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Shins

A couple of years ago, when the Shins were just getting ready to release their third album, Wincing the Night Away, lead Shin James Mercer told Pitchfork, “One thing I worry about is that Malcolm Gladwell tipping point — it’s kind of like once you start to play the game of trying to be huge, there’s nowhere to go but down.” As it happened, Wincing debuted at No. 2 on the album charts and sold more than 100,000 copies in its first week. That may have been the tipping point right then.

After touring for a year in support of Wincing, the Shins took much of the past year off. Mercer played a few solo shows. He made plans to release the next Shins album on his own new record label, which may or may not be affiliated with Sub Pop, the label that has been the Shins’ home since their beloved 2001 debut, Oh, Inverted World. (Presumably, Sub Pop wants the Shins to stay, seeing as how they’re the biggest act they’ve had since the heyday of Seattle grunge.)

So, where does all this leave the Shins? Can they continue on just as before, secure in their status as America’s favorite indie act? Maybe not, with the glow of Garden State now well faded. And let’s not forget the Arcade Fire and all the other Canadians stealing the Shins’ thunder. Fact is, the Shins have always seemed like unlikely candidates for superstardom. Mercer is a brilliant songwriter who has a knack for making oddball pop with mass appeal. He’s probably got a career’s worth of good songs in him still. But the masses may not stick around to hear them.

SHINS: Soma, Monday, May 11, 7 p.m. 619-226-7662. $28.

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A couple of years ago, when the Shins were just getting ready to release their third album, Wincing the Night Away, lead Shin James Mercer told Pitchfork, “One thing I worry about is that Malcolm Gladwell tipping point — it’s kind of like once you start to play the game of trying to be huge, there’s nowhere to go but down.” As it happened, Wincing debuted at No. 2 on the album charts and sold more than 100,000 copies in its first week. That may have been the tipping point right then.

After touring for a year in support of Wincing, the Shins took much of the past year off. Mercer played a few solo shows. He made plans to release the next Shins album on his own new record label, which may or may not be affiliated with Sub Pop, the label that has been the Shins’ home since their beloved 2001 debut, Oh, Inverted World. (Presumably, Sub Pop wants the Shins to stay, seeing as how they’re the biggest act they’ve had since the heyday of Seattle grunge.)

So, where does all this leave the Shins? Can they continue on just as before, secure in their status as America’s favorite indie act? Maybe not, with the glow of Garden State now well faded. And let’s not forget the Arcade Fire and all the other Canadians stealing the Shins’ thunder. Fact is, the Shins have always seemed like unlikely candidates for superstardom. Mercer is a brilliant songwriter who has a knack for making oddball pop with mass appeal. He’s probably got a career’s worth of good songs in him still. But the masses may not stick around to hear them.

SHINS: Soma, Monday, May 11, 7 p.m. 619-226-7662. $28.

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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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