Posts Tagged ‘The Decemberists’

The 11 best concerts of 2011 in Central Oregon

Wednesday, December 21st, 2011

Four things:

1) I saw a lot of live music in 2011, and below you’ll find reviews, videos and photos of my 11 favorite concerts of the year, plus links to more on each.

2) You’ll note, perhaps, that these happened at 11 different venues in Central Oregon. I thought that was cool.

3) Why 11? Because I couldn’t bear to cut any of them to get it down to 10!

4) As long as you’re here, be sure to click over to our Near/Far page and check out the rest of our coverage of 2011′s best music, including free, legal downloads of the year’s best songs!

CHAMPAGNE CHAMPAGNE
JAN. 9, OLD MILL MUSIC LOUNGE

FULL REVIEW

Champagne Champagne. Photo by Ben.


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Near/Far 2011: The “Bonus Disc”

Wednesday, December 14th, 2011

In case you missed it: Near/Far is The Bulletin’s free, legal, two-disc compilation of some of the best songs of the year. The 2011 version — all 36 tracks of it, including Fleet Foxes, Yuck, Washed Out, Other Lives, The War on Drugs, Shabazz Palaces, Larry and His Flask, Laurel Brauns, Empty Space Orchestra, Erin Cole-Baker, Anastacia and more — can be downloaded by clicking here.

We’ve been doing Near/Far annually for the past five years, and you can still grab 2007 and 2008 here and 2009 here and 2010 here. That’s 174 awesome songs … for free. Get ‘em.

But that’s not enough! Each year, there are inevitably tracks I can’t use on the official Near/Far, either because I run out of space, or I can’t get permission to use them. So I’ve put together a “bonus disc” of great songs that didn’t make it onto the 2011 comp, and by “bonus disc” I mean YouTube playlist for super easy streaming.

Click here to listen. (Please note that some tracks — and one band name — may include coarse language.)

Here are the artists in this mix: The Decemberists, Frank Ocean, Wilco, Patrick Stump, The Vaccines, Big K.R.I.T., Robin Pecknold, F–ked Up, Givers, Kendrick Lamar, Pistol Annies, Clams Casino, Wavves, Purity Ring, Purling Hiss, Archers, Peaking Lights and Jovontaes. Again, you can hear all this right here.

Also, sorry if you run into an advertisement. I tried to avoid them. Ditched Foo Fighters, Beyonce, Lady Gaga and more because of ‘em. But they’re sneaky little dudes.

The Best Songs of 2011 So Far: The Decemberists, “This Is Why We Fight”

Wednesday, July 6th, 2011

As we cross over from June into July — and thus end of the first half of 2011 — I’m going to post a bunch of my favorite songs of the year so far.

To see them all, click here. And to read about my favorite albums of 2011 so far, click here.

This week in GO! Magazine’s music section

Monday, June 6th, 2011

Brian Hinderberger pays tribute to his sister!

Madhappy Lounge throws an all-day show to raise money for and awareness of its mission!

Bobby Bare Jr. brings his awesome songs and impressive lineage to McMenamins!

And my Feedback column focuses on last weekend’s Death Cab for Cutie and The Decemberists shows at Les Schwab Amphitheater. I thought both headliners were good, but one was more enjoyable than the other. Click here to find out which one and why.

Elsewhere in the music section, we detail the five shows this week at Silver Moon Brewing (including Moon Mountain Ramblers, Tyrone Wells and Gun Runner) and tell you what you need to know about tonight’s Brothers Young / Hurtbird show, Saturday’s songwriters’ circle at PoetHouse Art, and Monday’s jazz concert and auditions. Oh, and we’ll update you on Last Band Standing.

[Photos] The Decemberists, Rodrigo y Gabriela and Dan Mangan at Les Schwab Amphitheater

Wednesday, June 1st, 2011

My full review of The Decemberists’ show Sunday night at Les Schwab Amphitheater will run Friday in GO! Magazine. For now, tide yourself over with some wonderful photos of the evening taken by The Bulletin’s Ryan Brennecke.

