Denton: Not Just For Bands Any More

Proof the Denton music scene has ample room for more than just bands: The weekly Denton bass-music event known as Pubstep has been in existence for just more than two years now, and it continues to be one of North Texas' best-attended dubstep weeklies.

Held every Wednesday at The Abbey Inn Underground, resident DJs Nick Cassiani (aka 4D), Michael Kern (aka Welsh Embassy) and Mike Stewart (aka Bastard Mike), along with MC Young Luc and promoter Dandie Doyle, have managed to book a steady stream of guests to their event, including artists such as Dread Foxx, LDFD and Ops Esponjah.

Every fourth Wednesday of the month, guest DJ John-Michael Del Valle (aka Afro Monk) joins in on the action, rounding out a cast of local DJs with backgrounds in everything from hard house to downtempo to drum-and-bass.

"We're the only bass-music weekly in Denton," Stewart says, proudly. "Every week, we have at least 150 people show up."

Kern argues that the figure is closer to 200, but no matter. Considering the low-cost debauchery that is Tuesdays in Denton, it's a wonder that Pubstep on Wednesdays has managed to pull such crowds at all.

The secret to its success, the group behind the event agrees, is being the only night to offer a style of music that is quickly growing in popularity across the region, and also in the way that the night started as an excuse for college students to get hammered and listen to loud party music.

"We started Pubstep at Campus Pub a couple of years ago," says Cassiani, referring to himself and Kern. "They used to pay us enough to rent the PA every week, so we pretty much got paid in beer."

That venue, the DJs boast, swelled well past the comfort level every night with drunken college students.

"There was a 34-person capacity, but there were definitely more than 100 people in there at times," Kern says.

That issue eventually forced the night to leave Campus Pub. And, after enjoying a brief stint at Andy's Bar, Pubstep finally settled down at The Boiler Room, which was later renamed The Abbey Underground, in October of 2010. That's also when they picked up their third resident DJ, Bastard Mike.

Since making the move, the trio has been booking more prominent acts and gaining notice among the area's bass-music community, making Denton a worthy stop for dubstep DJs.

It has also developed a core audience. Says Stewart: "In comparison to a lot of weeklies, even in Dallas, we have a pretty consistent loyal following."

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Rodrigo Diaz