Summer at the Schwab Ticket Giveaway #4: The Shins

Wednesday, April 25th, 2012, 4:13 pm by Ben Salmon

Yes, there’s a contest to win two tickets to see Beck in Bend going on as we speak.

But why give away two tickets when you can give away four?

Today, I need to get rid of two tickets to see indie-pop-rock powerhouse The Shins on May 25 at Les Schwab Amphitheater, along with an outstanding pair of openers: Blind Pilot and The Head and the Heart.

Want ’em? Simple: Just leave a comment on this blog post telling me how The Shins have changed your life. (Don’t get it? Watch this.)

Now, you can, of course, relay a true story of how The Shins have changed your life, if indeed they have. But if they haven’t, you should definitely make something up. Maybe the band’s music was playing when you decided to propose to your spouse. Or a particularly vigorous performance of “Know Your Onion!” inspired you to ditch your job as a bloodthirsty bounty hunter and instead become a chef.

Perhaps James Mercer dumped you in high school and you have hated beards ever since. Or what about that time you were stepping out into the street and former Shins drummer Jesse Sandoval snagged your belt loop with his drumstick and pulled you back onto the sidewalk just as a bus whizzed past?

Whatever. Anything goes, and the funnier and/or more outlandish, the better. Just keep it clean; I can’t publish comments that contain dirty words or other inappropriate stuff.

Tell me about your life-altering Shins experience in the comments by Saturday at 5 p.m., and be sure to leave your real email address so I can contact the winner!

Oh, and does that sound like too much work? Well you can always buy tickets through the Les Schwab Amphitheater’s website.

(Photo courtesy Annie Beedy)


10 Responses to “Summer at the Schwab Ticket Giveaway #4: The Shins”

  1. Brady Mercer says:

    The Shins didn’t change my life…they gave me life. James Mercer is in fact my father. I haven’t seen him since and always wondered what he was up to.

  2. Brandi Brogoitti says:

    A Shins concert helped get me re-connected with an old High School flame that I’d lost contact with for 15 years!! He made a post about a Eugene Shins concert that he was hoping to go to and I saw it and was able to contact him. That was last summer. Our friendship picked right back up like no time had passed. He’s my best friend all over again and we talk every single day. He helped me get the courage to leave a relationship that I didn’t belong in, he helped me believe that I could be a good single mom. Since I am a new single mom, I can’t afford to buy tickets and afford lodging to go to this concert. I would love to be able to take him with me, the anniversary of getting re-connected is coming up and it was a Shins concert that made it happen….what could be a better way to celebrate?! It would be just SO awesome!!!

  3. David Skelton says:

    Sam says, “You gotta hear this song… it’ll change your life. I swear.” I believed her! I mean who wouldn’t believe the most beautiful woman on the planet? Natalie Portman who played Sam in Garden State casually offers up one Ipod earphone bud to Zach Braff’s character, but she was really inviting me (and the rest of the film’s viewers) into the world of Indie music vis-à-vis the Shins.

    The song that Natalie Portman invited us to hear was “New Slang”; however, it was “Caring is Creepy” along with “New Slang” which changed my pedestrian musical tastes. I had been on a decade long Nirvana musical high. I was ready to pull my head out of the “corporate music” sand. Flashback to 2004, I was surrounded by American Idol wannabees and pure drivel on the radio. Where was the new direction? Why was I surrounded by retreads? Where the hell was the art? I was scouring record stores, but I was stuck in the 1970’s as I kept waiting for some good music to hit the radio waves. Wrong!!! All I got was a bad dose of pop sugar from the radio. I love sugar, but give me something with a few meaningful calories. Why eat a donut when you can have a beautiful New York steak! The film, Garden State, was released in the summer of 2004… what is that beautiful music on that soundtrack? Who are the Shins? How come I’ve never heard of this band?

    The Shins were my steak. They taught me that radio and the other media gate keepers were asleep. If I wanted to hear music with substance then I had damn well better work for it. Rolling Stone Magazine went soft, the radio went soft, my friends were still listening to 30 year-old classic rock… they were soft. However, Natalie Portman simply held up one earphone bud and commanded me to listen… it’ll change your life… I’m still listening.

  4. scott halvorson says:

    Well, as I’ve mentioned before, I’m new to The Shins experience and am still in the process of realizing that I actually like them. I’ve been holding a grudge against them as I assumed that anything referenced that deliberately in a movie that infuriatingly twee would have to be something that would annoy to no end. (And for the record, I at one time went around telling people that They Might Be Giants’ Flood is one of the best pop records ever, so I don’t think I can be accused of being unnecessarily anti- cute & quirky. Of course, everyone had to politely tell me that they’d already known about the album for some time and I was way behind on the deal, but whatever.)

    So, realizing now that I missed out on a Shins show or two that I might have really enjoyed, how The Shins changed my life is that they have inspired me to stop holding childish art related grudges.

    (Umm, do I really have to change in order to be elligble? I have good intentions and all that, but realistically, giving up childish art related grudges… I’m not so optimistic.)

  5. Adam Cash says:

    A couple of months ago, I had the good fortune to be a part of an gig in Sisters that featured Red Molly, a New York-based trio that was being brought in for a Sisters Folk Festival Winter Concert series show. I, along with several Sisters Americana Project students, played in the lobby before the doors opened. There was one issue, however – I was not at all sure what to play. I only got one song, and I knew that I had to use it wisely.

