It List: Dallas Area Music Offerings for July 18

Cool Out (Beauty Bar): Fort Worth’s Greg Watton will be joining the usual duo at Cool Out tonight, and the veteran DJ will only add to the depth often presented at the weekly.

Watton has an excellent and soulful mix on his music page, starting the burn slowly with an instrumental version of “Mercy Mercy Me,” then picks it up with Cymande’s “The Message,” before expertly descending again into Luther Vandross’ classic take on the sentimental standard, “Superstar.” A quick listen to that last track makes it clear that this was the template for much of the R&B made in the next couple of decades, but make sure and listen to the mix, entitled “Saturday Morning,” in its entirety.

Boxcar Bandits/Hares On The Mountain/Seth Sherman (Dan’s Silverleaf): The beloved Boxcar Bandits will be making their regular Monday appearance at Dan’s, however tonight will also feature a couple of pretty special guests. The local act is Denton super-group Hares on the Mountain, which combines the talents of two of Denton’s most dramatic songwriters, Ryan Thomas Becker and George Neal, along with drumming from renaissance sound-person/studio engineer/singer and instrumentalist Justin Collins. Additional players help to reinforce the bombast of folk music that is so forceful in execution, each line so strongly enunciated, it borders on overzealous religiosity.

The opening act was a last-minute addition of Austin’s Seth Sherman, and while I have been receiving some nasty mail lately about how allegedly biased I am in my music coverage, I will just come out and say that I’m highly biased when mentioning Sherman. To give both biographical and autobiographical insight, I met Sherman when he wasn’t much more than a charming, but intimidating borderline music bully that rode my bus in high school and taunted me for wearing a Muddy Waters t-shirt that first and fateful week of 9th grade (that would be Muddy Waters the musician, not the bar). Sherman respected the blues-man just fine, however, he was also quick to point out that there was a world of music I had perhaps been underexposed to beyond Classic Rock and The Blues.

The teen displayed an extraordinarily preternatural gift for both musical ability and musical knowledge, seemingly possessing an encyclopedic breadth of internalized information that wasn’t always the business of your average suburban troublemaker in 1994. In short, Sherman introduced me to everything from Free Jazz to Texas Psychedelia to Power Electronics to Outsider Songwriters to Modern Composers  to Hardcore Rap to Early Electronic pioneers and beyond. He also taught me how to play the drums, guitar, and bass and we performed together for over ten years. His openness to so many styles and the quick humor with which he dismissed the contrived and the insincere is something that has always stuck with me. I wouldn’t be writing this if not for Sherman.

Over the past fifteen years, he has created clunky Garage Pop, One-Chord Noise Punk,  complex and alternately-tuned folk compositions, and, finally, the classically conventional Pop record it seems he has waited his entire life to record. Entitled When The Moment’s True, Sherman recorded the album alone, an instrument-at-a-time until the project was complete. The more obvious the influence the better, with clear homages to the pluck and twang of The Lovin’ Spoonful (Think “Nashville Cats“), the poignancy of Chris Bell, and the fluid acoustic ease of John Fahey. That should be out soon on Nine Mile Records. Try to make this show if you can. I’ll gladly be carrying equipment for the guy and his backing band.

Image: Seth Sherman in live performance. Courtesy of Seth Sherman.

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