Wednesday, March 10, 2010

SXSW 2010 Preview: Broken Bells

For me, SXSW is supposed to be about discovering new artists on the rise. However, I'm also not opposed to discovering artists I'm familiar with in new configurations of artistry. You already know the Shins and you should be aware of DJ Danger Mouse well as you've probably heard by now these two forces have collided, sort of. It's actually James Mercer of the Shins, not the entire band, although at this point the Shins are basically a concept. Mercer fired two founding Shins awhile back and now one of them is the proprietor of a food-cart in Portland, OR. The Broken Bells album came out yesterday in the U.S., Monday internationally and the duo have already performed their first gig. I'm curious to see if they will play simply as a duo or if they will have a full band. I'm thinking they'll probably have a full band, we'll see very soon.

Broken Bells - The High Road video via YouTube

I don't know about you, but the first time I heard the High Road I was overwhelmed with how much I missed hearing James Mercer's voice. I spent a lot of time with the album Chutes Too Narrow back in the early 00's. I felt the same way when I saw Jason Lytle of Grandaddy last year. He started singing and I just felt like I was 19 again listening to the Sophtware Slump. But I digress. Normally, I would post another video from the Broken Bells but methinks it best not to eff with Sony on this one. Chances are they've got the Web Sheriff harassing people about Broken Bells already.

Here's the spots where you can try to catch Broken Bells during SXSW. Per usual, I'm relying on the diligence of Do512 for the information I've hastily copied below.

Wed 03/17 @ Stubb's *Official Showcase*
Fri 03/19 @ Lustre Pearl *Free w/RSVP*
Sat 03/20 @ the Mohawk *Free, Badges are >*

In lieu of posting another Broken Bells song I wanted to loop this whole thing around. You may recall that Danger Mouse was working on a project with Sparklehorse for David Lynch called Dark Night of the Soul. Well, this track is how James Mercer and Danger Mouse first came to work together. It should also be noted that in very tragic news, this past weekend, Mark Linkous aka Sparklehorse passed away unexpectedly. Let his music live on and I submit this pseudo-video in actual-tribute to his legacy.

Dark Night of the Soul - Insane Lullaby video via YouTube