The Draft: We Pick Our 35D Teams (A 35 Denton Preview)

With 35D coming up this weekend, we thought it would be fun to draft bands and artists. Is this dumb? Yes. But it wasted a decent amount of the time Zac Crain and I should’ve spent doing other work. 

Brad: Alright, I’ve donned my traditional 12-button Draft Day suit, Chris Berman is sweating in the corner, Stuart Scott’s lazy eye is drifting across Radio City Music Hall, and I’m ready to go.

Should we flip for the option of the first pick, or the next two picks? I’ve found an online coin flipper, and it will allow us to flip a American Buffalo 24-Karat Gold Coin. I don’t think these coins exist outside late night television.

I’ll let you do the honor. Winner decides whether to grab the number one pick, or picks two and three.

Zac: OK. I call heads and it is coming up … tails. So the choice is yours: No. 1, or Nos. 2-3. I know what I’d do.

Brad: I’m taking two and three. The torch goes to you, sir.

Zac: Damn. That’s what I wanted to do. Anyway, with the No. 1 pick — holding up jersey — I pick:

The Jesus and Mary Chain.

Sort of obvious, but I think it’s a little too early to over-think things.

Brad: They were never going to slip past number one.

With the second pick (holds up Houston Rockets jersey), I select Bun B, the trillest OG. Somewhere, Pimp C is smiling, and wondering how they ever got on that Jay-Z track.

The third pick, in honor of 2009 NBA Draft third pick James Harden’s beard, is Built to Spill.

Zac: Definitely had feeble hopes that Bun B would fall to me magically at No. 4. Maybe not quite so feeble since you are openly wondering “how they ever got on that Jay-Z track.” Come on, son. “Pocket Full of Stones.” Never mind. Forgot you just got to Texas.

ANYWAY. With the fourth pick, I’m taking the Mountain Goats, in part, because of this song:

“The Best Ever Death Metal Band in Denton.” But I’d also take them for covering Jawbreaker’s “Boxcar”  —

— and changing to lyrics to “like watching Cops ands reading Didion.”

And with No. 5, The Raincoats — holds up a nubby cardigan — give me an unstoppable 1-2 U.K. nostalgia punch.

Brad: The “how they ever got on that Jay-Z track” was more of a point about the stylistic differences between Jay and UGK, but I don’t want to get fired up. You jacked The Raincoats from me, though, so there must be repercussions.

I’ll take Devin the Dude at six, and create a two-headed Houston monster to battle your UK behemoth.

As for Mr. Dude, no Wikipedia entry has ever perfectly encapsulated someone as well as this one: “He smoked marijuana for the first time at a skating rink in seventh grade, which would later become a major influence on his music.”

At seven, I’ll take Best Coast, because I’m a sucker for female lead singers, and my fiancé does a pretty decent rendition of “Crazy For You.”

Actually, I’d be a liar if I didn’t say this pick was based exclusively on this music video:

If we had a draft of music videos by 35D artists, we’d only need one pick to finish the draft.

Zac: OK, OK — you’re off the hook for the UGK non-diss.

Moving on: at No. 8, I’ll go ahead and take the Dum Dum Girls. Best Coast may have a slight edge in the female-fronted department, but I think they can keep it extremely close. Not to bring up another cover, but their version of the Smiths’ “There is a Light That Never Goes Out,” one of the most romantic songs EVA, is one of the best I’ve heard. And I have heard a lot of them.

At No. 9, I’m taking Atlas Sound. I guess Deerhunter gets more run, and that’s understandable, but honestly I’ve always preferred this Bradford Cox project. I saw them play in the rain at Fun Fun Fun Fest a couple of years back, and it’s pretty much the best soundtrack for standing in the rain, though I wouldn’t recommend doing a ton of field research.

Zac: And John Vanderslice is now getting nervous in the green room.

Brad: He’s the Matt Leinart of the 2012 D 35D Draft. Which makes me feel bad (Is John Vanderslice the Nicest Guy in Rock?), but not enough to pick him yet.

At 10, I’ll continue to build my rap monster with Danny Brown. I like a man that’s confident enough in his talent that he doesn’t need to be Lil Danny Brown. I’m also under the impression that every show by a Detroit artist somehow supports the creation of those Chrysler commercials, so I’ll do my part.

