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Things We’re Thankful For in the Dallas Music Scene in 2022

The approach of Turkey Day once again gives us a chance to reflect on our gratitude for carbs and all other things that make life worthwhile. And one thing for which every Dallasite can be thankful is the city’s top-rate music scene.

This year was a big one for nostalgia, with the return or reunion of local bands that shaped the greater sound of the ’80s, ’90s and early 2000s.

And even though Ticketmaster keeps trying to get us to sign off on our firstborns, our souls and a weekly supply of plasma in exchange for tickets, Dallas will always be a central tour stop with the best opportunities for concerts.

But it’s the local hive of musicians, venues, talent buyers and promoters who keep the nightlife buzzing with talent. Here are a few things for which we’re thankful in Dallas music.

  • RC Williams, Keite Young and others collaborating on songs for Poo-Pourri’s ads, proving they can make anything sound good.
  • Preservationist EV Borman’s relentless championing of the archiving of local recordings.
  • Newly Grammy-nominated DOMi and JD Beck kicking off their tour in Dallas, where it all started.
  • The Kessler’s support of homegrown talent, such as Jacob Metcalf.
  • Blake Ward keeping clubs lit with his spectacularly cool themed parties.
  • The Grays’ series of TV theme song nights, which did the Friends theme song way too much justice.
  • The world getting to know about Jacks Haupt when she was the subject this year of a Disney documentary.
  • The world getting a reminder about the greatness of The D.O.C. with his own documentary, reintroducing his story to new fans, spotlighting his legacy and building up his possible return to rap with a life-changing vocal surgery.
  • Rubber Gloves taking care of their Denton community with fundraisers.
  • Elton John’s Farewell Yellow Brick Road tour making two stops in North Texas in the spring and fall, and the Misfits playing in Dallas too. So thanks to Dallas audiences for still selling their limbs to keep the concert industry strong.
  • The Wee-Beasties finally releasing a full-length album, and it is every bit as good on vinyl as the band is live. Just picture the band members naked and it’s like you’re there.
  • Garth Brooks recording something at his concert at AT&T Stadium in July. We’re not sure what it is yet, but we just know it will be awesome.
  • Denton’s Rock Lottery making a comeback. That’s one lottery where we always win.
  • North Texas Vinyl’s DFW Legacy Series of limited-edition reissues of classic albums from Baboon, The PaperChase and others.
  • The fact that we can preorder for Pleasant Grove’s 20th anniversary reissue of Auscultation of the Heart.
  • Mood-matching offerings from Cory Kilduff that span depressive glitch-gore (solo, You Will Be Safe) to straight-up addictive disco (Fischer & Forde, It’s Just Business).
  • Mark Lettieri’s chops. Wes Stephenson’s chops. The word chops.
  • Nick Snyder’s new look, confirming that our crush is legit.
  • Absolutely everything Jess Garland does.
  • Gianna Madrini spearheading the Sounds of Deep Ellum recording project. Sounds of violence not included.
  • Jeff “Skin” Wade, Luke Sardello, their new band and old record shop, Josey.
  • The smoking patio at Charlie’s Star Lounge. We don’t smoke, but like to have options.
  • Kim Finch bringing Pussy Riot’s Nadya Tolokonnikova to town every time we need an extra burst of feminism.
  • The wildly original new artist known as Young Dean.
  • The Go-Gorillas because every city needs a band with an unknown identity singing in gorilla suits.
  • Leon Bridges and Khruangbin partnering yet again. They might admit they’re in a musical throuple at this point.
  • The Helium Queens lighting up rooms in neon colors with their crazy trippy shows.
  • Selena Gomez honoring the sanctity of the Girl Code and befriending Hailey Bieber.
  • Sudie’s Halloween costumes. No one else could pull off “Rose McGowan at the VMAs” expect for RoseMcGowan at the VMAs, and maybe Harry Styles.
  • Maren Morris standing up to transphobia no matter who came at her online.
  • The Chicks standing up to everything for decades.
  • The Old 97’s joining the Marvel multiverse by playing an alien version of themselves in a Guardians of the Galaxy special.
  • Marc Rebillet’s zaniness reaching a broader audience with his Twitch show.
  • Every single item worn by Erykah Badu, whether for the Met Gala or a homemade TikTok.
  • The new group Fugitive, formed by Power Trip’s members after losing singer Riley Gale.
  • The continued legacy and influence of artists we lost, such as legends Dennis Gonzalez and Bernard Wright.
  • The University of North Texas jazz program, which honored Wynton Marsalis recently and brought in the jazz god in for a concert.
  • The fact that Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts turned 100 years old this year and continues to incubate the country’s best new artists.
  • Matthew Kurzman continuing his Front Yard Concert series well after everyone forgot about COVID, and bringing in acts such as Shaun Martin and Stone Mecca.
  • Paul Slavens, whether it’s his original music, his radio show or his playing the score of a Chaplin movie live at the theater.
  • Indie music station KNON rebuilding even after a tornado ravaged its building.
  • The women in radio, such as Veronica Young, Gini Mascorro and Nilufer Arsala, for keeping Dallas’ airwaves cool.
  • Three Links’ punk rock karaoke. And punk rock staff.
  • Kacey Musgraves getting political. And not accidentally for wearing traditional Asian garments.
  • The new Deep Ellum Community Center, which promises to be a better gathering spot for the DE community than the 7/11.
  • DJ Red Eye’s online posts, whether he’s feuding with Kevin Sorbo or making Seinfeld-like observations about the world around him.
  • Jaret Reddick going country, because we’ll bowl for any soup he’s making.
  • Dentonpalooza’s insanely cool merch. And lineup. And concept.
  • Joshua Ray Walker.
  • Drumming phenom Payton Taylor.
  • Dallas celebrating DJ Screw Day, the only holiday still uncorrupted by capitalism.
  • Hip-hop promoter Galaxy 9, for growing local talent and importing legends such as GZA.
  • Rakim Al-Jabaar breaking in 2022 with three new releases.
  • Club Dada not closing its doors after all, but only getting a facelift. Boy, were we scared.
  • Jason Burt getting into the Metaverse’s music scene because we’ll take Burt’s music on whichever plain of reality.
  • Ashleigh Smith and Nigel Rivers joining their superhuman musical genes with a second baby.
  • Tripping Daisy, Toadies, Flickerstick, Doosu, Black Tie Dynasty and Memory Shivers all getting back together for big shows in 2022.
  • “Deep Ellum Ambassador” Geoff Lloyd.
  • Victor Rimach putting together the Latin shows we needed.
  • Music history champions Jeff Liles, Pat Bywaters, George Gimarc and Kirky Warnock.
  • The angry mob at WASP’s Stereolab show not destroying one of the best venues in town after the Fire Marshall shut it down.
  • MATTIE’s new curated experimental shows at the Wild Detectives.
  • Kaash Paige’s album artwork for S2ML featuring the Dallas skyline.
  • Post Malone and his manager Dre London bringing back official tour afterparties.
  • The music journalists still hustling in the face of TikTokers “introducing” new music to followers.
  • Weeknight shows in Deep Ellum and shows that end before 11 p.m. (30+ readers know!)


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