Tag Archives: Ben Gibbard

on Ben Gibbard’s Former Lives LP

I’m probably not the only person that has developed mixed feelings over Ben Gibbard’s first solo album Former Lives. Don’t get me wrong–I think the album is worth every penny, and also worth the (in my case emotional) wait¹.  But there’s something a little off about it. I mean, obviously it isn’t like anything Death Cab has ever done, though he’s the one that writes the songs. If he’d wanted it to be like Death Cab’s stuff, he wouldn’t have gone solo, right? But some of the songs don’t quite feel Gibbard-y. Not like The Postal Service’s stuff, or like Death Cab’s stuff, which has always felt intensely personal, even when they weren’t meant to. I mean, listening to Something About Airplanes is so laden with… college-boy angst. It reminds me of John Green’s first novel, Looking For Alaska. And “Title and Registration” on Transatlanticism is just… so poignant and relate-able even if its not a cop that pulls you over asking for the some legal documents, only to unleash a barrage of memories of a former lover who deserted you. It’s always reminded me of people I’m not friends with anymore. And like all the stuff you amass during that time that you’re friends with them that means something to you. I always ask myself what the heck do I do with this? throw it out? I never do. Comparatively, none of the songs on Former Lives really inspire any zeal. None of them really make you want to cry your eyes out, or laugh your troubles away (yes, laughing is very cathartic. Especially when Monday Morningis on. It is simply beautiful).

However, there are some GREAT songs, such as “Lady Adelaide”, which reminds me of DCFC’s “What Sarah Said” on Plans, although the melody is a lot happier; the story runs along the same lines. “Lily” is also quite good, despite the fact that it’s not “Monday Morning”, meaning it is not about Zooey Deschanel, which saddens me a lot².  My Second Absolute Favourite, “I’m Building a Fire”, is also Wonderful. It is slightly reminiscent of “I Will Follow You Into the Dark”, although much happier-sounding. My absolute favourite, “Teardrop Windows” is actually one of his best songs EVER. I mean, it is so pleasant to listen to! and the music video is just charming!

I can only conclude that he was definitely going for a different vibe. I did read that this LP wasn’t meant to be quite so biographical, despite the fact that a) it was a SOLO album, b) and it covered “eight years, three relationships, living in two different places, drinking then not drinking”.

I’m pretty happy with it, overall. It’s a very pleasant addition to my music library (30% of which is made up of DCFC! because I haven’t got all their albums/EPs). I’m so happy for him!

If you want a more professional/less amateurish review, check this one out, by Ian Cohen on Pitchfork, and this one on Rolling Stone, and this one on  the LA Times.

For further Enlightenment, check out HuffPost’s Michael Hogan interview with Mr. Genius himself.


¹Admittedly, I had to wait just over a month to get it. And the fact that Sandy  interfered with my two-month-long campaign for my parents to take me to Ben’s show in New York just made it worse. But, take my word for it, it is great.


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Ben Gibbard’s “Teardrop Window” Video

DCFC frontman/ Imaginary BFF Ben Gibbard just released the “Teardrop Windows” video, from his Former Lives solo album.

Reason #100 Ben Is FANTASTIC: He’s too nice to go bad.
Reason #101 Ben is FANTASTIC: He’s Normal.

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Breaking the Shipping Rules: Shipping IRL

As I’m sure many of you know, Shipping many times extends to more than just The Fandom. Shipping, although highly UNADVISABLE, sometimes extends to Real Life. This is not good.  I try to abstain from doing it, as much as I can, but it’s hard, especially when deep-down you’re convinced that THEY BELONG TOGEZZERRR! Some Highly Popular examples are ‘Brangelina’ and the recently divorced TomxKatie and, well, you get the point. Then there are ‘Demily’ (Emily Deschanel and David Boreanaz….) and ‘Darvillian’ (Arthur Darvill and Karen Gillan), and ‘Smillan’ (Matt Smith and Karen Gillan) and one of my favourites: ZooeyxBen (Zooey Deschanel and  Ben Gibbard).

I am really big fan of both Zooey Deschanel and Ben Gibbard, and I ship(ped) them SO HARD. When news of their split and following divorce hit the news, I became slightly depressed. (It is very embarrassing to admit this, because I always mock people who care too much about The Housewives and The Jersey Shore people…).WHY DID THEY BREAK UP? THEY WERE SOO BEAUTIFUL! That video (in which you can’t see anything) of them performing together at The Crocodile Cafe (where Ben and his DCFC band-mates had their first ACTUAL performance all the way in 1998…) is so PERRFECT!! They were  my RL OTP! They were my Music Biz Power Couple! I became convinced that DCFC’s “Monday Morning” was a Zooey Song. I stopped listening to Death Cab  for a long time (three months!) and listened to She & Him obsessively, or at least more often (if possible) than before.

