Tag Archives: Death Cab For Cutie

A Playlist To Win Your Heart


I am not exaggerating when I say this was one of the coolest ideas ever.  My friend Jimmy posted a very cool post on his blog “Highly Questionable.”  The short of it is, what if you had the chance to be with your soul mate, but you had to convince them to give you a chance with a mix tape?  Jimmy’s blog post got me thinking, and I decided that I was up to the task of crafting a playlist specifically for my soul mate.

For me, one of the hardest parts of this was deciding what kind of story I wanted to tell. Do I go for the epic love story? Or should I go for an action/adventure flick? Ooooh, or maybe one of those foreign films with the subtitles!

Well, none of the above. Or maybe all of the above mixed up in some weird concoction that I call my musical taste. I like music that makes me feel pretentious, and music that makes me feel like a conformist.

One Playlist to rule them all, One Playlist to find them. One Playlist to bring them all and in the darkness bind them (sorry…really excited for The Hobbit).  And voila!  The result:

“I Was Once A Loyal Lover” by Death Cab For Cutie

“Romance Is Boring” by Los Campesinos!

“I’ve Got It All (Most)” by Modest Mouse

“Coin-Operated Boy” by The Dresden Dolls

“Gray Or Blue” by JayMay

“O Valencia!” by The Decemberists

“Shameless” by Man Man

“Hurricane and Fire Survival Guide” by Cloud Cult

“The Gambler” by Fun.

“What I’m Trying To Say” by Stars

This story isn’t very complex. It begins with a couple of kids being jaded and cynical about the whole love business. They find each other and share their mutual distrust of love. That backfires, because mocking love always makes love return the favor. Our lovers are convinced their love is doomed, and they’re left wondering why they are so hopeless over each other and/or hopeless in general. BUT, our lovers are redeemed when they realize that life is short, the future is bright and damn it these are some fine tunes.

Questions, comments, sarcastic remarks?

Your move, soul mate. Your move.

 PS: Listen to the playlist in its entirety on Grooveshark and Spotify.  It’s smooth listening.

Happy Birthday!


Happy Birthday!

Dear readers, the blog has now been active for a year. That’s 365 days.

I couldn’t be prouder, happier or more befuddled.  It’s a strange but rewarding experience.

It’s been a fantastic year, and I couldn’t help but dwell on all the wonderful things that’ve happened.

September 2011

Mister Heavenly

This was a once-in-a-lifetime show.  Mister Heavenly is a supergroup that may or may not tour again.  The sad part, really, is that the show I saw last year (a year and a day ago) will probably be the only show I ever see by the band.  They’re great.  That’s what makes it sad.

But it was still a great show.

October 2011

Ha Ha Tonka

This was my first Ha Ha Tonka experience.  It was singularly great.  The boys are talented, charismatic and really nice.  Even when I’m hunting them down in a parking lot…but that didn’t happen until this year.  So it doesn’t count.  Right?

November 2011

Tommy & The High Pilots

First time at the Firebird.  Loved the place.  First time I heard some new High Pilots music that should be coming out on their new album.  That’s right.  Come this November, I have been anxiously awaiting a new album from these charming and outrageously hilarious boys.


December 2011

A Very Ludo Christmas

This was an experience.  Everyone was wearing red and green with reindeer drawn on sweaters and balloons were everywhere and confetti and…just wow.

It was also the show that started the wonderful tradition of getting bands to sign my Allyson’s Setlist shirt.

January 2012

Stop Thief

This was a wonderful local show.  It served as a very important reminder that local bands are sometimes better than the big ones, because they’re still audience members themselves.  They haven’t been corrupted with success and they play like it’s their last show.

It’s pretty moving stuff.

February 2012

Los Campesinos!

This show was a dream come true.  I never thought I’d get the chance to see them, but sometimes the Fates hear our pleas and arrange things.

The show was brilliant.  The band is brilliant.  This night lives on in some parallel universe where I never leave it and it’s brilliant all the time.

That’s how I feel about it.

March 2012

Antennas Up

Of course the boys were great.  But, more importantly, this is the show I got my Antennas Up hoodie at.  That thing is the most comfortable hoodie in the world and it’s ridiculously good looking.

