Travelers’ Rest – our curated festivalat Big Sky Brewing Company Amphitheater in Missoula, MT – will return for its second year on August 4th and 5th!
Once again, well be closing each night with two unique sets. Well be announcing the rest of the lineup soon, but suffice it to say were very excited about the performers who are making their way to Montana with us.
So mark down August 4-5 in your calendar and for the most decisive of you, discounted early bird tickets are on sale NOW while supplies last.
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We Decemberists are thrilled to toss a third night of Hanukkah/kind of early Xmas gift your way: BEN FRANKLIN’S SONG, written by Lin-Manuel Miranda and Colin Meloy.
What’s this all about, you ask? Well, let us explain.
HAMILTON, as you probably know, is an American musical theater production written by a guy named Lin-Manuel Miranda. Lots of people have seen it, lots of people are continuing to see it, lots of people have raved about it. We saw a production of it in New York last year and we can tell you: it’s very very good. And important. And transformative to our countrys current milieu. Etc.
Well, it happens that Mr. Miranda reached out to our own Colin Meloy to put music to a set of lyrics that had been written for HAMILTON but had never been used: a first-person introduction to one of the US’s founding fathers, Mr. Benjamin Franklin. Lin said that he’d wanted to include Franklin as a character in the show initially, but it just never quite worked something about not wanting to remove the audience more than once from the action taking place in our nascent United States. Funnily enough, he said he’d imagined Franklin singing in a sort of Decemberist-y way, whatever that means.
FAST FORWARD TO 2016: Lin passed on the lyrics to Colin, who was very much up to the task, and a new song was born: BEN FRANKLIN’S SONG, to be exact. We really like it. It’s very swear-y, but there’s a clean version too. And you can listen to it now!
We hope you like it. It was a lot of fun to write and record. If you’re a HAMILTON fan, we hope it will add a new dimension to the world of the show for you — but you can also just enjoy it as a history lesson. Franklin invented bifocals, you know. And the glass harmonica. WHAT A F***ING GUY.
Adored Mailing List Recipients,
It’s been such a long time coming, but ILLIMAT, the game we helped foster into the world alongside Keith Baker, is NOW available in fine, upstanding game stores everywhere. For those among you for whom that sentence is a garble of nouns and verbs, know that ILLIMAT is a card/board game, designed by Keith Baker and the band, based on a prop Carson Ellis and Autumn de Wilde made for a photo shoot in 2009. It is *also* an ancient pastime, played in secret by a strange organization called the Society of Luminaries. Take your pick, really.
We’re super proud of it. Carson did all the artwork for it and it’s really a thing of beauty. Special thanks to all the backers (and there are 5,963 of you lovely creatures) for supporting this weird idea and making it a reality.
You would also be perhaps interested to know that Colin’s new book THE WHIZ MOB AND THE GRENADINE KID is out in the world, resting on the shelves of upstanding bookstores everywhere. It’s about a gang of pickpockets in Marseille, France, in 1961 and is really intended for the 9-12 year-old set, but grown ups have been known to read it and enjoy it immensely. GIT IT!
Funk has a new video series, 'Funk Plus One,' on Great Big Story which finds him on the road in search of surprising and extraordinary people in music. The first episode with Gaelynn Lea premiered last week and the second episode with Jerron “Blind Boy” Paxton just came out today. They’re also running a sweepstakes to give away a Supro guitar signed by Funk, you can learn more on the @GreatBigStory Instagram account or visit here for the official rules.
John’s band Eyelids just wrapped up an East Coast tour, but if you missed it, you can watch replays of their WNYC Soundcheck and Paste Studio performances now. Visit musicofeyelids.com for more info and check out their most recent album, or.
In other band-tangentially-related news, there are still cases of Bandit Queen wine available in time for holiday imbibing. We’re still working on the 2016 vintage, but the 2015 is particularly tasty — and is ready to drink now! Order yourself up a few here!
Speaking of the holidays, we happened to contribute a cover of Big Star’s “Jesus Christ” to the Holidays Rule Vol. 2 compilation. You can download or stream the album now here.
Looking into 2018, we’ll be performing at Innings Festival in Tempe, AZ on March 24. Single day tickets are on sale now here. While this is currently the only show on the docket, rest assured that won’t remain the case for too long (but more on that in the new year).
We’ll be making our way to Tempe, AZ in late March for Innings Festival. Tickets are on sale now.
Holidays Rule Vol. 2 is out today, which includes our cover of Big Star’s “Jesus Christ.” You can download or stream the album now here.
Adored Mailing List Recipients,
OFFA REX has arrived!
We Decemberists are thrilled to announce that our side-project with the inimitable Olivia Chaney in which we play an unsuspecting 60s psych-folk band with a terrible secret IS OUT TODAY! It’s called The Queen of Hearts and it’s available anywhere you, adored listener, interface with music-listening apparatus — i.e. iTunes, Apple Music, Spotify, Blorf, Quad, Jips, or, heaven forfend, YOUR LOCAL BRICK AND MORTAR RECORD SHOP.
Git on it!
We’re very proud of it. The record was made in Portland, OR, last year, and was helmed by Tucker Martine & Colin Meloy on production duties. Olivia did the lion’s share of arrangement (with some contributions from Mr. Meloy and Jenny Conlee) on these eleven trad & cover tunes. Offa Rex is heading out and performing a few live dates in select cities:
|July 23||Aladdin Theater||Portland, OR||Sold Out|
|July 26||The Town Hall||New York, NY||Tickets|
|July 28||XPoNential Festival||Camden, NJ||Tickets|
|July 29||Newport Folk Festival||Newport, RI||Sold Out|
|August 12||Travelers' Rest||Missoula, MT||Sold Out|
The band will also make an appearance, mid-set, during Decemberists shows in August — so if you’re coming to any of those, BONUS FOR YOU! Those dates are here:
|August 8||The Orpheum #||Vancouver, BC||Tickets
|August 9||MacEwan Hall #||Calgary, AB||Tickets
|August 10||Edmonton Folk Music Festival||Edmonton, AB||Tickets|
|August 12-13||Travelers' Rest||Missoula, MT||Sold Out|
|August 15||Red Butte Garden Amphitheatre #||Salt Lake City, UT||Sold Out
|August 17||Fox Theater #||Oakland, CA||Tickets
|August 18||Mondavi Center #||Davis, CA||Tickets
|August 19||Britt Pavilion #||Jacksonville, OR||Tickets
We’re just a few weeks out from the release of The Queen of Hearts and Stereogum has the premiere of the latest Offa Rex track, “Sheepcrook and Black Dog”:
If you haven’t already, you can pre-order the album now and receive an instant download of the four tracks we’ve previewed so far.
For more on the project, you can read Colin and Olivia’s interview with The Bluegrass Situation here.