The Decemberists “We All Raise Our Voices to the Air: Live Songs 04.11-08.11”

Two CDs. Two hours. All Decemberists. Not sure what else to say. Pick your favorite song of theirs and see whether they played it. The longest ones (over 10 minutes each) are “The Crane Wife 1, 2, and 3”; “The Mariner’s Revenge Song” (which is really good live); and “I Was Meant for the Stage.”
You do get the witty banter you should expect from the act. Honestly, if you’re going to listen to a live album, why else would you do it? The sound will never rival what you get from a studio recording.
For those living under a rock, this is a good primer for what the Decemberists bring to the table. “The Infanta” has the same melody as Electronic’s “Forbidden City.” The “Calamity Song” performance is top notch.
The audience is mocked in “We Both Go Down Together.” This one is just fun. The live rendition of “Leslie Ann Levine” is also very good. It’s not enough to make me want to see them live, but it is enough to make you want to.
If you want to hear yodeling, it’s at the end of “The Rake’s Song.” And all that is just the first CD.
The second CD has a few choice winners as well, including “Billy Liar.” This is just a really good song more than it’s anything special about the live version. In the same way I also liked “All Arise!” and “This Is Why We Fight.”

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