srijeda, 2. listopada 2013.

The Shins - Live at Paradiso, Amsterdam 05.04.2007.

Photo of James Mercer from this show stolen from flickr.
I've been trying to find a bootleg of the Shins show I've attended for years, but to no avail (it's the show held at the Hammersmith Apollo in London, in November 2007); finally I got the idea to try and find another show from the same tour or year, and relive that experience at least a little. The songs they've been writing for the first three albums (all represented here) represent some of the most transcendentally beautiful music I have ever heard; the sheer beauty of some of them practically has me in tears each time I hear them (and I'm a tough punk rock guy (no I'm not)). Shows like this one are unfortunately seeming more and more like the last truly great "new" music I'll hear from them - since those days leading guy James Mercer has let go all of the other band members, started hanging out with that cartoon mouse who makes electronic music, and finally released a new Shins album which provides me with none of the magic they used to have, no matter how hard I try to find it - it just sounds like soulless adult confection pop every time. Well, there's this at least: an amazingly-sounding (I actually can't tell if it's a soundboard recording - the crowd's too loud for that - or an audience recording, which I just can't believe can sound this great), excellently-played show which for the most part adheres to what I can recall from my night with the Shins; although I'm pretty sure they have also performed "Pink Bullets" that time, which is a song that should not be left out of any Shins setlist anytime, ever. This show has a fun cover of the Modern Lovers though, with Mercer sounding so amazingly similar to Jonathan Richman that I wouldn't believe it was him, if not for a video on YouTube showing him singing it; great slowed-down ("Caring Is Creepy") or sped-up ("Know Your Onion!") versions of other great songs, a Pink Floyd cover, and what have ya. Listen to this and if you're in the mood for spending some money on great Shins music you haven't heard before, go get the Shins Bluegrass Tribute by Iron Horse. I'm not joking. It's so lovingly arranged, played and sung that any and all "bluegrassploitation" prejudices are immediately dismissed. Check it out.

Track listing:

1. Sleeping Lessons (6:23)
2. Australia (3:50)
3. Pam Berry (0:45)
4. Phantom Limb (4:53)
5. Kissing the Lipless (4:49)
6. Mine's Not a High Horse (3:39)
7. Girl Inform Me (2:29)
8. New Slang (5:04)
9. Saint Simon (5:17)
10. Girl Sailor (4:00)
11. Turn a Square (2:48)
12. Gone for Good (3:33)
13. A Comet Appears (4:25)
14. Turn on Me (3:45)
15. Know Your Onion! (2:29)
16. Breathe (Pink Floyd Cover) (5:37)
17. Caring Is Creepy (5:23)
18. Someone I Care About (Modern Lovers Cover) (3:56)
19. So Says I (4:19)