Come One Come All – Denton’s Cultural Year Gets Underway

| February 17, 2015

#dentoning Thin Line Film Fest Denton35 #denton35 #thinlinefilmfest

Denton, the City I live in, is a place that is in a visible cultural flux these days. It can hardly be considered a place occupied by “Culture on the Skids” anymore. Our struggle to find our future identity reached the National news stage recently, with the fracking ban (and again this week with a City-wide texting ban). The “good old boys” are virtually extinct, as progress steamrolls them into oblivion. And the PEople of Denton have stepped into the void left by an impotent, antiquated City government structure, and are feeling the empowerment (and necessity) to create their own local laws.

Make no mistake; Denton is not weird. It’s no Austin, and it no longer is called “a little Austin,” or anything else that mired it an identity crisis for decades. During all those years (and even now) the Grammy winning Brave Combo proudly announced the were “from Denton Texas!” – bands like the Old 97’s, Edie Brickell and Nora Jones (to name a few) – did their best to leave the town behind. Brave Combo – one of a kind.


Denton has even been slapped around by Austin in recent years when a threatened lawsuit by the kind, gentle hipsters at South X Southwest thought one festival 35North was too closely named. That’s what a 21st. Century UT education gets you – lawyers. Denton’s event quickly changed names.

Denton is art, music and culture – before the storm. There are fits-and-starts of “festivals” and “conventions” that are an integral part of our growing pains. Right now the Thin Line Film Festival is about to kick off here in Denton, and attendees can expect to see a lot of art, hear a lot of music and watch a bevy of new films.

A good example of how Denton remains off the radar, in a nutshell, is the band I love so much Midlake. They have followers that include Jeff Tweedy and Jay Farrar, and are considered musician’s musicians, tour overseas, and open for the likes of Neil Young. One of their fans, Jason Lee (My Name Is Earl “fame”) co-directed and produced the new film “Midlake: Live in Denton,TX,” and that film will be shown and discussed this year at the Thin Line Film Fest. Apparently, Lee is a long-time fan too.

Last year’s film “When We Were All Broncos” is about as local focus as a Film Fest feature could get, while this year the broad appeal of star power and one of the greatest unknown bands in the world – IS APPARENT.

Currently Denton remains insulated from the hordes that would come from Dallas because of the deplorable conditions of I35E that leads from Denton to Dallas. Coming and going is a pure gauntlet of danger and stress, one that anyone would, given the option, avoid. Your best bet, should you want to miss the bulk of danger, is to drive at a time other than primetime. These driving problems are not exclusive to this part of North Texas; the entire DFW region is a cauldron of horrible, dangerous and auto destructive driving conditions right now.

This year’s first shot of Denton Awareness is the Thin Line Film Fest – see – where days of music, movies, lectures, interviews and exhibits begin tomorrow and run through the weekend. There are a lot of heavy hitting bands headed to town for this, but pay special attention to the Dan’s Silver Leaf venue and the band Seryn closing the weekend at Dan’s Sunday night.

In March, it’s the Denton35 – that runs March 13-15. Then, come April, it is the most widely known event, Denton Arts & Jazz Festival – .

Best of all, in May school UNT and TWU, lets out and about 40-thousand people vanish for the summer, as the school year gives way to the laid back life in Denton, Texas. And the fish will be biting.

We will feature more on these individual events as they approach. Call or e mail if you have more questions on the logistics of getting to Denton. We do have direct rail to Denton from Carrollton that stops about 100-yards from the start of these venues. And all of these events are within walking distance of the NTTA A Train stop in Denton.

Stay tuned!

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Category: Culture on the Skids, Eating and Drinking, Life Observed, Music

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