Mercer performing "The High Road" with Broken Bells at SXSW.
Broken Bells, a beautiful collaboration between the Shins' James Mercer and Gnarls Barkley's Danger Mouse (uber-producer Brian Burton), have announced their first headlining tour, beginning May 18 in San Diego, at Humphreys Concerts by the Bay. Touring in support of their self-titled debut, the duo began recording -- secretly -- in 2008 at Burton's Los Angeles home after Mercer needed a break from the Shins (which included dismantling the original lineup). Released in December 2009, Broken Bells is not a record that will "change your life," but it's certainly a worthy listen, with melodic indie rock gems that included "The High Road", "Citizen," and "The Ghost Inside."
With a combined fan base strong enough to command bigger venues, James Mercer and Danger Mouse have opted to take their live show to intimate, smaller rooms. Supported by indie rock buzz darlings the Morning Benders, from Berkeley, Calif., Humphrey's Concerts by the Bay will serve as the perfect backdrop for Broken Bells. If you are unable to secure tickets to this amazing waterfront show, I suggest arriving by inflatable dingy (kidding -- over the years, security is tight on boat viewing).