Hey folks! Thought it might be nice for everyone to have a chance to introduce themselves & connect with one another. Chime in in the comments here — who are you, what are you into, what brought you here?
Sorry for the double-send... still learning how to use this thing. :)
My Grandaughter introduced me to you guys. She is 30 and I am 74. I have been amazed by your lyrics and the wonderful collaboration of your band. We attended the Red Rocks show in the horrific storm, saw you at the Palace Theater in St. Paul. We are heading to Wolf Trap to see you guys again. We will be 3 generations enjoying you at Wolf Trap we have special viewing tickets. We are so, so excited. Thank you!!
I'm Colin’s uncle. His mom made me sign up.
Long time listener, first time caller. So when one is faced with introducing themselves, is it normal to have anxiety?
Something that occurred to me reading through comments in here- finding out someone is a Decemberists fan is instantly disarming for me. Whatever confluence of interests there is, I can pretty reliably assume any other fans are good and interesting folks I’d like to hang out with.
I'm Fred, an almost 60 year old librarian and poet from OH. I got into Decembrists around the time Crane Wife dropped. Loved reading a description of the band that claimed they dress 'like 100 year old librarians.' so gave a listen and loved the music. I'm also big into bicycling, yo-yos, origami, and obscure canal history from the midwest American frontier as it existed in the early 1800s.
You mean it’s not just Colin and me? Humph….I thought the personal feel of the email this morning was too good to be true!
Hey I'm Quinn, I play bass in Minneapolis band Floodwater Angel. I really connected with what Colin said about the social media algorithm in the welcome email. Ive been trying to talk to more people my age (20-25) about how weird it is that social media runs the connection between fan and band. It IS weird, it prioritizes some bands based on their social media clout over others. You lose great musicians in the gap, people who are fantastic song writers and players but don't succeed in the social media machine. Our big thing right now is promoters and bookers have told us we HAVE to have a Tiktok to be successful in the midwest and when we tell fans that sometimes they agree! I refuse to be a musician on Tiktok, It's dehumanizing!
What are your opinions on that part of Colin's initial email?
Hi, Colin and all you other lovely folks;
I’m Jason from MA. Been a fan since Castaways, and HOLY CRAP THAT WAS 20 YEARS AGO?!? My favorite memory (thus far!) is from a show in Boston, must’ve been on Her Majesty’s tour. Long Winters were opening and the PA was misbehaving. Halfway through your set, you asked that the PA be turned off entirely. What ensued was purely magical, like a campfire singalong. It was electrifying without being electrified. What a show. Thanks for all the music!
I’m Julie, and I’m 45 and live in MD. I’m a scientist. I’ve been a fan for 20 years. I think my first Decemberists concert was in 2005 at Sonar in Baltimore where the band paraded through the audience playing A Cautionary Tale - and I think I’m up to 15 shows now! Colin’s (and Carson’s) art plays through my speakers, hangs on my walls, and is in books I read to my kids at night. ❤️ So of course I wanted to see what’s going on here!
I'm Arden, a 19 year old college student. In middle school a friend and I got super into the Hazards of Love and I've been a huge fan ever since!
Hi all! John from a little farm in the beautiful Snoqualmie Valley WA. I found the Decemberists many years ago when my dear friend sent me a copy of The Crane Wife with a note that said "I have found your perfect band". She was right.
My favorite Decemberist moment(s) were the Travelers Rest festivals. It's one thing to share a crowd with some random fans. It's another to share a crowd with people crazy enough to drive to Montana through a forest fire. Such joyful times (except for the fire part). As a person who has teared up 1000 times playing Colin's songs on the guitar, I await my dream publication of a Colin/Carson "Decemberists Complete Illustrated Songbook" equally full of witty comments, chord shapes, mysterious lyrics, and beautiful art. But for now, the Machine Shop is darn fine idea.
Hi! Sara here. A friend in high school burned me a mix cd with Billy Liar on it, and the Decemberists became my favorite band. 20 years later and still a huge fan. I'm an illustrator with a love for wildlife and I play dungeons and dragons.
Dan from Dallas, TX here! I've been a fan of The Decemberists starting with Picaresque in the simpler times of 2005, and I've followed everything Colin and the gang have done since. I'm an architect and I travel a bunch for projects, and after many years of trying the stars finally aligned and I got to see The Decemberists play in London, which was just as incredible as it sounds.
