offer than cheesy chart-topping hits. Longtime fans still embrace the crooner's bluesy and exceptional guitar playing, but Mayer has managed to do the unthinkable: he found fans in Deadheads. Yep, after forming the reunion band Dead and Company with three former members of the rock band Grateful Dead, Mayer has welcomed a whole new group of unlikely fans. His latest album came out in 2017, titled The Search for Everything, including this year's solo tour, and will tour with Dead and Company early next year. The show starts at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 5, at American Airlines Center, 2500 Victory Ave. Tickets start at $59 at Diamond Rodrigue

Salman Rushdie
Novelist Salman Rushdie, the Indian-born author whose 1981 work Midnight's Children was named the best of the Booker Prize-winning novels, will speak about his latest novel, Quichotte, at 7:30 p.m. Thursday. Rushdie is perhaps most known for being targeted for death by Iranian leader and world's harshest book critic Ayatollah Khomeini in 1989 because Rushdie's novel The Satanic Verses purportedly insulted Islam. Quichotte, an homage to Miguel Cervantes' Don Quixote and set in modern America, has won some less-than-flattering reviews, but no fatwas. Pick up a signed copy and hear Rushdie talk about the novel at Moody Performance Hall, 2520 Flora St. The base ticket price of $60 gets you a seat plus one hardback copy, and there are discounted packages available for Dallas Museum of Art members, students, educators and those who want multiple copies. Find ticket at Patrick Williams

Agent Orange, The Turbo A.C.'s, Sealion, Kolga
Surf-punk California power trio Agent Orange is riding a wave into town with the “champagne of surf-guitar-punk” The Turbo A.C.’s for the Dallas stop of the two bands’ fall tour. Agent Orange, originally with Mike Palm on vocals and guitar; Steve Soto playing bass; and Scott Miller on drums, first got attention for a demo version of the song “Bloodstains,” which was included in the band’s 1980 debut EP. The song managed to make it into the hands of a Pasadena radio DJ, Rodney Bingenheimer, who put “Bloodstains” on a compilation album released by Posh Boy Records. The following year, with a new bass player named James Levesque (Soto departed from the band to form the group Adolescence), Agent Orange put out its debut album with Posh Boy, Living in Darkness. The album featured a new version of “Bloodstains,” which later appeared on Tony Hawk Pro Skater 4. Since then, the band’s music has been featured on TV shows, movies and other skateboarding games like the original Skate and Evolution Skateboarding. Frontman Mike Palm is the only original member left in the band, now with Perry Giordano on bass and Sandy Hanson on drums. The trio will share the stage at Three Links with The Turbo A.C.’s and local favorites Sealion and Kólga at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 5, at Three Links, 2704 Elm St. Tickets are $15 at Jacob Vaughn
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A Matrix fan inadvertently sums up the last presidential election with one photo.
Roy Rochlin/Getty
The Matrix 20th Anniversary
Surely, that can't be right. The Matrix is 20 years old? OK, let's think. Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure came out in 1989, The Matrix in 1999 and John Wick 3 this year. Then why, we wonder, does star Keanu Reeves still look so damn young and ripped? Could it be ... is he really .... the ONE? Are we all nothing more than batteries powering the most massive online game ever made? If so, don't tell us. We're on Joe Pantoliano's team — better to live in a nice fiction with good steaks than an ugly reality. Still, we wholly endorse Reeves as the one, since word is he's an incredibly nice guy. If you don't get any of the preceding references or are just a huge fan of The Matrix, AMC Theaters has been celebrating the anniversary with screenings, and Thursday is your last chance to get in on the party, provided you can sneak out of work and avoid Agents for a matinee. Shows at AMC NorthPark 15, in NorthPark Center, are at 12:15 and 3:30 p.m. Thursday. Additional matinees take place at three other AMC theaters. Find times, locations and tickets ($17.69 for adults at NorthPark) at AMC's website. Patrick Williams
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Whaddya mean, the spoon is for sprinkling? Get your own damn bowl.
Hannah Ridings

