Death Cab For Cutie Play Doctor In New Video

Frontman Ben Gibbard is cut open with an X-acto knife, put together with glue and tape.

Death Cab for Cutie have had quite a year. Their fifth album, Transatlanticism, became a sleeper success. They joined forces with Bruce Springsteen, Pearl Jam and the Dave Matthews Band to encourage voter registration. And their music became the unofficial soundtrack to the sun-drenched melancholy of "The O.C."

"People were always curious how it was that 'The O.C.' was constantly name-dropping us," said Death Cab frontman/mastermind Ben Gibbard. "To be frank, it took us by surprise, just like everybody else. Now it's hard to tell which people are coming to the shows because they've heard us on a TV show" (see Death Cab For Cutie's 'Sound' Travels Farther Thanks To TV").

The band will cap off its big year by filming a video for "Title and Registration," the third single from Transatlanticism.

The clip will be directed by Patrick Daughters, the man behind the Yeah Yeah Yeahs' "Maps"; filming is scheduled to begin December 2 in Brooklyn, New York.

In the surreally surgical video, the other members of Death Cab — guitarist Chris Walla, bassist Nick Harmer and drummer Jason McGerr — operate on Gibbard, cutting his chest open with an X-Acto knife. Upon making their incisions, they discover that all of his organs are made of paper and bamboo, like deformed Chinese lanterns, and that he is in need of a heart transplant. With the help of some safety scissors, glue and Scotch tape, they manage to replace his tattered paper heart with a vibrantly beating new one.

It's the final video Death Cab will make for Seattle indie label Barsuk, as they recently signed with Atlantic Records. But Barsuk will still get to release a live EP recorded on the band's spring tour. Though a track list and title have not yet been determined, the EP is due in stores on January 25.

And it's not the only Death Cab-related EP expected in 2005. On February 9, Sub Pop Records will release "We Will Become Silhouettes," the third single from Gibbard's side project, the Postal Service (see "Postal Service Album Keeps On Delivering"). And this one even has a track list: a brand-new Postal Service song, "Be Still My Heart," plus remixes by Matthew Dear and Styrofoam.

But when the Postal Service EP hits shelves, don't expect members of Death Cab to be first in line at the record store. They're scheduled to hit the studio in February to begin sessions on a new album. At the moment, there's no word on whether or not we'll see a full-length LP in 2005.