I won’t lie, the last Denton festival gave me a few anxiety issues. Going into Festival Mode in your hometown is a bizarre phenomena — face it, the way you behave at a music festival should probably function differently than when you are going about your day-to-day small town business. Not in Denton (or rather, not for me. Jupiter House seems to be rather stocked with “normal” people “working” and such), and certainly not during Arts and Jazz Fest. I am presently huddled at a coffee shop, fliers piled high beside my computer and Odwalla, Trombone Shorty playing in my ear again, while a stack of tonight’s shows wait for my attention.
Allow me to make your life all easy and fonky-like with a bossy list of musical options just for you. Your ears will thank you (and your ass may follow).
5:30 — Park yo self at the Jazz Stage in time for Keith Anderson and Full of Soul — whom you can also catch at the Boiler Room after Chick (probably around 10.30). Here we have some Bobby Sparks, Jason “JT” Thomas, and Todd Parsnow action and you have no excuse whatsoever to end this day before hearing these tasty Dallas morsels play.
7:00 — Stay put for the One O’ Clock Lab Band. These guys are especially fun this time of year, with many inches from graduating and all of them under loads of ridiculous pressure inherent to the fires of the North Texas Jazz Program. This is a good thing, it puts a nice edge over the ensemble. This year’s Lab is on fire, fresh from a Grammy-nod tour through the West Coast (excuse me, Double-Grammy-nod), and a healthy amount of time spent with Lyle Mays — and they’re opening for Chick Corea! That’s a good head space for a musician, and it will be fun to see how it translates through their particular energy.
9:00 — Chick Corea. Remember how excited everyone was that the Flaming Lips were playing NX35? Well, everyone else is that excited about Chick. The hippies are even rumored to return (they’ve been steadily migrating to Kerrville and the Bay Area for the past year or so).
May as well mention now that this whole festival is free. After Party’s are another story, but it’s not like you can go to bed right after seeing Chick Corea. Here are your Square-shaped options:
Cold Fusion Jimi Tunnel (Carly Simon, Arcadia) will be hosting a little after party, including a few of his friends in town for the festival. Expect an intimate, listening room vibe high on energy and impressive name-dropping. 212 East Hickory at Industrial (across from Dan’s).
Boiler Room: Catch Keith Anderson if you were still stuck in traffic at 5:30, and for the love of god, make sure you are there ’round midnight. New Vintage hasn’t played in a minute and that shit has gotten tight! They’ve been writing new tunes, practicing their asses off, and have added Graham Richards’ budding hip-hop sensibilities (that’s him on one-armed keys at the end of the new Freeway and Jake One album, The Stimulus Package). It’s going to be a massive show, I cannot believe they made me wait a year in between playing shows. Jerks. 101West Hickory.