It's in those acts' signing that the current times in Denton come into focus. Though much was made of the May 2008 piece The New York Times ran on Denton in its "Music Issue," how many average listeners, music critics or record execs spend their downtime inking their fingers on The Gray Lady's travel section looking for new music trends to upload to their iPods? A few, maybe, but it's more likely that they're thumbing through glossy mags such as Under the Radar or Paste or, more important, clicking through music blogs like DFW's own Gorilla vs. Bear or Weekly Tape Deck. In recent months, it's those sites, as well as those across the big pond, like 20 Jazz Funk Greats, who've helped shed an international spotlight on Denton like never before.

Anyone paying even the slightest amount of attention can tell: With the second annual NX35 Conferette looming, these are exciting times for Denton.

And though I'll no longer be writing it, I, for one, can't wait for the next installment of North of the Dial, whenever it returns.

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