    On my way to the show, I was driving down Cascade Avenue, listening to the radio with the windows rolled down on my red, sticker-adorned 1994 VW Jetta, as it was, for some odd reason, an absolutely gorgeous day in the middle of February – probably around 60 degrees, a gentle breeze, and not a single cloud in the sky. Absolutely perfect. Around the time I was passing the Sno Cap, “New Slang” came on. I don’t recall being grabbed necessarily by the lyrics of the song, as one usually is during these seemingly divine moments of clarity, but the groove of the song, with its gentle acoustic guitar and the soft but driving beat of the tambourine, made the moment absolutely perfect. It exemplified what Central Oregon, particularly my past LSA shows (the ones I remember most fondly are Band of Horses/She & Him, Michael Franti and Spearhead, and Death Cab), had been for me at its absolute best – a place where everything came together to give me inner peace that evades me for much longer than I’d like it to.

    There is much more to this story, however; being a high school senior and having lived here for over 13 years, I was in a place at the time where I was ready to get the heck out. I was sick of everything – of Sisters, of being in high school, of being surrounded by nothing but dead-looking plants and being stuck in a small town with nothing to do. However, this moment when everything was perfect reminded me off all of the amazing experiences that I have had in Central Oregon, and made me incredibly grateful to whatever higher being happens to exist for them. I was reminded again that my hometown was an incredible community of artists that love and support each other in their pursuits. I was reminded that my time in high school should be a cherished memory for me, and that I have created relationships and had experiences that will last forever in my mind. Most of all, I saw new life in the sagebrush and junipers and the cowboy-themed buildings that I had never even thought to look for.

    Upon pulling into the back of Sisters High School, where I went to help with the show, I had another sudden moment of clarity – I had to play New Slang. The moment changed my entire outlook on my hometown, on my youth, and on my life. There was no way that I couldn’t acknowledge the epiphany that I had had, and paying tribute to this incredible group was the best I could do to thank them.

  6. Brandi Brogoitti says:

    P.S……I’m also a very new HUGE fan of Blind Pilot! They are so amazing!! Have them going on Pandora right now.

  7. Megan McGuinness says:

    In May of 2009 tragedy struck.

    James Mercer had dismissed Jesse and Marty from the band. When I heard the news I had flash backs of being at their concerts and watching Jesse play his sparkly blue drum set like a magician and Marty work the keyboard like a wizard while blowing bubbles into the crowd. And I remember creepily touching Dave’s corduroys when he stuck his leg out into the crowd and went to jam on his bass.
    Yes, I had felt the good times were over. The band I grew to love, with their poppy lyrics and fun mentality, was now no longer going to be the same. It was as if James had given me life, but then, reached in and pulled my heart out and said, “It’s alright, I started to have production ideas that I wanted to do that basically required some other people.” dang.

    Bummed and broken hearted, I listened to their albums over and over trying to think nothing was changing. Then one day I heard Jesse was opening a taco cart in Portland called Nuevo Taco. I decided to go down and check it out, hoping to reminisce with Jesse, talk about the good times.
    When I arrived Jesse and Marty were there slinging tacos. We talked for a while and then they offered me a fish taco.
    I took a bite and almost broke my tooth on something metal. I spit it out and it was a ring! All of a sudden I heard someone playing guitar behind me, so I turned around…and low and behold! It was James, down on one knee singing, “unknown quotients, you must be using potions how else could you tie my head to the sky? Will you marry me?”
    “Well of course!” I shouted all star struck and ran up to kiss him, but my oh my, it was like kissing the lipless. I was also still angry at him for breaking up the band along with my heart so I gave him back the taco covered ring and said, “I’m allergic to love.” A single tear came from his eye and he started to walk away, and I shouted “I’ll still listen to your new music though, don’t worry!”

    (But truthfully, I hold no grudge against James, though the newer albums aren’t quite the same. I will still be forever changed by this band. Every time I hear a Shins song I revert back to somewhere special, not sure where I go but it’s definitely grounding. Every heartbreak or bad day, the Shins have been right in the room cheering me up. Every sunny spring day or bleak winter afternoon, there they are playing the same songs over and over. The thing that I find interesting is that even though I’ve listened to their songs hundreds of times I am still able to find new meaning and understanding in them. So Shins be praised for bringing a new meaning to the word music, and may the new Shins keep it coming.)

  8. Marcia Houston says:

    The Shins—actually these tickets to the concert—will not only change my life–they may SAVE my life. My assigned task was to purchase tickets and I have not done that. Did you read the article about the dentist who pulled all the teeth out of her ex’s mouth? What if that would happen to me if I don’t get these tickets? Or, what if Chicken Little is really right and the sky starts falling if I don’t get these tickets? Or, what if we have a Burning Man show up in Bend if I don’t get these tickets? Or, what if my heart really is left in San Francisco if I don’t get these tickets? Guess I’d probably just die. Did you know I swallowed a fly? But that’s another story for yet another contest. Maybe.

  9. Ben Salmon says:

    ALRIGHT. Sorry for the delay, folks. This was SUPER tough, because you ALL did an awesome job and I really had trouble trying to pick a winner. So I did the best I could to gather some other prizes to reward everyone’s hard work!

    A pair of tickets goes to our winner, Brandi Brogoitti. Congrats!

    I have one ticket each for Megan and Adam. Loved your guys’ stories.

    David Skelton, do you already have a copy of “Port of Morrow”? If not, I have a CD copy for you because I so strongly respect and share your opinion of Natalie Portman. And if you do already have a copy, pick another Shins album and it’s yours!

    I will be in touch with all of you directly. Thanks to EVERYONE for reading and entering…

    • Brandi Brogoitti says:

      My friend is SO excited! {as am I, of course}. This is an amazing way for me to thank him for suddenly being SO there for me after so many years of not knowing how to find each other. Thank you so very much from the bottom of my heart!!!!

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