Tag Archives: The Decemberists

SXSW 2009 Day 1: Elvis Perkins, Andrew Bird, The Decemberists (again)

The first full day of SXSW music has passed and I have the aching feet to prove it. Watching music from 12pm to 1:30am is hard work people, but I do it for you.

The day started at the Austinist party with Garotas Suecas, a band made up a bunch of 19 year old Brazilian kids. Garagey, fun, it was a great way to start the day. After them I only caught one song from Here We Go Magic, the new band featuring Luke Temple. I liked what I heard, and I’m going to try to catch an entire set by them this week. I blame my first time drinking absinthe as the reason for f’ing up my schedule.

I left the Austinist event and went to Little Radio’s show and caught The Whispertown 2000 who rocked out a lot more than I expected. After them was the Evangelicals. For some reason I’ve let Evangelicals pass me by all this time, and now I want to dig into their albums. Drenched in a blissful blanket of feedback, making an impact even though they were only able to perform 4 songs.

Scheduling issues made me miss Amanda Palmer, my first :( of the week.

I went back to Austinist’s show to see Elvis Perkins in Dearland, and they blew my mind. Perkins has a huge band with him, and they sounded great. Sometimes they reminded me of Beirut, other times AA Bondy. I took a video of one of the songs and you can see it here.

Franz Nicolay of The Hold Steady is awesome solo. I’ve got proof:

I was fortunate to get invited to the Austin City Limits taping of Andrew Bird. I love ACL and I love Andrew Bird, so for me it was a perfect combination. And man, like the volunteers of SXSW, the ACL volunteers are so friendly. Right before you walk into the studio, there are two tables of free beer for you to take into the taping. Let me tell you, you do not get this kind of service at a Letterman taping. The set began with an amazing performance of “Why?” and kept on going for well over an hour. I won’t spoil the set list for you, but you definitely need to tune in when it airs.

Photo of the set:


I ended the night at Stubb’s. I first caught The Avett Brothers, which I am not too sure about. Is it weird that they sort of reminded me of System of a Down?

And like Tuesday night, I once again ended SXSW with The Decemberists. This time, though, they performed their new album, The Hazards of Love, from start to finish .. without stopping! It wasn’t until the encore that Colin Meloy actually addressed the crowd. It was a marathon performance, and I loved hearing the new stuff live. Stand outs were “The Rake Song” and My Brightest DIamond’s Shara Worden.

– I’m in a rush to my blogger panel (today at 11AM) so there isn’t links to bands. I’ll add them later. I’ll fix some grammar too.
– Don’t worry, no more Decemberists performances.

SXSW Music 2009 Day 0: The Decemberists, Gomez, Jackalope


Austin, we meet again. You’re as wonderful as I remember you.

I got into town yesterday around 4pm. Hotel check in, badge check in, good to go. I’m always amazed at how friendly the volunteers of SXSW are. Everyone is in a good mood and it lasts the whole week during the festival. It’s contagious. Also contagious: eating hamburgers at The Jackalope. Just as delicious and dangerous as I remembered.

Only one show last night, and it was a great one. IFC Film had a party that featured Gomez and The Decemberists. I’ve been a fan of Gomez from the beginning – I think I might have seen their first (or one of their first) USA shows @ Irving Plaza way back when the first record came out. But the problem I have with the band is I sort of forget them between records (there seems to be a longer than usual lag between releases these days for them). But as soon as I see them, I’m reminded how much of a fan I am. They still have the music chops that I’ve come to expect, and their new stuff is a great evolution of their sound.

Next up was The Decemberists. Now, if you’ve spent any time on this site you know they are one of my favorite bands. Actually, it was SXSW many years ago when I saw them for the first time (right around when The Tain came out) and I fell in love. This set was definitely for the fans. Beginning tonight the band is performing their new album from start to finish at shows, but last night was all about the back catalog. Here I Drempt I Was An Architect, The Crane Wife, The Perfect Crime, O Valencia, The Mariner’s Revenge Song and Billy Liar helped make a set list that was nothing short of perfect. 90ish minutes. The venue must have only fit around 400 people, a rare room size for a band that continues to get bigger. The audience was having a great time, The Decemberists were having a great time, everything clicked. Towards the end of the set, SCHED* co-conspirator looked at me and said, “Kill me because the rest of the week can’t get any better.” Well, I’m happy to report that I’m now a wanted man in Texas.

– SXSW music wristbands are all fancy/hologrammy this year
– Heavy metal pizza continues to move locations. This year it’s back on 6th but on the opposite side it used to be.
– St Patrick’s Day was impossible to avoid last night. Whoah.
– Even though my badge says I am from Columbus I will not join you in an OH-IO chant. Sorry, not happening.
– Almost (not really) feel like you’re here with my live updates via Twitter
– You can follow my subject-to-change schedule here.
– Read Chip’s recap here.

Don’t forget! I am part of the music blogger panel tomorrow @ 11AM.

Blue Giant (features members of Viva Voce, The Decemberists)


MP3: Hell or High Water by Blue Giant

I remember the first time I saw an M&M ice cream sandwich at the ice cream truck and thought, “Holy crap, I never thought of putting M&Ms, cookies and ice cream together but it makes more sense than anything else I’ve ever learned in this short life.” That is sort of how I feel about Blue Giant, a new band that features Kevin and Anita Robinson from Viva Voce and Chris Funk of The Decemberists.

