Death Cab for Cutie will mark their 20th anniversary this week with the special release of never-before-heard audio captured at their very first live performance in their hometown of Bellingham, WA.
“FIRST SHOW, ACOUSTIC AT THE PACER HOUSE, BELLINGHAM WA. 11/22/97” will be available exclusively via Bandcamp starting today, Wednesday, November 22nd; downloads begin at $4 with a portion of all proceeds benefitting Seattle’s The Aurora Commons.
In a statement from Death Cab for Cutie’s frontman, Benjamin Gibbard says,
This is a recording of the first ever Death Cab For Cutie show. It was made by our friend Trevor Adams on his dictaphone at The Pacer House in Bellingham, Washington on November 22, 1997. Sprawled across couches and sitting cross-legged on the floor were 25 of our closest friends and fellow musicians. Everyone played acoustic or semi-acoustic with no PA. Trevor made and passed bowl after bowl of microwave popcorn because he was (and Iassume still is) a great host.
Chris Walla and I had just finished the You Can Play These Songs With Chords cassette and we thought it would be fun to play a few shows around Bellingham to celebrate the release. We recruited Nick Harmer to play bass and Walla’s childhood friend Nathan Good to play drums. None of us thought we were starting a band nor did our ambitions for DCFC extend very far past this particular evening. We simply thought it would be fun to play these songs for our friends before moving on to other things.
I remain forever grateful to Trevor for inviting us to play in his living room 20 years ago today. It was one of the greatest nights of my life at the time and its significance has only grown since.
Currently featuring the core membership of Ben Gibbard, Nick Harmer, and drummer Jason McGerr, Death Cab for Cutie’s eighth studio album, “KINTSUGI” made a remarkable chart debut upon its March 2015 release, debuting at #1 on Billboard’s “Top Alternative Albums” and “Top Rock Albums” charts, as well as #8 on the overall SoundScan/Billboard 200. Hailed by Magnet as perhaps “the best record of (Death Cab For Cuties’s) 17-year career,” the album was honored with a “Best Rock Album” nomination for the 58th Annual GRAMMY® Awards – the iconic band’s eighth overall nod. Benjamin Gibbard also released his cover album of Teenage Fanclub's 1991 seminal album Bandwagonesque earlier this year via Canvasback Music/Turntable Kitchen. Gibbard's take on Bandwagonesque, hailed by Rolling Stone as “what a good covers album should be: deferential, yet personal” was recorded for release as part of Turntable Kitchen’s “SOUNDS DELICIOUS” vinyl subscription club, offering exclusive full-length cover albums on limited edition vinyl. The vinyl also includes an exclusive bonus 7" vinyl including covers of Alex Chilton's "Free Again" and Beat Happenings' "Bad Seeds,” both of which were covered by Teenage Fanclub on a 7” vinyl released shortly after their release of Bandwagonesque.
Aurora Commons is a welcoming space for our unhoused neighbors to rest, prepare a meal, connect to resources and collectively create a healthy and vibrant community. We seek to be a space for authenticity and conversation, to bring the wider community to the table to learn from one another, to be transformed by one another, and to embrace one another. We dive into the messiness of what the day brings, we make food, share the table, grieve with one another and celebrate together. The Commons' desire is to be a space where hope overrides fear, where community interrupts isolation, and dignity is offered to all.