The Shins - "The Rifle's Spiral" Video

The Shins have already released their video for the Port Of Morrow track “The Rifle’s Spiral,” and it’s a creepy 3D stop-motion animated thing. But you didn’t hear about it, and neither did we, because the video is only viewable on the Nintendo DS, of all things, right now. It’ll be out in the rest of the world tomorrow. But in the meantime, check out a preview for the video below.

Port Of Morrow is out now on Columbia/Aural Apothecary.

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Comments (19)
  1. That looks awesome. Kind of reminds me of the Charlie Darwin video from the Low Anthem.

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    • Why wouldn’t bands take advantage of offers to make money? Now that nobody actually buys music and record labels are giving bands big contracts, bands have to find other ways to make a living. Wouldn’t you rather have a band you like contribute to something “commercial” so they can afford to continue making music rather than not and then breaking up because they couldn’t afford to keep going? Or even a band like Arcade Fire, who is probably past that point in their careers, why can’t you just be glad they are releasing a new song even though they don’t have an album coming out soon?

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        • But all music videos are ads anyway, regardless of whether they debut on Youtube, MTV or 3DS.

        • I think they probably view it more as:

          Living as good a life as possible and being able to say I did my best to provide for myself and/or family and being incredibly lucky that the way I get to do that is by being able to artistically express myself > Trying to fit into someone’s insanely unreasonable view of what being a “true artist” is.

          Why do musicians have to be martyrs so they can fulfill people’s expectation of what it means to make art…You are literally asking all musicians to live shitty, miserable existences because that somehow justifies their art to you so they should pass over any offer to live a more comfortable life because it’s “selling out”. The singer of Pela went broke because he injured himself playing a show and didn’t have health insurance to pay his hospital bill. But selling your songs for health insurance is too commercial I guess. Maybe all bands should whittle their guitars out of a tree and some horse hair, because if they buy their guitar from a big corporation like Fender, they are selling out.

          Why can’t you just enjoy the music for it’s actual quality and not have to view it associated with “the man” or whatever? It seems like someone who feels like they can appreciate “true artistry”, whatever that even means, can probably look deeper than the Nintendo DS association and hear the actual song, and then make a determination of whether they like it or not.

        • Also, as a listener you absolutely don’t “have a responsibility to be concerned over how much was a true artistic expression, and how much was marketing.” That is completely different than being a listener. That’s being a thinker (who is imposing unnecessary constraints on what they are listening to) instead of actually listening to the music for the music. If it’s good, it doesn’t matter if the artist thought of it while taking a dump or when cutting themselves open and making a sacrifice to the art gods in hopes that their songs achieve true artistic greatness.

          • When you study sculpture for example, sure you can appreciate things that “just look nice,” but people also explore the context in which it was made, what the artist was trying to do, and possibly make some sort connection with the artist, emotionally or what not.

            There’s a fundamental difference in the type of appreciation going on there. In terms of music, i’d like to say there are two types of listening: passive, and active. Some people mostly passively listen to music and thus purely listen to what they think “sounds nice”, and that’s fine, (i do it with plenty of artists all the time *cough* juicy j). But when i’m talking about appreciating the artform I’m not talking about that, I’m talking about actively listening: about spending time to be what you called “a thinker,” which is a very different experience, and something that perhaps you find “imposing unecessary constraints,” but i find them perfectly necessary when you’re studying the art. Why would anyone go on websites like this to discuss music, if we were never going to think about it? How stupid does that sound?

            Addressing the whole singers going broke thing, you’re making a false assumption, sure, fine I’f you’re dying of hunger then go get your priorities straight and do what you have to do to make money. But i’m not talking about those bands. The Shins – where this whole argument started – are certainly not one of those bands.

            The thing here is that the bands struggling to make a living aren’t the ones who are getting offered the deals I’ve been bitching about it. Even James Blake, with all his hype isn’t going to get offered a nintendo 3DS exclusive, I’m talking about bands that have no excuse, and I feel like i have a right to feel critical these things.

        • Whats the difference in doing something with Nintendo than playing SNL….Nothing! its still a commercial for your record. The Shins are only trying to expand your audience. If they work hard on writing songs why not try to get as many people to hear it. Thats why bands tour and play festivals. The only artists who are starving are the ones no one gives a shit about. If Mercer was only concerned with writing songs for the art of it he would be working at Starbucks.

          • Ughh, you’re missing the point here, promoting your band is great, go for it. This nintendo thing isn’t promoting their band, theyre getting paid by nintendo to support nintendo. Just like doing ost work is getting paid by a movie studio to use your popularity to boost the viewers of the film.. Playing at SNL is an honor, and something you get invited to do, and can be very beneficial for you. SNL isn’t asking artists to write new theme songs for them or whatever.

          • Even doing work like Trent Reznor did for David Fincher is fundamentally different from what was being done for movies like “The Hunger Games” and that soundtrack’s music super group.

          • Im not missing your point I just dont agree with it…but you clearly missed the point I made. Playing SNL is still an advertisement for your new album, booking a band to get ratings and sell records. The shins didnt write this song for Nintendo, just like U2 didnt write Vertigo for Apple to sell ipods. Nintendo’s website is promoting the shins album. The lable most likely paid Nintendo to carry the vid. Just like Chevy pays stereogum for the ads to your left and right. Damn you Stereogum, Damn you for selling out…

          • I don’t see how allowing a video to only be exclusively released on a medium is advertising for the video, i see it as advertising for the medium. Nintendo paid them for the sole rights to distribute the song – their product. Why would the label pay Nintendo to exclusively distribute the information when they could have sold it through every website and video software, and let it spread like wildfire? That doesn’t make any sense. The music video itself isn’t directly an advertisement for the band, its a product the band has made, Nintendo was granted the exclusive rights to distribute it.

            Playing at SNL is an advertisement for yourself yes, but i never said there was anything wrong with selling your band. This is an example of letting a completely separate company take your product and then allow them to make money off of it.

          • “Exclusive” since it was posted here via YouTube

        • Obviously money is more valuable than pride, because you can’t buy a house for your family with pride.

        • You don’t deserve money for flipping burgers at McD’s because it takes away from the dignity of flipping burgers!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  3. Oh shit, a chance I get to actually use my 3DS? Alright!

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