Oh, those Decemberists. Such wise folks, perpetually bearded and blazered and ready to whip up a folksy, … Read More
This week, The Decemberists release their seventh album, What a Terrible World, What a Beautiful World. The album, like 2011’s The King Is Dead, finds Colin Meloy toning down what came to be known as the band’s signature lyrical style throughout the ’00s: tragedies in bygone eras, from murders and drownings to rapes and blood feuds, illustrated by a ten-dollar vocabulary. Instead, Meloy focuses more on simplified folk tales, though there’s no doubt he remains a narrative songwriter whose work is deeply influenced by strife and sorrow. … Read More
Today, Portland and Portlandia seem to have become one and the same: the city, which is a real city (
Via… Read More
With our American palate becoming desensitized by all forms of devilishly good and taste-masking hot-sauces, it’s become hard to enjoy simple gastronomic pleasures without excessive amounts of added flavor. Any kind of sauce, really. It’s actually emotionally trying to not put a sauce on something. Therefore, I understand that it might be necessary to also accompany this post with a nice onion fig glaze. And who better to make your onion fig glaze, or at least to to teach you how to make your own onion fig glaze, than singer-turned-chef, Kelis? After all, her milkshake brought quite a few men to an outdoor space some years ago, so I’m hoping her onion fig glaze does something similar now. … Read More
Yesterday, November 19, acclaimed filmmaker, director of Who’s Afraid of Virginia Wolf?, The Graduate, and so many more, passed away. He was 83. He lead the life of about two 83-year-olds. The genius of his films is well known, but the way he uses music — aside from the indelible soundtrack of The Graduate — is so often overlooked. … Read More
The Decemberists have released the first track from their upcoming album What A Terrible World, What A Beautiful World. The song, “Make… Read More
Around 11:30 this morning, Colin Meloy started busking new Decemberists songs in Brooklyn’s trendy Williamsburg neighborhood.
Concept albums should not be evaluated solely on how flashy the concept is, but rather, how well it’s executed as a narrative. Sometimes, the musician goes into painstaking detail to lay out the concept, but the overabundance of details and references to other works is overwhelming or inaccessible to the listener. Sometimes the story’s just right, but the way the album is received and discussed obscures the concept. It takes a very specific touch to not only tell the story, but also make sure that it’s accessible and comprehensible to the listener. With this in mind, we examined ten concept albums that don’t quite hit that sweet spot, either on the band’s part or on the fan’s… Read More
It’s Father’s Day on Sunday, which means there’ll be much breaking out of Cat Stevens’ “Father and Son” and Will Smith’s “Just the Two of Us” across the Internet. Since you’ll surely be getting your dose of sentimentality elsewhere, here are handful of significantly less wholesome songs about fathers. There are plenty that spring to mind (although the, ahem, daddy of the lot — Korn’s “Daddy” — turns out to not in fact be about Jonathan Davis’s father at all, hence its absence from this list). But still, there are plenty of other candidates, and all of them are better than anything that involves Will Smith. Here goes. … Read More
Like many other former fans, I stopped watching The Simpsons sometime in the mid-2000s. It’s not that I think it’s uniformly terrible now — it’s still better than a whole lot of other shows on TV — or I’m boycotting it on principle. Hell, I even end up tuning in a few times per season, for a “Treehouse of Horror” or if someone I like is guest starring. But unlike its newish neighbor in Fox’s Sunday-night animation block, Bob’s Burgers, The Simpsons just can’t hold my attention anymore.
Sure, part of it is just that, a quarter-century into its run, the show rarely comes up with the kind of brilliantly loopy storylines that sustained it through the ’90s. What bothers me even more, though, is that a show that once had so many smart and original things to say about American culture has long seemed behind the times, its criticism mild and stale. In perhaps the most glaring example of this unfortunate trend, The Simpsons welcomed Portlandia stars Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein (as well as Patton Oswalt and, briefly, The Decemberists) to Springfield for an episode about hipsters. … Read More