It’s a combo that I never thought about, but after hearing their debut EP, I’m glad they got together. The band also features Evan Railton from The Swords Project and Seth Lorinczi from Golden Bears.And if that doesn’t entice you, the EP also features an appearance by Corin Tucker. It’s available for purchase over here.

Blue Giant has one performance at SXSW listed, but I think they might be doing at least one other event. If I learn more, I’ll update this post. (be sure to add them to your SCHED*)

The Decemberists Announce Tour w/ Columbus Date

The Decemberists

Full dates courtesy More Cowbell:

5/19/2009 Hollywood Palladium Los Angeles, CA
5/20/2009 Fox Theatre Oakland, CA
5/21/2009 McDonald Theatre Eugene, OR
5/24/2009 Wilma Theatre Missoula, MT
5/26/2009 Fillmore Auditorium Denver, CO
5/27/2009 Uptown Theatre Kansas City, MO
5/29/2009 Riverside Theater Milwaukee, WI
5/31/2009 The Pageant Saint Louis, MO
6/1/2009 Lifestyle Communities Pavilion Columbus, OH
6/3/2009 Tabernacle Atlanta, GA
6/4/2009 Memorial Auditorium Raleigh, NC
6/5/2009 National Richmond, VA
6/10/2009 Radio City Music Hall New York, NY

Presale starting at noon today.

Bonnaroo 2009

Here’s the line up. Actually looks really good….

Superfly Productions and A.C. Entertainment are proud to announce the initial lineup for the eighth annual Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival. See the lineup below. The four-day camping and music festival will be held from June 11-14, 2009 on our beautiful 700-acre farm in Manchester, Tennessee. Prepare yourself for an amazing 4-day weekend with over 100 of your favorite bands, top comedians, art, activities, workshops, vendors and much more — all gathered on a rustic Tennessee farm and devoted to making this the best weekend of your life!

Tickets to the 2009 Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival will go on sale this Saturday, February 7, at Noon Eastern time through Bonnaroo.com. For more information, go to our website.


That’s right kids. Get your GA tickets in 5 easy payments of $50.00 plus applicable fees or a pair of VIP tickets in 5 payments of $285.00 plus applicable fees. Visit the Payment Plan Ticketing page for more information.

Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band
Phish (2 Shows)
Beastie Boys
Nine Inch Nails
David Byrne
Al Green
Snoop Dogg
Elvis Costello Solo
Erykah Badu
Paul Oakenfold
Ben Harper and Relentless7
The Mars Volta
TV on the Radio
Yeah Yeah Yeahs
Gov’t Mule
Andrew Bird
Band Of Horses
Merle Haggard
The Decemberists Continue reading

UPDATED: The Decemberists Return to SXSW!

SXSW was the first time I saw The Decemberists many years ago…. Right around when The Tain came out… I saw them twice, and I still remember both sets.. And I’ve been in love ever since.

NPR Music will present a South by Southwest showcase headlined by The Decemberists at Stubbs on Wednesday, March 18, kicking off the opening night of this year’s SXSW Music and Media Conference in Austin, TX. The concert will mark the Portland-based band’s first live performance of its forthcoming album The Hazards of Love, which The Decemberists will debut in its entirety. Additional bands in the lineup, and NPR Music’s complete schedule of events at SXSW 2009, are to be announced.

Update:: Additional artists on the Wednesday, March 18, 2009 show at Stubb’s include Avett Brothers, Heartless Bastards, Ladyhawke and Janelle Monae.

New: The Decemberists “The Rake’s Song”


The Decemberists have released “The Rake’s Song,” a new song from their upcoming full length, The Hazards of Love.

This once’s got a bit of a punch to it and I swear when the “ALRIGHT” back up vocals hit the song it reminds of somewhere between Silversun Pickups and The Arcade Fire.

The bands says to “Share it with your friends! Post it as your Facebook update! Play it for your grandmother!” so I’ve included it here for you, my friends, to download. I’ll probably get a notice to take it down from someone, but hey, mixed signals are fun.

PS: Colin Meloy is on Twitter. So is donewaiting.

MP3: The Rake’s Song

New From Clinton Reno: The Decemberists, Coldplay

Our main man Clinton Reno has launched a new website. The complete archive of his work is still not completely up, but a bunch of new things he has done is now there and available for your ownership.

One thing to especially note: for the first time ever, Reno has done a limited variant of a poster. This one is a Decemberists poster where he changed the colors and added some glow in the dark ink. Check it out. Oh yeah, he’s now on Facebook too. And Twitter

Colin Meloy on Pitchfork.tv

One of the best things about Pitchfork.tv is the great quality of the full screen view. Click on the box to the left of the volume for hot full screen action of this video of Colin Meloy performing live.

New Music from Chris Walla

You probably know Chris Walla as the guitarist of Death Cab for Cutie. He’s also produced albums for a ton of my favorite bands including The Decemberists, Nada Surf, and The Long Winters.

He’ll be releasing his first solo album in January 2008 on Barsuk Records. Check out a song from that release:

MP3: Sing Again