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STRFKR, Onra, Ben Aqua Will Headline Second FrontRow Live on May 31

On May 31 we will host the second edition of FrontRow Live at the Dallas Contemporary. First things first, we locked down our headlining performers: Portland electro-pop act STRFKR, French musician Onra, and Austin-based DJ Ben Aqua.
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Last November we launched a new event called FrontRow Live, a party at the Dallas Contemporary in which we aimed to cram a diversity of cultural happenings — music, art, theater, dance, food etc. — into a single night to see what happened. What happened was you drank some free drinks; heard some great tunes, from hip-hop producers Play-N-Skillz to classical violinist Richmond Punch; our theater performers got kicked out; and good times were had by all.

Now we’re back for more.

On May 31 we will host the second edition of FrontRow Live, presented again by Chevy, at the Dallas Contemporary. We’re switching it up a little this time, but the mechanics will be largely the same: music, food, free beverages, art, and all sorts of other surprises.

First things first, we locked down our headlining performers: Portland electro-pop act STRFKR, French musician Onra, and Austin-based DJ Ben Aqua.

Here’s what FrontRow’s Christopher Mosley has to say about the acts.

STRFKR
The band name may be extremely potent (STRFKR is an abbreviation of Starf*cker), but don’t let that fool you. There’s nothing actually offensive about STRFKR’s music, but that’s a good thing. The Portland group has a knack for indulgently danceable pop that should be the envy of many similar bands wishing they could write even one song as memorable as the many that litter STRFKR’s multiple EPs, singles, and albums. And if the moniker alone doesn’t obviously indicate a group willing to do anything to get your attention, they turn in a straight-faced version of “Girls Just Want to Have Fun.” And it’s great. The last time they played in Dallas, the show sold out. So I went to Austin the next night, and they sold that out too. Just so you know…

Onra

Onra
Hailing from Paris, France, Onra (aka Arnaud Bernard) won over DJs, dance fans, hip hop purists, and ethnomusicologists alike when he released Chinoseries, five years ago. The album inventively took snippets of the Vietnamese records he bought on a trip to the country, and rhythmically reinterpreted them with beats inspired by the work of the late J Dilla, to whom Onra is sometimes compared. Onra, however, has an unlimited palette, having also dabbled in soul, Bollywood, and 1980s synth sounds. He released a followup to Chinoseries, entitled Chinoseries Pt 2, late last year, and his globe-spanning fan-base was perfectly content with more of the same. Onra has recently performed as far away as Auckland, New Zealand, so we are certainly glad to have him in Dallas.

Ben Aqua
DJ, photographer, label-owner, and new media artist are just a selection of the many hats worn by Austin’s Ben Aqua. As the only Texas headlining act performing at FrontRow live, he has performed at local spots such as Fallout Lounge, The Swiss House, Rubber Gloves, and most recently, the infamous 35 Denton after-party that the locals are still gossiping about. Aqua improvises his live sets, which include a selection of classic styles and micro-genres such as “dream rap,” vogue house, and “juke,” and which the artist admits “is usually sped up way faster than it probably should be.” You have to love that honesty. Ben Aqua’s presence in both music and the visual arts has been simultaneously on the rise and he is a true Texas original.

Now here’s what you need to do: save the date. Tickets will be a very affordable $15, and they will come with free beverages thanks to our liquor and beer sponsors. We’ll have ticketing details and additional programming info as it comes. For now, we’ll just plan on seeing you there. To tide you over, here’s a little Onra tease: “Perfect(ed) Match.”

Onra – Perfect(ed) Match by Onra

Pictured at top: STRFKR

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