Denton’s music scene free, open and accepting

Denton’s music scene free, open and accepting

Del the funky homosapien preforms during Oaktopia music festival saturday evening at the Wells Fargo Parking lot. Del perfomed later then expected due to misplaced mixers.

Denton’s music scene free, open and accepting
August 05
14:30 2016

Daniel Berrios | Contributing Writer

Denton is a college town, and as such, is fueled by the energy of students. But don’t assume the town relies on them. Even on a Wednesday night in July, the Square beams with local music.

Located behind Abbey Inn on Hickory Street, the Abbey Underground doesn’t look particularly special. Light is sparse, casting the room in various shades of brown. The lone clack of a pool ball, John Wayne’s “Rio Bravo” and The Smiths are the only distractions from the chattering of seven other bar patrons. Here, every conversation is in earshot.

Every Wednesday is Open Jam Night, starting at 9 p.m. However, this time, the jam started at 10.

Summer vacation may drop attendance, and the closing of Rubber Gloves Rehearsal Studio in May put dampers on some spirits, but Paulo “Apollo” Castillo, a member of local disco rock band Starparty, didn’t seem worried.

“There are staples still around,” Castillo said, referring to venues such as Dan’s Silverleaf and Andy’s Bar. “And house shows are just everywhere right now, if you know who to talk to.”

Oaktopia 2015. Kristen Watson | Contributing Photographer

Oaktopia 2015. Kristen Watson | Contributing Photographer

The jam is more of a hangout than a concert. Musicians slide from the stage to a bar at a moment’s notice. A set that started with 12-bar blues moves to disco, hard rock and a cover of Black Sabbath’s “Paranoid” where the vocalist used a talkbox.

The talkbox wielder is Jonathan Jake Steinberg. Aside from being the Underground’s booking agent, he’s the guitarist and singer for Starparty, a band he described as a “laser light masquerade show.”

Steinberg said the Underground splits bands into three categories: out-of-town touring acts, established local acts and new talent. The jam, he said, serves partially to find new talent.

One recent talent is James Norton, a guitarist influenced by virtuosos Yngwie Malmsteen and Joe Stump. Behind Norton’s shoulder-length blond hair, he’s all smiles. The 24-year-old Texarkana native moved to Denton three weeks ago from Boston, where he graduated from Berklee College of Music with a bachelor’s in guitar performance.

Underground rapper Christopher Avant has won awards for his music and resides in Denton, Texas. Hannah Ridings | Senior Staff Photographer

Underground rapper Christopher Avant has won awards for his music and resides in Denton, Texas. Hannah Ridings | Contributing Photographer

Despite his happy attitude, Norton said playing live makes him nervous, but that won’t stop him.

“I hate being a slave to my fears,” Norton said. “So I immerse myself. That’s the only way to get over them.”

One of Norton’s proudest moments was an open mic at Andy’s Bar where his audience started with four people and ended with 30, all there for him.

There’s no animosity in the scene, Steinberg said. In fact, he said the opposite is true.

“The common denominator is acceptance, freedom of expression,” Steinberg said. “We’re all striving for expanding our art.

He said the Denton scene is, in one word, positive.

“No matter what you do, whether it be music or theater or art, there’s going to be an outlet that’s very accepting for you,” Steinberg said.

Figure 1: Click the event calendar below to see Denton’s live music events over the next three weeks.

Featured Image: Del the funky homosapien preforms during Oaktopia music festival saturday evening at the Wells Fargo Parking lot. Del perfomed later then expected due to misplaced mixers. James Coreas | Contributing Photographer 

About Author

Reporter

Reporter

Related Articles

0 Comments

No Comments Yet!

There are no comments at the moment, do you want to add one?

Write a comment

Write a Comment

Search Bar

Sidebar Top Ad Banner

Social Media

The Chestnut Tree Bistro

Flytedesk Ad

Sidebar Thumbnails Ad

Twitter Feed

North Texas Daily @ntdaily
Aug. 14 Deadline's coming up for fall applications. illustrators, photogs, writers, graphic designers come one, com… https://t.co/fIhdkUcel2
h J R
North Texas Daily @ntdaily
Done for the summer. Look forward to the fall.https://t.co/3PwYgtQbLh
h J R
North Texas Daily @ntdaily
New CLASS Executive Dean Tamara Brown is a first-generation college student and considers herself a lifelong learne… https://t.co/kY1v8TjVHS
h J R
North Texas Daily @ntdaily
Coalition of minority-led activist organizations denounced hate crimes in a Wednesday press release, demanding that… https://t.co/OugqnnP3UW
h J R

Sidebar Bottom Block Ad