Entries tagged with: Matt Berninger
by Andrew Sacher
The National frontman Matt Berninger and former Menomena / current Ramona Falls frontman Brent Knopf have teamed up as EL VY ("pronounced like a plural of Elvis; rhymes with 'hell pie'"). Their debut album, Return to the Moon, will be out October 30 via 4AD, and the lyric video for its title track is out now. Matt's singing is pretty much the way it is in The National (so, really good) but musically this song is closer to bouncy '80s new wave. Watch/listen, and check out the album artwork and tracklist, below. Here's what the press release has to say about it:
Return to the Moon sounds exactly like you'd hope a collaboration between these artists would: Berninger's darkly funny, lyrical storytelling and his immediately identifiable sense of melody, offset by Knopf's playful, architectural arrangements and inventive production. Knopf explains, "I never worried about sending Matt something unfinished. He's able to imagine where it can go. He can grab the four bars that will become theThe duo is also going on tour with a backing band, including two NYC shows. Those happen on November 13 at Bowery Ballroom and November 14 at Music Hall of Williamsburg. Tickets go on sale Friday (8/7) at noon.
core of the track and develop them into something amazing."
The National and Ramona Falls are both currently preparing upcoming releases, so EL VY is not a replacement or a side project, but a glimpse into an alternate musical universe: a universe in which Berninger never left Cincinnati, and Midwestern punk Mecca the Jockey Club never closed. A universe in which Mike Watt and the late D. Boon of the punk band Minutemen are every bit as iconic as Mick and Keith, and a teenager's sense of rebellion is fed by the dark social politics of middle America.
"This record is more autobiographical than anything else I've written," says Berninger, "but the details aren't true. It's written in the voices of a few invented characters, composites of different people - myself, my wife, and other people I was thinking about."
All dates are listed below...
the whole crew (via)
The National have been talking about an all-star indie rock tribute to The Grateful Dead for long time now, and 2015 would be a good year to finally release it given all the excitment surrounding The Dead's 50th anniversary. It's seeming like a possibility that that will in fact be the case, as the band are/were up in Woodstock at Dreamland Recordings working on it.
We already knew they were planning to include members of Vampire Weekend, Bon Iver, Kurt Vile, The Walkmen and Megafaun, and from the pictures they've been posting on Instagram, it's looking like way more really exciting people are involved too. It had already been talked about to maybe include Sonic Youth guitarist and major Dead fan Lee Ranaldo, but it's now confirmed that he recorded at Dreamland with them too. Will Oldham (aka Bonnie 'Prince' Billy) is there (!). Kristian Matsson (aka The Tallest Man on Earth) is there. Walter Martin from the Walkmen is pictured. Cass McCombs and Phil Lesh collaborator Joe Russo, who both just played a Dead tribute in Brooklyn were there, and Sam Amidon too. Josh Ritter's band, etc member Josh Kaufman is there along with his former Yellowbirds bandmate Sam Cohen, and Takka Takka/Gabriel and the Hounds/sometimes National, etc member Conrad Doucette is in the pictures too.
Looks like this is turning out even more exciting than it first seemed. Check out more pictures from the recording sessions below...
The National Celebrating Brooklyn (more by David Andrako)
The National played Prospect Park last night (June 18th) for the 2nd show out of 3 at their home-borough venue. Having seen the band perform in so many less fitting places (from Barclays to Big Cypress), it was refreshing to finally catch them again on their home turf. "A lot of our marriages were consummated in this very park," joked singer Matt Berninger, "right where you're standing!"
For a long time fan of the band, the show's setlist felt like a bit of a field day, with "Daughters of the Soho Riots," "Ada," "Baby, We'll Be Fine," "Lit Up," "All The Wine" - and even "Exile Vilify" from the Portal 2 soundtrack all performed. We even got a visit by Sufjan Stevens for vocal assistance on "Afraid of Everyone."
"Daughters of the Soho Riots" was a particular highlight for me. It was performed with incredibly delicate attention and brought the audience to a notable hush. As the song concluded, Matt explained that a moth had flown into his mouth "during the most depressing part of the song," and as the show went on, the singer seemed to be losing more and more of his voice. "I can feel the moth down there, thinking," Matt explained a few songs later. "He's obviously depressed. He's just walking in circles."
