Preview: 35 Conferette – Denton – 03/10-13/2011

35 Conferette Is Upon Us

4 Days, 13 Stages, and well over 200 bands all at our disposal. Wrap your head around that, North Texas.

I honestly don’t know where to start. This weekend’s 35 Conferette in Denton is shaping up to be a sensory overload. Little D’s answer to the bloated SXSW event in Austin each spring has made it to its 3rd year; if 2009 was about putting on a festival, and 2010 was about outdoing the first event, 2011 is about sustaining and making a mark for N. TX festivals. At only 3 years old, 35 Conferette is still in its infancy, gaining a foothold on the festival landscape.

2011 sees the festival scaled back a bit from last year, at least in bigger name firepower. 2010 brought Oklahoma “indie” giants The Flaming Lips in for a free-for-all with Denton heroes Midlake, while securing the services of famed producer, former Big Black member and current Shellac guitarist/vocalist Steve Albini to town as keynote speaker and a Q&A session.  2011 is all about standing on its own, even rebranding itself from the NX35 moniker it had used previously.

I don’t mean to say there aren’t quite a few notable acts on this bill. Far from it. And diverse as well. Several big names have signed on this year, from superstar Big Boi (Outkast), dance punk pioneers !!! (Chk Chk Chk), English indie gothers Esben & The Witch, gospel marvel Mavis Staples, 80’s revivalists The Pains of Being Pure at Heart, Reggie Watts, Portugal. The Man, Dr. Dog, Generationals, Local Natives – the list goes on, literally. (To view full schedule, click here.)

What about locals you ask? N. TX has a very vibrant local scene. Not to worry, as virtually every local act making a name for themselves is on this bill: Sarah Jaffe, Telegraph Canyon, The Orbans, Seryn, The Cush, Descender, Nervous Curtains, Boom Boom Box, The Burning Hotels, Spooky Folk, Doug Burr, Maleveller, RTB2, Saboteur – again, another list that could continue.

If it’s a small conference (hence the name “Conferette”) shouldn’t there be discussion as well? There certainly will be. Throughout the daytime there are panels and speakers tackling a wide range of subjects and topics: entertainment law, local women in rock, making a career in music – these are just a few of the discussions taking place throughout the weekend. (Click here for all daytime activities.)

Therefore, the description of sensory overload is pretty accurate. What is my plan for this weekend? To see as many new acts as possible without missing anything else and hopefully get into a discussion or two. A daunting task? Yes. Am I up for the challenge? Indeed. Will I be tired Monday? Yes indeed.

Will it be worth it? YES. INDEED.

~ by thesynaptic on March 10, 2011.

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