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Decemberists Making Most Of "Hot Band" Notoriety

Of the Oakland Press

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The five members of the December ists look good in jockey silks.

They may never have known that if Rolling Stone magazine hadn’t designated the Portland, Ore., group as the Hot Band in its recent Hot Issue — “a big moment,” says group leader Colin Meloy. That led to a story and a photo shoot that, in turn, led to the aforementioned jockey outfi ts.

“It was kind of a random thing that occurred very spontaneously,” says Meloy, 32. “It was our idea to go shoot at the track. Initially we were set up in the clubhouse being high rollers.

“Then someone had the bright idea to ask if they had any silks lying around. They did, so we threw them on and did a few shots, and that’s what they wound up running in the issue.”

The excitement is over the Decemberists’ fourth album, “The Crane Wife.” Produced by Death Cab for Cutie’s Chris Walla,

it marks the band’s major label debut, on Capitol Records, after three credibility-building releases on the independent Kill Rock Stars imprint. But Meloy says that outside of “a bigger budget that allowed more time in the studio,” the Decemberists didn’t have to make many adjustments to their new creative home.

“So far, it’s felt strangely the same,” Meloy notes. “I think Capitol recognized right away that we had built this foundation on our own. They recognized that if they messed with it, it was potentially career suicide for us.

“We have a very loyal fan base that is very protective and I’m sure would not want to see us do the things that are typical to a band’s major label release, like trying for hit singles and things like that. We’ve made a point to maintain a lot of the same attitudes, and I think we’ve been successful in doing that.”

The Decemberists and Alasdair Roberts perform Tuesday (Nov. 7th) at Clutch Cargo’s, 65 E. Huron St., Pontiac. Doors open at 7 p.m. Tickets are $21. Call (248) 333-2362 or visit www.clutchcargos.com.

Web Site: www.clutchcargos.com

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