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Sam Chown of the band Zorch also plays solo as Schmu. He’ll be at house venue Macaroni Island on Wednesday night.
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Denton eases back into semester life with a little noise

Classes haven’t yet resumed on local college campuses, but Denton’s venues are hustling this weekend anyway.

Local soul-tinged indie band Black James Franco gets the weekend started today at Rubber Gloves Rehearsal Sudios, 411 E. Sycamore St.

The trio plays a busy bill, sharing the stage with Fort Worth experimental rockers Cleanup, Denton fusion rockers Off World and Denton math-rock duo Biscuit Head.

Black James Franco might consider itself inspired by hip-hop (among other sounds), but rock sounds like the pre-eminent influence. Jazzy riffs are kicked out of the Muzak bin, and the vocals are reminiscent of Brandon Boyd instead of Boyz II Men. When bassist Elliot Edmonds, guitarist Julio Sanchez and drummer and vocalist Eddie Terrell get together, the sound is more psychedelic than soulful.

Denton’s Def Rain, the brainchild of Ashley Cromeens (of Neeks and Record Hop), is an electronic project that sets longing vocals on top of smooth and trance-y electro-beats. After hearing Cromeens give her pipes a Joplin-esque whipping, it’s surprising to hear her affect an alto crooning more like Sade.

Def Rain will polish the dusty edge off the usual Americana grit at Dan’s Silverleaf, 103 Industrial St., on Friday. The band shares the stage with Diamond Age and the Night Game Cult. Music starts at 10 p.m., and cover costs $5.

Macaroni Island is one of Denton’s busiest house show venues, and Zorch member Sam Chown makes the trek up from Austin to play under his solo persona, Schmu, on Wednesday.

How to describe Schmu? One could call Schmu the result of adding a test tube full of shoegaze into a beaker of electronica. But that would only make sense if you hear tunes like “She’s Leaving” and “Made of Stone” on a homemade mix tape exposed to a little too much heat. Warping, warbling tones are set adrift as clear vocals float, untouched by the tape-melting heat, over them.

Schmu makes music you can sway to, puff your e-cigarette to and tip a cup to. It’s a little ambient and a lot hooky.

RTB2, Human Behavior and Peopleodeon are also on the bill at 8 p.m. Wednesday at Macaroni Island, 2311 Houston Place. There’s no cover, but attendees are urged to donate to the touring acts.

— Lucinda Breeding


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