Business of spin

Dustin Blocker started Hand Drawn Records in 2006. He saw untapped potential among indie bands across North Texas — including Denton acts. He wanted a label that would serve musicians, not shoulder past them in hot pursuit of a big, blinking bottom line.

We're Denton Dammit!

Denton resident and Texas Poet Laureate Karla K. Morton has been traveling with fellow Laureate Alan Birkelbach in “Words of Preservation: A Poets Laureate National Parks Tour.” The National Park Service tour is a three-year project the pair launched last year to contribute to the exploration, preservation and protection of the country’s natural spaces for the next 100 years.

Festival champions living-room stages

There’s been a lot of talk over the past year about the uncertain fate of Denton’s music scene. After the closure of revered venues Hailey’s, Rubber Gloves Rehearsal Studios and, most recently, the basement at J&J’s Pizza, many entertained the idea that the city’s role as an independent-music powerhouse had ended. How can a scene survive without concert venues to showcase its talents?

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‘Woolf’ trap

Denton Community Theatre closes its run of Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf this weekend. The drama by Edward Albee examines the hostilities exchanged between tenured history professor George and his alcoholic wife, Martha.

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They’re on a mission from God

Music Theatre of Denton has announced its cast for Sister Act, a musical based on the 1992 movie about a disco diva named Deloris who witnesses a mafia crime and is put into protective custody — in a convent. Deloris clashes with the rigid lifestyle of the sisters and with the formidable Mother Superior. But transformation comes when the beleaguered singer breathes new life into the choir and community.

Universal Pictures

‘Split’ has personality

This review marks a difficult time to write. Not because I’m not sure of how I felt walking out of my screening, but because to talk too much about Split is almost a nose-dive into spoiler territory. Let’s just say it’s definitely one of those movies we recommend going into as cold as possible — where the less you know, the better. If you need some evidence to convince you, however, I’ll carefully tip-toe around the concept as much as possible and focus on its sheer thrill.

Another course examines Kanye

ST. LOUIS — A new course at Washington University in St. Louis is focused on the world of Kanye West.


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Cause celeb

Sometimes, all the “little people” wince when American royalty — movie stars, A-list athletes and musicians — wax political. And when celebrities air their opinions in designer gowns from the red carpet or the stage at awards ceremonies? Viewers talk back. (And tweet back, post Facebook status updates and record reaction videos on YouTube.) Plenty of people cheer the celebrities for speaking their minds, but critics speak up, too.

We're Denton Dammit!

Hear ye, hear ye: Voting for the Denton Art and Music Awards is now open. Plucky upstart blog the Dentonite is the organizing force behind the awards. A ceremony will be at 7 p.m. Feb. 11 at the Campus Theatre, with an after-party at 11 p.m. at Dan’s Silverleaf. Ballots are available online at www.damawards.com. The blog is still courting sponsors to cover the rental of the Campus Theatre.

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Big, bad ‘Woolf’

The small cast of Denton Community Theatre’s Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? said the brutal drama by Edward Albee is exhausting.

Visual Arts Society of Texas

Art from these parts

The Visual Arts Society of Texas opens its 11th annual 125-Mile Visual Arts Exhibition with a reception from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Friday at the Patterson-Appleton Arts Center, 400 E. Hickory St.

UNT student to perform in chamber concert

Hao Miao, the 2015 winner of the Concerto Competition at the University of North Texas College of Music, will perform 7:30 p.m. Jan. 27 at Trinity Presbyterian Church, 5500 Morriss Road in Flower Mound.

Concord Records

Songs set to backdrop of film

Two University of North Texas alumni will get the spotlight during the Denton Black Film Festival.


Months in the making

Choreographer William “Bill” Evans leads rehearsals for University of North Texas dance students in September, in preparation for the faculty dance concert on Feb. 9-12. The concert, “Standing on Shoulders,” will feature original dance works choreographed by guest artist Evans and teachers from UNT’s Department of Dance and Theatre.


