Death Cab for Cutie

Seizure to the Metronome

I realize I’ve been all Muppets lately, but I am super geeked up about the movieBillboard released the tracklist for the soundtrack and it includes a few songs that I love, like “Me & Julio Down By the Schoolyard” and “We Built This City”. In addition to that there is a track by Andrew Bird, backup vocals on another track by Feist and Mickey Rooney, and covers of “Smells Like Teen Spirit” and “Forget You”. Bret McKenzie, of Flight of the Conchords fame, was the music supervisor on the film and it sounds like he did a grand job. Soundtrack comes out on November 21st with the movie coming out two days later on the 23rd.

Perhaps with slightly less budget than the new Muppets movie, is the documentary, Being Elmo. It is, quite simply, a documentary about Elmo’s person, Kevin Clash. It’s been reviewing well at the ‘fests and looks pretty exceptional.

Thom Yorke has seemingly been everywhere lately. Amongst his many many, many projects he did a couple of tracks with Modeselektor. The German duo have been doing their thing since the 90’s and Thom’s been a big fan.The collab turned out nicely and the track “Shipwreck” now has a video for your visual and auditory enjoyment.

Aesop Rock, too, has been around since the 90’s. My good friend, Kai, turned me on to him a long while back and I have been hooked ever since. He has a distinct voice, both in sound and style, that draws me right in. He’s supposedly working on a new album but also is a third of Hail Mary Mallon, along with Rob Sonic and DJ Big Wiz. If you are a fan of Aesop Rock, it’s not a stretch to say you probably will also be a fan of HMM.

Was there ever any doubt Duck Sauce would be huge? Armand Van Helden and A-Trak. Together. Yup, no doubts there. “Barbara Streisand” was on Glee for crying out loud. Now, their latest vid for “Big Bad Wolf” is very NSFW but the thing is hilarious.

The vid from Death Cab for “Stay Young, Go Dancing” is pretty okay. While their last vid for “You Are A Tourist,” was pretty great, I still think my favourite video of theirs is for “A Movie Script Ending“. Still love me some Death Cab though.

I’ve never been super keen on Ryan Adams but I am enjoying the vid for “Lucky Now”. The song itself sounds like a hundred other songs. It’s one of those very comforting tunes and, when coupled with the soothing black & white video, takes me to a quiet place in my mind. Good for a Sunday.

Codes & Keys

Death Cab for Cutie‘s new album, Codes and Keys, comes out tomorrow. It is streaming in full at NPR and it sounds flat-out amazing. This past Friday, the boys were featured on VH1 Storytellers and thanks to the magic of the internet, I was able to view it in clips via YouTube. (We don’t get VH1 and you can’t stream it from Canada. I’m not linking to their site because this is balls.) You know who would be great on Storytellers? Andrew W.K. I bet that guy has some stories!


The world has pretty much been waiting for this since ’87, and if anyone is going to deliver, it’s the Beastie Boys. Their next album, Hot Sauce Committee Part One, was originally to be released in 2009, however it was delayed on account of MCA having some cancer to deal with. The boys are ready to release this sucker out into the world on May 3rd, but with some slight track changes and under the title, Hot Sauce Committee Part Two. MCA seems to be back in fighting form, as he has put together a short film titled, Fight For Your Right Revisited. It’s pretty much the follow-up to the original “Fight For Your Right” video and its cast is the stuff of legend. As of yesterday, Fight For Your Right Revisited is out in full-form and it includes the best comedic pissing since Adam Sandler’s “The Longest Pee”. Thank whatever you believe in for the Beasties. Fucking epic.

If you don’t have half an hour to watch the full deal and just want a sampler, you can check the vid for the first single, “Make Some Noise” here. Or, if you want a strictly aural sampling, here’s a little something for you.

“Say It”

Danny McBride has apparently been a busy guy. Other than playing MCA, he also has a movie coming out called 30 Minutes Or Less. The red band trailer just hit and it looks like a good time.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Death Cab for Cutie is also unleashing a barrage of samplings from their next album, Codes and Keys, out at the end of May. They did a live, single-take video for “You Are A Tourist”, in addition to putting a few tracks on the wonderful internet.

“Some Boys”

“Home Is A Fire”

Principe Valiente is yet another Swedish band I am liking a lot. Based out of Stockholm, they released their first full-length last month. They remind me of  Joy Division and My Bloody Valentine or, more recently, Interpol – all good things to be reminded of.

Calypso Gold

Not a great day, but at least I can get a post in.

This week gave us a new Sleigh Bells video for “Rill Rill”. Tough girl and a muscle car. Not reinventing the wheel or anything with this one, but it’s a good song and seems to somehow suit the band well.

