True Grit

With its latest album, Death Cab for Cutie reclaims the word "indie"

Much of the credit goes to Barsuk, which has developed into an impressive entity in its own right. Rosenfeld insists on sharing credit with his label partners and the bands on the roster. He is modest when he says, via phone from a New York taxicab, that "the growth of the label was pretty steady and natural," because actually the enormous success has happened in less than half a decade. This has a lot to do with the label's attention to details like album artwork and new technology -- the new DCFC is the first indie record to be released in Super Audio format -- and an unparalleled respect for its bands. When talking about Death Cab, Rosenfeld uses the tone of someone who seems perpetually in awe of the group's output. Much like when speaking with Gibbard, it's hard not to perceive him as just a nice guy, rather than someone interested in moving units.

You'd think they'd be a little happier, 
considering they just cracked 
Billboard's Top 100.
You'd think they'd be a little happier, considering they just cracked Billboard's Top 100.

But aren't nice guys supposed to finish last in this cutthroat industry? Not anymore. Poor choices, unfair business practices, and increasingly bland output from the majors have inspired fans and artists to look elsewhere for their music needs. The fat cats realize this, and probably aren't very happy about it (which is why it comes as no surprise that they resorted to suing music file-sharers recently). Unfortunately for the major labels, bands like Death Cab are rendering them useless. We have the facts, and we're voting yes to nice guys finishing first.

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