Not so ‘Postal’ alternatives

Janie Boschma

You just spent 20 of the most boring minutes of your life deleting 179 e-mails so you wouldn’t go over your email limit. You should have spent this time studying and now you’re gonna fail your test. You lost your favorite pen, but you still have 30 minutes before class to study, so you decide to head to the library, but it’s still raining outside and you think, “Where’s Rihanna when you need her?” You get to the library to study for your exam and your favorite spot is taken. Then the worst thing of all happens … you turn around and realize your backpack has been unzipped the whole time you were walking to the library. Life sucks. When it rains, it pours.

Times like these call for wallowing in self-pity, and there is no better way to do that than stare out the window and listen to The Postal Service’s album “Give Up.” The Postal Service has been making gray days even grayer (and somehow better) since 2003. One problem – although Ben Gibbards’ melancholy vocals make being sad almost enjoyable, but you’re tired of singing along to “Nothing’s Better” and, in your current mood, you don’t know what else to listen to. Well, if you’re looking to replace the fuzzy warming blips and bleeps of The Postal Service then here are a few alternatives:

DTNL’ s recent CD. For those of you who don’t know DNTL, he is one half of The Postal Service. The CD is a much hyped – possibly over-hyped – sophomore album featuring vocals from indie stars like Connar Oberest of Bright Eyes and Jenny Lewis of Rilo Kiley, who also appeared on The Postal Service CD.

One single sure way to cure your Postal Service blues is Feist’s release “Mushaboom,” which features backup vocals from Ben Gibbard (the other half of The Postal Service) and its hazy electro-pop goodness could easily be at home on The Postal Service album itself! This single might be the one track most resembling of any single from “Give Up,” which is a very good thing.

In 2004, The Album Leaf released “In a Safe Place,” considered to be the UK version of The Postal Service’s “Give Up.” And why not? They are signed to the same label (Sub Pop) as The Postal Service. While getting massive amounts of play on a little show called “The OC,” it gained some popularity but did not nearly have as much success as The Postal Service. Possibly because The Album Leaf’s “In a Safe Place” features 10 tracks, seven of which are instrumental. This many instrumental tracks may not appeal to all.

Belgian DJ Styrofoam has had success in past album releases with “Nothing’s Lost” and “I’m What’s There to Show That Something’s Missing.” Both of these albums fit nicely next to The Postal Service on your iPod, but pay particular attention to the tracks “A Heart Without a Mind” and “Couches in Alleys” (which features Ben Gibbard himself). These two tracks are full of The Postal Service video game-like hooks. They could possibly be better – yes better – than some of The Postal Service’s songs themselves. Anything Styrofoam touches turns to gold. Look for a new album in spring 2008.

These albums will temporarily provide the background music to your sulking, dejected life. But if none of these tracks suits your needs and you must listen to The Postal Service, don’t give up; there is another Postal Service album in the works, the only problem is nobody knows when it is going to come out.

How depressing.

Hoostal is a junior political science major and a columnist for The Spectator.”Scottie Does Know” appears every Monday.