Death Cab For Cutie: Plans

Song: “Brothers On A Hotel Bed

I’m not the kind of person who keeps quiet. I’ll go as far as to say I rarely shut up. But when this album is on, in the car or on my iPod, I go silent. Man, these lyrics make me sad. Even the happier songs bum me out.


I bought Death Cab’s The Photo Album years ago at Waterloo Records in Austin. I liked the cover and I wanted to hear the music of a band that would use the words “Death” and “Cutie” in their name. I thought I’d found some weird little band nobody had heard of. And then Adam Brody’s character on The OC came around and, well, you know the rest.

But listening to Death Cab still sounds like a secret. It’s you and the sadness, or you, your friends and a glimmer of hope (see: Claire and her friends curled around each other all fucked up and singing “Transatlanticism,” the kind of truly college moment you don’t really ever get to do again once you’re older than twenty-seven).

It’s funny that these songs make me think of youthful friendships, or young lovers parting, when many of the songs are about getting old and dying, of leaving for bigger things, or moving on from relationships that just aren’t working out. They are about adult problems and concerns grown-ups have (“Your Heart Is An Empty Room” comes to mind, or — dear lord — the song that feels like your heart’s trying to run towards your toes, “I Will Follow You Into The Dark“). But at their core (and forgive me, I’ve been sounding like a pretentious writer lately. Oh, man the other day I employed the phrase, “I just enjoy sitting with these characters,” which is something I said because the truth — “Please don’t fire me for being very busy. I still make time for your project, I promise. And I will do a great job because I write until you’re happy. Ask my editor.” — sounded a little desperate. So forgive me for using a word like “core” to describe a song’s… inner workings. I really should quit right now.), at their core, the songs are still about true love, pure love, and the sweet goodness and wonderful blessings we want for those who we love with everything we are.

Eee. It’s probably best I don’t say a damn word when these songs play in the car. I’m making myself ill.

Anyway, go buy the Death Cab album if you haven’t yet. I’ve made a number of people buy it already, and the rest of them have been forced to listen to various songs while I’m so quiet you’d think I was fuming. But I’m not. I’m sad for all the people who are sad. How very annoying of me.