Don't Fret


For musicians, no humor magazine beats the laughs found in a Guitar Center catalog. That's because the ads promote "lowest price ever" sales every week that, well, really don't matter. Tags for "40 percent off the retail price" are meaningless, as that "discount" is the same as every week before it, and die-hards who flip through the entire catalog don't care about sales on entry-level Squier bass guitars. If you're the kind of music nut who giggles after reading Guitar Center ads for fuzz pedals, then take your jaded self to the Dallas Guitar Show at Dallas Market Hall, 2200 Stemmons Freeway, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, when thousands upon thousands of instruments will be up for grabs. Whether you need a bitchin' vintage guitar or a corny-as-hell ukulele, there should be a vendor to fit your needs within the 14,000 square feet of booths. Keep your eyes peeled for memorabilia auctions, young band competitions and performances by ax men such as Joe Bonamassa, Gary Hoey and Rick Derringer, in which he'll surely play his big '70s hit "Hang on Sloopy" for the 20 billionth time in his career. Admission is $15 to $25. Call 214-948-3996. --Sam Machkovech

Good Old Days

While most people enjoy Scarborough Faire with its jousting and giant turkey legs, the place conjures disturbing memories of my high school buddies who spent a little too much time there. Growing up near Waxahachie, kids could make a little extra cash at Scarborough. While most toiled in the food booths, a lucky few joined the cast. These were the ones who spent all weekend speaking the Queen's English, and when they returned to school Monday they were still mentally lost between Sherwood Forest and King Arthur's Court. One guy threatened to cast spells on you; another tried to have horseless jousts in the hallways. Most of the teachers just rolled their eyes, though the drama teacher applauded them for not "breaking character. " Then there was the kid who started out as an ice cream vendor and was "promoted" to the guy in the stockade you throw rotten eggs at. I think he might still be there, and I really don't want to see him with 10 years of rotten egg on his face. Scarborough Faire opens Saturday and runs through May 30. Admission is $6.50 for kids and $18.99 for adults. Call 972-938-FAIR or visit --Jay Webb

Stranger Than Fiction

Your life seems normal by comparison. Z Channel and Seventy-8 portray, respectively, a successful but unstable station programmer and a persecuted mentally handicapped man--together for an intriguing night of indie flickdom. The Dallas Film Series will present the two films Thursday at Studio Movie Grill, 5405 Belt Line Road, Addison, with Z Channel beginning at 7:30 p.m. and Seventy-8 at 9 p.m. Admission is $5, which, a conscientious filmgoer will note, is pretty damn cheap. Call FilmFrog Productions at 214-498-2238. --Mary Monigold

Guess Who

The Dallas Observer has spawned many things: lawsuits, a cover girl holding a pink dildo and clever ad copy like this: "Transsexual Atomic Bomb, come taste my explosions!" But this is the first time we've sired a famous psychic. Dougall Fraser, a 26-year-old clairvoyant, was once named "Best Psychic" in these pages. Since then Fraser has garnered an international clientele, national fame and a memoir, But You Knew That Already: What a Psychic Can Teach You About Life, which he signs at Borders Books & Music in West Village at 7 p.m. Tuesday. Call 214-219-0512. --Mark Stuertz

United Nations

Hanging at the United Nations would be a real drag these days. U.S. Republicans are calling for Kofi Annan's resignation. Sudan is still ignoring Security Council resolutions. Iran is dragging its feet on nuclear negotiations. Where is the international cooperation? The brotherhood of man? The drum circle? On Sunday, they're all in Dallas at the Dallas International Festival. Unlike the real UN, our local alternative is nothing but good times. More than 250 Dallas-area artists hailing from all corners of the globe will gather in a celebration of music, dancing, film, poetry and, yes, PowerPoint presentations. "It's very hard to walk out of that show without in some way having opened your mind," says Anne Marie Weiss, the festival organizer. In at least one way, however, this global get-together will mirror the real UN: The Kurds won't be represented. Those talented but independent-minded folks didn't show up for the rehearsal. At least they can take satisfaction in knowing that the dancer representing their blood enemies, the Turks, won't be performing either. He may still be miffed from the incident at the 1998 festival when security personnel tried to relieve him of his sword before he took the stage. Any acts appearing that aren't listed on the playbill? "There's the Chinese," Weiss says. "I didn't get his name because he didn't speak English. There's only one of him, though." Another striking difference from the real world. The truly amazing thing is that the whole nonstop extravaganza will be crammed into only three hours. If only the real UN were that efficient. The festivities run from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. at the Majestic Theatre, 1925 Elm St., in downtown Dallas. Tickets are $5 to $10. Call Ticketmaster at 214-373-8000 or visit --Rick Kennedy