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Apr 13, 2022·edited Apr 13, 2022Author

Thanks for the feedback, everyone! More Intentional Listening exercises to come -- and I will do a Q&A soon (maybe early next week?). Studio tour as well! I might experiment with a show check-in thread-- I've got a solo show this Saturday and could use some setlist help :)

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Apr 11, 2022Liked by Colin Meloy

I was thinking a tour of your home studio would be cool. Showing us your guitar, amp, equipment collection

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Everything about this is super fun. I'm particularly loving the veil pulled back on familiar and unheard songs. Your process to songwriting and song-loving is fascinating.

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Loooove the annotated lyrics!

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I really appreciated the active listening exercise. You're right - you can glean so much more from the music when you really try to pick out the minutiae.

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Apr 11, 2022Liked by Colin Meloy

I'm really enjoying hearing previously unreleased songs, or songs that were played for specific sets that we as a collective group may not have heard before. I really loved Bring On the Dancing Horses/Crane Wife 3.

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Apr 11, 2022Liked by Colin Meloy

I joined to hear what you had to say about lyric writing and storytelling. I love the music you make, but I'm not a musician and can't really put your insights on that to work. On the other hand, your style, subject matters and themes as a lyricist/storyteller appeal to and resonate with me and your thoughts there might, who knows, inspire or otherwise help me in my creative writing efforts. So, to the extent you can talk about lyric writing and storytelling, then, I will be gratified. Thank you.

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A favorite booklist, inspiration for your vocabulary/love of words, favorite historical events (for inspiration). I found.The Decemberists through my love of reading and history and can't get enough.

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Apr 11, 2022Liked by Colin Meloy

Everything's great so far! It's super cool to see you pull off the clock's face and point out all the gears and levers, all their scratches and divots, and the inscriptions of the names of those who crafted them. Particularly enjoy the annotated lyrics!

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Apr 11, 2022Liked by Colin Meloy

It's so much fun! I sometimes tire quickly of related emails that come every few days, but I remain so excited for these. I love learning more about familiar Decemberists stuff, and I really appreciated the walkthrough of Kanga Roo - a song I keep listening to and talking about!

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Apr 11, 2022·edited Apr 11, 2022Liked by Colin Meloy

Really appreciate the breadth and diversity of the content you're posting here...I've been working on Lake Song, and really enjoy the active listening and song annotations...this has been a wonderful surprise...

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Apr 11, 2022Liked by Colin Meloy

Very enjoyable. Would love to hear more inside stories- road stories, tell us about your crew, how the band managed through COVID, off the wall recording studio stories, that one time when the band went "Really??" at one of your proposed lyrics - stuff like that.

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Apr 12, 2022Liked by Colin Meloy

I'm a co-founder of a NFP art center in the Chicago 'burbs. Two galleries, 26 studios, classes and outreach. In addition to our formal mission, I always said we were about "demystifying the creative process". I am still on that quest. Thanks for helping me along on that journey.

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Apr 12, 2022Liked by Colin Meloy

I think a video lesson on the subtle nuances of playing bazooki would be great!

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Apr 12, 2022Liked by Colin Meloy

Demonstration Tapes and Lost Songs are really fascinating. I really love this new community and whatever you decide to share with us.

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Apr 11, 2022Liked by Colin Meloy

I loved the focused listening post.

Years ago, I read a little book you wrote about The Replacements’ Let It Be. I really enjoyed your writing about music, and the way you wove in memories from your adolescence.

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Apr 11, 2022Liked by Colin Meloy

Have enjoyed everything so far and the variety is what keeps things interesting. Favourite bit so far though was the Kanga Roo tribute/walkthrough. Most artists I love have been introduced to me by other artists I love so always keen to hear who has inspired you and who you're listening to now.

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Apr 11, 2022·edited Apr 11, 2022Liked by Colin Meloy

Sort of figured this would be a twice-monthly deal, so I've been shocked at the amount of content shared so far. I wonder how deep this rabbit hole will go. Will we be getting an esoteric deep dive into a Happy Cactus song and how it evolved into a Decemberists song years later? A version of that song from instagram live that I still sometimes have stuck in my head ("bear with me, I might need some symmetry sometime" I think the words were)? When the tour starts will we be getting weird missives involving boardgames?

I assume it'll be fun regardless.

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I’d thought this was going to be some kind of pyramid scheme where you goaded us into selling meals that could be served after having been boiled in plastic bags or something…it’s not so, I’m disappointed on that front but what I did LOVE was other peoples’ music - Echo into Crane Wife 3 I listened to ~100 times. Love that stuff 👏

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founding
Apr 11, 2022Liked by Colin Meloy

Loving the exclusive music content!

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I am blown away by how much has been shared so far. I was really only expecting a few things a month. The tidbits you’ve shared have more than tickled my interest for backstory.

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I love to hear about the process. What inspired the lyrics/chords. What did you bring to the band and what did they add? What parts came easily and which took a lot of work? If you have demos to share, that's always fun. Loving the series!

