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Oh, Inverted World, The Shins

The Shins

November 30th, -0001

Formed:
1997 in Albuquerque, NM

Genre:
Alternative

Years Active:
'90s, '00s, '10s






The Shins

Biography

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. . 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.

Top Albums

Oh, Inverted World, The Shins
1. Oh, Inverted..
Port of Morrow, The Shins
2. Port of Morr..
Chutes Too Narrow, The Shins
3. Chutes Too N..
Live Session (iTunes Exclusive) - EP, The Shins
4. Live Session..
Fighting In a Sack - EP, The Shins
5. Fighting In ..
Know Your Onion - EP, The Shins
6. Know Your On..
Wincing the Night Away, The Shins
7. Wincing the ..
So Says I - EP, The Shins
8. So Says I - ..
No Way Down / Fall of '82 (Swift Sessions) - Single, The Shins
9. No Way Down ..
Simple Song - Single, The Shins
10. Simple Song ..
Phantom Limb - Single, The Shins
11. Phantom Limb..
Live at Austin City Limits: Music Festival 2006 - Single, The Shins
12. Live at Aust..
Pink Bullets - Single, The Shins
13. Pink Bullets..

Top Songs

NameAlbumTimePrice
1.
New SlangOh, Inverted World3:51$0.99
2.
Simple SongPort of Morrow4:15$1.29
3.
Wonderful ChristmastimeHolidays Rule2:26$1.29
4.
Caring Is CreepyOh, Inverted World3:20$0.99
5.
AustraliaWincing the Night Away3:56$0.99
6.
Phantom LimbPhantom Limb - Single4:52$0.99
7.
Sleeping LessonsWincing the Night Away3:57$0.99
8.
It's Only LifePort of Morrow4:01$1.29
9.
Turn on MeWincing the Night Away3:41$0.99
10.
Phantom LimbWincing the Night Away4:47$0.99
11.
We Will Become SilhouettesSuch Great Heights - EP3:01$0.99
12.
Gone for GoodChutes Too Narrow3:13$0.99
13.
Kissing the LiplessChutes Too Narrow3:19$0.99
14.
Comet AppearsWincing the Night Away3:49$0.99
15.
Red RabbitsWincing the Night Away4:29$0.99
16.
Sea LegsWincing the Night Away5:22$0.99
17.
No Way Down (Swift Sessions)No Way Down / Fall of '..3:03$1.29
18.
Port of MorrowPort of Morrow5:49$1.29
19.
For a FoolPort of Morrow3:56$1.29
20.
Rifle's SpiralPort of Morrow3:29$1.29
21.
Gone for Good (Alternate Version)So Says I - EP3:07$0.99
22.
Past and PendingOh, Inverted World5:22$0.99
23.
Girl SailorWincing the Night Away3:44$0.99
24.
Spilt NeedlesWincing the Night Away3:44$0.99
25.
Black WaveWincing the Night Away3:19$0.99

Top Music Videos

Australia, The Shins
1. Australia
Phantom Limb, The Shins
2. Phantom Limb
Saint Simon, The Shins
3. Saint Simon
Simple Song, The Shins
4. Simple Song
The Rifle's Spiral, The Shins
5. The Rifle's S...


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