Things To Do

Best Things To Do in Dallas This Weekend

Modest Mouse is playing Friday at WinStar World Casino.
Modest Mouse is playing Friday at WinStar World Casino. Mike Brooks


The 17th annual Asian Film Festival of Dallas brings more than 30 feature-length films and loads of shorts ranging from drama to doc to experimental and more. Among all those movies screening through July 26 at the Angelika Film Center, 5321 E. Mockingbird Lane, there seems to be a recurring theme of retribution and/or the search for justice. Whether action, comedy, drama or even a little horror, it appears turnabout is a popular plot element for this year’s AFFD (Marlina the Murderer in Four Acts, Angels Wear White, Ghost Squad, We Make Antiques and more). Second to that, the journey of self-discovery (Riding Uphill, New Turn and Half Widow) crops up a great deal as well. But the common factors don’t make for a boring fest. If anything, having a number of films to compare in approach, technique and topic makes for a strong week of theater camping. Tickets for each screening run $8-$15. Visit for purchasing options, a complete schedule and film information. Merritt Martin

Tattoos aren't just a way to turn your boring skin into something more colorful. They’re an ancient method of emotional and spiritual declaration that goes back to the dawn of our human ancestry. Of course, if you've never gotten one, it can be hard to know if the person who's about to take a needle to your skin knows what he or she is doing. If you're looking to get inked, go to the Ink Masters Tattoo Show from Friday through Sunday at the Richardson Civic Center, 411 W. Arapaho Road. This inking expo has been traveling the country since 2009 featuring the work and artistry of some of the best tattoo artists in the country, including Kito Talbert and Al Fliction from the reality series Ink Master. Some of the best local tattoo artists will also be on hand competing in the expo's tattoo contest. The show runs 1-11 p.m. Friday, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday. Tickets are $20 per day and $35 for a three-day pass and will only be sold at the door. Visit for more information. Danny Gallagher

Lake Street Dive's music has undergone quite the makeover since the group formed at the New England Conservatory of Music in 2004 as a free-flowing country band. Since those beginnings, the five-piece has tweaked its sound to become a more encompassing amalgamation of jazz, Southern rock, rockabilly and blue-eyed soul. The members are self-professed Beatles enthusiasts, so their music also sounds like it comes from the golden era of 1960s musicianship, when the influences of Motown, Greenwich Village and Brill Building all coordinated into a joyous influence. With thousands of live gigs, the band has gotten the showmanship aspect of its set down pat. In concert, it can swing through raucous dance numbers, harmonize with pure, spine-tingling emotion and dig deep into those myriad musical inspirations for spirited covers. The true believers in the audience Friday night will know most songs by heart, but if you're new to the band, spend some time with the just-released Free Yourself Up and check out 2012's covers LP, Fun Machine, for a good introduction. 8 p.m. Friday, July 20, The Bomb Factory, 2713 Canton St.,, $3-$65. Jeff Strowe

You've Shakespeared in the park. Now's the time to sample MBS Productions' A Lovely Goodbye by Alejandro de la Costa. The Lovely refers to Lovely Uranus, billed as "Dallas' most notorious third-rate drag queen." Her problems are many: She's in love with Keith, who is already in a relationship; her job is coming to a close; and she has health problems. What else could go wrong? The one thing she can count on — her durable and dependable mascara brand — is being discontinued! Ah, there's the rub. Producer and performer Mark-Brian Sonna takes the roles of Lovely and Dickey. Collin Miller appears as Keith in the play at 8 p.m. Friday through August 12 at the Stone Cottage Theatre in the Addison Conference and Theatre Center, 15650 Addison Road. For more information, visit; for tickets, $20-$40, call 214-477-4942. Reba Liner

The concept of the great American frontier haunts Modest Mouse’s music — even if it’s a twisted version. Panoramas of vast, dusty deserts, both brutal and beautiful, streak across each of the indie rock group's records, like blurred landscapes glimpsed through a car window. The indifferent evils of consumerism, the mystical fantasies of religion and the pessimism those engender made Modest Mouse one of the most fascinating bands to survive the indie rock bubble of the mid-'90s. While it’s not the act it was then, Modest Mouse has enjoyed a career arc remarkably invulnerable to the march of time. The band’s fallen some, sure, but it has yet to careen off any cliffs. Inside Modest Mouse’s songs, the bubbly rhythms of dance music are rendered crazed and anxious; the rock structures are filtered through hardcore, influenced by twee pop and move like an updated, hookier version of post-punk; the themes are distinctly literary, sharply fatalistic and frighteningly prophetic. This is why the band still sounds relevant, even modern. Pain, oppression and greed don’t have expiration dates. 9 p.m. Friday, July 20, WinStar World Casino, 777 Casino Ave., Thackerville, Oklahoma, 800-622-6317 or, $35-$250. Jonathan Patrick

Originally inspired by British punk bands like Amebix, Neurosis formed in 1985, blending crust and hardcore punk. But after the band's initial stardom 33 years ago, it teased to a more avant-garde/sludge metal sound with its second album, The Word is Law. Since then, Neurosis has released a dozen albums and kept pretty close to its original lineup. 8 p.m. Friday, July 20, Canton Hall, 2727 Canton St.,, $35. Diamond Victoria


Ira Glass, creator and host of the popular NPR program and podcast This American Life, takes the stage at 8 p.m. Saturday at the Winspear Opera House, 2403 Flora St., to share the inside story of how the award-winning show is produced and what he has learned over the 23 years it has been on the air. If you're not one of the 5 million or so people who listen to the weekly program on air or via podcast, here's what you’re missing: smart narratives, often a combination of stories built around a single theme, that mix humor, hard reporting and emotive storytelling that capture American life in all its variety. Hear Glass talk about seven things he has learned while doing the show. Tickets start at $35 at Patrick Williams

