Decemberists’ Jenny Conlee’s breast cancer in remission

Decemberists' Jenny Conlee's breast cancer in remission

Here at the TMT/Bob’s Pickle Pops offices (they sublet our basement in exchange for providing free lunch for all the staff here), we keep an old, 1860s-model telegraph fully operational in case someone ever needs to contact us on it. Tech’ing it drives our IT guy nuts. His argument is a reasonable one: “No one ever contacts the music press via telegraph, you hillbillies!” Well, no one, that is, except for The Decemberists’ Colin Meloy.

But as it happens, today was a good day to have a working telegraph on hand. See, Colin took some time out from churning his family’s winter supply of butter to wire us some fantastic news (coincidentally corroborated three days earlier by SPIN) regarding the status of his band’s keyboard player Jenny Conlee in her ongoing battle with cancer. If you remember, Colin and Jenny took to The Decemberists’ website this past spring to deliver the unfortunate news that Jenny had been diagnosed with breast cancer and would have to sit out during all of The Decemberists’ spring and summer tourdates in support of The King Is Dead. But after noting that she had luckily caught the cancer early on, Conlee stated that she was “thinking positive and hope to be back on the road soon.”

Well, after five months of treatment, it now looks like that wish has been granted, as Meloy painstakingly tapped us the following morse-coded message: “For those of you wondering, saw Jenny this week; our girl’s officially in remission! #teamjenny #beyondchemodome.” Turns out he had posted that same message on his Twitter earlier, but still: suck it, IT guy. And according to a recent news item on the band’s site, Conlee may be back in the fold as early as next month: “John, Chris, Jenny, and Nate will be joining forces with Peter Buck and Scott McCaughey to form the King Charles Trio, the backing band for John Wesley Harding‘s upcoming November tour.” Their site lists those shows as starting on Guy Fawkes Day (November 5). So… congrats Jenny! Now if you’ll excuse me, news this great calls for a delicious, chilled pickle pop.

• The Decemberists:
• Capitol:

[Photo: Amanda M Hatfield]