The Shins and Viva Voce at Liberty Hall, Lawrence KS, 12 Feb

First, Shacker has been featured on the ThinSafetyPin podcast in episode 9.

Black Sweater, White Cat‘s Biotic is digging Tape/echoes.

D-Rockets’ Matt Wisecarver’s Secret Fantasy got a great review from bt on its page at – “Five stars – Fantastic – Lovely, golden acoustic pop. Pared down sound, but beautiful production on catchy melodies.  It left me wanting more.”

Miles has handily linked up MFR music + more from his Christmas podcast.

Thanks for the support, Bruce, Biotic, Miles and bt!  We know that 99% of the listening, sharing, podcasting, burning, file-trading, etc. that you guys do goes unknown to us.  Thanks for that, too.  -Mr. Furious


Tim, Jill, and I strolled in to gorgeous Liberty Hall about 7:45 after delicious Vietnamese at The Orient on Mass.  It was a perfect venue for the Shins (who played Tuesday night also); intimate and theatrical.  Openers Viva Voce did not “f*ck around,” firing up their Zeppelin-by-way-of-Secret Machines stomp within a few minutes of the 8 o’clock hour.  The duo ripped through a solid set, and it was at their shreddingest that I was most moved.  Giant riffs, guitar noise, and girl-boy harmonies (!) are their strengths.  The poppier songs were OK.

My Shins experience coming in to the show was limited to seeing Garden State once and downloading “Kissing the Lipless” sometime last year.  I’ve read a bunch of interviews, but my expectations were pretty minimal.  After an obnoxiously long sound check (all those guitars, and one guy tuning?  This was the one missed opportunity of the night to capitalize on the show’s momentum) the Shins launched into their opening suite of songs from Wincing the Night Away.  Everyone seemed happy enough, until the band started in on Chutes Too Narrow, and the mood bubbled over.  From there it ebbed and flowed, but didn’t subside, and Jill got all of her picks.

I liked the arrangements, the instrument-switching, and James Mercer’s no-nonsense approach to his guitar and showmanship.  I liked the songs, especially the Chutes Too Narrow stuff that juxtaposes the Shins’ quirks with a pop setting.  I wouldn’t say I’m a convert, yet, but it was a stellar night; thank you, Liberty Hall and Shins.  We walked out into a winter wonderland, the Christmas-card kind of flakes that are hell to drive in but beautiful to see.  -h

PS – See what Back to Rockville, the Kansas City Star’s local music blog, had to say about the show.