The National have grown into their signature sound by juxtaposing gorgeous classically-inspired music with a fractured, imperfect singer stuck right in the middle of it all - and I was struck by the fact that the band actually sounded more beautiful when Matt's voice was completely exhausted. I wasn't sure if he was going to make it all the way through some songs, especially the relatively high "Pink Rabbits," but he powered through the 20+ song set with remarkable dedication.
And, despite cutting his head on the previous night, the singer still jumped offstage and wandered through the crowd for both "Mr. November" and "Terrible Love," stealing a fan's iPhone and videotaping himself sing the song's final chorus before chucking the device back onto the stage. In one especially endearing moment, the singer punted a glass of wine into the front row, only to quickly break through his badass bravado to immediately apologize to the people he had wet.
The National has always been so appealing to me because they operate as a band of humans - humans singing about human concerns - imperfectly sometimes, beautifully at others - but honestly always - and on this night, especially during "Fake Empire" when Matt's wound re-opened and blood started running down the side of his face, they felt even more human than ever before.
Lord Huron opened the show.
Check out pictures from the first night (Phosphorescent opened). Head to Prospect Park now if you've got tickets for the third (with opener MS MR).
Night 2 setlist below...
by Andrew Sacher
Clap Your Hands Say Yeah had some major lineup changes, and it's basically just frontman Alec Ounsworth's project now, but that's not slowing them down. They just announced that they'll follow 2011's Hysterical and their 2013 Little Moments EP with a new album, Only Run, on June 3. The new single, "Coming Down," features a noticeable guest spot from The National's Matt Berninger, and the song sounds pretty inspired for a band who's future seemed uncertain not long ago. Check it out below.
CYHSY have also announced a tour of the US and Canada to take place after the new album's release. It culminates with a hometown show in Brooklyn on June 28 at Music Hall of Williamsburg. Tickets for that show go on sale Friday (4/4) at noon.
All dates are listed, with the new song stream, below...
The Walkmen at T5 in 2012 (more by Gretchen Robinette)
As discussed, The Walkmen are going on an "extreme hiatus" but the members are keeping busy with solo material. Peter Matthew Bauer already mentioned that he'd release a solo LP, Liberation!, at some point this year, and though we're still awaiting more details on that, he did recently announce a couple solo shows, including one happening in NYC on March 6 at Baby's All Right. Tickets for the NYC show are on sale now. His other upcoming show is in Philly, and all dates are listed below.
Another Walkman, Walter Martin, just announced that his solo album, We're All Young together, comes out on May 13 via Family Jukebox. The record has some pretty impressive guests, including his Walkmen bandmates Hamilton Leithauser and Matt Barrick, The National frontman Matt Berninger, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah frontman Alec Ounsworth, and Yeah Yeah Yeahs members Nick Zinner and Karen O, the latter of which sings a duet with Walter on the record's new single, "Sing to Me."
You can stream that single, along with an illustration of the song's lyrics by Marcellus Hall, and the list of Peter Bauer dates, below...
The National at Barclays Center in 2013 (more by Dana (distortion) Yavin)
The 24th Annual Tibet House US Benefit Concert happens on March 11 at Carnegie Hall, and since we last spoke, the lineup has been expanded. Matt Berninger and Aaron Dessner join their previously announced bandmate Bryce Dessner (all of The National). Robert Randolph was added as a performer as well, Chuck Close, Maggie Gyllenhaal and Peter Sarsgaard will be Honorary Chairpersons for the evening, and there will be a collaboration between UK poet Mike Garry and British composer Joe Duddell.
The new additions join the previously discussed lineup of Nico Muhly, Iggy Pop, New Order, Patti Smith, Techung, Joe Walsh, and artistic director Philip Glass. Tickets are still available.
UPDATE: The National also released "I Need My Girl" from 2013's Trouble Will Find Me as a single on iTunes today (2/4), and it comes backed with a cover of Perfume Genius' "Learning." You can stream that cover below.
