Tag Archives: r.e.m.

‘Dead’ Becomes Them

Photo credit: Syd Schwartz

It would have been easy to write off The Decemberists. Over the years, the Portland, OR band had made a name for itself with its unique brand of hyper-literate, anachronistic folk-rock. Albums like 2003’s Her Majesty and 2005’s Picaresque brimmed with sweeping tales of doomed love, epic blood feuds, and lonely chimbley sweeps.

But by the release of the group’s fifth LP, 2009’s The Hazards of Love, it appeared that the five-piece had finally jumped the proverbial shark. A meandering, overwrought concept album, the operatic Hazards alienated fans with its ponderous story lines and proggy self-indulgence. Yet just when it seemed certain that the Decemberists would forever disappear up their own rectum, they released The King Is Dead. Continue reading…

Poetic Memory: Generationals (List)

Generationals‘ 2009 album Con Law made our Best of 2009 list. For me, it’s the perfect example of everything I look for in a good pop-rock album: upbeat, catchy, light-hearted, and above all, fun. What made it exceed my expectations, however, were the varying styles from song to song. One minute I’m hearing Motown or Gary Numan, and the next I’m listening to…arena rock? Generationals’ unabashed experimentation with different sounds has helped to set them apart from the rest of the indie pack.

In addition to releasing great albums, they’ve been gallivanting around the U.S. spreading the rock-and-roll cheer nonstop. So, needless to say, I’m extra pleased that Grant Widmer took some time out of his busy schedule to send us a list of his influences. His Poetic Memory is below. Continue reading…