Death Cab frontman brings solo side project to Seattle gigs

  • By Andy Rathbun Herald Writer
  • Thursday, November 15, 2012 8:28am
  • LifeGo-See-Do

Ben Gibbard has been inching his way into icon territory for years now.

As the frontman for Death Cab for Cutie, he not only helped bring “emo” — or whatever you want to call it — into the mainstream, but he did it without losing too much credibility from the hipster set that helped him establish his name.

Death Cab, which formed in Bellingham, has gone on to great success, topping the Billboard 200, earning a Grammy nomination and winning a fervent following.

But that hasn’t been enough for Gibbard, a prolific songwriter known for his dabbling. Between Death Cab albums, he’s invariably working on some other project, such as the Postal Service’s single album, “Give Up,” which helped push electro-pop back into the mainstream in 2003, and has become a modern-day classic.

Last month, Gibbard added another credit to his name, releasing his first album of solo material, the charming and tuneful “Former Lives.”

As he tours behind that record, he’ll make a stop in Seattle for two sold-out shows this weekend. He plays the Showbox at the Market at 7 tonight, and then will hit Washington Hall for a benefit show at 7 p.m. Saturday, raising money for the youth literary project 826 Valencia.

Both shows are sold out, but tickets can be found at significant mark-ups at stubhub.com.

The Showbox at the Market will welcome another local act at 8 p.m. Saturday, when Minus the Bear headlines the club.

The Seattle-based group released its fifth album, “Infinity Overhead,” earlier this year. That album marked the group’s best chart position ever, as it debuted at No. 31 on the Billboard 200.

The five-piece band will be joined by other indie rock acts for its hometown show. Cursive and Girl in a Coma will open the night.

Tickets are $25 at showboxonline.com or 888-929-7849.

Those local bands aside, some other small market shows are coming to the Seattle area.

The bristly British band Asking Alexandria will headline Showbox Sodo, as the Outbreak Tour comes to the area at 5 p.m. Tuesday. Opening acts include As I Lay Dying, Suicide Silence and more.

Asking Alexandria has been building a reputation outside the mainstream for its spiky, post-hardcore music. Despite the fact it hasn’t had a hit single, it saw its most recent studio album, “Reckless and Relentless,” reach No. 9 on the Billboard 200.

The group supposedly is working on its third album, so fans shouldn’t be surprised if the group road-tests a few new tracks during their stop in Seattle.

Tickets are $28 at showboxonline.com or 888-929-7849.

Finally, singer-songwriter Rachael Yamagata will play the Tractor Tavern at 6:30 p.m. tonight.

Yamagata was billed as a next-big-thing about 2005, when her single “Worn Me Down” made a minor mark on the charts.

She has since receded into being more of a niche artist, however, abandoning the major labels to release her most recent album, 2011’s “Chesapeake.”

Tickets are $16 at 866-468-7623 or www.ticketweb.com.

Andy Rathbun: arathbun@heraldnet.com.

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