April 2012


Granted, this has nothing to do with the concerts I’ve gone to or the music I listened to.  But I can’t resist bragging about it.

May 2012

Antennas Up

New Antennas Up album.  Have I mentioned I’m a fan?

June 2012

Los Campesinos!

Excellent concert with some of my favorite people in the world.  Also, finally got Gareth to sign my shirt.  And they played one of my favorite LC! songs.

This concert was made for me.

July 2012

Death Cab For Cutie

I never actually blogged about the show.  But it was great.  My brother and I talked and sang and hugged.  It was great.

August 2012

Tommy & The High Pilots

I can’t actually tell you how many times I’ve busted out with “Devil To Pay.”  This song is, in my opinion, their best work.  It haunts me and I’m not looking to exorcise the spirit anytime soon.

There’s a run down.  I’ve done things and seen things and blushed and cracked my voice.

And things are just getting better.

Marching Bands of Manhattan – Death Cab For Cutie


Sure, this song is definitely not about the month.  But, come on.  Give me a bit of blogger’s license.  There are no good songs about the month.  In fact, I couldn’t actually find one.  If you can, please talk to me.  I could use your sage words.


How’s that, kiddies?  Listen to the song here.  If you haven’t already heard it, it’s quite good.

And I sincerely hope everyone listens to my radio show tomorrow.  It’s going to be wonderful (probably).  Listen to it here.

Oh, and go see Antennas Up and Heypenny this Saturday at Nathan P. Murphy’s.  I’ll be there.  You’d get to see me.  I feel like that’s a solid inducement.

Just think about it.

Weekly Setlist – Jan. 12


Good evening, cubs.  It’s beginning to feel a lot like winter.  With that in mind, tonight’s playlist is very cold friendly.  Listen to it while you’re reclining on a chaise, sipping tea out of your good china and watching snow flake gently against your window…I wish I was that classy.  Also, you sound like a snob.  And that monocle looks ridiculous.  Just so you know.

Anyway, here’s the playlist.

Jan. 12 Setlist. I really can't draw straight lines, can I?

Here’s the playlist on Spotify and Grooveshark.

And, big surprise, here are the individual songs.

“First Day Of My Life” by Bright Eyes

“New York, I Love You But You’re Bringing Me Down” by LCD Soundsystem

“Love Vigilante” by Iron & Wine

“Tiny Vessels” by Death Cab For Cutie

“Say Yes” by Elliott Smith

“Casimir Pulaski Day” by Sufjan Stevens

“Blood Bank” by Bon Iver

And, before I let you go completely, I have a couple of announcements:

1.  Tomorrow I will announce the next contest.  Hope you’ve been practicing your Googling skills.  You’ll need them.

2.  I’m almost done listening to 1/5 of Paste Magazine’s Best 50 Albums of 2011.  It’s a daunting task, and I can report that I’ve lost only a few soldiers thus far.  On the whole, I think they were weak and had no taste, so they were no great loss.  I’ll keep you abreast of any further developments.  Full report will be given on Saturday.

Now, have a wonderful evening and try to stay warm…unless you like being cold.  Maybe I should have said, have a wonderful evening and try to stay happy.

That’s better.

Dec. 8 Setlist(s)


All right.  I owe you kids something like three playlists.  I’m not a tease.  So here are the playlists.  I think the quality will make up for the incredible tardiness.  Apologies.

But for real.  There are some great songs here.  Give them a listen, and tell me what you think.

Setlist the First:


Here’s the Grooveshark playlist and the Spotify one.

December 8a Setlist

“Raconte-Moi Une Histoire” by M83*

“The Sea Is A Good Place To Think Of The Future” by Los Campesinos!

“Riding On You” by Tommy & The High Pilots**

“Clementine” by The Decemberists

“Knocked Up” by Kings of Leon

“Your Ex-Lover Is Dead” by Stars

“Someday You Will Be Loved” by Death Cab For Cutie

*The video has nothing to do with the song, but it’s the only YouTube video I could find with the song…weird, right?

