Today I’ll be focusing on a band that I heard about via people from the Penny Arcade forums.  They are a neat crew of people with very interesting musical tastes.  If you’ve never been there, it’s probably wisest to wear a helmet.The Decemberists are one of the most intelligent bands I know of.  Their lyrics are very, very complex and typically tell a story.  Case in point, the Mariner’s Revenge Song.

Try not to actually watch the video.  It’s pretty bad.  The song itself, though is set in the belly of a whale.  One seaman has finally found the object of his life’s quest for vengeance.  The mother’s voice in particular is extremely creepy.  It is one of the most intricate songs I’ve ever heard.  There is a waltz in the middle for no apparent reason.  Also some mandolin.

My favourite song of theirs is July, July.  It’s a super upbeat song that I have no idea what it’s about.

It’s a lot of fun to sing and to play.  It’s one of the few songs where I can do both at the same time.

The Infanta is another of theirs that I really enjoy.  It has a terribly involved rhyme scheme (palanquin and elephant? yes, please!).

I had a different video there for a while that defined all the crazy words but this one had much better quality sound.

Their most recent album is only just out.  I got a listen to it the other day.  It’s a concept album about a shape-shifting alien and his folk singing girlfriend.  Yeah, I’m not sure, either.  I saw them on Austin City Limits a couple of years ago and I would go see them at a regular concert.  Their current tour is just them playing the new album live which, while a neat idea, is not something I would go to see.  The songs are too weird.

I will leave you today with the only professionally produced video that I found for them.  Sixteen Military Wives:

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