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

Maybe it’s the beard, maybe it’s the globe trotting ways that he has adopted over the past few years, maybe it’s the mercurial way in which his last band, Lift to Experience from Denton, stormed onto the scene a decade ago, but then popped out of it so quickly. Maybe it’s the beard (I know I’ve mentioned that one already, but I really think that has something to do with it.) 

Regardless of the actual reason, Josh T. Pearson has developed quite the mystique around himself, whether he realizes it, or not, or even if he cares, or not.

Pearson, who is now living primarily in Europe, is absolutely back into the musical spotlight, thanks to his fine new album, Last of the Country Gentlemen. Among the many compelling factors at play with this release is how sonically opposite these slow folk tunes are from his reverb-heavy and wall-rattling sounds of the shoegaze-y Lift to Experience. Adding to the about-face overall sound is the religious imagery and lyrical themes that are simply, well, confounding. Titles such as “Thou Art Loosed,” “Woman, I’ve Rasied Hell,” and especially, “Sweetheart, I Aint Your Christ” really seem to let the listener behind the door of what Pearson has experienced in the past few years, but still, the tales are quietly epic and never reach a melancholy, self-indulgent tone.

Who knows if Pearson will ever return to the eardrum-splitting tones of his earlier band, but it’s not like this rather somber album doesnt speak volumes on it’s own, either.

Kelly Dearmore is a freelance writer, mean pot of chili maker and opinionated music lover. To read more about what Kelly is listening to, visit him here on The Squawker weekly.

Way too often, music fans and writers confuse hazy for lazy, when it comes to describing the sonic texture of a record. An album can be sleepy without being stagnant, and indeed, a record can produce an atmospheric haze without coming across as lazy. In fact, properly pulling off such a feat requires a focus and a specific vision that is anything but loose and cavalier.

Todd Gatreau’s project, Crushed Stars, is a great example of the above equation. The Smiths-meets-Mark Kozelek vibe of his latest album, Convalescing in Braille, further establishes the sonic signature that has been honed over the course of several albums since the group’s inception in 2005. Crushed Stars have been successful in getting the word out, over the past few years. Along with appearances at the all-encompassing SXSW and CMJ festivals, many radio stations have added songs from their catalog to their playlists. Recently, their genius cover of the campy 1980′s classic, “99 Red Balloons,” made noise on airwaves outside of North Texas.

Having worked with an impressive group of producers including Stuart Sikes (White Stripes, Cat Power) and North Texas native John Congleton (Walkmen, St. Vincent, Sarah Jaffe), calling Crushed Stars a band might be a bit of a stretch, given that for this latest album, Gautreau played all of the instruments himself, with drums bing the lone exception. In this instance, it seems as the dedicated multi-tasking paid off, as the album flows evenly and effortlessly. Even with numbers like “Technicolor” and “Spark” boasting a bit more percussive pounding and quickened pace than many of the other softer tunes, the collection’s moody cohesion is never disturbed.

While we’re always a bit reluctant to quote anything from Pitchfork, we’d be lying if we said that they didn’t sum up our general feelings as it pertains to the work of Gautreau when they reported that Crushed Stars music makes “you wish it were night all day long.”

Kelly Dearmore is a freelance writer, mean pot of chili maker and opinionated music lover. To read more about what Kelly is listening to, visit him here on The Squawker weekly or daily on his personal music blog, The Gobblers Knob

Dallas Mayor Tom Leppert and the Dallas City Council have designated October 23, 2010 as “Taste of Greenville Avenue Day” in Dallas.

Mayor Leppert will present the official Proclamation to restaurant owners participating in the event at a ceremony on the VUE Apartments Stage during the second annual Taste of Greenville Avenue event, taking place on October 23, 2010 from 11am-7pm at 5700 Richmond Avenue. Mayor Leppert will arrive at TOGA at 11:45am, and the presentation will take place at 12:00pm.

