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The 35 Bands To See At 35 Denton.

By Cory on Wednesday, March 7, 2012 at 3:05 PM

Starting tomorrow at the 35 Denton festival this weekend, more than 230 bands will play sets spread across 13 stages over a four-day period.

It's a bit overwhelming just reading that sentence. Even as well-organized and easily walkable as the festival may be this year, it's still somewhat daunting to try and sort through the madness and make a proper game plan.

Let's face it: Any way you slice it, there's absolutely no way to catch every band, no matter how badly you want to. Unless, that is, you know where to get a time machine, in which case we urge you to contact us immediately.

Assuming that doesn't happen, here's the next-best thing: For the past few weeks, we've combed through the massive list of bands playing up in Denton this weekend and pared it down to the 35 bands we're most looking forward to checking out this weekend. Because, c'mon, picking the top 35 bands playing 35 Denton just made too much sense.


Thursday

Zorch
10:15 p.m. at J&J's

The Austin electronic duo incorporates synths, lots of pedals, live drums and an Omnicord to manufacture an absolute barrage of noise. It's a brutal assault that you can still dance to.

Bleached
11:30 p.m. at Labb

This sister duo kind of dulls punk's rough edges, taking sounds from bands like Gun Club and giving them a slightly sunnier outlook. Make no mistake, though: They'll still kick you in the teeth if you get to close to the stage.

Buxton
11:30 p.m. at Banter

The Houston natives and Old 97s labelmates would have totally been a part of that whole Dallas Family Band circle if they lived in the Metroplex. Denton is going to love these guys.

OM
12:30 a.m. at Rubber Gloves

Yet another worthy duo to catch tonight, this band's brand of stoner rock melds a kind of tempered doom metal with an almost minimalist psych rock feel.

Cowboy Indian Bear
12:30 a.m. at Denton Square Donuts

The Kansas band started out as a trio, but their name wasn't meant to imply as much. Now a four-piece, they rely heavily on carefully-layered and intricate arrangements and structures.

Designer Drugs
12:30 a.m. at Hailey's

When seeing pictures of this DJ duo, you'd never guess that the somewhat unassuming dudes you're looking at are, in fact, behind such heavy-hitting and dark electro bangers.

Typhoon
12:30 a.m. at Dan's Silverleaf

The Portland outfit routinely plays with 12 to 14 members onstage at a time, mixing strings and horns into their intricately-crafted, densely-layered orchestral pop tunes.

Friday
Mountain Goats
8 p.m. at Main Stage 1

We can only imagine how the crowd will erupt when they start to perform their sure-to-be-festival-favorite, "The Best Ever Death Metal Band in Denton." Hail Satan!

Coves
9:30 p.m. at Mellow Mushroom

Though not really a supergroup in the purest sense, Coves does feature some our favorite musicians from other Denton bands. Made up of Caleb Campbell, Benny Bailey, Roy Robertson and Jeremy Buller, Coves' electro-tinged garage pop is also a little different than anything we've heard from these players' other projects.

*Millionyoung
9:30 p.m. at Hailey's

See our upcoming Q&A with the band.

The Blurries
11:30 p.m. at Mellow Mushroom

This Dallas group features a trio of musicians once known as Slider Pines. Now their leanings for hooky, guitar-based jangle rock are only more pronounced.

SleepOver
11:30 p.m. at Andy's

The electronic-based project of Austinite Stefanie Franciotti, SleepOver creates some devastating, almost shoegaze-like ambient electro numbers, complete with that dubbed-from-an-old-cassette sound. They were a fan favorite at last year's inaugural Gorilla vs Bear Fest too.

John Vanderslice
12:30 a.m. at Dan's Silverleaf

Vanderslice is widely known as a studio tinkerer, laboring over his albums for months at a time, endlessly tweaking tones and structures. To say his songs are well-crafted would be an understatement.

*Hood Internet
12:30 a.m. at Hailey's

See our Q&A with the duo.

Saturday
Atlas Sound
5 p.m. at Main Stage 2

The solo outlet of Deerhunter's Bradford Cox, Atlas Sound generally relies on stream of conscious writing and performing, aided heavily by loop pedals and an array of effects.

Best Coast
7 p.m. at Main Stage 2

The L.A. band fronted by the cat-loving Bethany Cosentino formed just in time to cash in on that wave of sunny lo-fi beach pop that boiled over in mid-2010. The band has promised that their upcoming sophomore full-length will have a much more professional vibe.

