Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Curious about The Decemberists

The Decemberists will release their fourth full-length album titled The Crane Wife next week on October 3rd. This will be the first major label release of this five-piece from Portland, Oregon, as they continue to reinvent their sound and influences. There are two tracks on the album that wander into prog territory, both clocking in at over eleven minutes a piece. Also, The Crane Wife is based on a Japanese folk tale.
"While there are many variations of the tale, a common version is that a poor man finds an injured crane on his doorstep (or outside with an arrow in it), takes it in and nurses it back to health. After releasing it, a woman appears at his doorstep who he falls in love with and marries. Because they are in need of money, his wife offers to weave great silk cloths that they could sell at the market, but only if he agrees never to watch her when she is making it. They begin to sell them and live a comfortable life, but he began to make her weave more and more. Oblivious to his wife's diminishing health, his greed increases and he eventually peeks in to see what she is doing to make the silk she weaves so desirable. He is shocked to discover that at the loom is a crane plucking feathers from her body and weaving them into the loom. The crane, seeing him, flies away and never returns." You can listen to a stream of the full album here.

I was late in getting into The Decemberists, but once I did I eventually bought their entire catalog. I was browsing through the eMusic files one day and I only had one download left for the month. I came across the 2004 EP The Tain, which is one eighteen minute track with five different parts. I thought to myself, five songs for the price of one, sweet. Once I listened to it I discovered why everyone had been had been talking about this band.

Better late than never.


The Decemberists
5 Songs EP, 2001
mp3: "Shiny"


The Decemberists
Castaways and Cutouts, 2002
mp3: "Odalisque"


The Decemberists
Her Majesty the Decemberists, 2003
mp3: "The Chimbley Sweep"


The Decemberists
The Tain, 2004
mp3: Parts I and II


The Decemberists
Picaresque, 2005
mp3: "We Both Go Down Together"


The Decemberists
The Crane Wife, October 3 2006
mp3: "The Perfect Crime #2"


The Decemberists - Crane Wife Photo Shoot

Here's a look at their US tour dates...

w/ Lavender Diamond
10.17 Crystal Ballroom Portland, OR
10.18 Crystal Ballroom Portland, OR
10.19 Warfield Theatre San Francisco, CA
10.21 The Wiltern Los Angeles, CA
10.22 Rialto Theater Tucson, AZ
10.24 Stubb's Austin, TX
10.25 Gypsy Ballroom Dallas, TX
10.26 House of Blues New Orleans, LA
10.27 Tabernacle Atlanta, GA
10.29 9:30 Club Washington D.C.
10.30 9:30 Club Washington D.C.
10.31 Calvin Theatre Northampton, MA
11.01 Electric Factory Philadelphia, PA

w/ Alasdair Roberts
11.03 Hammerstein Ballroom New York, NY
11.04 Orpheum Theatre Boston, MA
11.05 Metropolis Montreal, Quebec
11.06 Kool Haus Toronto, Ontario
11.07 Clutch Cargo Pontiac, MI
11.09 Agora Theatre Cleveland, OH
11.10 Lifestyle Communities Pavilion Columbus, OH
11.11 Riviera Theatre Chicago, IL
11.12 First Avenue Minneapolis, MN
11.14 Paramount Theatre Denver, CO
11.16 Wilma Theatre Missoula, MT
11.17 Paramount Theatre Seattle, WA
11.18 Commodore Ballroom Vancouver, BC
11.19 Commodore Ballroom Vancouver, BC

Official Site: http://www.thedecemberists.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/thedecemberists