By the calendar, we're halfway through 35 Denton 2013, though much of the good stuff is yet to come. Keep checking DC9 for daily updates from the fest. The highlights below are in a very (very) loose chronological order. In cases where the photos don't refer directly to the words on either side of them, they are marked with a line above and below. On to the drunken mayhem and make-outs and bands.
See also: -How to Plan Your Night for Each Genre at 35 Denton, with Maps -The 14 Best Unofficial 35 Denton Shows -The Best Thing About Denton: Interviews with Vendors, Bands, Policemen and Fans -The Best from 35 Denton Night One: The Dancing, The Technological Advances and The Artisanal Jello Shots
Watching wrestling one hundred feet from Sleep pounding the main stage crowd is quite the experience. With a full wrestling ring set up, and a secret tent literally full of wrestlers that even us, the good folk of your friendly Dallas media, are not allowed to look inside, various muscular men appear from said mysterious tent to throw each other at full force into the ground. There's one tag team whose whole thing is that they have mustaches, a man that looks like Bret Michaels, another man that I swear is Nick Oliveri, and a poor smaller guy whose entire role seems to be getting beaten up by two bigger guys. Also the referee is terrible. He remains totally unaware all of the brazen cheating going on, despite my constant barracking of him. Either way, seeing wrestling set to a pounding soundtrack of sludge metal is a perfect 35 Denton take home. All sludge metal will now have a visual of wrestling in poorly-lit circumstances for me to treasure. You can't buy that sort of association.--Gavin Cleaver
The children are the future of sludge metal. There were kids peddling happily around the pavement for Brutal Juice, and for Sleep, when standing space was at a bit more of a premium, there is more than one little fan standing, fixated on the stage. Or, in the case of one girl who can't have been more than six years old, sitting on her father's shoulders. She wears protective ear wear. And you might think she is here because she was made to be there, but there it is, on the glorious roar of the first guitar solo: Two unmistakable, adamant little devil horns. You know what? I think we're all going to be alright. --Kiernan Maletsky
Kids can rock too. Baby Isabella is chill with her sonic headphones as Brutal Juice goes for the jugular.
Another little girl rocks a pair of the protective headphones as well, and bobs her head along with the crowd. --Megan Morris
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Basement pizza. Let it be known that one of the richest pieces of nostalgia on the Square is eating a slice, which was all hot and pepperoni-y, with a cold beer and a solid band (in this case: War Party) in the basement of J&J's. Add a little trombone, thunderous kick drum that'll muffle your hearing later, J&J's Christmas light-flecked ceiling and you got yourself a liquid memory for the kids later. --Nick Rallo
35 Denton is not only perfectly walkable, the outside main and second stage fenced off area has a perfectly European festival vibe to it, with stalls selling typical festival merch co-existing near big stages which you can stand in one spot and see all of. I mean, it's on a road and a parking lot, but apart from that you could totally be at a big-name European festival. One hint for tackling the walks between different indoor venues though -- wear comfortable shoes. Don't be like me and wear new shoes. It's not even a long distance to walk, but I'm so Texan now I totally didn't expect actual walking. Thanks to the effects of said shoes, I will never walk again, instead relying on my hordes of lackies to ferry me around the festival on their shoulders. It's more comfortable that way, but it's awkward when you have to tell them to leave Dan's because you want to go to the Hive now. (GC)
Someone took the time and effort to spell out some of what they consider the do's and don'ts of one of Rubber Gloves Rehearsal Studios. I'm not so sure I necessarily agree:
This is what the list says:
1. Be disinterested. 2. Jean vests are cool. 3. Don't smile. 4. Cross arms during bands. 5. Respect girls in short pants/shorty skirts. 6. Purse your fucking lips. 7. Pee on the seat. 8. Scowl always. 9. SHOTS. 10. Worship Satan. 11. BEER. 12. Eyes glued to your iPhone. 13. Write on the bathroom walls. 14. Be a cunt. 15. Suck on big wham jams brooad. --Rachel Watts
The main stage area of 35 Denton is full of an array of merchandise. Don't have a vintage outfit? No worries, you can rummage through a collection of clothes on a bus in between the two stages. Worried that your outfit won't be complete without a cool stache? Well you can always get one painted on at one of the face-painting booths. And don't forget to pick up your psycadelic hula hoop for the rave later. (MM)
Among the attendees in the plush VIP area by the stage for Brutal Juice was the devil on stilts, of course. Don't be scared, he's only here to rock. (MM)
War Party's trombone player is rock & roll. I've never seen a trombone player get down and dirty with a garage-punk band before, much less with as much energy and sweet dance moves as theirs had. Keep on rocking, guys. (RW)
Tamara Bennett is on the Board of Governers for the Recording Academy: Texas Chapter. That's the Grammy people. They host their first day event just before Roky Erickson takes the stage. They're in the Labb, hosting a networking session. It seems ill-attended at first, and there are never more than maybe two dozen who sign up. But it's enough - we meet some interesting people. Including Bennett herself, who is not a voting member of the Academy, because she has no production credits. I ask her if she's ever considered slapping some spoken word thing through Garage Band and onto iTunes, and she confesses that she's had that sort of thought. "But they check for that sort of thing," she says.
