Wanz Dover is a veteran musician, producer and DJ in Dallas, and a regular contributor to the
Dallas Observer. He hosts his own residencies at venues like Double Wide, Midnight Rambler and Off The Record.
Dallas is overflowing with DJ residencies. Musical curators, turntablists and mixologists representing a wide number of genres have happy homes in venues across the city. There's techno, hip-hop, funk, soul, post-punk, disco and even niche genres like Northern soul. Every night of the week, there's somewhere to go to hear selectors of deep (or, if you prefer, not-so-deep) cuts in an era where anyone with an iTunes playlist can pretend to be a DJ.
There are a plenty of residencies being held down by DJs that still do it the hard way, who are disciples of the often-undervalued craft of making people happy with music, and these 10 are the best in Dallas. The list was compiled based on a mix of longevity, consistency and popularity.
10. New Math Mondays
Off the Record, every Monday
House vet JT Donaldson holds down a night of underground sounds. Touching on house, disco, funk, soul and everything in, between Donaldson offers a chance to catch a world-class DJ that is mostly associated with house push the envelope. He explores the close cousins and ancestors of four-four funk. He occasionally brings in guest DJs.
2716 Elm St., Dallas, facebook.com/OTRdallas
9. Disco's Revenge
Crown & Harp, once a month
Disco's Revenge has been an ongoing concern helmed by Daishiki Jones for the past six years. Over that time, Jones has gone through a few co-residents and a few venues, but has settled on the third Saturday of every month at Crown & Harp for the past few years. Currently, he's joined by scene vet Rick Simpson and the very prolific house producer, DJ and Texas Recordings Underground (TRU) label boss Gavin Guthrie. Disco's Revenge is a celebration of vinyl by way of classic house with touches of Detroit-friendly techno from some of the deepest crate diggers from the local house scene. The collective depth of knowledge and willingness to push the envelope of floor-funky house music is a rare treat.
1914 Greenville Ave., Dallas, thecrownandharp.com
8. The Smoke!
Various venues, once a month
The Smoke! is the longest-running residency on this list. They are about to celebrate their 13th anniversary. More than just a soul night, The Smoke! exist in the very micro-niche arena of Northern soul — American soul that was made popular in the northern England in the '60s and inspired generations of music in the U.K. Northern soul is notorious for playing host to some of the most expensive and rarest records on Discogs. To have a long-running residency in Dallas that specializes in these hard-to-find soul nuggets is not to be taken for granted. A fine night to put on you finest duds and shake your shoes to some classic soul nuggets.
7. The Lowdown
Red Light Lounge, every Thursday
The crew of DJ young bloods known as The Guild bring their anything-goes attitude to Red Light Lounge every Thursday. Trip-hop, bass music, techno, house and even the occasional jungle tune; nothing is off limits here. The Guild has a deep roster, so you are never quite sure which of them will be in support slots. They have a knack for doing strange theme parties, like this week’s “Princess Party.” On other weeks they will feature some of Dallas' best, brightest and vetted DJs and producers in headline slots.
2911 Main St., Dallas, redlightdallas.com
6. Big Bang
Beauty Bar, every Thursday
Six years in and still bumping and grinding, Big Bang is a staple of hip-hop nights. When it started, it was musically a bit more all over the map, but has settled into a grand celebration of all things rooted in hip-hop and R&B with dashes of Latin and reggae. DJ Sober has one of the longest track records of successful residencies in Dallas, stretching back to his days with The Party. A typically well-attended night at his Beauty Bar residency tends to feel more like a house party than a uptight club.
1924 N. Henderson Ave., Dallas, thebeautybar.com