Texas®

NYLO Hotels are giving you the chance to have your artwork showcased in their newest hotel, NYLO Dallas Southside. The hotel is currently under construction at 1325 South Lamar at Belleview and is due to open in July 2012.

They are holding an unique competition to showcase original artwork from the dynamic local arts scene to enhance the hotel’s interior design. Winning artwork will be displayed throughout the hotel in the guestrooms, corridors and lobby.

Not only will the winning artists have their work showcased in the hotels guestrooms, corridors and lobby, they will also get some other super perks! These include cash prizes from $150 to $2000 as well as being invited the the grand opening of the hotel and the winning artwork being displayed on the NYLO website with contact details of the artist alongside it, allowing guests of the hotel to purchase the artwork.

All submissions need to be entered before Friday March 16th 2012. Winners will be notified on or around March 23rd 2012.

The competition is open to everyone, but NYLO are especially interested in submissions  from the DFW area.

“Original art created by local artists that is reflective of the neighborhoods we serve is part of the NYLO brand’s soul and DNA. Dallas is known for its wealth of talented artists and with the NYLO Dallas South Side Art program, local artists will have the opportunity to help enrich the atmosphere of the NYLO Dallas South Side and to showcase their work,” says Michael Mueller, President and CEO, NYLO Hotels.

For more details on the judging criteria, complete details on prizes, competition rules and an entry form, please visit this website.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photo Credit: Crave dfw

Hello, FORT WORTH FOOD PARK!!!

As a devout follower of Food Network’s “The Great Food Truck Race,” which recently completed its second season, I was thrilled to find out that I could scratch road trip to NYC so that I can consume a grilled cheese sandwich  bought off a truck from my to-do list (OK, I still want to do that, but you know what I mean). Heck, hitting the various food trucks in Austin (which has had its own race representative), has typically been a highlight of any of my trips down I-35.

Now, a north Texas denizen has to trek no further than Fort Worth for a moveable feast. The doors (and windows) to Cowtown’s new food truck park have officially opened.  Shoot, Fort Worth might now be considered the states food truck capital soon enough. 

For now, the park will be open for dinner on Thursday and for lunch and dinner on Friday-Sunday.  Located in a lesser urbanized area of Fort Worth, tenants are hoping to expand their services to six days a week as the spring season and even other developments move in.  Plans are also in the works for a horseshoe pit and a children’s sandbox, in hopes of creating a destination spot for families.  But for the time being, the six food trucks currently slinging burgers, grilled cheese sandwiches, tacos, and cupcakes, will create quite the destination spot for me and anyone else with a similar food truck obsession.

 Here’s some of the trucks offering up their brand of goods…

http://www.thegoodkarmakitchen.com/

 http://yestaco.com/

 http://www.jakesburgers.net/

 http://www.redjettsweets.com/Home.html

 http://www.leesgrilledcheese.com/

 http://nammitruck.com/

 

These days, there are a good many websites that aim to go beyond the normal boundaries of the standard, mp3 sharing music blog. Popular sites like Daytrotter and HearYa.com are both great examples of sites that find unique ways to create art based upon the musicians they are covering. There’s a close-to-home site on the scene and it covers predominantly Texas-based acts (Sarah Jaffe, Doug Burr) with the occasional national act (Waters, Pterodactyl) thrown in for good measure. Denton based Violitionist.com (aka The Violitionist Sessions) has been great about picking some great acts and getting some great performances out of them. Who can go wrong with getting some (Texas-based act of the year?) True Widow on film?

A recent survey in Men’s Health ranks Plano as the third best city for men based on “health,” “life” and “fitness.” Here’s the deal: it’s really hard to decipher how it is that the periodical came to this conclusion, other than they claim to have measured 37 categories.  And, I can’t tell you what those 37 categories are, because after perusing the article for a good 15-20 minutes, I gave up trying to figure out the math that went into this oh, so scientific survey. What I can tell you is that Plano finished first in weight training, based on a study in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, according to the Men’s Health article. So, there’s that cause for celebration, too!

However, according to The Business Journals, Plano does top all other Texas cities in ‘brainpower.’ This ranking came from educational statistics compiled from U.S. Census data. This stat might also come from the Men’s Health determination that Plano is considered the “most tech-friendly” city in America. Interestingly enough, this was determined by counting the number of Apple and Best Buy stores per capita, as well as the percentage of households that own tablets, notebooks, or laptops. Way to go, Amex warriors of Plano! I won’t mention that there is also an article stating that viewing nude women can boost your brainpower too (oops, I just mentioned it). Now we have a guess as to what’s being bookmarked on those laptops and tablets, I suppose? 

Plano sure seems to be the “tops” of its fair share of categories. They did miss out one one crown, however. Turns out, Plano did not top the list of “Cavity Capitals”. Alas, Dallas took home that most anti-dentite of titles.

Ok, promise. This is it. The last time I go out of my way to discuss how great things were at this years Fun Fun Fun Fest. In fact, you don’t even have to read my thoughts anymore. Just give this video. Look and see for yourself.

Fun Fun Fun Fest 2011 from Guerilla Suit on Vimeo.

 

Max Cady “40 Nights” from Zach Warner . Zulu Whiskey on Vimeo.