The point here is: If anyone is looking for a backup tambourine player in the DFW area, I know just the person for you. (KM)
Need a bathroom to duck into during the outdoor shows? The Rooster has the cleanest I've seen yet. No lines, and they don't give you shit for coming in without ordering anything. (MM)
If you take photos of buskers, more buskers will come. I am taking a photo of a busker who is singing and playing exclusively White Stripes covers on his acoustic guitar when another random busker comes walking by with her drum and sits down to play along with him, and of course, to be in the photo. (RW)
After overhearing one of the volunteer staff members say into their walkie talkies: "I have people trying to sneak into the back gate at The Hive," I walk up to a different volunteer staff member to inquire. This is how our conversation went:
Me: "What's going on? Are people trying to sneak into The Hive?" Volunteer: "Is this for press purposes?" Me: "Yes." Volunteer: "Then no."
I turn to walk away to see two security guards reinforcing the Hive's chain link fence with a steel bar. (RW)
You could describe the spirit of the people of Denton using just this one scene: a straight-faced security guard is battening down the gate outside of The Hive (after someone had allegedly attempted to pull it apart in order to sneak in) when a random guy on the street, no more than 35, drunk and solo, says to the guard, "Hey dude, you need some help?" The guard blows him off, of course, and the guy, who we'll call The Spirit of Denton, meanders away into the night. (NR)
Hula hooping - what's the deal there? This isn't the start of a stand-up bit (although if Jerry Seinfeld is reading, you know where to find me, Jerry), just a general pondering on why hula hooping and outdoor festivals have become such easy bedfellows. Even any outdoor gig, not just festivals, you'll always see several people there with hula hoops of all shapes (well, circular, I suppose. Really just one shape), sizes, and color. Even ones that have flashy lights.
I'm not one to criticize, as God knows I could do with some exercise, but why do hula hoopers need an audience? Can't they do it inside? I've seen someone keep a hoop suspended using only the motion of their body now, I'm over it. I've moved on. If someone wants to come up with a hobby that is less likely to obstruct paths and distract me from watching a band, I'm all for it. If you must hula hoop, people, do it strictly as exercise, and keep it indoors, where only the cat can see. I have found the first branch of my policy for a new world order. (GC)
Two drunk cowboys throw a chair into the air on the back patio of Dan's Silverleaf and immediately get kicked out of the bar. They slam the patio exit door on their way out, which shakes the entire wooden lattice and scares the shit out of everyone. They are yelling something, but I don't catch it. As soon as they walk out, I look over and see them both jump to high-five each other, mid-air, but they miss. (RW)
-Topic has finished his set at Hailey's, much to the chagrin of the crowd. With his Teamfromnowhere crew, he has sweat profusely and made the assembled do the same. It's over. But there is time for a coda: So the DJ throws on some dance jams, including "Harlem Shake," and the assorted MCs and dancers take turns moving in the spotlight. -Topic himself brings the roof down with the worm. (KM)
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There is a couple standing in the front row of Def Rain at The Hive who would miss an air raid siren they are making out so hard. This goes on for at least a good 20 minutes. When Ashley Cromeens of Def Rain says from stage, "Alright, now I'm gonna slow it down; This one here's a love song," the couple's aggressive kissing turns nearly violent. (RW)
Dan's Silverleaf is a country dance party by the end of night two. On the guitar is Scott H Biram, who is buzz-sawing his way around a kick ass dance-around-the-maypole number, but that's not the point. The best moment of the night came from Solo Drunk Guy. This is an ode to you, Solo Drunk Guy, for your tiny and happy smile, your inability to Not Teeter when standing still, your aimless stroll for no reason from the bar to the bathroom.(NR)