Wednesday, March 23, 2005


Okay, I know this will only reach a few eyes, but I cannot resist gushing a teensy bit. Allow me to preface by noting my extreme lack of hipness, indie awareness, or musical coolness of any kind. But when I read a reference a few months ago on finslippy about a song called "Chimbley Sweep--" well, how can you not be intrigued by a song called "Chimbley Sweep?" I mean, aren't you? Just a little?

So I went to Rhapsody and checked out the Decemberists. Oh, God, I was hooked. With lyrics like these, from "Red Right Ankle," I was hooked:

This is the story of your gypsy uncle
You never knew 'cause he was dead
And how his face was carved and rift with wrinkles
In the picture in your head.

And remember how you found the key
To his hideout in the Pyrenees
But you wanted to keep his secret safe
So you threw the key away.
This is the story of your gypsy uncle.
Oh, there were catchy melodies and lilting harmonies--but the lyrics, the jauntily outlandish tales told in a few deft lines, the words Colin Meloy uses...I was overcome with delight.

They have a brand-new album out, Picaresque, and it's incredible. With songs like "The Mariner's Revenge Song," and "From My Own True Love (Lost at Sea)." With lyrics like these, from "The Infanta:"
And as she sits upon her place, her innocence laid on her face.
From all atop the parapets blow a multitude of coronets:
melodies rhapsodical and fair.
And all our hearts afire, the sky ablaze with cannonfire,
we all raise our voices to the air, to the air...
Seriously, how can you not enjoy that?

I've been listening to this album all evening, and I anticipate dreams of whales and pachyderms, consumptive mothers and vengeful sailors.