TACO FEST 2K13
What: Total Twit production collective presents a two-day music festival with bands on two stages.
When: Starting 3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.
Where: Taqueria El Picante, 1305 Knight St., facing the I-35E frontage road
Details: Admission costs $5 each day. Lineups are subject to changes and additions.
On the Web: http://on.fb.me/16hVItu
SATURDAY’S LINEUP: Negaduck, Primitive Orgasm, Sin Motivo, the Sentenced, Mean and Ugly, Chainchomp, Contusions, Estonia at the 1944 Olympics, No Outlet, Macaulay Culkin, Night Crimes and more.
SUNDAY’S LINEUP: Track Meet, Brain Gang Blue, the Distressers, SeaLion, New Science Projects, the Atomic Tanlines, FOGG, Bukkake Moms, the Half Truths, Special Guest, Varsity Cheerleader and more.
“I never thought of the taqueria as a (DIY) spot,” said Sven Wilde, who morphed his business, Taqueria El Picante into a taqueria-punk venue in Denton. “People just seemed to want it.” The taquieria is the hotspot for this weekend’s Taco Fest 2k13, a two-day bash celebrating a growing punk & hardcore music scene. Photo by David Minton.
Tacos and punk rock go together like peanut butter and jelly, as far as Denton’s
Ally Alli Play-Nice* and Sven Wilde are concerned.
And it makes sense. Tacos are simple and spicy affairs, messy food you eat with your hands and wash down with a cold drink. Punk is young, bare-knuckle conviction screamed into a microphone and caterwauled from a guitar.
Punk and tacos have no pretense, and neither do Alli and Wilde.
Alli, the front woman of the rising Denton punk band the Atomic Tanlines, met Wilde, local music fan and
owner representative of Taqueria El Picante, at a bar.**
“We started dancing with each other,” Alli said. “We caught other’s gaze. He was dancing really silly and I started dancing right next to him.”
“It got some attention, if I remember right,” Wilde said.
“Oh, yeah. The dance floor cleared out around us because we were dancing crazy,” Alli said.
They got a drink afterward and a fast friendship was sealed. Saturday’s Taco Fest 2k13 grew out of an instant connection.
But first came the punk and hardcore shows Alli booked at the small taqueria (which Wilde calls Denton’s oldest taqueria).
“There needs to be more DIY places in Denton,” Alli said. “I just asked Sven if I could book a few shows at the taqueria and that was pretty much it.”
Wilde served up tacos for the first few shows, and eventually started making tamales for the young bands and fans who gathered to watch. The birth of Saturday’s Taco Fest 2k13 is a weekend celebration of this Denton concoction – tacos, cold drinks and punk music.
Taco Fest is the first big test of Total Twit, Alli’s fresh young production and booking group that aims to increase the profile of female, ethnic and queer artists in Denton, Dallas and Fort Worth.
“Sven and I are part of the local queer community, and we’re a couple of kids of color,” Alli said.
Another part of Total Twit’s mission is space.
“There aren’t a lot of DIY spaces for punk and hardcore music in Denton, which is a real shame because the punk and hardcore scene in Denton is exploding right now. The number of bands has tripled in the last year. And all the best punk bands in DFW have played the taqueria,” she said.
Alli Play-Nice, shown here growling into the mic at Rubber Gloves Rehearsal Studios, has started Total Twit, a booking and production company that specializes in getting more punk and hardcore music gigs fronted by women, people of color and queers.
Total Twit is upfront about its show policy: no sexist, racist, homophobic or ableist attitudes or behaviors are acceptable.
“If your music is sexist, racist or any of that shit, sorry, you’re not playing the taqueria,” Alli said. “Sometimes people get upset with me for talking about it. They’re like ‘why do you even need to bring that stuff up?’ I bring it up because there aren’t many spaces in the music scene for women, people of color and queer people.”
Taco Fest is a fundraiser for the taqueria and a community PA system.
“My parents started the taqueria eight years ago, and I’d like to give it more of my own aesthetic,” Wilde said. “I’d like to stretch the kitchen. I’d like to have the seating area be just a seating area, with no refrigerator and no buffet table. We don’t have a buffet, but we have a buffet table. I’d just like to make some changes.”
Alli said that if there’s anything left over, she’d like to work on getting a sound system that Total Twit could rent out to bands.
“PA systems are expensive, and not really easy to move around, and I think it’d be cool to have a community PA we could rent out to other bands,” she said.
Taco Fest starts at 3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday at Taqueria El Picante, 1305 Knight St. The bands will play 20 minute sets on two stages — one inside the restaurant and the other in the garage.
Alli said all the bands are worth the $5 cover for both days. Some acts, though, she’s excited about.
“Negaduck is a band that was around two or three years ago, and they’re having a reunion. They’re just really rowdy hip-hop. They’ll fit in great.”
Alli also looks forward to seeing Brain Gang, a new band called Contusions, and Sin Motivo.
“Saturday is a Golden Triangle punk-hardcore show, and Sunday is our party-on day,” she said.
Wilde said the pair hopes to make Taco Fest a semi-annual bash.
“I think we should think about doing another Taco Fest after school starts,” he said.
– Lucinda Breeding
* Alli spelled her name during the interview, and we still managed to get it wrong.
** Wilde will inherit the taqueria from his mother, who owns the family business.