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Thursday, October 26, 2006

The Decemberists: Live in Dallas


Colin Meloy of the Decemberists

The Decemberists and Lavender Diamond came to town last night, playing to a completely sold-out Gypsy Ballroom. Lavender Diamond's Becky Stark deftly navigated the fine line between cute, endearing drunk girl and obnoxious, annoying drunk girl (video). She described her performance as "delicate," probably in an effort to get the people at the bar to shut up. It didn't really work, but she eventually won most of the crowd over with her closing number, "You Broke My Heart."



Apparently, I'm in the minority that feels The Crane Wife isn't the Decemberists' best work (I'm in the Castaways & Cutouts camp.) The band obviously focused on the new record, and while I do enjoy some of the prog-rock leanings ("The Island" was especially awesome live), I find some of it almost unlistenable (we had to go outside during "The Perfect Crime #2"). On the other hand, "The Crane Wife" (all parts) sounded really pretty live, and the selections from Picaresque ("Engine Driver," "We Both Go Down Together") were great. Plus, Colin Meloy is a pretty charismatic geek, so it's hard not to like him regardless of how pretentious you think he is.

(Sidenote: While Petra Haden is no longer in the band (boo!), the Decemberists have enlisted a new requisite hot female violinist/xylophonist/keyboardist for this tour. Anyone know her name?)

Click read more link to view a few more shots from the show...


THE DECEMBERISTS:









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43 comments:

Anonymous Patrick said...

Did you say hot? Maybe you had to be there.

11:05 AM  
Blogger Chris said...

yeah, not the best photo. how about "cute"?

11:07 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I really enjoyed the Decemberists... God, L Diamond sucked!!!! That girl looked like the annoying girl you went to middle school with, performing in a talent show.

11:14 AM  
Anonymous lism. said...

Philistines. I totally get it.

Aaaaanyway. In complete agreement on "The Perfect Crime 2" just... urgh. I'm still waiting on my copy of The Crane Wife from HMV online, which I guess is the trouble with cheap CD sites. There's something to be said for piracy really *snort*

11:14 AM  
Anonymous lism. said...

Chris your icon is strangely hypnotic.

11:15 AM  
Blogger Don't Need Anything said...

the new girl is lisa molinaro from talkdemonic. and she is super foxy...

12:04 PM  
Blogger Dave said...

Crane Wife is kind of blah. great live band, though.

1:19 PM  
Anonymous matt said...

if you truly find parts of The Crane Wife unlistenable, how on earth do you manage to listen to 85% of the crap posted on your site?

"we had to go outside during "The Perfect Crime #2")"-- lame.

1:23 PM  
Blogger alt-gramma said...

Indie Mom and I saw the show in L.A. on the 21st. It looks like the stage was as dark at your show as it was at ours. We have a few pics in our review at Speed of Dark. Had to do some doctoring in CorelDraw to get anything out of them.

I'm with you on The Crane Wife. I'm not that impressed, although it came over better in a live show.

I wondered out loud what the L.D. singer takes to relax before a show, and several people near us turned around, grinned and nodded at me. Lovely girl, but spacey!

~alt-gramma~

1:29 PM  
Blogger jerry yeti said...

I'm in the Crane Wife loving camp myself. Perfect Crime 2 isn't as bad as everyone complains it is.

1:36 PM  
Anonymous Garrison Reid said...

Yeti,
It's worst than people complain about it.

It's the perfect, the perfect, the perfect, the perfect, the perfect, the perfect, the perfect, the perfect, the perfect, the perfect, the perfect, the perfect, the perfect, the perfect thing to tide over major label pressures.

2:02 PM  
Blogger Alex said...

While Petra will be missed, from what little I've seen, Lisa does a fine job filling that particular spot.

Petra does get a thanks in the Crane Wife liner notes though.

2:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

how many pretentious fucking idiots can read one little blog?

2:13 PM  
Blogger jerry yeti said...

but! but! but!

...but there's COWBELL at the end and ...

<small>I kinda like that part</small>

2:18 PM  
Anonymous natural sky said...

anon --

how many of those fat chicks did you end up fucking after the show last night?

2:22 PM  
Blogger Chris said...

matt,

good question. but "the perfect crime #2" still sucks.

2:36 PM  
Blogger Gregg said...

Hot in my books. patrick should keep his pretentious criticisms to himself.
"look at those pointy knees, she is way below my standards"

4:40 PM  
Blogger Wayne said...

i dont like the perfect crime #2, but i do love the rest of the crane wife, especially sons & daughters

5:11 PM  
Anonymous zak said...

The new Decemberists gets two thumbs down in my book. Unlistenable is right.

7:05 PM  
Blogger M said...

That singer's "look" sort of reminds me to John Hodgman, who wrote that "Areas of My Expertise" book.

Cool though. Thanks for posting, I love those guys!

7:19 PM  
Anonymous Josh said...

Unlistenable?

That's just silly, unless you never liked them in the first place. I could pick out plenty of individual songs that suck the life out of good albums, but as bad as Perfect Crime #2 is, it doesn't ruin things completely.

