By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
By Anna Merlan
By Lee Escobedo
By Alice Laussade
By Scott Reitz
This week, denton Deluxe officially released the fifth volume in its ongoing series of compilation CDs featuring local music. And, like the previous four editions, Volume 5 delivers a few selections from every nook and cranny of Denton's diverse tableau of musical genres. Take the first three cuts, for example, which find Fizzy Dino Pop's electro sounds (read more about that band on page 42) sandwiched between an avant-garde number by Violent Squid and a jangly rocker by The Make Believers.
Born out of the record store/DIY venue Strawberry Fields in 2007, denton Deluxe remains a proverbial labor of love by one former co-owner of the shop, Chad Withers, who is essentially always accepting material for subsequent releases. "Since Strawberry Fields closed, the deluxe has become more of a pet project than something for business," Withers says.
To celebrate Volume 5's release, Withers booked last Wednesday's show at Rubber Gloves Rehearsal Studios featuring Slack Beat, Peopleodian and Kashioboy. But, more than just a release show, the night marked the first of a new monthly denton Deluxe showcase at the club. Withers says the showcases will act as "a sampler pack of the different DIY stuff that's happening locally," while also providing a means to bring together some of the more fragmented music "scenes" that exist within Denton. "I'm always surprised by which bands haven't heard about other notable bands that are in a little different genre," Withers says. "It's not a conscious effort on the part of the bands; it's just because they play so many shows and only get to see bands that they play with. So, I hope for these to be a sort of dating mixer for the bands to get to know each other. I think it's what's needed in Denton right now—and they're gonna be free shows."
The denton Deluxe showcases are just one of the new "free" nights that Rubber Gloves Rehearsal Studios is implementing as the venue makes a move toward more local no-cover shows. (The club just cut every DJ weekly but '80s Night with DJ Leeds AKA Midlake's Eric Pulido.) "So far, it's gotten a great response from the bands," bar manager James "Shep" Shepard says, "because they love the idea of playing to 125 people instead of 50 or 15 when we charge a $5 cover. It's better for the bar, and it's better for the bands." Owner Josh Baish explains the change: "We're first and foremost a live music venue. For us to be doing those DJ nights on a regular basis just didn't make sense. When we are spinning punk and metal every week—no offense to the DJs—but I just figured, why the hell wouldn't we just have some bands play?"