Last week also gave us a vid from Matt & Kim for “Cameras”. No shiny happy Matt & Kim in this one, but I bet they had a blast filming.

My friend Ian is an amazing artist. Earlier this month, he put together a Pummelvision piece that is quite nice, and I was quite happy to see a flash of a pic I took of him ages and ages ago. It’s probably one of my favourite pictures I have ever taken – Ian in his aviators, taking a sip of his water in the sun. Actually, those might have been someone else’s glasses now that I’m thinking about it. I remember it was at Milestone’s at English Bay and Ian and our other friend German were just up visiting for the weekend. That picture brings back a lot of bittersweet memories. It isn’t that it wasn’t a good time, it’s more that I had to walk away from it. But as I watched this, it was really nice to see some familiar faces. The word of the day is nostalgia. The pic comes in around 3:48 if you can catch it.

And here’s a little bonus nostalgia that takes me right back to that time too.

Monkey!!! Knife!!! Fight!!!

I don’t want to mention that Death Cab is on the Twilight: New Moon soundtrack, but they are. No judgement though! I haven’t read any of the books or seen any of the movies, (even though they were filmed here). Maybe if I actually saw the movie, the coupling with this soundtrack would make more sense. Or maybe it wouldn’t.

And Kick Ass looks pretty, well…

Just like in real life, Date Night could be really good or really terrible. It’s Tina Fey and Steve Carell so it has potential, but I’m skittish on this one. Pick your QT and you make the call.

On the complete opposite end of the spectrum is the documentary Until The Light Takes Us. All I have to say is, “the story of black metal”. I didn’t need to watch the trailer on the site to know I’m already fascinated.

Enough with the movies and on to the music! Drummer is a band made up of drummers. Appropriate, wouldn’t you say?

A cute video for poppy, catchy Weezer. I still have a soft spot for these guys.

On a rainy, grey Sunday, Low Anthem seems apt.

“Love Comes Close” from Cold Cave starts off sounding like “Goodbye Horses” and has a very Echo and the Bunnymen feel to it – no wonder I like it.

The video for Fan Death‘s “Reunited” chronicles the best hitchhiking journey ever.



MGMT have been doing a cover of “Voices Carry” by Til Tuesday. I’m not linking to any of the vids of it, because most of them are pretty crappy live stuff – from far back with lots of chatter from people and whatnot. In addition to that, some have labelled it as a “new song”, which unless we have time travelled to 1985 without me noticing, it is not. They do it pretty much note for note, so not super exciting or anything. Nice that they’re paying homage though.

Death Cab played at Pacific Coliseum on Thursday night. Ra Ra Riot and the New Pornographers opened. The show started exactly on time, which is so rare these days and much appreciated by old-timers like me. Ra Ra Riot did a great set, despite there not being much of a crowd there at the time. I’m pretty sure they picked up more than a few fans.

The New Pornographers are hometown heroes, so of course they were well received. Though I am a fan of their off-shoots, I have never been a huge fan of them. There was no Neko Case this night, but they were still tight as hell. Between songs, A.C. regaled the crowd with his memories of shows he had attended at Pacific Coliseum in his youth. Rod Steward and KISS were mentioned, (twice on the KISS count – both with and sans makeup,) and he seemed to be pretty stoked to be playing where he had grown up seeing acts of that calibre. It was nice. Dan Bejar looks like one of those guys that you would consider crossing the street to avoid, but he could also be one of those guys who’s so genius he just looks like you should cross the street to avoid him.

By the time Death Cab took the stage, the kids had all packed up to the front. I really don’t understand how girls go to shows with general admission floor tickets, wearing heels and carrying clutch purses. I realize this makes me sound like an old lady but seriously, what the hell happened? When I was that age, did I have no common sense or practicality? I’d like to think not. Anyhow, they opened with “The Employment Pages”, which I always find a nice opener before they break into something more upbeat. The setlist for the night was comprised of mostly newer, (Transatlanticism and beyond,) stuff which was kind of disappointing for me, being a fan from way back. Before the show, I was a bit unsure how I would feel about seeing them in such a big venue. While we were waiting for the doors to open, I had been talking about this with my friend, Rob, and telling him how the first time I saw Death Cab was at the Starfish Room with Pedro the Lion, and I was close enough to touch them. At that show, Chris flipped over a generic grey trash can to use as a stool while he played keyboards, so it was weird to see them now that they’re so huge. Funnily enough, at one point in the show Ben talked about the first time they met the New Pornographers and how it was after that show at the Starfish Room, and they accidentally drank all of their beer. It was nice that they remembered that show too.

