New Music Tuesday

March 17, 2009
Buy: iTunes

As expected, The Decemberists’s fifth LP hit iTunes a week early today; I downloaded my copy this morning at 3:30 AM (don’t ask) and am really enjoying it so far!

If you’re going to go the piecemeal route, I recommend starting with tracks 8 (“The Wanting Comes In Waves / Repaid”) and 13 (“Annan Water”).

Previous posts: The Decemberists


New Decemberists Album To Hit iTunes A Week Early Plus A New Track Leaked

March 14, 2009

the-decemberists-the-hazards-of-loveIt’s just been announced that The Decemberists‘s new album, “Hazards Of Love,” will hit iTunes on March 17 (this Tuesday!), a week before it hits other venues and goes physical on its official release date, March 24. Yay!

iTunes doesn’t have a pre-order page up yet, so here’s a newly leaked track to hold you over:

Won’t Want For Love (Margaret In The Taiga)

This track introduces us to the story’s Margaret but I have to admit, I kinda miss Colin’s voice. Bitchin’ instrumentals, though.

You May Have Missed: The Decemberists’s Colin Meloy On “The Hazards Of Love”

The Decemberists’s Colin Meloy On “The Hazards Of Love”

March 5, 2009

decemberistsBillboard has an interview with The Decemberists’s Colin Meloy and he shines some light on the new album and how to follow-up on the massive success of “The Crane Wife.” Said Meloy: “The album was going to be either quiet and subdued or just way over the top and ostentatious and we went for the latter.”


The article continues:

“The 17-song concept album takes common folk motifs and weaves them into a longform narrative, while dabbling in everything from acoustic interludes to heavy guitar rock. The story concerns the trials and tribulations of Margaret; her lover, William; the queen of a spooky forest; and a rake who interferes in it all.

The term ‘rock opera‘ has already been tossed around to describe it, a description that Meloy doesn’t protest. One reason is because he started working on “Hazards” as a theater piece, not as an album. ‘I like to think of it as a play through voices-something that you would sit and listen to,’ Meloy explains. ‘If you’re going to attach ‘opera’ to it, then it’s more of a ‘folk opera’-from the folk idiom. But then you get in trouble with the deep musical theater traditionalists. It’s sort of an experimental narrative, if anything.'”

“The Hazards Of Love” will be the band’s fifth overall and second major label LP and will drop on March 24. On March 18 , however, the band will play a live show of the album start-to-finish that will be broadcast on NPR stations and streamed on NPR’s web site.

I completely adored “The Crane Wife” and can’t wait for “The Hazards Of Love.”

Source:Hazardous Conditions” (Billboard)
: The Decemberists at Play Happy.

Dark Was The Night Comp – New Ben Gibbard + Feist, My Brightest Diamond, The Decemberists, and Sufjan Stevens!

February 18, 2009

Dark Was The Night” is a new compilation from the Red Hot HIV/AIDS charity. Check the track list:

Disc One
01 “Knotty Pine” – Dirty Projectors + David Byrne
02 “Cello Song (Nick Drake)” – The Books Feat. Jose Gonzalez
03 “Train Song” – Feist + Ben Gibbard
04 “Brackett, WI” – Bon Iver
05 “Deep Blue Sea” – Grizzly Bear
06 “So Far Around the Bend” – The National (arrangement by Nico Muhly)
07 “Tightrope” – Yeasayer
08 “Feeling Good” (popularized by Nina Simone) – My Brightest Diamond
09 “Dark Was the Night” (Blind Willie Johnson) – Kronos Quartet
10 “I Was Young When I Left Home” (Bob Dylan) – Antony + Bryce Dessner
11 “Big Red Machine” – Justin Vernon + Aaron Dessner
12 “Sleepless” – The Decemberists
13 “Stolen Houses” (Die) – Iron and Wine
14 “Service Bell” – Grizzly Bear + Feist
15 “You Are The Blood” – Sufjan Stevens

Disc Two
01 “Well-Alright” – Spoon
02 “Lenin” – Arcade Fire
03 “Mimizan” – Beirut
04 “El Caporal” – My Morning Jacket
05 “Inspiration Information” (Shuggie Otis) – Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings
06 “With A Girl Like You” (The Troggs) – Dave Sitek
07 “Blood Pt 2” (based on original song “You are the Blood” by the Castanets) – Buck 65 Remix (featuring Sufjan Stevens and Serengeti)
08 “Hey, Snow White” (Destroyer) – The New Pornographers
09 “Gentle Hour” (Snapper) – Yo La Tengo
10 “Another Saturday” (traditional song) – Stuart Murdoch
11 “Happiness” – Riceboy Sleeps
12 “Amazing Grace” (traditional song) – Cat Power and Dirty Delta Blues
13 “The Giant Of Illinois” (Handsome Family) – Andrew Bird
14 “Lua” – Conor Oberst + Gillian Welch
15 “When the Road Runs Out” – Blonde Redhead + Devastations
16 “Love vs. Porn” – Kevin Drew

It’s a lot to digest, I know, so I’m giving you my favorites.  I absolutely love the Feist + Ben Gibbard (of Death Cab For Cutie, of course) duet – their voices are great together. My Brightest Diamond‘s take on Nina Simone‘s classic “Feeling Good” is equally impressive as it is inventive. I’m a huge fan of The Decemberists and “Sleepless” is a beautiful slower piece that starts off being carried by strings and later moves onto the piano. Simple, beautiful, and with great vocals from Colin Meloy. Highly recommend all three. I’m also including the (10+ minute!) Sufjan Stevens track just because I have it. Not sure how I feel about this one but I’ll let you make up your own mind; it’s not completely typical of Sufjan’s work, for better or for worse. 

Check out the Dark Was The Night website for streaming versions of “Knotty Pint” by Dirty Projectors + David Byrne, “So Far Around The Bend” by The National, and “Brackett, WI” by Bon Iver.

Buy: Amazon (for only $9.99!)


Music Spotlight: The Decemberists

January 22, 2009

decemberistsThe Decemberists are one of my all-time favorite bands. I completely fell in love with the masterpiece that was their last LP, 2006’s The Crane Wife, and after releasing a series of EPs at the end of 2008 under the “Always A Bridesmaid” title, The Decemberists are preparing to release the next LP, “The Hazards Of Love,” on March 24, 2009 (Yay!).  In the meantime, the fine Portland-based band is giving away the LP’s first single, “The Rake’s Song.” See below for “The Hazards Of Love” track list, download link for “The Rake’s Song,” and some of my favorite older Decemberists tracks. Enjoy.

1. Prelude
2. The Hazards of Love 1 (The Prettiest Whistles Won’t Wrestle the Thistles Undone)
3. A Bower Scene
4. Won’t Want for Love (Margaret in the Taiga)
5. The Hazards of Love 2 (Wager All)
6. The Queen’s Approach
7. Isn’t it a Lovely Night?
8. The Wanting Comes in Waves / Repaid
9. An Interlude
10. The Rake’s Song
11. The Abduction of Margaret
12. The Queen’s Rebuke / The Crossing
13. Annan Water
14. Margaret in Captivity
15. The Hazards of Love 3 (Revenge!)
16. The Wanting Comes in Waves (Reprise)
17. The Hazards of Love 4 (The Drowned)

The Decemberists – A Record Year For Rainfall (from Always The Bridemaid, Vol. 3)

The Decemberists – Sons & Daughters (from The Crane Wife)

The Decemberists – The Crane Wife 3 (from The Crane Wife)

The Decemberists – Sixteen Military Wives (from Picaresque)

The Decemberists – July, July (from Castaways And Cutouts)