Denton's DIY Venues

Informal venues are great for the town's vibe, but how do they affect larger clubs?

Located a few doors down from J&J's Pizza on Denton's town square, Time Bandits specializes in vintage apparel and accessories. But the store has quickly become known around the city as much for its incredible selection of vinyl records as for its classic clothing.

And, if Time Bandits' owners Lisa McCullough and David Townsend aren't careful, the fenced-in lot behind their shop will soon become known as one of the most distinctive and sought-out venues in Denton.

A week and a half ago, 100 people showed up for Time Bandits' inaugural show, which featured Denton-based acts Dirty Diamonds, Mistress and Ribelle Scaltro. "We figured a small, intimate group of mostly friends would show up," McCullough says. "But people kept coming, and it just kept expanding."

There's not exactly a shortage of DIY venues in Denton, but whether it's an intimate, homey sort of place like The Fra House, Muscle Beach, The House of Tinnitus or the lot behind a vintage clothing store, these DIY venues seem to thrive. And as soon as places such as Secret Headquarters, Strawberry Fields or the now infamous Slutbanger lose their lease, move locations or just stop putting on shows, new DIY venues spring up ready to carry the torch.

But one has to wonder if they're simply siphoning off the crowds from the larger venues.

Rubber Gloves Rehearsal Studios owner Josh Baish doesn't think so: "The more the merrier," he says. "These DIY places actually foster more bands and contribute to the Denton myth: 'the scene.'"

As for Time Bandits' future, Townsend says things are totally up in the air at this point. He credits Andrew Michael of Mistress for helping to put the show together, and says that now that word has gotten out about their shows, his store will be hosting more. Bands have already started calling them about future gigs. "For now, we're gonna start with at least one show a month with maybe some Sunday matinee-type shows too."

The former co-owner of Strawberry Fields, Chad Withers is no stranger to DIY shows, and he says the turnout at Time Bandits' first show night didn't surprise him.

"There's a lot of talking and collaboration between the people in the scene," Withers says. "People know where the good shows are gonna be, and people were really curious about how [Time Bandits] would use the space, and what they'd do.

"It's great, because you could see the same folks there at that would've been at Strawberry Fields. The show had the same kind of vibe. And that's the same kind of vibe that keeps me in Denton."

 
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