I think Colin is one of, if not the, greatest lyricists working today. I never thought I'd get emotional listening to a song about a bird getting married, but it gets me every time. The past few years have been particularly awful, but Colin's "Live from the Barn" and numerous virtual shows have kept me and a lot of others sane. There isn't enough time in the day or the right words to express the gratitude I have for Colin, the band, and the wonderful music they make.
Hello All. In college I was devoted to REM and The Replacements. I spent the next 20 years looking in vain for a band to hit me as hard as they had. Then I found the Decemberists around the time of The Crane Wife - and I became a fanatical devotee. And THEN I found out that Colin's early major influences were REM and the Matts. My mind is still blown... I have found Colin to be a splendid curator of content and ideas. He puts a lot of thought and care into the things he creates and presents. I feel like it will be a really valuable experience learning about his process here. I have always admired his prolific, compulsive creativity and I hope that some of those sparks will light up some dead wood in me. As for me - I live on Martha's Vineyard, produce tawdry TV Shows and still dream of becoming a writer of great art.
I'm Heidi, from Minneapolis. I've been a fan since Crane Wife and saw the Decemberists on that tour at First Avenue. I've seen them at least a half dozen times since then here in MN and Wisconsin. I sang my children their songs on long stroller walks, (the Mariner's Revenge) and to get them to sleep (Crane Wife, O January, June Hymn.) Now, my husband and I play their songs on guitar (him) and ukelele (me) and are excited to see them again in Minneapolis in August.
My now 15-year-old said to me in the car - June Hymn playing on the radio - "Haven't you been singing this song for like, years?!?" Yes, yes I have. Fortunately. :) Happy to meet you all!
I'm Ethan, been a fan since ... Tarkio? I worked with REM since the 90's, so Tarkio and Decemberists came on my radar through them. We've met a few times at various things, and I proudly own one of Jenny's accordions.
It’s so hard to write things like this (anxiety, right?) but I really love that there is a community here and I would love to be part of it! My name is Tarryn. I’m 29 years old, non-binary (any pronouns) and I’ve been a caregiver for the elderly and disabled most of my life. I live with my wife and her husband (we’re polyamorous) and we have an amazing 15 month old named Olive Juniper. Some of my interests include crochet, digital art, writing, horror movies and, of course, music! I first listened to “When the War Came” in high school and the rest is history. The Decembrists have been my lifeline through a lot of tough times, especially in recent years. I’m very happy to be here among such amazing people!
Hi! My name's Lauren. I'm a writer and circus artist living in Boston. The Decemberists were my first concert when I was 16, and I'm 30 now. One of my favorite albums of all time is the "Colin Meloy Sings Live" one. I bought it on a whim in my teens at a Barnes & Noble after seeing a single copy misplaced amongst other bands.
Hello! Writer and mom, Philadelphia area. I’ve been a Decemberists fan since 2003 when I caught sight of the beautiful HER MAJESTY cover art at the Borders I was working at - I was big into the WWI soldier poets at the time :) - and many shows later, I still haven’t looked back. Incidentally started WILDWOOD with my kindergartner this month and we’re both loving it (although let’s just say bedtime seems to be getting increasingly delayed by pleas for one more chapter). Psyched to see the band in August!
Hello! I'm Ángel Negrín, a venezuelan Decemberist fan for 12 years. Now living in Belgium. Wish you guys or you alone came more to Europe. I have introduced your music to so many friends that ended up loving it.
Also, if you want to check my music, here it is! I recorded everything in my room :) https://open.spotify.com/track/0QSBElZPk1jM21jUFwmDVJ?si=133ac2b16e484278
Hi, I’m Kris, from Cbus, OH. Longtime fan of the Decemberists, Colin’s solo stuff, Tarkio, Offa Rex, Carson’s art, and Colin’s books—generally an admirer of the whole outfit, as it were. I’m also a writer, so definitely here for craft-talk, as well as to further immerse myself in the usual themes of the Meloy-Ellis milieu. Glad for the chance to hang with you all in the machine shop!
50 year old father of two (one of which is a Henry) in Chicago. I've been a fan since The Tain (maybe a strange entry point?). Here because a) a big fan and b) I think a substack is a nice way to show support. I am looking forward to more insight about the music and interacting with you and fellow fans. Also..need something to pull me away from the new Ghost album.
Good morning! I was a casual fan until tuning in to the three virtual shows during the pandemic. Being able to replay those shows was fantastic and led me to dig into the entirety of the Decemberists catalog. So fired up for my first live show in LA this August!
