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Death Cab for Cutie Uncovers ‘Codes and Keys’ in the Emerald City

Death Cab for Cutie had long said that they want to revisit their roots through their next album, even though they are not entirely sure where their actual home is. What the band wanted to convey through their new album ‘Codes and Keys’ was the thought that home could be the physical place where we live, or the space in between our ears or anything else. After all, every person is such a large collection of ‘memories’ that a connection with the past can be made every second and hence, the band’s concept of the home comes into play.

So if we are so connected with our past and the term ‘home,’ why is it that we often feel nothing of this kind and are more occupied by the sense of disjunction? Death Cab for Cutie intends to answer that with their latest 11-song collection. The band has already shed some light on this topic through the first two songs ‘Home Is a Fire’ and ‘You Are a Tourist,’ and more are expected to be unveiled in the near future.

Even though the band actually originated in Bellingham, they have always treated Seattle as their spiritual hometown. So it made sense when DCFC surprised their fans yesterday at the Showbox SoDo to give them the first taste of their latest creation.

The band chose the Seattle residents as inaugural ‘Codes and Keys’ listeners, and in return, they overlooked the quartet’s occasional screw-ups.

There was another reason why they picked Seattle over all the other venues where they could have done the same thing. DCFC was performing together after a hiatus of nearly two years. So instead of performing in front of a hostile audience, it was decided to go for the place whose residents were most likely to not give them grief for any possible mistakes. As expected, the alternative group did make a few mistakes and tried out a bunch of untested new stuff, but it all added to the concert’s loose and casual theme.

They opened up with some of their older material including “New Year,” “Cath,” “Crooked Teeth” and “Photobooth,” before delving into the fresh ones “Some Boys” and the ‘Codes and Keys’ title song.

Then they once again took a trip down memory lane by delving into “Long Division,” “Grapevine Fires,” “I Will Possess Your Heart” and a solo performance of “I Will Follow You into the Dark” by Ben Gibbard. These were followed by “You Are a Tourist” and “Underneath the Sycamore.” The band then kept on switching between old and new songs, showing some signs of rustiness in between, although they were all taken pleasantly by the DCFC enthusiasts in attendance.


While it clearly wasn’t the most perfectly executed stage outing for Death Cab for Cutie, it was more about the spirit than anything else. The band chose the Seattle residents as inaugural ‘Codes and Keys’ listeners, and in return, they overlooked the quartet’s occasional screw-ups.

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    Jeff Bachmeier is owner of, an online music and online radio station network providing live streaming Internet Radio channels with music from the 50’s thru Today. Users can also choose to create their own customized on demand playlist through their own social media profile.

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