Received the happy news today that the new Decemberists album, The King is Dead, is coming January 18th. It is now the first item on my Groundhog Day wish list.
There’s a promotional video here of them working on the album in the very cool shack/studio they recorded in. It’s full of saws and other tools hanging on the walls alongside instruments and sculptures/objects resembling instruments. And I particularly like the sign reminding people to ask first before playing someone else’s instrument.
I’ve actually been wondering how groups with more than one multi-instrumentalist on board deal with this issue when they are starting on new songs. Whether everyone just basically stands at a start line and then the producer turns the recording light red and everyone sprints out and grabs whatever they can reach first and starts playing until someone changes their mind and decides the upright bass isn’t working for them and they really want to play the fiddle instead and they go off to play that while another band member who was jealously eyeing the upright bass then drops the accordion and goes to grab it and so on and so forth until some poor soul has to go through hours and hours of fragmented jamming to find the bits that sound like embryonic songs.
At least, I imagine it feels like that some days.
Regardless of how they got there, I’m glad The Decemberists finished something new and look forward to hearing it.