35 Denton Takes A Year Off, and Amanda Palmer Helps Girls Rock Dallas.
Twice last week, we found ourselves pondering the future of Denton's recently beleaguered 35 Denton music festival. That's fair, we think: Losing a number of a team's key players at once — as 35D did earlier this year — generally leads to a sense of uncertainty in that regard. And while the fest's founding father Chris Flemmons told us earlier this summer that the show would indeed go on, we'd yet to see any new branding, early promos or performer announcements of any sort relating to the 2014 festival thus far.
As DC9 at Night reported last week, there's been good reason for the silence from 35D's camp: After losing its main financial backer, Flemmons, who has now officially resumed his post as the fest's creative director, has decided the festival will take the year off to reorganize before returning in 2015.
In any case, it looks like Denton's upstart Canned and Oaktopia festivals will have to do their best to fill the city's void in the interim.
Similarly, Fort Worth's Calhoun finds itself on the tail end of a recent retooling period. And, make no mistake, the span between 2011's Heavy Sugar and the band's upcoming Paperweights EP has very much brought on a dramatic shift in styles for the band — enough so, at least, that, after hearing the new songs earlier this summer, we wrote that the new EP would “change every thought you've ever had about the band.” Though frontman Tim Locke's recognizable vocals and songwriting are still very much present, the new songs, we also said, are fused with, “a cross-section of Blondie's dance-pop sensibilities and The Flaming Lips' electronic know-how.” Seems we're not the only ones impressed, either: Late last week, MTV Hive debuted that EP's first single, “Reap/Sow,” which you can find here.
While on the subject of change, let's touch on Girls Rock Dallas for a moment. The organization, which seeks to “empower girls and women through the use of music education to promote self-esteem and confidence by providing the opportunity to learn and express creativity,” has positively influenced dozens of girls since its inaugural camp last summer. And big part of the cash that keeps the nonprofit organization up and running comes from donations and fundraising events that the organization holds throughout the year. Speaking of: Not only will the group's next such event will take place on October 3 at eM The Venue (1500 Dragon Street), but it will feature longtime Girls Rock supporter Amanda Palmer performing with some Girls Rock Dallas alumni. Palmer, you may remember, made a donation to the organization last spring during an eventful trip to town which saw the former Dresden Doll wrapping work on a solo album with John Congleton, recording a Violitionist Session out in Denton and dropping by Good Records for an impromptu in-store performance.
Moving on to the under-reported news department: While working on a follow-up to his John Singer Sergeant debut from last year, Deathray Davies frontman and Apples in Stereo drummer John Dufilho somewhat quietly debuted yet another new project last week at the Double Wide. Backed by Andy Lester and Bill Spellman — better known as the rhythm section from The Blurries — Dufilho describes the sound of his new Cliffs of Insanity trio as “fuzzy + reverb + punk rock + surf beat.” Fortunately for those of us that missed that band's debut, its next show will come soon enough, on October 12, again at the Double Wide, where they band will open for locals American Werewolf Academy and The Happy Bullets.
Lastly, a couple of things to keep an eye out for: Denton's Pageantry, which is back from a recent tour of the Midwest and finds itself opening tonight's Midlake show at Dan's Silverleaf, recorded a session for Daytrotter while out on the road, and you can expect that to be posted in the coming months. Also? Drug Mountain, which played the first of three scheduled reunion gigs over the weekend, has been recording some new material as well. And you can preview one of the noisy-as-ever demos here.
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