Boys don’t cry

Writer-director Mike Mills’ remarkable 2010 film Beginners, starring Ewan McGregor and Christopher Plummer, was a comedy-drama loosely based on the filmmaker’s own father who came out of the closet in the later years of his life. Now Mills directs his pen and camera at his mother’s story for another wonderfully wrought, fictionalized tale.


In housing market, mobile homes fill gap

When Mary Ann Ridenour and Bill Ridenour became empty-nesters last year, their 3,200-square-foot home suddenly seemed superfluous. As many couples at this stage of life do, the Ridenours decided to downsize. But unlike many others, they left their big house in a golf course community for a trailer home.


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Common ground

The Denton Black Film Festival eases into this year’s fest with its second “Building Bridges” community event on Jan. 21. And thanks to sponsors, this year the pre-festival event is free.

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Lil’ D NYE: Arts & Advocacy was a rousing success. The Patterson-Appleton Arts Center was jumping for during the city’s first big New Year’s Eve bash (that we recall, anyway). The high-roller room was full, and patrons met busy gaming tables at the casino night fundraiser for the United Way of Denton County and the Greater Denton Arts Council.

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Pump up your resolve

So you want to get fit in 2017, but aren’t sure you want to commit to a membership. Denton Parks & Recreation has a solution for that: audition select group exercise classes for free.

Twentieth Century Fox

‘Hidden’ deserves to be seen

Theodore Melfi’s buoyant Hidden Figures is an old-fashioned feel-good movie with powerful contemporary relevance, spearheaded by a trio of unstoppable actresses playing black women who wouldn’t be stopped.

Paramount Pictures

In quiet awe

Christianity and cinema have not always meshed well. Filmmakers seeking to intertwine the two face a delicate balance: to embrace the ideals of faith while still providing a tangible story to which moviegoers can relate. Whether it’s a drama about a near-death experience or the next Kirk Cameron movie, many directors lean heavily on Christian forgiveness to paper over fundamentally flawed filmmaking.

Focus Features

Gnarled heart beats in ‘Monster’

From its elegant title to its unexpectedly edgy tone, A Monster Calls makes its own way. There is magic, real magic here, and if it doesn’t manifest itself in every frame, it’s just going to have to be that way.


Make room, make room

It’s January, and that horrible closet is begging for a makeover. If you don’t know where to start — and if you can’t get into Marie Kondo’s “spark joy” mantras — your local library can rescue you. All it costs is an hour and a half of your time.


Power up with a smoothie that’s lower in sugar

The smoothie has become ubiquitous because it makes healthy eating sound easy and attainable. I’ll admit to you right here: I love smoothies — throwing a bunch of things into a blender and then sipping on my breakfast. The more nutrients I can cram into that cool and creamy treat, the better.


Small changes

We make ’em, we break ’em. New Year’s diet resolutions fall like needles on Christmas trees as January goes on. Genes can work against us. Metabolism, too. But a food behavior researcher has tested a bunch of little ways to tip the scale toward success.

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Carey ‘mortified’ by live TV disaster

Mariah Carey says she was “mortified” in “real time” during her disastrous live performance moments before the ball dropped on ABC’s Dick Clark’s Rockin’ New Year’s Eve.


Elvis’ home-away-from-home could be razed

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — As a teenager growing up in the 1950s, Steve North would look for the pink Cadillac outside a stone house on the outskirts of Nashville. If the car was there, Elvis was in the building.


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Build a better year

Now’s the time for eternal optimists to look ahead to the new year. With 2017 almost here, some people are ready to tweak, calibrate and challenge themselves to be something they weren’t in 2016: energized, organized, productive and more vital.

We’re Denton Dammit: Best of 2016

For the final 2016 edition of Denton Time, the staff brings you their favorite mentions and items that made the column this year.

Josh Fox

Year's best films made viewers think

Looking back on 2016, you could easily label it as a bad year for movies. Plenty of titles harbored the potential of climbing the cinematic ladder to greatness, but many struggled to break through and find their audience.

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Cover art

You don’t have to part with that tattered hardback book collecting dust on the highest shelf. You can turn it into a bag.

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