All photos by David Greenwald
Indie rock’s inconvenient truth is this: the more people we let into the party, the louder and dumber it gets. The advantage to the hipsters of yore was that having an audience of nerdy elitists meant bands actually had to be some baseline level of “good” (or an equivalent level of “cool”) to get listened to. This is now not necessarily the case. James Mercer peaked in 2003, on the Shins song “Kissing The Lipless,” and has produced diminishing returns ever since. Broken Bells, by any reasonable estimation, are a poor man’s Postal Service, with Mercer writing unchallenging pop and Danger Mouse rehashing production tricks that didn’t sound any more exciting the last four or five times. The whole thing sounds so much like a victory lap that one wonders why the band even bothers, until, duh: lots of people love this! Like, with actual, know-every-word affection! Maybe that’s better than the room-half-full, folded-arms stoicism of the Oh, Inverted World era, but last night, I couldn’t say I didn’t miss it. (On the bright side, opening act the Morning Benders were awesome. H8/<3 U SO BAD, 2010.) More photos of
Zach Braff James Mercer after the jump.
Reminder: RAWKSHOTS, my first photo exhibition, is happening June 4. You’re invited.