Last night we went to a club called “The Rainbow Bistro” to hear a friend’s band play. I guess their music would be classified as blues rock. Two electric guitars, a base guitar, drums, and our friend on the banjo (have I mentioned I love the banjo? It’s a childhood thing). I wish I could have HEARD the banjo better over the electric din, but it was a good time. It got me thinking about song writing. The lead guy in the band is a fantastic guitarist, but his songs are kind of… repetitive. It seems like they’re all about the road of life, and something about a girl. I want to listen to songs that have something to SAY- a story to tell, a new take on an old theme. That’s why I love the old ballads so much- they have actual characters, besides the self-obsessed musician, that is, and the words mean something and aren’t just taking up space.
“Little Maddy Groves is in the bed with your wife and their hearts both beat as one.”
“And it’s cursed be my bloody brothers, and an ill death may you die, for you dared not fight him on the field, but you slew him as he lay with me.”
And so on. I think that’s why I love The Decemberists so much- they have a modern sound, but write lyrics that make you actually listen and care about the complex characters they create. It all about storytelling, people! Song is story! It’s not just about you and your commitment issues, songwriter!
In conclusion, Magill and I agree that they are a good band, but they could be a great band if they went acoustic. And I would appreciate more narrative songs.
Also, why do they play the music so LOUD in clubs? Do people want to go deaf?
I am such an old lady. Circa 1875.