Entries tagged with: The National

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photo: Bon Iver in Austin in 2012 (more by Tim Griffin)
Bon Iver

Earlier this week, Eaux Claires Music & Arts Festival curators Justin Vernon (Bon Iver) and Aaron Dessner (The National) sent out a mixtape to people who bought early bird tickets to the festival. It had unreleased music from several artists, who were presumably set to play the festival. Now the official lineup is announced, and it has several of those artists plus a lot more exciting stuff.

Possibly most excitingly, the Dessner brothers are presenting 'Day of the Dead,' which will have a number of musicians paying tribute to the Grateful Dead, like The National and their friends are doing for their upcoming tribute album. Eaux Claires also features James Blake and Bon Iver (who are rumored to also collaborate at the festival), Beach House, Eighth Blackbird with Bryce Dessner & Bonnie 'Prince Billy, Erykah Badu, Jenny Lewis, Jon Hopkins, Mavis Staples, Melvins, Deafheaven, My Brightest Diamond, Nathaniel Rateliff, Phosphorescent, S. Carey, Sarah Neufeld, Shabazz Palaces, Vince Staples, Tenement, LNZNDRF, Bruce Hornsby (performing The Way It Is), Cornelius (performing Fantasma) and more.

The festival happens August 12 & 13 in Eau Claire, WI. Tickets go on sale Friday (2/12) at 10 AM CST.

Full lineup and announcement video below...

Continue reading "Eaux Claires Music Fest 2016 lineup (Bon Iver, James Blake, guest-filled Grateful Dead tribute, Erykah Badu, Melvins, more)"

photo: Bon Iver in Austin in 2012 (more by Tim Griffin)
Bon Iver

Bon Iver's Justin Vernon and The National's Aaron Dessner are holding their second annual Eaux Claires Music & Arts Festival in Eau Claire, Wisconsin on August 12-13. The official lineup hasn't been announced yet, but they sent a cassette featuring the artists playing the fest to those who bought early bird tickets.

Most excitingly, the tape includes a new (or at least unreleased) song by Fall Creek Boys Choir, the name of the song that Justin Vernon collaborated on with James Blake in 2011. It also includes an unreleased Bon Iver song from 2009 or 2010 called "Haven, Mass."

Plus, there's a song by Bryce Desssner, So Percussion, Sean Carey and Justin Vernon; one by Justin Vernon and Aaron Dessner; and Shabazz Palaces; Bruce Hornsby; My Brightest Diamond; Jon Hopkins; Colin Stetson & Sarah Neufeld; and more.

Listen to the whole tape below. The untitled Fall Creek Boys Choir song comes in at the one hour, fifteen minute mark.

Continue reading "Eaux Claires Music Fest mixtape has new & unreleased music from Bon Iver, Justin Vernon & James Blake, and more (listen)"

LNDZNDRF
LNDZNDRF

Back in October, The National's Matt Berninger collaborated with former Menomena frontman Brent Knopf as EL VY, releasing a fantastic debut album, Return To The Moon. Last night (1/11), they were one of the many artists to pay tribute to the late David Bowie, when they covered his classic "Let's Dance" on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert. They were joined by Colbert's house band Jon Batiste & Stay Human. Watch their performance below.

In other National side project news, the Devendorf brothers, Bryan and Scott, have announced their own new band with Ben Lanz (who's worked with The National, Beirut and others) called LNZNDRF. Their self-titled debut album is out on February 19 via 4AD. The album includes the songs "Beneath the Black Sea," "Kind Things," and "Mt. Storm," which you can check out videos of the band performing below.

In addition to the new album, LNZNDRF will be touring and playing two NYC shows at Mercury Lounge on March 5 (early and late). Tickets for those shows go on AmEx presale Wednesday (1/13) at noon and on general sale on Friday (1/15) at noon.

Al dates are listed, with the videos and LNZNDRF album tracklist, below...

Continue reading "The National side project LNZNDRF announce debut album & live shows; EL VY covered Bowie on 'Colbert' (watch)"

Cass McCombs
photo by Rachael Pony Cassells

Cass McCombs released the rarities comp A Folk Set Apart: Rarities, B-Sides & Space Junk, Etc last month, and he's got new material on the way that he'll preview some of at his upcoming Bowery Ballroom (1/7) show in NYC. He talked to Relix about it:

You are currently working on a new studio album. Would you say that project continues the jammy, Grateful Dead feel of your recent work?

