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The Postal Service

Ben Gibbard (left) and Jimmy Tamborello
Background information
Origin Los Angeles, California, United States
Genres Synth pop, electropop, electronica
Years active 2001–2005 (hiatus)
Labels Sub Pop
Associated acts Dntel
Death Cab for Cutie
Figurine
Headset
Website Official website
Members
Ben Gibbard
Jimmy Tamborello

The Postal Service is an American electronic indie pop band composed of vocalist Ben Gibbard of Death Cab for Cutie and producer Jimmy Tamborello of Dntel, Headset and Figurine.

Contents

History

Background

The group formed after Gibbard contributed vocals for a song called "(This Is) The Dream of Evan and Chan" from Dntel's album Life Is Full of Possibilities. The song sparked an EP of remixes by other artists, such as Lali Puna, The Flaming Lips, Safety Scissors, Barbara Morgenstern and Superpitcher, and was so well received that the two artists decided that further collaboration was in order.

The band's name was chosen due to the way in which it produced its songs. Tamborello wrote and performed instrumental tracks and then sent the DATs to Gibbard, who edited the song as he saw fit (adding his vocals along the way), sending them back to Tamborello via the United States Postal Service.

Give Up

The band's debut album, Give Up, was released on February 18, 2003. Several songs on the album feature guest vocals from Jenny Lewis, the solo artist and lead singer of Rilo Kiley, as well as vocals from indie rock musician Jen Wood. Dntel and Chris Walla produced the album.[1] Walla played the guitar and piano on several tracks. Though both artists' main bands were still active at the time, The Postal Service supported the album with a successful concert tour and has stated its intention to tour again in the future. The album was the Sub Pop label's most successful release since Nirvana's debut album Bleach.[2] The album's most well-known single was "Such Great Heights", which was featured in advertisements for UPS and Kaiser Permanente. The song was a cover by Iron and Wine and was featured on the soundtrack for the film Garden State, as well as a commercial for M&M's. It was later covered by Amanda Palmer, Ben Folds, Brack Cantrell, Confide, and The Shins. The song "We Will Become Silhouettes" was featured in the trailer for the movie, Funny People.

In August 2003, the United States Postal Service sent the band a cease and desist letter, citing its trademark on the phrase "postal service". After negotiations, the USPS relented, allowing the band use of the trademark in exchange for promotional efforts on behalf of the USPS and a performance at its annual National Executive Conference.[3] Additionally, at one point the USPS website sold the band's CDs.[4] In 2007, "Such Great Heights" appeared in the background of the "Whiteboard" advertising campaign for one of the federal establishment's private competitors, the United Parcel Service.[5]

In January 2006, Josh Melnick and Xander Charity, who had produced the "Such Great Heights" music video, created a commercial for Apple Computer (now Apple Inc.) and Intel using similar footage.[6] While strikingly similar to the music video, the commercial did not contain imagery of the band or a recording of its music. On January 19, 2006, Gibbard stated on the band's website, "It has recently come to our attention that Apple Computers' new television commercial for the Intel chip features a shot-for-shot recreation of our video for 'Such Great Heights' made by the same filmmakers responsible for the original. We did not approve this commercialization and are extremely disappointed with both parties that this was executed without our consultation or consent." The band did not take legal action against Apple or the filmmakers.

Second album

In August 2006, a purported demo from a new Postal Service album, The Importance of Being, appeared on the Internet. Tamborello dispelled rumors about the song having anything to do with Postal Service.[7]

On June 22, 2007, it was revealed that The Postal Service had begun work on a new album, though the specifics of the release date were ambiguous. Some say this album was written for Christopher Mulligan's dog George Batty who was a great fan of the band. Gibbard stated, "We're slowly starting. We're crawling right now, and whether that crawl turns into a walk remains to be seen. But we'll know more towards the end of the year. I've just been touring so much and trying to find time to make it happen and make our schedules line up." Tamborello added, "We're talking about wanting to finish an album by sometime next year, because we have to work with Death Cab's schedule and stuff. I definitely want to do another one."[8]

On February 29, 2008, Spinner released an article stating that The Postal Service may not release a new album. Ben Gibbard stated, "Jimmy and I are still throwing ideas back and forth, but as time goes on, we find ourselves busy with our own music. ... We have some stuff, but it's been difficult to find the time and the drive to do the record. I'd love to finish it at some point and maybe even do some performances. If it's meant to be, it's meant to be."[9]

In May 2008, Gibbard stated that he and Tamborello were unlikely to release another album "before the end of the decade."[10]

In a December 2008 interview with Rolling Stone, Gibbard laughed off suggestions The Postal Service's long overdue follow-up to their 2003 hit Give Up is an indie version of Guns N' Roses' Chinese Democracy. Gibbard said that both he and Tamborello do not see it as a priority in light of their main projects, Death Cab for Cutie and Dntel. He said, "The anticipation of the second record has been a far bigger deal for everybody except the two of us... I don't know about it being the indie-rock Chinese Democracy, but now that Chinese Democracy has come out, I guess it just becomes the second Postal Service record that will never come out. There never really was a plan to do a second album. We work from time to time together but we have other things that take up all of our time."[11]

On December 9th, 2009, rollingstone.com named The Postal Service song, "Such Great Heights", the 27th best song of the decade.

