The Postal Service meets the United States Postal Service. Again.
Ben Gibbard kicked off the Democratic National Convention’s #TeamJoeSings series today (Aug. 19) in support of Democratic nominee Joe Biden. He started his set with Death Cab for Cutie‘s “Northern Lights,” but he shined a light on one of his biggest musical influences that’s currently undergoing a national crisis ahead of the presidential election: the USPS.
“It’s an honor to be here and support Vice President Joe Biden and Kamala Harris. And I think more than any election in my lifetime, this one is of paramount importance,” the 44-year-old frontman stated while tuning his guitar for the next timely tune. “And one of the many institutions outside of democracy that’s very core, that’s under fire is that of the United States Postal Service.”
He recalled the good ‘ole days of performing with Jimmy Tamborello, also known as Dntel, in their indie-pop supergroup nicknamed after The Postal Service, which released its debut album Give Up in 2003.
“And we made this music by sending CDs back and forth to each other,” Gibbard said. “I lived in Seattle, my bandmate Jimmy Tamborello lived in Los Angeles. And we made a record using the United States Postal Service, and therefore, we called ourselves The Postal Service. And I think in the midst of this global pandemic, nothing is more important than being able to vote safely and securely. And vote-by-mail has been shown to be that over and over and over again.”
So it was only fitting that he dedicated The Postal Service debut LP’s lead single “Such Great Heights” to its namesake cornerstone of American society.
But USPS did not immediately give Gibbard and Tamborello’s musical project its stamp of approval after delivering a cease-and-desist order in August 2003 stating the two bandmates had violated its trademark. But the two Postal Services came to an agreement in November 2004 that granted Sub Pop label “a free license to use the name in exchange for working to promote using the mail,” according to The New York Times.
Looks like Gibbard’s promotion of the USPS predates celebrities’ current defense of it.
Watch his whole DNC performance as part of the #TeamJoeSings series below.