**Sadly, no YouTube video has the complete song.  Listen on one of the playlists, if you are so inclined.

Setlist the Second:

December 8b Setlist

Here’s the Grooveshark and the Spotify playlists.  Getcho listen on.

“Meantime” by The Futureheads

“Your English Is Good” by Tokyo Police Club

“Let’s Get Known” by The Unicorns

“After Hours” by We Are Scientists

“Cause = Time” by Broken Social Scene

“Straight In At 101” by Los Campesinos!

“When Water Comes To Life” by Cloud Cult

Setlist the Third:

December 8c Setlist

And, surprise!  Here’s the Grooveshark and Spotify playlists.  Give them a listen.  Make sure you pay attention to the songs that aren’t available on both, however.

“Home” by Edward Sharpe And The Magnetic Zeros

“Storm And Stress” by Bloc Party*

“One Red Thread” by Blind Pilot**

“Is This Love?” by Clap Your Hands Say Yeah

“The Bleeding Heart Show” by The New Pornographers

“Little Lover’s So Polite” by Silversun Pickups

“Dance Yrself Clean” by LCD Soundsystem

*Only available on the Grooveshark playlist.

**Only available on the Spotify playlist.  Couldn’t find Blind Pilot on Grooveshark at all…anyone know what’s up?

Oh, and Ludo’s “A Very Ludo Christmas” is totally this Saturday.  WOOOOOOOO!

Best Quotes From Songs – The Love Edition


I don’t want to get mushy on you all, but there are some quotes about love from songs that I go gaga over.  And you’re going to hear all about my favorites.  Not because you should.  Not even because I want you to.  It’s because you NEED to.  I’m looking out for you.  You’re welcome.  And there are seven because I felt like it.  Have recommendations?  I’ll consider them.

So.  Running in at number 7…

7. “Pink Squares” by I Was A Cub Scout

“Oh, oh, oh, am I in trouble? / Darling, I apologize. / I need you more than anything / Please come back with me tonight. / Oh, oh, oh, am I in trouble? / Darling, I apologize. / I need you more than anything / Please don’t ever leave my side.”

To me, this is a perfect example of a love song.  It’s wonderful.  The thought is so simple, but so right.  A couple has a disagreement and the person that (presumably) started it is trying to make sure the disagreement doesn’t end things for them.  Like I said, it’s simple but seems right.

6. “Lonely Place” by Tommy & The High Pilots

“Oh, and just like me / She wants a family / Create us some energy / Out of the blue. / That we’ll do. / Oh, and maybe she’s someone I’ve made up / And maybe she’s somebody true / But I won’t rest until I know you.”

I adore this song so much.  And I love this thought: maybe you haven’t found the perfect person, but that shouldn’t stop you from looking for them.  I find this song wistful and hopeful and, like I said, I adore it.

5. “King of Carrot Flowers Part. 1” by Neutral Milk Hotel

“And this is the room one afternoon I knew I could love you / And from above you how I sank into your soul / Into that secret place where no one dares to go.”

This is my favorite Neutral Milk Hotel song, and it’s probably because of this stanza.  I’m not sure if it requires an explanation.  It’s just lovely.

4. “Rise To Me” by The Decemberists

“My darling, my sweetheart, I am in your sway / Two cold climes, come spring time / So let me hear you say / My love / I am gonna stand my ground.”

I love The Decemberists way too much to not include them in this list.  Particularly when this song has such powerful worlds.  I can’t help but be moved when he says “my darling, my sweetheart, I am in your sway.”  It’s beautiful.

3. “I Will Follow You Into The Dark” by Death Cab For Cutie

“If heaven and hell decide / That they both are satisfied / Illuminate the nos on their vacancy signs / If there’s no one beside you / When your soul embarks / Then I’ll follow you into the dark.”

I think this song has become a classic, and rightfully so.  I mean, how wonderfully romantic/soulful/EVERYTHING is it to tell someone that you’d follow them into the dark.  That they wouldn’t be left alone.  EVER.  I think the simple melody underscores the sheer power of the lyrics.

