Here’s the thing: Lots of people like to turn up their nose at Death Cab for Cutie, and I get that. They make lovey dovey sappy emo-pop music that appears in “Twilight” films and on VH1. Teen girls love this band, not you. And that name … ugh. It’s not cool to like Death Cab for Cutie. Saying that you’re more pumped to see Bright Eyes at Bend’s Les Schwab Amphitheater tonight earns you more cred.
I get all that.
The problem with that stance is that Death Cab is by far the best band on tonight’s bill, and one of the best bands of the past 15 years. I will acknowledge that they have not always been the best live band (I saw pretty mediocre DCfC shows in 2001, 2003 and 2004). And of course, their past three albums aren’t quite up to the bar set by their first four. But those first four set a very high bar. Heck, the first two are two of the best indie-rock records ever made.
What I’m saying is Ben Gibbard and Death Cab for Cutie have churned out an abundance of great songs since 1997, and their hits far outweigh their misses. So if you wanna go into tonight’s show ready to hate these dudes, have at it. That’s your right. But if you wanna go into tonight’s show with an open mind and an ear that appreciates an unforgettable melody, I’m here to help.
Below, I’ve compiled 20 of the band’s best tunes in chronological(ish) order, ranging from their pre-”Something About Airplanes” 7″ records to the new single from their new album, “Codes and Keys,” which comes out Tuesday. There are rocking songs and pretty songs, fast songs and slow songs, angry songs and somber songs, pop songs and shoegazers. It’s a pretty good cross-section of Death Cab’s career so far.
So, it’s Friday and you’re probably sitting at your desk jonesing for the weekend. Maybe you’re going to the show tonight. Maybe you’re on the fence. No matter your situation, click below and let the YouTubes stream. If you can resist this playlist, you must hate great music.
Tags: Death Cab for Cutie