Meant for the Stage

Theatrical indie heartthrobs the Decemberists give gawky drama-club girls something to dream and blog about

Last year, the Continuum publishing group put out a book by Meloy about the Replacements' Let It Be as part of their 33 1/3 series of texts exploring classic rock albums. In it, Meloy wrote less about the Replacements than his childhood in Helena, Montana. He describes how punk rock helped him realize that his place was with the freaks and geeks, not the popular kids. It's a worldview that he's carried with him. "What I see in the Bush administration is that kind of jock mentality that first pushed me away from sports," he says. "I have real big issues with that stuff." Those issues are dealt with in Picaresque's "Sixteen Military Wives" and its attendant music video, in which Meloy portrays the bullying representative of the United States in a high school model United Nations club. "America does if America says it's so!" he bellows.

I ask Meloy how he feels about being a heartthrob. "I feel great about it! I would certainly rather be that to a bunch of English majors and drama fags than a bunch of sorority girls." He laughs. "It's one of our main m.o.'s to try to make the world safe for pansies."

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