THE DECEMBERISTS

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Stream 20 of The Decemberists’ best songs

Sunday, May 29th, 2011

I did one of these for Death Cab for Cutie, so it seems only fair to do one for this weekend’s other Les Schwab Amphitheater headliner, The Decemberists, who play tonight.

Whether you’re unfamiliar with the band’s work, or you’re skeptical that these Portlandian folkies actually have some great songs, or you dig ‘em and need something to get pumped up for tonight’s show, or you simply want some music going while you putter around on a Sunday, this YouTube playlist should do the trick. It’s 20 of The Decemberists’ best songs in chronological(ish) order (I put “The Tain” at the end because it’s, y’know, 20 minutes long), stretching from 2001′s “5 Songs” EP to “The King is Dead,” which came out four months ago. Just press play and let the internet do the work.

This week in GO! Magazine’s music section

Friday, May 27th, 2011

Seattle’s Death Cab for Cutie kicks off the summer concert season at Les Schwab Amphitheater tonight. I spoke with drummer Jason McGerr about the band’s new album, “Codes and Keys,” which comes out Tuesday:

Several factors influenced the sound of “Codes,” McGerr said. The band took longer to make it, and, for the first time, brought in an outsider (Alan Moulder) to mix it rather than having Walla do it.

And, the members of Death Cab went through significant personal change after “Narrow Stairs.” Gibbard and Harmer got married. McGerr is now a father.

“Our approach as players and Ben as a (songwriter), it has to be different,” McGerr said. “We’re just at a different time in our lives. There wasn’t much that was the same other than the individuals making the music.”

I hope you’ll read the whole thing by clicking here. Better yet, pick up a copy of GO! Magazine to check out a nifty graph of Death Cab’s history, record sales and big moments over the years.

On Sunday, Portland’s The Decemberists close out Memorial Day weekend at Les Schwab Amphitheater. Bassist Nate Query was nice enough to give me a call to chat about the success and sound of their new record, “The King is Dead.”

After nearly a decade making catchy, highly literate, history-obsessed music , “The King is Dead” is a return to the band’s rustic, American roots, a shift even more striking in the context of The Decemberists’ previous album “The Hazards of Love,” an epic, 17-track rock opera that mines British folk and prog-rock influences.

Query said “Hazards” is the concept of a narrative song-cycle album “taken … to its extreme,” and when it was time to think about a follow-up, that side of the band was tapped out.

“It felt like we didn’t have any of that left in us and it was time to make a record like ‘The King is Dead,’” he said. “(The folksy) stuff was in us the whole time, it’s just that we didn’t put any of it on the last record, so it was all just sitting there waiting to be (released).”

Click here to read the whole thing. And we’ve got a cool graph of The Decemberists’ sales and milestones, too!

Elsewhere in this week’s music section: A great band called Or, the Whale plays at McMenamins next week, plus an all-day concert and party at Maragas Winery, the Ron Steen Band brings jazz to The Oxford Hotel, The Dead Ringers do their tie-dyed tribute thing at the Tower Theatre and Silver Moon hosts The Staxx Brothers and Empty Space Orchestra on Saturday, and Yamn on Thursday. Plus, there’s a Last Band Standing update.

Have fun this weekend! Stay warm…

Les Schwab Amphitheater bolsters 2011 lineup with shows by The Decemberists, Ween

Monday, March 7th, 2011

We already know that Death Cab for Cutie is kicking off the 2011 Bend Summer Concerts series at Les Schwab Amphitheater, and over the weekend, word came from Marney Smith, the amphitheater’s manager, of two more dates:

May 29 — The Decemberists, Rodrigo y Gabriela (and possibly another support act to be announced)
July 2 — Ween

I believe more details, such as ticket prices, on-sale dates, etc., are coming later today, and I’ll add them here when I get them. You can also keep up with the info at the amphitheater’s website.

