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“Yankee Bayonet (I Will Be Home Then)” Alternate Take with Alela Diane

Consequence of Sound has the premiere of an alternate take of “Yankee Bayonet (I Will Be Home Then)” with vocals from Alela Diane from the upcoming 10th Anniversary Edition of The Crane Wife. We weren’t really sure what the right voice was for “The Girl” in Yankee Bayonet – we invited both Laura Veirs and Alela Diane to lend their voices to the part. It really was an embarrassment of riches. I can’t remember why we opted for Laura’s take, they were both so lovely. But, in the end, a choice had to be made…

The Crane Wife 1, 2 & 3 Demo; The Return of Bandit Queen Wine

Adored Mailing List Recipients,

As winter and its associated holidays loom closer, we have a few bits of news that may help enliven the season.

The 10th Anniversary Edition of The Crane Wife is less than a month away from coming out and we're excited to share a previously unreleased demo version of "The Crane Wife 1, 2 & 3." You can listen now via Stereogum.

If you haven't just yet, you can pre-order the 5 LP + 1 Blu-ray deluxe box set now at DecemberistsShop.com. We'll be doing another prize drawing – a $250 gift credit to the shop – for people who've pre-ordered by this Monday at noon PT.

Speaking of something that could make a nice gift for your loved ones (or loved self), we've teamed back up with Penner-Ash Wine Cellars for another limited-edition batch of Bandit Queen, a Willamette Valley Pinot Noir we blended under the guidance of winemakers Lynn and Ron Penner-Ash. 800 bottles of the new 2015 vintage will be available this time around, still encircled with a lovely Carson Ellis-designed label.

You can head over to Penner-Ash's website to place your order now. A portion of the proceeds from every bottle sold will be donated to the Oregon Food Bank. The wine is only available to be shipped within the U.S. with a few states legally off-limits – you can find all of the fine print on the purchase page.

Yours,

The Decemberists
www.decemberists.com
www.illimat.com

Last Chance to Back Illimat on Kickstarter

Adored Mailing List Recipients,

We would like to begin by extending a hearty thanks to all who lent support to Illimat and/or pre-ordered The Crane Wife 10th Anniversary Edition deluxe box set. A majority of this email will be directed at the remainder of you who, while still quite adored, have room to move further into our good graces. 

There are less than 30 hours left to back Illimat, the game we've created with illustratrix Carson Ellis and Twogether Studios. The Kickstarter edition of Illimat includes exclusive elements that won't be available in the retail version of the game. These include Variants & Aprocrypha, where Colin and Keith Baker explore the secret history of the game; The Audience, a unique Luminary that expands the game and features art by Carson Ellis; a Victory Book for chronicling your Illimat journey; and a few final stretch goals in these final hours.

For one last look at the game in action, you can tune in live later today at 6pm PST for The Rumble – an Illimat tournament pitting Twogether Studios and several Decemberists against each other.

The Kickstarter campaign ends tomorrow, November 3, at 8pm PT so if you've been procrastinating, head on over to illimat.com before time runs out.

In case you went into a fugue state while reading our previous email, we'd like to remind you that The Crane Wife 10th Anniversary Edition 5 LP + 1 Blu-ray box set is currently available for pre-order at DecemberistsShop.com. (A digital release is also in the works; we'll send out an update once those details are hammered out).

Starting next Wednesday, November 9 at noon PT, one person who pre-ordered the box set will be selected at random to receive test pressings signed by the band and we will have several more giveaways over the coming weeks leading into the December 9 release date. Stay tuned to our Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for updates and if you haven't already, you can pre-order now to be entered into all the remaining drawings.

Yours,

The Decemberists
www.decemberists.com
www.illimat.com

The Crane Wife 10th Anniversary Edition

Adored Mailing List Recipients,

<Sigh> Seems like only yesterday that we were appearing in your inbox, happily announcing the launch of the Illimat Kickstarter campaign, but it was in fact two weeks ago. Hello, again. You should know that you are still the bright, youthful thing you were those two short weeks ago. You haven’t changed. Literally. Like, maybe put a new shirt on or something.

