By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
By Anna Merlan
By Lee Escobedo
By Alice Laussade
By Scott Reitz
In the middle of a field somewhere in Denton lies a barn. The barn sits on an acre of land—some of which is occupied by a house (the address of which owners would prefer remain undisclosed), a backyard and all the other regular fixtures of a home—including functioning power outlets and lights. Inside can fit a couple of dozen people or so.
Incidentally, within the past couple of months it has also become one of the more sought-after DIY venues in Denton.
Known simply as "The Barn," the venue, after hosting just four shows, has already featured performances by the likes of Geistheistler, Kaboom, Dear Human, Violent Squid, Record Hop, Peopleodian and, yes, even the internationally acclaimed Denton-based polka act, Brave Combo.
"Brave Combo asked us if they could play," says one of the tenants and bookers for The Barn, who preferred her name remain anonymous.
That's possibly a sign of how much notoriety the venue has gained in such a short time, but perhaps also that it's a spot that appeals not only to showgoers but bands as well. Peopleodian's James Washington, one of the few musicians to have played at the Barn, attests to that reputation.
"It's a great place to play a show, and it's a great place to see a show," he says. "I've been there more watching shows than playing them, and I like the place."
Despite the demand for shows, and perhaps due to a couple of noise complaints, The Barn's organizers are insistent upon not overdoing matters, though.
"We're trying to keep it low key," says the spot's anonymous tenant. "We're not trying to do more than two shows a month, really."
She also gives evidence that former DIY space Majestic Dwelling of DOOM's closure has spurred many in Denton's music community to try and fill the hole left in the music landscape: "Because DOOM shut down," she says, "I've talked to three or four different people that are using their houses to have shows, and even people who are renting property just to have shows."
Fortunately for her and the other tenants of The Barn, the cops have so far been "really cool about it," and the spot doesn't seem poised to suffer the same fate as DOOM. It could be argued, however, that due to its somewhat remote location, large size, serious lack of lighting and amount of attendees per show (which, by all estimates, have totaled into the hundreds on multiple occasions), it could present a problem.
So far, though, nothing has indicated that the venue has been anything but a space to watch quality acts. And that doesn't appear on the brink of changing anytime soon.