The show happens in the midst of The National's extensive world tour, which currently has them over in Australia. Still no NYC dates for the full band at the moment, but the tour was just expanded (including Sasquatch). Updated dates are listed below...
photos by Sarah Frankie Linder
The first of two weekends of Austin City Limits went down in Austin over the weekend, a ton of official aftershows included. One of those shows was headlined by The National at Stubb's on Saturday. Thao and The Get Down Stay Down opened. Justin Vernon (aka Bon Iver), who was in town to play with his band The Shouting Matches, surprised the lucky crowd by joining the National for their last two songs, "Terrible Love" and "Vanderlyle Crybaby Geeks" (Justin also sings on the album version). National frontman Matt Berninger gave the crowd even more love by jumping into it at the end of the latter. Watch video of both, along with a set of pictures from the show (though no pictures of Justin), and the National's setlist, below....
Why yes, we have posted a lot of stuff already today. Here's some more
Mythbuster? More like Myrthbuster. TV personality Jamie Hyneman apparently abandoned his first born. Luckily, NYC has a history of taking your poor, your tired, and your mustachioed; baby Hyneman has taken up residence at the New York Aquarium. (confused?).
Shades of Scott Tenorman: Radiohead Fan Sells Cheating Girlfriend's Tickets Online, Gets Invited to Hang Out with Breaking Bad's Aaron Paul.
Morrissey is in NYC right now and appeared on Colbert.
Is Spotify's business model broken? Anybody pay for Spotify Premium? (editor's note: I do)
For those who like free stuff: We are giving away two tickets to see Menomena at Bowery Ballroom on October 11 on the BV Facebook Page as well as tickets to Dark Dark Dark and Emily Wells at LPR on 10/13 and to The Darkness at Terminal 5 on 10/21.
Adele's "Rolling in the Deep" "received more performances on U.S. radio and television than any other song in the BMI repertoire during 2011."
The Rolling Stones "are pleased to announce the WORLD EXCLUSIVE first airplay of the brand new single from The Rolling Stones, 'Doom And Gloom' will take place on Thursday October 11th at 8:15am. The single can be downloaded on the same day from iTunes."
Toro Y Moi has announced that he'll release a new album called Anything In Return on January 21st via Carpark Records.
Hey arty types: design Richard Hawley's Guitar Skin!
I swear we're not making any of this stuff up.
More stuff below...
Justin Vernon & My Morning Jacket before the Grammys (by dariusjagjag)
Someone from Jagjaguwar tweeted the above picture not long before Justin Vernon shouted out "Jagjaguwar" to end his acceptance speech at the Grammys pre-show this evening (2/12).
Bon Iver won "Best Alternative Music Album", beating out Radiohead, My Morning Jacket, Foster the People & Death Cab Cab For Cutie. Other pre-telecast winners include Adele, Foo Fighters (who beat Mastodon, The Decemberists and TV on the Radio), Skrillex (who won three already and beat Cut Copy, Robyn, Deadmau5 and others), Kanye West (who also won three already), The Civil Wars (who won two already and beat Fleet Foxes), Levon Helm, Alison Krauss, Tinariwen, Louis CK, Cee-Lo, and Booker T Jones who won "Best Pop Instrumental Album" for the 2nd time, and nervously thanked Biz Markie, Questlove, Gabriel Roth (of Daptone Records), Matt Berninger (of the National), and Lou Reed.
Arcade Fire also won another Grammy already (for Best Recording Package).
And that was just all the stuff they don't show on TV. The regular show with all the big awards (and possibly more for Bon Iver) starts at 8pm EST, Whitney Houston tribute included.
* Jack Black makes "indie cred" joke that includes "Bon Iver" while introducing Foo Fighters
* Denise from PS22 in Adele commercial
The Forms at Cameo (more by Jessica Amaya)
As we discussed, The Forms have a new record on the way in Derealization due on February 15th. Pre-order it now. The Brooklyn band will celebrate the record that features the above Matt Berninger-guested track at Feb 12th at Rock Shop in Brooklyn. Tickets are on sale. The Andrew Thibaldeux-guested track is reposted up there too.
