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A People's History of the Dismemberment Plan

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Album Review

It's an interesting paradox that Dismemberment Plan's final release is a remix compilation. The Plan are in a rare class of bands that connected with their audiences on such an intimate level that a participatory thank you to their fans only seems appropriate. However, when the bandmembers announced their decision to go their separate ways it was midway through recording the follow-up to Change. To many fans this felt like an anticlimactic breakup of a relationship with no definite sense of closure. So in some ways reaching out for one final thank you to their fans is the best thing they could have done. Through the band's website, an invitation was extended to fans to remix, chop up, and reconstruct some of Dismemberment Plan's most well-known songs over the previous ten years, and the strongest dozen were selected for this release. The most amazing thing about A People's History is the diverse styles represented throughout. Ranging from the cut-up to the most subtle retouches, they're all here — and it shows the depth and impact that the group had on all types of music, not just the indie rock/post-punk circuit. Drop Dynasty's flip-vocaled madness of "What Do You Want Me to Say?" is impressive, as is the frenzied madness of close friend/touring partner/IDM madman CEX's take on "Academy Award." But the crown jewel remix is Quruli's rehash of "A Life of Possibilities," which is so chic that it trumps nearly everything Stereolab has ever released. But even with all of this, it seems as if it's simply not enough. Will DeSoto release a compilation collecting their rarities, live performances, and other trinkets similar to Jawbox's outstanding My Scrapbook of Fatal Accidents? One could only hope, as there's just simply too much good material by the Plan that's not in circulation. Is this truly the end of Dismemberment Plan? Hopefully not. But if this is their swan song, there isn't a better way to say goodbye than alongside those who supported you the entire way.


Formed: 01 January 1993 in Washington D.C.

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

Washington, D.C.-based emo quartet the Dismemberment Plan -- frontman Travis Morrison, guitarist Jason Caddell, bassist Eric Axelson, and drummer Joe Easley -- debuted in 1994 with the single "Can We Be Mature?," signing to DeSoto to release the full-length ! in the fall of 1995. The Dismemberment Plan Is Terrified followed a year and a half later, and after releasing 1998's The Ice of Boston EP on major-label Interscope, the group returned to DeSoto for 1999's Emergency & I. In early 2001, the Dismemberment...
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