The Decemberists show means two of Memorial Day weekend’s three nights are officially booked, leaving only Saturday night to fill (if it can be filled at all). Given that all the Memorial Day acts so far have been bands traveling to or from the Sasquatch music festival in Washington, and considering (1) which Sasquatch bands can headline the Schwab and which can’t, and (2) who’s playing what night up there at the fest, I think we can narrow Saturday’s potential headliners down to: The Flaming Lips, Wilco, Modest Mouse and Foo Fighters.

You know my vote.

Colin Meloy plays “The Crane Wife 1, 2 & 3″ for KEXP

Tuesday, January 18th, 2011

This is one of my favorite stretches of music of the past several years. Just beautiful.

Posting this is really just my roundabout way of reminding you that The Decemberists‘ new album “The King is Dead” comes out today, and it is excellent, especially if you love the “5 Songs” / “Castaways and Cutouts”-era of the band (or Tarkio) more than their most recent record, “The Hazards of Love.”

Stream all of “The King is Dead” here or here or here.

The best music of 2009 (so far)

Friday, July 10th, 2009

Well folks, it’s early July, and that means one thing to obsessive music geeks everywhere: Time to make a list!

The first six months of 2009 have come and gone, and they were a bit of a roller-coaster for me, music-wise. For the first few months of the year, I didn’t hear much that I loved and was convinced this would be the weakest year of new music in quite some time. (I’m talking non-local here. Locally, it’s been a stellar year for recorded music. Click here or grab a copy of today’s GO! Magazine for more on that.)

In the last few months, though, things have picked up considerably. Truth is, I think running this blog has helped a lot. It has forced me to pay closer attention to new music, and to check out more stuff than I think I normally would’ve. As a result, there are a lot of names on the list below that I wasn’t necessarily familiar with on New Year’s Day.

And that, really, is what I love about music. I’m constantly on the lookout for what’s new. I love the thrill of discovering a new band, even if they’re not necessarily making a new sound. I like looking forward, not back. (Never mind the fact that I’ve listened to Kathleen Edwards’ 2008 album “Asking For Flowers” more over the past six months than any of the albums listed below.)

With that in mind, let’s look back (haha) at the records that really grabbed me in the first half of 2009. I’m not going to clutter this post up with CD covers or YouTube videos. Just click on the artist names to find out more.

The Best of the Best
Crocodiles, “Crocodiles” (slacker shoegaze)
Japandroids, “Post-Nothing” (noisy garage rock … read more here)
School of Seven Bells, “Alpinisms” (icy electro-pop … read more here)
Shabazz Palaces, “CD1″/”CD2″ (brainy Seattle hip-hop … read more here)
Weinland, “Breaks In The Sun” (graceful folk-pop … read more here and watch video of their live show in Bend here)

The Best of the Rest
Brakes, “Touchdown” (pure, perfect pop-rock)
Dinosaur Jr, “Farm” (guitars on blast)
Truck North, “Truck Jewels” (Philly hip-hop … read more here)

More Good Stuff
Animal Collective, “Merriweather Post Pavilion” (psychedelic Afro-electro-pop)
Arbouretum, “Song of the Pearl” (stoner blues)
Assemble Head in Sunburst Sound, “When Sweet Sleep Returned” (psych-pop)
Black Moth Super Rainbow, “Eating Us” (analog weirdness … read more here)
Gui Boratto, “Take My Breath Away” (twinkling electronica)
Danger Mouse, Sparklehorse and David Lynch, “Dark Night of the Soul” (creepy pop … read more here)
The Decemberists, “The Hazards of Love” (indie-prog)
John Doe & The Sadies, “Country Club” (country)
The Pains of Being Pure at Heart, “The Pains of Being Pure at Heart” (throwback twee)
Sonic Youth, “The Eternal” (noise-rock)
Telekinesis, “Telekinesis!” (indie-pop)
Various artists, “Dark Was the Night” (indie-rock Mt. Rushmore)
Wale, “Back to the Feature” (D.C. hip-hop)

OK. Hopefully I didn’t forget something. If I did, remind me in the comments. Think I should’ve included your favorite album? Tell me in the comments. Think one of those albums stinks? Let me know in the comments! I love nothing more than talking about music…