The full text of the Proclamation reads

Whereas, Greenville Avenue is well-known for the wide variety of dining experiences available in hundreds of restaurants between Ross Avenue on the south to LBJ Freeway to the north; and

Whereas, in 2009, the Greenville Avenue Restaurant Association was established to create awareness and promote Greenville Avenue-area restaurants, artists, non-profits, retailers, the City of Dallas and businesses; and

Whereas, the first Taste of Greenville Avenue in 2009 attracted nearly 3,500 guests to an event featuring 24 restaurants and businesses; and

Whereas, the 2010 Taste of Greenville Avenue will feature more than 30 restaurants, nearly 20 businesses, several City of Dallas departments, two school choirs, five professional bands and ArtLoveMagic, a local organization devoted to celebrating local musicians, artists, illustrators and poets, to entertain an expected 10,000 guests; and

Whereas, the Taste of Greenville Avenue gives back to the community with financial support for the Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson Elementary School Parent-Teacher Associations, and the Woodrow Wilson High School Marching Band; and

Whereas, the Taste of Greenville Avenue entertains the mind and satisfies the appetite in an affordable, safe, and family-friendly setting;

Now, therefore I, TOM LEPPERT, Mayor of City of Dallas, and on behalf of the Dallas City Council, hereby proclaim October 23, 2010 as Taste of Greenville Avenue Day in Dallas, Texas.

The Greenville Avenue Restaurant Association, LLC (GARA) was organized in 2009 to promote the variety of businesses along Dallas’ most popular street.  The first TOGA event was held last year on the Granada Theater parking lot and attracted almost 4,000 guests to dine on food from 20 restaurants.  TOGA coordinators expect over 10,000 to attend the 2010 event.

Sponsored by Bud LightTaste of Greenville Avenue 2010 will showcase over 30 popular Greenville Avenue eateries that’ll be cooking up and offering their best small plate menu items which will range in cost of $2, $4, and $6. Restaurants participating include a few of Best of Texas’ personal favorites: The GrapeThe Libertine BarNandina Restaurant and Quesa-D-Ya’s.

For a full list of confirmed restaurants, click here.

And while you’re taste buds will rejoice, TOGA and GARA have also ensured your ears will be satisfied, too. Live music will be featured on the VUE Apartments stage throughout the afternoon, emceed by KRLD’s Mike Rogers. Local favorites include Paul Slavens’ Chameleon Chamber Group, Scat Lounge owner Ricki Derek & The Vegas SixCliff Blues BandKing Bucks, featuring the formidable Joe Butcher and Danny Balis, and THe BAcksliders. And the stage manager in charge of it all? None other than Best of Texas favorite, Good Records!

Visually speaking and sponsored by Mitsubishi Motors of North AmericaArtLoveMagic, a local organization devoted to celebrating local musicians, artists, illustrators, poets and more, will entertain children and adults alike.

While you’ll need to pony up the scrilla for eating and imbibing, the event itself is free. A portion of the proceeds from food and beverage sales will go to benefit Robert E. Lee, and Stonewall Jackson Elementary Schools PTA programs, and the Woodrow Wilson High School Marching Band.

Taste of Greenville Avenue 2010
October 23, 2010

For more information call 469-777-TOGA (8642).  You can find TOGA on Facebook (tasteofgreenvilleavenue.org) and Twitter (@toga2010).

A not-so-great shot of the absolutely great The Sword set at ACL.

Alrighty. I’ve been enjoying my weekend at the annual Austin City Limits Festival. It’s been hard not to, really. As anyone who’s been keeping up knows by now, the weather has been as big of a story here as anything else, even the music in many cases. For me, however, the biggest story of Friday’s music portion was how my butt was kicked so very hard by Austin metal heroes, The Sword.

It’s not that this four-piece is an unknown group. In fact, in metal circles, their star is on a speedy ascent. Recent tour dates opening for Metallica, coupled with a few of their songs landing on recent Guitar Hero games have indeed awarded them with a higher profile. In this day and age of specialized and specific tastes in music for each and every consumer, there are many out there who may not even give this act a chance, since they’re “metal.” If you fall into that category, I understand. Here’s the thing, though: this is good, old-fashioned, groove-riding metal. This IS your father’s metal. This is actual music.