BUT we’re not here to chat about personal fashion — NO! It happens, O mailing list recipient, that TEN YEARS AGO TODAY*, we Decemberists released our fourth full length LP, and first for the Capitol label, The Crane Wife. While we’re not the sort of folk to make a ton of ballyhoo about every record’s birthday, it seemed fitting that this one should receive some sort of celebration. It was our first record for a major label, after all, and our first record working with Tucker Martine (alongside Chris Walla). It was our first record with a lineup that would remain constant for the next decade, and our first record to actually get a teensy bit of commercial airplay. We take what we can get. 

So, in honor of this auspicious occasion, we Decemberists, along with Capitol Records, are reissuing The Crane Wife on December 9th as a 5 LP + 1 Blu-ray Box Set. The original record has been remastered and neatly folded on to three sides of the first two LPs (why didn’t we do that before?!), with the fourth side given over to b-sides and outtakes. A further LP of unreleased outtakes comprises the 3rd disc, with the 4th and 5th LPs being all of the as-yet unreleased home demos for the record. A live show at D.C.’s storied 9:30 Club from October 2006 has been unearthed and remastered for the Blu-ray that is included with the set. A LP-size booklet has been lovingly constructed as well, including all the art and lyrics from the original CD booklet along with an essay from David Fricke. Lin-Manuel Miranda, he of Hamilton fame, has been so generous as to provide a foreword for the book. Check it out:

You can pre-order this behemoth NOW over at the Decemberists Shop. If you are among the first 500 to order, the aforementioned booklet will arrive autographed by all the members of the band. If you’re the sort of person who likes to bundle your orders with other related knick-knacks, we have you covered. We’ve designed a t-shirt and square scarf to commemorate The Crane Wife’s anniversary; you can add those to your order as you desire.

AND: since it happens that The Crane Wife is enjoying its decade birthday party in the midst of our Illimat Kickstarter campaign, we thought it fitting to draw some sort of connection between those two projects. We’ve asked Keith Baker, Illimat Designer, to create six exclusive Crane Wife-themed Luminary cards and two special okus tokens for the occasion. You can get this Crane Wife expansion at the Illimat Kickstarter page, Illimat.com.

Yours,

The Decemberists
www.decemberists.com
www.illimat.com

*Actually was released on October 3rd, but it just doesn’t have the same ring, does it?

Announcing: ILLIMAT

Adored Mailing List Recipients,

Hello again! It’s really been too long since we cluttered your inbox. We here at Decemberists HQ can’t really imagine what the state of your inbox must be these days, what with a presidential election on and your mother incessantly blowing you up about the massive sinkhole that’s just opened in her backyard, all reeking of sulphur and, strangely, marmalade. We get it. You’re a busy person.

But don’t we have something to share! Oh, don’t we! (YES WE DO)

The Decemberists, in conjunction with Keith Baker, game designer par excellence, and Carson Ellis, illustratrix, have made a tabletop game. Sort of a card game, sort of a board game. Sort of a bit of both. But a whole lot of one thing: AWESOME-NESS.

It’s called ILLIMAT and this is what it looks like:

How did this come to be, you ask? Very astute question. See, back in early 2009, in the wake of another watershed presidential election, the Decemberists were prepping to launch the record The Hazards of Love into the world. They were doing what most bands do in preparation for such an event: trying out new hairstyles, inviting people to be in their band, and participating in photoshoots. As is their wont, they were searching about for something to do in said photoshoot when it occurred to one of them that they should pretend to be a secret society that met in out-of-the-way places to play a strange, inscrutable board game. They tasked Carson and photog Autumn DeWilde to make a game board for such a caper and voila: there survives, to this day, a few rolls of film with The Decemberists playing a weird-looking board game in a room of the Ace Hotel. Such is life. (We did make a t-shirt out of it, which some of you may own. You were confused then; hopefully you still remain confused.)

However! FLASH FORWARD TO 2015: The band, having played many board games on the road during their down time ‘twixt soundcheck and show, decided to try and make this strange game-board-without-a-board-game into a real living, breathing game. They invited renowned designer Keith Baker (Gloom, Phoenix Dawn Command, Eberron) to give it a shot. With a little input from the band, Keith retreated to his mountaintop hermitage and studied the game board for an entire year, only returning to civilization once he had a finished game to show. And what a game it was — a game that is as classy as it is classic, as fun as it is demanding; a game that feels of its time, yet weirdly out of time altogether.

