After 24 months, the 35 Denton music festival is back this year. There are signs all around - the new mural at Oak St. Draft House, the marquee at Dan's Silverleaf, heck even your Facebook event invites are probably blowing up right now. We're pretty pumped for this weekend. There's more than just music, too, several panels, exhibitions, photography walks, and and more are planned. Below, are several #WDDI-approved local bands that we've written about before in our monthly Three Songs column that will be playing the festival. Check out a tune (or video) of theirs, the times they'll be planing and read some of our thoughts below.
Bashe features an ex-member of Peopleodeon. If you thought Denton was missing a good math rock band, Bashe is the solution to your problem. Seapunk is the first single Bashe has released and is also featured on the recently-released DFW compilation No Metro. While some may be put off by the term math rock, let it be known that Seapunk is poppy and disco-y enough to get even the un-bounciest of butts a-shakin’ and is catchy enough to leave with you a bad earworm for hours after listening.
Bashe is playing at Rubber Gloves on Friday evening.
Biographies represents what we’re going to call the post-Seryn folk scene in Denton. Large, coed bands with vocals coming from every possible angle, and choruses that build until your eyes bulge. Biographies, however, is thankfully a bit different. These young twenty somethings have reached further back than their memories can reach and harken sounds not unlike Sunny Day Real Estate and other mid-90’s emotional hardcore. On Looking Inward is the centerpiece of their recently-released self-titled EP. The track manages to jam pack all of the different themes represented on the album into a quick seven minutes. The song climaxes about three-quarters of the way through with unintelligible screams and a gigantic wall of sound and then saunters it’s way out with a slinky bass line and a haunting female voice that washes away all the screaming.
Biographies is playing at Hailey's on Sunday.
Claire Morales after a few recent collaborations, Morales is releasing an album this month. We've heard a couple of songs off of it and dug it.
Claire Morales is playing at Banter on Saturday.
If you’ve yet to catch The Days live or hear them in any capacity before, you’ve been missing out. These dudes sound as if The Band was fronted by a younger, less smokey Mark Lanegan. "Loose Knots" is particularly driven single - possibly the first we’ll hear of their upcoming full length. Throughout the track, lead singer, Robby Day, laments in his baritone all that he’d do for a girl which just so happens to be quite a bit - so much so that by the end of the song, we believe him and we want to hear more.
The Days is playing at Dan's Silverleaf on Friday.
To be honest, y’all, we had a hard time writing this column this month. Things didn’t come together too easily and we spent easily an hour last night crawling through SoundCloud and Bandcamp, listening to various recent tracks from Denton bands and nothing was sounding good to us (let's leave it at that). We were getting pretty bummed and then we just so happened to stumble across "My Halo" from Dome Dwellers. Everything was immediately right with the world. Seriously, this is great stuff and hopefully a precursor of more that we’ll be seeing from this trio of dudes who have a full length coming in late October. "My Halo," itself, reminds us a bit of the Canadian band, Women, before they imploded a few years back - mathy and disjointed in the best of ways. The guitars are full of 90’s-era chimey-ness and tremolo and the math rock aspect of this tune acts as more of a hook than it does a headache - let’s just say that it’s more Algebra 1 than it is Pre-calculus. Whether they’re aware or not, this slightly epic track harkens back to the days of Denton space rock and we couldn’t be happier to be reminded of that era. Do yourself a favor and give this a listen. Heck, you can even download their entire EP for free from their bandcamp.
Dome Dwellers are playing at J&J's Pizza on Saturday.
There's not much we can say to emphasize how amazing this video directed by Eric Michener of Fishboy is. Let's just say that it features the ladies of Layer Cake getting threatened by the ladies of Slayer Cake with a note proclaiming, "There can only be one cake band." That, plus super powers. Oh, the song is great, too. Layer Cake is playing their last show before an indefinite hiatus this Saturday at Rubber Gloves. More info on that here.
Layer Cake is playing at Rubber Gloves on Saturday.
The new Mind Spiders and Radioactivity albums are both excellent (we talked about Bad Sports’ new stuff in a previous 3 Songs). Both are getting wonderful PR on spots such as All Things Considered and Vice. These incestuous bands share members that span most of the metroplex (if not further) and have been putting out records that mine a similar sound for over a decade (for some of the older members) in bands such as The Marked Men - who, if we can ever get our Past Denton Music Column started, we promise to talk about more. Mind Spiders found their sweet spot on their first album three years ago, and have continued to only get better with each new release (three albums in three years is impressive, no?). “Electric Things” finds the band working that trademark thin, fast sound, albeit with bits of Devo-esque sounds thrown in for good measure. If fact, the band has gone on record as to describe this album being influenced by many 80's-tastic things - the H.P. Lovecraft-inspired From Beyond movie being one. Oh, and while we're at it, both Mind Spiders and Radioactivity are playing Rubber Gloves on Friday, but you already knew that because you read the Den10.
Mind Spiders is playing the 35 Denton Main Stage on Saturday.
We ran across a Skagg Philips set this past Saturday evening in the basement of J and J's. You can count us as late to the game on this one, but we were blown away by not only his gentle timeless songs, but his beautiful voice and emphasis on lyrical storytelling. We could very easily start gushing here, so we'll try to get out quick. Jesus Christ, the Philips is the moniker of local skinny guy, Jordan Batson. Batson is currently at work on a new album entitled, "Vice Versa." We'll be sure to let you know when he's got a show coming up in the Den10. You can check out more of Skagg Philips on his Facebook page.
Skagg Phillips is playing at The Labb on Sunday.
Of course, these are just a handful of the great local bands play 35 Denton this weekend. You can read the full line up here or buy tickets here. We'll be back later today with some other personalized recommendations for events to check out during this weekend's festival.