Wednesday, June 07, 2006

The Long Winters

The Long Winters - Commander Thinks Aloud (live at WOXY)

I first heard of The Long Winters way back when they were touring with then label mates, and soon to make it huge, Death Cab for Cutie. Like most of the people at the small Indianapolis venue I was there to see Death Cab and had never heard of The Long Winters. But their opening set was amazing. I was hooked from the moment they played Cinnamon and have been following them for the last three years.

And let me say, the last three years have been a long wait. Only one LP has been dropped during that time, and that was almost two years ago now. Admittedly, it's brilliant, but still; two years is a long time to wait for another full length. Even U2 and the Red Hot Chili Peppers don't make us wait this long.

Finally this past year they released a little four song EP, Ultimatum, that is a bit lush [read: produced] when compared to their indie-darling acoustic sound they've carefully cultivated over the years. And yet, at the same time, John Roderick captures the heart and soul of life and everything with his witty, somewhat slippery lyrics.

And all of that is captured beautifully in this live performance of Commander Thinks Aloud. The lead off track on the EP contains Roedericks musings on the Columbia space shuttle tragedy that took place early in 2003. The song begins by capturing the giddy childlike jubilation of being an astronaut with the oft repeated line "yay! yay!" while explaining how gravity returns on the descent, and as they float above the Tropic of Capricorn the crew turns to thoughts of almost being home. The entire song is melancholic, even during the most happy and most obscure lyrics, but it's the final repeated phrase that really pushes it over the edge.

the crew compartment is breaking up
this is all i wanted to bring home

mp3 : The Long Winters - Commander Thinks Aloud (live at WOXY)

Buy this EP : The Long Winters - Ultimatum

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