Eventually, I got over it.

Or so I thought.

Now there’s pictures of Zooey going out with some (really good-looking) guy. AND IT’S NOT BEN. It’s like re-living Bones‘ Sixth Season all over again. You know, when you ship Booth and Brennan, but because you want your OTP to be happy, you grudgingly ship Booth and Hannah, or Brennan and Sully or Booth and Cam, or Angela and Wendell instead of HODGELA. It’s like shipping Xander and Buffy, instead of Buffy and Angel.


Bottom line, it’s better to keep shipping Fictional Characters (MycroftxCake, for example…), and let People’s lives take their course.

And I’m still wildly confused by Demily shippers… after all Emily has a Husby (also called David!) and an adorable baby boy that is the reason the past season was the way it was. Also, David has two beautiful children and a wife.

As my friend’s awesome Button says: “If it’s a Thing, I SHIP IT!”♦

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Why were Roger Waters and Morrissey singing together? Why don’t my dreams make sense?

We all know (or have been told) that dreams are the representations of our thoughts, and that more often than not they are utterly and completely meaning less. They are just random things our subconscious cooks up, and they may or may not be inspired by our real lives. There are people, for example who dream about doing every-day stuff. Pretty exciting, huh? And then there are people who dream extraordinary things that should be movies, if they already aren’t, and somehow manage to make perfect sense. Like that guy and his wife who literally LIVED in their dream-world for AGES. Or that other girl who built a dream inside a dream (inside a dream, inside a dream).Oh, wait, that’s Inception! with Joe Gordon-Levitt and Leo DiCaprio and Ellen Page!

A lot of the dreams I remember are a mix of the two. Except, of course they don´t make any sense. Whatsoever.

Last night, for instance, I remember falling asleep while listening to The Smiths. In my dream I was in some stage thing, with a huge screen/wall in the back, and a SMITHS SONG WAS PLAYING. When I turned around, Morrissey was there, singing. THE MOZMAN HIMSELF. Next to him, Roger Waters, from Pink Floyd was, I don’t know, doing something. I think it was Roger Waters, because his face was a sign that said ROGER WATERS in big, bright letters. Then, Roger Waters and Morrissey Himself started singing some new kind of music… a cross between Progressive/Acid/Space/Psychedelic Rock (according to Wikipedia) and Indie Pop. Actually it just sounded like “Please, please, please Let Me Get What I Want” with spacey background vocals that said something like “Pink Floyd…The Wall…So EPIC”. I should say I’ve only ever seen Roger Waters’ face in an interview with 60 Minutes about his The Wall Tour, and I’ve only ever heard maybe five Pink FLoyd songs.

In what universe would that happen? How did Morrissey and Roger Waters ever end up in the same place? WHY WAS I THERE? HOW did I get there? ugh.

Then there was the time Death Cab For Cutie’s Ben Gibbard was sitting there in my living room. And apparently I was interviewing Ben Gibbard. In my Living Room.  And Ben Gibbard was also singing. In My Living Room. “Monday Morning” and “I Will Follow You Into The Dark” and “Grapevine Fires” and “Expo ’86” all being sung by THE BENJAMIN GIBBARD in My Living Room. It was insane. I was fangirling in my sleep, and nearly rolled off my bed, and bumped into a duck wearing a suit. The Duck then chased me down the side of a Swamp, somewhere in the outskirts of Bree (Middle Earth…).

I am infinitely jealous of people like my sister that can have perfectly logical dreams that have nothing to do with going to the  bathroom at a restaurant and bumping into Voldemort and The Silence. She doesn’t have to suffer in the morning with burning questions such as: ‘Why were Voldemort and The Silence IN THE LADIE’S ROOM?’. I hope any Neuro Scientists (Hi, Amy Farrah Fowler!!!) or Psychologists (Hello, Lancelot!) or Psychiatrists (Hello, you!) that happen to be reading this have any ideas to help me have NORMAL DREAMS.

However, if you happen to suggest I stop watching/reading/listening/obsessing over the stuff I dream about, I say NO CAN DO.

Ever had any strange dreams that’s baffled you more than Irene Adler baffled Sherlock Holmes *sighBenedictCumberbatchsigh*?

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