Trials + Tribulations

Calamity Song
August 22, 2011, 11:25 am
Filed under: Music | Tags: ,

The Decemberists have just released a video for their song “Calamity Song” and it’s pretty cool. It was directed by Michael Schur, who is co-creator and showrunner for my favorite show on television, Parks & Recreation. The video itself is apparently a scene from David Foster Wallace’s behemoth Infinite Jest. I’ve never read it so I wouldn’t know, but one can still appreciate the video regardless.

You can watch the video here.

[audio|leftbg=fffc05|lefticon=333333]The Decemberists – Calamity Song

Show Review: Other Lives & The Decemberists @ House of Blues, Dallas 4/29/2011
May 2, 2011, 9:39 am
Filed under: Music | Tags: , ,

Last Thursday I started my trip home from Utah to Texas after having been there three and a half years. I packed up my little car and headed out on the road, planning to spread the trip over two days. I reached Albuquerque Thursday night and stayed there, and twelve hours later I got back on the road toward Dallas. One ticket and ten hours later I made it, just in time to go to the Other Lives/Decemberists show at the House of Blues.

I’ve never been to the venue or any House of Blues, and while it was nice enough and the sound was good, it still felt like a corporate entity trying to come off as less than as much. This isn’t a venue review though, so on to the music!

Photo by Neff Conner

Other Lives are from Stillwater, OK making them a suitable candidate for opening the show. Their sound has a lot of the same influences, and while there are only five in their group in comparison to the Decemberists’ six-member touring band, Other Lives sounded louder and more majestic than much of the headliner’s music. Almost every member of Other Lives played at least three different instruments, often two at the same time. Even the drummer had a clarinet he pulled out during a drumless section. I was interested in how the band’s album, Tamer Animals, would sound in a live setting and I’m glad to say it sounds just as warm and compelling live. If they come near you I would definitely recommend seeing them.

Photo by Neff Conner

The Decemberists were, for a long time, my favorite band. Years went on and I went on hearing new music and they lost some of that love from me, but I’ve always had an affection for them. Over the past decade I’ve seen them many times, and also failed to see them because I was too young to enter the venue, and had to sit outside hearing them through the walls. So seeing them again for the first time since SXSW 2009 when they premiered The Hazards of Love in its entirety, I was able to hear songs I never heard them play from The Crane Wife and of course their newest album The King is Dead. I think their newest songs sounded full-bodied in comparison to their older work, which often sounded flat and pre-recorded. It was still fun to remember old times and relive being swallowed by a whale during “The Mariner’s Revenge Song.”

Many thanks to Grace for getting me into the show, and of course the bands for playing. I only wish I could have found my camera amongst all my junk in the back of my car!

January Hymn
December 15, 2010, 9:47 am
Filed under: Music | Tags:

As the last post indicated, I’m pretty excited about the Decemberists‘ new album The King is Dead. I liked Hazards of Love but it wasn’t a very repeatable record. So their turn towards short Americana-tinged songs has me all worked up and ready for them.

Yesterday they released, in conjunction with the Record Store Day people, a new 7″ with two new songs. The A-side “January Hymn” is from the upcoming album, while on the b-side sits a cover of Grateful Dead’s “Row Jimmy.” The greatest thing is that the records are only $2! So run down to your local independent record store and grab one before they’re all gone.

♫ January Hymn

The King is Dead is out January 18th. You can preoder it on their website, including a very fancy box set with lots of cool extras.

The King is Dead
December 13, 2010, 11:27 pm
Filed under: Music | Tags: ,

So excited for this album!

Here Come the Waves
December 1, 2009, 10:50 am
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The DecemberistsThe Hazards of Love may have come out back in March, and they’ve been touring worldwide in support of it ever since, they’re still not done yet.

Today sees the release of Here Come the Waves: The Hazards of Love Visualized, a collaboration on part of four directors – Guilherme Marcondes, Julia Pott, Peter Sluszka and Santa Maria. Check out the trailer below, and you can get it on iTunes now.

April 19, 2009, 11:22 am
Filed under: Music | Tags: , , , ,

dsc00947What did you guys end up getting at Record Store Day? Did you spend a lot of money? Was it worth it?

The Decemberists – East India Lanes

The Black Keys – Her Eyes Are a Blue Million Miles

The Flaming Lips & Stardeath White Dwarfs – Borderline (Madonna cover)

Decemberists on IFC
April 9, 2009, 2:23 pm
Filed under: Music | Tags: , ,

decemberistysSorry for posting two consequetive e-mails I’ve received but uh, they’re important. This one’s videos from the Decemberists performance during SXSW at the IFC Crossroads party. That’s cool because I didn’t get tickets to see it so it’s nice to see them. No Shara or Becky on them though. Sweet new picture by Autumn De Wilde though! Click the links to see the videos.

► O Valencia!

► The Crane Wife 1

► Billy Liar

They’re also going on tour in support of Hazards of Love. You should go see them. It will blow you away. Trust me.

May 19 – Hollywood Palladium – Los Angeles, CA
May 20 – Fox Theatre – Oakland, CA
May 21 – McDonald Theater – Eugene, OR
May 24 – Wilma Theatre – Missoula, MT
May 26 – Fillmore Auditorium – Denver, CO
May 27 – Uptown Theater – Kansas City, MO
May 29 – Riverside Theater – Milwaukee, WI
May 31 – The Pageant – St. Louis, MO
June 1 – Lifestyle Communities Pavilion – Columbus, OH
June 3 – Tabernacle – Atlanta, GA
June 4 – Memorial Auditorium – Raleigh, NC
June 5 – The National – Richmond, VA
June 6 – Tower Theatre – Upper Darby, PA
June 9 – Bank of America Pavillion – Boston, MA
June 10 – Radio City Music Hall – New York, NY
June 11-14 – Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival – Manchester, TN
July 18 – Edgefield – Troutdale, OR   w/ Andrew Bird
July 19 – Edgefield – Troutdale, OR   w/ Andrew Bird

Colin Meloy – Isn’t It a Lovely Night? / The Rake’s Song (Live)