By now you'll have read the news that former Sub Poppers the Shins have signed with Columbia Records, via James Mercer's imprint label Aural Apothecary, and will embark on a tour in a few weeks with a new backing band. You might have also noticed a familiar name among Mercer's new band, which will include not one but two Seattleites--along with Richard Swift and Modest Mouse drummer Joe Plummer, the former Crystal Skulls bassist Yuuki Matthews and singer/songwriter Jessica Dobson will tour with the Shins. (Dobson will be playing guitar in the Shins band.)
"I got a call a few months ago asking if I'd be into the idea, and it wasn't hard to say yes," Dobson told me in an e-mail this morning. "Oddly enough, it was someone from Richard Swift's band [Swift is playing keys in the Shins] who played me Oh, Inverted World when it came out, and I've been a fan from the start. I met James when we started rehearsals last month, and he is such a treat to play music with."Dobson says she isn't playing on the actual album ("Unless they sampled me rapping at rehearsals"), but she is getting familiar with the new Shins material for the tour. "I have heard a few [new songs] and they are tasty. We are playing a few of them for the shows coming up. One of the notes that James hits freaks me out every time I hear it. He's such a good singer."
The tour is kicking off next week, August 8, in Eugene, Ore. (no Seattle dates have been announced yet). "Another week of rehearsals starts on Wednesday," says Dobson, "and then all the touring fun begins. Sweeeeeet."
Here are the dates that have been announced so far.
08-08 Eugene, OR - W.O.W. Hall
08-09 Bend, OR - The Domino Room
08-10 Portland, OR - The Doug Fir Lounge
08-12 San Francisco, CA - Outside Lands Festival
09-22 Toronto, Ontario - Phoenix Concert Theatre
09-23 Philadelphia, PA - Popped! Festival
09-24 Boston, MA - Paradise Rock Club
10-15 Pensacola, FL - DeLuna Festival