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The Decemberists (music group)
The Decemberists go back to basics
The Decemberists go back to basics

In February, the Decemberists found themselves at a place they never expected to be: No. 1 on the Billboard 200. This is a band that makes folksy, literary rock, often with obscure and historical references — rarely chart-topping material. Tellingly, No. 2 that week was "Kidz Bop 19," the family-friendly anthology of top-40 hits featuring artists like Katy Perry, Bruno Mars and David Guetta. "It's not something you set your sights on," said drummer John Moen. "I've been playing music for a long time. It wasn't something that I assumed would happen." But with new album, "The King is Dead," the Portland five-piece band, which...