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Decemberists in January

DECEMBERISTS IN JANUARY: One of our favorite bands, Capitol/EMI’s The Decemberists, return with The King is Dead, set for release in the U.S. Jan 18, with Rough Trade doing the honors in the U.K. and Europe, where it comes out the day before. The band perform the first single, “Down by the Water,” on Conan Nov. 18. The album, the band’s first since 2009’s critically acclaimed The Hazards of Love, takes its inspiration from the converted barn outside Portland where it was recorded, with influences ranging from Neil Young and the Byrds to R.E.M. and Camper Van Beethoven. “It’s like going from a novel to reading a bunch of short stories,” says singer-songwriter Colin Meloy, comparing it to the previous album. Special guests include Gillian Welch and R.E.M.’s Peter Buck. (11/11p)

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