Eleven will be The Hood Internet, based solely on this:

These dudes can pretty much just play that on loop and I’ll be happy.

Zac: Motherf*cker. I was kicking the tires of Danny Brown, but I definitely wanted The Hood Internet. When the drums come in on the chorus here —

— I mean, as far as these types of things go, nothing’s better.

[Deep calming breath.]

Twelve. Hm. I think I’m veering off the big board. I’m going with Psychedelic Horsesh-t, because I am a sucker for anything on Siltbreeze and for bands that sound like they record everything on an old Walkman. The latter doesn’t always pay off live (see: Wavves, touring behind their first joint), but I feel comfortable here.

And at No. 13: Cowboy and Indian. Not gonna lie, this has a lot to do with the presence of Jesse Plemons, and TEXAS FOREVER, jerks.


Zac: I really wish Crucifictorious had always remained that way, instead of changing to impress Tyra. But whatever.

Brad: I appreciated their Flaming Lips cover, but yeah, I think the sludge scene could’ve really taken off in Dillon.

For the fourteenth pick, I’ll take Purling Hiss, because I like my punk when it sound like it’s coming out of a sealed bank vault.

At 15, I’ll take the first area band off the board: Old Snack. I hope the stage is littered with years-old Cheetos, chicken wings, and PopTarts.

Vanderslice is now eight Anchor Steams deep, and his cuticles have been reduced to the bone.

Zac: I’ll follow up your local pick with another: at 16, Denton’s Bad Sports. It’s an uncomplicated — that’s a compliment — mix of Buzzcocks/Ramones-type first wave stuff, which is like the fork of music. You’re not going to improve upon the design, but if you do it really well, it doesn’t matter.


And keeping it local: True Widow goes at No. 17. They keep it simple in a different way. It’s slow and loud and and sort of beautiful and ominous, a glacier, maybe, every once in a while calving a big chunk of ice into the sea.

Man, I’m actually feeling a little guilty for not picking Mr. Vanderslice. I do enjoy your music, sir. Promise!

Brad: We’re coming to the end of the draft, which means I’ll be looking for my Manu Ginobili. Or at least Chucky Atkins.

To continue with our local trend, I’ll go with Legsweeper. Because if you’re not gonna bring it when you’re opening for The Raincoats and Built to Spill, when will you?

My last pick, in the honorary Jay Reatard slot, is Xray Eyeballs. This is based solely on the prospect that their name is the absolute truth.

That leaves you with one pick. The crowd (except for those six Jets fans who always stick around) has left, and Vanderslice has now turned his table guests’ napkins into tiny origami rabbits.

Zac: I’m afraid John Vanderslice is going to have to be the Lenny Cooke of this draft. I hope leaving him out doesn’t mean he’ll gain 100 pounds and really bum out Amar’e Stoudemire when he hears what happened to him. (For all of those references: go here.)

I’m going to finish this off with Baptist Generals, and not just because Chris Flemmons is the guy who got this all started. Their live shows — last one I saw was unamplified and like an ad hoc living room show, performed on a big rug on the floor of the club — are stellar, and they do their thing (it’s roots music, and not just I-grew-a-beard roots music — more like my-brother-lost-an-arm-to-a-Bluecoat-bayonet roots music) better than just about anyone.

Sorry, again, John.

Brad: Final lineups:

Zac Crain: The Jesus and Mary Chain, Mountain Goats, The Raincoats, Dum Dum Girls, Atlas Sound, Psychedelic Horsesh*t, Cowboy and Indian, Bad Sports, True Widow, Baptist Generals

Brad Pearson: Bun B, Built to Spill, Devin the Dude, Best Coast, Danny Brown, The Hood Internet, Purling Hiss, Old Snack, Legsweeper, Xray Eyeballs

Quick analysis: You picked a well-rounded, entertaining-for-all festival. I’ve picked the 2004-2007 Phoenix Suns: all flash.

Zac: I’d (mostly) agree with that, and both have their advantages. But I would certainly caution anyone coming to mine to bring extra earplugs. And a sensible amount of peyote.

For more information on the festival, head to 35D.

Image: Built to Spill