Break out the cupcakes and grab some novelty candles, because Wake-Up Video is celebrating another birthday. Today's honoree is Ben Gibbard, who was born August 11, 1976. Gibbard is best known as the frontman for Death Cab for Cutie, the strangely-named indie rock band he helped found outside of Seattle in 1997. In the post-grunge era, Gibbard and his fellow Death Cab cohorts tapped into a softer, more clear-eyed vein that borrowed a bit from first-generation emo and a bit from R.E.M.'s version of jangly arena rock. Since then, they've gone from tiny little pop band to indie royalty, selling out arena tours, becoming a cornerstone reference on the television drama "The O.C." and playing a big role in last year's presidential election (as well as standing up for animal rights). And now they've even got a nomination for a Video Music Award for Breakthrough Video for their clip for "Grapevine Fires."
But Gibbard isn't just the frontman for Death Cab for Cutie. He's also the voice behind synth-pop project the Postal Service, whose "Such Great Heights" has been given a number of notable covers (including one by Iron & Wine that scored an M&M's commercial and a recent hardcore version from a band called Confide that became a viral hit). Gibbard has also recorded solo work and has collaborated with the likes of Jenny Lewis, Pedro the Lion, the Long Winters and Feist.
His biggest moment may be yet to come, as he is engaged to pixie sweetheart (and fellow musician) Zooey Deschanel. They haven't set a date for their wedding yet, but here's hoping it goes better than the ceremony featured in the video for Death Cab for Cutie's "Cath."