Sunday, November 13th, 2011
The Decemberists cover R.E.M.
Frank YangI opened the year with a Decemberists covering R.E.M. post, and oh what an 11 months it’s been for both bands since then. Back then, Colin Meloy and company were readying the release of their sixth album The King Is Dead, while R.E.M. were known to have finished their fifteenth album Collapse Into Now and would eventually put it out at the start of March.
And in February, while touring and promoting The King Is Dead, The Decemberists stopped in for a session with KCRW’s Morning Becomes Eclectic. In addition to playing some of the new record, they offered a cover of R.E.M.’s “Cuyahoga” – after all, Peter Buck guested on a few tracks on their new record and the band were an obvious influence. And coincidentally, Life’s Rich Pageant, the album from which said song was taken, was also set to re-released that Summer in double-disc, remastered and expanded format.
And now, The Decemberists are about to go on an extended hiatus – one on the span of years – to decompress and pursue other creative interests and R.E.M. have disbanded entirely, capping a 30-year career. But they don’t depart without leaving gifts in the form of new releases; The Decemberists put out an EP of King session outtakes in Long Live The King a couple weeks ago and R.E.M. will put out a career-spanning compilation – which includes their final recordings as a band – in Part Lies Part Heart Part Truth Part Garbage 1982-2011 this week.
R.E.M. is dead; long live R.E.M. The Decemberists will be back. No worries.