The Best Party in DFW Is in Fort Worth — and It’s on Monday

The Best Party in DFW Is in Fort Worth — and It’s on Monday
Greyson Joralemon greyson_joralemon1, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons
The tectonic house beats of “Apollo 11” by Cody Currie or “Good People - Director’s Cut Signature Mix” by Marko Militano shake the wooden dance floor and leather booths. Fluorescent lights timed to the music reflect from disco balls. The packed crowd bobs and bounces and dances to the enveloping, entrancing house and techno rhythms; people go in and out of the bathroom rubbing their noses or stare at the lights and disco balls with black pupils the size of dinner plates. At 2 a.m., on the dot, the pale yellow lights turn on; the revelers head outside, where everybody chatters and smokes and sobers up a bit, or tries to.

It might be a regular night out clubbing, but it’s all so odd. It’s 2 a.m. in Fort Worth, and everybody’s fucked up on a Tuesday morning.

Welcome to Meet Me Underground, the hottest house music party in DFW. Hosted by Offparole, a Fort Worth-based collective comprising DJs offparole and boyblk, the party happens at Curfew, a bar near Sundance Square at 350 W. 5th St. The party doesn’t start until 10 p.m. every Monday and doesn't stop till 2 a.m. Tuesday.

DJs C.B. Smoove and IAMYU, from Dallas-based collective House of Frequencies, make weekly appearances and help host. DJs Bout and Kowboy, from Austin-based collective Growth in Decay, also perform often (Kowboy is also associated with House of Freqs). Guest DJs perform every weekend; even legends such as American Matthew and Ant Blue have performed at “MMU,” as the regulars will call it.

Offparole and boyblk founded MMU in early April. It started as a free show with a strict mask policy. The two DJs didn’t think MMU would get too big or crazy because venues were just opening back up, says boyblk, whose real name is Sterling Hasley. But it turned into a permanent residency at Curfew, and attendance has grown rapidly. Plenty of Dallasites make the trek every Monday, and even one raver from North Carolina has made it out once.

Hasley describes MMU as its own beast with a speakeasy aesthetic but puritanical house mixes — none of that EDM festival stuff because your love tonight is not all we need. MMU is an escape from the festival bros and Dallas party scene of seeing and being seen on a hotel rooftop or in Uptown club. MMU, Hasley says, harks back to the Detroit days when people of color and members of the LGBTQ+ community created the house music scene because they didn’t have anywhere else to go.  As a collective, Offparole has tried and, on the whole, succeeded to foster a community where truly all are welcome to be themselves and express themselves how they wish.

Oh, and if you’re wondering about the endless anime episodes that play behind the DJ booth at Curfew? Boyblk and offparole are self-described “huge anime nerds.” They didn’t have visuals when they started MMU, so they played anime instead. Now it’s a running joke that MMU is just a cover for a weekly anime club meeting, where ravers gather together and pretend to party but really just watch anime.

Every third Thursday of the month, Offparole throws a 1990s and 2000s throwback night at Curfew, called MMU Y2K Nite. Beginning next month, they’ll also host a residency at the Fort Worth bar Bodega West 7th, called Art Club, where one can enjoy drum and bass and other more niche forms of electronic music.

Offparole is also starting to take the show on the road: this past weekend, DJs C.B. Smoove and boyblk performed at the Coconut Club in Austin. But rest assured — no matter the developments and addendums, every Monday night at Curfew, you’ll have a home full of house music.
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Trace Miller has been reporting and writing in the DFW area for about two years. A native of East Dallas, he studies economics and Latin American literature at NYU and works as a deputy managing editor at the Washington Square News, NYU’s independent student newspaper.