Entries tagged with: The National
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 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.
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...
photo: Sufjan at Big Ears Fest 2010 (more by Andrew Frisicano)
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...
if you've ever wondered what The National would look like as ornaments...
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...
Grimes @ Pitchfork Fest 7/20/14
Photographer Dominick Mastrangelo has been contributing to BrooklynVegan for years, and this year he did most of his shooting in Chicago (as well as other places, like Finland's Flow Festival). Now that the year is coming to a close, Dominick has put together his favorite 14 photos that he took this year, as well as a list of ten records he's kept on heavy rotation throughout 2014. Check out more of his shots, and browse his album list, below...
Photo: Justin Vernon @ Osheaga 2014 (more by Ellie Pritts)
As discussed, Bon Iver's Justin Vernon is curating a music festival in his hometown of Eau Claire, WI called The Eaux Claires Music and Arts Festival, which takes place on July 17 & 18, 2015 at the Foster Farm. Since we last spoke, it was revealed that The National's Aaron Dessner is helping him curate it too, and that tickets go on sale at 1 PM EST today (12/18). Justin and Aaron spoke about the fest, via press release:
Justin Vernon says, "After several years of touring and playing music festivals of all different types around the world, I wanted to put together an event that would honor what we love about this place -- including an independent attitude and blaze orange caps -- but also shine a light on less familiar and surprising elements that are already weaving themselves into our future. Having this festival right in my backyard gives me and the guest artists a chance to share familiar work and new creations in a setting close to my heart and different than any other stage in the world. To create this event within view of the Chippewa River -- the very river that defines this place -- makes it all the more meaningful. We're fortunate because the Chippewa Valley already has a history of great music festivals. Everyone -- the city, the county, and the Country Jam folks -- has been very supportive. They're helping us take it beyond music and into a celebration of film, art, and things still in the works... just walking around the place is going to be an experience."--
Aaron Dessner adds, "Justin and I have been friends and collaborators for years. Working together to create and curate Eaux Claires is something we've been talking about for a long time. To finally see it come together, and to imagine the music, art and community the festival will bring together, is very exciting."
It's Halloween and the horror short films keep coming. First Avey Tare, and now Arcade Fire have put one out called Festi. The band gives the following description:
Festi, an Arcade Fire production.It was directed by "Noreen Bauble" and stars the members of Arcade Fire, James Murphy, Fleet Foxes, The National, ZZ Top, Slash, Peter Gabriel and more. Watch the full spooky thing below...
In association with people in Austin.
A look back at the Arcade Fire summer festival tour, 2011.
photos by James Richards IV, words by Zach Pollack & Milos Markicevic
The Flaming Lips / Afghan Whigs / mohawks
Riot Fest Chicago kicked off this past Friday (9/12) in Humboldt Park and continued the following day with Samhain (playing Initium) (video below), The National, The Flaming Lips, Descendents (playing Milo Goes to College), The Get Up Kids (playing Something to Write Home About), The Afghan Whigs, Television, Buzzcocks, Samiam, Wavves and many more. Pictures of the second day, and Milos and Zach's reviews, are in this post.
I skipped the rainy first day of Riot Fest and waded through the muddy aftermath to The Dandy Warhols perform at the Riot Stage. Getting there early I used the extra time attempting (and failing) to clean my sneakers, which had accumulated enough mud under the soles to make them look like brown platform shoes. The Dandys hit the stage on time and managed to squeeze in a good variety of their hits in the short 45 minute set time, including "I Love You," "We Used To Be Friends," "Bohemian Like You," and "Boys Better." The sound was a bit off the first couple of songs, possibly having something to do with Courtney Taylor's dual mic setup. But overall the set was excellent and managed to distract me from the sinking feeling under my shoes. The band seemed to enjoy themselves, especially keyboardist Zia McCabe who danced like a hippy while playing her Korg synth and tambourine. I spotted her again later in the day rocking out among the audience during the Die Antwoord set. Overall my only complaint was that Dandy's set felt criminally short and left me craving more. --MM
I started off day 2 of the festival by catching NYC punk legends Television's late afternoon set on the Rise Stage. They delivered almost all of their classic Marquee Moon (3/4 of their current lineup recorded the LP), complete with its signature paranoid feel and fantastic interlocking guitar work. Though they don't play all that many shows these days, the band were way on at the fest and came off sounding just as powerful as their recordings. After watching a large part of their set, I headed over to the Riot Stage for something very different: Die Antwoord.
