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Black Prairie visit a taxidermist (Courtesy of the artist)

Black Prairie, 'Let It Out'

Apr 23, 2014

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Bob Boilen

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Black Prairie, a six-piece rock-infused bluegrass band that includes four members of The Decemberists, has been a mostly instrumental band for years, but on its fourth album, Fortune, just out yesterday, there's a whole lot of singing. The band has always had a good sense of humor and this video for "Let It Out," which features violinist Annalisa Tornfelt on vocals, will give you a good peak at their twisted ways. Black Prairie's driving force and humorist, Chris Funk, sent me a note explaining the evident fascination with taxidermy:

When you tour with people for a long time, after a while the stories start to run out. Though one day in the van Annalisa revealed that she in fact used to hunt squirrels with her friend Bethy in the woods. Not unusual for an Alaskan teenager I guess, however she then revealed they would make purses out of them and wear them to high school, even the bones in their hair to keep their buns up. And I thought smoking cloves while listening to The Smiths was edgy .... So it's not altogether too surprising that Annalisa came up with the loose concept of *shooting* (pun fully intended) our video in a working taxidermy shop at which point our director (Jason Roark) and his team (Ken Meyer, Kyle Eaton) ran with the story line and art direction. We were honored to have cameos from fellow Oregonians Michael Hurley (folk legend) and Claire Coffee (Grimm) take the time to enjoy the scent of salted animal hides and taxidermist glue.

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Black Prairie visit a taxidermist (Courtesy of the artist)

Nigerian Activist Chooses Exile Over Life In The Closet

Apr 23, 2014 (Tell Me More) — Ten years ago, Bisi Alimi came out on national television in Nigeria. He says the move alienated him from his family and forced him out of the country.

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Black Prairie visit a taxidermist (Courtesy of the artist)

Yaya Alafia's Songs Of Strength For Her Baby Boy

Apr 23, 2014 (Tell Me More) — 2013 was a big year for actress and model Yaya Alafia. She starred in three films and had a baby boy. Alafia shares the songs reflecting those experiences for Tell Me More's series 'In Your Ear.'

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Black Prairie visit a taxidermist (Courtesy of the artist)

Can High-Quality Preschool Make A Big Difference Later On?

Apr 23, 2014 (Tell Me More) — President Obama has challenged Congress to provide high-quality preschool for all 4 year olds. NPR's education team traveled to Tulsa, Okla., to learn about the benefits and challenges of the plan.

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Black Prairie visit a taxidermist (Courtesy of the artist)

Kansas Residents To First Lady: Stay Out

Apr 23, 2014 (Tell Me More) — Guest restrictions and increased security measures are looming as Michelle Obama plans to appear at a Kansas high school graduation next month. Thousands have petitioned to revoke her invitation.

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