North of the Dial

Monday nights are slow ones at the clubs in Denton. School started a couple weeks back, and it seems the kids at the city's two universities haven't yet abandoned hope that they may end the semester with a few A's.

Well, that and they're still recovering from the weekend.

At Hailey's Club on a recent Monday night, the girl checking IDs at the door sits quietly reading Pride and Prejudice while waiting to hand out wristbands, and the bartender, too, brought some reading material—a textbook called Constitutional Law and Politics—to read between pouring beers and mixing wells. There are only a handful of people wandering about the dimly lit club at the moment. The stage in the room adjacent to the bar is empty because, like most weeknights at Hailey's, the only one performing tonight is a DJ. His name: Austin Brown.

Brown's stage name is Young Doc Gooden. He's only been DJing for a few months now, and he's not shy about admitting that he's a better businessman than a DJ.

Last May, he organized the first Stay Cool Swag School night, a monthly event held at Rubber Gloves Rehearsal Studios. The show featured perhaps Denton's most famous act du jour, Midlake, as well as sets from a laundry list of other DJs from the area. Quite cleverly, they offered free beer and Champagne until 10 p.m. and free admission to anyone who rode a bicycle to the show.

"I thought it would just be a one-time thing," Brown says. "But when 200 people showed up for the first one, I figured we'd try it again."

And he's organized another SCSS event each month since. "I want Stay Cool to be more than just a show," Brown says. Each time, his show's boasted a different theme or gimmick.

In August, he hosted a beard pageant (which is easy to do in Denton); that night, Rubber Gloves reached its capacity of 250 and was forced to turn people away as Denton's In Dot Dat and Grapevine's Mount Righteous played to the crowded house. Wait times to get drinks at the bar were upward of 15 minutes (one girl was so drunk, she fell on the floor; it was awesome).

The next SCSS takes place Friday night at Rubber Gloves. Denton's Heartstring Stranglers will headline the show, which will also feature a scavenger hunt. Like August's SCSS event, Brown expects a good turnout—one far greater than the one he inspired on this fairly dead Monday night Hailey's set.

"I gotta get people out here on the floor dancin'," Brown says. "Or eventually I'll get fired, and they'll find someone else to do it."

Lucky for him, the Rubber Gloves gig seems pretty safe—for now.

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Daniel Rodrigue
Contact: Daniel Rodrigue