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“What is Mardi Gras about, anyway?” you think to yourself while half-way through a frozen Hurricane. “I mean, I know it means 'Fat Tuesday' and that people drink a lot during it, but besides that, I have no idea.”

The best way to learn about Mardi Gras? My preferred method has always been to take subtle observation of the culture. For instance, you'll notice all of the following scattered about the city this weekend and in the coming days, in preparation for the day itself on this coming Tuesday:

• discarded crawfish shells
• public drinking
• topless ladies
• fleur de lis graffiti on bridges
• parade floats
• masks
• New Orleans Saints paraphernalia

Wait. That didn't help at all!

Whatever. With drink in hand, we're sure you'll come to embrace it — and everything else going on this weekend, too, no doubt.

Telegraph Canyon, Glossary, and Quiet Company at Trees
An excellent way to start your weekend? Watch Telegraph Canyon play toy xylophone solos.

White Ghost Shivers at The Kessler
What makes a ghost shiver so much that it turns whiter than it already is? Not this band. They just play delightful music and wear outfits that make them look like they warped here from the 1920s.

Thin Line Film Festival
Denton's documentary-driven film festival returns once again, starting today and going on through the 18th of this month. Featured films focus on such subject matter as: sex-changes to match a person you know, magic tricks, and the importance of hats.

Ruby Revue's 5th Annual Burlesque Festival
There are going to be a whole bunch of topless ladies at the House of Blues for the next few days.

Murs at The Prophet Bar
The L.A. rapper born Nick Carter comes to Dallas to explain what the hell “MURS” even means.

Dallas Symphony Orchestra's Tribute to John Williams at The Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center
Basically, you'll get to hear the DSO play famous Hollywood jams from movies like Star Wars and Jurassic Park. Need we say more?

Balmorhea at Dan's Silverleaf
Balmorhea sounds like a disease that you would catch and die from in an African jungle, but it's actually just a band that you might be dying to hear. (Sorry.)

Detroit's In The House: A J Dilla Tribute at Strangeways
Local DJs JT Donaldson, A1, Sober, Tyrone Smiley, Jay Clipp and Brandon Ayala are teaming up to pay tribute to the late, great hip-hop producer J Dilla, who was born 39 years ago this week and who subsequently and tragically died seven years ago this week. Don't let the $15 cover throw you; all proceeds are going to the J Dilla Foundation, which aims to help out inner-city music programs.

Mean Jeans at Rubber Gloves Rehearsal Studios
Unlike all the Denton-based bands signed to Portland's Dirtnap Records (including The Novice, who also appear on this bill alongside fellow locals Wild//Tribe), Mean Jeans actually comes from Portland, too. But they still boast that token Dirtnap sound — thrashy, throwback punk rock that isn't afraid of catchy, poppy hooks.

The 6th Annual (Party Formerly Known as) Fall In Love at Fallout Lounge at Sandaga 813
This six-years-going affair has moved up the street to Sandaga 813 in the wake of Fallout Lounge's closing, but the spirit remains the same, so show up dateless and maybe leave with a new pal. Spinning at this one: Billingham's Defense System (DJs TraDeMarx, T0MMYL33J0N3Z and Genova) and We Are Dark Clouds. GalleryCat will also perform.

Central Track's 1st Anniversary Bash at Sundown at Granada
We're not saying that any one event is more important than another, but you might consider putting this on the top of your list. A couple of reasons: The Roomsounds, Larry g(EE) and A.Dd+ are all playing; there will be a photobooth; everyone who shows will get a free drink (while supplies last) from our friends at Jameson Irish Whiskey; our Neighborhood Project tees will be on sale for a limited offer of $10 a pop; the whole thing is free to attend. (This is also strictly a 21-and-up event; sorry, kiddos.)

Mardi Gras Ball at The Kessler
With live New Orleans-esque swing music and a creole cookout to boot, this is great way to start getting yourself into the Mardi Gras spirit you'll put on display during the Oak Cliff parade on Sunday.

Dallas Comic Con's Sci-Fi Expo at Irving Convention Center
You've only got 48 hours at this convention to flaunt that Princess Leia costume you've worked so hard on!. Unless you also wear it to see the Dallas Symphony Orchestra on Friday, I guess. Actors from Battlestar Galactica, The Walking Dead, Serenity, Tron and Lord of The Rings are among the “stars” on hand. Among the actual celebrities: Back to the Future's Christopher Lloyd and Lea Thompson, their fellow '80s icon Andrew McCarthy, Hercules' Kevin Sorbo and the guy that played the oft-upset, bald commander in Top Gun.

For the Love of Kettle at Kettle Art
At Kettle Art's one and only fundraiser of each year, you can come by and purchase art created specifically for the event for $50 flat, directly from local artists, with all the proceeds going back into the artist-owned gallery. This year's event is especially important to support as Kettle is in danger of having to move out of its current home because of rent and construction costs.

Blowfly at Dada
In 2008, comedy funk artist Blowfly released a single called “Burning Pussy.” He was 68 years old at that time. Now, he's 73.

Terror, H2O, Power Trip, Backtrack and Code Orange Kids at Dada
This hardcore show was initially (and rather optimistically) booked to take place Three Links, but that place is still a little ways off from being ready. Instead, this rowdy affair will take place at Dada, which has seems to have become more comfortable booking some edgier stuff of late.

These Machines Are Winning's Album Release at Double Wide
You can expect a whole bunch of old-school local music scene types checking out this group, featuring members of past local favorites [DARYL] and The Crash That Took Me, at this album release show of theirs.

Loretta Lynn at Arlington Music Hall
With a career spanning over 50 years in music, country idol Loretta Lynn plans to remind DFW what country music is all about this weekend.

2nd Annual Crawfish & Blues Festival at House of Blues
Just imagine stomping to blues music while the crunch of crawfish shells is heard under hundreds of dancing feet.

Anjelah Johnson at the Majestic
Honestly, you probably best know her from this standup routine.

Telegraph Canyon at Live Oak Music Hall
This show boasts same lineup as Friday's show at Trees, only it's in Fort Worth. But the acoustics at Live Oak are definitely more suited for tiny xylophones, anyway.

Piazza Valentina at the Design District Market
From 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., live bands, food trucks and local vendors will gather in the design district for a romance-themed market. Need a last-minute gift for your loved one? This is the spot, y'all.

Dawn Richards at CD Source
Well, this is interesting: Dawn Richards, who you may know from the Making The Band girl group Danity Kane or, later, from her work in Diddy-Dirty Money, will be showing up at CD Source at 3 p.m. to perform a short in-store set and sign copies of her new Goldenheart.

Oak Cliff Mardi Gras Parade
You bought all of those beads in vain. You had no idea that this was a family-friendly event. You should have just gone to the burlesque festival at the House of Blues instead.

Lily Tomlin at the Winspear Opera House
Hilarious person/film star Lily Tomlin takes a break from guest-starring in various places to show Dallas what real comedy is.

Local H at The Prophet Bar
If you weren't a fan of Local F or Local B, and only kind of liked Local C and Local D, Local H is probably the band you're looking for.

Straight Tequila Night at Adair's Saloon
This one's name doesn't just imply a rough Sunday night and an even rougher Monday morning at work. Straight Tequila Night is actually the name of an '80s and '90s country cover band. But, hey, the idea's been put out there.


















































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