Thursday, January 15, 2009

Oh Happy Day...A New Decemberists Song (The Rake's Song)

Today I got a present in my inbox: a new song from Hazards of Love, the upcoming Decemberists album that drops on March 24th.  (Does a Decemberists album "drop"?  I think it probably "decends in a downward direction" or "falls gracefully down" or does something else even more verbose than that.)

As the record was originally going to be a musical production, The Rake's Song is all about the villian character in the Hazards of Love story.  Apparently, the evil who marry too young end up killing their children in various graphically horrific ways.  I implore you, Hipster Parents, don't let your kids listen to this song before bedtime!  It's quite a song.  You'll laugh, you'll, seriously, you will.  Here are some of the lyrics, followed by my subsequent reactions:

"Until her womb starts spilling out babies / only then did I reckon my curse" = funny! lolz!

"Isaiah fought but was easily bested / burned his body for incurring my wrath" = wait...what did he just say?!

On to overanalyzing the musical implications.  The Decemberists are at a place where fans are vocally uneasy about the direction they're headed.  I have been here before; see Weezer, c. 2000.  Fool me know how the saying goes.  And I'm telling you, The Decemberists will not fail us.  Hearing this song for the first time reminds me of the first time I heard "A Cautionary Song", or "Odalisque", or "Bachelor and the Bride": it scared the sh*t out of me.  Colin Meloy is uniquely able to draw me into his stories and make me feel intensely for made up characters in under three minutes flat.  Complain all you want that they used a distorted guitar instead of an accordion.  That's not what makes this band special.  If he keeps writing stories like this, I don't care if they ever use a hurdy-gurdy again.

Odd distortion pedal aside, one thing I do absolutely love is all the people in the background screaming "ALL RIGHT!"  It's going to be so fun to be in the audience when they play this song live.

For a good laugh, listen to the song as recorded during one of Colin's recent solo shows.  The audience's horrified reaction is priceless.


Scotter said...

Also, this song is not unsimilar in "scaring the shit out of me"-ness to "Culling of the Fold," a b-side to a Crane Wife single. Worth czeching out if you haven't yet:

Marla Diakonis said...

Just heard this song the other day. Epic! haha. Definitely give it a listen.

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