In the spirit of the Decemberists' vast and polysyllabic vocabulary, I'm struggling to come up with a word for what Colin Meloy is. The whole time we were at his solo show at Schubas last night, I was looking for a word that could encompass his sweet stage presence, his frighteningly nimble command of the English language, his little boy/dime-store adventure novel trashy narrative sensibility, his silliness, his generosity, his somewhat English major-y self-conscious gravity, and his (oh yeah) bad-ass guitar chops.
(Sidenote: brutha can play. In my tendency to fixate on the mind-blowing perfection of lyrics like "I know every yardarm/from main mast to jib sheet/ but sometimes I long to be landlocked/and work in a bakery" or "until at last she's satisfied the lot of the marina's teeming minions, in their opinion" or, hell, the entirety of "Here I Dreamt I Was an Architect," I often overlook just what an accomplished musician he clearly is. He nailed that hypnotic repeating pattern from "The Gymnast, High Above the Ground" without batting an eyelash and played the entirety of "California One/Youth and Beauty Brigade," solo, without sacrificing any of the languid dreaminess of the first part, the pensive swooniness of the middle bit, or the intricate, driving intensity that charges headlong into "we're calling all bed wetters. . . !" And, I don't know much of anything about guitar tech stuff, but, as BAK pointed out, agog, last eve, I don't think there was a bigger thing in the room than the sound he got out of his 12-string.)
So, if anyone has any suggestions on what this word might be, please let me know.
Also, you can all now envy me, since I am the proud owner of one of the limited edition "Colin Meloy sings Morrissey" EPs. Geek-factor aside, it's worth it for Carson Ellis's sleeve art alone.