Throw your plans out the window. We scoured the state in search of the top events and offerings, from the Buck Owens Memorial Birthday Bash in Austin and wine tasting in Irving to singing along with Steve Nicks to “Rhiannon.” Here’s our super select guide to the things you absolutely can’t afford to miss.
[Aug 12–Aug 19]
The Buck Starts Here
“If there ever is a Mount Rushmore of country music, Buck Owens should be included,” said Casper Rawls, organizer of the Buck Owens Memorial Birthday Bash, celebrating its twentieth year. “He was one of the first to feature drums on a country recording and twin Fender Telecasters cranked up loud … I mean loud.” Rawls is one of more than forty musicians from around the country who will pay homage to the Texas-born pioneer of “The Bakersfield Sound,” the hybrid of country and rock and roll that Owens and Merle Haggard created in Southern California in response to Nashville’s countrypolitan recordings. Some performers at the bash will wear glittery suits, a trademark of Owens’, and the Continental Club, the setting for the twang and big beats, will transport you back to the Blackboard, the honky-tonk in Bakersfield that fostered Owens and his musical movement in the 1950s. It will be a night to reclaim this native son from Californians.
Continental Club, Aug. 12, 7 p.m., continentalclub.com
Sip and Spit
You routinely buy a “six pack” of wine at the store for the ten percent discount. You’ve been to Napa more than once. You just installed a wine fridge. Now it’s time to elevate your connoisseurship by attending the Texas Sommelier Conference. The seventh annual affair will entertain the amateur wine enthusiast — there’s a grand tasting with 130 wines—but it’s meant to educate aspiring master sommeliers on how to pass their exams. “A sommelier is like an accountant,” said Drew Hendricks, the event’s organizer. “A master sommelier is like a C.P.A.” In the conference’s first year, Texas had just one master sommelier; now there are six. “Sommeliers nowadays think the job is about tasting the world’s great wines, impressing customers with exotic suggestions, and drinking with the in-crowd,” said Jordan Mackay, a speaker at the conference and the co-author of Secrets of the Sommeliers, recipient of a 2011 James Beard Foundation Book Award. “In fact, the bulk of the job is unglamorous, requiring long hours of cellar work, inventory management, staff training and service.”
Four Seasons Resort Las Colinas, Aug. 13-15, 9 a.m. texsom.com
Red Carpet Return
The Starck Club was Dallas’s take on New York’s Studio 54. During the 1980s, it was the place in Texas where promiscuous, fashion-forward, beautiful people went to take ecstasy—then legal—and dance to the new-wave sound. Stevie Nicks, one of Fleetwood Mac’s songbirds, was a regular at the old brewery transformed by the French designer Philippe Starck. Nicks performed there several times, and her tie to the Starck was so strong that people even thought she was one of the its investors. Her celebrity status helped put Dallas on the map as a major player in the club scene, which is why you should treat her return to the Metroplex as a homecoming and not simply as an opportunity to sing along to “Rhiannon” (though there’s nothing wrong with doing that, too). Nicks will sing from “In Your Dreams,” her first solo album in ten years.
Verizon Theatre, Aug 12, 8 p.m. rockalittle.com
House of the Rising Son
Men have a bad habit of internalizing things. They like to stew. It’s not healthy, and T. D. Jakes, the Pentecostal bishop whom Time magazine once named “America’s Best Preacher,” knows it. That’s the reason he started the ManPower Conference, a three-day bro-fest where Jakes and his feverish colleagues give pep talks to men about being the best they can be. The insecure, the aging, the jobless, the formerly imprisoned, the sexually deviant—all walks of life are welcome. To men who have fallen on hard times and seek salvation, Jakes has proven himself to be a superior counselor. Case in point: last week, Jakes tweeted that he was one of a few select clergy asked to pray with Barack Obama on the president’s 50th birthday.
The Potter’s House, Aug. 12-13, various times. manpowerconference.org
Blues on the Green
There is no reason to go to the store and buy an air freshener made of chemicals when you can attend the Lavender and Wine Fest and come back with a packet of freshly cut lavender—one of nature’s most delightful aromas.
Chappell Hill Lavender Farm, Aug. 13, 9 a.m. chappellhilllavender.com
Many people now favor Fort Worth over Dallas because of a happening cultural scene kick-started fifty years ago by the Amon Carter Museum of American Art—which makes the museum’s 50 Fest an occasion to say thanks for showing everyone there’s more to Fort Worth than the stockyards.
Amon Carter, Aug. 13, 5:30 p.m., cartermuseum.org