Friday, September 6

Dallas Chocolate Festival
My mother used to say I would eat a turd if it were covered in chocolate. Hah. She was exaggerating, of course. I would scrape the chocolate off, run it under a tap and then eat it. If you're nodding your head now and thinking, "Yeah, I could see that maybe," then you're in luck, my comrade in addiction. is bringing its Dallas Chocolate Festival back for its 10th year. The festival includes lots of chocolate. Tickets are ... Oh, you need more details than just chocolate? OK, Mr. Demanding, the festival includes workshops, chocolate, more than 60 exhibitors, chocolate, food trucks and chocolate. It kicks off with a VIP party at 7 p.m. Friday at the Fashion Industry Gallery, 1807 Ross Ave., No.167, and continues at 11 a.m. Saturday and Sunday with the main event. Tickets to the VIP party are $75 (plus a whopping $12 in fees and taxes, but chocolate). Entry to the main exhibitor hall Saturday and Sunday is limited to 11 a.m., 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. time slots, but there'll be plenty of food trucks and shopping available anytime during the event. Tickets to the main event are $35 on, dropping to $25 for the 3 p.m. slot on Sunday. Tickets to demos and special pairing and tasting sessions are extra. Find more information visit Patrick Williams

King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard
Australian thrash-rockers King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard perpetually live in studios and on the road. With 14 albums in seven years, headline festival appearances around the globe and international critical acclaim, they've certainly made fans of all types. They're also innovators who aren't content letting things get stale. Case in point is their latest album, Infest The Rat's Nest, a gloriously shredded tour de force of metal worship and sonic ferocity. Though a detour from their normally recorded output, this collection of new songs should fit in perfectly alongside those older tunes in their raucous and unpredictable live shows. In fact, it's probably a pretty safe bet that those devoted fans present Friday night at The Bomb Factory will be singing along uproariously to the new "Organ Farmer" and "Planet B" with the same aplomb reserved for prior material. Though the present-day landscape is littered with drops of peril, this band might just be the ones to save us all. The show starts at 8 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 6, at The Bomb Factory, 2713 Canton St. Tickets are $15-$55 at Jeff Strowe

Now, I could look up a synopsis of the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical Cats and give you a thumbnail about its plot. Not gonna happen, though. For the cause of news reporting, I have been cussed at, threatened, risked death on icy roads and in sketchy neighborhoods and faced lawsuits. I draw the line at knowing anything more about a musical whose characters include Rum Tum Tugger, Mr. Mistoffelees and Skimbleshanks. (Doctors urge me to limit my intake of twee.) I freely admit that I have no taste, but anyone who enjoys the thought of an evening of watching people dressed up in cat suits slink about and singing big Broadway tunes already knows all about the beloved Cats, based on T.S. Eliot's Old Possum’s Book Of Practical Cats (even I knew that much). For them, The Firehouse Theatre, 2535 Valley View Lane, Farmers Branch, is staging the musical Sept. 5-22. Friday's show is at 7:30 p.m. and tickets start at $20. Find them and additional dates at Patrick Williams

A children's play about the 2004 terrorist hostage taking at a school in Beslan, Russia, that left more than 300 people dead? A. Children's. Play. My, what a delightful age we live in. Echo Theatre presents Us/Them, a play told from the perspective of two student hostages written by Carly Wijs and intended to provide a safe space for conversation about coping with trauma and terrorism. Performances include a post-show talk led by a licensed trauma counselor. (That's admirable. Too bad it's necessary.) Friday's opening night performance at the Bath House Cultural Center, 521 E. Lawther Dr., starts at 8 p.m. Tickets are $20 or $10 for students and adults 65 years old or older. Find them and additional show times through Sept. 22 at It's restricted to viewers 13 and older. Patrick Williams

