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Is indie rock built for middle age? Spoon and the Shins say yes

Is indie rock built for middle age? Spoon and the Shins say yes

At 46 and 45 years old, respectively, James Mercer of the Shins and Spoon’s Britt Daniel might be the most prominent middle-aged guys in indie rock.

And true to the passive-aggressive tendencies of the genre they represent, neither has risen by saying precisely what he means: To look back over these bands’ sizable catalogs is to behold a trove of cryptic sentiments regarding phantom limbs, Japanese cigarette cases and bakers cutting their thumbs and bleeding into their buns.

So it comes as something of a surprise to see that the cover of each group’s new album — the Shins’ “Heartworms,” which came out last week, and Spoon’s “Hot Thoughts,” due Friday — features a creepy...

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