SXSW 2009: Decemberists Debut Hazards Of Love

By Scott Lapatine / March 19, 2009

Last night Austin’s Stubb’s Bar-B-Q hosted the live debut of Decemberists’ Hazards Of Love, the latest morbid prog opera from a band famous for them. NPR.org streamed the ambitious performance of this dictionary rock LP start to finish, adding a chatroom so fans could ask each other what foxglove is in real time. Per NPR: “The Hazards Of Love tells the woodland melodrama of a character named Margaret who encounters such obstacles as a lecherous villain, forest royalty and rapacious, shape-shifting fauna.” Who knew they had it in them? (Everyone knew they had it in them.)

Becky Stark (Lavender Diamond) and Shara Worden (My Brightest Diamond) were on hand to voice Margaret and the queen, respectively, and Annie Clark (St. Vincent Diamond) watched from the crowd. The role of William was played by Colin Meloy’s muttonchops. “The Rake’s Song” featured five (!) drummers. Epic. After album closer “The Hazards Of Love 4 (The Drowned),” Meloy and Funk returned to play “Raincoat Song” and “I Was Meant For The Stage.” You can stream the entire performance here, or just download the one song that’s an homage to Bon Jovi

The Decemberists – “Margaret In Captivity (Live SXSW ’09)” (MP3)

The Hazards Of Love is available on iTunes now via Capitol Records. Pics by kingpinphoto via NPR.

UPDATE: Stream Hazards Of Love below (via EW):