Picnictyme, Jennifer Dunn and Oliver Peck Are Carving Out A New Dallas Cool.
Welcome to The Track List, where we take a look around our city and celebrate the people who are, in various capacities, helping to shape Dallas into something we can all be proud of. Some of these people you'll know; others you won't. But all of them you should. In many ways, these are our city's modern-day heroes. And they deserve to be celebrated as such.
Picnictyme. OK, first of all, a disclaimer: I mean mug this guy pretty much every single time I see him out on the town. I can't help it! He always has the nicest shoes. It's just nuts. Do me a favor: Next time you see him out on the town — and you will, because the dude is always out supporting his fellow musicians — mean mug him for me and tell him Arturo told you to do it. It won't freak him out too much, I don't think — because, listen, in addition to being a super down-to-Earth guy, the man born Richard Escobedo is also one of the smoothest cats around town. Humble as hell, too! I really don't think people realize all he's done — or for how long he's been helping all of Dallas shake and groove its asses off. But he's been doing it for over a decade now, having first established himself in town as one-third of the influential Dallas hip-hop crossover act PPT. Later, once PPT fizzled, he transitioned all the lessons he learned there into producing the entirety of A.Dd+'s When Pigs Fly, which just so happens to be one of the best Dallas rap albums ever released. Oh, and did we mention that he's also one-half of Booty Fade along with DJ Sober? Yup, he does that, too. And, sure, even though he's basically been teasing the release of his solo album since '96, we're still hyped to hear that, too. How could we not be after hearing the songs he deems not good enough to make the cut for that one? Dude just knows what Dallas wants to hear, man. And we're so happy to listen.
Jennifer Dunn. If I had to pick a poker player to win a game between James Bond and Jennifer Dunn, I'd pick Dunn. Why? Because she knows well when to go all in. It's what she did back in 2008 when she ditched her comfortable photography studio gig to strike out on her own, taking a talented roster of some of Dallas' best photographers and stylists with her and starting her own agency called sisterbrother mgmt. Now, she's putting on blast to the whole wide world the incredible abilities of the many Dallas creatives with whom she works — and through partnerships she's cultivated with such clients as Neiman Marcus, Stanley Korshak, The Container Store, ESPN The Magazine, Samsung, American Airlines, Kendra Scott, Texas Monthly and Under Armour, no less. Basically, she's a boss in every sense of the word. So, yeah, I'll admit it: I was kinda worried about drawing her for this piece! No lie! The whole time, I kept muttering to myself, “What if she doesn't like it? Will I ever work in this town again?” Oh, man. Is it too late to take back my bet? Just playing. I'm sticking with my gut here. Learned that from Dunn!
Oliver Peck. I don't get too starstruck around celebrities. But, man do I get nervous around Oliver Peck. I mean, the man is a living tattooing legend. He's basically the closest thing the tattoo world even has to Sailor Jerry any more — and, oh yeah, he just happens to be based right here. I mean, sure, he's got other tattoo parlors to his name in other parts of the country, but it's pretty clear at this point that the shop he holds nearest and dearest to his heart is his Elm Street Tattoo, which he co-owns with Dean Williams. And that spot's just, y'know, the shop that invented the marathon Friday the 13th tattoo session concept. Beyond that, when he's not filming episodes for Spike's hit Ink Master reality show on which he stars as a judge, he really puts on for the city, too: For one thing, he's also, along with Scott Beggs and Kris Youmans, a co-owner of the Deep Ellum music venue Three Links; for another, he's the guy who helped launch in 2013 the very punk rock Elm Street Music & Tattoo Festival, which is still going strong and set to return to Deep Ellum this fall. Anyway, I'm pretty sure the guy was born with a tattoo machine, a skateboard and some Vans. Meanwhile, on top of all this notoriety, he's not afraid to laugh at himself: He throws awesome wig parties on the regular and he's also, along with notable local crazies Josh Hammertimez and George Quartz, one of the co-hosts of the Twilite Lounge's weekly Thursday-night Good Luck Karaoke affairs. Someone who's an unquestioned international icon but who doesn't take himself seriously at all? That's the kind of city ambassador we can get proud about. And just like the “13” tattoos of his we've got etched onto our bodies, that sentiment's permanent.
• Will Rhoten, Samantha McCurdy and Brandon Castillo Are Shaping Our City.
• Jeremy Biggers, Emily McCartney and Jan Schefferlie Are Casting Dallas In An Exciting New Light.
• Monte Anderson, Rosalinda Ruiz and Josh Romero Are Helping Dallas Live Up To Its Potential.
• Gavin Mulloy, Vynsie Law and Marty Olivo Are Lifting Dallas To New Heights.