NX35 2009: We Built This City on Indie Rock

With NX35 fest, Denton music lurches toward capitol-city status.

Back when our alcohol tolerance and idealism knew fewer bounds, we had a series of late-night conversations with Chris Flemmons of the Baptist Generals about an(other) scene-stoking idea he had.

He wanted to organize a mini-music conference showcasing Denton’s music and art intellegentsia. It should retain the scene’s DIY ethos but still be easily navigable by members of the press.

The event would be held in conjunction with the famous Austin festival South by Southwest, as a side-dish of sorts amid all the hype; referencing Denton’s position above Austin on a main thoroughfare, Flemmons would call the project NX35.

Years later, the heady NX35 conferette is debuting on its own legs -- in downtown Denton, no less -- on March 12-15, overlapping ambitiously with SXSW. We're not surprised; Denton has always an experimental energy setting itself completely apart from and above Austin's new music.

Paste magazine named Denton "Rock City" the Best Music Scene of 2008. The New York Times noticed the community of vigilantes in a travel piece last spring, noting Denton’s rise as hip Austin neighborhoods were gentrifying, disillusioning many musicians and music fans.

Thanks to this attention, Flemmons’ scheming and a slew of volunteers, the first sketch of a lineup thick with heavyweights from or associated with Denton has been announced. Chairman of the Inner-Circle Cody Robinson has the list, approaching 50 bands and subject to change, at No Fold.

Will Denton be the next Austin? Is it already? As longtime Denton Record-Chronicle features editor Lucinda Breeding wrote of the matter, “When that happens -- if that happens -- Denton will have quite a lineup for the celebration.”

UPDATE: KERA's Art&Seek Blog has an interview with Flemmons' on his hopes for the new festival.

Lyndsay Knecht Milne is a copy editor at the Denton Record-Chronicle. She has lived in Denton for five years, so this entry is itself an unavoidable, incestuous conflict of interest.

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