Laci here from Budapest, Hungary. I was educated as a teacher, now I'm working as a musician (Platon Karataev, The Somersault Boy, Captain Average and other bands in Hungary), part-time journalist, part-time private teacher. I read a review of The Crane Wife back in 2006 in a local music magazine, that's how I got into The Decemberists. I love to read these kind of "behind the music" articles and I love home-made demos, so I think I'll enjoy my time here.
Hi y'all. I'm James, from Olympia, Wash., these days. Back in the early 2000s I would do all of Bumbershoot, the (then) four-day music festival in Seattle, and that's where I discovered the Decemberists. I think this was 2003? Chris had been in an accident and couldn't join the band, and the show briefly was re-announced as Colin solo, but then the rest of the band joined anyway. I've seen the band everywhere from small smoke-filled clubs to outdoor college campuses to the Hollywood Bowl, and I really regret not seeing them at the Department of Safety, a jail converted into a venue, in Anacortes. I also adore D&D and am hoping to play at an event in Chris' space sometime now that the pandemic is fading. And I just went on a trip to Mexico which told me I really, really need to be in person with people, so, all y'all in the Northwest, let's gather.
Hey Colin, happy to be here among the rest of your weird listeners.
I'm 37 and hail from Ottawa, Ontario.
My wife and I are long-time fans - we've seen you perform (with your band and without) about a dozen times in various cities.
Do you remember when you did a solo set in Ottawa and the poor girl that was MC'ing the event introduced you as Colin Malone? You made a witty joke about it when you got to the mic and I'm pretty sure I could see her cheeks flush from the crowd.
What you're doing here is neat - keep it coming.
See you in Toronto in August.
Lot of cool stories here! I'm Ben, from LA, originally from Philly. Been a fan of Colin and the band since 2003, when my little circle of nerdy art friends found them in high school. I'm a comedy writer with a huge passion for music, and the Decemberists' music has been such a major influence and comfort to me over the years. I head write and direct a relatively successful comedy show here in Los Angeles, on a crazy whim I actually, during the Pandemic, cold called Colin's management company to see if he would be interested in hosting the show some time haha.
I love this page, I'm really fascinated in artistic process, and dig getting a view behind the curtains.
Hello All! My name is Michael Scott and I’m a Bay Area native and current resident of Oakland, CA. I’m a drummer and hairstylist, and long time fan and listener of The Decemberists. I began dabbling with guitar about 12 years ago, and Colin was always my true north for inspiration, so joining in a n The Machine Shop just made sense. I’m currently working as a studio drummer for a local recording studio in oakland, and can’t wait to get back out on stages again to connect with an audience. It’s really lovely reading each and everyones’s intros too! Let’s keep this space amazing! Thanks, Colin!
Funny story. Long, long ago and not so far away, I was trying out this new-fangled Pandora thing. Found a band called Tarkio and loved them. Added to channel. Then found the Decemberists. Added them too. After awhile... Heyyyy. Same guy. Since then, I've seen you at the Hollywood Palladium and the Greek... flying up to see you in August at McMenamins Edgefield. Oh and my brother used to wait tables at the Windbag in Helena MT. Served your parents there once. Brush with celebrity.
Hello, I'm Ronan. I'm originally from Ireland but now live just down the road from you, Colin. Long time fan, seen the band countless times and am probably the only person to play The Shankill Butchers live in a bar in Belfast and live to tell the story. True story.
Hey! I'm Brittany from Virginia. Long-time fan... I was reflecting yesterday on my earliest memories of listening to The Decemberists in college and wishing I could remember who introduced me to your music. My husband and I try to catch all of your shows in town (or online during the pandemic) and our daughter loves "Everyone's Awake." We appreciate you sharing your creativity with us!
How many of you out there are Illimat players? I some a few mentions of the game. I don't get a lot of chances to play, unfortunately. We used to take the set with us to a local brewery a friend owns (in the Pre-COVID times) and play there. For some reason it feels like a game that should be played out in the world (and the really good Korean tacos certainly add to the experience). Maybe it's just the genesis of the game from the photos of the band playing in strange places. Would be fun to figure out a way to play via Zoom somehow...
Hello from the southernmost point on the Missouri River. The Decemberists have been part of the family soundtrack since Hazards of Love. The encore at The Pageant (St. Louis) during which Chris Funk played the role of Charles Lindbergh and flew across the crowd through an improvised Gateway Arch is among the fondest of memories.
