Come and see

There's been a lot of hype about the new Decemberists' album, The Crane Wife. I wouldn't call myself a huge fan of the Decemberists. Not any more so than I am a fan of any other mainstream indie rock band that I listen to a lot. But I will say, this album was somewhat of a disappointment. There was nothing amazing about it. A few of the songs struck me as well produced, but it wasn't as if every song was great. Are my standards too high? I wouldn't think so. I mean, if Stephin Merritt could manage to never make a bad or even half-good song, I don't think it is too much to ask for bands who cannot live up to that just to not put out their mediocrity. Who wants to listen to a 12-song album of bad songs? This is all to say that I did think the Decemberists' 2002 release of Castaways and Cutouts was pretty excellent. Last year's Picaresque was pretty good, too, although it had a lot more energy than I wanted to hear from them (yeah--I know that sounds weird but if you listen to them both enough times you'll know what I mean).

My favorite song from The Crane Wife is probably "The Island," which actually kind of starts out painfully bad but ends up sounding a lot better a few minutes in.

You can find a couple of other songs elsewhere. I won't bother to put them here.

However, here is a nice little diddy from the band that is actually quite nice to listen to, whether you're a Joanna Newsom fan or not.

This week, as I get to them, reviews of the new Anti-Flag, Yo La Tengo, and Nina Nastasia. Maybe Xiu Xiu. We'll see.


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