Poster by CJ DeMarx
CJ DeMarx and Mattie Stafford are known around the Dallas underground scene as a bit of a power couple when it comes to throwing a party. Last summer, their contribution to The Compound after-parties didn't go unnoticed, but it all started six Valentine's ago with a little shindig at the former Fallout Lounge Space.
Valentine's Day picked them more than the other way around. A few months into dating, it was just the next holiday coming up when the two part their brains together to throw a little party. Six years later, the good vibes are still running strong and the party we have all know as "Fall In Love At Fallout Lounge" goes down tonight. Even despite Fallout Lounge's disappointing closing, the show must go on and graduates to Sandaga 813's more spacious interior.
Six years is a long time for any annual event in this town, but credit goes to Stafford's and DeMarx' warm nature and inclusive attitude for why this has become an annual tradition for so many.
DeMarx assures me that the jello shots won't be going anywhere, and we will even see the familiar Fallout bartenders behind the bar; tips for Ulysses, guys. Other tricks up their sleeves include live performance from Gallery Cat and We Are Dark Clouds throughout the night. The icing on that Valentine's cake will be the reuniting of B.D.S. (Billingham's Defense System) the DJ crew that includes Fallout staples DeMarx plus T0MMYL33J0N3Z, and Genova. It's been over two years since this collective got on the table together, so dust off your dancing shoes and count it as a special occasion.
I have some blurry memories from Valentine's past as I try to dredge up the trouble I have gotten into in the dark of that tiny lounge, an incident in 2011 with a disco ball comes to mind. I inquire with the hosts about their favorite memory from six years of "Falling In Love."
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DeMarx laughs, "Well, there was that Justin Beiber cut out, the head kept falling off one year." Stafford recounts, "We have some good friends who told each other they love each other at this party one year," they both soften and smile, "Now they are married, and they just had their child's first birthday."
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I remark that I will miss Fallout Lounge, but Sandaga actually feels like a natural graduation. We are all a little older now and don't mind a little extra elbow room.
"This party has been able to grow and change with the scene but we keep throwing it because people have stayed excited about it. If people still want to come, of course we will keep throwing it," Stafford tells me.
And that, sugars, is why you will be there tonight. And maybe why you have been there five other times. Because like any good Valentine's Day token of affection, this is all about you.