INTERVIEW: BATHS

by will milne

Interview by Will Milne

We're pretty excited about Oaktopia year 2 which starts tomorrow (Friday). One of the reasons that got us so pumped was that Will Wiesenfeld would be bringing his Baths project to Denton this Saturday on Oaktopia's "Main Stage" at 5:30pm on Saturday. We've been enjoying Wiesenfeld's work for many years and are excited to see him play in Denton. We spoke with him on the phone last weekend and asked a few questions about graphic novels, Tarzan, and annoyed him by asking if he preferred showers to baths. 


Hey Will! Settle an argument for us. Would you define your own music as erotic or maybe even “sexy" or not at all? 

Ehhhhh. It depends on the song. There’s a different lyrical context to every one. It’s a very contextual thing. There are very asexual songs that I’ve written that aren’t about it [sex] at all, and then some are just steeped in it. Maybe if you had a specific song in mind...

 

Howsabout "Apologetic Shoulderblades" from Cerulean

Ahhhh.... "Apologetic Shoulderblades" is actually about Hugh Jackman in a roundabout, dumb way. So, that one definitely was. So, yeah. I haven’t touched that song in like five years, though. Hahaha. 
 

What’s the best found sound you’ve recorded that you’ve been unable to incorporate into a song so far?

Recently, it was a lot of these stone samples that my brother and I went and recorded. A lot of which that went into the song “Incompatible.” That was like two years ago and collecting the rock sounds was really fun. We actually put it together into a rhythm that was really cool.
 

We loved your piece on the podcast, Song Exploder, in which you broke down your song "Miasma Sky" (listen in the video below). Why did you choose that song?

I think every song could have it’s own little story. We chose it at the time because it was one we were trying to advertise because my new record had just came out and it made sense at the time. The podcast is run by a close friend of mine,  Hrishikesh Hirway, and he sort of asked us which one we wanted to do. I think it made the most sense at the time.
 

We read that you’re super into graphic novels. What’s the best one you’ve read this year?

That I’ve read this year?  Fun Home by Alison Bechdel. it’s a super super dark one. My friend Maré Odomo recommended it to me. He is one of my favorite artists and also knows his shit when it comes to graphic novels and comics and all that. When I was in Seattle recently, I just went on a shopping binge with him and his girlfriend. They recommended a bunch of comics to me so I came home with like six or seven and that was my favorite of the ones that I’ve read so far.

His stuff is amazing. You can check him out at @mareodomo.


Do you actually prefer baths to showers? 

Uhhhhhhh. I don’t know. It depends. There’s times when it just makes sense to have a bath and other times when it makes sense to have a shower.
 

You don’t feel more pressure or awkwardness of taking a “Bath,” having your artistic being “Baths?”

No, of course not. Not at all.


How important is having an energetic live show you?

It’s extremely important and it’s something that a lot of electronic musicians care a little less about or at it’s not part of their M.O. For me it’s really important because if you’re going to a show and to just play the track, that’s a different vibe for meI  don’t go to clubs - I’m not a club person. I don’t go just to see a DJ play. I just completely don’t care about that. It’s much more fun to put money down and see a performance. In my own head, with my own stuff, that’s what it was - trying to put on a show. It exists like that for me, but I totally get it, some people do that. And some of my favorite shows were my favorite just because I love the music even if the show wasn’t that good.
 

Is there anything you do specifically to make your live show interesting?

It took me and my bandmate like six months to figure out. We had to spend a really long time what we wanted to do with the live show and what made sense. One of the easiest translations was doing vocals. It immediately brings a really human connection to everything. In between songs I’m speaking to the audience and that keeps everything grounded. Beyond that, there’s a lot of physicality. We’re using a lot of electronic stuff on stage, but when we’re physically using it and you can hear the change in the music and make it sense with what you’re seeing visually that works out. We try to keep it fun for us and also not sort of overdo it, and make it gimmicky with how we were doing it. It’s a tough thing. We also don’t it figured out, but it’s worked for us for the last couple years.

 

What are you listening to right now?

