One of the best things about writing news is that you can sneak in little jabs here and there. Like, say, for example, you were supposed to review the latest Shins record for a certain website, and you just didn’t really get around to it. Or maybe you didn’t have much to add to the reviews already posted on those other, stinky sites. Or maybe you were trying to scare up some hot-ass grits; whatever. Now, you didn’t get to review Wincing the Night Away, but you CAN always write a news story about The Shins and inject your opinion every chance you get! Hey, that sounds pretty sweet, don’t it!? Hmmmm, let’s try doing that, starting right...
Hey y’all, how the heck are you? Good? Good. Getting down to business, The Shins released a record on Sub Pop this year that did pretty well, hitting the Billboard charts with a giant ‘THWUMP’ and knocking Chumbawamba or whoever out of the no. 1 slot. But did ya know that the album really isn’t that good? I mean, the first track gets you all wet and sticky; as soon as you hear it you’re thinkin’ “DAMN, that’s one hot number!” But then things calm down reallll quick, and you’re left with a pile of mediocre pap and very few stand-outs. What’s most annoying is James Mercer’s voice, which used to be all high and angelic. Now? It’s lower, prolly because he wants to be able to duplicate the songs live (a problem with certain Oh, Inverted World songs). But it doesn’t work as well, and he always does this annoying thing where he links two words together and sings them faster than the others, and he does it every song now!
If, say, I were assigned to review this album (WHICH I WAS) and actually reviewed it (WHICH I DIDN’T), I would have given it a really low score, probably a ‘4,’ maybe even a ‘4.5’ ... oh, btw, did I explain the TMT rating system to you? No? FUCK ME, no wonder you always have that confused — and rather ugly, I might add — look on your face! Man, I feel like a real ass-shark! Here, lemme make things right by explaining our rating system. I think it’ll really clarify things for you! Shit, you probably thought we liked Sung Tongs and hated Lil’ Eazy E’s latest... man, thank god I caught this, we could have become a laughing stock! Anyway, here’s how the Tiny Mix Tapes grading system works:
0 - 1: This album is so goddamned spectacular we sold our rare Magma and La Dusseldorf LPs to get it. We’d step over our own mums to find this on vinyl, and we’d probably include it in a Desert Island Discs round-up, so you’d better come correct!
1 - 2: Not exactly profoundly, resoundingly, ass-poundingly excellent, but still a lot of great tunes to be had. Great artists like Teddy Bears, MC Lars, and their ilk often end up here because we WUV THEM SO MUSH...
2 - 3: Still a pretty tasty record, but if you pawn your limited-edition Charlie’s Angels lunchbox to get it, you now have a dozen eggs on your face. Don’t worry, I meant in the figurative sense...
3 - 4: Now we’re starting to get to the stuff that sucks. You know when you’re playing Bubble Bobble and you thought you got one of those wands that makes all the yummy fruit descend from the top of the screen, but when you pop the last bad guy’s bubble nothing special happens? Yeah, it’s kinda like that...
4 - 5: This is where the lame-duck discs go to die. That piece of shit by Raccoo-oo-oon last year was put to pasture here, as was that awful new Scott Walker album. If you see one of these attached to an album you regularly listen to, have some pride and never show your face ’round here again. Yeah, that’s it...
And there we are! That felt good, lemme tell ya. Since we got that straightened out, I might as well do my duty, which is, surprisingly, not to tell jokes, make a mockery of TMT’s storied grading system, relate stories from my life, or commission wacky cartoons. I’m supposed to be telling you about The Shins’ tour plans, which will find the band traveling near, far, like, medium-far, and maybe, just MAYBE, to a venue near you. Hey, that wasn’t so hard, was it! Mr P’s going to be so happy with me; maybe he’ll even let me out of his dungeon... nah.
If you can pinpoint the moments of biting sarcasm above, I just might agree to fuck Mr P at one of the following tourdates:
03.25.07 - Glasgow, UK - ABC
03.26.07 - Wolverhampton, UK - Wulfrun Hall
03.27.07 - Manchester, UK - Manchester University
03.28.07 - London, UK - The Forum
03.29.07 - London, UK - The Forum
04.01.07 - Paris, FRA - Trabendo
04.03.07 - Cologne, GER - Gebaude 9
04.04.07 - Berlin, GER - Postbanhof Berlin
04.05.07 - Amsterdam, NET - Paradiso
04.06.07 - Brussels - Botanique
04.10.07 - Albuquerque - El Ray Theater
04.11.07 - Phoenix, AZ - Celebrity Theatre
04.12.07 - San Diego, CA - SOMA San Diego
04.14.07 - Universal City, CA - Gibson Amph. At Univ. CityWalk (KRCW)
04.15.07 - Los Angeles, CA - Orpheum Theatre
04.16.07 - San Francisco, CA - Warfield Theatre
04.17.07 - San Francisco, CA - Warfield Theatre
04.22.07 - Austin, TXThe Backyard (MtvU "Campus Invasion Music Festival)