2. “Anything For You” by Ludo

“I’d give up anything. / Anything for you. / I’d give it all. / All of this is true. / But the best story that I could ever tell / Is the one where I am growing old with you. / All I’ve ever wanted, see, was to tell you honestly / I’d do anything for you. / I’d do absolutely anything for you.”

This might be my favorite concept for a love song ever.  The person singing is describing all of these ridiculous, absurd scenarios, then saying that “the best story that I could ever tell is the one where I am growing old with you.”  You get the honesty of the feelings from the lies he tells.

AND, number one!

1. “Slow Hands” by Interpol

“But I am married to your charms and grace / I just go crazy like the good old days / You make me want to pick up a guitar / And celebrate the myriad ways that I love you.”

This quote is brilliant and wonderful and fantastic.  That last line.  How does it not conjure up warm, fuzzy feelings?  “Celebrate the myriad ways that I love you.”  I’m convinced that if you tell your significant other this, they will swoon.  Better if you serenade them (but only if you can sing).

And that’s that, lovelies.  Just a few thoughts for you all on this absurdly warm evening (for real, it’s November, weather).  Of course, I have a few closing statements:

  1. “Hello Sadness” by Los Campesinos! is available in the US tomorrow.  I highly recommend buying it, listening to it, and falling as in love with that band as I am.
  2. How excited are you for the Ha Ha Tonka/Tommy & the High Pilots concert in a couple of weeks?
  3. Have you submitted shirts for the Best Band Shirts contest?  IT’S GONNA BE GREAT. ENTER NOW.

Best Song Quotes Of Which There Are 13


Good Evening, Mr. Bond. I’ve been expecting you.

Sorry.  That just seemed appropriate.  Tonight’s edition of I-know-better-music-than-you will culminate in a list of some of my favorite song quotes.  Obviously, you are encouraged to tell me if you think I’m wrong, to tell me you agree with me, or to suggest some quotes that should have made it to the list.

Also, if you’re wondering why 13…why not 13?  Should you be engaging in such blatant numberism?  It’s not becoming.  Good day, madam.  I SAID GOOD DAY.

As always, viewer participation is advised.  And with that, I give you my top 13 song quotes*:

13. “In the Kingdom of Love / We’re all just fodder.” –“Kingdom of Spain” by The Decemberists

The only way you’ll understand this song is if you listen to it a minimum of two times.  I get something new out of it every time I listen to it, and this line always makes me nod wisely.

  12. “Maybe the lining of a winter’s coat / Mightn’t be the best place / To hide a summer’s secret” – “Knee Deep At ATP” by Los Campesinos!

I know I’ve mentioned this song several times, but that’s only because I love it so much and it speaks to me.  Also, he says “mightn’t.”  MIGHTN’T.  I challenge you not to swoon when you hear it.  And not to feel a bit depressed about love after this song.

11. “Coin-operated boy / With a pretty coin-operated voice / Saying that he loves me / That he’s thinking of me / Straight and to the point / That is why I want / A / Coin-operated boy.” – “Coin-Operated Boy” by The Dresden Dolls

This is another one of those songs that smacks you in the face.  At the beginning, you hear Amanda Palmer talking about the benefits of having a coin-operated boy.  Toward the end of the song, you realize she only wants one because she wants someone to love her and none of the real ones could do it right.  Yeah.  It’s a bit of a quirky downer.

10. “We were certainly uncertain / At least I’m pretty sure I am.” – “Missed the Boat” by Modest Mouse

This quote puts me in mind of Peter Pan.  Oh, the cleverness of Isaac Brock!  But really.  He’s a brilliant lyricist.  You can never go wrong listening to some Modest Mouse.  Or Ugly Casanova.  Or any projects he’s involved in.  You can assume his work will always be good, and you would always be right.

9. “It was love at second sight / I swear when I grow up / I won’t just buy you a rose / I will buy the flower shop / And you will never be lonely.” –“The Gambler” by Fun.

I think one of the reasons I like this song so much is that it’s talking about true love, but that it was “love at second sight.”  This entire song is lovely, and always makes me feel warm and romantically inclined.

