Tag Archives: Death Cab for Cutie

Death Cab for Cutie

The new Death Cab for Cutie album Narrow Stairs doesn’t come out until May 13 (tour schedule). You can watch the (fairly uninspiring) video for the album’s first single I Will Posses Your Heart.

But the real news is the Death Cab Daytrotter Session that features downloadable or streamable mp3s of both old and new songs. Set list, including the quite good Cath:

1) A Movie Script Ending from The Photo Album
2) Cath from the forthcoming Narrow Stairs [recommended]
3) Styrofoam Plates from The Photo Album
4) Talking Bird from the forthcoming Narrow Stairs
5) The New Year from Transatlanticism
6) Why You’d Want To Live Here from The Photo Album

Speaking of old Death Cab, here’s a YouTube of Title and Registration (off of Transatlanticism … I never did get in to Plans …), which is cribbed from the DCFC documentary Drive Well, Sleep Carefully. The multi-venue concert DVD is aptly named because I think of Ben Gibbard’s music as driving to the mountains music, particularly The Postal Service.

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Record Store Day

Record Store Day is Saturday!!!

http://www.recordstoreday.com/

Find your local brick-and-mortar purveyor of shiny silver (and sometimes hefty black) discs-o-music in this list to determine if there is any performing, DJing, or autographing going on near you.

Examples include a Metallica meet-and-greet at Berkeley’s Rasputin Music, Collections Of Colonies Of Bees performing with many other acts at Milwaulkee’s Atomic Records, The Donnas DJing at Hollywood’s famed Amoeba Records, The New Pornographers performing among others at St. Louis’ Vintage Vinyl, and Black Rebel Motorcycle Club performing among others at CD Central in Lexington, KY.

EVERYONE within range of an independent record store can enjoy goodie bags and give-aways.

And besides the discs you’ve been procrastinating buying, you can purchase a Record-Store-Day exclusive 7″ (two songs) from Vampire Weekend and a 10″ (three songs) from Stephen Malkmus. Oh, and in case you’re not excited yet, 7″es from Built to Spill, R.E.M., Death Cab for Cutie, and The Black Keys. Good grief! Find track listings here and here, respectively.

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Kurt Cobain: About A Son

I’ve been geeking out on the soundtrack for Kurt Cobain: About a Son. I can’t speak to the way the songs articulate with the film, because I haven’t seen it, but I have gotten a lot of enjoyment from listening to and thinking about the artists that influenced KC.

Buy the About a Son CD or DVD for reasonable prices. The trailer for the documentary pulls from 25 hours of interview tape done for Michael Azerrad‘s biography Come As You Are: The Story of Nirvana. (His other book, Our Band Could Be Your Life: Scenes from the American Indie Underground 1981-1991, follows Black Flag, Hüsker Dü, Sonic Youth, Dinosaur Jr, The Minutemen, Sonic Youth, Beat Happening, The Replacements, Butthole Surfers, Big Black, Fugazi, and Mudhoney.)

Azerrad wrote the liner notes to the soundtrack, which contains no Nirvana songs but instead other artists’: “stuff he studied and worshiped and adored … So if watching About a Son is like seeing the world through Kurt’s eyes, then listening to this music is like hearing it through his ears.” I think fans will appreciate the amount of respect this choice shows for them and their ability to do the mental labor of analyzing influences and processing the clips of KC speaking that are sprinkled among the songs.

In particular, I like the inclusion of the Creedence Clearwater Revival cut Up Around the Bend because KC’s first band was a CCR cover band. CCR was logical, in retrospect, according to Azzerad, because it’s “basic, chunky guitar music, easy to play and yet boundlessly resonant, full of simple, catchy melodies and a singer with a voice that sounded like a tuned scream.” Nicely put. And when the CCR is juxtaposed against Put Some Sugar On It by Half Japanese (download), the Nirvana sound emerges around the margins.

Two songs that Nirvana covered are included: the original David Bowie version of The Man Who Sold the World (download) and Son of a Gun by The Vaselines. If you’re interested, Matt Yglesias talks about Nirvana covers of Vaselines songs here.

Of course Mudhoney (download Touch Me I’m Sick) and Lead Belly (The Bourgeois Blues) are on there. But I was unpleasantly surprised to note the absence of The Pixies and The Breeders, who influenced KC mightily. The Pixies’ lyrical ambiguity (for a discussion of that, see the 33 1/3 book for Doolittle) is what lets Nirvana go national; it made the angst malleable to any set of personal circumstances, to anyone who thought that the world and/or themselves were SNAFU central.

My only other complaint is the incongruous cut by Ben Gibbard of Death Cab for Cutie and The Postal Service; his unmistakable voice concludes the CD with the song Indian Summer, and it sort of leaves me lost. I would have liked to see something more assertive or definitive as a closer. He helped compile the songs on the CD, so this track sort of feels like when a first-time film director gives him or herself a cameo.

But, regardless, the thing is worth buying. And in case you aren’t convinced yet, check the list of artists on the soundtrack I didn’t even talk about: R.E.M., The Melvins, Bad Brains, Butthole Surfers, Scratch Acid, Arlo Guthrie, and Iggy Pop. Whew!

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Filed under Books, Covers, DVD, Soundtrack

Science for Girls

Science for Girls rolled out an album last week (tip from Beat Lawrence). I’ve sunk my hooks into the mellow song Northern Lights and can’t keep from looping it, with its better-than-David-Gray vocals, no matter my mood. The rest of the songs are all over the map, so I have no strong drive to recommend the whole thing. One moment I feel it’s like Death Cab for Cutie, but then there’s some Girl from Ipanema, and then suddenly it’s straight electronica. Sort of a mess. But this one song is killer.

Courtesy of Largehearted Boy you can download two songs, You’ll Never Know and Northern Lights, both from the self-titled album for sale at CD Baby.

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