Sunday, February 05, 2006Information Travels Faster In The Modern Age
Last week Death Cab For Cutie kicked off their first European Tour in Berlin. Last time around, they had just released Transatlantacism and they were gradually penetrating the consciousness of the European Indie kids. Two years on and the indie world has changed. Camden Town is now full of a tribe called "Emos", sixth form colleges around Britain are awash with floppy asymmetric fringes...and then there's the OC. I can honestly say I've never watched it, having been TV-less since 2003, but its power in giving bands exposure is undeniable. A band makes an appearance on the Southern Californian teen series and millions of teens all over the world are aware of the band. Death Cab for Cutie have benefitted massively from heavy rotation on the show and a performance in Spring 2005. So when they released their latest album, Plans, in August 2005, it came as no surprise that Death Cab had entered new stratospheres of popularity and success.
Ben Gibbard's voice is something special. It's so clear, so pure, so heavy with the emotion of every word of every lyric and every momentuous chord change. Their live sound is big - a huge soundscape. I spent the whole gig in dumbfounded awe - the band aren't remarkable to look at - they're hitting 30, balding, chubbing up - but there's something about the wistful coming-of-age/ getting used to growing old theme that runs through their music that strangely appeals to me. I guess it's something to do with acknowledging settling down at some point in the future - maybe it isn't such a bad idea after all? As Sinnead O'Connor once sung, how could I possibly know what I want when I was only twenty-one?
Regardless of interpretations, the last three Death Cab For Cutie albums (The Photo Album, Transatlantacism and Plans) are three of the most beautiful albums I own. They were not immediate - I have only really gotten into Plans recently - but persevere and you'll never, ever look back.
Some live mp3s from fansite dcfc-tour.net