There’s a one-panel cartoon I saw in a magazine a dozen or more years ago that has a sad, loser-looking guy sitting on the floor amidst a bunch of record albums and a woman going out the door and addressing him: “I’m going out to the store for a bit. Try not to identify with too many song lyrics before I get back.”
It’s funny because it’s true. It’s also almost impossible to avoid sometimes. It’s like EVERY song is EXACTLY what you are feeling. Oh my God.
I defy anyone who has ever felt any human emotion to put on the Decemberists “Picaresque” album and not find one song to identify with.
I’ve had some live Decemberists tracks from shows from 2002 and 2003 for awhile. To be honest – I was looking forward to getting out to see them, but maybe more for the solo drive to Columbus. I love the band but they didn’t sound THAT great live on the few tracks I had downloaded from other fans.
Well the THING happened between their constant touring for the last album and then the recording of this new one and this tour. That same thing that happened to the girl next door that one summer in 1977 when she went out a lamb and came back in September a Lion. The band is now fan-fucking-tastic live. They are now better live than on studio album. They are now this tight, confident band that is treading on Smiths level transcendance circa 1986.
I highly reccomend you try them out. Picaresque is a beautiful album. But there are many amazing diamonds among the last 4 albums as well. The bonus is the name of their label – Kill Rock Stars.
The Decemberists are not for everyone. But then, neither am I.
RIYL: The Smiths, Robyn Hitchcock, The Beatles, Victorian and Elizabethan England, The Sea, Ghost stories, Old unused words like ‘parapets’, ‘pantaloons’, ‘petticoats’, or ‘pinions’, Bands comprised of ex-theater and english literature majors.