The Shins that made the recent “Port of Morrow” doesn’t exactly resemble the Shins that sprung out of New Mexico with “New Slang” a decade ago. Singer and songwriter James Mercer is the one constant — and admittedly with his high creaky voice and deep reserve of hooky melodies, the one constant that matters — that has guided the band since its start. Most recently, he’s been leading a band that includes Joe Plummer of Modest Mouse and Black Heart Procession; singer-songwriter/multi-instrumentalist Richard Swift; guitarist Jessica Dobson; and Crystal Skulls’ bassist/keyboardist Yuuki Matthews. Below are a few bands that reflect dramatic overhaul carried out by their creatively restless leaders or, in the case of one cursed band, by cruel fate.
Then (2001): James Mercer (vocals, guitar), Dave Hernandez (guitar), Martin Crandall (keyboards), Jesse Sandoval (drums), Neal Langford (bass)
Now: James Mercer (vocals, guitar), Jessica Dobson (guitar), Richard Swift (keyboards), Joe Plummer (drums), Yuuki Matthews (bass, keyboards)
Then (1996): Jeff Tweedy (vocals, guitar), Jay Bennett (guitar, keyboards), John Stirratt (bass), Ken Coomer (drums), Max Johnston (fiddle, banjo, dobro, mandolin)
Now: Jeff Tweedy (vocals, guitar), Pat Sansone (guitar, keyboards), John Stirratt (bass), Nels Cline (guitar), Glenn Kotche (drums, percussion), Mikael Jorgensen (keyboards, electronics)
Then (1991): Billy Corgan (vocals, guitar), James Iha (guitar), D’arcy Wretzky (bass), Jimmy Chamberlin (drums)
Now: Billy Corgan (vocals, guitar), Jeff Schroeder (guitar), Nicole Fiorentino (bass), Michael Byrne (drums)
Guns n’ Roses
Then (1987): Axl Rose (vocals), Slash (guitar), Izzy Stradlin (guitar), Duff McKagan (bass), Steven Adler (drums)
Now: Axl Rose (vocals), Richard Fortus (guitar), DJ Ashba (guitar), Ron Thal (guitar), Tommy Stinson (bass), Frank Ferrer (drums), Dizzy Reed (keyboards), Chris Pitman (bass, keyboards)
Then (1973): Ronnie Van Zant (vocals), Gary Rossington (guitar), Allen Collins (guitar), Ed King (guitar), Billy Powell (keyboards), Bob Burns (drums), Leon Wilkeson (bass)
Now: Johnny Van Zant (vocals), Gary Rossington (guitar), Rickey Medlocke (guitar), Michael Cartellone (drums), Mark Matejka (guitar), Peter Keys (keyboards ... naturally), Johnny Colt (bass).
Where: House of Blues, 1204 Caroline, Tickets: $39.50-$45; 832-667-7733 or www.hob.com