1) Seeds of Change: at the picnic show on Friday I had met a young lady, Elise, and many of her cohorts who were involved in a ministry to the homeless called Seeds of Change. Her description sounded an awful lot like Food Not Bombs (there is indeed a FNB in Denton, but they are not affiliated), so I was immediately hooked. She invited me to check it out on Saturday.
2) Flaming Lips: the climax of the NX35 festival was to occur at the Midlake/Flaming Lips concert at the Denton fairgrounds on Saturday night. The long-anticipated show was free to all and expected to be a huge success, among the biggest things to happen to Denton.
My plans were slightly diverted in the morning when one of Jake's room mates, Aaron, offered to treat me to breakfast at Cups and Crepes. I ordered a cheese and veggie crepe and shared illuminating conversation about existentialism, politics, and life in general. When we were all done I walked about half a block away to the Christian Campus Center, where Seeds of Change fixes and serves a meal for the homeless. I talked with some of the volunteers as they worked (I'm a disaster in the kitchen, I don't even make an attempt) and ducked out for a few minutes to see the venue where I was to play on Sunday called Art 6. When I returned, the food was about ready to be served. I partook with my new friends.
I then walked back to Jake's house, as it was about time to head over to the fairgrounds for the Flaming Lips concert. As I approached his home, I spied a skeleton walking along the street toward me, smiling wide and waving. Sure enough, it was Jake. "I always dress up this way for the Lips," he explained, as he also frequents their annual Halloween skeleton parade in Oklahoma City. We walked together toward the venue and heard fantastic old-timey music along the way. Intrigued by the pulchritudinous sounds, we ventured into the backyard, where we watched an acoustic band named Frontier Ruckus, complete with bowed saw!
When we arrived at the grounds we caught another acoustic group called the Dallas Family Band rocking out in the field as the opening bands sound-checked on the massive stage. I got tired of subjecting myself to the sun's oppressive late day rays and retreated to the shade of the stage where I ran into another of Jake's room mates. We talked and waited as there was still at least an hour before the opening band would take the stage.
I'll fast forward through the rest of the concert. The first two bands were alright, I was largely unimpressed; and I think it goes without saying that the Flaming Lips were nothing short of stunning, what with the giant balloons, confetti, stellar light show, and of course great music. I thoroughly enjoyed the performance.
I went home immediately after the concert to shower after having had cigarette smoke blown in my face all night. Then I had another couch surfer, Valentina, pick me up at Jake's to enjoy the night together. We had not met yet, so I wanted a chance to spend time with her before I left Denton on Sunday. We went to a bar near the square, talked a bit about life, sipped on a Long Island iced tea, and played Jenga with short slabs of two-by-fours. It wasn't too late before I found myself falling asleep even while sitting up in a tall bar chair. So we headed to Valentina's place where I quickly fell asleep on her couch.