Thursday, October 27, 2005

Death Cab For Cutie Squash the Beef

First off, I apologize that all of my posts have been hopelessly outdated lately. That said, some news from a couple of weeks ago:

X96 got their little feelings hurt the other day when Death Cab came to town. The station started promoting an in-studio performance at AirWaves by the band and they were going to invite fans to come down and see it. I found this to be a bit strange because I have never heard a Death Cab song on X96.

You're a Boner!

Then all of the sudden I started hearing commercials on The End advertising a performance in their studio. Hmm, both stations? What's up with that? Apparently, Death Cab ditched their X96 to play at The End. X96 was so mad that they nominated DCFC to be "the boner of the week:"

"Death Cab For Cutie": The band "Death Cab For Cuties" was supposed to come into Airwaves to play a song or two for some X96 fans. When they arrived, they decided that they didn't want any of the fans there. When asked if they could play in a studio with a window, they refused. When asked if they could play in a studio without any windows, they refused. Finally they decided that they just weren't going to play, but told Todd Nukem to lie to the fans and tell them that one of the band members wasn't feeling well. Apparently realizing their mistake, they visited another radio station and played for a live audience.
No, You're the Boner!

DCFC guitarist Chris Walla [in picture, left of guy with ugly hair] didn't think that X96 was telling the whole story. Here's what he posted to X96's website:

This is Chris from Death Cab for Cutie. I don't particularly want to argue or be a very large part of this conversation, but clearly we've done some irreparable damage to our relationship with KXRK, and with a few of our fans, and some statement should be made on our behalf. I always prefer that such statements are personal, and not handed down from management or wherever, so here it is.

It's important to note that, since our first show in November of 1997, we have canceled exactly three scheduled engagements. One was in 1999 when Ben was violently ill with heat stroke in Austin. Another was in Houston last year when the electricity went out at the venue, and the roof was leaking onto the stage. The third cancelation was last week, at KXRK in Salt Lake City.

It's simply not in our nature to walk out on an obligation without reason - this should be obvious from our track record. We love performing, we enjoy talking with our fans, and we still freak out when we get to meet our favorite bands.

There are a few realities, as a successful-bordering-on-famous band, that we're having to learn. We've always prided ourselves on our approachability, but as the lights get brighter it becomes more difficult, and more uncomfortable, to negotiate uncontrolled situations. We've gotten stuck a few times now doing promotional things that went haywire; appearances that have gotten uncomfortable or even ugly.

The point of all this is that we'll do just about anything if we have all the information, if we know what we're getting ourselves into. We, by way of management and our label, agreed to a live, in-studio performance at KXRK. We did not agree to put on a show in the lobby of an office building. Those two things are not the same. The station told all its listeners, all of you, to come see a performance that we neither agreed to nor were we ready for. I apologize to anyone who made the trek to the station to see us play, and was disappointed by our no show. You were given false information. And really, all the station had to do to make it seamless was to let us know the score - we'd have brought different instruments; our engineer would have come along; we would have brought the silver Sharpies to sign our black record for you; I'd have made a concerted effort to brush my teeth. And most importantly, we'd have known we were going to meet you. It's like when your roommate throws a party when you thought it was going to be a nice, quiet evening at home. We simply weren't prepared.

By contrast, our engagement at the other station in town was spotless. They were clear, detailed and professional in their communication with us, and we knew exactly what to expect. It wasn't a public performance; there was no PA, and therefore, no need to have our engineer along.

Whatever you end up thinking about us as a result of all this is ultimately alright (actually, I encourage the homophobes to stay away, please). Just know - this goes for Todd Newcomb, as well as all the fans - that, in the course of nearly six hundred shows, a hundred radio performances and fifteen van tours, we've only bailed two other times: Once for illness and once for a power outage. Doesn't that imply that something actually went wrong?
Well, whoever was at fault, both parties have now kissed up made up. X96 did an on-air interview with Chris Walla and Radio From Hell team even rescinded their boner nomination. How sweet. For being the bad guys, I think DCFC ended up winning the celebrity battle, since now X96 is actually playing their music.

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