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Death Cab for Cutie sees itself as just another guitar band, but you might disagree

"Well, I know that, pound for pound, there are probably more melodies in what we're doing than in a lot of what I hear on the radio," he says. "Like, there are a lot of different instruments that carry melodies; instead of sort of rhythm-guitar parts and big clunky-chorded piano parts or whatever, everything has a melody."

More than that, I think to myself, back in rock-philosophy mode, it's the way songwriter Gibbard and producer Walla's particular skills intertwine that lends the music they make together its special signature -- a sort of scruffy-slouch version of Lennon/McCartney, where each guy's strengths fit right in with the other's, and who does what becomes as tricky to tell for us as it is for them. (By coincidence, the band took its name from a song the Bonzo Dog Band performed in the Beatles' film Magical Mystery Tour.)

"It gets to the point where it's really hard to keep track of sounds and performances and songs," Walla says, maybe starting to approach the wavelength I'm trying to invite them to, "to keep them all straight. That's just how it's been so far." When the confusion sounds this good, who cares if they ever figure it out?

Death Cab for Cutie: A rare indie band that's been able to develop its own sonic vocabulary.
Death Cab for Cutie: A rare indie band that's been able to develop its own sonic vocabulary.

Details

scheduled to perform on Saturday, March 2, with Dismemberment Plan, and Aveo. Showtime is 8 p.m.
Nita's Hideaway in Tempe

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