I mentioned these guys a couple of weeks ago, and had definitely figured they were worth checking out. Hello, understatement. Basking in front of a hometown crowd, these guys earned a bigger crowd as each song passed. The previous act on that stage, Girls, had been extremely mellow, so the many onlookers, like me,welcomed the Sabbath-style wake-up call. Primarily featuring songs from their latest disc, the hammer of the gods that is Warp Riders (their thrid full-length album), the 5pm hour on Friday proved to be the hour I got my ACL mojo back.

As I’ll detail in the coming days, I had hit a bit of lull in my spirits as the day slowly crawled into the late-afternoon sun that wasn’t as forgiving as people have reported. Once the old-school groove-metal of tunes like “Tres Brujas” and “Night City” took over, I was beyond primed for the evening’s much anticipated sets from Sonic Youth and Phish.

Kelly Dearmore is a freelance writer, mean pot of chili maker and opinionated music lover. To read more about what Kelly is listening to, visit him here on The Squawker weekly or daily on his personal music blog, The Gobblers Knob.

It is only upon rare occasions that I am allowed to watch a good horror film in our household. In fact, even suspense and psychological thrillers must be carefully vetted for their HStBHtBCtNG ratio before these types of movies are given permission to display themselves on our television.

What is HStBHtBCtoNG?

That’s what I like to call my husband’s Hand Squeezing to Blanket Hideout to Bathroom Cowering to No Go ratio – and before you accuse me of being mean to my husband, this is something he’s done since he was a kid and I happen to find it absolutely adorable –  for example, ‘A Haunting in Conneticuit’ was deemed 3 parts Blanket Hideout, 2 parts Bathroom Cowering and 6 parts intense Hand Squeezing. ‘The Shining’ was deemed a No Go after a serious, single bout of Bathroom Cowering caused him to demand that the DVD be ejected. ‘Aracnophobia’ isn’t even allowed in the house due to his fear of spiders.

That being said, I’m seriously thinking about feeding my thirst for horror films by attending this year’s  Blood Bath 2 Film Festival . Last year’s festival was held just outside Waco, this year however, the Blood Bath 2 Film Festival will be held in Dallas at the Texas Theatre.

The festival, running November 13th thru the 14th, will feature myriad independent horror films and shorts throughout the weekend, including the American premiere of Fell, the world premiere of both Koodie and The Super.

Tickets for the Blood Bath 2 Film Festival are on sale now and a pass for the entire weekend is just 25 bucks. And after party to be held on Nov 13th, will kick off at 10:00 p.m. at  Muddy Waters and will feature Whiskey Folk Ramblers and The Lash Outs.

Texas Blood Bath Film Festival
Nov 13th & 14th, 2010
The Texas Theatre
231 W. Jefferson Blvd
Dallas, Texas

The 2010 Downtown Lofts Tour will feature eight extraordinary private residences in beautiful historic downtown Galveston.

Historic buildings provide a unique palette for the creation of modern living spaces.  Unusual building materials, some of which are no longer available, and beautiful patinas that only many decades of use and exposure can create, enhance the rooms.   Built long before modern air-conditioning and in some cases even before the advent of electric lighting in the city, the design of the buildings responded to the tropical climate with high-ceilings and large windows allowing the interiors to be bathed in natural light and let the ocean breeze flow through.  Today, these once practical considerations result in spectacular loft spaces, resulting in what we call “Urban living with an Island Twist!”

This year, guests will have the chance to explore a wide range of living spaces and decorative styles each unique to its owner.  From a young couple’s chic loft decorated in a monochromatic white palette, to a sprawling family compound that spans the upper floors of three adjacent buildings, variety is at the heart of the tour.  Absorb the carefully balanced blend of styles, colors and accents in the vast loft of an interior designer, and then be wowed by another home that takes a black and white color scheme and with a splash of red.  No matter your own style you are sure to find something you like in this year’s great selection of loft homes.

