21 July 2005

The use of Palanquin and Pachyderm

The Decemberists are actually really good. I wasn't expecting that.

Up until recently I'd avoided this band like a locust plague (put a hat on, found a cave) mostly because I kinda figured they had something of the Seth Cohen about them (as a person not a bad thing at all - his comedy eye-rubbing at Marissa's lesbianism was one of the best moments on TV this year - but as a record collection...)

But then I heard this song:

The Decemberists - The Infanta


Example


from the Picaresque album, I started to feel I've been watching popular American culture pass me by again.

I mean, sometimes you need something to sing along to while you're doing the washing up and The Blythe Sons cracked, dust-ridden, bleakscapes (thanks Hector!) just aint gonna get them done...

This song, though... it's so Crisp N Dry, so packed, heavy, loaded, so damn pop...

Irresistable. Maybe even Psychbloke would like it...

Maybe it's because it begins with monkeybird calls (therefore you can multiply any rating by 1.2) or maybe it's just the everrolling drums, the way the vocals seem to evolve like Sea Monkeys from indie-whine to operatic in a creepy, liminal way that makes you feel slightly disorientated...

Maybe it's because they remind me of The Band of Holy Joy and, weirdly, Blyth Power when I was expecting to be reminded of, I dunno, Spoon.

Or maybe it's just because they pack in underused songwords like palanquin and pachyderm in the very first verse...

Oh, and before I go I've also been enjoying Bright Eyes...

Bright Eyes - Bowl of Oranges


Bright Eyes - Nothing Ever Gets Crossed Out


Yes, Bright Eyes. I know, I'm so ashamed but I just don't know why. It's just great songwriting.

Ah well...Bang goes my Psychedelic Ur-folk, weird America, Phinnweb, skronk-jazz, old-school industrial, Krautrock, moon-musick credentials...

Look out, you American College Kids I'm coming to get ya...



Next Week: An Idiot's Guide to Dreaming does The Shins, Kanye West and Kasabian.

1 comment:

hector2332@hotmail.com said...

Hey thanks for the mention. I have had this album (Decemberists) spinning on the ipod for a couple weeks now. Some of it is kind of sickeningly sweet but other tunes are locked in my head as part of my current day to day soundtrack. I suggested it to my Belle and Sebastian loving wife to little response so far.

I guess that package I sent was kind of bleak all around, although the Skygreen Lepards album is one of my most joyous.

Take Care,
Hector

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