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Death Cab for Cutie Stay Clever on 'Plans'

Death Cab for Cutie: bassist Nick Harmer; singer Ben Gibbard; drummer Jason McGerr; and Chris Walla (guitar/keyboards).
Death Cab for Cutie: bassist Nick Harmer; singer Ben Gibbard; drummer Jason McGerr; and Chris Walla (guitar/keyboards).
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The Bellingham, Wash., quartet Death Cab For Cutie are poised to make the leap from indie-rock buzz band to a wider audience. They've just released their fifth album, Plans, to critical and popular acclaim.

That acclaim was entirely necessary, if only to keep Plans from representing a drop-off from the group's Transatlanticism, which became a phenomenon in 2004 -- and put the group's name in the mouths of characters on TV's The OC, among other places.

The new album has hints of a new maturity, brought on either by the group's age (singer Ben Gibbard is now approaching 30) or perhaps by the stability from retaining drummer Jason McGerr, who played on Transatlanticism.

And despite the group's label change -- Plans is out on Atlantic; the band had previously been on Seattle's Barsuk Records -- two things remain the same: Gibbard still writes clever, catchy songs; and guitarist Chris Walla lends just the write tone in his production work.

This feature originally aired on Oct. 21, 2005.

Copyright 2005 XPN

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David Dye is a longtime Philadelphia radio personality whose music enthusiasm has captivated listeners of World Cafe® since 1991. World Cafe is produced by WXPN, the public radio service of the University of Pennsylvania.
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