I would say it is a continuation of that groovy shit. The songs maintain that Dead influence. What I love about the Dead--you see it on their early posters. They were "Grateful Dead Dance Concert." That's built in into what they're trying to do. Even on the slowest tunes, like "Stella Blue" or whatever, people are still dancing. You know, you take your shoes off, and you fucking get your rocks off. Whether it's slow or fast, you can dance to it, find the groove. That's what I learned.

He also said he's been recording in New York and LA with past collaborator and Dead Family associate Joe Russo, longtime band members Jon Shaw and Dan Lead, and producer Rob Schnapf (Kurt Vile, Beck, Elliott Smith). He says he'll "definitely be trying out some of the new songs" at the Bowery show, and regarding the live lineup it's Cass, Jon, Dan, and...
Jesse Lee has been playing drums with us now here in New York. Ryan Sawyer, another drummer and percussionist--I don't even know how to describe his role--will be with us. We're trying to get some people to play with us onstage. Soldiers of Fortune, who are old buds, are opening for us in New York, and I am hoping Matt Sweeney and Mike Bones and all of those dudes will sit in. It's going to be cold outside--at least I hope so given the weather recently--and I hope people can come warm each other up. That's the idea--this wintertime orgy.
Tickets for the wintertime orgy are still available, and we're also giving away a pair. Enter to win, below.

Right before the Bowery show, Cass also plays the Bernie Sanders benefit happening Wednesday (1/5) and Thursday (1/6) at Baby's All Right in Brooklyn with Jana Hunter, Okkervil River, Will Sheff, Gang Gang Dance, Kevin Devine, Frankie Cosmos and many more. Daily lineups will be announced day-of. Tickets are still available.

That Relix interview also talks about Cass' love of Phish and his collaboration with Phish's Mike Gordon on "Texas" (which appears on that new rarities comp). Phish just played four MSG shows and their 1995 live album A Live One is one of the albums getting a 33 1/3 book this spring. Author Walter Holland will discuss it in NYC on Saturday (1/9) at City Winery. Tickets are available. The Grateful Dead's Workingman's Dead is getting a 33 1/3 this spring too, as is Blondie, Geto Boys, Sleater-Kinney, and New Kids on the Block.

The Relix interview also mentions that Cass McCombs and Joe Russo are contributing their cover of "Dark Star," which they played at Max Fish in 2015, to The National's Grateful Dead tribute album. Check out a clip of that song from the Max Fish show, below.

Continue reading "Cass McCombs promising new music & guest appearances at Bowery show (win tix!); Phish 33 1/3 being discussed in NYC"

photo: The National at Barclays Center in 2013 (more by Dana (distortion) Yavin)
The National at Barclays

The National have scheduled a few shows for 2016, including Aukland City Limits in New Zealand, as well as dates in Australia and Europe. The only North American show on their docket is a benefit happening June 11 at Joe's Field at MASS MoCA in North Adams, MA. Proceeds benefit both the MASS MoCA museum and Hawthorne Valley Association. Tickets for that benefit show go on sale Friday (12/18) at 11 AM with an fan presale beginning Thursday (12/17) at 11 AM. (Use code Fan611.)

For those with deeper, more charitable pockets, there's also a cocktail party before the show featuring "Hawthorne Valley Farm fare and other local foods, farm-to-tap beer, Berkshire Mountain Distillers spirits, and a behind-the-scenes tour of MASS MoCA" and you get "premium, reserved standing-room adjacent to the concert soundboard."

Also in 2016: The National's long-awaited, star-studded Greatful Dead tribute album. All dates are listed below.

Continue reading "The National playing MASS MoCA benefit, Aukland City Limits fest & other 2016 dates"

EL VY No Time to Crank the Sun

The promotional side of putting out a record is probably not the most fun part of being in a band (see Radiohead's Meeting People is Easy), but it can look like (kinda) fun if its shot and shown in time-lapse, sped up motion. This is the general premise for EL VY's video for "No Time To Crank The Sun" (from debut album Return to the Moon). You get to see Matt Berninger (The National) and Brent Knopf (Menomena) sit through interviews, photoshoots, live sessions, and the like. Matt's brother Tom directed it and you can watch it below.