I’m listening to a lot of Sophie. I have a lot of love for club type music. "Bip" is my favorite one right now and the first track in the Boiler Room Session that she did recently.

I’m listening to a lot of the Cocteau Twins a lot and the Tarzan Soundtrack. We were talking about it recently and I just had to buy it.
 

The Brendan Frasier one?

No no no no no. The animated Disney one.
 

The one with the yell? The Tarzan yell?

I think so. I don’t know. I just know it’s all Phil Collins’ stuff with original songs that he wrote for the movie. Most of it reads like actual pop songs instead of a film score so it's fun.
 

What’s on the horizon for ya?

There’s a song that’s premiering in a couple weeks that I’m doing for a one off EP with a friend so I have one song coming out sometime soon and I’m working on the score for a cartoon called Being Puppy Cat, but all at the same time I’m starting to work on my next record - that’s my main focus, but it’s gonna be a while before there’s any news on that. I haven’t started recording yet.

The cartoon song, though, it’s gonna be on Youtube for Cartoon Hangover. The show is called Being Puppy Cat and it’ll be turned into a series and the first episode will be premiering in November.
 

Thanks for talking with us, Will! See ya at Oaktopia!

See ya next weekend!

 

Innovation Greenhouse Music Hackathon HAPPENED

by Alyssa Stevenson


Words by Danielle Longueville; Pictures by Zep Owell

IMG_5982.jpg

This past weekend, UNT hosted what they called a music hackathon. A “Hackathon” is a 24-hour event dedicated developing creative and innovative ideas to solving a problem or that would benefit a predetermined theme. The event is dedicated to changing the way people perceive music through composition, production, promotion, or even how people listen to music itself. The goal is to take this short amount of time given and come up with something people may not have thought of creating on their own.

UNT's Innovation Greenhouse, the organization which created the Hackathon, is actually pretty damned cool. It's a co-working space for students' innovation activities.  It collaborates and leverages with existing university resources while building new partnerships with the North Texas region businesses, startups, not-for-profit organizations, and governmental agencies. It fosters a lot of new ideas and encourages collaboration and co-working. 

The Innovation Greenhouse UNT are what we call “Hackaholics.” They love attending Hackathons of all kinds, so much that they decided to host their own. They've done everything from Big Data to Health and Wellness to Food to Renewable Energy Hackathons. Because of Denton’s traditional reputation for having a thriving music and arts culture, UNT believed that the Denton community deserved the opportunity to show off their fine-tuned talents at a Music Hackathon. This year, they wanted to kick it up a notch and try to involve the community as much as possible, and there’s been a lot of positive feedback and desire to be involved. For instance, this past weekend, they partnered with the American Heart Association Heartwalk 5k by providing local bands to play for their runners as a result of their interest in supporting our Music Hackathon.

Co-founder of Prekindle.com, Dave Howard, kicked off the weekend as keynote speaker, and we also heard from three other speakers from various niches within the music industry. People such as Tim Harman from the Ghost Note, Dustin Blocker Co-Owner of Hand Drawn Records, and Christy Crytzer-Pierce, who is UNT Adjunct Faculty and long-time PR Wizard all spoke at the Hackathon.

But this event wasn't just for coders and tech people. From musicians to developers, to people who are just music enthusiasts with creative imaginations - everyone was welcomed, and the result was pretty dang cool. This was a great chance for our community to network and learn about one another’s aspirations on a cultural level.

We're already super stoked about the next Hackathon which we don't even know any info about yet! We'll be sure to pass it on to you, though, as soon as we do. 

Keep in touch with UNT's Innovation Greenhouse to find out about future Hackathons. Info can be found at www.untmusichackathon.com or on their Facebook page

INTERVIEW: OAKTOPIA PEEPS

by will milne

We have our fair share of music festivals in Denton, and that's not a bad thing at all. Last year, Oaktopia was an upstart with some hopes, dreams, and a bunch of sweet bands that they got to play in Denton. Things went over pretty dang well - much better than you'd expect for a music festival in its infancy. This year, they've upped the ante on all fronts and we'll see the fruits of their labor this Friday and Saturday. High profile bands such as Baths, Aesop Rock and many more will grace multiple stages across the city of Denton. Two day passes are only $30, y'all. So get on it and buy a pair here, if you haven't done so already. We spoke with Preston Ehram, Corey Claytor and Matt Battaglia about Oaktopia then and now. Tacos never came up, though, strangely enough. 

