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Hear The Shins channel pop’s dancehall craze on “Painting A Hole”

The Shins photo by Nikki Fenix | courtesy of the artist
The Shins photo by Nikki Fenix | courtesy of the artist

Last year, America’s obsession with dancehall reached critical mass with Drake’s smash hit “One Dance”. In the months that followed, its influence was all but inescapable in mainstream rap and pop, but never in my wildest dreams did i imagine it would make its way to The Shins. The singles leading up to their new album Heartworms have thus far stayed true to form for the band, but on new cut “Painting a Hole,” they employ a slowed-down take on the dancehall groove to bizarre effect. What’s even more bizarre is that it actually kind of works. Stream the track below. Continue reading →

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Listen to “Name For You,” the latest single from The Shins’ new album Heartworms

The Shins | photo by Nikki Fenix | via NPR Music

James Mercer’s beloved indie pop outfit The Shins returns this year with their first album since 2012’s Port of MorrowHeartworms is out March 10th on Aural Apothocary / Columbia Records, and the band today just shared its second single, following the Halloween-centered “Dead Alive.”

The new “Name For You” is a shimmering nugget of pop perfection in three minutes and change — a bouncing beat, radiant synthesizers and Mercer’s stratospheric voice delivering the hook. Give it a listen below, and check out the band’s 2017 tour dates so far. Continue reading →

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Get STRANGE with the Halloween-ified Indie Rock HAUNT Parade!

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A very special Indie Rock Hit Parade is in store for you tonight at 11pm ET on WXPN: Listen after Land of the Lost with Robert Drake for the annual Halloween edition, known as the Indie Rock HAUNT Parade! Celebrate the spirit of the season with two hours of thrilling, chilling songs from some of your favorite indie bands. Classics from Mudhoney, Neko Case and Beat Happening stand alongside new tricks and treats from The Shins, The Wytches and Shilpa Ray! Preview a few of the newer tracks below (if you dare), and don’t forget to join me on Monday night at 8 for more coffin-shakers on the XPN Halloween Spooktacular!

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Watch Dr. Dog’s full performance on Austin City Limits

Dr. Dog hit the stage at the Moody Theatre in downtown Austin, Texas for the latest episode of Austin City Limits.  You can watch the Philly band’s debut ACL appearance below courtesy of PBS (their set begins at 26:30 minutes into the video behind a set by The Shins).  If you like what you see, download NoiseTrade’s free Dr. Dog fall sampler here.

Watch The Shins / Dr. Dog on PBS. See more from Austin City Limits.

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Miike Snow at Electric Factory, The Shins at Tower Theatre

Miike Snow is the ugly cute of electronic pop. It sounds great from far away; upon closer examination, there’s definitely something off—and yet, somehow that makes it more endearing.  The trio’s 2009 self-titled debut referenced bestiality in “Plastic Jungle”, dispelled a common misconception in “A Horse Is Not A Home,” and the chorus of “Burial” confessed to becoming a serial killer. This year’s Happy To You has been praised for sounding excellent, as could be expected from a trio in which two members are producers. Yet, the music video series that accompanies the album could not have been expected. With two videos out and more promised, the series features sets of twin girls from outer space who kidnap people and, using chain saws, surgically transform them into clones of a dancing super-human named Jean Noel. But it’s Miike Snow, so actually, this isn’t so surprising. Miike Snow performs with Penguin Prison at 8 p.m. at Electric Factory; tickets to the all-ages show are $25. —Naomi Shavin

A lot has happened in the five years since The Shins’ last album in 2007. The indie-rock band, centered on James Mercer, changed labels, lost every founding member of the band (sans Mercer), and then took a break while Mercer worked with Brian “Danger Mouse” Burton to form Broken Bells. And just when Shins fans were wondering if they’d ever see new material, Mercer returned with a new supporting band and a new album, Port Of Morrow, released last month. Morrow has a more polished sound, showing Mercer’s influence from Broken Bells, but it’s still a Shins album at heart with the jangly pop sound the band’s known for. Mercer plans to focus back on Broken Bells after the band finishes their tour, but hopefully that won’t mean another five years for the next Shins album. The Shins perform with Real Estate at 8 PM at the Tower Theatre; tickets to the all-ages show are $27.50-$45. —Nicole Soll

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Photo Recap: Popped! Music Festival featuring The Shins, Cage The Elephant, Panda Bear, Pretty Lights, Girl Talk, + more

All photos courtesy of Kevin Kennedy over at The Swollen Fox. From The Swollen Fox’s review of Popped! Music Festival, Day One:

Even before a single band had hit the stage, this year’s Popped! Music Festival was not off to a good start. Just a few days before the festival, organizers had to make the gut-wrenching decision to move the festival indoors due to the forecasted weather. No one can blame them for the move; they can’t control the weather and it’s certainly not their fault FDR Park wouldn’t be able to survive both the rain and thousands of people pounding its grounds. Nevertheless, no one seemed to be all that happy about the unfortunate move.

For the full review of the entire festival (including a ton of additional photos of each performing act), as well as a comprehensive calendar of upcoming shows in Philadelphia, visit The Swollen Fox. (Thanks to Kevin for sharing his photos with us.)

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Watch The Shins (performing at Popped! on September 23rd) cover David Bowie and play a new song

The ShinsThe Shins’ first tour in three years is off to an epic start: In the first two nights, James Mercer and his new touring lineup have both covered David Bowie and debuted a new song. Supporting lead singer/songwriter/guitarist Mercer on this tour is an all new band, featuring Yuuki Matthews of Crystal Skulls, Joe Plummer of Modest Mouse, Richard Swift, and Jessica Dobson. The first treat came on Monday night at Wow Hall in Eugene, Oregon, when the group took on Bowie’s 1980 hit “Ashes to Ashes.” Check out a fan-captured video of the performance below, via One Thirty BPM.

The group continued to dish out the crowd-pleasers last night at the Domino Room in Bend, OR, performing a brand new song. The tune is rumored to be called “For A Fool,” and although Mercer noted that, “It’s a slow song, sorry,” you probably won’t find his apology necessary if you’re a fan of The Shins. Another audience-captured video can be found below, via The NJ Underground.

It was recently announced that The Shins will release their fourth studio album sometime in 2012 on Mercer’s Aural Apothecary Label. The group’s current tour will stop in Philadelphia on September 23rd to play the Popped! Music Festival at FDR Park. Single-day tickets are available for $59.50, with two-day passes going for $110; both options can be purchased here.