The Live on Letterman free webcast series rolled on last night with a performance from The Shins live from the Ed Sullivan Theater in New York City in which the group tackled a mix of classics from their repertoire and tunes from their just released Port of Morrow LP.
Plenty has changed with The Shins in the five years since the release of their last studio album. The Portland-via-New Mexico-based act, has essentially become the sole property of lead singer James Mercer, who replaced the rest of the band with all new members. On March 20, Mercer & Co. will release their fifth studio album, Port of Morrow, which coincidentally will also be their major label debut. Earlier this week The Shins released the Wes Anderson-inspired music video for the album’s first single – Simple Song. Let’s check it out…
The Shins will head out on a lengthy world tour on March 22, which includes high profile festival stops at Coachella, Sasquatch! and Bonnaroo, but prior to all of that they will be the musical guest on the March 10 episode of Saturday Night Live, which will be hosted by Jonah Hill.
Hot off the group’s big night at The Grammys, Bon Iver will tape a performance for this season of the iconic television show Austin City Limits at The Moody Theater on April 25th according to the show’s blog. Indie pop band The Shins will also appear on this season of ACL as they’ll be at The Moody Theater on March 18. Steve Martin and his Steep Canyon Rangers band will be featured on this weekend’s episode of Austin City Limits.
Here’s six stories of interest to help you over the hump…
Finally, Furthur / RatDog keyboardist Jeff Chimenti has scored a medical hit by creating a device to help people suffering from sleep apnea. Reuters profiles Chimenti’s product and explains how the keyboardist came up with the Gecko nasal pad.
After yesterday’s lineup announcement, expect to see a lot of artists adding West Coast dates to their itineraries, especially since the festival is back-to-back weekends this year, these bands will have to do something during the week.
Radiohead added three shows: April 9th at Key Arena in Seattle, April 11th at HP Pavilion in San Jose and April 21st at Santa Barbara Bowl in Santa Barbara.
The Shins also added four shows: April 13th at The Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas, April 22nd at Santa Cruz Civic Auditorium in Santa Cruz, April 23rd at Mondavi Center for the Performing Arts in Davis and April 25th at Grand Sierra Resort in Reno.
For those of you that were hoping to stream The Black Keys new album El Camino via sites such as Spotify, MOG, Rdio and the like, may have been taken by surprise when the blues-rock act’s record was nowhere to found. Well, it turns out that Dan Auerbach and Patrick Carney had a very legit reason for not allowing it to be streamed, as Carney gave this explanation to VH1 – “We decided for this album to not allow music services to stream the entire album, because it’s becoming more popular, but it still isn’t at a point where you’re able to replace royalties from record sales with the royalties from streams, so it felt unfair to people who purchased our album to allow people to just go on a website and stream the album for free whenever they wanted.” According to a recent Rolling Stone article it apparently takes roughly 100 listens via streaming sites for artists to make the same about that they would from the purchase of a single full album download.
List Time: Relix’s 12 Covers In The Holiday Spirit
Finally, while James Mercer has kept himself busy over the last couple of years, most notably with Broken Bells, his collaboration with uber-producer Dangermouse, it’s been roughly five years since we’ve heard anything in the way of new music from The Shins. The Portland-via-New Mexico act, which has gone through both lineup and label changes since the their 2007 album Wincing The Night Away, yesterday revealed that they will release their fourth studio album, Port Of Morrow, in March. According to a post on the band’s website, the ten-track set was recorded in both L.A. and Portland, with Mercer essentially operating as a one-man band handling all songwriting duties, lead vocals and the majority of instrumentation. The Shins are excepted to announce both a specific release date, as well as their touring plans for 2012 in the near future.
Crimson and Clover is the title track from a 1968 album by Tommy James & the Shondells. Most interesting in this week’s covers is how the artists tackle the outro section, which on the original recording features vocals run through a guitar amplifier with a heavy dose of tremolo. Also of note, the album version of Crimson & Clover clocks in at almost five and a half minutes. Somewhat surprisingly, only one of the covers surpasses that length.
Broken Bells, which features James Mercer of The Shins on Guitar & Vocals and Dangermouse on Drums, is on tour supporting their self-titled album and are working in a couple of well-selected covers. In addition to Crimson and Clover, which they do a great job with, they are also playing the 1962 hit by The Miracles You’ve Really Got a Hold on Me.
READ ON for the scoop on the rest of this week’s contestants…
The ever adorable Jenny Lewis will once again hit the road for a lengthy solo tour that finds the former child actor and Rilo Kiley front woman hitting a mix of festivals and clubs across the country. Joining Ms. Lewis throughout the run will be The Sadies, Deer Tick and Heartless Bastards whom will all open various legs of the tour. In addition to the tour, a documentary called Welcome to Van Nuys will be released that chronicles the making of her sophomore solo record Acid Tongue – which will feature live tracking of several songs as well as behind-the-scenes, candid footage from the recording at Sound City Studio in Van Nuys, CA. Quite a busy lady.
If you’re not into the solo work of Jenny Lewis, than maybe you’ll be into hitting one of these recently announced tours…
Finally, after taking a break from touring for awhile The Shins will be making their return to the road this May for a short 14 date cross-country run. Speaking of The Shins, in other news the band has decided to part ways with long time label Sub Pop and will put out their fourth studio album on front man James Mercer’s label Aural Apothecary – opting to own their own masters and seek wide distribution through a label.