"Into" all sorts of banal things, such as reality television, dog ownership, and $30 bottles of whiskey. I'm an acolyte of folk music and pop songs with erudite lyrics. I have a 9-to-5 office job but when left alone or among a certain collection of friends I play guitar - mostly three chord songs in standard tuning. I'll learn a song with four chords, but that fourth chord has to be really worth it. I enjoy ghost songs, murder ballads, and stalker tunes, so, naturally, I'm here for the unique content. Also, I am an advocate for the Oxford comma and a student of human behavior.
Hello! I first saw the Decemberists at Berbati's Pan (RIP) in I'm guessing 2003? My wife took me after hearing "Legionnaire's Lament" on a local compilation CD and we both became huge fans. Several years later Jenny hired me to photograph her wedding, because I knew the woman doing their flowers and got recommended. I still remember sitting down for our first meeting; Jenny mentioned she was "in a local band called the Decemberists" and I had to be cool, like, oh yeah I've heard of you guys. After that I was fortunate enough to work with the band and some of their various side projects several times, and let me tell you it's pretty awesome to do a job that you love with one of your favorite bands. Now I don't even have to shoot weddings anymore! Thanks for starting this cool thing, Colin!
Hi all! I'm a writer (not by trade but by habit,) I'm 25 years old, and I'm originally from San Diego but now living near Portland, Oregon. I believe the first time I ever learned of the Decemberists and Colin was in late 2015 or early 2016. Somehow I was exposed to Here I Dreamt I Was An Architect, and I ended up devouring that whole album. I think I have Castaways and Cutouts, Hazards of Love, and The King Is Dead all on CD. I've been appreciating Colin's music and Carson's art since then, and I'm looking forward to what's in store for the Machine Shop!
Hi all, my name is Lindsay and I’m from MA. I started listening in the early 2000’s after hearing a track on Emerson College radio and haven’t stopped since. Like some others in this group, listening has become a family affair. Recently, my 11-year-old son and I were driving across the state after a youth hockey game and he looked at the time left on the GPS and said “Mom – if we listen to the Tain three times we will be home”. Looking forward to watching you as a family in Lafayette, and then sans kids in Boston the next night. When I’m not (or when I am) singing loudly and out of tune to your music I enjoy long walks with my dog and playing competitive mobile Tetris blanketed up on my couch. I don’t really have the words to express my gratitude for the lyrics and music that Colin and the band have gifted us. It is such an important part of my everyday life. Have a feeling? There’s a song for that… Thank you and happy to be here.
Hi all! I’m Dana, a 35 year old librarian from NJ. Been a fan since maybe 2005?? Colin, your Instagram live videos got me through the first few weeks of the panny, and reading yesterday’s newsletter had me finally feeling something higher than “just trying to get by”, so I’m excited to see what happens in this space!
I'm James and you've been lighting up my drive to work for a few years now. Totally excited to see you in Bristol a couple of years ago with my daughter. Please come back to the UK soon!
I'm Ryan. I live in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. I'm 45. I've been a fan since "Castaways & Cutouts". Colin, you are definitely one my absolute favourite songwriters. There has yet to be a song, album, or book you have released that I have not truly loved. I was super stoked that you played 'Culling of the Fold' at my request when you asked for song requests at the VIP soundcheck a few years back in Calgary. Plus, my 4-year-old, Henry, has really took a shine to 'The Mariner's Revenge Song'. We have watched a few of the live performances of this song on YouTube, which he absolutely adores. He loves seeing the changes in the whale for that song. He also keeps asking when The Decemberists are going to come back to Calgary so he can see the band play the song love. Any word on that Colin? Thanks for doing this Substack Colin. Its such a cool thing! Thank you! P.S. Will the songs be available as a download as well, or just on Substack?
Hi, I’m Kristen! Been a fan for over a decade and now working on indoctrinating my one-year-old. It’s slow-going but we’ll get her there.
hi everyone! i’m amber, i’m 41 years old and i live in seattle, washington.
i’m into life, honestly. the pandemic changed me in a way that is hard to put into words but i’m just into everything joyful now! i want to see it all, hear it all, do it all.
i’m obviously into the decemberists, that’s how i got here! my origin story: i went to see carissa’s wierd (don’t come for me, that’s how they spell it!) at the crocodile in seattle on valentine’s day, 2003 and a group i had never heard of was opening for them. i left with a new favorite band.
it’s been 19 years since that day and i’ve been to more shows than i could ever count…
tiny venues before anyone knew who they were, large theaters after everyone knew who they were, the solo shows, the online pandemic shows and now i’m here!
i have to say, it’s been a wonderful journey ❤️
Scientist and pharma exec here. I fell for The Decemberists with The Crane Wife thanks to NPR and then devoured the story-songs of older releases. I've seen them play in Central Park and Prospect Park and The Beacon in NYC and (my highlight) the full Hazards of Love at the Murat in Indianapolis. (Mr. Meloy, PLEASE don't stop releasing new music, especially songs with stories.) I think the Decemberists are bound for Broadway like Anais Mitchell.
