Familiarity Breeds Contempt

March 21, 2007 at 5:13 am (Uncategorized)

You know, a lot of my favorite bands, the more I hear about them or read about them, the more affection I have for ’em. You read about the boys in Sloan, and you can’t help but be on their side. You hear a story like Joe Thebeau’s from Finn’s Motel, and how can you not want him to succeed? You read about old warhorses like Steve Wynn or Peter Holsapple…and yeah, there’s just no faking having a good heart.

And then there’s The Decemberists. When I first ran across them back in 2003, it was because I stumbled onto the reissue of their “5 Songs” ep, and then their debut cd all in the span of a week or so. I thought it was great, interesting music, and the Colin Meloy story as presented was terrific: guy with a degree in Creative Writing heads to Portland and wins people over with his weird little songs, apparently unaware of how good they are.

Thing is, people have been telling Colin how brilliant he is for nearly 4 years straight now, and I think it’s gone to his head. It isn’t enough that Meloy has never approached even a whisper of the brilliance of that first ep and cd–it’s the fact that over the years it’s become apparent that Colin Meloy has come ’round to thinking that Colin Meloy is pretty damn awesome.

So yeah, now when you see the band, Meloy is wearing that smarmy leer of his with everyone onstage decked out like a bunch of turbogeeking LARPer’s on a bender. All that’s missing is some jackass yelling “Lightning bolt! Lightning bolt!” in the background. Hate to say it, but I’m not on their side any more. I’m sure Colin & Co. are crying all the way to the bank, too…

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