The Decemberists.
The Decemberists' last blog post was in February, and while their message board does have RSS feeds, it is also members-only (thanks God for BugMeNot), so I do not visit it often. As a result, I must get my Decemberists news from Pitchfork, where I learned from their exclusive phone call with Colin Meloy that the Decemberists' next album will be entitled The Crane Wife and will arrive on October 3.

What I found most interesting was Meloy's thoughts on being part of a major record label, since The Crane Wife will be the band's first record since signing with Capitol Records.

The major label experience has been going smoothly so far. Meloy said, "We've had the Capitol Records A&R people come in, which is kind of terrifying because as long as I've been a fan of music, and been aware of the differences between independent labels and major labels, that infamous initial listening by the A&R people in which they frown and shake their heads and say they need to hear more singles, that was kind of terrifying to me.

"So they came in, and we had strategically put together the two obvious singles that were both short and kind of poppy and fit in with the Decemberists idiom and played them for them. And they liked them. And they asked what else we were doing, and then we started playing the long proggy song cycles, and that's when they got really excited. So it was kind of a positive bit of reinforcement, that they actually support the fact that we're moving in a relatively strange direction."

I suspect that if there had been no "short, poppy" songs and just "proggy song cycles" like The Tain, the demeanor of the record executives would have changed substantially.