Mary recently shared her Top 10 Concerts of 2012, and if I were to make such a list for myself, Ben Gibbard’s performance at Largo back in September would undoubtedly be on it. Having loved nearly everything Gibbard has released with his bands Death Cab for Cutie and The Postal Service but never seeing either act live, this was an experience a long time coming for me, and the intimate affair did not disappoint. With just an acoustic guitar, upright piano, and that unmistakable voice, Gibbard wooed the packed theatre with songs from those bands as well as his 2012 solo effort, Former Lives.

Last night on Conan, however, he took a very different approach to one of those solo tracks, “Something’s Rattling (Cowpoke),” trading in the minimalistic arrangement for one of greater depth, thanks to the contributions of mariachi ensemble Trio Ellas. Check out the performance for yourself below, and if you haven’t already given Former Lives a listen, it’s not too late to add it to your Christmas wish list.

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Benjamin Gibbard