Broken Bells

I like the collaborative sound that Danger Mouse (Brian Burton) and James Mercer (The Shins) achieve on their second studio album, After the Disco. 

They made an appearance on The David Letterman Show to kick off The Beatles 50th Anniversary celebration at the Ed Sullivan Theater. I loved how they incorporated Ringo Starr and The Beatles on a black & white TV as the video interlude betwixt them on their haunting rendition of “And I Love Her”.


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A continual “Positive Charge” from Danger Mouse

One of my objectives with this music blog is to look for the magic rocks in my musical backyard, turn them over and find the treasures they uncover.

I have become enamored by the continual positive charge that Danger Mouse is having as he continues to help shape the direction of modern music.  When he sits at the music potter’s wheel the art takes on a dimensional texture that I find endlessly revealing.

It is no wonder Danger Mouse was named producer of the decade (2000-2009) by Paste Magazine. There are several recordings he has been directly involved with of late that intersect organically.


This all began to gel for me with Rome (2011) an eloquent collaboration with Daniele Luppi, Jack White and Norah Jones that redefines the essence of an Italian western soundtrack as a modernistic soliloquy. I still get goose bumps when I play this recording.

Little did I know that Norah Jones and Danger Mouse had worked together in secret earlier on a recording in June 2009 to be called, Little Broken Hearts (due May 1st). Their kinship for music experimentation, that sense of constantly reinventing one’s self makes for fascinating discourse. I am eager to hear this new recording

I was fascinated to learn of Danger Mouse and James Mercer’s stellar collaborations on the recording’s Dark Night of the Soul (With Sparklehorse and David Lynch among others) and Broken Bells which are both marvelously woven works of intricate dimensionality with pleasant discoveries at every juncture.

This has happily wrought for us Danger Mouse’s influence through the music of James Mercer and the Shins. The musical context of Point of Morrow bears evidence to these results with striking contrast and originality.

“You can credit Brian [‘Danger Mouse’ Burton] with a lot of that,” Mercer tells Spinner, discussing the more headphone-rich sound of ‘Port of Morrow.’

“Because working with Brian gave me a lot of confidence to do something like that and not be so nervous about being adventurous to, y’know, bust a move.”

The array of newly painted rocks once obscured by the tall blades of  grass in my back yard now become one rich tapestry. 🙂

The Shins and Record Store Day 2012

Port of MorrowThe new album Port Of Morrow from The Shins appeared in stores this week, and the band, along with their record label, Columbia have proven themselves true allies with record retail.

Not only did they choose record stores to premiere the song “September” when they released it, they have also given participating stores a special 4 song acoustic EP, to give to you, when you buy their new record at record stores. Ain’t that cool 😉

The Shins – Port of Morrow

The Shins SnlI must confess that until I stumbled on them on SNL I was unaware of how The Shins sounded musically as I had never seen them perform live, not even in a YouTube video… Granted I had read magazine articles that spoke in glowing terms about the poetic articulation of their lyrics. Every music author was equally or more enchanted by the spell they cast.

After watching The Shins première two tracks from Port of Morrow, their first album in five years I became spellbound also.

I love “Simple Song” “the single” because it offers the listener a soft, infectious rapture.

The next track “Its Only Life” is a modern-day Alice in Wonderland tale, so down the rabbit hole we go 😉

Magnificent, and that ascending melody will trail you like a double-espresso buzz.” -Rolling Stone

If you want to see more of The Shins in concert watch the newly recorded Live on Letterman video for an engaging hour concert –

I so dig The Shins, their Indie music rules!