Daily Archives: December 2, 2009

216. Death Cab for Cutie – “Plans”

I’ve been a very good mood today.  My teaching commitments are done for the year and I have dived back into my research.  The sun has been shining and I’ve been contemplating a summer of much fun.

That makes reviewing this album a little difficult. 

This collection of tunes are on the melancholy side.  It’s not quite morose, slit your wrists stuff.  But, relative to the bands previous two albums, it is more measured and downbeat in temper.

There are more tracks built around piano rather than guitar.  Several of the tunes are quite dire in their content. What Sarah Said is a real departure for the band with Ben Folds-ish keys, and a heartbreaking insight into the experience of watching a friend pass out the wrong end of the intensive care unit.

There is still much to admire and embrace here, but just not on a summer day par excellence.

As an aside, this was a very astute Xmas present purchase from my now sis-in-law a few festive seasons ago.  Nice choice Steph!

File under: Synch with sinking feelings

Dead Milkmen and Dead Cool

As we’ve now wandered past the “Dead___” artists in my collection, I thought I’d just pop my head over to the singles (they’re the little 7″ round black things kiddies) collection and nod my head to one of my guilty pleasures: the pop-punk stylings of the Dead Milkmen and their classic Punk Rock Girl:

And while we’re in the realm of filmed music, I saw a fantastic short at the Melbourne Bicycle Film Festival called Made in Queens. Check out the trailer (it captures much of the 10 min story):

Now, that’s innovative musical engagement…

Ok, back to the reviews.

215. Death Cab for Cutie – “Photo Album”

I’m really enjoying my DeathCabFest.

This underlistened-to album in my collection (perhaps I have some subconscious aversion to the ugly cover and lame title) has been washing over me for a few hours now, and I am discovering more and more that I like about it.

I made the comparison to Aussie outfit Gersey yesterday.  Now I realise that may be meaningless to many of you, but it’s exactly what I’m hearing. Delicate but dominant guitar lines with rousing rhythms permeate much of this work.  Indeed Ben Gibbard’s vocals are within a ballpark of Craig Jackson’s.

There is a little more poppiness here though, and the song writing is more distinct and engaging.

A couple of tracks on here keep grabbing my attention.  The critique of Los Angeles (Why You’d Want To Live Here) captures much of my thoughts on said burgh when visiting earlier this year.

Styrofoam Plates tells the tale of an awkward and affecting funeral in a manner (and at a pace) that belies the melancholy sentiment (but which does capture the anger).

These guys are very consistent and engaging.  More please…

File under: Snaps worth some claps