The Shins emerged from Albuquerque like a snappy, melancholic mirage. “Oh, Inverted World!” was a reverb-stained masterpiece, instantly endearing work from a nimble young songwriter with an old soul.
Since then, Seth Cohen made “hipster” an aspirational title for teeny-boppers, Wes Anderson’s movies became the basis of an entire lifestyle demographic and of course (of course!) Natalie Portman shared her headphones with Zach Braff. All the while, James Mercer progressively drained the spunk out of his songwriting and slathered more gloss on each ensuing project.
Now comes “Port of Morrow,” artisan indie rock for eating artisan tacos at artisan tables in artisan condos. My brain is geeked about the potential collegiate nostalgia of seeing The Shins at the LC this Tuesday, but my heart can’t help feeling a little deflated.