Preston Ehrsam, Corey "S. Good" Claytor, and Matt Battaglia, founder of Oaktopia

Preston Ehrsam, Corey "S. Good" Claytor, and Matt Battaglia, founder of Oaktopia


WDDI: Explain where the name “Oaktopia” comes from.

Originally, all of the shows for the fest were booked on Oak St.

A lot of our memories and influences happened directly on that street, so we knew we wanted to incorporate “Oak” into the name.... Without it being a generic “Oak St. Fest.”

I used to rap, so when I write, I naturally try to make things flow. I was walking around the square one day saying different combinations of “Oak + “a word” when “Oaktopia” popped into my head. I thought it flowed nicely, and had the double “utopia” meaning going on. Josh Milam (one of the co-founders) and Corey instantly agreed, so the name stuck.

 

What’s the biggest lesson you learned from last year?

My friend Shane McCormick told us early on that it takes a community to make a music festival. We absorbed what he was saying, but the fest and event planning was so new to us that we didn’t really understand it. We only had 3 months to plan so it was really hard to let others in last year. We stripped that away this year and opened the fest to the people, and it’s the best thing we’ve ever done.

 

WDDI: Last year y’all managed to get Del the Funky Homosapien to play Oaktopia. What name did you call him in person?

Honestly, we barely got to talk to him, but for the brief moment we did, we called him Del.

 

WDDI: What’s Oaktopia’s dream artist that is on your list for the future?

Matt: My dream artist is Kid Cudi or Modest Mouse.

Corey: Pixies and Nas

P: The Deftones and Radiohead

 

WDDI: Do you feel that there has been any stigma from being a “young” person booking a festival? Any animosity you’ve felt in those regards?

The vast majority of people have nothing but support for us. People with experience in festivals told us not to do it. Not because they didn’t support us, but because they knew that we didn’t know what we were getting ourselves into (which we didn’t). As far as animosity, not that I can remember. If there is, they haven’t told us about it!

WDDI: Who are you most excited about playing this year?

M: Over 100 local acts on one fest! National act wise, I really want to catch XXYYXX’s set.

C: Friends and Family. But for the most part, I hear that dude S.Good’s real nice.

P: I want to see as many of the acts I can get my eyes on, there’s ton of quality on both days.


WDDI: Last year y’all got some noise complaints. Are y’all taking any precautions as far as noise goes, this year?

Ya know, we don’t want to mess anyone’s day up by keeping them from getting sleep… This year we’re going to bring fliers and information to all the businesses and residences in the area. Just like last year, we have all our sound permits and we’re going to follow the city codes and regulations to a T.  


WDDI: What’s different about Oaktopia this year as opposed to last year?

We had a lot of help from family and friends last year. It would never have happened without them… but there was only about 20 of us to work the entire fest. This year we have an amazing group of over 100 volunteers. People from all over the country have come together to help us, and they go above and beyond. It’s incredibly humbling and inspirational to see so many people with a common goal.

Fest-wise, we’ve had a lot more time to plan and with that comes decorations, events, activities, and surprises! Plus, it’s two days and we have more headliners!


Did you all have a focus this year in what bands you wanted to play?

Above all else, we’re local music fans. If we could, we’d have every single local artist play. Basically, we always want to keep the fest at least 80% local acts. In garages, living rooms, porches, street corners, and anywhere else you can think of across Denton there’s songwriters and artists. People influenced by the same things we’re all influenced by, and it’s beautiful. We tried to get a nice mix of genres to represent that diversity.

National-acts are a little trickier. We always want to bring underground hip-hop legends to Denton if we can, but we love all types of music. This year, we decided to add some up-and-coming electronic artists to the bill. We’re going to keep adding artists from different genres until we have a well-rounded bill.


