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The Shins at the Fillmore, 3 Things To Know

By Gary Graff
ggraff@digitalfirstmedia.com, @GraffonMusic on Twi

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Put the Shins in the Good Things Come To Those Who Wait category.

The Portland, Ore.-based group’s fifth album, “Heartworms,” is its first in five years. following group leader James Mercer’s return to Broken Bells, his band with Danger Mouse. The album introduces three new members to the lineup and a bit of a return to the sound of the Shins’ earliest albums.

“Heartworms” enjoyed a Top 20 debut in both the U.S. and the U.K., and while Mercer, 46, won’t promise a quicker turnaround for the next album, he’s enjoying his current stint of kicking in the Shins...

• Eight months after “Heartworms” and after playing the songs live, Mercer says by phone that he “should’ve realized that this whole thing of maybe being a little more upbeat and having that sort of poppy feel to some of the songs was going to be embraced. I was a little worried about it, but it ended up working better than I thought it would.” He adds the album’s direction was influenced by “listening to bands like Ariel Pink and the almost kitschy sort of vibe they get -- some really beautiful pop songs but allowed to be fun and (with) an album tongue-in-cheek 80s vibe to it. I was getting a little stick of the kind of folk aesthetic of indie rock right now. Everything’s so serious, it just started to drive me nuts. So I wanted to have more fun and try to capture what those (other) bands were doing.”

• Mercer hopes that the Shins won’t take another five years to put out an album. But he also knows better than to promise that will be the case. “That’d be cool, but I guess the last time I said that it still (took a long time), he says. ”But it’s working right now. We’re playing bigger shows in most areas than we have in the past, so that’s good. It seems to still sort of have meaning the people. The records still get passed on to college freshmen every year.”

• He’s also eyeballing a third studio album with Broken Bells, which has been dormant since 2014’s “After The Disco.” I’ve had some texting back and forth with Brian (Burton, aka Danger Mouse) about it,” Mercer reports. “He’s trying to figure out his next year, so I need to get with him about what exactly I’m going to be doing for next year so we can find time. He’s so busy, so I’m sure it’ll be something where I fly down to L.A., and he’s got great infrastructure around him. So it’s kind of cool; I can fly down there and get to work in the studio.”

If You Go:

• The Shins and Baio

• Tuesday, November 7. Doors open at 7 p.m.

• The Fillmore Detroit, 2115 Woodward Ave.

• Tickets are $36.50-$60.

• Call 313-961-5451 or visit thefillmoredetroit.com.

Web Site: www.thefillmoredetroit.com

Send your thoughts and comments to Gary Graff


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