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Really loved the Lake Song walkthrough! Thats a song that the tabs online can never get right and it was nice to hear it direct from the source

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I’d love a “mixtape” like a list we can put together ourselves on whatever music app/media we listen on.

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Best thing hitting my inbox.

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I'm all about the "behind the scenes" as to your lyrics; the inspiration, where you were in time, etc.. I've always felt that your songs are each short stories...gaining insight into your headspace feels very intimate. Thank you so much for sharing.

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That fucking crazy ass cowbell

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really loving this relatively new way to work out a bond between the artist and the fans...pretty much a bard-ish way! hugs from Italy

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The ability to download the songs would be lovely.

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As a well travelled musician, would love to hear your thoughts on great touring locations/audiences/national differences.

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Very much enjoying this content! The annotated lyrics, demos, and unreleased tracks are especially intriguing!

I've got a question: As a fan of the Wildwood series, I was incredibly excited to hear of Laika's upcoming adaptation. Are you able to tell us if you will be involved, either in the written screen adaptation or contributing to the soundtrack?

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The annotated Leslie Anne Levine was a great little read. It'd be awesome to see more of those.

It might also be cool to talk about storytelling through music. A lot of your music is narrative-driven, and it'd be interesting to hear about your process for songs like "Rusalka, Rusalka", "The Island", or The Hazards of Love.

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founding

Loving everything so far! My favourite post so far was the Annotated Songs for Leslie Anne Levine. (For some reason, there was no email announcement about that post. I assume that's why its numbers are so low, please don't let that dissuade you from doing more of those!)

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Hi, just trying to catch up on your posts. I love the covers, your storytelling, but most of all your singing. Thank you btw for doing an outdoor concert this year. I canceled all of my concerts due to chemo except yours at Edgefield.

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Love the annotated songs and will never tire of hearing the stories behind them. It’s fascinating. Your writing has had such a big impact on mine and I imagine so many others on this journey. Any way you can take us behind the scenes will be amazing. 🙌🏼

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It's all been great. Cool in depth look into your work/life. The only thing I could ask for, would be more song tutorials. I would have never figured out Lake Song had you not made that instagram video, and it would be thrilling to learn anything/everything you have to offer.

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Coming back after enjoying a weekend of cooking to Bring On the Dancing Horses inspired playlists - loving the music recommendations! Also that song is impossible to get out of your head.

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My most favorite pieces: Annotated song and the Intentional Listening!

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I love everything I’m seeing here thus far -- peeks into books, music, and inspiration-- keep it going!

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more handwritten lyrics? more Carson-art inspired by or that inspired your art?

But really, no, you're grand. We're enthralled with any sharing. Food for thoughts and souls.

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This is so fantastic! Finally a place where I can ask: what the hell is a Superman trumpet?

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You released only on EP a track called "E. Watson" -- and it has become one of my favorite pieces you've ever created. I went so far as to get a copy of "The Story of Chokoloskee Bay Country" which I believe may have inspired the song, but I'd love if you could share any other background about the piece. Thank you!

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Apr 13, 2022·edited Apr 13, 2022

Really enjoying the content so far! It's nice to feel connected with other fans as well - none of my friends are interested in the Decemberists (despite my best efforts) so I often feel like I'm listening in a bit of a vacuum. I'm a 21 year old student in the UK, and came across the Decemberists when I randomly stumbled on a YouTube cover of Rox in the Box - a rather roundabout route! Very rapidly became one of my favourite bands (along with the equally wonderful Michigan-based Crane Wives, named after the Decemberists album). I hope to be able to see a live performance one day...

Oh - and I was so thrilled to say the Lake Song tutorial. I've been attempting to teach myself the guitar for a while now (without much success), and I think having an authoratative version of one of my favourite songs to work towards will provide some much-needed inspiration!

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I just started so I am still getting a feel of the site and your postings. Like the heading a lot.

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I really enjoyed reading about the story behind Don’t Carry it All. In general, when I listen to your work, especially the first time, I associate the storytelling with moments and feelings in my life. Being able to learn more about them later on is an added bonus because now the song’s meaning has expanded for me (or any listener). And I’m also a nerd and love geeking out over the details! Can’t wait to read more!

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I'm loving this, always like the guitar tutorials. It's all good! Thank you so much for doing this Colin!

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The mix has been great - photos, recordings, video - love it! My favorite was the footnotes on song lyrics because it was so richly packed with little tidbits of new information. The sound quality of the recordings is really good. Vibe is pretty energetic, it seems like this was the product of a bolt of inspiration and you're just going with it, and people seem to dig it.

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I'm still spelunking around, having just joined last week so I feel like I love everything and want more of everything (which is not helpful). I will say that when I had to sit down to complete my songwriting assignment for the week, I was very much not in any kind of headspace for that task, so I fired up the deep dive into "Kanga Roo." I enjoyed that very much for its own sake, and it gave me the spark of the idea for this week's song.

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Definitely song origins and links to other tracks.

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I'm enjoying it quite a bit though I am brimming with questions about your songwriting processes.

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