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Wednesday, January 18

Review of iTunes Celebrity Playlists - Death Cab for Cutie

Wow. This is an amazing collection of songs. You can tell that all the members of Death Cab for Cutie put their heart and soul into these collections and avoided all possible playlist cliches in their choices. The first thing you note is there is altogether 83 songs (if you were to buy all of these songs the total would be 82.17). That is one heck of alot of songs for me to go through, so I didn't even try to listen to all of them. Eventually though, I will.

The members of Death Cab's sincerity can easily be seen in their choices. These are really the songs that mean the most to them and they are in no way trying to play to the popular crowd or even to the "indie" crowd by overfilling their list with indie favorites like Bloc Party, Arcade Fire, and CYHSY (not to say anything against those bands, all of which I love). Alot of the bands they chose I haven't ever heard of, which leads me to believe that their main objective in these playlists is to turn their fans on to some great music they probably haven't heard of. In my opinion, this is the best possible approach to playlists opposed to most artists, who focus on trying to make themselves look as cool as possible with their transparent song selection or include as many pop hits as they can as if saying "I listen to the same music as you do" and "I am so relatable".

Another great thing about these playlists is the descriptions for each song, which are consistently both articulate and humourous. Chris Walla says in response to Laura Veirs: "'Float' might be my favorite word for describing the trajectory or quality of a piece of music, and it means, to me, that something cinematic is happening." He wonders who screwed up by not making the song, Nonsense, a huge radio hit and then scolds them: "To the wolves with you!!" I like how Ben Gibbard describes the Postal Service when introducing a Dntel song- "I made a record with my friend Jimmy a couple of years ago that people can dance to." So nonchalant about his best selling album. For a song called "5 + 1" he says that "the hook of this song is so sick it should be illegal." Nick is his same usual funny self in his song descriptions and Jason is just as intelligent and articulate as he always is. They both give their highest marks to the song "New Grass" by Talk Talk, while Ben and Chris both have similar ephiphanies about the band, Teenage Fanclub.

The only possible downfall to their playlist is that it was obviously written last summer (which is seen by Ben and Nick saying they are looking forward to touring with Stars in the fall). Other than that minor issue, it is fantastic. The best iTunes Celebrity Playlist I've read. A+

I'm including one downloadable track from each list:
MP3 Great Lake Swimmers - I Will Never See The Sun (Ben Gibbard's list)
MP3 Architecture In Helsinki - Like a Call (Chris Walla's list)
Mp3 ..And You Will Know Us By The Trail of Dead - Will You Smile Again For Me (Nick Picks)
New Order - Blue Monday (Jason McGerr's Picks)

Read each band member picks after the jump

Ben's Picks
The Magnetic Fields - Strange Powers
Lali Puna - Faking the Books
13 & God - Men of Station
Dntel - Your Hill
Malcom Middleton - A Happy Medium
Stars - On Peak Hill
Christian Kleine - Bitter Things
Great Lake Swimmers - I Will Never See the Sun
The American Analog Set - Aaron & Maria
Billy Bragg - St. Swithin's Day
Crooked Fingers - You Must Build a Fire
Kings of Convenience - Gold In The Air of Summer
Patton Oswalt - Steak
A Band of Bees - Chicken Payback
The Movies - Autograph
A Gun Called Tension - 5+1
Teenage Fanclub - Alcoholiday
The Troggs - With A Girl Like You
Pink Floyd - Bike

Chris' Picks
Laura Veirs - Spelunking
Destroyer - It's Gonna Take An Airplane
Komeda - Nonsense
John Vanderslice - Exodus Damage
Sloan - False Alarm
Superchunk - Phone Sex
Fleetwood Mac - Dreams
Beck - Lost Cause
The Dismemberment Plan - Gyroscope
Pharmacists & Ted Leo - Me & Mia
Ben Folds Five - Selfless, Cold and Composed
Architecture In Helsinki - Like a Call
The Thermals - God and Country
Al Green - Tired of Being Alone
Carole King - Way Over Yonder
Gillian Welch - Dear Someone
Laura Veirs - Secret Someones
Ray Charles - Mess Around
Talking Heads - Thank you for Sending Me an Angel
John Cale - Things
The Long Winters - The Commander Thinks Aloud (Future Mix)
Wilco - Jesus Etc.
Teenage Fanclub - Cells

Nick's Picks
Brain Eno - An Ending (Ascent)
...And You Will Know Us By The Trail of Dead - Will You Smile Again For Me
The Delgados - All You Need Is Hate
Stars - One More Night
Spoon - I Turn My Camera On
The White Stripes - Blue Orchid
Trans Am - Futureworld
The Blood Brothers - Trash Flavored Trash
Shadows Fall - Thoughts Without Words
Lamb of God - Resurrection #9
Interpol - Untitled
The Cure & Earl Slick - A Forest
PJ Harvey - Rid of Me
Pinback - Fortress
DJ Shadow - Midnight In a Perfect World
Soul Coughing - Screenwriters Blues
TV On the Radio - Staring At The Sun
Siouxsie and The Banshees - Peek-A-Boo (Single)
Andrew W.K. - I Get Wet
The Faint - Glass Danse
Explosions in The Sky - First Breath After Coma
Talk Talk - New Grass

Jason's Picks
Talk Talk - New Grass
The Roots - Sacrifice
New Order - Blue Monday
Take Five - The Dave Brubeck Quartet
Pretty Girls Make Graves - Something Bigger, Something Brighter
PJ Harvey - You Said Something
Boards of Canada - Turquoise Hexagon Sun
The Mars Volta - Inertiatic ESP
Nick Drake - Parasite
Neil Finn - Driving Me Mad
Blink-182 - Feeling This
Alicia Keys - Girlfriend
Beastie Boys - Rhyme the Rhyme Well
Burning Airlines - Pacific 231
DJ Shadow - Mutual Slump
Gillian Welch - Look at Miss Ohio
Paul Simon - 50 Ways to Leave Your Lover
Blonde Redhead - Falling Man
Continue Review of iTunes Celebrity Playlists - Death Cab for Cutie...
posted by Taylor, 1/18/2006 01:10:00 AM | link 0 comments


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