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The Shins

A classic guitar pop group almost nine years in the making, Albuquerque, New Mexico's the Shins began in 1997 as the side project of singer/songwriter and guitarist James Mercer's primary band, Flake. Mercer formed Flake in 1992 with drummer Jesse Sandoval, keyboardist Marty Crandall, and bassist Neal Langford; they eventually changed their name to Flake Music, releasing several singles, a well-received album, When You Land Here, It's Time to Return, and touring with friends like Modest Mouse and Califone.

Soon after the release of When You Land Here, Mercer and Sandoval formed the Shins as a change of pace, playing as a duo with Cibo Matto and the American Analog Set. With Mercer as the Shins' primary songwriter, the group developed a more focused, crafted sound than Flake Music's charming, if somewhat rambling, collaborative style. Crandall, as well as Scared of Chaka's Dave Hernandez and Ron Skrasek, filled out the Shins' lineup; however, Hernandez and Skrasek left after a short while, due to the success of their main project. By 1999, Flake Music essentially disbanded and Langford also joined the Shins.

With a couple of 7"s on Omnibus -- 1998's "Nature Bears a Vacuum" and 2000's "When I Goose-Step" -- under their belts, the Shins embarked on a tour with Modest Mouse. Sub Pop's Jonathan Poneman caught the San Francisco date of the tour and asked the Shins to contribute a single to the label's Single of the Month Club, which eventually became an offer to release their 2001 single "New Slang" and their debut album, Oh, Inverted World. The group spent the rest of the year touring with acts such as Preston School of Industry and Red House Painters. The release of the singles "Know Yr Onion!" and "The Past and the Pending" kept the Shins' success going into 2002, cementing Oh, Inverted World as one of the definitive indie rock albums of the early 2000s and the band as one of the style's definitive artists.

By the time the band recorded their second album, Chutes Too Narrow, Langford was replaced on bass by Dave Hernandez (ex-Scared of Chaka). The album appeared in fall 2003, their first to reach the Billboard charts. The Shins' profile increased drastically the next year when actor Zach Braff included several of their songs in his 2004 movie Garden State with one of the main characters going so far as to proclaim that "New Slang" would "change your life." Its follow-up, Wincing the Night Away, appeared in January 2007 and sold over a staggering 100,000 copies in its first week. The Shins had never before hit higher than number 86 on the Billboard charts, but the album's sales snagged the guys a debut spot of number two. (This was also a record for Sub Pop itself, as the label had only previously peaked at number 79 with the Afghan Whigs' 1996 album Black Love.) It was also nominated for a Grammy for Best Alternative Album.

In 2008, the band announced that their contract with Sub Pop was up, and that their next album would be released through Mercer's own Aural Apothecary label. The resulting Port of Morrow featured an all new backing band, including fellow songwriters Jessica Dobson and Richard Swift, Modest Mouse drummer Joe Plummer, and Yuuki Matthews from the Crystal Skulls. It arrived in March 2012, received generally positive reviews, and promptly reached number three on the Billboard charts. ~ Heather Phares
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: Port Of Morrow

1. The Rifle's Spiral

2. Simple Song

3. It's Only Life

4. Bait And Switch

5. September

6. No Way Down

7. For A Fool

8. Fall Of '82

9. 40 Mark Strasse

10. Port Of Morrow

x

Track List: Wincing The Night Away

1. Sleeping Lessons

2. Australia

3. Pam Berry

4. Phantom Limb

5. Sea Legs

6. Red Rabbits

7. Turn On Me

8. Black Wave

9. Spilt Needles

10. Girl Sailor

11. A Comet Appears

x

Track List: Phantom Limb

x

Track List: Chutes Too Narrow

1. Kissing The Lipless

2. Mine's Not A High Horse

3. So Says I

4. Young Pilgrims

5. Saint Simon

6. Fighting In A Sack

7. Pink Bullets

8. Turn A Square

9. Gone For Good

10. Those To Come

x

Track List: So Says I (Single)

1. So Says I

2. Mild Child

3. Gone For Good (Alternate Version)

x

Track List: Know Your Onion!

2. My Seventh Rib (Live)

3. New Slang (Live)

4. Sphagnum Esplanade

x

Track List: Oh, Inverted World

1. Caring Is Creepy

2. One By One All Day

3. Weird Divide

4. Know Your Onion!

5. Girl Inform Me

6. New Slang

7. The Celibate Life

8. Girl On The Wing

9. Your Algebra

10. Pressed In A Book

11. The Past And Pending

x

Track List: Dead Alive (Single)

1. Dead Alive

x

Track List: Fighting In A Sack

1. Fighting In A Sack

2. Baby Boomerang

x

Track List: Goodbye Girl (CD Single)

x

Track List: Live At The Austin City Limits Music Festival 2006

x

Track List: No Way Down / Fall Of '82 (Swift Sessions) (Single)

1. No Way Down (Swift Sessions)

2. Fall Of '82 (Swift Sessions)

x

Track List: Simple Song (Single)

1. Simple Song

x

Track List: So Now What (Single)

1. So Now What

Comments

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Fuckoff
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OPEN YOUR MOUTH TO SPEAK WHAT THE WORD SAYS!
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I shall Open my mouth, to judge righteously, and plead the cause of the poor and needy. I am a virtuous woman. My soul is far above rubies. The heart of my husband safely trust in me, he shall have no need to not trust me. I stretch out my hand to the poor; I reach forth my hands to the needy. I am not afraid of the snow for my household: all my household are clothed because i PRAY an AM wealth. I command blessings in everything I say, and sell it; and I deliver blessings to the needy.
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Strength and honour are my blessing; and I rejoice in time to come. I open my mouth with wisdom; and in my tongue is the law of kindness. I look AND PRAY FOR the ways of my household, and eat not the bread of idleness. My children rise up, and call me blessed; my husband also, and he praises me. I am Favoured by God and men; and I am beautiful: i AM a woman that fear the Lord, I shall be praised. I am given the fruit of my hands; and my own works praise me in the city. Praise God! In Jesus name.
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Don't read this. You will be kissed on the nearest Friday by the love of your life. Tomorrow will be the best day of your life. If you ignore this, you'll have bad luck. Share this on 10 songs in the next 143 minutes. When you're done, hit the space bar and your crushes Name will show up in big letters on your screen.
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I'm suddenly becoming kinder and gentler. New Slang is playing, and I'm not urgently reaching for a wastebasket from thinking about Garden State. I don't believe I'm turning into a woman; I'm just becoming more aware that it's not all about me. Thanks, Pandora friends, for setting me straight. Here's a thumbs up for the song, and for you.
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⭐ well, here we are again...⭐
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In fact Kaizen, I've been noticing small changes every day ; )
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So true Kaizen, happens all the time. Then I would have a favorable view on (yack) Garden State.
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wenberep
You never know Snowmange. You might wake up tomorrow and be female. Happens all the time.
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I'm probably being overly harsh toward Garden State. It's more of a chick flick, and I'm all dude. If the movie had some explosions, my opinion would no doubt be softer. Or if I were female : )
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⭐ I liked Garden State, I thought the movie was very well made, and I never would have found out about The Shins without that movie... but everyone is allowed their own opinion : )
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Or this one: Gone For Good. See? Even if New Slang was completely commandeered by Garden State (heave), there are plenty of great Shins songs.
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Oh, here's a for-instance : Caring is Creepy, which is playing while I write this. Same special feeling that I get (got) with New Slang pre (gag) Garden State. I'm all Shins.
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Love the singers voice and the excellent guitar work
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The Shins are a wonderful group. Although Garden State queered New Slang, I can still enjoy it when I'm not reminded of that movie. But there are plenty of great Shins songs to fall back on if I can't get Garden State (gulp) out of my head.
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Kk
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New slang. Chilling at the beach kind of song.
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dbfive
WOW. I agree with dodgerfann67 ! 'Phantom Limb' is great example of their 'beautiful' music. I am a fan now and thanks to Pandora and a Shins station, I have discovered Spoon and DCforC songs I really like as well.
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Tend to only like heavier music but this is beautiful
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New old folk, this kind of music NEVER gets old
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kick trump in the shins!.to make sure that the haters ain't booty!!!.so vote for Clinton,yay! ! ! . . .
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Great song
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vyg
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Love the shins!
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In the movie Garden State when Natalie Portman hands Zach Braff her headphones and says listen to this, it will change your life, that scene with New Slang got me hooked on the Shins
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My nessi-pants how miss u
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Not my style
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They got their own vibe don't have a bad song my kinda kats
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A kick in the shins...
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Raises rock on hand salute, then , in a wavey hand motion , slowly brings hand back down to lap and smiles :)
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\ ^ ^ | ⚡️ ❤️ ⚡️ | ^ ^ /
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Oh ef yes
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No, don't go effing
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The shins are the only best ����������it ' s too good ��
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Love love The Shins ❤
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Why does this show album artwork for The Postal Service? C'mon Pandora, wasn't messing up lyrics bad enough?
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La shins Es muy fantastico
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Is it just me or do The Shins remind you of The Smiths too?
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Why can't all music be like this, instead of that Taylor Swift crap?
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Gone For Good has a country style feel, and done well. I like to hear bands explore different genres, THAT'S ART !
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✌️❤️
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My rediscovery of The Shins after my parents playing the occasional song when I was a child has opened up so many doors for me music-wise.
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NEW SLANG!
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Read my bio for some free broccoli
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I phones suck
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I love Australia! Plus the album cover is awesome!
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dksherman53
Now get back on that horse and ride is such an inspirationa l lyric. We've all been there dumped on our a** by a girl or a horse. Both hurt.
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Also I've been listening to them since 2014 and they're GOOD!
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In my opinion "Australia" and "Turn On Me" are the best.
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