35 Denton Scores The Jesus and Mary Chain, First U.S. Performance Since 2007

In a huge booking coup for 35 Denton, iconic British act, The Jesus and Mary Chain, will be closing out the festival on Sunday, March 11. This will be the first time the mercurial band from Scotland, who once referred to themselves as “so much better than everybody else,” will play in the United States since their lauded and much discussed reunion at 2007’s Coachella, which they headlined. It is the first time the band will land in Texas since the 1990s.

Even though the endlessly quotable group themselves can be said to have copped some of rock’s most basic elements (sunglasses, leather jackets, good hair, and tons of reverb and guitars), there are few bands who have been as aped as they have been since their original heyday. A “Jesus and Mary Chain-type band” has become its own genre.

Needless to say, booking the Scottish band, which will also play this year’s South by Southwest after 35 D, as well as shows in Houston and New Orleans, certainly changes the current conversation about what is supposedly “wrong” with Denton. After all, I don’t know of a Dallas festival that has scored a name like this, specifically one that is as unmatched in both critical acclaim and popularity.

And as usual, the festival is offering a special with this announcement: You can purchase a wristband for fifty dollars, as long as you do so within the next two days, or 50 hours. So, you’re actually getting a couple of extra hours to think about it.

Here’s 35D’s promo video celebrating the announcement (featuring The Baptist Generals‘ version of the JaMC classic “Head On”), and the full release from 35D below:

THE JESUS AND MARY CHAIN, Confirmed Artist 35 DENTON 2012 from 35 Denton on Vimeo.

With acts ranging from The Raincoats to Built to Spill, this year’s 35D lineup is a force to be reckoned with. We now add to that list one of the most iconoclastic groups to emerge from the 80’s–reuniting for their first performance in five years, The Jesus and Mary Chain. Formed by brothers Jim and William Reid, The Jesus and Mary Chain have blazed through trends in pop music since the release of their seminal debut Psychocandy in 1985. Through their various incarnations, the brothers Reid built upon the primitive surf guitar sounds established by Chuck Berry and the Beach Boys, updating it to the degenerate 80’s generation: Sex, Drugs and Rock n’ Roll wrapped up in a blistering, fuzzed out three-chord onslaught that is often imitated but never surpassed.

2008’s phenomenal 4 CD Box Set of B-sides and rarities The Power of Negative Thinking– followed by the equally impressive 2011 deluxe reissues of all five of the band’s albums–reminded music fans of The JAMC’s prolific influence on the past 30 years of pop music. Their songs have been featured in Sophia Coppola’s films and in 2007 they appeared onstage at Coachella, joined by JAMC fan and aspiring chanteuse Scarlett Johansson. Rabid fandom for the band still shines just as bright as it did 30 years ago, leading a new generation of restless youth to discover their music. The brothers have teased the existence of a new album. Could their appearance at 35D bring that holy grail a little closer to reality? Here’s to negative thinking!

Wristbands for the festival, happening in the heart of Denton, TX March 8-11, are $50 for another 50 hours. This is your last chance at this price!

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  • Bruce Tomaso

    I think you mean Sunday, March 11.

  • Bruce, how ever did you guess? Must have been a stab in the dark.

  • Bridgette Bishop

    So, the mechanisms that have been heavily branding Denton just scored another point in lameness. The Jesus and Mary Chain? Very boring, very predictable. It used to be nice to live in Denton and see raw, unexploited local music. Now I can look forward to a sea of facebooked millennials awash in weekend boutique leathers reading Barnes and Noble grimoires defending knowing “Just Like Honey” from the soundtrack to that bland, bourgeois Sofia Coppola film.