Death Cab for Cutie are set to release their 7th studio album on May 31 via Atlantic Records. According to guitarist Chris Walla, the band will be departing from their typical guitar strumming and will be using a lot more reverb and synths. While I think it still pales in comparison to their masterpiece, Transatlantacism, I still really enjoyed Narrow Stairs. But I got bored with that sound from them soon after hearing The Open Book EP. So I am glad to hear that they will be changing things up again and continuing to evolve as a band, and am real excited to hear Codes and Keys. Then again, I get excited pretty much any time Benjamin Gibbard is writing songs. I will probably buy this album, regardless of the amount of praise/criticism it receives, just to hear some new words from Gibbard. I have posted the newly released tracklist below and to go along with it are a few live cuts for your listening pleasure.
1. Home Is A Fire
2. Codes And Keys
3. Some Boys
4. Doors Unlocked And Open
5. You Are A Tourist
6. Unobstructed Views
7. Monday Morning
8. Portable Television
9. Underneath The Sycamore
10. St Peter’s Cathedral
11. Stay Young, Go Dancing
There seems to be a trend of cover/tribute albums this year. The latest that has come to my attention is the new covers project by Mates of State called Crushes. The record was released last week and includes the duo’s unique take on many different artists, such as Belle & Sebastian, Fleetwood Mac, & Death Cab For Cutie.
The Connecticut based duo have apparently been “talking about doing a covers record for a long time.” I am personally glad that all the talking paid off and that this album has finally come to fruition. The few tracks that I have heard so far are very different from the original, but they stay within Mates of State’s unique indie-pop style. I am very excited to hear the rest of the record.
1. Laura (Girls)
2. Son et Lumiere (The Mars Volta)
3. Sleep the Clock Around (Belle & Sebastian)
4. Technicolor Girls (Death Cab for Cutie)
5. Long Way Home (Tom Waits)
6. Love Letter (Nick Cave)
7. Second Hand News (Fleetwood Mac)
8. 17 Pink Sugar Elephants (Vashti Bunyan)
9. Roller Coaster Ride (Dear Nora)
10. True Love Will Find You in the End (Daniel Johnston)
I need to preface this post with four simple words.
I HATE CHRISTMAS MUSIC
Why do I hate it? Well, in recent years it has just become a platform for crappy pop stars to keep re-covering the same christmas songs over and over. I don’t need to hear Carrie Underwood sing White Christmas, or Wynonna singing Silent Night, or any big shot artist covering a christmas classic to get me into the spirit.
I think I should stop being such a grinch, and just let the infographic do that talking. So here are some of my favorite original Christmas songs:
Alan Parsons In A Winter Wonderland by Grandaddy
Another Christmas Song by Stephen Colbert
Christmas Time Is Here by Vince Guaraldi Trio
Did I Make You Cry On Christmas Day (Well, You Deserved It!) by Sufjan Stevens
Don’t Shoot Me Santa by The Killers
I Hate Christmas Parties – by Relient K
Love Came Down At Christmas by Jars of Clay
When I Get Home for Christmas by Snow Patrol
Xmas Party by Middle Distance Runner
I love Grandaddy‘s rendition of “Walking In a Winter Wonderland,” but that may also be because I’m a fan of The Alan Parson Project. The song features some subtle humor about Parsons, but knowing a thing about him is not required to enjoy the track. Stephen Colbert is getting exactly what he wants with the next song, he has become part of my holiday listening tradition, and it is hilarious. Fans of Arrested Development, Peanuts Cartoons, and The Royal Tennenbaums will recognize the next little gem by the Vince Guaraldi Trio. Sufjan Stevensput out his giant box set of Christmas music a few years ago, and song #4 is probably my favorite from that whole collection. The Killers’s song about a guy potentially getting murdered by Santa is interesting to say the least, watching the music video is a must. If Christmas time just gets you down, then be sure to listen to the track by Relient K. I love the next song by Jars of Clay, who took an awesome beat and made an enjoyable new Christmas classic. Snow Patrol fans should not be without song #8. I’m a huge fan, and that song is just awesome. And finally, song #9 is by Middle Distance Runner. If you’ve never checked them out, I hope this song drives you to do so.
Okay. I was a bit of a Grinch earlier, but if you examine the chart you will see that there does exist a small sliver of well done covers. So here’s three Christmas covers I do enjoy, and are part of my holiday canon:
Christmas (Baby Please Come Home) by Death Cab for Cutie
Holly Jolly Christmas covered by The Format
O Come, O Come Emmanuel covered by Belle & Sebastian
These songs may not be original compositions, but I much prefer these to the originals. Death Cab’s version of “Baby Please Come Home” is just great. And a classic from Belle & Sebastian.
I hope you’ve found some new additions to your holiday listening list, and we here at IHYEB wish you a very Merry Christmas!
Waxploitation records has just released the second installment of their ongoing benefit series for Darfur. 100% of all profits made on this stellar compilation will go to Doctors Without Borders, Human Rights Watch, and Oxfam America. Each of these three organizations are doing incredible things to help those suffering from the crises taking place in Darfur.
Several of the best indie artists in the business have donated rare and exclusive songs for this great cause. So I encourage you to go to iTunes or Amazon and download these tracks. It is a great way to get some new music and love your neighbor at the same time. You should also check out Causes 1, which is also loaded with great artists, such as Bright Eyes, The Shins, Spoon and Death Cab. And if you go to the Causes store, you can buy both albums for just $17.
Tracklist for Causes 2
Black Moth Super Rainbow – Happy Melted City
The Decemberists – After The Bombs (Live Version)
Devendra Banhart – White Reggae Troll
Diplo – Wassup Wassup (Exclusive Samim Remix)
Federico Aubele – Luna y Sol
Gnarls Barkley – Mystery Man
LCD Soundsystem – Starry Eyes Original (Causes Exclusive)
My Morning Jacket – Highly Suspicious (VHS or Beta DJs Remix)
Matthew Dear – When She Don’t Need Me (Causes Exclusive)
Mum – Asleep In A Hiding Place
Neon Neon – I Lust U Feat. Cate le Bon (DJ Eli Escobar Remix)
Richard Swift – Wastin’ M’Time
RJD2 – Wherever
Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings – It Hurts To Be Alone
Tim & Eric – Petite Feet (Exclusive Devlin & Ghostdad Remix Feat. Sylvia Gordon)