By Jim Schutze
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By Anna Merlan
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Longtime Denton resident Will Frenkle, 22, was one of many volunteers at this year's 35 Denton, working the back line and schlepping equipment to and from the main storage warehouse on Mulberry Street from various stages and venues. His diminutive stature, long hair and vintage Green Jelly tee make him an aesthetic match for the rock subsection of our fair city, if such an aesthetic exists.
As Built to Spill closed their Sunday set, he stopped beside me to watch the end of the show. People of all ages and fashion senses saw and hugged him as they moved toward the exterior of the thousand-deep crowd. It was clear he knows just about everyone in this town.
We walked to the burrito stand where his volunteer status earned him a free burrito, and he talked about some of his favorite moments at this year's four-day fest:
"I haven't gotten to see everything I wanted to, but Thursday I got to see Terminator 2, and they were fucking bad-ass. On Friday, the Baptist Generals were awesome, of course. And I also got to see Shiny Around the Edges, who are always awesome." He also mentioned enjoying Julianna Barwick at Banter.
One of his highlights was Bun B Saturday on Main Stage 1. "Everyone was still having a blast out in the rain, and Bun B played a good part in warming everyone up and enlivening their spirits."
Despite the bitter, cold rain on Saturday, the crowds refused to be deterred. Sunday, as if an apology from the festival gods, the weather cleared up and left concert-goers free to enjoy shows in T-shirts. While he regrets not being able to hit the Abbey Underground to see The Spectacle on Saturday — formerly the Denton heavy metal act Mugzu — he did enjoy Violent Squid at Rubber Gloves. "It seemed like the type of thing that could be a train wreck at any given moment," Frenkle said of the experimental, improvisational rock act. "But they managed to keep it together as far as I was concerned."
He also enthusiastically mentioned R. Stevie Moore at Rubber Gloves, "this weird old man, and one of the most prolific musicians ever."
As he was about to get in line at the food truck to fuel up for the final round of smaller venue shows that Sunday, he said seeing Built to Spill and the Raincoats were definitely highlights, and was looking forward to seeing several more of his favorite local bands, including Spitfire Tumbleweeds.
"They're awesome, and I'm really looking forward to seeing that," he said, right before giving me a hug and departing to wait in line for his burrito.