WDDI: What’s in the future for y’all?

We have an irrational love for Denton. All of our ideas are directly related to making Denton a more fun and interesting place to live. Without saying too much, we have some things in the works that we haven’t seen done around these parts.



You can learn more about Oaktopia at their website. We'll have more on the bands playing this year's fest and more throughout the week including an interview with Will Weisenfeld of Baths so make sure to check back later!

WHAT WE DID: SEPTEMBER 14th 2014

by will milne

It's Oaktopia Week here at We Denton Do It and we're already excited. We had one of those lovely weekends when the square gets shut down for a few hours and we can all walk and wander around the streets pretending like we don't actually jaywalk when the streets are open. Arts, Antiques and Autos was Saturday morning on the square and while the area was packed to the gills with people, we didn't see anybody come and take it this year. Lots of great photos from the past seven days of life in Denton are below. Look through 'em and click 'em to be led back to the photographer's Instagram profile. 

Tag your photos with #WDDI on Instagram to be included in next week's What We Did. 

Arts, Antiques and Autos had lots of old, interesting and just plain weird cars strewn about on the square Saturday morning. More photos in a gallery below. 

Arts, Antiques and Autos had lots of old, interesting and just plain weird cars strewn about on the square Saturday morning. More photos in a gallery below. 

Bountiful baskets of veggies. You gonna pickle that, Jade?

Bountiful baskets of veggies. You gonna pickle that, Jade?

The best usage of a Black & Decker drill. 

The best usage of a Black & Decker drill. 

Pan Ector keeps their dogs in weird places inside, but...

Pan Ector keeps their dogs in weird places inside, but...

...but they keep their friend Nate (Sunday Print Shop) outside and make him lean against walls.

...but they keep their friend Nate (Sunday Print Shop) outside and make him lean against walls.

ARTS, ANTIQUES AND AUTOS

Here's some more photos of all of those rat rods, old cars, and more from the square on Saturday: 

3D pipe art in your front yard is one of our favorite types of art. 

3D pipe art in your front yard is one of our favorite types of art. 

Chalk drawings from Saturday's contest at Arts, Antiques and Autos. 

Chalk drawings from Saturday's contest at Arts, Antiques and Autos. 

What happens in Recycled, stays in Recycled. Unless someone is watching through the books. Creeeeeeppppy. 

What happens in Recycled, stays in Recycled. Unless someone is watching through the books. Creeeeeeppppy. 

A couple's outing at Waffle House. 

A couple's outing at Waffle House. 

You can pickle the okra in the photo above, Jade, but don't pickle these flowers or eggplants. Might be kind of gross. 

You can pickle the okra in the photo above, Jade, but don't pickle these flowers or eggplants. Might be kind of gross. 

Old car pictures outnumbered donut pictures this week, but not by too much. That said, we're kind of needing a Monday morning pick-me-up right now and might be stopping by soon. Set something aside for us James. 

Old car pictures outnumbered donut pictures this week, but not by too much. That said, we're kind of needing a Monday morning pick-me-up right now and might be stopping by soon. Set something aside for us James. 

NV Cupcakes got a new sign up at their new location with Sprockets on W. Hickory beside Hypnotic. We kinda dig 'em, but we're suckers for signage. 

NV Cupcakes got a new sign up at their new location with Sprockets on W. Hickory beside Hypnotic. We kinda dig 'em, but we're suckers for signage. 

Briggles. 

Briggles. 

We Denton Doer of things, Glen Farris, speaking at last week's Mentor Denton Launch Party at East Side. Have you signed up yet? 

We Denton Doer of things, Glen Farris, speaking at last week's Mentor Denton Launch Party at East Side. Have you signed up yet? 

Shaina Sheaff got stuck in Inception. Wake up, Shaina!

Shaina Sheaff got stuck in Inception. Wake up, Shaina!

The stroller folks at the Social Runs are our favorite folks. Not their own children's favorite people, though, mind you. 

The stroller folks at the Social Runs are our favorite folks. Not their own children's favorite people, though, mind you. 

