The Shins Return With Hot Bowie Cover


James Mercer has revived the Shins with a new touring line-up – featuring Crystal Skulls’ Yuuki Matthews, Modest Mouse drummer Joe Plummer, songwriter Richard Swift, and singer-songwriter Jessica Dobson – and the indie-pop group kicked off an eight-date tour in Eugene, OR on Monday. One highlight from the show: The group tore through a cover of David Bowie’s “Ashes to Ashes,” from his 1980 album Scary Monsters (and Super Creeps). Check out fan-shot footage below (via Pitchfork).

The Shins pretty much nail Bowie’s original, from the slap-funk bass riff and tinkling piano melody to Mercer’s dead-on replication of the Thin White Duke’s hiccupy yelp. Mercer has made no secret about his love of Bowie. In an interview with the L.A. Record in 2009, he admitted that if he could play his material for any artist, Bowie would be one. “If he gave a shit about what I was doing, I would be impressed,” he said.

The Shins have six more dates left on their tour (check them out below) and are planning to release their follow-up to 2007’s Wincing the Night Away on Columbia Records early next year.

The Shins Tour Dates
8/10, Portland, OR (The Doug Fir Lounge)
8/12, San Francisco, CA (Outside Lands Festival)
9/22, Toronto, ON (Phoenix Concert Theatre)
9/23, Philadelphia, PA (Popped! Festival)
9/24, Boston, MA (Paradise Rock Club)
10/15, Pensacola, FL (DeLuna Festival)


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