A mix CD trading-partner of mine recently introduced me to the Decemberists' Colin Meloy's previous band, Tarkio. They released the LP I Guess I Was Hoping for Something More in 1998. Sounds like it might be getting a re-release at some future date. Some information on this, as well as a few MP3s, can be found at Dreams of Horses.
Fans of the Decemberists, at least, should find something of interest here, though there seems little question that Tarkio's sound is less expansive, less dramatic than that of Meloy's later incarnation. Still, a perfectly pleasant stepping-stone to what was to come.
Here are a couple Tarkio MP3s:
"If I Had More Time"/Tarkio
If I Had More Time-mp3 [left-click]
Sister Nebraska-mp3 [left-click]