More than 50 people piled into the cavernous DIY venue known as The Majestic Dwelling of Doom to see Shiny Around the Edges play a passionate, "secret" performance—a show which Michael and Jennifer Seman are calling the band's last Denton gig for a "long, long while." "We're bidding adieu to Denton," Michael says before the show. "But not in the forever sense. We'll still visit. We have too many friends here not to."
So, why is the band that moved to Denton from Los Angeles five years ago moving to Dallas this weekend? "Jen and I are both going back to school full time for our Ph.D.s," Michael says. "Jen was offered a fellowship at [Southern Methodist University], and then I was offered an assistantship at [The University of Texas at Arlington]." Originally, the couple didn't have "grand designs" to move to Dallas. "But to be honest," he says, "we've played a lot of great shows in Dallas lately, and gotten to know some great friends, so after the UTA offer, it just seemed like everything came together at the same time."
Michael suggests that, thanks to a burgeoning "nexus of creativity" within the artistic community, Dallas could soon see an influx of people. "There is some sort of gravity going on, and I wouldn't be surprised if we don't see more people moving to Dallas in the near future." (I should probably mention that the Ph.D. Michael's working on is in urban planning and public policy.) So, why would someone choose Dallas over say New York, Portland or even Austin? "With the current economic climate, it's less of a gamble," he says. "And with a stronger regional economy, it gives one more time to work on whatever projects they are developing, whether that's school, a start-up company, films, a band or, in our case, a new album."
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Shiny's debut full-length album, Holy Roller, was released on California indie-label Sounds Are Active this March, but, since then, Kerm Rivas of Delmore Pilcrow (formerly of the fantastic Fra Pandolf) has officially joined Shiny on bass and vocals. Instead of packing for the move, the band spent the weekend with Matthew Barnhart at The Echo Lab mixing material for Shiny's next album. "The album's done," Michael says. "We didn't plan any of this, but once we started working with Kerm, the album just came together." Shiny's new material seems even heavier than before, but you may have to wait a while to hear it. "We're gonna be massively busy with school and work, and we'll be in transition for a while," Michael says. "But we're also excited about bringing some things to Dallas. We'd love to do our [annual] bake sale there this fall." —Daniel Rodgrigue