Yesterday at NX35: Bringin' the Weird

Denton is a pretty weird cross-section of the world, and people are starting to notice--even the New York Times.

Denton by Aaron Jacobs.jpg
Aaron Jacobs

But the cold and constant rain didn't keep some of Denton's most eclectic weirdoes from showing up at the Denton Civic Center yesterday.

Their conversation was centered on the necessity of 'weird' in creative processes, their community and beyond.

90.1 KERA-FM radio personality Paul Slavens, horn player for Denton's Brave Combo Jeffrey Barnes and legendary underground comic writer Harvey Pekar were sitting behind a small table covered in papers and wooden flutes. The discussion was lively--and ran over its allotted time by almost 40 minutes.

An unofficial member of the panel, Pekar's wife did most of the talking. From her spot in the first row, she directed the conversation while knitting a fine-looking blue and purple something.

A scarf is my guess.

Dentonites like the understood weirdness that characterizes their town, and with it's growing popularity as a creative hub, they're worried that businessmen might move in and screw things up. The Fry Street fiasco still stings, and the idea that commercial encroachment could destroy other parts of Denton's weirdness looms.

Their worst nightmare? A Deep Ellum situation.

"I don't want what's here and cool to change," Slavens said. "We want more people to know about our weird thing but we don't know if we can survive being brought into the light."

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