As someone who utterly adores Galveston and its wonderful and vibrant downtown area, I encourage those of you with similar interest to attend.

Recognizing independent film makers in North Texas, Mini Film Festival takes place Wednesday, October 6 at the Angelika Dallas.  Featuring five locally filmed and produced movies, the evening includes four film shorts and one feature film in one cinema, beginning at 7:30pm.

Film shorts include Broken Seconds (director, Mohammad A. Mohammad), The Favor (director, Kyle Schumann), Lewis  (director, Chris Strong) and  Grim (director, Brent Burden) followed by feature film The Fun Room (director, Jim DeVault).

“I organized the Mini Film Festival to draw attention to the great talents we have here in North Texas,” says Jennifer Besser.  “With so many projects currently filming in DFW, I feel it’s important to recognize the filmmakers/artists who may not have the big budgets, but whose works are just as intelligent as other big screen hits.”

Besser, who has appeared in 11 films to date, appears in several primetime television shows being filmed and produced locally.  Most recently, Besser has appeared in The Good Guys (recurring CSI Engel), Chase, Lone Star and The Deep End.

“This selection of films reflects a broad range of styles, from detective/mystery, to drama, dark comedy and horror,” says Besser.  “There is something here for everyone.”

Film festival reception is from 5:30pm-7:30pm with local directors and actors in attendance.  Films begin at 7:30pm.

Tickets are $10 in advance here or $15 at the door.  The Angelika Dallas is located at 5321 East Mockingbird Lane, Suite 230 in Dallas.  For more information call 214-841-4713.

If you’re like me, maybe you are, maybe you’re not…you’ve found yourself – at least once – dining in a Middle Easten restaurant and staring resentfully at the belly dancers. You stare resentfully, not because every man’s tongue is lolling on the ground, not because she’s astoundingly beautiful, but because you envy the amount of confidence and healthy body image it must take to be a belly dancer…sigh.

And if you are like me, I encourage you to screw up your courage and check out Soraya’s School of Belly Dance. They’ll be hosting a workshop taught by internationally acclaimed belly dancer Suhaila Salimpour on Saturday, October 9 and Sunday, October 10, 2010. Ms. Salimpour is a well-known performer, teacher and choreographer of belly dance.

From an early age, Suhaila Salimpour began integrating her extensive classical training with the Middle Eastern dance passed on by her mother, Jamila Salimpour.

Suhaila has appeared on television, has performed extensively both nationally and internationally, and maintains her family business, the Suhaila Salimpour School of Belly Dance in California. In addition, she has developed and implemented the first-available certification program in Middle Eastern dance.

Both days of the workshop (a total of 10 hours of instruction) will include format drills, finger cymbal, and footwork technique, ’70s style choreography and “hard rock” fusion choreography.

For more information, please contact Soraya at (713) 899-3771 or visit online.

Soraya’s School of Belly Dance
3939 Hillcroft Ave., Ste. 160
Houston, TX 77057
(713) 977-3900.

After spending twenty years working as a comedic writer and standup comic Greg Behrendt achieved fame very quickly.

It was sudden, a line he created as a writer on “Sex and the City” was somewhat off the cuff and became a tag for a stand-up routine, then a New York Times Best Selling book on relationships (co-authored with Liz Tuccillo), a movie and even opened the door for his own daytime TV show.

The line “He’s just not that into you…” was a phenomenal word combination that seemed to unlock something, primarily in women, and suddenly Greg Behrendt became the “Guy” with the answers for understanding guys. “The book came about because a really small publisher thought a relationship book for women from a guy’s standpoint would be something we could sell a couple of copies. So the Sex in The City gig was over and I was out of work and it was something fun to do and get paid for.” Greg says “It went out on a really small imprint and then I went on Oprah and it sold a lot of copies.”