We’re working with Portland game publisher Twogether Studios to fund the game via KickstarterAND IT’S LAUNCHING TODAY! Head on over to Kickstarter to look at the game, see how it’s played and maybe, just maybe, take a gander at the various reward levels and figure out where you fit. Ask yourself: just how much money you would heap on such a marvelous creation in order to have one for your very own self? Everyone will have a different answer. You are all, each of you, unique flowers.

But maybe you’re like: WHAT’S KICKSTARTER? Well, no need to be ashamed. Head on over to this helpful Kickstarter FAQ page and you’ll like have many of your questions promptly answered.

Welcome to the Society of Luminaries, initiate.

Yours,
The Decemberists
www.decemberists.com
www.illimat.com

Spring Sale

Decemberists Merch

We’re running a spring sale in our shop with 20% off select items: DecemberistsShop.com

New Holiday Items Added to the Shop

Adored Mailing List Recipients,

As winter and various holidays approach, we’ve added some new items to the Decemberists Shop! While you’re there, be sure to check out the new sale section including items from this year’s tour.

If you missed it on Giving Tuesday, we performed “Oceanside” from the comfort of our cots to raise awareness for MyMusicRx‘s Bedstock and their efforts to support sick kids who are stuck in their own beds. You can watch the video below and head over to Bedstockfest.com to see other performances and learn how you can lend a hand.

New Year’s Eve is among the fast-approaching holidays, so don’t wait too long to grab tickets for A Very December Evening in San Francisco at The Masonic with special guest Thao and the Get Down Stay Down. (Thao did her own Bedstock performance, which you can watch here).

Yours,
The Decemberists

Bedstock 2015

We performed “Oceanside” from bed for Bedstock to raise awareness of MyMusicRx and their efforts to support sick kids who are stuck in theirs. You can learn more and lend a hand at Bedstockfest.com

Speaking of the giving spirit, if you came out to one of our shows throughout 2015, $1 from your ticket price was set aside for charitable contributions. With your help, together we raised over $80,000 for support organizations doing important work related to autism, adolescent cancer, innovative medical research, music therapy, healthcare for musicians, support for artist philanthropy, homelessness, poverty, justice, and gun violence prevention. You can find out more about each organization, their work, and lend your support by clicking the links above.

Announcing Bandit Queen Wine; NYE in San Francisco

Adored Mailing List Recipients,

We have some exciting news that we hope will help make your end-of-year festivities even more festive.

One afternoon this past June, we visited Penner-Ash Wine Cellars, one of the finest wineries in the northern Willamette Valley, known for their stellar pinot noir. Under the guidance of winemakers Lynn and Ron Penner-Ash, we blended our very own barrel. The result of that blending session is a custom Decemberists wine, Bandit Queen, a 2014 Willamette Valley Pinot Noir outfitted with a lovely Carson Ellis-designed label. We are pleased to now be able to offer you a chance to taste Bandit Queen yourself. A very limited-edition run of 300 bottles has been produced and you can find it here. The wine is only available to ship within the U.S., but you’ll find all of the fine print on the purchase page.

Following what will likely be a consumptive weekend, please join us on December 1, or “Giving Tuesday,” when we’ll participate in Bedstock. Bedstock is an online music event which aims to raise awareness for childhood cancer. We’ll be joining several other artists by posting a performance to YouTube taped from our beds, or some variation thereof. You can find more information here about the event and how to donate to the Children’s Cancer Association.

Speaking of the giving spirit, if you came out to one of our shows throughout 2015, $1 from your ticket price was set aside for charitable contributions. With your help, together we raised over $80,000 for support organizations doing important work related to autism, adolescent cancer, innovative medical research, music therapy, healthcare for musicians, support for artist philanthropy, homelessness, poverty, justice, and gun violence prevention. You can find out more about each organization, their work, and lend your support by clicking the links above.

And finally, don’t forget we’ll be welcoming in the New Year in San Francisco with A Very December Evening at The Masonic with special guest Thao and the Get Down Stay Down. Tickets are available here.

Yours,

The Decemberists

Flash Poster Sale in Decemberists Shop

DecemberistsFlashSale

We’re having a flash sale in the Decemberists Shop with 40% off our full archive of limited-edition silkscreen tour and show posters. Sale ends this Friday night at 11:59pm PT.