February 15, 2007

The Crane Wife

I am absolutely loving the new Decemberists album, The Crane Wife. Previously I had enjoyed Picaresque, although neither it nor Her Majesty could surpass Castaways and Cutouts for sheer brilliance. 'Here I Dreamt I Was an Architect' is just so lovely!

However The Crane Wife demonstrates that the Decemberists are capable of much more than sea shanties and tales of soldiering. The title tracks tell a story in three parts about a man who tends to a wounded crane and then marries her, based on a Japanese folk tale - read more at wikipedia.
And I will hang my head, hang my head low.
'The Island' is like a novel. It moves through three different phases, encompassing the usual indie folk style of the Decemberists but also exploring prog rock styles - still has me open-mouthed in awe.
Come and see...
'Yankee Bayonet (I Will Be Home Then)' is a lovely duet with Laura Veirs, and it reminds me of their older tracks. 'O Valencia!' has the familiar theme of love ending in tragedy, somewhat Shakespearean. I'm not sure about the chorus on 'The Perfect Crime #2', but I definitely love 'Shankill Butchers'. And there are a few war tracks, 'When the War Came', 'After the Bombs', and also 'Yankee Bayonet'.

Today I bought Calexico's Garden Ruin.



Blogger audreysan said...

i saw the decemberists at ATP some time but was naturally too "distracted" to pay attention.. HOW ANNOYING. xx ps will get you this newie on LP if ya still wanna (for the swap i emailed about??). oh! and YAY garden ruin! also recommend the CD EP (or whatever) of "The Black Heart" nice mixes etc...

11:45 PM  
Anonymous Esther said...

aww I thrashed the crane wife for the last month... especially the crane wife 1 & 2, and 3, and o valencia!, and shankhill butchers and summersong (ba ba ba baaa).

the only thing is I have weird reservations about the decemberists; I love the narrative way they write songs, but the women in their songs weird me out. I mean there are lots of beautiful, tragic songs about love and lots of beautiful women (who die tragically), but the women don't seem to have any personalities beyond being in love with the protagonist of the song.

or, you know, maybe I'm just not into love songs at the moment :) what do you think?

12:34 PM  
Blogger Jessie said...

Audrey, yes I will see what I can do. I have a dvd that I got you for xmas that I still haven't sent over too. Packages ahoy!

Esther I think you're right. The females do always have very limited and mostly tragic roles! Hmm. What'sgoingonthereIwonder. Did Jolene talk to you about coming to see Bic at Martinborough?? I'll email..

10:05 PM  
Blogger Cameron said...

Yo Jessie, I followed your link from your comment on my blog to your blog, and I just thought your last fm pluggin is really cool. I also really dig your photography. Cheers!

4:51 PM  
Blogger Jessie said...

Hi Cameron, thanks! Yes I am a bit addicted to last fm. Gotta love lists.

9:50 PM  

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