Thursday, October 1, 2009

Death Cab for Cutie - Dream Scream (Daniel Johnston Cover)

I've been a fan of Death Cab since I was in high school and though their newer records grab my attention less and less, I will always have a soft spot in my heart for them. Ben Gibbard is an incredible songwriter with a unique voice and writes fantastic lyrics and I think that's something that will never really change. One thing that I've always found appealing about them (and Gibbard when performing solo) is their affinity for covers. I have numerous rarities and b-sides of them covering everything from John Vanderslice to The Ocean Blue to Darlene Love's classic, Phil Spector produced, "Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)." The latter, being one of the greatest Christmas songs ever written.

One of my favorites though, is their cover of this Daniel Johnston song "Dream Scream." Johnston is the epitome of "cult musician," shrouded in personal problems and mystery, but loved for his simple, incredibly unique songwriting style. He did a lot with very little and figured out cool ways to double track on very simple recording devices. I could go on about his influence, but you should just watch the documentary about his life entitled
The Devil and Daniel Johnston
. It's a pretty heartbreaking but uplifting story.

That aside, Death Cab really brings it on this lush, sprawling rendition of a song about a girl. Gibbard's voice sounds sad and lonely and accurately portrays the protagonist, making Johnston's pain his own.

Death Cab for Cutie - Dream Scream

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