Dude has eyes on the back of his head. There's a calling for you in education, young man. 

Dude has eyes on the back of his head. There's a calling for you in education, young man. 

Sweet Schwinn, son. 

Sweet Schwinn, son. 

Margaritas at Mulberry St. Cantina's Second Saturday Arts and Crafts fair. 

Margaritas at Mulberry St. Cantina's Second Saturday Arts and Crafts fair. 

Hypnotic is fueling our chicken biscuit addiction. Can you bring us one now please? 

Hypnotic is fueling our chicken biscuit addiction. Can you bring us one now please? 

Non invisible taco pic from Rusty's courtesy of @sarahlanette. 

Non invisible taco pic from Rusty's courtesy of @sarahlanette. 

THE DEN10: SEPTEMBER 10

by Alyssa Stevenson

We live and breathe for our community and are well aware that shaping our future starts with our children. Tonight marks the launch of the Mentor Denton Community Volunteer Program at East Side (6PM). Last year, without funding and based on the collaborative strength of United Way Denton County, Communities in School, UNT, TWU and We Denton Do It, the program was able to match almost one thousand mentors with at-risk students in our community. The response last year was overwhelming to the point that we were literally at-capacity and unable to take on any more volunteers. This year, we’ve expanded the program to be able to take on volunteers interested in more than just in school mentoring. There is an opportunity for everyone to pitch in. Check out the website (mentordenton.org) and check out all the ways you can make a difference in your community, one child at a time. Join us tonight as we launch the program for this year. Come out if you're already involved, if your curious and want to meet other mentors, or even just come out for a beer and support the cause because 10% of the proceeds will go toward funding this program. Tag your photos #WDDI and #MentorDenton tonight. Turn off Netflix and go do stuff, y'all. 

Questions comments or weather tips may be directed towards glen@wedentondoit.com


Wednesday, September 10th
Mentor Denton Launch Party | East Side | 6PM
Come join us as we launch this impactful volunteer program aimed at getting 10,000 mentors for Denton ISD’s "at risk" students. Go here to volunteer. Ten percent of tonight's proceeds go to fund this program. Also, beer and whiskey. 

Thursday, September 11th
SEE YOU AT THE CAPSULE | Corner of Elm and Hickory | 8PM
At dusk, we will toast the Time Capsule. There might be speeches. Someone might sing a song. This is one of our most favorite Denton traditions. Click the event link above to learn more. 

Revolver Brewing Tap Takeover | Dan’s Silver Leaf | 4PM
Need a happy hour excuse? Because beer.

Cora Stafford 9/11 Show: REmemory~DISrememberance | Cora Stafford Gallery | 5PM
What a conceptual title! What could this be?! So MANy QUESTions. 

Friday, September 12th
2nd Annual Music Hackathon | Innovation Greenhouse
36 hours of music hacking geared toward changing the way we perceive music. Sounds very Denton. More on this in a later post. 

LIGHTS! A pre-Oaktopia House Show | 1204 Mulberry St | 8PM
The Tron Collective is hosting this one. Sounds vibey.

Mooney Manor VII: This Time Around: Dickwolf / Day Waster / Creatures / The Hymens / Plunge | The Mooney Manor | 9PM
The Manor to rule them all continues it’s house show tear with another rager. TRY not to destroy the house.

Voter Registration Bash | Mulberry St. Cantina | 4
Go get registered to vote so you can have a say in what’s what in November. An interesting and fun fact about registering to vote and saying you’re going to is that there’s a record of it thus we know when your lying about going to vote.

Danny Diamonds Release w/ Daniel Markham / Cozy Hawks | J&J’s Pizza | 8PM
What a great lineup in our most beloved of all basements.

Saturday, September 13th
Arts, Antiques & Autos | Downtown | 9AM
DO NOT LEAVE YOUR CAR ON THE SQUARE FRIDAY NIGHT / SATURDAY MORNING. You have been warned. If you do, you will be publicly shamed and trapped until the car show is over at 3PM because of the barricades. The weather will be perfect and we’re predicting 10,000,000,000 people in attendance. How many donuts is that?

