In our ongoing quest to shine some light on some of the kindest, most supportive people hiding in the shadows, and behind the scenes, in DFW's music community, there's never a shortage when it comes to the people who bend over backwards for the 35 Denton festival, which is on the horizon next Thursday through Sunday. However, reaching these folks can be tedious. They're very busy this time of year, harvesting a festival that is truly grown from the ground up. We persevered however. This week's exhibit is youngster Charlie Hunter: volunteer coordinator for the festival, co-founder of Denton's mini-indie label I Love Math Records (Spooky Folk, many more), beer drinker and (as common as the latter in this column) a passionately enthusiastic local music fan.
Is that Dallas Distortion Music's Evan Henry dancing in one of the promo video clips?
Yeah! What better way to announce all of the local bands than with a video of the guy you see dancing at every show?
Nice. I won't pretend here, Charlie. We want to pick your brain about what locals to see at 35 Denton this year. Please, the floor is yours.
I'm always torn when it comes to things like this.
Do I recommend all of my local faves that always pull out all of the stops for their 35 shows, or do I tell you to go to the bigger names, because you may not get a chance to see Acid Baby Jesus in a pizza joint ever again?
Both. The floor is yours, sir. Wax ecstatic, please!
Spooky Folk is a band I hold near and dear to my heart and I haven't missed them at 35 yet, so I will definitely be there. Brainstorm is some amazing, experimental pop. These guys are gonna be huge. Trust me. The Coathangers! Fuck yes. Roky Erickson! 'Nuff said.
No, no. Not nearly enough said. I think you're holding back. Who else?
Ok, I'll use the "Roll your own" feature on our website. I highly recommend this for all you folks that take festival life seriously.
I'm gonna have to make some tough decisions. Thanks a lot, Natalie Davila!
Thursday: The Satans of Soft Rock -- Some of the most amazing songwriting I've ever heard. Spooky Folk -- the reason I started a record label. Brainstorm -- amazing, experimental pop. These guys are gonna be huge. Trust me. Jacuzzi Boys -- I've been waiting for a chance to catch these guys live for a while now.
Friday: Topic -- I first saw -topic at a promotional 35D event we threw last year and this guy blows my mind. He has some major verbal skills. Space Camp Death Squad -- to get my azz shakin '. Shiny Around the Edges -- I have seen this group so many times over the years and it just never gets old. A truly unique and truly Denton act. Destruction Unit -- Because I love a good face melting
Saturday: Killer Mike -- This is going to be amazing, and you know it. Don't kid yourself.
There's more! But I'll stop there.
Now, I knew you worked with I Love Math records in Denton. But, did I hear you right just now? You started the label?
Yes. Starting I Love Math Records has been one of the best decisions I ever made. I get to work directly with bands I love to do what I can to help them succeed. What could be more rewarding than that? I'm definitely proud of helping Spooky Folk get their debut album out. Those kids have the talent to go all the way. Other than that, I'm just so grateful for all of the friendships that I've formed over the past few years by getting out into the scene and getting involved. Everybody has a story, a point of view, something that makes them real.
Who else do you have on the ropster at I Love Math? Who do you love locally that, if money and logistics were no object, you'd consider adding?
This could be a really long list. Anything that's under the I Love Math records umbrella is a band that I'm completely head over heels for. Spooky Folk, The Demigs, Paper Robot, Danny Rush & the DDs, Deep Snapper, Tony Ferraro & the Satans of Soft Rock. New Science Projects is absolutely brilliant. I could watch Dale Jones for hours on end and just be mesmerized. Joey Kendall and Mount Righteous. These are both shows that everyone should see.
Of course, RTB2. You can't have one of these lists and not reference Ryan Thomas Becker, can you?
Ha. You can, but it's difficult! Craziest things youve witnessed at 35D?
Crowd surfing at Banter. The crowd at the Mikal Cronin show being so rowdy that we had to get extra volunteers to come form a human chain to keep people from knocking the speakers over onto the band. As far as behind-the-scenes dirt is concerned, I'm just gonna say...most people probably couldn't handle hanging out on Big Boi's tour bus.
Are we truly a music "community"? Are there things you would change, if it were just a matter of, say, waving a magic wand?
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More house shows! There's something special about house shows that you just can't get anywhere else. I love standing in someones living room with a six pack, crammed in with a bunch of sweaty, smelly kids that are just screaming along with the bands. And I do believe that we are a community. Definitely in Denton, but more recently, all of DFW has really seemed to come together. I think it's been things like 35 Denton and people like Audra Schroder who go out of their way to bridge the gap between all of the talent that's spread out across the metroplex.
Future endeavors or goals? Where would you like head next in your rather non-boring life?
What I'd really like to be able to do is to throw shows & events and put out records to raise money for charitable organizations. Music has been such a positive, healing force in my life. I want to be able to give that back to other people in the world that could use some healing.