DOWNLOAD: The National - So Far Around The Bend (MP3)
Dark Was The Night producers (from left) Bryce Dressner, John Carlin, & Aaron Dressner (Photo by Tim Soter)
NPR Music will record the Dark Was the Night Concert and offer performances from it online at www.npr.org/music The show will gather many major indie music acts at New York's Radio City Music Hall on Sunday, May 3 to commemorate the release of the charity compilation of the same name.Tickets for tonight's show are still on sale. It's all going to charity.
Host of NPR Music's All Songs Considered Bob Boilen will attend and report from the show that features several of the artists that contributed to the compilation, including Dirty Projectors, David Byrne, My Brightest Diamond, The National, Dave Sitek (from TV on the Radio), Bon Iver, Feist and Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings. A week following, songs from the event along with Boilen's commentary and interviews with many of the artists will be available for streaming at www.npr.org/music The concert will also be available for download via the "Live in Concert" podcast.
"The National's Aaron Dessner explained the format of the show to Pitchfork in a recent news feature, 'We're going to have two halves (of the show). The first half will be songs from Dark Was the Night, and then there will be a short intermission. And then afterwards, there will be mini-sets by different artists and collaborations, both things that relate to Dark Was the Night and some that don't.'" I was told the show will be four hours long.
And according to an official set of Blonde Redhead tour dates someone sent me (a list that includes the show in Brooklyn's Prospect Park), Blonde Redhead will be there tonight. All (three) dates below (thanks Joseph). David Byrne, who will definitely be there, is also playing Prospect Park.
Despite probably-originally-tentatively agreeing to do it, Grizzly Bear won't be playing Radio City because they landed a spot on the Jools Holland show in the UK that had to be taped this weekend. Yeasayer are recording a new album in the woods somewhere. Why Sufjan Stevens won't be there is still a mystery though. Maybe he will? Other NYC-area artists that are part of the CD, but not on the bill include the New Pornographers (AC Newman lives here I think), Yo La Tengo, My Morning Jacket (Jim James lives here I think), and Antony.
According to an interview with the "Dressner" brothers at Vanity Fair, the National will play two new songs at the show. They wouldn't say much else except that we should expect some "exciting collaborations". I know that Thomas "Doveman" Bartlett will be playing piano at the show. Also heads up Europe: they'd "like to do another show in London and/or Paris but it is a huge amount of work and schedule coordination to pull off so I'm not sure. But we're looking at options!"
And in what had to be the worst timing ever for "huge shows with special guests", Pete Seeger's 90th birthday party is also tonight, but at the much larger Madison Square Garden. Maybe Bruce Springsteen will stop over to sing a song at Radio City before his set at MSG. Hey, it doesn't seem completely impossible.
Blonde Redhead - 2009 Tour Dates
May 03 - Radio City Music Hall, New York, US ???
June 26 - Prospect Park Bandshell, Brooklyn, US
June 27 - Mass MoCA, North Adams, US