Tuesday, November 9, 2010

The Novemberist

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Snick Wedge by Jeffrey Campbell, the most comfortable footwear I have second only to my Frye Boots.

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Thad and I have only have two identical articles of clothing. One is a Threadless shirt of a Balinese God shooting an arrow and the arrow ending up on the back of the shirt and the second is our The Decemberist shirt. We really don't listen to the same type of music but we both agree on The Decemberists. I guess it appeals to our predilection to rarely used words. Colin Meloy, lead songwriter of the band weaves his musical storytelling so beautifully as if you're reading excerpts from a Booker Prize winner novel. The Decemberists is also reminiscent of a UK band called XTC who were around in 80s and whose song Then She Appeared was our 2004 wedding song. Had to put a year since we got married twice ^_^

XTC's sample lyrics from Then She Appeared:

...Then she appeared, as the giggling crew of Marie Celeste
Then she appeared, pale Atlantis rising out of the west
I was a little dazzled
Catherine wheeled and senses frazzled
Know it sounds weird
Then she appeared...

I perceive Mr. Andy Partridge (XTC lead songwriter) to be well versed on the arcane knowledge of mysterious tales and conjecture. He includes things in his lyrics that I have read about in supernatural-themed books. In Then She Appeared, he mentioned the crew of Marie Celeste, the ship whose crew vanished while at sea and left no clues in December 1872. It is still one of the most baffling maritime unsolved mysteries. But in the song, he made the crew look as if they were just playing a joke, hence "giggling". Nobody writes lyrics like Mr. Partridge well, except Colin Meloy who I realized after briefly talking to his bandmate that they were huge fans of XTC and he considered it an honor to be compared to them.

I love this song. Mr. Partridge is singing about how dumb he is when in fact, the lyrics here are so freakin' brilliant...see below.

If depth of feeling is a currency,
(please be upstanding for the Mayor of Simpleton),
Then I'm the man who grew the money tree,
(no Chain of Office and no hope of getting one).
Some of your friends are too brainy to see,
That they're paupers and that's how they'll stay.

Well I don't know how many pounds make up a ton,
Of all the Nobel prizes that I've never won,
And I may be the Mayor of Simpleton,
But I know one thing,
And that's I love you.

The Decemberists sample lyrics from Legionnaire's Lament

Medicating in the sun
pinched doses of laudanum
longing for the old fecundity of my homeland
Curses to this mirage!
A bottle of ancient Shiraz
a smattering of distant applause
is ringing in my poor ears

On the old left bank
my baby in a charabanc
riding up the width and length
of the Champs de Elysee...

Cover art on The Decemberists Castaway and Cutouts (shown below on video link) even reminds me of the Crew of Marie Celeste...

You should check both of them out. You will learn new words. Here's a funny saying that was going around for a while in London that XTC brought literacy to Britain :-)

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