Good morning! I’m Sanayo from Mountain View, CA. Many, many years ago, my now-ex boyfriend told me there was an 8-minute pirate-y song about a couple of sailors who fight to the death inside a whale after being swallowed alive. So, for obvious reasons, The Decemberists have been my number-one ever since. I’m a total lyrics and grammar nerd, along with anything reminiscent of the days of yore. (Is it weird that I think “Its contents watched by Sycorax and Patagon in parallax” is one of the sexiest sentences ever written? 🤣)
Colin, I love this concept of connecting directly with your listeners. I’m guessing it’s more enjoyable for you, too! And if there was one artist from whom I’d expect this sort of great idea, it’s definitely you.
Hi! I'm Lela, a 28 year old potter based out of Portland Oregon. My husband, Nick, just a friend at the time, introduced me to The Decemberists in 2014ish, long before we got together. They became the soundtrack to my college experience, and when we decided to get married we walked down the aisle to Red Right Ankle. I listen regularly now as I make pottery, to pretty much anything Colin sings. Nick and I are very excited to be seeing you for the first, but hopefully not last, time at Mcmenamins this year. I couldn't resist the opportunity to hear about your creative process more, and possibly hear other versions of our favorite songs, so I'm so excited to be here!
Hi… I am Paula, a linguist, writer, artist, composer, and teacher from Cheyenne, Wyoming, though I have lived in France,Haiti, and Turkey ( 3 years teaching at the French embassy til the pandemic hit).. I have been a Decemberists fan since my daughter gave me Terrible, Wonderful World CD for my birthday a few years ago. Then, while I was painting a watercolor at my sister’s in Helena, Montana ( I grew up in Great Falls and was home visiting), she said, “ Why are you listening to Colin Meloy?” She is apparently a buddy of your mom ( ask your mom how often she has lunch with Lynne Egan) and your dad apparently sang once at a campout with my brother-in-law, Wayne Klinkel, artist at the Independent Record! Small world. Then, while driving cross country listening to The Moth Radio Show, I heard a story told by a girl who was spelling bee champ for Lewis & Clark County, and that turned out to be your sister! So, I feel like I know you. I am an avid songwriter and thought this forum might be interesting!
Hello all! Im Amy- I live in Maryland and I am an artist. I have been a fan since my sophomore year of college at Shepherd University. Old school college radio is still the best. I think I was at the same concert Julie Blum was in Baltimore (Meriweather Post Pavilion) WHAT A CONCERT! Its still one of the most happiest of memories. We are taking our daughter to her first Decembrist concert this summer, we must pass on the tradition. ❤️
HA! As someone who spent time at an English boarding school, your "Common Room" subject line immediately connected... and yes... I did not need to translate "let your legs loll on the lino". :). I'm Mo, and I live in Portland (at least for the next few months) but in the process of moving up to Bainbridge Island (just across the Sound from Seattle). I'm a recovering film director, who is now in the world of live events (It's been a great 2 years (thank you COVID))... I'm married to the amazing Dana and we have a 14 year old son named Zane. I actually got turned on to Tarkio a bajillion years ago, and have been following your well-earned success ever since... Much love and many thanks for this and all you have brought into the world.
I’m Deryck from Scotland. University Fellow, older than I’d like to admit (hitting 60 this year), frustrated musician. Really interested to see behind the scenes (and maybe get a glimpse of what is coming our way). Favourite Decemberists album is always the one I listened to most recently.
My introduction to the Decemberists was an accidental gift bestowed by my Dad, who had been playing Sons and Daughters quite a bit for my younger brothers. I was hooked after my first time hearing The Crane Wife, tucked into my headphones and realizing that The Island was the marriage of prog, folk, and literature that was missing from my life.
Seeing Hazards on tour was like coming home. My husband has since become a dedicated fan himself, and we have yet to miss a show in or around Maryland since that tour. Our tradition is to blast our mutual favorites as we drive to a show, singing of mariners and rakes at the top of our lungs only to do it all again at the show.
Colin, you’re doing a really neat thing here. I’m psyched for what’s to come! My dream is a “Colin Meloy sings R.E.M.” EP. ;)