EL VY were just in NYC for two shows as part of their just-finished North American tour, and head to UK/Europe in December.

Continue reading "EL VY share "No Time to Crank the Sun" video (watch)"

photo: Matt Berninger w/ EL VY over the weekend (more by Amanda Hatfield)
Matt Berninger

We mentioned earlier this year that The National began recording their long awaited Grateful Dead tribute album in Woodstock at Dreamland Recordings. A new Stereogum feature on the band reports that the wait will finally be over in early 2016, and that they'll once again be teaming up with the Red Hot organization to release it (the same organization the Dessners did Dark Was the Night with).

More details since the initial announcement on who's contributing to it keep coming to. The band told Stereogum that the album has "somewhere in the neighborhood of 70 contributions," now including Perfume Genius, Tunde Adebimpe (of TV on the Radio), Marijuana Deathsquads (doing "Truckin'"), Unknown Mortal Orchestra ("Shakedown Street"), Fucked Up, Daniel Rossen (of Grizzly Bear) on two songs including "Terrapin Station," Phosphorescent main man Matthew Houck, Pavement frontman Stephen Malkmus and more. Plus there's all the previously-mentioned names like Bon Iver, Sharon Van Etten, Lee Ranaldo (Sonic Youth), Ira Kaplan (Yo La Tengo), Kurt Vile & J Mascis (doing "Box of Rain" together), The War On Drugs ("Touch of Grey"), and of course The National themselves (including their take on"Peggy-O," a traditional the Dead played a lot). The latter two have been played live before, and you can check out videos of those below.

The wait for this compilation has been long, but it sounds like it'll be worth it. The National's Bryan Devendorf said, "Some of the interpretations of the songs, you hear it, and you go, 'My god, this is fucking killer.'" With a solid group of some of the best indie artists out there covering the Dead, it's hard to go wrong.

In other "indie musicians covering the Grateful Dead" news, Real Estate's Alex Bleeker and his band The Freaks doing another of their Dead tribute shows, and this one's in Brooklyn. It happens at Rough Trade on December 30. Tickets will be on sale on Wednesday (11/18) at noon. Alex Bleeker & The Freaks just played Brooklyn Bowl last week and are currently on tour in support of their new album.

All of The Freaks' upcoming tour dates are listed, with the National and War on Drugs videos, below...

Continue reading "The National reveal more details on Grateful Dead tribute; Alex Bleeker doing Dead in Brooklyn"

photos by Amanda Hatfield, words by Andrew Sacher

EL VY / Wye Oak / Julien Baker @ Bowery Ballroom - 11/13/15
EL VY
Wye Oak
Julien Baker

EL VY released their debut album Return to the Moon at the tail-end of last month via 4AD, and their tour in support of it hit NYC this past weekend for sold-out shows at Bowery Ballroom on Friday (11/13) and Music Hall of Williamsburg on Saturday (11/14). The band is led by Matt Berninger (who fronts The National) and Brent Knopf (who fronts Ramona Falls and used to be in Menomena), and they were joined by drummer Andy Stack (of their tourmates Wye Oak), backup vocalist Moorea Masa (who also sings on their album), and another guitarist/bassist. Brent is the band's multi-instrumentalist and he switched around a lot from keyboards to acoustic guitar to electric. And Matt Berninger was as distinctly Matt Berninger as ever, doing Matt Berninger things like quickly going from standing still and somberly singing to screaming and thrashing around the stage and slamming his mic to the ground. Now that he's a guy who's headlined Barclays Center, it was a treat to see him up close and personal. As for the setlist, they played all of Return to the Moon and also covered Fine Young Cannibals "She Drives Me Crazy" (which they've been doing the whole tour), which got a good portion of the crowd singing.

Wye Oak provided direct support, with a set that leaned pretty equally on their more rocking material and the poppier sounds they explored on last year's Shriek. As they always do, they sounded super full considering they're just a two piece. And speaking of sounding full with a small stage setup, Julien Baker, the young Memphis singer/songwriter who opened both NYC shows, sounded really great with nothing more than her voice and clean electric guitar. Her debut album only just came out (via 6131) but it's clear that she's already a super confident performer. A lot of her stuff is somber and introverted, but she could really belt it when she wanted to. The shows with EL VY were just two of her three NYC shows this weekend. She also played a late show at Mercury Lounge with Eliott Brood on Saturday (Mina Tindle was supposed to open the MHOW show but had to cancel).

