Oh, college. How we yearn for those carefree days of mooching off our parents and drinking unhealthy amounts of alcohol. Well okay, maybe not a lot has changed, but sometimes that lack of change is a good thing. Take Rubber Gloves Rehearsal Studios' Free Week: Each year for the past 12 years they've rung in the school year with a week of free shows to help get the college kids get settled in, and this week is their lucky week.
It’s a time of change in Denton. There are now two major festivals in town, there’s a new stage at the Harvest House (the first to open in years), there are new businesses opening almost weekly and even Rubber Gloves is looking for a major facelift, with plans to add a kitchen and reopen the outdoor stage.
Of course, Denton has been changing for the past few years, as touring indie bands have passed through less and less and the once-crowded promoter scene has been reduced to a few holdovers and some new kids on the block. Even Free Week has been affected: What was once a nightly showcase for promoters' favorite bands has dwindled to four outside entities taking nights.
Such is the nature of the ever-changing cycle that is a college town music scene. There will always be new bands ready to step up to the plate, and Free Week is a great way to discover them while catching some old favorites. Here are the highlights of the week to help get you revved up for the school year ahead. (Yeah, right.) And remember: All shows are free for those over 21 and $3 for those who aren't.
The Single Issues, Snailmate and True Fallacy
Snailmate is from Phoenix, and they're super tongue-in-cheek. I’m 90 percent sure True Fallacy is an elaborate joke from one of the members of the Lonely Island and the Single Issues are just a really fun, straightforward group that sounds like early Rilo Kiley. What else would you be doing on a Tuesday night?
Flesh Narc, Bad Feeler, Creepeth and Burning Moon
It’s time we put an end to these terrible band names. If Flesh Narc didn’t kick ass we’d be scoffing at this show, but Flesh Narc does in fact kick ass because they have members of Bukkake Moms in the group. You’re not cool enough to go to this, so by all means make sure you go.
Thursday: I Love Math Showcase
Danny Diamonds, Calliope Musicals, Friday Mean and Swandiver
I Love Math Records are a local label known best for being guided by “Those Two Guys” who are integral parts of the 35 Denton team. Their line-up leans heavily on acts they work with frequently and sees the debut of a new act, Swandiver. Highlights of the night include Austin’s Calliope Musicals and the always-game Danny Diamonds, who will like genre-hop depending on the mood of band leader Danny Folmer. This is not to be missed.
Friday: House of Tinnitus Showcase
Rectal Hygienics, Detere, Crisis Actor, Filth and Hymens and Gouge
House of Tinnitus was a longtime DIY house venue in Denton that eventually moved out of their home base and into the clubs to bring their eclectic mix of experimental acts to the masses. This line-up is no surprise as Tinnitus manages to get two touring groups out of Illinois (Rectal Hygienics and Detere) onto a bill with a bunch of local groups you’ve never heard of because you don’t wear enough black. I recommend whiskey, and lots of it.
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Saturday: Free Week Finale
Riverboat Gamblers, Code Talkers, Grave City and John Wayne is Dead
I know a 31-year-old self-made businessman who owns a very nice house and has a lovely young son who, upon learning that the Riverboat Gamblers would be returning to play RGRS for a Free Week show on a Saturday night, politely told his wife that she’d be on her own on Saturday. (And most likely Sunday, because things are going to get wild in Denton.) Why? Because it’s the goddamn Riverboat Gamblers at Rubber Gloves, that’s why. It’ll be a minor miracle if the building is still standing after the show goes down.