Discography

Studio albums

Year Album details Peak chart positions
US US Elec US Heat US Indie
2003 Give Up
  • First studio album
  • Release date: February 18, 2003
  • Label: Sub Pop
114 1 1 3

Singles

Year Single Peak chart positions Album
US US Dance CAN
2003 "Such Great Heights" Give Up
"The District Sleeps Alone Tonight" 3
2005 "We Will Become Silhouettes" 82 1 7
"—" denotes releases that did not chart

Other appearances

  • Split 7" with Coldplay and The Heavenly States (2003) - DIW (Devil In The Woods) Magazine 5.1 DIW #58, Edition of 713
  • Be Still My Heart (Nobody Remix) - Single (2005)
    • "Be Still My Heart (Nobody Remix)" – 3:53
  • Open Season (2006) - Feist
    • "Mushaboom (Postal Service Remix)" – 3:37
  • I'm a Realist EP (2008) - The Cribs
    • "I'm a Realist (The Postal Service Remix)" – 3:03

Videography

References

  1. ^ Hipsterwave.com entry on The Postal Service
  2. ^ "Postal Service's Give Up Goes Gold, iTunes Exclusive, And More!". Sub Pop. 2005-02-18. http://www.subpop.com/scripts/main/news.php?table=news&display_type=news_full&id=400. Retrieved 2005-02-18. 
  3. ^ Locklear, Fred (2004-06-11). "Postal Service delivers, and now rocks". Ars Technica. http://arstechnica.com/news.ars/post/20041106-4376.html. Retrieved 2004-06-11. 
  4. ^ "Product: Postal Service “Such Great Heights” EP". United States Postal Service. https://shop.usps.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ProductDisplay?catalogId=10001&storeId=10052&productId=10006172&langId=-1&parent_category_rn=10000001&top_category=10000001&categoryId=10000015&top=&currentPage=0&sort=&viewAll=Y&rn=CategoriesDisplay&WT.ac=10006172. Retrieved 2009-09-13. 
  5. ^ "Postal Service's music promoting UPS' business". The State. 2007-01-19. 
  6. ^ "Apple - Intel Chip Switch". YouTube. 2008-01-04. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ixl06h9RbBw. Retrieved 2008-04-27. 
  7. ^ Montgomery, James (2006-09-19). "'Importance Of Being' Honest: Who Is Pretending To Be Postal Service?". MTV. http://www.mtv.com/#/news/articles/1541239/20060919/story.jhtml. Retrieved 2006-11-27. 
  8. ^ Montgomery, James (2006-06-22). "Postal Service Prepping Next Delivery: Second LP". MTV. http://www.mtv.com/news/articles/1534893/20060622/postal_service.jhtml. Retrieved 2008-01-12. 
  9. ^ Luerssen, John D. (2008-02-29). "Postal Service Not Delivering New Album Anytime Soon". Spinner. http://www.spinner.com/2008/02/29/postal-service-not-delivering-new-album-anytime-soon/. Retrieved 2008-02-29. 
  10. ^ Teletext (2008-05-08). "Postal Service shuts?". Teletext. http://www.teletext.co.uk/planetsound/news/0682862ff3c2f6e5513e4287553a417b/Postal+Service+shuts.aspx. Retrieved 2008-05-08. 
  11. ^ ""Death Cab’s Ben Gibbard Talks “Something About Airplanes,” Obama, The Postal Service"". http://www.rollingstone.com/rockdaily/index.php/2008/12/11/death-cabs-ben-gibbard-talks-something-about-airplanes-obama-the-postal-service/. 

External links


Quotes

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

The members of The Postal Service

The Postal Service is an American electronic indie pop band comprised of Ben Gibbard of Death Cab for Cutie and producer Jimmy Tamborello of Dntel, Headset and Figurine.

Songs

  • I am thinking it's a sign that the freckles
    In our eyes are mirror images and when
    We kiss they're perfectly aligned
    And I have to speculate that God himself
    Did make us into corresponding shapes like
    Puzzle pieces from the clay
    • "Such Great Heights"
  • Last week I had the strangest dream
    Where everything was exactly how it seemed
    Where there was never any mystery of who shot John F. Kennedy
    It was just a man with something to prove
    Slightly bored and severely confused
    He steadied his rifle with his target in the center
    And became famous on that day in November
    • "Sleeping In"
  • Again last night I had that strange dream
    Where everything was exactly how it seemed
    Where concerns about the world getting warmer
    The people thought they were just being rewarded
    For treating others as they'd like to be treated
    For obeying stop signs and curing diseases
    For mailing letters with the address of the sender
    Now we can swim any day in November
    • "Sleeping In"
  • I've got a cupboard with cans of food, filtered water,
    And pictures of you and i'm not coming out
    Until this is all over
    And i'm looking through the glass where the light bends
    At the cracks
    And i'm screaming at the top of my lungs pretending
    The echoes belong to someone
    Someone i used to know
    • "We Will Become Silhouettes"
  • I wanted to walk throught the empty streets and feel something
    constant under my feet but all the news reports recommended
    that I stay indoors. Because the air outside will make our cells divide
    at an alarming rate, until our shelves simply cannot hold
    all our insides in and that's when we'll explode;
    And it won't be a pretty sight.
    • "We Will Become Silhouettes"
  • This place is a prison
    And these people aren't your friends
    Inhaling thrills through $20 bills
    And the tumblers are drained and then flooded again
    And again
    • "This Place is a Prison"

External links

Wikipedia
Wikipedia has an article about:

Simple English

The Postal Service
File:PostalService color300dpi by Brian
Background information
Origin Los Angeles, California, United States
Genres Indie pop
Electropop
Electronica
Years active 2001–2005 (hiatus)
Labels Sub Pop
Associated acts Dntel
Death Cab for Cutie
Figurine
Website Official website
Members
Ben Gibbard
Jimmy Tamborello

The Postal Service is a music group. Their songs include "This Place Is A Prison" from their album "Give Up".

Other websites

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