May 14, 2010

The Decemberists and what they have to do with my writing

The Decemberists is one of my favorite bands ever.  Since their inception in 2000, the group has released five albums and just as many EP's, which I find amazing.  Even more amazing: I have yet to come across a song of theirs that I do not like and from this opinionated schmuck that is a miracle.  Even dc4c and the Beatles have produced songs I dislike.  The Decemberists inspire me because they are not wildly popular and they're not a novelty, but they continue to release a new album each year and stay true to their roots.  Each new album is consistently great.  The album art of each album is different than that of the previous album, but they use the same artist for all of them.  The artist also happens to be one of my favorite illustrators ever, Carson Ellis.  I am losing track of my point.  I would like to model my writing career after The Decemberists' history:

1. Consistently produce well-written, likable books, without stardom in mind.
2. Books per author should match.  I know this is unrealistic in the publishing world, but I like the thought of my books being considered a 'collection' and when they are next to each other on a bookshelf, they look related and pretty, like The Decemberists albums do in my iTunes.
3. Their songs are small stories within an overall tale, which is the album.  I'd like my books to feel that way too.

As for what the band has to do with my writing: their music is rare in the sense that it is neutral and I can listen to it anytime I am writing without getting distracted.  Also, it doesn't affect my writing, so if I get sick of a character's playlist or I am writing a scene that cannot be accomplished by listening to my normal writing music, the first place I go it to the search bar and type in 'decem'.  They make my writing experience easier, more enjoyable, and laid back.

Alos, here is a song of theirs that sorta proves they get Writers, enjoy.

"The Engine Driver" The Decemberists

And just for the hell of it, here's one of their most popular songs with an actual music video!

"16 Military Wives"


  1. Yay, I'm so glad you introduced me to The Decemberists.

    And also, those sound like fantastic goals for your writing!

  2. can someone that is able to see on key do a cover of this bands songs? the lyric's i love, the pitch not so much

  3. Ok so I am liking this band, I've never heard of them.

    And do I even need to say that I'm just so proud of you and your writing goals :) Is that too dorky? Well sorry, I just couldn't help myself.

    Seriously cool :)

  4. I think I heard that the lead singer of the Decemberists just got a book contract for a MG series to be illustrated by Carson Ellis. The story sounded interesting from what I remember.

  5. Hey thanks for introducing this band to me. I like them! I love your philosophy for your writing. The goals sound great, and I hope you make every one of them.
    I don't think my goals are as well formed. I'm doing the "one foot in front of the other" method of a writing career.

  6. Marisa - I am glad to have a close friend with whom I share musical tastes! None of my other friends get me and music. Well, Tina does.

    Kate - Should I have put a warning. I could put me singing if you'd prefer. Although, I might end up in jail for causing people to go deaf.

    Crystal - I like dorky - is that too dorky to say?

  7. Anna - I am uber impressed that you know that! It is true, I believe the title is A MESSAGE FOR ALBERT and it takes place in the early 1900's in Montana. I know nothing about the premise though, I should revisit my Colin Meloy-stalking. You're too cool.

    Lydia - I think the 'one foot in front of the other' philosophy is much more effective and tangible than my oddities approach. Thanks for having faith though!

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  9. The Engine Driver is one of my favorite songs! Here's the deal news:

    "Lead singer and songwriter of The Decemberists Colin Meloy's WILDWOOD, illustrated by acclaimed artist Carson Ellis, a classic tale of adventure, magic, and danger, set in an alternate version of modern-day Portland, Oregon, to Donna Bray at Balzer & Bray, at auction, for publication in Fall 2011, by Steven Malk of Writers House."

    : )

  10. Casey - You freaking rock!! I was looking up info and found out that Carson and Colin are collaborating on several projects. WILDWOOD looks to be the closest to production and I just added it to my to-read list on Goodreads.

  11. I've never heard of them either, but I have another band I feel the same way about. Very cool how you related them to writing.

  12. I totally love The Engine Driver. I think it is my favorite of their songs. And Kate I totally disagree, he is pitch perfect! :) I do. I love his voice. What do you think it is about it? When The Decemberists come up on Pandora Station I have to stop everything. But I do think that is good for my writing.

  13. I love The Decemberists! I saw them play live in 2007. Brilliant band.

  14. Another singer who I feel is kinda like a writer is Sufjan Stevens. What a great post and what a great way of thinking about it! Awesome.

  15. Wow. I'd never heard of these guys, but I like your point. And I like when the TV anchor goes la-dee-dah in the song.

  16. Rena - Having that kind of music is so important, I think.

    Tina - I knew it would be one of your faves.

    Shelley - Jealous.

    Samuel - Sufjan is awesome! And he's from Michigan!

    Anita - I love bands with a sense of humor and thanks for liking my point, I rarely have one.