Song of the Day: Death Cab For Cutie — 405

Song of The Day / December 15, 2014

The Week’s Theme

“Death Cab For Cutie: The Barsuk Era”
This week marks the release of several reissues from Death Cab For Cutie’s tenure over at Barsuk Records. We’re here to replay some of our favorite tracks from them.

It’s Monday, it will be Monday, or it was recently Monday, and probably the biggest recollection during that day of the week was probably the amount of time you spent in traffic trying to get to work, only to get to work and then insert that experience into your conversations with co-workers, detailing what you listened to, the extra routes you took to get there, and the insanity you almost pleaded.

As one of the few writers here on this site that hail from Southern California, this is a common occurrence, as I have to deal with the worst and most congested freeway in the continental United States: the 405. Sure, I’ve found alternative routes in my existence that have cut down on ride time, but the escape from the 405 is difficult considering the places you have to get to from my own destination, and no matter which direction you take, the 405 is bound to come up in conversation, even if it’s how you “avoided” it.

How Ben Gibbard and Co. from Death Cab For Cutie managed to make a song directly about the freeway from hell is beyond my understanding, but given the lyrical detail such as “Misguided by the 405 ’cause it lead me to an alcoholic summer,” it all makes sense, figuratively and literally speaking. Gibbard turns the 405 into a delusional road trip, turning a freeway into what most people want to escape from into one that is the escape, stuck in the traffic trance, remembering moments whose only worth is remembering them, not reliving them. The person implied in the song is unnamed and unisex, but that doesn’t take away from the transportive effects that Gibbard so eloquently achieves in this track and in other destination-related tracks from the album We Have the Facts and We’re Voting Yes.

Oh, and the music itself is nice to drive to, especially on the 405.

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David Fisch
David Fisch is a Partner and Producer at LA Music Blog and a contributor to Modern Vinyl. When he isn't spending most of his time listening to his latest vinyl pick-up or discovering new music on streaming services, he is a filmmaker, photographer, and podcast host.

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