Death Cab For Cutie are currently on tour in support of their new album Narrow Stairs, which debuted at number one on the Billboard charts at its May release. In the press which has followed, both new and old media outlets have been puzzled to explain the widespread popularity of a band that does not fit within any conventional buzzword-definable mold.
We were particularly annoyed at an absurd article about Death Cab in the Sunday New York Times a few weeks ago. That article seemed obsessed with the concept that Death Cab’s popularity was not the result of “blogger buzz”, but rather was earned in some fictitious old-fashioned way (“clubland” and “honing their sound”) — “before blog buzz mattered”. This is an excellent point if you believe that the internet was created in 2004, or that commercial blogs are currently the only means by which fans learn about bands. Death Cab has been an internet-savvy band for over a decade, and indeed owes much of its success to its ubiquitous web presence at its website, forum, archive.org, and the spread of its music through bit torrent. Indeed, when bit torrent broke on the web in 2003, one of the first “leaked” albums we saw was Death Cab’s Transatlanticism, which appeared on SuprNova a good four months before its ultimate release.
Before he wrote the entertaining blog Parlando, the writer Soren deSelby often posted informative and well-written pieces on the original internet “blog”, the Well. A Seattle native, deSelby was one of the first internet writers to recognize the abilities of Death Cab, and to write about them on the Well. It was based on one of those posts that we purchased Something About Airplanes and began a decade-long interest in this band. In a very real way, Death Cab is the first band to parallel the advances of internet technology throughout its career in order the maintain a consistent trajectory that has ultimately placed them at number one on the charts.
So how was the concert, Mrs. Lincoln?
McCarren Pool on a 90+ degree day did not seem like the ideal venue to experience Death Cab, but by the first notes at 8:10 p.m. the heat was no longer an issue. Although he was beset by a series of technical problems, Ben Gibbard worked his way through the standard setlist for this tour before the elements ended the show early.
This recording is not one of our best efforts. We set up about 20 feet in front of the left stacks to avoid the wind and crowd noise, and were for the most part successful. The problem was that by being so close to the PA, we captured quite a bit of the early muddiness and peak level distortion in the early mix. Several songs into the set the mix improved but by then the wind had whipped up. We believe this is certainly a decent listening experience, but the recording was a victim of circumstance. Enjoy!
This recording is now available for Download in FLAC and MP3 at Archive.org [HERE].
Death Cab For Cutie
McCarren Park Pool
Brooklyn, NY USA
Digital Master Audience Recording
Recorded from Upfront Left Side
20 Feet from PA Stacks
DPA 4021s > Marantz PMD-660 (Oade BCM Mod) > 16bit 44.1kHz wav > Soundforge (level adjustments, slight EQ, set fades) > CDWave 1.95 > Flac Frontend (level 7, align sector boundaries)> flac
Recorded and Produced
[total time 1:17:36]
01 Bixby Canyon Bridge
02 The New Year
03 Why You’d Want To Live Here
05 Crooked Teeth
06 Long Division
07 Grapevine Fires
08 A Movie Script Ending
09 Company Calls
10 Company Calls Epilogue
11 Soul Meets Body
12 I Will Follow You Into The Dark
13 I Will Possess Your Heart
15 We Laugh Indoors
16 The Sound of Settling
17 [weather mayhem]**
If you email nyctaper for access to this recording, we expect that you will PLEASE SUPPORT Death Cab For Cutie, visit their website, visit their MySpace page, and purchase the new CD Narrow Stairs directly from their site.