today is about a band that – to me – appeared to be very unknown until recently. the shins are this extremely good group from albuquerque (don’t you just love the sound of albuquerque? i know i do), and i’ve stumbled upon them some years ago, when i was watching one tree hill. they’ve used “pink bullets” there, and i liked the song, googled it, heard it a couple of times and went on with my life.
now – a week ago, i was searching for listenable albums in your average electronics store, but was soon faced with the frustration of not finding anything i liked, because the bands i like; they usually don’t make it into the german charts. (such first world hipstery problems, i know) but: after having orbited the shelves for probably seven times, i found “wincing the night away” by the shins, which did not only surprise me, but literally made it stand out between all the miserable stuff i found searching under t for trespassers william. so, i bought it. still feeling giddy* about finding this somewhat “older” album from an unknown band, i ran home with it to check it out, first thing. and it’s great. it really is. i must say, i was quite proud of myself. first, for skimming through all the other crap of letters a-z. second, for actually finding something i wanted to buy (which doesn’t happen too often), and last for knowing about a band called the shins, at all.
maybe you already know where this is heading… i eventually started talking to my friends about it (like crazy, i might add) and at some point, one of my friends at work said something like “oh yeah, i’ve read about them” – in a magazine. she read about the shins in a german music magazine (called “intro”). their name was even on the cover, as i was to find, later. slightly puzzled, i read the article and deservedly face-palmed myself alongway (i’m not yet sure, if i face-palmed myself or if the magazine’s pages and pages about the shins did it.). apparently, “wincing the night away” ranked number 2 in the american and canadian billboard charts. and apparently, their songs were not only played on one tree hill, but also on scrubs and the sopranos**. and then i saw it: it said: “thus it has been an honour to meet him, the singer of the biggest small band on earth (bla bla)” so yeah. the biggest small band. kinda on the threshold of becoming mainstream. and oh my, i was surprised to find their album…
don’t get me wrong, here: i’m not the kind of person who dislikes groups that gain – or have already gained – fame. i just strongly believe now, that you might at least have heard of them, if not bought their album, yourself. i kinda hope, you haven’t (cause then, this whole post would have missed its point, completely). so, if i’m lucky and you didn’t know them before, i advise you to take a look at “australia”, “pink bullets” and maybe all the other songs by the shins. but take in small doses, the beauty of it might just overwhelm you.
*(giddy) i just looked it up, apparently its synonymous with silly and dizzy… isn’t it?
**fun fact: another band played on both the sopranos’ soundtrack and one tree hill is led zeppelin, and i believe, those were the only two shows that ever got a license to play them on tv. but no warranty on that, i’m not even close to being sure.