Over the past week, we've been picking a few of our "can't miss" shows and events that are a part of this year's Oaktopia festival in Downtown Denton, TX. You can check out our Thursday or Friday coverage for events for those days. Saturday, however, is a beast of a day. Read below to check out Nathan Williams' coverage of what you should check out at Oaktopia this Saturday.
There’s no doubt you’ve know Erykah Badu. She’s a Grammy Award winning musician, Dallas fashion icon, and a local activist. She is a true inspiration to many people. Badu began freestyling at age 14 and released her first album, Baduizm, in 1997 which went triple platinum, setting the stage for a long fruitful career spanning several decades and genres. We were fortunate to see her perform in February for her sold-out birthday bash show with Topic and The Cannabinoids, hosted by Dave Chappel, and featuring a surprise appearance from Andre 3000 of Outkast. She’s got a powerful voice, a depth for lyricism, and started DJing in 2014 under the alter ego Lo Down Loretta Brown, crafting her tracks with simple drum and bass beats, influences of jazz, neo-soul and R&B. She’s amazing, and we couldn’t be more excited to watch her perform, but if you’re not into hip hop or DJ sets, consider seeing one of our favorite Denton bands, The Monkberries, who play at the same time as Badu over at LSA. The Monkberries are a cute couple and duo who draw inspiration from the music of the 50’s & 60’s, they put on a stripped down, intimate set perfect for a quiet date night out, so grab your significant other, some margaritas, and show these two some love.
Unlike the first two days of the festival, Saturday offers a nice selection of jazz and some decent metal. If you split your time between West Oak and the PAAC, you’ll be able to enjoy an ambient spread of jazz and pop-noir with a dash of indie rock. For jazz, we recommend you see the Horace Bray trio set and then catch Sky Window later that evening, and regardless of your musical tastes, we guarantee you’ll enjoy watching Leoncarlo and Dark Rooms. Leoncarlo is a solo musician with 20 years of experience and a fresh, young take on the violin. He weaves together intricate patterns of soft strings by stacking layers upon layers with a looping foot pedal, imbued with a gripping, tangible sense of emotion, occasionally improvising new songs on the spot, resulting in a unique experience at every show. Dark Rooms is a four piece pop-noir group featuring frontman Daniel Hart, noted indie musician and former member of St. Vincent, which combines avant-garde jazz structures with non-conventional jazz instruments, implementing synthesizers, powerful bass and projected lights to create a mesmerizing experience. Hart is also speaking earlier in the day at the Music Industry Panels.
Our last set of recommendations for the weekend isn’t for everyone, but it’s a nice change of pace from the other sets you’ve heard during the festival. Andy’s Bar hosts a night of metal, including local favorites Orcanaut, with sub-genres ranging from metalcore and american metal, to more mainstream electrocore and rock ‘n roll. If you’re looking to open up a pit, throw some ‘bows and do a little hardcore dancing, this is the show for you.
That wraps up our special three day set of recommendations for Oaktopia, you can read our picks for Thursday here and our post about Friday over here. If you find yourself looking for something less conventional, music and venue wise, stop by Sprockets Bicycle Shop around 9:30 pm to see Vogue Machine make coldwave synth music from an analogue switchboard and an electric guitar, they’re better than most ambient noise bands. Hopefully we’ve helped mitigate your Fear of Missing Oaktopia, so stay safe and have a great festival weekend!
Nathan Williams is going on his seventh year livin' in Denton. He's 25, an avid moped rider, screen printer, local music enthusiast and runs his own blog, Sad Boys Club, geared solely towards covering music and promoting house shows. You can follow him on Instagram @Sundayprintshop, another small company he runs and a great place to get your merch made.