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The Decemberists: A Practical Handbook (2006)



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Credited cast:
Jenny Conlee ...
Chris Funk ...
Petra Haden ...
Colin Meloy ...
John Moen ...
Nate Query ...


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Release Date:

3 March 2006 (USA)  »

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$20,000 (estimated)

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It depends really...
28 May 2008 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

i was really looking forward to this DVD just because The Decemberists are one of my favorite bands (until the newest album) but i was incredibly disappointed.

The documentary never explained any of the other members' stories other than Colin's so it's like the rest of them aren't important enough. It briefly mentions what they did beforehand, but it never actually goes into as much detail (or any really) than it does for Colin's past with Tarkio. If you're just a fan of Colin's then you'll enjoy it. Anyone looking for any info on the other members won't find anything.

It did show the recording of "Picaresque" which was nice but if you have seen it once, you may not want to see it again.

Once you watch the documentary then there isn't much left but the live footage and videos.

-"The Tain". It's pretty strange and is 18 minutes of watching shadow puppets which can get pretty boring. Unless you're truly interested in the entire 18 minute song being acted out in front of tissue paper with shadow figures on sticks, then it probably won't hold your interest for long.

-"The Bachelor and The Bride" was filmed in the same shadow puppet way but is much better. This was probably my only favorite thing about the DVD.

-"Here I Dreamt I Was An Architect" is an amazing song and the video is worth seeing if you agree. Otherwise, not worth your time seeing as how it's not anything special either.

-"Sixteen Military Wives" their biggest single. It's an awesome video which strangely reminds me of Rushmore (which is blatantly borrows from). But once you have seen it for the 8th time like i have then you may get sick of it.

-"The Soldiering Life" is a video of clips of old war footage. i never really liked the song, but if you do then you may like the video.

What's left is the live footage. If you have never seen the band live then it is great to have. Also, it's great being able to skip songs you don't like or have gotten sick of.

Overall i'd say that it has value for a short while, then you'd be wanting to sell it at a local indie record store (like a hipster would). There is artwork and are menus by Carson Ellis, but you've seen all her work already so it just looks like all of their other artwork and nothing special. Even the easter eggs are boring.

It was a huge disappointment for me. Maybe i shouldn't have expected so much... or maybe it really is just a lackluster DVD.

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