I’m not going to lie and say that Dallas rock band Max Cady’s newest album, Wicked Ways, is one of my favorite albums of the year. It’s solid, sure, but it’s just not revving my motor the way in which I had hoped it would, I guess. Regardless, their video for their song “40 Nights” is cool, and definitely worth your time, you dig? Enjoy…

In this coming week or two following the Turkey Day that’s just passed, there will be some notable bands and tours cutting through our state as a part of some really major tours. Wilco will make their way into Dallas on November 29th and into Austin on December 1st, for example. That’s pretty big, right?

Well, Wilco’s great, but things get even more epic and more arena-rocking in the week after Jeff Tweedy and roll through.

Perhaps the biggest, most anticipated concert tour of the year will hit our state once Jay-Z and Kanye West bring their Watch The Throne show to town. The album of the same name is already one of the better hip-hop releases of the year, but when you combine that album with the boat-load of hits the two MCs have in their arsenal already, it’s sure to be an insane night for all. Be sure to catch them in Houston (the Toyota Center) on December 5th, and then in Dallas (where I’ll be!) on December 6th. Reviews have been more than postivie so far, so it’ll be cool to see if the duo has stepped it up even further by the time they get to Texas.

To make next week even bigger, the Kentucky-bred, rough-hewn indie heroes turned arena-rock mammoths, My Morning Jacket will laser-shoot their way through the same two towns on the following two nights. Still basking in the glow of their latest, border-broadening (and excellent) release, Circuital, the Jim James-led outfit will show Texas why they can rightfully and successfully headline ACL and any other massive festival, regardless of whether they are the household name that many think they should be or not.

Next year will bring big shows: Radiohead has already announced a March tour, Roger Waters will bring the Wall back to Texas in May with giants like Foo Fighters and Coldplay sure to announce their Lone Star 2012 dates soon. But for now, for the end of 2011, the next week and a half is going to be a great time to bring the noise.

It’s been a few weeks, but what a set of pics to come roaring back with. The seminal alt-country band The Jayhawks have got the original line-up back together and are touring behind a really solid new album, Mockingbird Time. Sadly, I couldn’t personally make it to their November 16th show at the Granada Theater in Dallas, but thankfully, our intrepid rock photog, David Heidle could and did. Enjoy the shots… 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A few weeks ago, our resident funny man, Dave Little, mentioned that when he hits Austin, he really digs making trips to both Waterloo Records and to Book People. Both independently owned store-fronts are more or less treasured Austin landmarks. With that said, however, you don’t really hear them mentioned in the same breath as the South Congress Bats, Barton Springs, The State Capital Building, or even the glorious den of iniquity that is Sixth Street when it comes to the standard, and perhaps tired, must-see Austin attractions.

The sad fact of the matter is that it had been way too long since I, myself, had darkened the doors of either establishment. My recent trips to Austin typically centered around festivals or quick day trips, and there was rarely time for the leisurely browsing time that visiting these two places would surely require of me. That all changed a couple of weeks ago, though. As my wife, son and I made our way into town from Dallas for the FFF Fest, I decided that we wouldn’t be hitting I-35 North on Sunday until I had traversed every shelf and display of both Book People and Waterloo Records, both located on Lamar Street near the flagship Whole Foods.

After strong and spicy Bloody Mary’s at the original Kerbey Lane restaurant (I know, I know, it’s touristy, but it’s really great, regardless), the family and I pointed the car towards Book People. Open since 1970, it’s tough to imagine more than a handful of similar book havens of this caliber in the entire country. Celebrity book signings and a mammoth inventory are only two of the many great qualities of this three-level shop. I pursued the gigantic music section (“Ooh, Jay-Z’s Decodedis in paperback, now??”) while the Mrs. and our four year old son got all up in the crowded and kid-eriffic storytime, set in what can only be described as an indoor amphitheatre for little ones. As I resisted the urge to pick up an autographed Jonathan Franzen novel on the way out, I knew that I wouldn’t be so prudent when we left and then hit Waterloo Records

Whether its the dozen or so iPod-powered listening stations that seem to be more curated by knowledgeable, discerning lovers of music than simply cobbled together by label publicists and trend-watchers, or the large room of all things vinyl, this store will never go unvisited by me again when I visit Austin.

After choosingSlint’s Spiderland vinyl, as well as the 33 1/3 series book that discusses the same album, I gave the first few tracks of themuch-maligned Metallica/Lou Reed release, Lulu a listen. After thinking the first track, “Brandenburg Gate” wasn’t so bad after all, I asked one of the store’s employees what he thought of the bashing the album’s been taking. He was quick to say that he really liked the first track, but wasn’t too keen on the rest. So, great minds and all, right?

So, if reading Little’s column didn’t compel you to visit these jewels of independent commerce as it did me, I can only hope that you feel as such now. If not, well, that’s one less person standing in my way at the vinyl bins next time.

 

Dirty River Boys – “Carnival Lights” from Compound Productions, LLC on Vimeo.

Who doesnt love stumbling onto something new? I’ve read a bit about this trio from El Paso recently, and wouldn’t you know? I clicked over to their website and the above video was waiting for me to view. Good stuff. These guys are a part of what is an encouraging trend of young, “Red Dirt” acts that have a distinctive roots emphasis. Which is better than the Def Lepperd leanings that many young Red Dirt rockers are displaying these days.

In fact, for those in the Dallas area, this holiday weekend, the Dirty River Boys will be teaming up with the Turnpike Troubadours for a killer holiday-themed show at The Southside Music Hall in Dallas.

Dirty River Boys – “Road Song” from Compound Productions, LLC on Vimeo.