One Road Trip, One Novelist, One-Fifth Of The Decemberists | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio
Filed Under:

One Road Trip, One Novelist, One-Fifth Of The Decemberists

Play associated audio

Two creative siblings — Decemberists frontman Colin Meloy and writer Maile Meloy — say a summer road trip they took with their mother in the early '80s was a memorable musical experience.

Maile, a fiction writer whose latest novel is The Apothecary, says repetition was partly responsible for lodging the sounds of the trip in her memory.

"We had four tapes in the car for what turned out to be a six-week trip — bad idea — including The Eagles' Hotel California and the Muppet Movie soundtrack, and John Lennon and Yoko Ono's Double Fantasy," she says.

Known for his evocative lyrics, Colin says the dark wordplay of "Hotel California" still stands out to him.

"I think anybody of my age — you know, in their 30s, who grew up in the '70s, and who had parents who liked The Eagles — has a kind of relationship with that song," he says. "It's this weird, kind of long, mysterious, minor-key odyssey about Don Henley driving through the desert, discovering this mysterious hotel, staying there and getting, I assume, stuck there forever."

Maile says that Lennon's "Just Like Starting Over" best represents those six weeks on the road.

"I feel like 'Just Like Starting Over' is a perfect song for that trip," she says. "It has that 'Let's take a chance and fly away' [feeling]. You get the sense that the trip in the song isn't going to happen or it isn't going to work out the way he wants it to."

Copyright 2012 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

WAMU 88.5

Art Beat With Lauren Landau, April 20, 2015

You can hear music from Brazil this week at two Bossa Nova concerts.

NPR

This Robot Chef Has Mastered Crab Bisque

The system, a pair of robotic arms, learned to cook by mimicking the motions of a top chef. Even though it can't smell or taste, its maker says the robot should be able to make 2,000 meals by 2017.
WAMU 88.5

Morale Is Low Among Government Workers, But What Can Be Done?

Lawmakers are awaiting the results of a Government Accountability Office on low morale across federal agencies. But can Congress help fix a problem they played a large part in creating?

NPR

VW Camper Van Gets An Electric Makeover

Talk about a time warp! The iconic VW camper is getting a modern reboot. This time, it's electric.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.