Matty J's Summer Slam Will Prove Punk Rock Still Lives

Matt Jones singing along to Marked Men, a band he considers to have had the most influence on him.
Photo by Michael Briggs

Punk rock did not die with Rubber Gloves. Venues close and reopen, but music lives on. Thank the kids. Thank the musicians. Thank the community that doesn’t forget how cool it is to support independent music. Matt Jones has had a blast being in the thick of it, and now he’s throwing a hell of a party before he starts attending the University of Minnesota to pursue a master’s degree in Science, Technology, and Environmental Policy. 

That party (i mean show[mini-fest perhaps]) is called Matty J's Summer Slam, and is happening at Denton County Brewing Company on Saturday July 7, 2018. In a way, the send-off is an homage to legendary DIY venue, 1919 Hemphill.

Summer Slam poster design by Andi Harman

“I'm looking at the list of bands playing and essentially every band is made of members who I met at 1919,” Jones said. “I'd argue that 1919 Hemphill is at least as important to the Denton music scene as The University's music program, since so many of us moved to Denton after spending our high school years at shows at the Fort Worth venue.”

That lineup includes Two Knights, Joy Sores, Mean and Ugly, and Echo Spring to name a few of the 13 bands booked. Haven’t heard of them? Here’s a chance to break away from the comforts of a Spotify playlist that knows you better than the Delos engineers know the hosts in Westworld. 

Also part of the festivities is a comedy lineup hosted by Nick Fields, and a drag show curated by Beyonca Deleon. It was important for Jones to include friends he’s made at Crossroads Bar, a place where he said he’s had some of the best nights of his life.

“The karaoke is a rush, the staff feels like a family, and what first seems like a clash of cultures between southern cowboys and flamboyant queer folks seamlessly melds into a positive environment of people united because they are all there for the same thing, to have to good night and forget whatever bullshit they dealt with all day,” Jones said. “If anyone should feel out of place there it’s me, the cishet college boy in a Hawaiian shirt up on the stage screaming Rage Against The Machine into a mic for the 5th weekend in a row. But they welcomed me too.”

What Summer Slam is ultimately about, are the people that make up the music scene. It’s not only about supporting local music. Get asses out to see a touring band and toss them a few dollars so Denton can also be a destination town for touring musicians. 

When Rubber Gloves closed, there was rightful fear because losing a place that was willing to have open-minded booking is damaging. Since then, J&J’s Basement has re-opened, Dan’s Silverleaf has opened up to more genres, and Andy’s Bar has welcomed drag and burlesque shows to the Square. 

This is Matt Jones doing music things
Photo by Paul Silver

“Music should bring people together, if people aren't socializing at your shows, your band probably sucks,” said Jones. “Frankly, I don't think it is the town's job to amplify local bands. It is local bands' job to practice, write good songs, and play good shows. It is the town's job to donate to touring bands, buy merch, make Denton a destination for touring bands. Hook up out-of-towners and they will return the favor when you come through their town.”

For more information on Matty J's Summer Slam, visit their Facebook event. The event kicks off at 2 p.m. at Denton County Brewing Company, located at 200 E. Mckinney St. There will be free pizza provided by Almost Famous at various points of the day. 

Set times according to the Facebook event:

2:00-2:30 Tornup (Inside)
2:30-3:00 Kiel Grove (Inside)
3:00-3:30 Echo Spring (Outside)
3:30-4:00 Skin Failure (Inside)
4:00-4:30 Kira Jari (Outside)
4:30-5:00 Joy Sores (Inside)
5:00-5:30 Basketball Shorts (Outside)

5:30-7:00 Comedians 

Javoris James
Dalton Pruitt
Lauren Marie Reilly
Taylor Higginbotham
Taylor Vinson
Hosted by Nick Fields

7:00-7:30 Break for Pizza (Drink some water too)

7:30-8:00 Filaments (Inside)
8:00-8:30 Mean Girls (Outside)
8:30-9:00 Mean and Ugly (Inside)
9:00-9:30 Body Pressure (Outside)
9:30-10:00 Stymie (Inside)
10:00-10:30 Two Knights (Outside)

11:00 Drag Show curated by Beyonca Deleon. 

Photo of Matt Jones singing at a Marked Men show by Michael Briggs
Flyer designed by Andi Harman courtesy of Matt Jones
Photo of Matt Jones doing music things by Paul Silver
Header image layout designed by Mateo Granados