Other Peoples' Song Request Line: The Shins' "Those to Come"
Chutes Too Narrow is twenty!
So I didn’t totally honor this request, but nonetheless here it is, from founding member Don Koenig:
Just so you know, this is not a democratic system. I mostly just scrolled down through the many requests (thank you, on and all!) and found a song that felt right, one that I could sing, one that I felt like would be a novel or interesting task. There were lots to choose from! In the end, I picked Mr. Koenig’s request because that song is so great and he’s right: this is the twentieth anniversary of Chutes Too Narrow, The Shins’ great sophomore record and the record on which “Gone For Good” serves as a kind of strummy/country palette cleanser in the midst of all that meticulous pop craftsmanship.
So here’s the deal: while I’ve always been a fan of the song (and that’s our very own Chris Funk on pedal steel on the track, you know), I’d never actually sat down and played it. Of course, it was a joy to learn and play — though I had this suspicion that my own version, knocked down several keys so I could sing it, somehow neutered the thing. I was about to ignore this suspicion and just get on with it, when the track on the record skipped ahead to the following song, “Those to Come,” and I remembered how great that song was and suddenly all my good intentions were out the window. I sat down and half-learned the picking pattern on the song. I tried it out; it was good! This, to me, was a more interesting project.
But I’m going on a bit, aren’t I? Here’s my cover of the Shins’ “Those to Come” in celebration of Chutes Too Narrow’s twentieth birthday. Make some tea in your underwear!