We gave you the details on the Decemberists’ forthcoming Always The Bridesmaid 12″ series, that “Valerie Plame,” the first track on the first volume, is from — to quote the press release — “the point-of-view of one of Plame’s inside contacts upon discovering her true identity, the song is an amorous tribute to the onetime CIA operative.” (In case you forgot, Valerie Plame’s the woman Robert Novak identified and outed in his Washington Post column, compromising her covert identity, and by hook and by crook led a grand jury investigation, “The Plame Affair,” United States v. Libby, etc.) The track packs just about everything fans of Colin Meloy & Co. would want from the Oregonians into its five minutes — an autobiographical reading of an already dramatic/fairly literary-seeming “historical” person, a love story, a big hook, a dramatic instrumental passage, a bigger bar-ready group sing-a-long at the end. There are also horns.

The B-side’s “O New England.” As previously mentioned, the band’s scheduled to play “Valerie Plame” live on Conan O’Brien 11/3. Yes, it does make sense to sing about Plame and, via association, George W.’s commuting of Scotter Libby’s 30-month prison term, etc., on the eve of the 2008 election.

Always The Bridesmaid: Volume I is out digitally 10/14 via Capitol and on 12″ vinyl via The Decemberists’ own Y.A.B.B./Jealous Butcher. Look for Volume II on 11/4 and Volume III on 12/2. You can do a bit of preordering, if you’d like.

Comments (16)
  1. zap  |   Posted on Sep 30th, 2008 0

    yum- decemberists for breakfast. thanks. great song.

  2. Evan  |   Posted on Sep 30th, 2008 0

    Great song. Record Year and Raincoat Song are amazing too

  3. just find it on hype machine.

  4. Michael  |   Posted on Sep 30th, 2008 0

    I was able to my hands on a promo copy of all the singles in the singles collection they are going to release. They’re all good listens — Typical Decemberists fashion –but at the same time, I just want a new album out of these guys.

  5. hexel  |   Posted on Sep 30th, 2008 0

    wow. before pushing play i decided to figure out what this song would most likely sound like. i decided that the either the first lyric or the chorus would be “oh valerie plame” rhymed with “name,” and that there ould be a banjo. right on both counts. i think this means my beloved decemberists have become predictable.

  6. Dan  |   Posted on Sep 30th, 2008 0

    holy crap Pitchfork hates this song! They must be out to destroy something new today.

    • Colour me shocked. (Loving this single and the whole album – except Sticking with You, but that’s basically a B-Side anyway).

  7. bernard  |   Posted on Sep 30th, 2008 0

    it should have been to the tune of art brut’s “emily kane.”

  8. boris  |   Posted on Sep 30th, 2008 0

    i dont really like the decemberist, but this song definitely aint bad. figures that pitchfork hates it. they wouldnt know a melody if it hit em in their horn-rimmed glasses

  9. corey   |   Posted on Sep 30th, 2008 0


  10. edog  |   Posted on Sep 30th, 2008 0

    Great tune!

  11. tweepop  |   Posted on Oct 1st, 2008 0

    wow, the end sounds very beatles-eque

  12. this is good, and it’s nice to hear some new decemberists, But i always like the sea-shanty, pogues-like folk songs better than the billy liar songs.

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