The line in "My Favorite Year" on Trouble in Dreams when Dan Bejar sings "in some small way we're all traitors to our own cause." ::shivers:: I love this line. Both because it's, um, true, and also because it's such an honest and meta-fantastic description of Bejar's own working methods, especially on this album--he's so pessimistic about rock music and yet can craft a rock song that, while not completely undermining that pessimism, still has the kind of really good, gushy feeling you get from a classic, sturdy, solid song you've been listening to all your life. I look forward to hearing him spit that line the way I always look forward to hearing Ben Gibbard sing "I wish the world was flat like the old days / then I could travel just by holding a map / no more airplanes or speed-trains or freeway / there'd be no distance that could hold us back" at the beginning of Transatlanticism.
And speaking of Death Cab--I love that little tic in Gibbard's songwriting technique where his melody lines and lyrics run so long that they almost tip off the end of the bar. I'm thinking specifically here of "I Will Possess Your Heart" and its opening lines "How I wish you could see the potential / the potential of you and me / it's like a book elegantly bound but in a language that you can't read just yet." It's that little "just yet" spillover that kills me, the same way his "it varies from season to season, kid" in "Why You'd Want to Live Here" does. I dunno what it is. It's kind of like, in the same way that CTLA and I have theorized that the reason why Colin Meloy's diction is so chewed is because he loves language so much that he's trying to sing all vowels simultaneously at all times, Gibbard's so enamored of his own talent for effortlessly elegant melody that he can't help trying to cram as much into every song as he possibly can.
Deadwood fans, sometimes I'll just quietly think to myself "Hang dai, fuckin' Wu--hang dai" and grin like a complete idiot for the next hour and a half.