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the decemberists

arts

listen up | old favorites for fall

modeandthelike_fallplaylist

While some people revel in crafting playlists with one hundred of the newest hits, I’m the kind of person who gets immense pleasure from listening to her favorite bands over and over again and occasionally seeking out new music. I love lots of different music genres, but my tastes tend to lean towards oldies and indie music. I also prefer to listen to a band or musical artist’s entire album instead of jumping around between songs, but occasionally I’ll create a playlist that reflects my current headspace. Fall always gets me nostalgic, so I’ve recently had a bunch of old favorites (you can never go wrong with Death Cab for Cutie, The Decemberists, or Simon & Garfunkel!) on repeat. Click through to hear an hour’s worth of autumn-appropriate tunes.

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monday mood

monday mood / apr. 13th

mondaymoodapr13

Listening to…
Death Cab for Cutie’s Kintsugi, Marina and the Diamonds’s Froot, James Davis’s “Better Than You Are” and “Co-Pilot”

Reading…
Mrs. Dalloway 
by Virginia Woolf

Check out…
Elizabeth Gilbert’s TED talk on elusive creative genius / an article on Michelle Obama’s fashion choices and feminism / the movie While We’re Young, and this Flavorwire article about it / the N+7 Machine, which follows a procedure invented by Jean Lescure that takes a text and replaces each noun with the seventh noun following it in the dictionary / three poems by Melissa Barrett: “A French Interior,” “The Voice of Trauma,” and “The French Interior as The Voice of Trauma”

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Over the weekend, I visited Minneapolis (for the first time) to attend the AWP Conference (again, for the first time). Sufjan Stevens and The Decemberists played in the Lyft that chauffeured my friend Lisa and I to our hotel from the airport. It snowed two mornings in a row, and I stopped every time I saw the flakes melting gracefully into slush. At the conference I listened to writers and talked to editors and hoarded free pins like my life depended on it. I discovered literary magazines I’d never heard of and felt the spark of creativity flare up in my fingers. I was surrounded by the unfamiliarity of the Midwest and the literary community and it felt like home.

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monday mood

monday mood / feb. 16th

modeandthelikemmjan12

Listening to…
Stars’ No One is Lost, The Decemberists’ What a Terrible World, What a Beautiful World, Belle & Sebastian’s Girls in Peacetime Want to Dance

Reading…
Inferno 
by Dante Alighieri

Check out…
this yummy banana bread recipe (I added walnuts and sprinkled sugar on top of the loaf) / this DIY crayon lipstick project, which I can’t wait to try / these strange and surreal art typefaces

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Happy Presidents’ Day! Hope everyone is enjoying a relaxing day off. I apologize for the lack of updates—things have been pretty crazy lately. But this pink, dreamy imagery really spoke to me this week and I knew I had to share. Enjoy the delicious banana bread recipe above, and more posts from Mode and the Like coming soon!

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arts

the decemberists/the king is dead

The Decemberists

★ ★ ★ Capitol Records

The Portland, Oregon-based band gets a taste of the South

When listening to The Decemberists’ sixth full-length album, The King Is Dead, fans in search of the refined indie-folk-rock vibe for which the band is renowned will be disappointed. In contrast to The Hazards of Love, a warbling seventeen-song epic rooted in repetitive riffs and a rock-metal conglomerate, The King Is Dead provides twanging guitar- and harmonica-laden tracks layered in with satisfying melodies and a bluegrass twist.  Though the album’s subject matter is more diverse in comparison to full-blown country ballads, evident in “All Arise!” and “June Hymn,” there is no mistaking their soulful Americana influences.  But what’s most unique about The King Is Dead is how well The Decemberists bridge the gap between country, folk, and indie-rock, cherry-picking the successful elements of each genre yet simultaneously sacrificing their signature tone. “Don’t Carry It All” opens with a solid, tambourine-heavy beat, truly embodying the spirit of the album, whereas “This Is Why We Fight,” a later track which treads into post-grunge ‘90s-rock territory, is reminiscent of The Crane Wife and Picaresque. Despite lead singer Colin Meloy’s distinct, heady and quavering voice proclaiming “I am gonna stand my ground / They rise to me and I’ll blow them down” on “Rise to Me,” the country-infused flavor may not withstand another go-around, leaving seasoned Decemberists devotees with a longing for the good old days.

RECOMMENDED: “Down By The Water,” “Rise to Me”

 

 

(Photo, via Lintcoat)

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