Look up “quintessential ’00s indie-rock band” in the dictionary, and you’ll find a picture of The Decemberists. Beginning with 2002’s Castaways And Cutouts, and culminating with 2009’s The Hazards Of Love, the Portland band perfected the sort of ornate, whimsical, suspenders-and-songs-about-sea-monsters folk rock that drove fans wild and detractors batty. 2011’s The King Is Dead, however, found singer-songwriter Colin Meloy and company putting some of their more precious quirks on hold and delivering a remarkably straightforward, undeniably winning collection of rollicking Americana. A new album, What A Terrible World, What A Beautiful World, is set for a January 20 release; based on advance single “Make You Better,” the record seems to split the difference between the old and new Decemberists.
Soon after that album is released, the band will make its first trip to Milwaukee in four years, returning to the Riverside Theater Wednesday, March 25. General admission tickets are $32.50, and go on sale Friday, November 21 at noon. Canadian indie-pop group Alvvays will open the shovv.