Recent Performances

The Decemberists come to East Lansing!

The best CD of 2006 in my humble opinion was a British-folk, prog-rock inspired album from the Portland based band The Decemberists. The Crane Wife is filled with songs about Japanese folk tales, murderous tales, Romeo and Juliet type romances, and a criminal committing the perfect crime. The band, who often dresses in period clothing will be performing in East Lansing this Wednesday. They were at the top of my "most favorite band, but never seen live" list. 


The Crane Wife
Kevin King


The show last night in East Lansing was great but a bit too short. I am guessing that the subdued crowd may have affected the band's desire to play longer. Other than that small complaint, it was a great show. The band was tight and the lead singer Colin Meloy had some witty banter.
The Decemberists played for an hour and a half in East Lansing (and I have the audio recording to prove it). I've read "fans" complaining about the "short" set and "lack" of audience participation. I don't believe either assertation has merit. There was also quite a bit of whining about the fact that the venue wasn't a bar with a stage and PA (there was no alcohol sold at the event and it's a sit-down venue designed for Classical music and theater). I think that last complaint says all you need to know about scenester prats (who are, thankfully, the minority). The cold, hard, PCA-documented fact is that The Decemberists threw down an excellent feature-length performance in one of the best-sounding rooms in the region. It's a privilege (as Colin mentioned) for a "rock" band to play a venue like the Wharton. And it was a privilege for me to record them (as the Wharton is is generally not "taper friendly"). If you'd like to hear my recording of the show so you can re-live the experience (and maybe check your facts) or hear it for the first time if you weren't there, search the Live Music Archive (at for my CC-BY-NC-ND licensed recording in FLAC format.