Entertainment Weekly

Subscribe

Stay Connected

Subscribe

Advertise With Us

Learn More

Skip to content

Article

The Shins: Indie Gestation

The alt-rockers honor the Replacements, Cat Power, and Squirrel Bait in their “New Slang” video

Posted on

If MTV2 has been looking a lot like your record collection lately, you’ve probably caught the video for ”New Slang” by Albuquerque, N.M., band the Shins (plus, you have a pretty good record collection). The clever clip—downloadable at subpop.com—painstakingly apes the covers of a slew of beloved punk and indie-rock records: Hüsker Dü’s Zen Arcade and New Day Rising, the Minutemen’s Double Nickels on the Dime, the Replacements’ Let It Be, Slint’s Spiderland, Cat Power’s Moon Pix, Squirrel Bait’s Squirrel Bait, and a risqué picture from the back of Sonic Youth’s Sister. ”I thought it was pretty cool that only certain people would get it,” says Shins frontman James Mercer, who wrote all the songs on the band’s excellent debut album, Oh Inverted World. ”It was sort of a cryptic way of giving a salute to all of these influences.”

Shot entirely in Portland, Ore., and Albuquerque, the video credibly re-creates sleeves depicting Los Angeles, Minneapolis, and Louisville locations, which obviously posed some logistical problems. Double Nickels‘ L.A. freeway vista, for example, had to be simulated in New Mexico. ”We tracked down the exact year and model of the car [a Volkswagen Bug],” says ”Slang” director Lance Bangs, who’s lensed clips for Pavement and the Foo Fighters, among others. ”Those kinds of details make it more convincing for the record nerds who get excited about it. And weirdly enough, there ended up being a San Pedro Street in Albuquerque. It was this nice moment of serendipity.”

Comments