Decemberists Coming To College Street Music Hall

Decemberists Coming To College Street Music Hall

The Decemberists, the literate indie-rock band from Portland, Ore., have always had something in common with the Smiths. Mostly it was in the heaving sighs and poetic tendencies of frontman Colin Meloy. But the band’s latest record, “I’ll Be Your Girl,” opens with a miserablist incantation: “Oh, for once in my life, oh, could something go right?” It brings Morrissey, master of the big let-down, immediately to mind.

There’s an art to being bleak, doing it in such a way as to actually cheer up listeners as opposed to making them wallow in despondence. Some of that is up to the audience. But Meloy and the Decemberists have always had a slightly maudlin sense of humor, a worldview...