The NYC show is a single one-off date, much like their Boston show with The Dismemberment Plan. But the band will hit the road for a proper tour a week later on their way to SXSW. Full tour dates and a stream of the Matt song is below...
DOWNLOAD: The Forms - Steady Hand w/ Pattern Is Movement's Andrew Thibaldeux (MP3)
The Forms, who we interviewed a few short months ago, have a double LP due on February 15th via Triple Down Records/Threespheres, with the CD coming through Ernest Jenning. Half of their release is their new Derealization EP which includes revisited/remixed works and features appearances from Matt Beringer (The National), Craig Wedren (Shudder To Think), as well as members of Pattern Is Movement, Dirty Projectors, St. Vincent and others.
The 2-disc set will also include the band's earlier Steve-Albini-produced opus, Icarus. Download "Steady Hand", a fresh look at "Bones" from Icarus above, and stream it below where you'll also find the full EP tracklist. EP opener "Fire to the Ground" with Matt Berninger has especially been stuck in my head since listening recently.
The Forms are scheduled to play NYC at Cameo Gallery on Saturday (12/18), one of a few dates that the band has on their schedule that includes a Boston date with The Dismemberment Plan. That Boston show is the day before The Dismemberment Plan plays to a sold-out Webster Hall in NYC twice (1/29 and 1/30).
The Dismemberment Plan have also added dates to their reunion tour which now includes three DC dates and a March one in Seattle.
All tour dates and some videos below...
"Over the years, [The National's] Matt [Berninger] has accumulated a flock of snide nicknames from his band mates, including the Dark Lord, the Naysayer, Mumbleberry Pie, Mr. Knee Jerk, Mr. Sony Headphones and the Echo Chamber -- the last for the coterie of musically astute persons whom Matt frequently invokes supporting his opinion of whatever song they are arguing about. Since the only one of these gifted listeners Matt has ever introduced to the others is his wife, Carin Besser, who until recently edited short stories at The New Yorker, it is Aaron and Bryce [Dessner]'s belief that Matt is not the only fiction expert in the marriage. Matt's assessment of the situation is: "Everybody thinks everybody else has secret ulterior motives because we all do. We purposefully set up decoys and red herrings to attack a song. That we're all playing mind games is sort of funny, but it's also frustrating."" [NY Times]As promised, the new National album is streaming at the NY Times website now (down the left side next to the article).
The National's temporary NYC venue, the 'High Violet Annex', opens May 11th.
With the new National record coming out, don't forget there's also a new Clogs record, The Creatures in the Garden of Lady Walton, out March 2nd on Brassland (cover art above). On that record, the band, headed by Padma Newsome and The National's Bryce Dessner, will be joined by vocalists Shara Worden, Matt Berninger and Sufjan Stevens (who is also a confirmed guest on the new National). Clogs just put out a pre-album EP titled Veil Waltz. They're also playing live including a Brooklyn show at the Bell House on March 24th. Tickets are on sale now.
Shara Worden (aka My Brightest Diamond) recently headlined a show of her own at Bowery Ballroom one night before she made a special appearance for Haiti at Music Hall of Williamsburg.
More info on the new Clogs album and all dates below...
by Andrew Frisicano
DOWNLOAD: Aaron Dessner - We Were Born (from the Long Count) (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: The Long Count - Bull Run (feat. Kelley Deal) (MP3)
Twins! (the Dessners & the Deals)
The Long Count kicks off its three show engagement at BAM's Gilman Opera House tonight (10/28). Tickets are still available for the show, as well as for the Friday (10/30) and Saturday (10/31) performances.
The 70-minute music and multimedia piece, commissioned by BAM Next Wave Festival, is the work of Bryce and Aaron Dessner of the National and visual artist Matthew Ritchie. But they haven't been working alone. At every step of composing and arranging the Long Count over the past year, the brothers have tapped into their crew of skilled collaborators. The 12-piece orchestra that will be joining them on stage counts talents like NYC violist Nadia Sirota (who played last month's Archipelago series show), sax/bass clarinet player Colin Stetson, and Antony & the Johnsons' guitarist/violinist/conductor Rob Moose (who in particular assisted with some of the arranging duties).