Bun B
8 p.m. at Main Stage 1

The former UGK member is perhaps the most well-respected rapper to ever come from Texas, earning praise Jay-Z and the professors at Rice University (who've hosted his lectures) alike.

Bad Sports
10:30 p.m. at Andy's

The Denton punk trio shares members with Mind Spiders, who have earned much buzz nationally as of late. But Bad Sports had already managed to build tons of buzz on their own around these parts, due largely to their rowdy live shows. That "mustard incident" show on the roof of The Bone a couple years back stands out as particularly memorable.

Sundress
10:30 p.m. at The Labb

After two name changes early in their existence, Sundress has finally found a moniker that's stuck for a couple of years now. The local psychedelic and dream-pop outfit has been building much steam as of late, recently signing a booking deal with The Windish Agengy.

*Oberhofer
11:30 p.m. at The Labb

See our Q&A with Oberhofer.

Main Attraktionz
11:30 p.m. at Hailey's

This Oakland rap duo has caught some momentum lately, collaborating with Clams Casino and ASAP Rocky.

*Bare Wires
12:30 a.m. at Andy's

See our upcoming Q&A with the band.

Pond
12:30 a.m. at Banter

This Aussie band is kind of all over the map, sound-wise. Psych-rock is their bread and butter, but elements of glam, grunge, and electro are sprinkled in.

*Danny Brown
12:30 a.m. at Hailey's

See our Q&A with the rapper.

R. Stevie Moore
12:30 a.m. at Rubber Gloves

The home recording legend has released over 300 albums, but only recently wrapped his first-ever tour. His backing band, Tropical Ooze, plays their own set just prior.

Sunday
The Raincoats
5 p.m. at Main Stage 2

Sometimes, seeing a band just because you will probably never get another chance to see them again is reason enough to check them out. The Raincoats put out a reissue from 1981 and have performed a few reunion shows the last couple of years. But they've never before played in Texas.

Dum Dum Girls
6 p.m. at Main Stage 1

The retro-infused, lo-fi pop of the shy-ish Dee Dee and her all-female backing band is both charming and captivating. Our personal favorite is their cover of The Smiths' "There is a Light That Never Goes Out."

Built to Spill
7 p.m. at Main Stage 2

Built to Spill mastermind Doug Martsch has a way of taking audiences back to a time when the indie-rock guitar hero was still en vogue and contemporaries like Pavement's Stephen Malkmus and Dinosaur Jr.'s J. Mascis were in their prime. The band has continued to tour and release albums, but there's still that nostalgia factor that comes with seeing them play live.

The Jesus and Mary Chain
8 p.m. at Main Stage 1

The biggest coup in the festival's lineup -- and perhaps the biggest name they've landed in their four-year history -- The Jesus and Mary Chain are playing their first U.S. show in four years at 35 Denton. Just like in The Raincoats' case, you never know if this could be your last chance to ever catch them live.

The Treelines
9:30 p.m. at Sweetwater

It's hard to keep track of how many bands Ryan Thomas Becker is in these days. (Is it six? We think it's six.) Same goes for frequent collaborators Grady Don Sandlin and Tony Ferraro. Each are playing multiple sets at this year's 35 Denton. The Treelines, however, is the trio's latest partnership, this time serving as the backing band for Denton singer-songwriter Amanda Newton.

Psychedlic Horseshit
10:30 p.m. at Andy's

If you judged this band by name alone you'd only be half right: There isn't really anything psychedelic about the duo whatsoever. But their breed of angular, lo-fi noise-pop has been repeatedly branded as shitgaze, so there's that.

Purling Hiss
11:30 p.m. at Rubber Gloves

The power garage rock meets pyschedlic freakout that this Philadelphia throws down is kind of reminiscent of the earliest Nirvana recordings. It will sound absolutely blistering live.

Xray Eyeballs
11:30 p.m. at Andy's

You may have noticed the trend that nearly every band on the list has at least some elements of lo-fi to their sound. Xray Eyeballs goes a slightly different direction with it, incorporating elements of new wave and '80s-era noise rock into the mix.

Teengirl Fantasy
11:30 p.m. at Hailey's

When a lo-fi band wants to sound trendy nowadays, they put out music that sounds like it's played on a cassette. So it's not that surprising when a band like Teengirl Fantasy, with their beat-heavy dream-pop, chooses to go with an Angelfire-hosted page for their official site.

Peaking Lights
12:30 a.m. at Rubber Gloves

The two biggest trends from the 35 bands we selected were lo-fi groups and duos. Peaking Lights, fittingly enough, is both. The husband-and-wife duo is bringing psychedelic dub-pop back.

So and Sos.