Saturday, September 7

Music Alley
Historic Downtown Mansfield will be hosting Music Alley, an early MTV-inspired festival with an art competition, a showing of Footloose, arcade games and virtual reality. The kid-friendly event will have five stages with live music, with cover bands like PriMadonna, With or Without U2 and Shot of Benatar, as well as original pop artist Larry g(EE). There’s also an ‘80s makeover station, so if you've ever wondered what you’d look like with every makeup item worn at once, or just miss your old Flocks Of Seagulls horned haircut, Saturday is your chance to rock some of the most ridiculous looks in history. It takes place from 4 to 10 p.m., and admission and parking are free. Find more information at Eva Raggio
Trigg Watson is so powerful he can make an entire audience disappear, just like you make every wine bottle disappear within half an hour. Indulge your love for wine and magic with Watson's show this Saturday.
Courtesy Trigg Watson
Wine and Magic with Trigg Watson
The effects of alcohol just got even more magical. Wine & Magic, with magician Trigg Watson, will have you seeing two rabbits come out of the hat. Watson is a nearly certifiable wizard who has made many TV appearances, including Penn & Teller’s Fool Us, and the CW’s Masters of Illusion. His tricks make a clever use of modern technology, and you’ll never be at ease around an iPad again. The show takes place 7- 9.30 p.m. at Checkered Past Winery, 1409 S. Lamar St. Tickets are $20 or $80 for four VIP tickets, which include reserved seating and one complimentary appetizer for the group at Eva Raggio

The Gorehounds
Two of Dallas’ best cover bands, The Gorehounds and Straight Tequila Night, deliver a one-two punch sure to get fists pumping and celebrants swaying as they help rock-and-ring-in The Double Wide’s 16th anniversary. The Gorehounds, a Cramps tribute band who are every bit as punk, campy and sexy as the legendary "punk and rockabilly meets blues-rock" band they cover. The reason the band’s been nominated for so many Dallas Observer Music Awards for best Cover/Tribute Band is they really conjure the late ‘70s and early ‘80s CBGB vibes of The Cramps. Straight Tequila Night are a ’90s country tribute act who play hit tracks from country radio’s yesteryears. Also on the party’s bill is Atlantis Aquarius’ brand of psychedelic garage rock, and Mike Randall & Jenna Clark, as well as DJs Gabriel Mendoza and Sabrina T on the decks in DW’s main bar. The event’s being promoted with commemorative eye-catching 16th-anniversary posters designed by Hunter Moehring, of Sealion, that announce “the return of the mechanical bull!” So, between the bands and the folks bull ridin’ it’s sure to be a memorable bash. The show starts at 7 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 7, at The Double Wide, 3510 Commerce St. Tickets are $10 at Daniel Rodrigue

Meyerson 30th Anniversary Concert
For 30 years, the Meyerson — one of the world’s leading concert halls, a masterstroke of acoustic and architectural design, and the crown jewel of Dallas’ Art District — has enriched the physical and aural beauty of Dallas. To celebrate, the DSO is hosting various local ensembles for a full day of short-form concerts. In addition to performances by the Turtle Creek Chorale, Dallas Winds, Greater Dallas Youth Orchestra and more, the Meyerson’s lobby will offer family-friendly craft activities and something called “an instrument petting zoo” (careful, we’ve heard the violas can be a touch shrill). The performances start at 11 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 4 at the Meyerson, 2301 Flora St. Entrance is free. More info at Jonathan Patrick

Hay Forum Dallas
Back for a second year, the Oak Cliff bookstore/bar Wild Detectives’ free literary event offers several panels on the activist efforts made by photographers, international reporters and authors, who will be present at the event. The collective works highlighted on the first day of the two-day event, which continues on Sunday, detail the struggles of migrants, minorities and women in various parts of the world. After the presentations and Q&As, the backyard will be transformed into a party and — never ones to miss an opportunity to educate as well as entertain —- a lesson on salsa music through the ages. It runs from 3 p.m. until 1 a.m., at 314 W. 8th St. Eva Raggio

