Stateside Presents




Wed, October 3, 2012

Doors: 6:00 pm / Show: 7:00 pm

Rialto Theatre - Tucson

Tucson, Arizona


Sold Out

This event is all ages

The Shins are an American indie rock band founded and fronted by vocalist and multiinstrumentalist, James Mercer. The Shins were formed in Albuquerque, New Mexico, but are
now based in Portland, Oregon.
The Shins began in 1996 as a side project for singer/songwriter James Mercer, whose primary
band was Flake Music in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Mercer formed Flake Music in 1992 with
Neal Langford on guitar, Phil Higgs and then Marty Crandall on bass, and Jesse Sandoval on
drums. During the next 5 years Flake Music released several singles, a full-length album, and
began touring largely due to the help of other bands like Modest Mouse.
In 1996, Mercer began writing what would eventually become The Shins' first record. Flake
Music came to an end around this time leaving Mercer with an opportunity to record, "Nature
Bears A Vacuum" a 7" EP released by Omnibus Records. For their earliest shows, The Shins
performed as a duo with Mercer recruiting Sandoval to play drums. "Nature Bears A Vacuum"
was released with no expectations of expanding the band's following beyond Albuquerque.
However, the single generated enough attention that Mercer felt it necessary to assemble a full
band. Crandall was brought into the fold on keyboards, and Dave Hernandez (frontman of local
punk legends Scared of Chaka, which had played dozens of shows with Flake Music) was given
bass duties.
At a San Francisco performance with Modest Mouse in 2000, Sub Pop's Jonathan Poneman
asked The Shins to contribute a single to the label's Single of the Month Club, which eventually
became an offer to release The Shins' 2001 single, "New Slang", and their debut album, "Oh,
Inverted World". The group spent the rest of the year touring. The release of singles such as
"Know Your Onion!" and "The Past and Pending" kept The Shins' success going into 2002,
cementing "Oh, Inverted World" as one of the definitive indie-rock albums of the early '00s and
The Shins as one of the genre's leading younger bands. It received critical acclaim for its
lyrically deft and jangly pop sound. The song "One By One All Day" was featured in the 2003
film A Guy Thing, starring Jason Lee. Two other songs from this album, ("Caring Is Creepy"
and "New Slang") were featured prominently on the soundtrack for the 2004 film Garden State,
starring and directed by Zach Braff, exposing the music of The Shins to a much wider
audience.[2] Their music was also featured in the television series The OC, the film The
SpongeBob SquarePants Movie and they performed on an episode of Gilmore Girls. Oh,
Inverted World appeared at #71 on Pitchfork Media's Top 100 Albums of 2000–2004.
The band relocated from Albuquerque to Portland, OR in 2001. Mercer, Sandoval and Crandall
made the move. Neal Langford decided to leave the band, staying in Albuquerque so he could
continue with another of his passions, professional hot air ballooning. Dave Hernandez (at this
point living in nearby Seattle) rejoined The Shins in 2003 playing guitar and bass. The band
began tracking new material in Mercer's basement that summer. In an effort to balance the homerecording method used on Oh, Inverted World with a studio finish, producer Phil Ek (Built To
Spill, Modest Mouse) was brought in to mix and produce the album. Chutes Too Narrow was
released by Sub Pop in the fall of 2003 to much fanfare in indie music circles, featuring even
more multi-layered lyrics, as well as a musical approach that explored new genres, song structures, and levels of production fidelity. In 2006, the band helped to curate an edition of the
British All Tomorrow's Parties festival. Nonstop touring of everywhere from Australia to
Norway, as well as the US countless times over contributed to pushing sales past 500,000
worldwide, exceeding everyone's expectations, including the band's. Chutes Too Narrow
appeared at #47 on Pitchfork Media's Top 100 Albums of 2000–2004.
An enhanced single release in 2004 included a live version of "New Slang" recorded with Iron
Boredom. Laziness. Complete apathy. Is it a quarter-life crisis or just an excuse to never grow up? This is the world that Washed Out, aka Ernest Greene, conjures up on the ambitious new visual album Mister Mellow.
For many millennials, life can be overblown and over-dramatized to the point of absurdity. Their ways of distracting themselves from the insecurities they face on a daily basis are just as absurd, from social media and fantasy to drugs and music. Mister Mellow, Washed Out's first fully immersive multimedia experience playfully guides the listener through the highs and lows of this often ridiculous struggle, and shines a light on the humor in this paradox — how we can be so bored and unhappy in what is often a very privileged, contented life? This theme isn’t entirely new to Washed Out: Greene started exploring way back in 2009 on the Life of Leisure EP; but the new visual album, which he conceived and spent two years creating, provides a fresh, modern perspective, musically and thematically.
Mister Mellow moves further away from the synthesizer-heavy sounds of the recent Washed Out releases and more band-driven sound of his work on iconic labels Sub Pop in America, and Domino in Europe. On Mister Mellow, Greene draws from the experimental collage techniques of musique concrete and plunderphonics artists such as The Residents. Combining styles as diverse as free jazz, house, hip-hop and psych together with interlude-esque voiceover samples, often pulled from anonymous YouTube vlogs, he creates a busy, chaotic, and caricaturish mix that mirrors the claustrophobic, hyper-stimulated psyche so familiar to young adults.
As Greene tells it, he and his sole collaborator, Grammy Award-winning engineer Cole MGN deliberately avoided polishing the songs: “My previous albums were very clean and traditional in the sense that most of the music was composed of live instrumental performances, and recorded in a way that was very high-fidelity and modern. With this album, the idea was to bring some chaos to the mix - and to try my best to make songs out of the strangest sounds and textures I could find.”
As he continues to carve out his innovative sonic identity, influenced by the world around him but unafraid to buck trends, it’s fitting that Greene has partnered with legendary hip hop label Stones Throw Records, long a home for beat-loving musical rebels. His approach to releasing music is every bit as individual, too: in an environment where compiling singles into an album format or working with a single video director are the norm, Greene has chosen to commission eleven different artists to bring the visual aspect of his fully-realised album project to life.
Integral to the Mister Mellow project is the full-length visual counterpart that utilizes almost every form of animation (collage, claymation, hand-drawn, stop-motion.) Inspired by a handmade / human feel rather than the pristine hyper-realism of purely computer generated visual art, these rich, detailed patchworks give the Washed Out compositional process its purest visual counterpart to date. Much as Greene meticulously stitches together sonic collages, his visual collaborators use collage, fabric puppetry and claymation to come up with the beautiful, unique vignettes featured in the film. Much like the music, Greene says, the visuals are “imperfect and distressed”, helping to create “a very skewed, impressionistic view of the world.”
On Mister Mellow, Washed Out steers clear of emotion to empathise with the minutiae of the world around him. “I’ve been much less interested in sentimentality and emotion for the past couple of years,” says Greene, “In some ways, I think its a reaction against getting older and having more responsibilities. Maybe I’m just nostalgic for a time in my life where I could just relax and block out the world for a moment.” Though Mister Mellow is an intensely personal album, its ideas and observations speak to the lived experience of so many young adults, an experience that we come to see as both funny and sad.
Take a hit and get lost June 30th.
Venue Information:
Rialto Theatre - Tucson
318 E. Congress St.
Tucson, Arizona, 85701