These days, Ben comes off as more “Hollywood” in his demeanour, but this might have something to do with spending lots of time with Hollywood-types and attending the Grammys and the like. I also hear he’ll be relocating to ol’ California since he and his lady will be getting hitched. (I really hope this isn’t going to be their Yoko Ono moment.) What happened to “Why You’d Want to Live Here”? Anyhow, he’s lost so much weight, it troubles me. Even his stage movements seem “Hollywood”, if that’s something you can imagine. Nick has also lost a good deal of weight and is still sporting that fine beard, but he looks FANTASTIC. He looks like he’s taking good care of himself and probably has something pretty impressive hiding under all those black tees. Chris Walla never seems to change – always the musical genius behind the scenes, not wanting for the spotlight and just focused on making really good tunes. Even his hair doesn’t change and still effortlessly comes to a point at the front as he hangs his head forward, or sweeps to the side when his head is up. Jason, as always, is still just getting shit done right and does it with ease. I love this band as a whole and also as individuals, but I have to say that I really miss the days before they blew up and hipster TV got a hold of them. They are still fantastic and put on a wonderful live show, but I miss that intimacy.

The backdrop was one that is quite popular these days – a series of lit panels that would display various pixelated images. Some of it complemented the music well, but for the most part the show could have done without it. They closed the main set with “Marching Bands of Manhattan” and then came back and did a three-song encore, closing the show with “Transatlanticism”. This is a wonderful show closer because of the slow-build of the song in the same way that “Only in Dreams” is a great closer for Weezer shows.

Overall a good show, but I’m not a big fan of large-venues so not the highest ranked of all the Death Cab shows I have seen.

Greater Than the Sum of Its Parts – chOda

Sometimes I get overly excited about things that not many other people get excited about. I was having a conversation today with an old friend and we were talking about this and it brought back two specific memories for me. Both were commercials featuring bands that I really love and I remembered how ridiculously excited I was the first time I saw each of these. The more recent of the two was a commercial for AT&T featuring Mates of State.

I remember actually leaping off the couch and shrieking when I saw this one. “That looks an awful lot like… HOLY SHIT THAT’S MATES OF STATE!” I called my friends, I left messages. Excitement.

The other commercial was one from back during the Barcelona Olympics. It was for Bell Canada and featured “Transatlanticism” by Death Cab for Cutie.

That time, I remember hearing just the opening piano chord and knowing instantly it was Death Cab. My head shot up from the book I was reading and I watched wide-eyed as the wave grew larger and larger as the song built and built. That commercial gave me goose bumps and, I will admit, may have even made me cry on some occasions. It was an emotional time and it was a great spot with an amazing song tied to it. It made me shriek again when I found that commercial on Youtube tonight. Now that’s a good commercial.

Two Hearts

Death Cab for Cutie played on Leno on Hallowe’en. I love. In case you missed it, here you go. Looks like Ben got rid of his chops as well as a noticeable amount of weight!

I went to see Asobi Seksu on the 28th at the Media Club. Let me first say, I really love going to shows there. The place is small and intimate and I have seen several ridiculously good shows there over the past few years, most recently Joan of Arc. But back to Asobi. They were supposed to play here a while back but the show got cancelled. Yuki apologized during their set and said it was due to customs and border-crossing issues, which is pretty commonplace. The first thing I noticed when they took the stage was how tiny Yuki was – and she was wearing heels! The whole band really rocked it and put on a super-tight set concluding with Yuki doing a bit of drum-work. It was like watching a tiny, Asian, female version of Animal. Impressive to say the least. While standing very near the stage, we managed to end up right behind the most annoying girls at the show. One of them, who I will refer to as “The Bra-less Wonder” (TBW), was doing some sort of blend of ballet and raving. We’ll just say there was a lot of flourish. TBW’s buddy was one of those no-rhythm white girls that likes to jump and flail. They were quite the duo and it’s a credit to the crowd that these two didn’t get punched. Anyhow, back to the show. The only bit of disappointment I had with the set was that they didn’t play “Sooner”. It was the song that got me paying attention to these guys and it remains my favourite Asobi song. I’m excited for their new album, which will be released on Polyvinyl, of whom I am a big fan. Good things to come, I’m sure. Catch them if you can.

Danny Boyle has a new movie coming out called Slumdog Millionaire and the trailer gave me non-spooky chills, it looks so good. (The use of Sigur Rós probably pushed me right over the top – Sylvester Stalone-style.) Boyle doesn’t have a very extensive filmography, but everything I’ve seen by him I have really liked including the not-so-successful A Life Less Ordinary. I am really looking forward to seeing this film.