If you haven't yet, read our interview with EL VY. More pictures from Bowery below...

Continue reading "EL VY (The National, Menomena), Wye Oak and Julien Baker played two NYC shows (Bowery Ballroom pics)"

by Jonathan Dick

"We had a bit of a sense of direction as far as where wanted it to head but no hard and fast rules." - Brent Knopf on EL VY's debut "Return to the Moon"

El Vy
photo of Brent Knopf & Matt Berninger by Deirdre O'Callaghan

Both well known for their respective other projects, The National and Menomena, Matt Berninger and Brent Knopf seemed to be deliberately reserved about their collaborative project EL VY, and its debut release, Return to the Moon, at the end of last month. Largely absent of the distinctive characteristics that both musicians have established to much critical acclaim and success, Return to the Moon is a sort of happy accident, a collaboration in spite of itself and what would understandably be assumed as the antithetical creative approach of both musicians. Considering that fact, it's not surprising that Return to the Moon still manages to evoke the tendencies of Knopf and Berninger while at the same time embracing a sort of mirrored image of what both might otherwise be given to in their other creative endeavors.

There's still the same baritone croon familiar to those fans of The National, and Knopf's innate sense of atmospheric balance in sound and scope is equally as present. With EL VY, the immediate contrast is that while still familiar in the context of its creators, the storyline is less an aesthetic of melodrama and lush musical arrangements and more an inside joke, albeit one just as seriously constructed, that both musicians allow the listener to be in on. It's a subject I brought up in my recent conversation with both Berninger and Knopf as well as the creative contrasts, if any, they observed in bringing the music together for EL VY.

EL VY are on tour and will be playing two sold-out shows this weekend at the Bowery Ballroom this Friday, November 13, followed by Saturday's performance at the Music Hall of Williamsburg.

---

BV: This is kind of a departure for both of you, considering what Menomena and The National sound like, but there are those underlying idiosyncrasies where it still functions on a sort of darkly humorous level. Is that something you felt while making the record or something you were aiming for?

Brent Knopf: Berninger is a master at lyrics that are simultaneously hilarious and heartbreaking and just completely dead serious but also nonsensical. [Laughs.] I think that's how life is, so finding a way to blend those things together always feels more real to me.

Matt Berninger: I think that all my writing in terms of lyrics, I kind of do that even with The National. Meaning that, melodrama is something I love. An exaggeration or absurd, fantastical metaphors for real small issues are what I do in The National, too, so I think that's a little bit of my safety armor for me to actually be able to talk about real things. I kind of do an exaggerated melodramatic version of the real situations, so it isn't that different with EL VY. I think even with The National I'm a funny writer. I write about serious stuff, but I try to do it in a funny way, sometimes? I don't know. [Laughs.] People never think of me as being a light person, and I wouldn't describe myself as that, but maybe this record feels lighter or feels funnier because the backdrop of a lot of the writing has a different personality. I was only writing lyrics for this while listening to music, and that's how I always do it. Brent was opening all these windows, and I was just sort of jumping out of them and kind of following him. So yeah, I wasn't trying to make a record that was making some sort of statement about music or anything like that, but I was definitely writing about myself in a kind of absurd way. "I'm the Man to Be" is a self-portrait, but it's turned up to eleven. [Laughs.]

continued below...

Continue reading "EL VY's Matt Berninger (The National) and Brent Knopf (Menomena) on Melodrama, Birthday Cake, and Legos"

by Andrew Sacher

EL VY

EL VY, the new collaborative duo of The National singer Matt Berninger and Menomena / Ramona Falls' Brent Knopf, release their debut album Return To The Moon today via 4AD. If you've been following along with the album's rollout, then you've already heard five of the eleven songs and you know this thing is pretty diverse. There are some funky songs, some somber songs, some arty songs; really not one song sounds like any other, but not at the expense of this being a cohesive album. Some of it quite literally sounds like The National meets Menomena, and other parts don't really sound like either of those bands. Whatever the song's vibe is, it's Matt's distinct voice that makes this thing instantly familiar and likable. His lyrics are as personal as ever, and like he's done before he loaded this thing with music references (Husker Du, The Smiths, Minutemen, The Beatles). It's too good of an album to write off as a mere side project, and now you can hear it in full via Spotify below.

