Saturday, November 11, 2006

Swapping, Jamming , and Kicking Ass With Death Cab For Cutie

A few nights ago, Priscilla made her way to the Theatre @ MSG for one of the DCFC shows, and dug it hugely. The show prompted her to make one of her famous lists:

5 Reasons Why I Love Death Cab For Cutie:

1. Instrument swapping. If I were more bitter about having quit both piano and guitar lessons in my youth, I might resent this band for having so much talent. Seemingly every Death Cab cutie can, and does, play at least 2 different instruments on stage at some point, often swapping off a six-string for a keyboard for a bongo right in the middle of a bridge. They're the kind of band you dream about being in when you're little and watching Zack Attack on Saved By The Bell, knowing in your heart of hearts you could do it SO much better than Slater.

2. Jamming. You've heard the term before, but you were probably wondering if you had only imagined bands actually doing it. Too many live shows these days are over-produced and timed to the minute. Not Death Cab's! They'll take that 4-minute "Crooked Teeth" and stretch it onstage to double that length, feeding off the crowd's noise and never slumping that emotional energy. Fellow owners of the 14-minute live version of "Two-Step" by DMB know how good this can be.

3. Death Cab fans kick ass. They recognize songs before the first measure's up, and know all the words but don't drown out the band in singalong. And unlike lots of longtime band disciples, they love EVERY FORKING SONG, not just the old ones. And they're probably still reading this despite my DMB comment just two lines ago.

3A. Corollary to 3. A huge number of Death Cab fans are short. At least the ones in the GA section were. It's a mystery of science, I can't explain it. I wanted to attribute it to the amount of young rockers on the floor, but I've long since given up the ruse that most 15-year-olds aren't taller than me. But yeah, short fans = not a bad seat in the house when you see them live. These photos prove my point, showing my clear view to the stage.

4. Death Cab rules MySpace. Perhaps you've never been to their page, but I can almost guarantee you've probably been to several hundred pages with Death Cab songs posted to the background music. Death Cab's profile claims it has 410,000 friends (double that of the Chili Peppers, 4 times that of U2!), but even this number seems suspiciously conservative. Visit their page, I dare you to resist streaming their singles onto your own.

5. Death Cab is what it is. The band takes flack from nouveau-emeaus about not rocking hard enough or not whining hard enough, depending on the week, but has never wavered from its style: substantive pseudo-pop with an indie pedigree. The live show is a dynamic jam session, not too soft to wail on a keyboard, not too hard to laugh at the audience for flinging glowsticks at the stage (thanks, MSG!). I'd catch them again in a heartbeat if my wallet weren't screaming.

Death Cab for Cutie - "I Wanna Be Adored (Stone Roses cover)" mp3

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