Our First-Timer To Denton Tells Us What She Really Thought of The College Town.

As a non-native, who for the better part of her four-year Dallas residence was stuck in the Highland Park and Uptown bubbles, I still have my fair share of the North Texas area left to explore.

For example? Until this weekend's 35 Denton festival, I had never been to Denton.

Yes, I know I'm slow on the uptake. But the good news is that all these virgin quests make for some fun writing, right?

Right. At least I'll keep telling myself that.

Anyway, this weekend marked my first time to not only the 35 Denton festival, but also the City of Denton itself. Here, I chronicle my journey up that way, which took place on Friday and Sunday, in running diary form.

Friday, March 9
Intended Itinerary:
Mountain Goats, MillionYoung, Class Actress, John Vanderslice

5:26 p.m.: We're still in Dallas and we've got an hour until we hit the road to Denton. It's fucking freezing. Would anyone judge me if I wore long johns? If only I had hip facial hair to keep me warm.

6:45 p.m.: Running late. Of course. Picked up the Scot, my accomplice for the night. But, hey, we're off to Denton finally.

8 p.m.: At the city limits of Denton. This is my first time to Denton. It's not quite what I was expecting. I was expecting it to look more small-town America, like Naperville, Illinois, where I grew up. “Naperville isn't really a small town,” the Scot quips. Ugh. Shut up.

8:15 p.m.: Arrived! It's still cold. But the Mountain Goats are playing. They sound just like they do on their albums, which is a stellar thing.

8:30 p.m.: I just realized they didn't do any form of security check here to get into the festival grounds. If I was the type, I could have brought so many drugs. Homegirl in the full facepaint in front of me seems to have taken advantage of the laxness.

8:45 p.m.: Scot loves this show. He's even laughing at the lead singer's bad jokes between songs. I can't laugh because I'm too cold.

9:10 p.m.: Getting Nammi Truck. Yay, Nammi Truck.

9:30 p.m.: Trudging to Hailey's for MillionYoung and Class Actress…

9:41 p.m.: Holy shit, the line outside Hailey's is fucking atrocious. I'm freezing, and The Scot is whining about finding a bathroom, so we're going across the street to Hannah's, which promises itself to be a “restaurant, wine, and martini Bar.”

9:45 p.m.: It's so warm.

10:03 p.m.: I'm enjoying a drink with a view: We can perfectly observe the line at Hailey's through this window. It's literally winding around the block. These kids are dedicated. Good for them.

10:30 p.m.: We're leaving Hannah's and going to try Dan's Silverleaf, as we very much want to see John Vanderslice's 12:30 set.

10:40 p.m.: Oh, what the hell? The line outside Dan's Silverleaf is almost as long as the line at Hailey's. We'll see how fast it moves.

10:42 p.m.: It's so cold.

10:45 p.m.: Screw you guys, I'm going home.

DAY ONE: Denton 1, Mikayla 0.

Sunday, March 11
Intended Itinerary:
Built to Spill, Weekly TapeDeck Showcase, Teengirl Fantasy, Light Asylum

8:45 p.m.: On my way to Denton. Late, of course. Again. The Scot has bailed on me because of “work.” I dress smoking hot, hoping I can find someone to buy me a drink.

9:30 p.m.: I've arrived in Denton, but have obviously missed Built to Spill. I'm headed to J&J's, where the Weekly TapeDeck showcase is. I don't know any of these bands.

9:38 p.m.: At J&J's. The pizza smells fucking incredible. The reverb from this band is also incredible.

9:40 p.m.: My free drink plan is failing miserably.

9:47 p.m.: For three people, BloodWitch sure put out a whole lot of noise.

9:49 p.m.: Symbols in band names (crosses, triangles, etc.) need to go.

9:51 p.m.: There's someone across the room that looks just like Chris Owens from Girls. I tried to eye fuck him for a good minute before I realized that he was a girl. Whoops?

9:52 p.m.: Wait, I just realized people are smoking in this basement. PEOPLE ARE SMOKING INDOORS? What is this magical place?

9:53 p.m.: Set ends. My eardrums may never be the same. I want some pizza.

10:17 p.m.: Wet Hair is on. I can dig it. These Ian Curtis-style vocals are really something.

10:25 p.m.: Their bassist is really good. He carries the group. His Hawaiin print strap is precious.

10:37 p.m.: Last song from Wet Hair. Getting food.

11:05 p.m.: During the break between sets, I decided it would be a great idea to buy breadsticks. This is actually horrible because now I have to lug a huge box around. I can't stand in the crowd because I smell so strongly of garlic, and I'm pretty sure a couple of these kids are actually vampires. So I'm sitting by myself in a corner at the back of the room. It's a wonder I'm single.

11:07 p.m.: And someone just took my picture. I am crying on the inside.

11:12 p.m.: In other news, this band White Fence is really, really good.

11:22 p.m.: A woman is walking around with a box of homemade jewelry. I imagine she's selling it. Is this illegal, or just how cottage industries work in Denton?

11:23 p.m.: Oh wait, that's a man.

11:25 p.m.: Apparently, members of Three Oh Sees are in White Fence. To be honest, I have no idea who Three Oh Sees are, but I heard they “effin killed it” earlier.

11:26 p.m.: The band is still good, but I'm considering leaving cause all I want to do is eat these breadsticks.

11:27 p.m.: I should be the Central Track food writer!

11:30 p.m.: I couldn't resist the breadsticks any longer. I'm in my car, driving to Hailey's.

11:32 p.m.: The band is playing the donut shop sounds great from the street, you guys.

11:35 p.m.: Oh, just sitting in my car outside Hailey's, eating breadsticks alone. No big deal.

11:39 p.m.: I heard that there was going to be a line at Hailey's, but there isn't. I really have to pee.

11:44 p.m.: Hailey's is shaking with reverb. You go, Teengirl Fantasy.

12:00 a.m.: I went up to the bar, which has at least 20 beers on tap. I ask the bartender what the Abita Spigot is, and he says, “root beer.” “Root Beer Alcoholic?” “No, just really good root beer.” Of course I asked for it. And he gave it to me for free! I like Hailey's.

12:10 a.m.: Teengirl Fantasy is done, and I'm waiting for Light Asylum, who everyone seems to think are a really big deal.

12:28 a.m.: I've noticed a lot of girls with facial piercings this weekend — most notably nose ones. You know, the one's that look like bullrings? I am a non-fan.

12:34 a.m.: Light Asylum isn't on yet. This is going to be a waste of a beer, but I think I may be too tired to wait.

12:40 a.m.: Back to car. Back to breadsticks. Bye Denton, it's been fun.

DAY TWO: Denton 1, Mikayla 0.75.

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