Ever seen the movie DodgeBall? (“If you can dodge a wrench, you can dodge a ball.”) Well, this is like that (minus the wrenches), only you get to compete, too. Dodge Bowl VI is a local co-ed dodgeball tournament open to all teams local, national and international, including corporate, church, family, and fraternity and sorority teams. Not down to play? Don’t worry — with some of the world’s best dodgeballers in action, watching is just as fun. Dodge Bowl VI starts at 10 a.m. Saturday at Walnut Hill Recreation Center, 10011 Midway Road. Entry is open to those 14 and older, and the fee is $150. Find more information at Jonathan Patrick

There is so much we know about space and so much to learn. If space and the exploration of it interest you, check out Frontiers of Flight Museum, 6911 Lemmon Ave., as it hosts Moon Day, which will honor space flight accomplishments and look ahead to future activities in space exploration. From 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, there will be activities, exhibits, classes and presentations about space. Listen to astronaut Douglas Harry “Wheels” Wheelock or explore the universe with OmniGlobe. Moon Day is free to museum members and $10 for adult nonmembers. For more information, visit Paige Skinner

Schoolkids with interests in science, technology, engineering and mathematics are probably going to be the ones who solve the various environmental, economic and health care crises our country’s leadership seems hell-bent on hurling us into, so it’s in our best interests to encourage aspiring nerds with events like Celebrate STEM in the Park. Kids will enjoy activity zones dedicated to coding, robotics, drones, sports science, medicine, food science, and iFLY’s indoor (well, outdoor in this case — let’s say “airplane-free”) skydiving while tuning out a succession of speeches. “The Super Bowl of STEM” also includes food trucks and opportunities to win STEM-related prizes, scholarships to camps at UTD and trips to STEM facilities. The celebration is from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Saturday at Klyde Warren Park, 2012 Woodall Rodgers Freeway. The event is free, but donations of school supplies are welcome. Find out more at Jesse Hughey

Foreigner does not hide anything about what you will see when the band plays live. Advertising the biggest of their biggest hits (and there are many), Mick Jones and company will play things safe, for understandable reasons. A show without “Cold As Ice,” “Juke Box Hero” or “Say You Will” would not be a complete show, so the bulk of it will be rockers and ballads from the ’70s and ’80s. Lead guitarist (and sole original member) Jones continues to tour with a stable and entertaining lineup featuring lead vocalist Kelly Hansen (who hits with total ease the notes that Lou Gramm hit) and bassist Jeff Pilson — a big reason why the band is still a hot ticket. With Whitesnake, 7 p.m. Saturday, July 21, Pavilion at Toyota Music Factory, 316 W. Las Colinas Blvd., $39.50 and up. Eric Grubbs

Combining elements of glitch, hip-hop, house, and drum and base, Canadian electronic duo Zeds Dead is known for musical diversity. Although it's been touring internationally for more than a decade, the duo only released its first album a couple of years ago. It features Weezer's Rivers Cuomo, Pusha T and Diplo, to name a few. 7 p.m. Saturday, July 21, Bomb Factory, 2713 Canton St.,, $35-$65. Diamond Victoria

Denton's nonprofit radio station KUZU 92.9 LPFM turns a year old and hosts a night of fantastic local music at the KUZU: Revolution I show at Andy's Bar on Denton's historic downtown square. Denton punk band The Marked Men and Dallas native and well-loved electronic musician Cygnus play sets on Andy's main floor while acts such as William Austin Clay and Same Brain play in the basement. KUZU DJs spin live on the air throughout the night. With Cygnus, The Marked Men, William Austin Clay and more, 8 p.m. Saturday, July 21, Andy's Bar, 122 N. Locust St., Denton,, $10. Diamond Victoria


You say you love Christmas so much that you can't wait another month or so for department stores to break out the holiday decorations? You're just dying to stroll around in 105-degree summer heat — as opposed to the usual 85-degree Dallas Yuletide temps — to hear carols and see someone dressed up as Santa keeling over from heat exhaustion? If it weren't for your obvious mental issues, we'd say you're in luck, cause Christmas in July is coming, thanks to those ironic hipsters in the Bishop Arts District in Oak Cliff. Beginning at 5 p.m. Saturday and throughout the day Sunday, businesses in the district will provide a holiday-themed celebration with Santa, Mrs. Claus, elves, live music, sidewalk shopping and holiday treats. There's a poinsettia walk with wine; a Christmas pajama contest at House of Dirt, 408 W. Seventh St.; skating at Lockhart Smokehouse, 400 W. Davis St.; and photos with St. Nick at the Laughing Willow, 301 N. Bishop Ave. Attending the event is free, but some activities have fees. Find more details by searching for the event's Facebook page. Patrick Williams

North Texas Comic Book Show is putting the comics back in comic conventions. Typically at a comic con, you are overwhelmed with the cosplay and the famous actors and a bunch of people standing around taking pictures. At the North Texas Comic Book Show, replace the Ben Afflecks with the people who actually know about the comics. Nationally known comic artists and writers will be there, including Steve Englehart, writer on Avengers, Captain America, and Dr. Strange, and Christopher Priest, writer for Black Panther. The show is Saturday and Sunday at the Irving Convention Center, 500 W. Las Colinas Blvd. Tickets start at $20 at Paige Skinner
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Paige Skinner has written for the Dallas Observer since 2014.
Contact: Paige Skinner