New Decemberists – “Valerie Plame”

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.