I’m sure I’ve stated variations on this theme before, but Dallas is a tricky place on New Year’s Eve. It’s when this city’s habit toward spreading out its various entertainment districts becomes glaringly conspicuous. Since there is no obvious meeting place, you could theoretically wander over 9,000 square miles of North Texas to settle on a party.
I’ve narrowed it down to the options that are the least likely to disappoint. Beware of places that charge 200 dollars per couple and the like. Are you single this New Year’s Eve? Consider that a social luxury. You don’t have to factor in that extra head, feigning interest from across the table, lost in each miniature bubble of prosecco. The list:
Zhora/Boan/Jenny Robinson/Wild in the Streets/Ruthie, of Blackstone Rangers (DJ Set)/”Special Surprise Guest” (Texas Theatre): Now if I were to stay in Dallas, rather than escape to Austin as I almost always do, this is the show I would attend, no question. Though I do take issue with the gender-specific marginalization, the lineup is so solid I don’t really care. The theme is “Year of the Woman,” but every year in music is the “year of the woman” if you have any taste.
I’m very curious as to who the special guest is, but none of the organizers like me enough to tell me. This show is 15 dollars, or 20 dollars with the purchase of the VIP pass. That includes hors d’oeuvres, so I would do it.
Whatever you do, do not miss Boan, which features members of Medio Mutante: José Cota, and Mariana Saldaña. They’re a supremely talented duo, as I mentioned a couple of years ago when I saw them for the first time at a SXSW after-party. Saldaña’s simultaneously deadpan yet still emotive vocals make her one of the most compelling singers to ever work in Texas. That’s not hyperbole. I’m still depressed that the Medio Mutante discography was never released on Medical Records, but that’s another story. I’m just glad that Boan sitll exists. Doors are at 8 pm.
Wizardviszion/Son of Stan/Ice Eater/We’rewolves/The Longshots/Nathan Brown/Foxtrot Uniform/Sun Bones (Lola’s Saloon): The X-factor here is likely to be Nathan Brown, who just might make your New Year’s Eve as strange as it is special. At ten dollars, this is one of the most affordable shows on the list.
Dubble A/Phooka/System/DJ Titan/Trailer Swift/Yunglist (Upstairs at Crown and Harp)
The Black Dotz/Drug Animal/Street Arabs/Fogg (Downstairs at Crown and Harp): For only five dollars before 11 pm, you can see a double booking of dance music or some actual rock music at Crown and Harp this evening. The price jumps to 10 bucks after 11 pm, but that’s still reasonable considering the number of acts.
The Orange/Buffalo Black/Where Shadows Meet/DJ Art Star (Oliver Francis Gallery): This is a very unique event, but would we expect anything different from something at Oliver Francis Gallery. I’m suddenly reminded of an attemptedly offensive comment on this FrontRow article a few days ago, from commenter, “dbagazinefan.” Clever:
Yeezus, really…? These “art stars” don’t really make the rest of the community look too smart. Did the writer just spend a few minutes at OFG and warewolfhouse to compile this part of the list?
Now, that’s not very nice. But, I’d like to think that comments like these will only further the focus of these so-called “art stars,” one of which is actually DJing the event. How convenient. I’ve never understood the mentality behind singling out less well-attended spaces such as WWH and the OFG, but as I’ve basically said before, Dallas is a place where people cheer for the bullies and sneer at the underdogs. So curious that way. Buffalo Black is always great live and the $14 ticket apparently includes an open bar. I would do this.
Gina G/TX Connect (Strangeways): A couple of great DJs at my favorite Dallas establishment is an easy thing to recommend. However, have you heard the news about Strangeways’ owners Eric and Rosie Sanchez’s newest venture, King Leer? Read more here. And please tell me you knew the reference.
Other Worthwhile New Year’s Eve Events—
AV the Great /Fab Deuce/Donovan Killamc Payne/Wild Bill/Dontae Smiely/Tracey TC Counts & TS/Stu Brootal/DJ Ju$tTrill/DJ Spinn Mo(Rubber Gloves Rehearsal Studios)
Dave Washburn Sextet (Twilite Lounge)
Redeye/Blake Ward/Colly T (Beauty Bar)
Image: Jenny Robinson in live performance, October 2013. Credit: Andi Harman.