Next Tuesday, the college freshman in me will be living out his dream by traveling to Brooklyn to finally see Death Cab for Cutie. There is not another band whose music I so closely associate with a time period in my life than Death Cab for Cutie and my early college years. But, to a degree, the band and I have grown our separate ways over time. I don’t often long for their uncertain lyrics from The Photo Album or their lovely melodies in Plans like I used to. Ben Gibbard’s once melancholy songwriting has shifted gears to a more positive outlook approach (I mean, come on, the guy wakes up next to Zooey Deschanel every morning). For instance, could you imagine if the closing song, “Stay Young, Go Dancing,” off of their new release, Codes and Keys, replaced “A Lack of Color” from their 2003 album, Transatlanticism? Death Cab is one of the only bands that I can recall whose genre on Wikipedia is indie pop and emo. Yet, perhaps that’s a testament to Gibbard and the band’s maturity. They have been able to amass a healthy serving of commercial success, while still maintaining Pacific Northwest indie credibility from their devoted fan base.
So, when I see Death Cab For Cutie next week, it will be like getting together with an old college friend. They’ll hint at their future plans and talk about things that will remind me why we aren’t as close anymore. But then they’ll bring up some memories from our past together, whether they were joyous or sad, and it will reaffirm why we understood each other in the first place.
Here are the Death Cab for Cutie songs that will forever bind me with that place and time.
Blacking out the Friction
Brothers on a Hotel Bed