We know you guys love Salim Nourallah. He's won the Best Producer award at the Dallas Observer Music Awards for, like, eleventy years now. But you guys are dead wrong on this one, as Nourallah isn't even close to the best producer in North Texas—especially considering that world-class talents like Stuart Sikes (White Stripes, Dove Hunter), Matt Pence (Centro-matic, American Music Club) and John Congleton (St. Vincent, The Paper Chase) reside here. That's not even counting our personal favorite sound engineer, the Echo Lab's Matt Barnhart, who not only worked on two of last year's best records—Shearwater's Rook and The New Year's self-titled release—but also found time (when he wasn't on the road running sound for A.C. Newman, Lift to Experience or The New Year, that is) for a slew of locals, including Deep Snapper, Les Americains, The Angelus, Nervous Curtains and his own Tre Orsi. Consider this a wake-up call for your ears, dear readers. Vote Barnhart in 2010.

Don't let the Uptown yuppies in their Polo shirts and Banana Republic slacks fool you: There is, indeed, quite the hip streetwear fashion scene in Dallas—and it's growing every year. Case in point: Kixpo, Dallas' annual sneaker and streetwear expo. Run by a group of sneaker and streetwear fiends who collectively call themselves Dead Stock, the annual event draws sneakerheads and fashion-savvy skate-punks from far beyond North Texas into town for a weekend of hip-hop, basketball and, most important, a couple hours of showing off. The third annual event, held this past July 25 at Life in Deep Ellum, saw a room full of sneaker collectors, streetwear fashion boutiques and mixtape makers showing off their own collections' finest pieces. And, even though few items were actually for sale—"Don't Touch!" signs littered the display booths covered in some of the flashiest kicks you've ever seen—around 2,000 squeezed into the room to jealously stare down the materials being flaunted. With an increasing fan base and not too many other national sneaker conventions to speak of, the sky seems the limit for this foot-obsessed, fetishy upstart.

Lots of countries have a can-do spirit, but if there's one that combines serious fun and frolic with theirs, it's Ireland. After a potato famine as well as civil, political and religious unrest for years, the island of Éire and its people still know how to party (that's probably why they know how to party, now that we think about it). Thus, the North Texas Irish Festival makes for one helluva weekend. You get the full-on guts, the humor, the dances, the music (the festival books an impressive roster of Irish and Celtic performers, both modern and traditional) , yes, the potent potables of the fair green land, perfectly imported for Dallas. We're not sure Ireland is really known for its face painting, but the NTIF often has that too, should the kiddos demand it. More than 60,000 people attended this last year—which is impressive for a festival celebrating but one culture—so really, who are we to doubt the shamrockian shenanigans?

Dallas Museum of Art

You may think downtown Dallas is the last place on earth you'd go to relax, but you're missing out. Located in the heart of downtown is a free sculpture garden shaded by mature oaks and filled with pools of water and forceful waterfalls. The large area is surrounded by 12-foot concrete walls draped in twisted ivy, so the traffic noise is muffled. The sculptures placed throughout the garden are made of bronze, stone or wood, like the French Henri Laurens abstract bronze from 1937. The large artworks and surprising large surface area of the garden have an expansive effect on your psyche. Take a book and sit at one of the cafe tables by one of the four falls inside. It's open during regular museum hours, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on the weekdays and weekends and on Thursdays until 9 p.m.

Round-Up Saloon

Be prepared to enter a whole new world: photos displayed on flat screens of muscular, all-American men in cowboy hats with hairless chests; a front "parlor" for karaoke where "they sing all the time," said a bouncer; and an authentic, good-sized dance floor for country dancing. Above the sunken dance floor, a giant neon red outline of the great state of Texas surrounds a spinning disco ball, which shoots off flashes of color around the room. Three times a week—Monday, Tuesday and Thursday—show up for free country dance lessons from 8:30 to 10 p.m. While you're there, try the most popular shots, a Jagerbomb or a Cowboy Cock Sucker. That's butterscotch schnapps and a bit of Irish cream, y'all.

The Bavarian Grill

The drink specials aren't all that special during Stein Hour at Bavarian Grill: $2.75 domestic longnecks, $3.25 Loewenbraus, or a dollar off selected drafts. They're better than nothing, but going to a bar with so many great German brews only to drink domestic longnecks (or Loewenbrau, for that matter) is like going to Six Flags and never getting off the parking tram. It's the food specials that really make Stein Hour so happy. For each half-liter draft, you can add an authentic Bavarian biergarten dish for just 95 cents: weisswurst or Bratwürstel sausages with mustard, crispy meatloaf frikadelles, tangy and meaty goulash, chicken-and-grape salad and more. They're substantial snacks, too, plenty to tide you over till a late dinner. Better yet, have a few as a light meal. Prost!

Cedar Ridge Preserve

The trails at Southwest Dallas' Audubon-managed Cedar Ridge Preserve make for some of the best hiking in North Texas. Whether you pick the leisurely Possumhaw Trail or the heavy woods and elevation changes of the Cedar Break Trail, you're sure to enjoy the experience, which puts the hiking at nearby Cedar Hill State Park to shame. (If you're with your honey the observation towers are prime make-out spots too.) After all that hiking, you'll find it easy to justify a post-exercise treat at Sheridan's, where the frozen custard will satisfy any sweet tooth. We'd suggest the Grant's Grasshopper (vanilla custard with mint, chocolate chips and Oreos), but we're sure you'll have your own ideas—a Brownie Bling Pothole, perhaps?

Adair's Saloon

The King Bucks may have left their Monday night residency that carried this honky-tonk for the past two years, but the fact remains: If you wanna throw on some cowboy boots, throw back some Lone Star and throw your dance partner around the floor without much regard for anyone judging you from the sidelines, Adair's still remains the tops in town. And there are still some fairly choice residencies to keep things going: Acoustic country crooner Ben Smith holds down the fort for laid-back Sunday nights, Oklahoma-based country rocker Rachel Stacy makes the trip to keep things interesting every Monday night, and local honky-tonk covers outfit RED keeps the boot-scootin' going every Wednesday—to the tune of $1.50 drafts, no less. And, better yet, you won't be forced into any line-dancing. Not here, thank God.

Oak Lawn Coffee

Since Starbucks became the new McDonald's, finding a good independent, local coffee shop can be tough. But after Brady Cottle took over and renovated this Oak Lawn establishment, it offers delicious home-brewed coffee and espresso drinks, pastries by local baker extraordinaire Samantha Rush (needless to say, her work blows Starbucks' tired baked goods out of the water), as well as creative art and photographs by Dallas-area artists and live music each week. And, in addition to donating at least 7 percent of daily revenue to nonprofit organizations, Cottle often sells products made by artisans in developing countries and holds frequent fund-raisers for causes such as cancer research and groups that help people living with HIV/AIDS.

The Amsterdam Bar

This Exposition Park staple isn't really a jazz club, but step into this European-styled bar on a Monday night and, traditional jazz room settings be damned, you're gonna see yourself as good a night of jazz performance as offered by any other venue in town. Bad Ass Jazz, as the night is called, is pretty much just what the title implies—a night of the region's finest jazz talents rotating in and out of the playing area in the back of the room, sharing smiles, drinks and enough improvised jazz solos and group jams to keep the always-crowded room delighted. Even to the uneducated jazz listener, it's an impressive sight, not to mention an easy way to pretend you're more cultured than you probably are. Plus, it's free.

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