Feb 26, 2007

Don't Mess With Denton

Denton, Texas.

I know next to nothing about this burgh at the northern tip of the Dallas-Fort Worth metro area except that it's a college town and that it's not the ultrahip Austin. I mention it because it seems to be the epicenter of an inordinate amount of good music. Really, outside of the anomalous Liverpool, what are the odds of one smallish town birthing two of my favorite bands? Denton is the home base of the once-punkish ethnomusicologists/polka enthusiasts Brave Combo. Through Brave Combo, I became aware of a rich Dallas-area scene that included the gypsy jazz/Western swing of Cafe Noir, the exquisitely honey-voiced yodeling of Randy Erwin, the demented Big Band sound of Little Jack Melody, and others.

Now, suddenly, there's Midlake, whose new record The Trials of Van Occupanther sounds a bit like Radiohead dipped in Fleetwood Mac. In other words, indescribably tasty. I can't quite figure out why their new tour will hit the West Coast and Europe but not New York. Maybe one day soon I'll have to make a trek to the Lone Star State's Northeastern corner and see if there's something in the water there that makes the muses flow. (The city's website has a quaint guide to the local music scene, but alas, Midlake hasn't made the cut.)

No comments: