Get Cooking With Raekwon At The South By So What Kickoff Party.

If you didn't venture down to the madhouse that is Austin during South by South West, no worries. There are several competing fests and/or anti-fests going on around here this weekend that serve as alternatives. Tomorrow's South by So What is perhaps the biggest — so big, in fact, that it's been stretched out to a three-day event spread over two venues.

South by So What kickoff party at The Prophet Bar (Big Room)
This is a good strong music week all over the country, where hundreds of festivals and day shows crop up in response to South by Southwest. There are at least three really strong ones in Dallas alone this weekend, and Third String Productions has put together a massive all-day Saturday lineup out at QuickTrip Park as part of their annual South By So What event. Tonight, though, there's an all hip-hop SBSW kickoff party at The Prophet Bar's big room that will be headlined by Wu-Tang's Raekwon the Chef.

Cirque du Burlesque at Lakewood Theater
As its name implies, Cirque du Burlesque is a little more elaborate than a typical burlesque show. Here we have scantily-clad ladies performing acrobatics, juggling, and other circus-type feats.

Date Night at Sur La Table
According to the last person we dated, putting a frozen pizza in the oven doesn't count as cooking, even if one does take the time to throw on some of their own additional toppings first. Good thing the chef's at Sur La Table are here to help both you and your date acquire some gourmet tricks to mix into your repertoire. Risotto, seared fish and truffles — all part of tonight's course.

Gaston Light / Kentucky Knife Fight at Ridglea Bar
For the last couple of years, the historic Ridglea Theater has been struggling to renovate and reopen, fighting issues with the city of Fort Worth nearly every step of the way. Then, last weekend, while everybody was busy with 35 Denton the new Ridglea Bar, a smaller venue located in the still-yet-to-reopen Ridglea Theater held its soft opening. St. Louis' Kentucky Knife Fight , who are playing the newly opened bar tonight, would be worth the trip out to Fort Worth alone even without the added bonus of checking out the new space.

Dallas Vintage Clothing & Jewelry Show at Grapevine Convention Center
Why does the word “vintage” sound so much more hip than the word “used” does? And why does it work with everything? For instance: Does the term “vintage underwear” sound tons less disgusting than the phrase “used underwear” does? Of course. Alas, fashion is inherently cyclical. Personally, we're just waiting until Victorian styles starting trending again so we can dust off our old cravat. Tickets to this event are $8 or $20 for the early buying option.

Miniature Tigers, Geographer, The Chain Gang of 1974 and Pretty & Nice at the Prophet Bar (Small Room)
For those of you wanting to check out some of the buzzier SXSW electronic bands without driving to Austin, here's yet another option.

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