image: Thorpe Griner
Pleasant Grove at Harvest House. Image: Thorpe Griner

Energy teemed around the downtown Denton Square as the first series of bands and performers readied themselves for flocks of festival attendees. Staff writer Violet Ravotti was at Banter to check out the Singing Bowl Lady, Sandee Conroy, with Jeffery Barnes and it was an excellent way to warm up her senses and prepare for the sea of music 35 Denton weekend had to offer.

The performance was very trance-like and the vibrations strongly resonated, we could feel the currents shifting in the air as Conroy spun the roller tip around the quartz crystal singing bowls. It was very compelling and the crowd was able to fall into a deep meditative state, enjoying the relaxed and balanced echo of the bowls. Alongside her, Barnes played on various instruments such as a bell tree, a soprano saxophone, a small thunder machine, gongs, and an Indian flute. It was a stirring and artistic sight to see. We appreciated seeing the Tibetan bowls because the sheer size of them was astounding, and being made of quartz that seemed to emanate a glow.

Ravotti also had the pleasure of checking out Austin based band, The Human Circuit. “It doesn’t really matter where you go when you die. It matters where you go when you’re alive.” This lyric from The Human Circuit filled Ravotti with wanderlust, a want to know more, to travel and hear so much more diverse music. It has been a journey about letting go and allowing the music to transform your spirit. It eases the burdens and pressures off you to have a map of where to go next in life; it instills a powerful feeling that faith gets things started.

Staff writer Danielle Longueville was on double duty at the Greater Denton Art Council’s Patterson-Appleton Center for Visual Arts, better known on the streets as GDAC. The venue’s freshman 35 Denton debut played home to the most fabulous 35 Denton kick off we’ve seen yet, featuring  local musicians and bodacious babes Kaela Sinclair, Jessie Frye, and the out-of-towner-bad-Betty’s of Hustle Roses. The Hope Trust rocked their second live performance since their farewell show in 2014.

Kaela Sinclair at GDAC. Image: Zach Ashcraft
Kaela Sinclair at GDAC. Image: Zach Ashcraft

If you’ve haven’t had the chance to check out Kaela Sinclair, put that music in your life. Sinclair’s performances never cease to impress, invigorate, or captivate the eyes and ears of audience members of all ages. Her full-bodied, celestial sounds were both completely mesmerizing and awe-inspiring. Kaela’s cover of MGMT’s “Electric Feel” always finds a way to stir that inescapable urge to dance within the souls of anyone within earshot.


Jessie Frye at GDAC. Image: Hillary Head
Jessie Frye at GDAC. Image: Hillary Head

Man, oh man – we LOVE Hustle Roses! From matching space-glam iridescent boots to sick-nasty super beats, the ladies of Hustle Roses really showed Denton just how LA does the electronic music scene. The stage presence of these two ladies wasendlessly energetic and playful, with an overlaying sense of an apparent sisterly bond between the two musicians. Their adoration for sharing a stage together made you love their music that much more.

The Jessie Frye Band didn’t just bring the house down, they bulldozed it! Frye does everything in her power to be just that, a force field of POWER. Frye is the ultimate trifecta of passion, energy, and drive. Every twist and turn of her body impeccably translates to the heart and soul of her music while her bandmates wail away in their own realm of pure awesomeness. Such a great performance, as always.

Staff writer, Morgan Gentry got lucky and made it out to Dan’s Silverleaf in time to see one of her favorite Dallas-based surf-punk bands, Sealion. You can never go wrong with a lineup of surf-punk, garage rock and 60s girl group vibes! Sealion’s high energy and catchy tunes will have you bobbing around throughout their whole set. The fourtet is so much fun to jam with! Their songs are full of heavy reverbs, a sweet amount of trashy punk vibes, and a perfect mix of infectious melodies laid over each track. Their latest release, Heavy Fizz, is worth checking out! A few of our favorites are “Naked,” “Perculator,” and “Wet Jeans.”

Next up was the ever so darling Blaire Alise & the Bombshells. She had us at hello! This three-piece hails from Detroit and has that Mid-West spunk with a 60’s girl band sound and just the right dose of pop that you can’t help but jam to. They enjoyed playing at 35 Denton just as much as 35 Denton enjoyed swaying along to their infectious tunes. Taking over the outdoor stage at Dan’s, Blaire kept us engaged and laughing throughout the whole set. We hope they come back soon!

Blaire Alise & The Bombshells at Dan's Silverleaf. Image by Thorpe Griner.
Blaire Alise & The Bombshells at Dan’s Silverleaf. Image: Thorpe Griner.

Their latest release, For My Darlin’, is available online.  A few of our favorite songs are “Throwing Away,” “I Got Something,” and “Don’t Come Around No More”.

Also reigning from Dallas (and good buds with band Sealion), Party Static is sure to bring out your inner (or outer) wild side and have you moving every inch of your body. The five piece band brings different aspects that make up the grimy nonsensical sound. The two leading ladies were so much fun to watch; they’re one big ball of carefree greatness. As the guys shredded their instruments the ladies filled in with whimsical shouts and funky dance moves. If you want to have some bona fide fun then Party Static is the band for you! Check out their recently released EP My Cat Doesn’t Like That.

After that, Gentry made her way to see Corners at Hailey’s. Turns out there was a party at Hailey’s, too! The band was sending infectious pulses of great music and good vibes to the crowd as they played one hell of a show. Coming from out west, Los Angeles to be exact, these guys brought that new age LA punk to 35 Denton and we weren’t fighting the feels!

Image: Thorpe Griner
Image: Thorpe Griner

The start of 35 Denton 2015 showcased different niches in each venue. Friday night you could find different crowds cheering for the taste of music they adored the most. Staff writer Mo Kahn was at Service Industry, a recently opened bar and food combo, who hosted DIAMOND AGE. The band was a mixture of electronic and techno music. A middle aged man with no eyebrows and clown makeup took the floor zoning in and out of the music as couples nodded their heads making their way up to the front.

Kahn later headed to downtown the Denton Square for a show at West Oak Coffee Bar. Dave Coulter with Jeffrey Barnes and Drew Phelps played for a very relaxed crowd. Everyone was comfortably composed in the chairs with coffee or beer in hand as the band played slow, classical, jazz pieces. It almost pulled everyone a few decades back with smoky bars and soothing tunes.

If you wanted intense music then you could have easily walked around the corner to the next venue to check out their performance. By the end of the night, everyone found their taste and rekindled their love for music with 35 Denton.

The music of growing artists fills up the void in one’s spirit that questions your status in life and the thirst to achieve your passions. It’s a time to instead discover yourself and express your identity, not to worry about comparing yourself. Because life is a stage and we should make the most of it. All these performers have something in common, they have heart and they have faith in their spirits. You feel it in your gut, it’s a yearning to be discovered and once you can be at peace with yourself then it’s easier to find.

Words by: Danielle Longueville, Morgan Gentry, Violet Ravotti, & Mo Kahn
Images by: Thorpe Griner, Hillary Head, Jordan Fraker, Zach Ashcraft, Patrick Kratz, & Jonathan Silverberg


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