Five stories that have North Texas talking: Denton has one of the state’s best yet most underrated scenes; a Texas twenty-something won $3,000 worth of Whataburger; Ethan Couch was sentenced to almost two more years of jail time; and more.
Musician and writer Jeremy Burchard advocated for the underrated music cities in Texas that offer as much talent and heart as the state’s musical metropolises (i.e. Austin, Dallas and Houston) in a recent article for Wide Open Country. Burchard specifically mentioned four cities: San Marcos, Denton, Nacogdoches and Lubbock, but the main takeaway from his article: Sometimes the best music can be found far from the big lights and on the periphery of tourist towns.
Staying in our neck of the woods — Denton is a serious “musical breeding ground,” Burchard said. For one, the University of North Texas has served as an incubator for notable names like Norah Jones, Don Henley and Roy Orbison, who were all former students, according to the article. Also, the school’s very own One O’Clock Lab Band, comprised of Jazz Studies students, has been nominated for six Grammy awards, according to the article. Another Grammy-winning act born at UNT — fusion band Snarky Puppy.
Midlake is another popular band that set the tone for the indie-folk presence in the D-FW city.
And there's no need to trek to Austin to scratch your festival itch. 35 Denton brings in national and local acts in March a week after South By Southwest. Even more, “the Denton Arts and Jazz Festival draws over 200,000 people every year and is actually put on by the city,” according to the article.
Ready to make a day trip yet? Before you head to Dan’s Silverleaf, Rockin’ Rodeo or Rubber Gloves Rehearsal Studio, watch a few KXT Live Sessions with Denton artists like Jessie Frye, Sarah Jaffe and Seryn.
Read more about the equally prolific and profound music scenes in San Marcos, Nacogdoches and Lubbock. [Wide Open Country]
- A Texas man won 10 years of free Whataburger because of his devotional tattoo. Blake Miller actually got the tattoo of Whataburger’s orange and white emblem before entering the burger chain’s Snapchat contest. The 22-year-old’s tattoo bought him $3,000 worth of Whataburger, and he plans to share the wealth. GuideLive reported Miller plans to buy Chop House Cheddar burgers for himself, a free dinner for friends in Ingleside, Texas and 50 No. 1's to pass out to “some of the homeless people along Ocean Drive, a street overlooking the Gulf of Mexico near Corpus Christi.” Read more. [GuideLive]
- Start planning for April 30 — The Dallas Book Festival schedule is out. The annual celebration of literature, arts and culture will be stuff 75 events into an eight-hour day at the J. Erik Jonsson Central Library downtown. More than three dozen authors, including Pulitzer Prize-winning author Lawrence Wright, novelist Jessica Knoll and Bryan Stevenson, founder of the Equal Justice Initiative, will present talks or participate in panels throughout the day, according to a press release. There will also be programming for kids, concerts and crafts as well as other special performances. And it’s all free, with the exception of a $10 breakfast offered during a sportswriting panel. See the full schedule here.
- Ethan Couch was ordered to stay in jail for nearly two years at his hearing Wednesday. The Associated Press reported: “State District Judge Wayne Salvant said Wednesday that Ethan Couch must spend 180 days in jail for each of the four people he killed in 2013 when he rammed a pickup truck into a crowd of people helping a motorist. The sentences will be served consecutively.” Wednesday’s hearing was Couch’s first time in adult court after his case was transferred on Monday, his 19th birthday. Read more. [The Associated Press]
- An Austin-based producer says Texas should rethink how it should attract filmmakers to the state. There are two notable yet antithetical premieres happening this week in the Texas film and television world: the 10th annual Dallas International Film Festival and The Real Housewives of Dallas. With that stark of a contrast in Texas-centric programming, how is the state seen on screens small and large? Who gets to determine how Texas is portrayed? How can Texas attract and better serve filmmakers? Texas Standard spoke with Austin producer Dominic Cancilla about the matter. Listen to the conversation. [Texas Standard]