Hall Johnson, Kyoto Lo-Fi, Delmer Dennis
This Saturday, local indie-rock band Hall Johnson is saying farewell to Dallas with a show at Three Links. The group formed in Dallas a little over three years ago with Landry French on guitar; Milo Cortese on guitar and vocals; Trevor Stovall on guitar and piano; and Trevor Woods on bass. Later, Logan Krupovage joined Hall Johnson on drums. The band’s 2017 split single “City Lights/Upstate” was put on Spotify’s Release Radar, gaining them about 8,000 monthly streams. Two EPs later, Goalie (2017) and Day Trip (2018), and the band is saying goodbye to DFW. On Aug. 26, the band posted on its Facebook: “Dallas! You have been home to us since we were kids and we are very grateful to grow up in a city that has allowed us to watch the Mavs win an NBA Championship and create a space for us to play our music. But! We must now move to Austin and continue there as we move on to the next chapter.” In the post, the band also said it's excited to play Three Links one last time with local groups Kyoto Lo-Fi and Delmer Dennis before leaving for Austin. The show starts at 7 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 7, at Three Links, 2704 Elm St. Tickets are $10 at Jacob Vaughn
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Uber cool record store Spinster Records is hosting Canadian alt-rock act The Bloomers this Saturday.
Roderick Pullum

The Bloomers, Cheery Mantis, Chancy
If you’re looking for a feel-good night surrounded by records, turntables and feel-good live music, one place you can head this Saturday is Spinster Records. The record store will be hosting its Spinster Showcase featuring Canadian alt-rock act The Bloomers, indie pop-rock band Cherry Mantis out of Arlington and Dallas alt-rock group Chancy (although, they prefer to be described as an arcane and eclectic mix of chaotic, atmospheric and retro-modern soundscapes). The show’s only $5 and you can bring your own booze. You won’t want to miss it. The next Spinster Showcase later this month will feature Henry the Archer, Fever Beam and Crooked Bones. The show starts at 8 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 7, at Spinster Records, 829 W. Davis St. Tickets are $5 at the door. Jacob Vaughn

Often regarded as one of the most successful Latin American bands of all time, Mexican pop-rock group Maná kicked off its Rayando El Sol Tour in Laredo on Aug. 31. The tour, named after the band’s 1989 hit single, has them making several stops in Texas, Arizona and California. Earlier in August, the historically politically outspoken band told CNN they hope their 22-city tour will help bring joy to communities affected by the mass shooting in El Paso and the recent ICE raids that led to arrests of hundreds of immigrants. The band also told CNN that if people want to change the current culture, they need to head to the polls in 2020. Maná’s show this weekend at American Airlines Center is the fourth stop on the tour and the last one before they play El Paso. The show starts at 8 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 7, at American Airlines Center, 2500 Victory Ave. Tickets start at $30 at Jacob Vaughn

Sunday, September 8

Denton Zine & Art Party
If you’ve managed to live your entire life without hearing of a zine, there’s still time to squash your uncoolness before it spreads further, by making a stop at Denton’s Harvest House, which will be celebrating DIY zine culture with a free event. Despite their small circulation, homemade magazines — known as zines — have historically had massive influence in shaping culture; for starters, Thomas Paine’s Common Sense was first distributed as what we'd now call a zine, but what was then a "pamphlet," as were some of Benjamin Franklin’s writings. Zines have also gone hand-in-hand with comic book, punk and science fiction culture, the Riot Grrrl movement and music journalism. In addition to zine vendors, Sunday’s event, which is all ages until 8 p.m., when it’ll be 21 and up only, includes live art and music. It takes place from 3 to 9 p.m. at 331 E. Hickory St., Denton. Eva Raggio

In the over two decades since the band’s debut, Sevendust has released 12 albums, been nominated for a Grammy, sold millions of records and performed all over the world. On Sunday, they’ll be playing for Dallasites at The Bomb Factory for free. Compared with the ticket prices of one of Sevendust's last Dallas shows (about $45), their show this weekend is a steal. You're basically robbing this band if you go to their show Sunday. But that's OK. They won't have to entertain you the whole time. Local metal bands DownLo, Even The Dead Love A Parade and Crankfish will be hopping on the bill too to help melt your face off at The Bomb Factory. The show starts at 6:30 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 8, at The Bomb Factory, 2713 Canton St. Jacob Vaughn
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