The band is also going on a tour, which includes a run with Wye Oak that hits NYC on 11/13 at Bowery Ballroom with Julien Baker and 11/14 at MHOW with Mina Tindle. Those are both sold out.

Continue reading "stream The National/Menomena offshoot EL VY's debut album 'Return To The Moon'"

EL VY

Matt Berninger (The National) and Brent Knopf's (Menomena, Ramona Falls) new side project EL VY are just one day from releasing their album Return to the Moon and they've revealed one more song from it, "Silent Ivy Hotel." Watch the Tom Berninger-directed lyric video below. That makes a total of five of the eleven songs available on Spotify, and you can listen to a playlist with all of them below too.

EL VY will be touring soon, including a run with Wye Oak that hits NYC on November 13 at Bowery Ballroom and November 14 at MHOW. The openers were recently revealed and they're both good: it's Memphis singer/songwriter Julien Baker on night 1 and French art pop singer Mina Tindle on night 2.

Continue reading "EL VY (The National, Menomena) streaming another new song"

photo by Kim Metso
The National Ditmas Park house

The National guitarist Aaron Dessner's house in Ditmas Park (which is right down the street from his brother Bryce's house) is now on the market. It's also the house that the band uses as their recording studio and which frontman Matt Berninger was renting the upstairs of. Brownstoner reports:

The shingle house at 236 Stratford Road in Ditmas Park has a porch swing, two-car garage and recording studio. But perhaps the most remarkable thing about it is the identity of the seller, The National's Aaron Dessner.

Technically in Beverly Square West, though many would call it Ditmas Park, the house cost Dessner $735,000 when it he bought in 11 years ago, in 2004, from sellers who had lived there for decades.

He renovated extensively, and it shows, with a relaxed organic-modern feel. The just-renovated exterior has cedar siding, Ipe on the porch and a porch swing.

Inside, there are original parquet floors, early electric light fixtures, a tiger oak staircase, paneling and stained glass windows. The fireplace in the living room works.

The kitchen has wood countertops and the bathrooms have classic white subway tile.

The asking price is $2,350,000 and the listing is up here. As the Brownstoner article points out, in addition to The National recording High Violet and Trouble Will Find Me in the house, Sharon Van Etten recorded Tramp there too.

Two million might seem like a lot, but this is a big house with history in a popular neighborhood, the Brooklyn real estate market is hot, and really two million starts to look like nothing when you realize how much the NYC ex-home of Billie Holiday costs.

Earlier today, Matt Berninger's other band EL VY released a new song.

EL VY

The National's Matt Berninger and ex-Menomena / Ramona Falls' Brent Knopf's new side project EL VY have already released three songs from their upcoming album Return to the Moon (due this Friday via 4AD) and now they released a fourth. It's called "Need A Friend" and you can watch the lyric video (directed by Matt's brother Tom) below.

The band's upcoming tour includes two sold-out NYC shows with Wye Oak.

Continue reading "EL VY (The National, Menomena) streaming "Need A Friend""

photo: The National at Barclays Center in 2013 (more by Dana (distortion) Yavin)
The National

Although The National haven't released an album since 2013's Trouble Will Find Me, they've had a very busy two years. They premiered their documentary, Mistaken for Strangers, last year at the Tribeca Film Festival and toured the US and Europe. Frontman Matt Berninger also recently formed a band with ex-Menomena member / Ramona Falls frontman Brent Knopf called EL VY and they're releasing their debut LP, Return to the Moon, on October 30 via 4AD. Berninger spoke to Rolling Stone yesterday about EL VY and also mentioned that The National's seventh album is being worked on:

We're working on a record. We're collecting all the ideas. Those guys are coming out to California for a week. We're in the anything-goes, fun phase of that. That's happening, but no idea when.
The National recently debuted a new song called "Roman Candle" during their set at a Los Angeles benefit show for non-profit Cooperative Education, which was co-founded by Berninger's cousins, Joe and Jeff Berninger. A few days later, they performed the song at Treasure Island Music Festival under the title "Checking Out." Before playing it, Berninger said, "It was called something else yesterday. Today it's called 'Checking Out.' Tomorrow, nobody knows." We'll have to wait until their pre-NYE shows in Aspen to see if it changes once again. For now, a video of the band performing it is below.