Prior to his Oprah appearance as a “Relationship Expert” Behrendt had been a headliner touring the country doing his stand up, writing stories appearing on the Tonight Show and Conan O’Brian building his stand-up career his own Comedy Central special “Greg Behrendt is UnCool” in 2006.

Uncool was stand-up of the then 40 year old, who had dreams of being a rockstar’s evolution from cool young dude to creepy old guy and becoming a devoted husband and father of two little girls. His wife worked in the music industry and his ambitions have now resulted in an emerging band called “Reigning Monarchs”

“I started stand-up in San Francisco after being encouraged to give it a shot by Margaret Chow.” Explains Behrendt. Chow was a fellow member of an Improv Comedy troupe called “Crash and Burn” and after a taste Greg was hooked. He joined the writing team on Sex and the city as a straight man (pun intended) giving notes and suggestions to the writers who were almost all women or gay guys.

When two of the characters were trying to decipher the intentions of a suitor Carrie’s new boyfriend explained: “He’s just not that into you, if he was he would have come up meeting or no meeting.” For the female characters in the show and millions of women across the country that line was powerful. Ironically the short lived “boyfriend” (Jack Berger played by Ron Livingstone in season six) who delivered the line eventually got very tired of nonstop decoding men for the women.

The incredible success of the book, and other “Self help” books like “It’s called a breakup because it’s broken” propelled Behrendt into the cusp of celebrity and suddenly 20 years of work became an overnight success. A syndicated Daytime Talk show followed and the Greg Behrendt became the “Dude Whisperer” to millions of women.

The TV show only lasted a year, but as Behrendt says in his stand up (Appearing this weekend at the Addison Improv) women all over the country suddenly took self help to some sort of Oracle of Dude’s. As the “Jack” character foretold being the “Answer” man got worn out. “It first really hit me when I was on stage in New York. There was a table full of women who were talking while I was on stage and I just snapped. I yelled at one woman, who was talking loudly and she held up a copy of the book, she didn’t come to see my act she came to ask me why her boyfriend broke up with her.” The rest of the story he tells on stage but it resulted in a 2-year hiatus from performing.

Basically what happened is he answered a woman’s question as a guy, a Dude if you will. He saw the problem, proposed a solution and expected to be able to move on as guys tend to do. Behrendt was unprepared for the volume of follow up questions that hit him from thousands of women struggling to understand men.

As his fame grew he began to feel uncomfortable in his own skin. Some women were approaching him on the street expecting him to solve their problems, which is sort of funny when you think about it. As “Greg Behrendt – Self Help Guy” he noticed that a lot of the people approaching him were not interested in helping themselves but having someone else fix them.

He went from being a stand-up comedian to a strange blending of Dr. Phil and Tony Robbins moving further from what he knew was his core, comedy.

During his break from the spotlight Behrendt started playing music more and pod-casting “Walking the Room” a title is a bit of an inside joke to other comedians identifying someone who walks out during a set or clearing a room with a mass walkout. He has set up a new twitter account so as to take a complete break from the “Greg Brehendt” persona and what people expected of him.

Back in his first love of on-stage stand-up comedy his keen wit and personable presence still has some stories of what happened in his time as “Oracle of Dudes” and relatable humor of now being 47 years old and having two very different daughters beginning to really develop into their own worlds.

Sitting in the green room of the Improv Greg is relaxed in his skin and seems to have found some peace being back telling stories and making people laugh. His musical knowledge is amazingly deep and discusses old Reggae, early Ska Surf and just about every other genre of music.

He is lighter having lost over 25 pounds and has toned up both his body and sharp wit it. His audience is still skewed towards a female demographic but his humor is universal with two shows tonight and one on Sunday it is an act that is well worth catching, don’t expect him to solve your relationship problems but if you know a little about music….

Greg Behrendt
Improv Comedy Club
4980 Belt Line Road
Dallas, TX 75254-7037
(972) 404-8501