As Denton’s DIY Performance Space Closes Up Shop, Artist Releases Exclusive Track

Our daily roundup of Texas headlines.

By Becky FogelAugust 11, 2016 11:05 am

The Standard’s news roundup gives you a quick hit of interesting, sometimes irreverent, and breaking news stories from all over the state.

Despite its claim as “The Live Music Capital of the World,” Austin has seen its share of loss recently when it comes to music venue spaces – big and small. Austin Music Hall is being demolished to make way for a mixed-use office tower, and the performance hub and music store Trailer Space closed its doors last October.

But it’s not the only Texas town losing long-standing venues. Denton lost three significant ones this year alone: Rubber Gloves, Macaroni Island, and Hailey’s. Now the basement underneath J&Js Pizza on the Square in Denton is changing hands and becoming a martini bar after hosting DIY shows for more than 20 years.

This week on our music series Cut In, we have an exclusive track by one of many performers who played their first solo shows in the basement. Dance producer Gavin Guthrie has made waves internationally with his analog synth jams since that set in 2005. The song “All Night Nippon” is from Guthrie’s project T-X Connect. The title comes from a replica of the original Super Mario Brothers on NES based on the Japanese radio program of the same name.

You can hear Guthrie’s track in the player above. 

An iconic figure of the West Texas borderlands has died. Marfa Public Radio’s Travis Bubenik reports Victor Valdez was beloved by many for his singing that welcomed visitors to his small town on the Rio Grande.

Valdez was a lifelong resident of Boquillas, a small Mexican town just across the river from Big Bend National Park that’s been a low-key tourist destination for decades. He was famous for his charming rendition of the classic “Cielito Lindo,” which he’d sing for tourists arriving in his town as they slowly rowed across the river.

Close friend and Boquillas resident Lilia Falcon says Valdez died at the age of 65 on Wednesday after experiencing chest pains.

She called him “an excellent man” and “a man of God” – saying he’ll be truly missed.

Valdez was one of the few lifelong residents of Boquillas to see a once-informal border crossing there reopened as a formal crossing in 2013, more than a decade after it was shut down amid the border security crackdown that followed the September 11th terrorist attacks.

Tributes and fond memories of Victor Valdez have already started pouring in on social media – it’s expected there’ll be a funeral in Boquillas in the coming days.

Country star Miranda Lambert is helping revitalize her East Texas hometown. Lindale officials reached out to Lambert’s family because they wanted help making the downtown area a destination and they were down to help.

First, Lambert opened a new location for her Pink Pistol Boutique at the end of last week. The Lambert’s were also instrumental in getting the Plano music venue, Love and War in Texas, to open up shop in town. The Lindale location will open its doors in late October.

England in 1819 performing in the basement at J&J’s Pizza in Denton, October 2013

Bobby Griffith/Flickr (CC BY 2.0)