The National's only date besides those Aspen shows is an Australian festival in 2016, and they probably aren't adding much more for a while considering EL VY begin their tour in November. Since we last spoke, Wye Oak (whose drummer Andy Stack is in EL VY's live lineup) were added as support to select dates on that tour, including the NYC shows on 11/13 at Bowery Ballroom and 11/14 at MHOW. Both of those are sold out.

In other National-related news, guitarist Bryce Dessner joined German musician Alva Noto and Japanese composer Ryuichi Sakamoto in creating the score for Academy Award-winning director Alejandro Gonzalez Iñárritu's upcoming film, The Revenant. The film will be released on January 8. You can watch the trailer below.

In even more related news, the other Dessner (Aaron) and Justin Vernon announced their second annual Eaux Claires Music & Arts Festival today.

Watch the video of The National's performance of "Roman Candle" aka "Checking Out" and check out the EL VY/Wye Oak tour dates below...

Continue reading "The National working on 7th album, played a new song live; Wye Oak opening for EL VY +++ more related news"

by Andrew Sacher

EL VY

EL VY, the new band of The National frontman Matt Berninger and former Menomena / current Ramona Falls frontman Brent Knopf, have released a third song from their debut record. Following the art rocker "I'm The Man To Be" and the new wavey "Return to the Moon," "Paul Is Alive" has them coming a little closer to psych pop, with Matt's vocals as unmistakable as ever. Watch the lyric video, by Matt's brother Tom (who directed The National documentary Mistaken for Strangers), below.

Continue reading "EL VY (The National, Menomena) share "Paul Is Alive" (listen)"

by Andrew Sacher

EL VY

We already heard one song from EL VY, the new project of The National frontman Matt Berninger and former Menomena / current Ramona Falls frontman Brent Knopf, and today we get a second. That first one was kinda new wavey, but "I'm The Man To Be" is artier and wackier. Here's what Matt says about it:

There's this great Schoolboy Q song 'There He Go' which samples Menomena's "Wet and Rusting." I thought it would be funny to re-sample the same sample and do it from the perspective of a pathetic self-aggrandizing rocker alone in a hotel room. Something I know a lot about. That's how it started but then Brent took the sample out and we wrote an entirely new song.
Watch the lyric video below.

The album, Return to the Moon, comes out October 30 via 4AD. The band will also be touring this fall. Both NYC shows are sold out.

Continue reading "EL VY (The National, Menomena) release lyric video for new song "I'm The Man To Be" (watch/listen)"

by Andrew Sacher

Hoferlanz

Hoferlanz is the project of multi-instrumentalist Ben Lanz, who's played in The National, Beirut, Sufjan Stevens' band, Gabriel & the Hounds and more. He's releasing an album this week and celebrating with a release show on Wednesday (9/2) at Union Pool in Brooklyn. The National's Scott Devendorf and Helado Negro will be DJing. Tickets are on sale now.

So far two singles are out from the album. "Karla's Retreat" the kind of orchestral indie rock you might expect from someone with a resume like Ben, but "Visitaa" brings a harder, distorted edge to that sound. Check both out below.

Continue reading "The National/Beirut collaborator Ben Lanz releasing an album as Hoferlanz, celebrating in NYC this week"

the in-process exterior of National Sawdust
National Sawdust

Back in May, we posted details on the new non-profit Williamsburg venue National Sawdust, that's set to open on the corner of Wythe Ave and North 6th Street on October 1. Now the venue's initial schedule has been announced.

Three of the venue's curators, The National's Bryce Dessner, composer Nico Muhly and vocalist Theo Bleckmann, will team up for a concert on opening night. They'll be joined by the ACME ensemble and violist Nadia Sirota. Chris Thile (Punch Brothers, Nickel Creek) will open with a solo set. Tickets are on sale now. That's a 7:30 PM show, and there's also a late show that will have curator Jeffrey Zeigler teaming up with Cibo Matto and more (tickets).

