While Austin boasts what the country recognizes as the premiere music conferences, South By Southwest (SXSW), Denton has one of its own: North By 35 (NX35).
Named after the interstate that links the two Texas cities, NX35 is in its infancy (2010 was its second year) and still has that wonderful rough-at-the-seams charm that comes at the beginning. Last week, Denton (just north of Fort Worth) performed very well, even scoring The Flaming Lips for a free outdoor concert on Saturday night.
Dan’s Silver Leaf performed just fine, too. This laid-back bar and performance venue was crowded throughout most of the four-day “conferette” as it welcomed local and national acts to its intimate stage, many bands getting that first great introduction to a wider audience.
Dan's Silver Leaf in Denton, TX, home of NX35.
Owner Dan Mojica introduced me to
Trumer Pils, a crisp and clean pilsner from Berkeley (via Salzburg, Austria) with a brilliant chardonnay gold color. Very balanced with honey and dried fruits, subtle hoppiness, and a quick finish of citrus and earth.
NX35 is going to get bigger. It’s going to get better. So fans of live music ought to start making plans for next March’s shows (before this whole thing gets too overwhelming). And, if otherwise in the Fort Worth area, take the hour-drive north on the 35 to check out Denton and to hang out under the neon green longhorns with Dan and company.
Anthony Head is Texas Editor for THE TASTING PANEL magazine. Read more on his website: