The Shins

SXSW Showcase Reviews

Live Shots
Photo by Sandy Carson

The Shins

Auditorium Shores, Thursday, March 15

The Shins had me at hello with Oh, Inverted World (Sub Pop, 2001). Chutes Too Narrow (2003) and Wincing the Night Away (2007) made up the soundtrack to the most profound changes in my life: namely, marriage and parenthood. We even took our toddler son to see the Shins perform at an Austin City Limits taping in 2006. Then the band imploded. Frontman James Mercer gutted the ranks, and I felt as betrayed as if he'd stolen my credit card and used it to buy a yacht on In short: James Mercer had the deck stacked against him in my book tonight. Did he redeem himself? Yes and no. Mercer and his new bandmates, which include guitarist Jessica Dobson (Beck) and drummer Joe Plummer (Modest Mouse), started their set with a retrofitted "Kissing the Lipless" and "Mine's Not a High Horse" from Chutes Too Narrow, and they didn't quite work – like trying on a pair of pants from your college days 10 years after you've gotten married and fat. On the other hand, tracks from the forthcoming Port of Morrow (Aural Apothecary), including "Simple Song," had their own fresh and progressive appeal, enough to redeem Mercer. Rest assured, though, that I'm keeping a close eye on my Visa card this time around.

More the Shins
SXSW 2012 Records
The Shins
Port of Morrow (Record Review)

Michael Toland, March 16, 2012

More Music Reviews
Ringo Deathstarr Record Review
Ringo Deathstarr Record Review
Pure Mood (Record Review)

Michael Toland, Jan. 29, 2016

Texas Platters
Reissues: Spoon
Gimme Fiction (Record Review)

Greg Beets, Jan. 29, 2016

More by Melanie Haupt
Selling Feminism One Box at a Time
Selling Feminism One Box at a Time
The serious business of Girl Scout cookies

Jan. 22, 2016

Top 10 Sandwiches*
Top 10 Sandwiches*

Jan. 1, 2016


the Shins

AC Daily, Events and Promotions, SXSW Daily Edition

Our latest from SXSW 2016, delivered March 11-20

Breaking news, recommended events, and more

Official Chronicle events, promotions, and giveaways