NPR : World Cafe

Sense Of Place: Discover Portland's Music Scene

In this special World Cafe broadcast, we explore a side of Portland, Ore. with The Decemberists frontman Colin Meloy.

The Decemberists have built a reputation for baroque, intellectual pop, often based in folklore or historical events. Their storied lyrics, lush instrumentals and Meloy's warm, expressive vocals have earned them a Grammy nomination and a reputation as an indie-pop mainstay. The band came together in 2000, undoubtedly influenced by the thriving folk music scene in Portland. They've since released six studio albums that range in style from the thunderous rock opera The Hazards of Love to the quirky acoustics of Castaways and Cutouts. They're releasing their first full-length concert album this March, entitled We All Raise Our Voices To The Air. It will include songs from span of their entire career, recorded while touring last year in support of The King Is Dead.

In today's session, Meloy discusses the beginning of his music career in Portland with The Decemberists. He also explains how the music scene has changed in the decade since he moved there, as the city moved into the national spotlight as a creative hot spot.

Click here to learn more about Sense Of Place, and check out WXPN's interactive map of Portland.

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