Bend Studio is in the "not too far to go and really very nice once you get there" category of music venues. It's on McKinney, but north of Knox-Henderson, past where McKinney splits and becomes a two-way street again. It's a jump across Central from the M-streets, so I'm going to stretch and say it's the best place we have in sortof-East Dallas to hear bands. Specializing in acoustic music, Bend's cool factor is that it is a yoga studio by day and a music venue at night. Here's the summer's calendar:
TONIGHT! Charlie Sexton, Thursday, May 31st
Spoken-word artist Darden Smith, Saturday, June 9th
Indie-folk acoustic wonders out of Canada: Great Lake Swimmers, Sunday, June 17th
The lovely Doug Burr (folk) opening for Rod Picott and Amanda Shires, Saturday, June 23rd
KERA host of 90.1 At Night, Paul Slavens brings his band Ten Hands with comedian Dave Little, Saturday,
In case you're wondering about the kick-back I get from owner Ally David for mentioning her studio, it's zero. Not even admission, though they are very nice to me when I go to a show. This is the perfect place for a moms-night-out or a grown-up evening. No drunk people, no smoking, and home by 11pm. The room is "warm"; the wood floors and low ceilings make for perfect acoustics. You can BYOB your beer or wine, and you'll actually hear the artists playing: you'll get shushed if you talk over them. While not exactly the place to try out new artists, Bend is amazing for getting you up close and intimate, as they say, with those you love. I've seen Cary Pierce (Jackopierce), Rhett Miller (Old 97s), Salim Nourallah, Ian Moore and others here and the experience is one-on-one. For newer artists, the audience's undivided attention can be a bit overwhelming, but for seasoned touring musicians, it's a breath of patchouli-scented air that gives them wings.
Wear good socks (you'll need to take your shoes off to protect the bamboo floor) and BYOB something sophisticated, and Bend after dinner on McKinney is a wonderful evening of intimate listening.