Pin It
Favorite

CD Reviews 

By Joel Smith and Leah Sottile


The Decemberists


Picaresque *****


The Decemberists have more fun singing about death than any other indie act. It certainly seems that way on Picaresque, the Portland-based quintet's third full-length release (due out March 22).


Building on the national success of their idiosyncratic 2003 release, Her Majesty, the Decembrists now sound sharper, crisper, tighter -- but also darker, weirder and less relenting.


Front man Colin Meloy, a Missoula native, has crafted another lyrical universe filled with spies, concubines and roustabouts. But this time his tales are largely set in a minor key, and most of his characters -- Eli the Barrow Boy, the two paramours in "We Both Go Down Together," the female narrator's object of desire in "True Love (Lost at Sea)" -- are haunted by death.


That seems to be the way the Decemberists like it. Their morbidness reaches its nadir in "The Mariner's Revenge Song," a roiling, almost Homeric sea shanty that walks the line between comical and chilling.


There are a couple of upbeat singles here, too -- like the uber-poppy "16 Military Wives" and the highly danceable "The Sporting Life" -- but Picaresque, like any journey, is not for the faint of heart. -- Joel Smith





The Brian Jonestown Massacre


Tepid Peppermint Wonderland: A Retrospective ****


I live and breathe the Dandy Warhols -- just about anyone who knows me, reads me or bumps into me on the street knows that. And while few people know who the Dandys are, even fewer know the Brian Jonestown Massacre. Dear readers: Meet the Massacre.


While the sounds and styles of the Warhols and Massacre are similar, the members of the Brian Jonestown Massacre are just better musicians. Because of that, they have achieved the sound that the Dandys were always searching for. This band cleverly acknowledges the past -- reinterpreting but not regurgitating the genius of the Velvet Underground and the Rolling Stones, and cleverly punctuating the modern psychedelia with their encyclopedia of instruments. Theirs is a throwback to styles no one has had the guts to attempt. It's edgy, complex rock 'n' roll that Keith and Lou would dig. And Tepid Peppermint Wonderland is a 38-song review of the band's 10-year spin cycle. -- Leah Sottile





Publication date: 0310/05
  • Pin It

Latest in Comment

  • Women's Movement
  • Women's Movement

    The Zags are thrilling their fans and filling the stands in a way few women's programs are anywhere
    • Dec 17, 2014
  • Cultural Warrior
  • Cultural Warrior

    Publisher's Note
    • Dec 17, 2014
  • Sorry, Senator Risch
  • Sorry, Senator Risch

    But transparency isn't the problem with torture
    • Dec 17, 2014
  • More »

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Today | Tue | Wed | Thu | Fri | Sat | Sun
Spokane Winter Glow Spectacular

Spokane Winter Glow Spectacular @ Riverfront Park

Through Jan. 1, 2015

All of today's events | Staff Picks

More by n/a

  • Iron Upgrade
  • Iron Upgrade

    The new one is smart and funny and action-packed, and it’s bigger and better and sleeker. And Downey does it again, this time ramping up Stark’s arrogant wisecracking, telling anyone who’ll listen (mostly women) that, via the creation of his powerful Iron Man suit, he’s brought years of uninterrupted peace to the world.
    • May 12, 2010
  • Seeing Gay
  • Seeing Gay

    A festival showing GLBT from all angles
    • Nov 9, 2009
  • Get Out the Vote
  • Get Out the Vote

    With all the uncertainty in the world these days, hot wings and cold beer are two things we can get behind
    • Nov 9, 2009
  • More »

Most Commented On

  • Game Changer

    Since Condon became mayor, Jan Quintrall has been responsible for some of the biggest changes in the city of Spokane — and some of its biggest controversies
    • Dec 17, 2014
  • Let Us Breathe

    Spokane joins national protests over the failure to indict white officers for killing black civilians
    • Dec 10, 2014
  • More »

© 2014 Inlander
Website powered by Foundation