Archive for the ‘Music’ Category

Death Cab for Cutie, Codes and Keys remix album.

The Codes and Keys remix album gives fans an upgrade. New summer music made off old winter songs. 

   The new remix album is a grower. Chances are, if you like Death Cab, then you won’t be a huge fan of techno, dance or club-y music. When I came across this album in the store, I was immensely excited about hearing one of my favourite ever albums through a different beat. Suffice to say, I had already switched to the regular album before the 4th track. My immediate response was, “why would someone ruin such great songs!”

Upon 2nd, 3rd and 8th listen, i’ve come to the conclusion that this could be my new summer music. Don’t get me wrong, I strongly dislike techno music and all genres similar, but this album is different:

  • The beat’s are not that strong, it doesn’t feel like I could hear this in a rave or anything.
  • I do love the odd club song, are you telling me you don’t like Levels by Avicci?! Get outta town!

It’s hard to convey in words exactly what this music is. It’s like hearing your favourite songs, but with a faster tempo and a catchy beat. Think if this as an upgrade. You can listen to the original Codes and Keys album in autumn and winter, but this is a perfect blend for new summer tunes.

If you’re in need of new music for the summer and are a fan of indie or dance music I implore you to give this a listen. My two favourite tracks include this great running song and this slightly more ‘dance’ centred song (a remix of the slowest song on the original album, Un-obstructed Views).

That said, you could remain 100% indie and alternative by listening to Yeasayer’s remix of my favourite, Codes and Keys. Trust me, it’s brilliant, like the video.

The beauty of live music.

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Over the last year I have been lucky enough to see my 4 favourite bands. This has been possible mainly due to an iTunes app, Songkick. The app scans your iPhone/iPod’s music library and then presents you with dates and locations for every band in your library. It takes about 20 seconds. You can then search for a band, a venue, a date, anything.
This meant that it was immensely easy for me to find out when Sufjan Stevens, Bon Iver, Joshua Radin, Death Cab for Cutie, Coldplay, The Avett Brothers and City in Colour were playing. The app then gives you links to buying the cheapest tickets.
I have been to many gigs before but never this many in one year. The app makes it so easy to find tickets that I am constantly updating it each day to see which new bands have been added.
Finally, there are many nights when I am exhausted and i don’t feel like trekking into central London or driving all the way to Los Angeles from San Diego, but, there isn’t much in this world that rivals seeing your favourite band life. Let alone seeing all 4 of your favourite bands live in one year.
My closet is now filled with band T-shirts, jumpers, bags and almost a custom Avett Brothers Skateboard (seriously). Live music is something that everyone should experience on a regular basis. Songkick merely makes it easier for this to happen.

I leave you with links to videos I took from the bands I saw over the last year:

Death Cab, City in Colour, Bon Iver and Joshua Radin – here.
Death Cab’s Transatlanticism – here.
Sufjan Steven’s Vesuvius – here.  
Avett Brothers and Coldplay – here.

Death Cab for Cutie, Codes and Keys


In my opinion, the best track of an album should never be number 1 on the cd. Many bands have made this mistake down the years. This explains why my 4 favourite bands, are my 4 favourite bands. Death Cab, Sufjan Stevens, Bon Iver and the Avett Brothers have never begun an album with what they would deem their most popular song. After listening to the most popular and probably best track on an album, your expectations for what is to follow rise uncontrollably.

Therefore, it’s good that Home Is A Fire (the 1st track) is not the best. Having said that, I still like it. The cymbals and calm guitar during the verses reminded me a lot of his old Postal Service work which I adore. Just not compared to the rest of the album. It’s a bit of a dreary start compared to what is to follow.

That said, Codes and Keys, the second track will surely reaffirm your love with this band. The opening lyric ‘we won’t get far’ helps you remember why you love this insecure nerd of a singer who has captured the hearts of many people (including myself). The old sounding piano that rattles along Gibbards vocals keeps you interested. Just as when he gets to each chorus and the vocals become more melodic and easy hearing, similar to olde work like Lack of Colour. The final build is also comparable to songs from artists like Bruce Springsteen. It’s just awesome basically. And got me very excited for the rest of the album.

Doors Unlocked And Opened is the first song you encounter that has a very long intro, something any Death Cab fan will understand. (Transatlanticism? I will Possess your Heart?). But this time, the beat you hear is more of a running beat. The bass is consistent and fast and the chords change between minor and major quite often. This is uncharacteristic of prior Death Cab intros so it makes for an interesting change. Once you reach the chorus you get rewarded for enduring such ‘dark music’. The bass lifts, Gibbards voice becomes less distorted and the songwriter grips you once more.
“somewhere down, down, down in the ocean” seems like an appropriate lyric to highlight at this moment as I sit 37,000 feet above it.

You Are a Tourist contains the best riff in the album (come on, it so does!). My friend after listening once through to the album already knew that this would be his favourite song. I can’t help but compare the riff to the Miike Snow song ‘song for no one’. Hopefully you’ll understand should you listen to the song. The band pace the song perfectly if you think about the lyric ‘there’s a burning in your heart’. The switch between the sexy riff, the breakdowns, the slow builds and his vocals mean you can associate with this song as it takes you on an emotional, musical adventure.

Unobstructed views. Just wow. If you are yet to listen to the album I’ll compare this to one song only, my favourite Death Cab song, Transatlanticism. Whilst both songs sound different, they are structured in the same way. The immensely slow build for the opening 2/3 minutes that whisks you away into your thoughts occurs first. This before Gibbards voice eases into your speakers with ‘there’s no light, in the sky. Just our love’ if you’re not lost in your own imagination by now, then you are probably being forced to listen to the music by a true Death Cab fan. A whining riff that has you mesmerised plays out the rest of the song, a song that leaves you begging at Gibbards feet for more. More of his perfection.

To bring the listener back to earth, the title of the following song is appropriately named ‘Monday Morning’. The standard drum beat is incredibly easy to listen to as Gibbards plays his voice like a grade 9 pianist would a piano. It’s a wonderful song that is similar to older songs like Cath and Expo 86. “Muuundaaii Mournning!” resounds in your head long after you stop listening to the song.

Now we come to the most interesting song of the album, Portable Television. The only other song that I know with Television in the title comes from the Red Hot Chilli Peppers, so unfortunately my expectations were higher than usual….The opening piano riff sounds like the beginning of a Regina Spektor song, things were going well. That until the most bizarre drum beat comes in! I have listened to the song numerous times and I still can’t follow the beat of the drum with my finger. That said, it makes me enjoy the song more, it’s like a challenge. But who knows, maybe you’re not a retard like me and just hear a regular drum beat.

Underneath the Sycamore is another classic Death Cab song. A running treble keeps the verses jumping along. This before the chorus pipes up with some beautiful repetitions of “we are the same”.
I guess it’s most similar to ‘Death of an Interior Designer……if you were wondering.

It seems like a sin not to talk about track 10. I could listen to his voice with no backing all day long, as the opening portrays what an astonishing voice this man has. However it gets better. Once the beat comes in, it sounds very similar to his Postal Service work. It’s hard to describe the sound. But I guess you could say it’s similar to the old Super Mario soundtrack…..just more depressing.

And then we arrive at the final song which begins with the words “life is sweet”. Other lines like “it can never bring you down” make you think you’re listening to the new Noah and the Whale album, but no! This is in fact Ben Gibbard who is bringing a positively wonderful end to a fantastic album.

Now if you don’t mind, I’m going to stay young and go dancing. Maybe you should do the same.


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You get the idea…

Location:Above the Atlantic Ocean