The Decemberists

It’s one thing to buy a band’s album; it’s another thing entirely to buy them new instruments. (Isn’t that what parents are for?) But something in the Decemberists, a sort of homely ensemble of indie balladeers from Portland, Oregon, must bring out the inner nurturer in their followers. When the band’s tour van and gear were stolen a couple years ago, fans helped raise cash to get the band back on its feet. And how did the Decemberists repay that generosity of spirit? By signing to a major label and making The Crane Wife, a delicate, multilayered set of songs inspired by history and literature, and influenced by a host of musical forebears, including Robyn Hitchcock, Elliott Smith, Neutral Milk Hotel, the Waterboys, and the Handsome Family. 612-332-1775; www.first-avenue.com