As previously mentioned, the Breeders' Kim and Kelley Deal (twins) collaborated with the Dessners (also twins) on much of the music - they sing for nearly half of the show. Other vocal turns will be taken by the Nationals' Matt Berninger and My Brightest Diamond's Shara Worden.
All four singers play roles in the narrative of the Long Count, which takes its story from the Mayan creation myth of Popol Vuh. In that, multiple sets of twins (in the story and on stage) experience repeated cycles of life and death until giving birth to the world as we know it. The original tale ties in strongly with a ballgame played by its main characters - an element which the Dessners have woven in with their love of baseball, particularly Cincinnati Reds and the Big Red Machine.
Musically, the Long Count sections posted above, both from the show's work-in-progress performance at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign on September 11th, showcase the piece's diversity. The first, "We Were Born," highlights the minimalist pedigree of the show, while "Bull Run" layers those elements with fearsome orchestral lines and extremely creepy vocals by Kelley Deal.
Paired with the spooky nature of Mathew Ritchie's animation (which you can preview here) the show looks to be a good Halloween night warm-up as any. In fact, the early Saturday night show has the most tickets available, and it follows a pre-show Q&A (ticketed separately) led by Brandon Stosuy (who's curating the Mount Eerie + metal show at Market Hotel later in the night).
Bryce generously answered some of our questions over the phone while in the last week of rehearsal (and in the hectic center of CMJ week). More photos from the production, and that interview, where he reveals the existence of an unreleased Christmas album he made with Sufjan, details on the new National record and more, below...
by Andrew Frisicano
Speaking of Nico Muhly, he just played a Wordless Music show at Columbia's Miller Theatre on September 9th. There he performed with '802 Tour,' a round-robin style stage show with frequent collaborators Sam Amidon and Thomas Bartlett...
Mr. Bartlett's piano-driven ballads, including some from a forthcoming CD, "The Conformist," had a shadowy, confessional intimacy that was accentuated by his tremulous, nearly whispered crooning. In sharp contrast, Mr. Amidon affected a ragged backwoods yelp for traditional shape-note songs and other folksy material.Barlett's new Doveman CD, The Conformist, which features Muhly and Sam Amidon prominently, will be out October 20th on the Brassland label. Also featured on the disc are the National's Matt Berninger, Aaron and Bryce Dessner and Bryan Devendorf, a string section, and additional guest spots by Martha Wainwright and Norah Jones.
Mr. Muhly's appealing instrumental compositions drew on Philip Glass's harmonic stasis and the rhythmic vitality of Stravinsky and Ligeti, mixed with a flair for electronic counterpoint that was all Mr. Muhly's own. Yuki Numata, a terrific violinist from the ACME group, brought out an ardent romanticism in "Honest Music," for violin and electronics....
Where genres had been gently mixed during the concert, in an encore medley they were mangled outright. Mr. Muhly waxed rhapsodic at the piano in Mariah Carey's "My All"; Mr. Bartlett offered a limpid rendition of Neil Young's "Only Love Can Break Your Heart"; and Mr. Amidon turned R. Kelly's "Relief" into a suitably crooked hootenanny singalong. [NY Times]
Doveman will be playing fall-winter dates (not announced yet), and unless they are solo shows, those will probably come after the Sam Amidon/Nico Muhly European tour (also with Ben Frost and Valgeir Sigurðsson) that runs October 24th to November 12th. The Eurotrip is less than a week after Muhly appears at the New Yorker Festival to discuss "Radical Opera" with Rufus Wainwright in a talk moderated by Alex Ross.
Martha & Rufus Wainwright recently played with their father at Highline Ballroom, and will both appear in an upcoming show at Carnegie Hall. Rufus also has another benefit show coming up in NYC soon.
The new Doveman track that National frontman Matt Berninger sings on, is streaming at Pitchfork.
Doveman album art above. Tracklist and some interesting videos, below...