You might have heard about Death Cab for Cutie’s new track “You Are A Tourist”. They did a film clip for it which was broadcast live on the internet (the first ever, I believe). It was a pretty impressive effort.
Well, Aussie hip-hop artist Phatchance recently stayed up into the wee hours of the morning to remix it. Throwing some amazing rhymes in-between Ben Gibbard’s lyrics, Chance manages to preserve the tone and themes of the original while putting a new spin on the song. The result? A remix that actually works incredibly well. As much as I love Death Cab, I think I find it a bit more interesting than the original. Sometimes Death Cab seem to have those spaces in songs where they just lose my attention a little bit, but this remix seems to take care of that altogether.
Take a listen below, download it, and share it around. It’s brilliant.
When SoundCloud runs out of downloads (which I’ve heard it will), you can grab the mp3 here.
If you like your music a bit less lossy, you can grab the wav here.
Death From Above 1979’s first and last album, "You’re A Woman, I’m A Machine", gathered quite a devout following for the short-lived dance-punk duo. The band were only active for around 5 years, from 2001 to 2006, but they clearly left quite a large imprint on their fans. With drummer Sebastien Grainger holding the primary vocal role, and Jesse F. Keeler on the synths and bass, the line up of DFA1979 is certainly an interesting point of discussion, and without a lead-guitarist of any kind, it definitely contributed to their unique sound.
Deeply distorted grinding bass-lines dominate on the album, and layered on top of loud and aggressive vocal lines, the reason behind being classified as "dance-punk" becomes apparent. Yet their sound holds something different about it. The infectiousness inherent in fast – sometimes messy, sometimes simple – melodies is drawn out from where it so often hides from even the most persevering of musicians. Not all bands can pull off something so stylistically different, yet so catchy.
Discordant riffs sometimes make songs a little difficult to listen to, but DFA1979 are one of those bands that are good, but become so much better once you know what you’re getting into. "Romantic Rights" is a clear stand-out track, as is the title track, and although the album as a whole is stylistically similar, when it clocks in at 35 minutes, it doesn’t seem to bore. When you’re in the mood for it, it’s a fun album, full of out there riffs. It’s a shame that it slightly all merges together at times, leaving little distinction between one track and the next. That said, there’s little room for a slow-pace, and it thunders along at an alarming rate for two musicians. They clearly deserve the following they have.
Well renowned indie rock group Death Cab for Cutie released their 6th studio album, "Plans", in 2005, to much acclaim.
There is a soft ambiance which inhabits the whole album from start to finish, respectfully adding to the overall tone by taking second place next to the subtle instrumentation, and the lyricism of Benjamin Gibbard, which are both high-lights of the album. Death Cab don’t do over-the-top. They have fluctuations in speed in their songs, yet retain an overall feeling in the music. The album has a style, as do the band. Which is a good thing if it’s pulled off well.
"Your Heart Is an Empty Room" seems to slow the album down a little. Not literally, but it doesn’t really contribute much, I feel, and seems a bit boring. "I Will Follow You into the Dark" is too worn for me. I’ve heard it a lot, and for some reason, as good as it is, it doesn’t really seem to fit in. Though I don’t think anything other than an acoustic guitar would have suited the song at all. "Different Names for the Same Thing" begins badly with the faux crackly sound quality seeming more tacky than a real contribution to the song. It may sound like I’m picking apart songs and ripping the album to shreds, but these are all minor aesthetic inconveniences to tell the truth. They don’t weight the album down and make it terrible in anyway.
"What Sarah Said" features simplistic piano used to great effect, as Gibbard sings about love, as he often does on this album. But the penultimate song is the real high-light of the album for me. "Brothers on a Hotel Bed" is full of off-beat drums, and the beautiful piano lines compliment Gibbard’s astonishing lyrics wonderfully.
"Plans" seems to drop at a few points, and there are qualities about it which I don’t enjoy, but those aside, it is a very good album. Its few faults are offset entirely in the long-run.
Lyrically, Death Cab for Cutie are brilliant. They’re poetic, and yet somehow manage to steer clear of the clichéd ruins of over-done love songs. The extended metaphors present drag you into the songs, and seem to be ambiguous enough to relate to a wide audience, whilst being specific enough to tell a story.
Their songs seem to be made of something other bands simply do not possess. A style that’s soothing musically, but also interesting and at times quite up-beat. Melodically the guitars seem to come out of nowhere with hooks and chord progressions that will work their way into your mind, and drum beats like in "The Sound of Settling" that do likewise.
The audio quality of this live recording is top-notch. Especially since Death Cab for Cutie have authorised the distribution of their live recordings on http://www.archive.org, this is definitely worth checking out, for both fans of the band and people who haven’t heard them before.
Get it here. In case you’re unsure, scroll down to the section that says "Individual Files", then under the "Whole Items" section, you can download the whole performance. I strongly recommend the VBR Zip – 64kb/s is way too low to expect a good quality performance in my experience.
Les Paul was a greatly influential and important man in the music industry, in terms of his development of the solid-body electric guitar, and in creating the sound of rock and roll. He passed away on the 13th of August, 2009.
Let’s hope the world does not forget the large contribution he made to the world of music.
Rest In Peace.