Denton Is Killing It Right Now! Also: Statler Hilton Remodel Plans Include More New Venue News.

Is it just us or is the Denton music scene rather robust these days? Hear us out on this one — but there's a lot going on in the 940 of late.

Speaking of the Little D's area code, it's going to be the inspiration behind 940's, a new restaurant from Midlake drummer McKenzie Smith and ex-Sundown chef Patrick Stark, which will open shop in the old Banter space this summer. As far as what to expect from that menu, Stark tells the Dallas Morning News' Eats blog that it won't be too far off from the eclectic, vegan-friendly fare he served up at Sundown.

Also: Denton's second-best festival announced the second crop of names playing its 2015 offering earlier today. Joining blast-from-the-past headliners, The Zombies at this coming March's back-from-the-dead 35 Denton will be fellow '60s psych rockers Capsula. Other acts from today's announce include Born Cages, Caroline Rose, The Casket Girls, Cheerleader, Cymbals Eat Guitars, July Talk, Jazz Mills, Los De Esta Noche, Rat Fist, Wax Witches, Ormonde, Monk Parker, Low Cut Connie, Kim & The Created, AV The Great, Black James Franco, Clint Niosi, Cozy Hawks, Doug Burr, Grave City, The Holler Time, Isaac Hoskins, Kody Jackson, Little Jack Melody, Matthew and The Arrogant Sea, Mike Dillon & Carl Finch, The Mike Dillon Band, Mind Spiders, Mink Coats, Radioactivity, Robert Gomez, Sabra Laval, STARPARTY and Telegraph Canyon.

Sticking in Denton: Daniel Markham frontman Daniel Markham and Tony Ferraro + The Satans of Soft Rock frontman, Tony Ferraro, have announced a new collaborative project. Their 10-track album called Smoke Paint will earn its physical release in the near future. The pair will digitally release its first new single this Friday, January 23. In the meantime, Markham released a solo acoustic clip for a new song called, “Slayer Tapes & AM Radio” as part of NPR's Tiny Desk contest. Find the Erin Rambo-shot video below.

Meanwhile, Denton luminary and Centro-matic drummer Matt Pence is gearing up to release an album with a new outfit called Camerado this month, which the band will support with a tour. The album is comprised of material penned by Portland songwriter Mark Ray from 2007 to 2013 and performed and produced by Ray, Pence and Portland composer John Askew from 2010 to 2014. The rest of the live band will be rounded out by Steve Rauner and Michael Sheridan.

Then there's Denton expat Young Ejecta, whose latest mini-LP The Planet is currently streaming via Pitchfork Advance. Oh, and Young Ejecta's fellow Denton-turned-New Yorkers Parquet Courts debuted a new video for its Content Nausea track “Pretty Machines” this past Thursday. Check that one out below.

Occasionally, some musicians in other North Texas cities make music, too. Take rising Dallas rapper Brandon Fxrd, for instance. The IRAs associate dropped his new “King of January” single just yesterday. Stream it below.

Also out yesterday – and just in time for Martin Luther King Day — is Bobby Sessions' new police brutality-confronting “Black America” track. It's a poignant and aggressive track that reminds how civil rights issues — and namely those involving white police officers killing unarmed black men — are still among the hottest-button issues our nation faces to this day. Hear Sessions' take below.

On that same tip, Alsace Carcione has a song of her own called “Black America,” which addresses these same issues on her new Cryptic Conundrum LP that was released over the weekend. It just might be the album's best track. The rest of the disc bounces from aggressive rap to neo-soul to throwback dance music and just about everything in between. It's a scattered listen, to be sure, but with some real gems sprinkled throughout. Another track worth seeking out is the retro-leaning, club-ready “Funk You Up.” Find both of these tracks, as well as the rest of the album, streaming below.

Meanwhile, the busiest man in Dallas hip-hop — that would be Plain Jane Francis to those who haven't been paying attention — has released yet another new song and music video called “Low Level Rap.” Check it out.

Also, St. Vincent is preparing to release a deluxe version of last year's Grammy-nominated self-titled LP on February 9. The repackaged album will feature four new songs, as well as a Darkside remix of “Digital Witness.” Ahead of that release, you can check out one of those new tracks, the glammy “Bad Believer,” below.

Moving on, it looks like Dallas will only continue to blow past peak venue come 2017, when developers say they'll wrap on $175 million renovations on Downtown's Statler Hilton that'll include converting the hotel's ballroom into a 14,500-square-foot, 1,000-person-capacity music venue. Read more about the proposed improvements at Dallas Business Journal.

Elsewhere: Dallas ex-pat Brandon Curtis (Secret Machines, UFOFU) debuted a new electro-psych project called Cosmicide last week in Philadelphia; Party Static will release its second EP as part of a Valentine's Day show at Three Links; and finally, Josh Jordan launched a KickStarter project for a proposed new indie film called This World Won't Break, which is set to star Dallas folkie Greg Schroeder and from which a portion of the funds raised will go toward recording and releasing a new album from Schroeder that'll also serve as the film's soundtrack.

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