Colin Meloy of the Decemberists first band- Tarkio

You might not recognize Tarkio but your probably familiar with lead singer Colin Meloy's current band The Decemberists. I was first turned onto Meloy when I heard a Tarkio song on a Wilco-based Pandora station.  Tarkio formed in the late 90's while the members attended the University of Montana.(Click here for more info) The music has a standard alt country back beat with lyrics that are seeds to Meloy's love for word play.

I have the bands double disk, Omnibus (pick it up on amazon). It plays like a greatest hits record minus the commercially successful radio singles. I posted a few highlights to the player at the top of page. Enjoy and let me know what you think. 

The track listing:
Weight of the World
Tristan and Iseult
Slow Down
Keeping Me Awake
Carolina Avenue
Neapolitan Bridesmaid

Lyrics to one of my favorite tunes, Tristan and Iseult
Would you like to go out tonight?
said Tristan to Iseult.
It's a lovely night
to go to the Odeon;
sit in the back row.
Sick of staying in.

So they threw on some clothes,
walked slowly down the street,
lit by lantern light,
through the market square,
studied the marquee,
bought two tickets and some popcorn.

And on the screen the hero stands,
the female lead, hand in hand,
and says,
God I love you,
but you trouble me.
She pushes him away.

And as the credits role,
Tristan turned to Iseult,
said, What did ya think?
It was okay, I guess.
That story's pretty old.
It's a bit cliched and hackneyed, I thought; I thought.

And back out on the street
they stopped for some ice cream.
Talking quietly,
there was nobody
in the room in which they sat,
as he reached across the table.

And just as their fingers caught,
timidly, he whispers to her
and says, God I love you, but you trouble me.
Said Tristan to Iseult.
Said Tristan to Iseult.
Said Tristan to Iseult. 


  1. Did you know that Colin Meloy's grandfather Peter Meloy helped start the Bray Foundation for the Ceramic arts in Montana? Archie Bray was one of only a few potteries in the 40's and 50's in the West. I don't think it has quite the status now that it did then.

  2. Thanks for the comment and for visiting my blog.

    I didn't know about Peter Meloy. That is amazing. Do you live in the the Helena area? The Bray has grown considerably since the 40's and is now the most famous American ceramic residency. I'm sure the Bray would love to know about the Meloy connection. The Decemberists are one of the more famous bands touring festivals at the moment.

    Enjoy your day.

  3. Colin's first band was actually his high school band, Happy Cactus. You can see hints of Tarkio and Decemberists even that early!