Death Cab for Cutie announces new North American tour — complete with an orchestra

Share this:

If you wondered how Death Cab for Cutie was going to replicate the swelling strings found on its 2011 release Codes and Keys, here’s your answer: They’re bringing friends along on their just-announced tour. Lots of them.

Magik*Magik Orchestra, the San Francisco-based group that contributed all of the string arrangements for the album, will join Death Cab on a series of North American dates beginning in April. (The orchestra also appeared on the band’s VH1 “Storytellers” special last year.) Opening acts will include Youth Lagoon, beginning in late April. The tour’s initial warm-up group hasn’t been announced just yet.

The well-received Codes and Keys, Death Cab’s first new album since the dark and stormy Narrow Stairs in 2008, debuted at No. 3 last year on the Billboard charts.

Here’s a look back at our recent thoughts on Death Cab for Cutie. Click through the titles for complete reviews …

DEATH CAB FOR CUTIE – CODES AND KEYS (2011): At last, the return of that odd conundrum called Death Cab for Cutie, a band whose spit-take name can’t begin to hint at the deep musical complexities tucked away inside. Initial reports had the group, working now with producer Alan Moulder, shifting into more keyboard-driven fare — with front man Ben Gibbard reportedly even likening the new project to Brian Eno’s Another Green World. The results, while touched by electronica, didn’t stray from their core sound so much as build on it: From “You Are a Tourist,” which quickly shucks an initial melancholy in favor of a snappy beat and (even a bigger surprise, really) an insistently hopeful lyric; to the sunny popcraft of “Monday Morning” and “Underneath the Sycamore,” this was the sound of a band determined to grow with their history — not past it.

ONE TRACK MIND: DEATH CAB FOR CUTIE, “SUMMER SKIN” (2005): A remarkably intuitive song, full of very adult emotion and haunting insight, from a band with such a frankly ridiculous name. “Summer Skin,” in fact, might just be all the more powerful for the lowered expectations that come from a group actually called Death Cab for Cutie. The narrative begins as a series of summertime’s childhood delights are recalled through Ben Gibbard’s delicately constructed lyrics. But from those stimulating, if safe, environs — peeling sunburns, squeaky swings, tall grass and friendship — grows a complex realization about the passage of time, and the changing of hearts over that time. There is, by the track’s end, a sweetly recalled memory, one of timeless innocence, but also a mature melancholy. This is a story told from an adult vista. “Summer Skin” is keenly aware that seasons change. It’s a song about youth, but really it’s all about growing up.

DEATH CAB FOR CUTIE – TRANSATLANTICISM (2003): There are moments when bands turn a corner, where everything becomes a bit more tightened up, stronger, more prominent. Transatlanticism was that album for Death Cab For Cutie. The corner this album turned for them took them from simply being an indie band to being something to contend with and watch. There were glimmers of this on their previous album, The Photo Booth, where bits of really thoughtful, meaningful guitar riffs would emerge from their signature chiming motifs — and where Ben Gibbard’s awkwardly insightful, heart-on-sleeves lyrics would land a significant punch without sounding overly, self-consciously melodramatic.

[amazon_enhanced asin=”B004OAPF6Q” price=”All” background_color=”FFFFFF” link_color=”000000″ text_color=”0000FF” /] [amazon_enhanced asin=”B0017I1RH4″ price=”All” background_color=”FFFFFF” link_color=”000000″ text_color=”0000FF” /] [amazon_enhanced asin=”B0009VXBAQ” price=”All” background_color=”FFFFFF” link_color=”000000″ text_color=”0000FF” /] [amazon_enhanced asin=”B000AADYRQ” price=”All” background_color=”FFFFFF” link_color=”000000″ text_color=”0000FF” /] [amazon_enhanced asin=”B00007L7ET” price=”All” background_color=”FFFFFF” link_color=”000000″ text_color=”0000FF” /]

Today’s announced tour dates for Death Cab For Cutie with Magik*Magik Orchestra:

April 10: Denver, Colo. (Ellie Caulkins Opera House)
April 11: Omaha, Neb. (Music Hall)
April 13: Louisville, Ky. (Louisville Palace)
April 14: Grand Rapids, Mich. (Calvin College)
April 15: Milwaukee, Wis. (Riverside Theatre)
April 16: Chicago, Ill. (Chicago Theatre)
April 19: Toronto, Ontario (Massey Hall)
April 20: Montreal, Quebec (Eglise St-Jean Baptiste)
April 21: Boston, Mass. (Wang Theatre)
April 22: Hartford, Conn. (The Bushnell)
April 24: New Brunswick, N.J. (State Theatre)
April 25: Philadelphia, Pa. (Tower Theatre)
April 27: New York, N.Y. (Beacon Theatre)
April 30: Washington, DC (Strathmore)
May 1: Knoxville, Tenn. (Tennessee Theatre)
May 3: Austin, Texas (ACL Live)
May 4: Dallas, Texas (McFarlin Auditorium)
May 6: Mesa, Ariz. (Mesa Arts Center)
May 7: Los Angeles, Calif. (Disney Hall)
May 9: Oakland, Calif. (Fox Theater; seated show)
May 13: Seattle, Wash. (Paramount Theatre)

Something Else!

Something Else!

The Something Else! webzine, an accredited Google News affiliate, has been featured in The New York Times and's A Blog Supreme, while our writers have also been published by USA Today, and, among others. Contact Something Else! at
Something Else!
Share this: