Lady Gaga brings her Joanne World Tour to Dallas. Live Nation

Arts & Entertainment

The 15 Things You Must Do In Dallas This December

The return of Xscape and Monica; insight into the lives of lauded artists through rarely seen works on display.

MUSIC

Gary Numan
Dec. 14 | Trees
British industrial music overlord Gary Numan became a resident of Los Angeles in 2011. His releases since: Splinter (Songs From A Broken Mind) from 2013 is walled-in with depression; September’s Savage (Songs From A Broken World), his 22nd studio album responding to Trump’s presidency, awakens to a post-global warming apocalypse.

Julien Baker
Dec. 20 | Kessler Theatre
Recent Matador signee Julien Baker makes breathy, tortured invocations with lots of ambient space. As a guitarist and trained audio engineer she favors hypnotic, chiming lines.

Nothing & Ceremony
Dec. 9, 7 pm | Club Dada
San Francisco’s Ceremony recovered from hardcore to make post-punk Gang of Four fans will catch onto. Opener Nothing is loud and stoic.

Lady Gaga
Dec. 8 | AAC
“Don’t be a drag, just be a queen,” goes the bridge of Lady Gaga’s most famous anthem “Born This Way,” a banger that drew criticism from Madonna who said she’d been ripped off. In glamour’s costume Gaga’s always banished regressive frames on glitter-powered, sex-positive culture in getting straight to the party – like Madonna, it’s true, but also like Nancy Sinatra before her. Gaga’s broad but weird, loving acknowledgements to doing whatever you want touch something in the wild hearts of her fans. In the documentary Gaga: Five Foot Two out this fall we learn of her struggle with fibromyalgia behind the curtain, one that almost kept her from this Dallas date.

Xscape, Monica 
Dec. 13 | Verizon Theatre
Tameka “Tiny Cottle” and Tamika Scott co-wrote “No Scrubs” for TLC, one of many feats accomplished by the ladies of Xscape after they stopped making music together. Their reunion tour features Monica, whose 2015 album Code Red is a missioned attempt to revive R&B.

Pale Waves
Dec. 6 | Three Links
The Manchester band released one of the most sonically interesting, effusive pop singles of 2017 last month. “Television Romance” is all the Belinda Carlisle build and crossover-Amy-Grant-infectious you’ll need through the end of the year. On headphones it’s a low-key wall of sound trip.

Robert Earl Keen   
Dec. 29 | House of Blues
Keen’s all-ages production Merry Christmas from the Fam-O- Lee, named after his so-titled holiday song, is six years running. Expect sugar plums, elves, cows and special guests from country music history.

Lights All Night
Dec. 29-30 | Dallas Market Hall
The annual EDM festival leans West Coast this year with San Francisco’s punk-friendly, long-haired Bassnectar and breakout Los Angeles DJ AC Slater, who just released a moody debut record with the pointed title Outsiders. “No illegal activities” notices abound.

VISUAL ART

In Her Image
Dec. 23- June 17, 2018 | Amon Carter
Rania Matar photographed women in the Middle East and the United States from young girlhood to middle age, drawing parallels across cultures and geography through moments in their development.

Figures From the Collection
Dec. 9- Jan. 28 | The Modern
People and places of great interest to artists behind the Fort Worth museum’s permanent collection come finely focused: in early etchings, Picasso’s dubious romantic life; in a video study of Paris, Texas alongside scenes from Wim Wenders’ road film, the obsession of Teresa Hubbard and Alexander Birchler.

The Dramastics   
through Jan. 28 | Nasher Sculpture Center
Dallas-born, Brooklyn-based Nathan Carter created a dioramic universe with paper, wire and video that stars a girl band with a Booker T. origin story. The Dramastics wear black always and even sell merch; the artist wrote all their songs.

Non-Burnable
through December 17 | Dallas Contemporary
A countless number of origami cranes is sent to the City of Hiroshima every year. These are tokens of peace and solidarity sent from all over the world, containing messages of humanity and hope for a gentler existence, a tradition that began in homage to a young victim of radiation exposure following the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and that continues today. With well wishes received with gratitude and reverence, the City of Hiroshima is now faced with a practical dilemma: what to do with so many paper cranes. The city’s solution, efficient and unceremonious, is to categorize these mementos as non-burnable trash, so that they may be kept in waste facilities, intact but out of site. These paper cranes, shown in unexpected light, comprise one of many works featured in the exhibition Non-Burnable. — Enrique Echavarria 

COMEDY

Hari Kondabolu   
Dec. 7 | Texas Theatre
The comedian truly does sings today’s protest songs. Hari Kondabolu deserves those comparisons to Public Enemy; in refusing to leave the arena to fools, he casts a blacklight on peers who hopped the activism bandwagon and will just as easily hop off.

Doughboys
Dec. 2 | Texas Theatre
Mike Mitchell and Nick Wiger review the restaurants overlooked by editorial outlets everywhere: fast food joints and casual dining chains. El Pollo Loco, Chipotle and even IKEA’s cafe get the podcast treatment, with mid-profile actor guests attending.

Trailer Park Boys
Dec. 9 | Verizon Theatre
Canadian mockumentary players Ricky, Julian, and Bubbles fall into the cycle of patriotism and boredom that plagues yokels who can’t leave a small town. Sunnyvale Trailer Park is where they’ve earned notoriety for failed attempts to get rich quick. Instead they get drunk and high.

 

 

 

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