Landrest / Switchblade Razors / Fishboy | J&J’s | 9:30PM | FREE
Get your pizza and schlitz on.

A SKIP HOP AND A JUMP AWAY FROM WHOLE FOODS

by Alyssa Stevenson

Words by Alyssa Stevenson, Images by WDDI Team 

Feeling overwhelmed by the cheese selection? Have a seat and try a beer-boucha.

Feeling overwhelmed by the cheese selection? Have a seat and try a beer-boucha.

We're kinda super into food, y'all. We totally get those Central Market commercials, and are always shaking our heads, thinking, "Yes. I do smoke pork butts and I cannot lie about it. You're right." So when news of a Whole Foods opening down the road and around the corner in Highland Village broke we got a little excited.

Yeah, we know it's not quite IN Denton... but it is in Denton County. And we'll take a two pound bag of fresh mussels, a pound of hand stuffed artisan sausage and some seaside aged cheddar while we're at it. 

We even got a chance to check out the new digs before they open this week and were dang pleased with the place. With over 100 Texas vendors stocked in the store, some fine food experts and the best salmon jerky this side of the US/Canada border, we think you'll be pretty pleased, too. Below are a few of our favorite things about the new place. 

 

Our best savings tip so that this doesn't become 'Whole Pay Check'? Try the bulk bar! 

Our best savings tip so that this doesn't become 'Whole Pay Check'? Try the bulk bar! 

There will be a cornbread bar. Yes, a special place with fresh, made from scratch cornbreads will be patiently waiting for your arrival. A few flavors that caught our attention include bacon, blueberry, and chili. 

We already said this, but smoked salmon jerky. Did you know that is a thing? Well, it is. And, this will become your new obsession. The black pepper flavor is awesome but not as amazing as the habanero. You can find it at the seafood counter and we recommend ordering more than you think you'll eat. Sharing is caring, after-all.

The bulk bar is pretty extensive. Also, it's a great way to save a few dollars over a period of time. Want to try some exotic dish with crazy spices? Don't waste your hard-earned cash on a bunch of stuff that will wind up sitting on your shelves for the next five years. Instead, get exactly 1/4 of a teaspoon and spend pennies instead of dollars. 

These adorable dudes were serving up shots of tasty healthy locally made juice blends. 

These adorable dudes were serving up shots of tasty healthy locally made juice blends. 

We could practically live on VIM + VIGOR. Okay, one of us could. We would probably start to miss tacos at some point. 

We could practically live on VIM + VIGOR. Okay, one of us could. We would probably start to miss tacos at some point. 

A bevy of beautiful bright amazing juice lined the new Whole Foods. Juice is a thing some of us may be obsessed with. They have bottled juices from locals Vim + Vigor and a bunch of other favorites like Evolution, BluePrint, and Suja. They also juice it fresh in store. We recommend the "Sunny Side."

The new Whole Foods will also be a sausage fest, but only in the best of ways. There is a whole section of hand-stuffed artisan sausages. We can't even handle it. We are pumped to try out the whole slew of 'em. 

There is a also a nice bar in the store for you to stop, grab a little cheese, and have a glass of wine, or even some kombucha beer before you shop. Which sounds like a great way to spend a few minutes when you get overwhelmed with the 300 different kinds of cheeses to choose from. 

Feel like a little pizza to take home for dinner with the kiddos? You only need to wait about 3 minutes. There's a legit brick oven to bake Neapolitan 'za in. 

Take that salad bar salad and tasty chocolate pudding outside to the second story patio with a fire place, adirondack rocking chairs, and  gliders over looking The Shops at Highland Village.  

By the time you're done shopping, hit up the coffee bar so that you have plenty of energy for the 'long drive home.'

By the time you're done shopping, hit up the coffee bar so that you have plenty of energy for the 'long drive home.'

 

Hopefully Whole Foods and others will notice the traffic from Denton and realize that our foodie population is big enough to support a store right here in our own zip code. Until then, you'll find us on 2499 making the trip with a cooler in the back and watching out for Guyer High School traffic.