After taking a week off, this week’s entries into my 1000 Minutes Project are both products of Left Coast bands. And not only that, but the lead singers look vaguely similar.
My wanderlust was never particularly strong. I went away for a couple years when I went to college, but my draw was always back to where I was born. I’ve never felt the desire to live elsewhere. Perhaps this makes me one of the “new bottoms on barstools” that Mr. Gibbard sings about here, but I don’t get the feeling that this song is one of derision.
There’s something secure/comforting about my hometown. Sure, I get the twinge to go elsewhere every so often – to pack it up and begin anew; it’s not hard to dream about the excitement of the unknown. While that allure of the unknown is always exciting, in the end I’d rather have the fluency of my own familiar.
It’s often difficult to pick out a particular song from an album by The Decemberists. Their albums flow toward a singular goal, and as such, they run in together to tell the story seamlessly. The band is at the best when they’re more simplistic than this year’s disappointing Hazards of Love. Colin Meloy’s shaky tenor can certainly carry a song on its own, but his storytelling is heightened when the band is able to pick up the tempo.
I don’t imagine there’s much of a hidden meaning to the song. When it comes to The Decemberists, it’s best to take things at face value. It’s not always about connecting with the listener via the lyrics; not all bands need to forge a deeper bond with the listener over what something could mean. And sometimes – like with this song – it’s nice to not have to think.