I thought it was a pretty engaging show, thanks largely to Colin's aforementioned charisma. And though it may sound blasphemous, Ms. Molinaro kinda made me forget about Petra Hayden.

7:20 PM  
Blogger Chris said...

just for the record, by no means do i think the whole album is unlistenable. i think about half of it is really good, a few mediocre songs, then the one unlistenable one.

7:22 PM  
Anonymous Josh said...

Right on - that was more in response to zak's comment than to yours.

Garrison pretty much nailed Perfect Crime #2, well, perfectly.

7:39 PM  
Anonymous Richie said...

I don't understand how somebody could find that song 'unlistenable'.. Okay, the chorus is very repetetive, but the way people talk about it, you'd expect some screeching noise squall or something.. The instrumental parts are cool, particularly the sneaky little keyboard and bass riffs.

8:10 PM  
Blogger Nate said...

I'm pretty sure that "When the War Came" is also unlistenable. They must have ripped off that riff from the latest Jimmy Eat World.

"Sons and Daughters" is great and "Shankhill Butchers" is alright.

In Tucson, they didn't play "Mariner's Revenge." Have they played it anywhere on this tour?

8:48 PM  
Anonymous David said...

Thank goodness I'm not the only one that thinks "Perfect Crime 2" is pretty damn lame. Listening to it a couple times I've not been able to place my finger on it, but all in all it's corny, doesn't utilize the song writing talent everyone lauds Meloy for having, and it may not be nails on a chalkboard, but it's getting there.

Bummer about Petra Haden, she was (is) awesome.

8:52 PM  
Anonymous Brian said...

Hey-

I just posted The Decemberists live at the Crystal Ballroom in Portland, OR over at Sleepytalk.

8:59 PM  
Anonymous Adam said...

Sweet hyperbole, Batman! Perfect Crime 2 'unlistenable'? It's by far the weakest song on a very good album- the lyrics are crap and the tune repetitive, but it's not THAT bad.

8:29 AM  
Anonymous Garrison said...

Maybe Chris needs to explain "unlistenable." If you say "yeah, it's repetitive", "has crap lyrics", and "is the weakest track on the record", how does that possibly describe something you proudly listen to? No it's not literally unlistenable. It's just something we do not in enjoy listening to or avoid listening to = unlistenable.

8:40 AM  
Anonymous Adam said...

Garrison: Yeah, I understand your point; maybe I should have been a bit clearer and a bit less glib. Although it's the weakest song on the album, it's not terrible (it's got a perfectly decent bassline). It's just boring and shrugworthy. I wouldn't particularly choose to listen to it, but I wouldn't go "OMFG THIS SONG OFFENDS ME SO MUCH I MUST CHANGE IT RIGHT NOW." So no, I wouldn't call it "unlistenable".

But, meh, it's all semantics.

10:17 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I did rather enjoy the debut of, "Male Junkie Prostitute." Playing a B-side and "I was Meant For The Stage," for the encore was a very nice choice.

11:44 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Becky Stark is completely obnoxious as a performer. She was tanked off her mind and kept yelling "I love you" and "this is the best night of my life" at the crowd between songs when I saw her open before. God and she writes shitty songs.

4:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lavender Diamond was so horrible.
Just terrible!

The Decemberists were amazing.

6:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Someone mentioned above that the 'new girl' is Lisa Molinaro from Talkdemonic, but I just have to state that Talkdemonic is incredible. Beat Romatic is one of my favorite albums of this past year, and if you want to get a feel for the music that she makes, you have to check it out.

12:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You guys are crazy. Lavender Diamond were amazing and I'm almost 100% certain that Becky Stark was stone cold sober. That is just her insane personality. Their music is super anthemic and great, reminded me of The Band.

6:59 PM  
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|外遇|外遇|外遇|外遇|外遇|
|外遇|外遇|外遇|外遇|外遇|
|外遇|外遇|外遇|外遇|

|抓姦|抓姦|抓姦|抓姦|抓姦|
|抓姦|抓姦|抓姦|抓姦|抓姦|
|抓姦|抓姦|抓姦|抓姦|抓姦|
|抓姦|抓姦|抓姦|抓姦|抓姦|
|抓姦|抓姦|抓姦|抓姦|抓姦|
|抓姦|抓姦|抓姦|抓姦|

|偵探|偵探|偵探|偵探|偵探|
|偵探|偵探|偵探|偵探|偵探|
|偵探|偵探|偵探|偵探|偵探|
|偵探|偵探|偵探|偵探|偵探|
|偵探|偵探|偵探|偵探|偵探|
|偵探|偵探|偵探|偵探|

|尋人|尋人|尋人|尋人|尋人|
|尋人|尋人|尋人|尋人|尋人|
|尋人|尋人|尋人|尋人|尋人|
|尋人|尋人|尋人|尋人|尋人|
|尋人|尋人|尋人|尋人|尋人|
|尋人|尋人|尋人|尋人|

8:19 AM  

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