Friday, November 7, 2008

Hear All the Bombs Fade Away

A couple of nights ago I tried to describe the Decemberists to my mom. They're not really rock, not really folk, kind of literary, kind of funny, really beautiful, and really talented. They write songs about people getting swallowed by a whale, ankles, fairy tales, Irish killers, and chimney sweeps. The best word I could come up with that she might understand was indie.

"Indian?" she said. "Like Ravi Shankar?"

"Indie," I said. "Like independent film."

If you can come up with a better word, let me know. But however you describe them, the Decemberists rock. I'd gotten to see them once before, at a free concert, but since that was with a symphony orchestra, they didn't play too many songs. (It would have been a lot for the orchestra to learn in a short period of time.) But when I saw them on their own, they put on such an amazing show. At one point, keyboardist/accordionist Jenny brought out a cardboard cutout of Obama, which them proceeded to crowd surf. At the end, when performing "Son and Daughters," Colin brought up about twenty audience members on stage to help the band along. Just a really lovely moment.

And they sounded just as good on stage as they do on CD. I tend to like it when a live show kind of resembles the song I've been listening to on my iPod for months. It means that the studio didn't mess with their voices.

One of my favorites is their "O Valencia!" Check out the music video below. It's such a different video than I would have expected just from hearing the song!

And here's a live version of "Sons and Daughters."

Try to see them if you can!


Teresa said...

what album would you recommend as a first one to try? :) teresa

annie said...

Good question! I'd say either 'The Crane Wife' which is my personal favorite, or 'Her Majesty.' Any way you do it, they're great!