8. “‘Cause in my head / There is a Greyhound station / Where I send my thoughts / To far off destinations / So they may have a chance / Of finding a place where they’re / Far more suited than here.” – “Soul Meets Body” by Death Cab For Cutie

This is such a wonderful mental image.  I don’t know that its place on this list really needs an explanation.  It’s just great.  Thank you Ben Gibbard.  Thank you.

7. “There’s a time to pray / And there’s a time to fight / Anything can be a weapon / If you’re holding it right.” – “Save Our City” by Ludo

This is one of those songs that gives me goosebumps every time I hear it.  And I immediately want to scream “VIVA LA REVOLUCION!” and then I want to lead a revolution.  It’s such a powerful statement, that “anything can be a weapon if you’re holding it right.”  It gives me chills.

6. “You’re a masterpiece of particles / The genuine article / I’ll grease the wheels / Come out and spin it / I’ll keep the speed / You’ll be the limit.” – “The Limit”  by Tommy & the High Pilots

Before I heard this song, I had no idea it was the song I was looking for.  “The Limit” is such a great song to dance to, and “you’re a masterpiece of particles” is one of the sweetest things ever.  Note to everyone: excellent pick-up line material.  But only if you have Tom Cantillon’s angelic voice AND looks.

5. “If you ain’t sweet to me / I’ll desert you in a heartbeat / If you don’t savor me / I’ll salt you, make you savory.” – “If” by Islands

This song never fails to amuse me and force me to clap my hands with glee over Nick Thorburn’s play on words.  Do you get it?  “If you don’t savor me, I’ll salt you, make you savory.”  DO YOU GET IT?

4. “Language is the liquid / That we’re all dissolved in / Great for solving problems / After it creates a problem.” – “Blame It On The Tetons”by Modest Mouse

This is another of those lines where Isaac Brock is singing truth.  I have read arguments from philosophers struggling to say precisely what Brock does, and they don’t possess a tenth of his eloquence or present the same impact.  Words matter.  Thanks to Brock, the lesson has been learned.

3. “Every saint has a past / Every sinner has a future.” – “Topeka” by Ludo

This line might be the most profound one on this list.  Have you ever read anything that gives you more hope?  No one is perfect and everyone has the chance to be better.  Tim Ferrell is a wonderful lyricist, and has great depth and insight that I wish Ludo would use more.

2. “I see signs now all the time / That you’re not dead, you’re sleeping / I believe in anything / That brings you back home to me.” –“Signs” by Bloc Party

You know that blank slate period when you don’t have a specific song in mind, but there’s one song that kind of hovers in the background?  That song for me is “Signs,” and it’s this one part.  The song is as melancholic as they come, and haunts me.  Which is appropriate considering the song.  Listening to it is really the only way I can do it justice.

And now.  The moment some of you probably scrolled to the bottom of the page for without reading anything else, the number one song quote on my list is:

1. “And how it whispered / ‘Oh, adhere to me’ / ‘For we are bound by symmetry.'” – “Red Right Ankle” by The Decemberists

For those of you who know me, or remember my post about the Decemberists where I showed you a picture of my tattoo, this is no surprise.  For the rest of you, try and wrap your brain around the significance of this quote.  “We are bound by symmetry.”  When does that not apply?  Since I heard this song and fully comprehended it, I’ve never been able to look at another person without seeing that they are a PERSON.  Gay, black, Mormon or any variation therein, everyone is someone.  Music is powerful.

Now, good friends.  That does it for the list.  Again, comment if you wish to exclaim over my brilliance or mock me mercilessly.

One more thing.  This week (Thursday), Ha Ha Tonka will be playing at Lindbergh’s in Springfield.  If you want more info, go here.  I’ll be talking about it more later this week.

Now.  Go drink a  martini and get ready for the week.

Tommy & the High Pilots merchandise.

Just wanted to remind everyone that I take my band stalking seriously.  Also, if anyone from The High Pilots reads this, I’m looking to get my fourth shirt next month.  Come prepared.

*Order/songs/quotes/anything else I want is subject to change at any time based on any flight of fancy or journey of whimsy I go on.