Other upcoming shows include throat singer Tanya Tagaq on 10/2 (tickets), a multi-day Terry Riley festival (tickets), Chris Thile's band Punch Brothers on 10/8 (tickets), a John Zorn festival (tickets), Majical Cloudz on 10/21 (tickets), and much more. The venue currently has shows booked through December. Check out the full schedule.

That 10/21 show is currently the only upcoming tour date for Majical Cloudz, who have a new album on the way.

by Andrew Sacher

EL VY

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 the
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."

The 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.

All dates are listed below...

Continue reading "The National's Matt Berninger + Menemona / Ramona Falls' Brent Knopf = EL VY -- debut LP & tour coming (dates, video)"

Treasure Island

San Francisco's Treasure Island Music Festival returns in 2015 from October 17-18, and this year's lineup includes The National, The War on Drugs, Robyn & La Bagatelle Magique, Azealia Banks, Run the Jewels, Father John Misty, Panda Bear, Deerhunter, Drive Like Jehu, Ex Hex, Deadmau5, STS9, Hudson Mohawke, Shamir, Viet Cong and more. Tickets go on sale Thursday (6/11) at 10 AM PT.

Speaking of Hudson Mohawke, his new album is streaming on iTunes. and he's got a new video for the song "Warriors." Watch that, with the full Treasure Island lineup, below...

Continue reading "Treasure Island 2015 lineup: The National, War on Drugs, Run the Jewels, Azealia Banks, Drive Like Jehu, Deerhunter, more"

IMAGE

Remember when The National played "Sorrow" for six hours straight at MoMA PS1? If you've been thinking ever since, "I wish this was available to buy as a really expensive box set" well your dreams have come true. The nine-vinyl-LP set A Lot of Sorrow will be released by 4AD on June 22. It comes in a translucent box (on clear vinyl), they're only making 1,500 of them and they sell for $150.

Before your eyes roll completely out of their sockets, all proceeds from the box set will be donated to Partners in Health, "an organization dedicated to improve the health of impoverished people worldwide." Preorder yours.

photo: The National at Flow Festival 2014 (more by Dominick Mastrangelo)
The National

The National just revealed a previously-unreleased song from the Trouble Will Find Me sessions called "Sunshine On My Back" which features Sharon Van Etten on background vocals. It's currently available on iTunes, Spotify, and as a bonus if you purchase or rent their Mistaken for Strangers documentary via VHX.tv. Listen below.

Their only date at the moment is the Eaux Claires Music Festival, which National guitarist Aaron Dessner curated with Bon Iver's Justin Vernon.

Continue reading "The National share 'TWFM' outtake "Sunshine On My Back" featuring Sharon Van Etten (listen)"

the whole crew (via)
National

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...

Continue reading "The National are recording their Grateful Dead tribute w/ Will Oldham, Lee Ranaldo, Tallest Man on Earth & more (pics)"

photo: Sufjan at Big Ears Fest 2010 (more by Andrew Frisicano)
Sufjan

Part of the lineup already leaked for Justin Vernon and Aaron Dessner's Eaux Claires Music and Arts Festival, and now the whole thing has been announced. It includes their bands Bon Iver and The National, as well as Sufjan Stevens, Spoon, Sturgill Simpson, Sylvan Esso, Polica, The Tallest Man on Earth, Low, Liturgy, Hiss Golden Messenger, S. Carey, Phil Cook, Doomtree, Marijuana Deathsquads, Charles Bradley, Boys Noize, Blind Boys of Alabama, Sam Amidon, Field Report, Indigo Girls (performing 1994's Swamp Ophelia) and more.

The fest takes place July 17 & 18 at the Foster Farm in Eau Claire, WI. The pre-sale sold out, but tickets go on sale to the general public Thursday (2/12) at noon CST.

Full lineup, announcement video, and flyer, below...

Continue reading "Eaux Claires Music Fest full lineup (Bon Iver, The National, Sufjan Stevens, Spoon, Tallest Man, Polica, Sylvan Esso, more)"

if you've ever wondered what The National would look like as ornaments...
National

For the past two years, The National have teamed up with Bob's Burgers for a Thanksgiving song, and this year the two have met again, this time to get in Christmas spirit. The band, starring as animated Christmas tree ornaments, perform the song "Christmas Magic." Check it out, via Vulture, below...

Continue reading "The National star in 'Bob's Burgers' as Xmas tree ornaments, perform "Christmas Magic" (watch)"

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