Ben Gibbard, Death Cab for Cutie’s well-known frontman, had to cancel his solo tour. This is to be expected. As consolation, he’s recorded himself covering Radiohead’s “Fake Plastic Trees,” from their breakout album The Bends. Gibbard performed his cover during the first of a series of livestreams he plans to do to help people cope with the isolation of social distancing.
Gibbard is among many artists who are turning to livestreaming to help allay anxieties and boredom during this time—just today (March 18), Héloïse Letissier of Christine and the Queens interviewed Charli XCX on Instagram Live, something she plans to continue doing as the quarantine continues. On Tuesday, Bono of U2 went live to debut his new song “Let Your Love Be Known.” For now, streaming, live or otherwise, is our main form of entertainment from the artists we love.
“Fake Plastic Trees” is the first song Gibbard has covered on his live series, and he’ll be taking requests for future tracks. He’s also urging viewers to donate to Aurora Commons, an organization for unhoused people in Seattle, Wash., a city that has been hit severely by the coronavirus outbreak. You can check out his cover below, and stay tuned for more of Gibbard’s upcoming streams. You can also revisit a live recording of Death Cab playing “Talking Bird” from their Studio X Seattle performance in 2008.