The South African rave rappers began their performance by piping a highly-effected "DJ Hi-Tek Rulez" over the sound system, which includes the hook "DJ Hi-Tek will fuck you in the ass." Their subsequent set followed suit, with more ridiculous and highly danceable songs. During what I stuck around for, rapper Ninja mooned the crowd multiple times and did some serious stage hopping with Yo-Landi Vi$$er. We then broke for food prior to The Afghan Whigs' set on the nearby Roots Stage. --ZP
The crowd waiting for the Whigs couldn't have been more different than the one we had left. Older and somber, they occasionally took furrowed glances at Die Antwoord's stage in manner similar to a disgruntled parent. The Afghan Whigs finally hit the stage at 4:15 sharp and the crowd erupted with a mix of excitement and relief. Greg Dulli and the band were dressed in the debonair style that they're known for and reached deep into their back log, pulling out favorites like "Debonair" from their classic Gentleman album (which they're reissuing this year). The band flat out rocked and Duli even slammed his own drum near the end of the set. It was a real pleasure seeing these guys fully back in action. --MM
After Afghan Whigs, we headed to the smaller Revolt Stage to catch Buffalo, NY punk pop trio Lemuria. The three-piece delivered a mix of tunes from last year's The Distance Is So Big and its predecessors with a ton of energy. The humble crowd they gathered seemed to eat it up too. Highlights included the driving "Clay Baby" and grungy "Brilliant Dancer." After a handful of songs from Lemuria, we headed over to the already-packed Roots Stage where Wu-Tang Clan would soon be playing.
The Wu entered with their classic party-starter "Bring Da Ruckus," followed by the majority of 36 Chambers. Standout moments from their overall fun set included the RZA-led "The Mystery Of Chessboxin'," "Protect Ya Neck," and the classic "C.R.E.A.M." RZA also gave Syl Johnson a big shout out while talking about influential Chicago artists. --ZP
The Flaming Lips were our next mark, who were to take the Roots Stage after Wu-Tang. Wayne Coyne and co. began their sprawling trip-out with "The Abandoned Hospital Ship" followed by "Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots, Pt. 1." The band had an elaborate, hanging fiber-optic setup and a stage-spanning screen with visuals behind them. When combined (most often with a tunnel-looking rainbow video), the backgrounds and fiber-optics worked extremely well together. There were also various blowup mascots on stage throughout their set, like a sun, mushrooms, a creepy butterfly, etc. with people inside animating them. While attempting a confetti cannon shot during "The Abandoned Hospital Ship," The Flaming Lips blew the power on the Roots Stage. The confetti still shot off, and it was a bit sad for a few minutes while they assessed the situation. They did manage to come back strong, yet Coyne still seemed understandably deflated. This didn't stop him from putting on a great show though, and he channeled some of that weirdness into an excellent performance of The Terror standout "Look...The Sun Is Rising." The uplifting "Do You Realize??" came next, followed by their incredibly warped cover of The Beatles classic "Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds." The verses remain fairly intact, but the chorus is shopped with doom-ridden explosions throughout. It's a really interesting take on the song, and I'm curious to see what the recording will be like. --ZP
The National were a bit delayed due to a border crossing mishap in Ottawa, so The Flaming Lips were given a bit more time. When they did arrive, Matt Berninger first joked that he was busy checking his email before actually explaining what happened. The National proceeded to give us a mostly late-period headlining set that featured songs from Trouble Will Find Me and High Violet. That's not to say their older material was completely ignored. " They capped off their characteristically great show with "Fake Empire" into "Mr. November," and finished with "Terrible Love." --ZP
photos by Dominick Mastrangelo
The National / How to Dress Well / the scene
Earlier this month, we sent longtime BrooklynVegan contributor Dominick Mastrangelo to the 2014 Flow Festival in Helsinki, Finland. Here's his report and photos from Day 2...
Flow Festival Day 2 ended up leaning heavily toward American bands. It wasn't planned, but with The Horrors canceling a couple days earlier and some scheduling conflicts, it's just how it played out. And not that it was necessarily a bad thing. There's definitely something cool and pleasantly disjointing about seeing bands you've seen stateside in a time zone seven hours away.
But the day did start out with two really solid Finnish bands back to back: The electro-pop of Shivan Dragn and prog-rock instrumentalists - and Spencer Krug collaborators - Siinai.
With a bit of time to kill I venture to the Main Stage to see Les Ambassadeurs led by Salif Keita. The catchy Afro-pop of the ensemble provided an enjoyable, uplifting respite before a run of bands in quick succession.
I caught a brief bit of How To Dress Well. My first time seeing Tom Krell since Pitchfork in 2011 and I was struck by how intense his live set had become. A much more assured and visceral performance than before -- eschewing the string quartet he had with him at Pitchfork in favor of a more straightforward live performance.
From there it was over to the Blue Tent for Bill Callahan, one of the artists I was truly jazzed about seeing in Helsinki. Callahan always seems to come across as the coolest guy in the room and as great as his set was, I was disappointed that much of the crowd chose to talk during his set. (Apparently, this is not a problem exclusive to concerts and festivals in the States.) But I maneuvered to a spot close up where the attention was more rapt and mesmerized by Callahan's smooth bass-baritone and stayed for the entire set; the first band whose set I stayed from start to finish.
I managed to catch a few songs of Danish pop-songstress, MØ at the Black Tent. It was a high-energy set and Karen Ørsted was dressed appropriately in boxing trunks and black tank top, bouncing from stage to speakers and whipping the crowd into a frenzy as us photographers in the pit worked hard to keep up with her.
After a bit of a break, I ventured over to the Balloon 360 stage to see Marissa Nadler. The stage-in-the-round setup, where the sound seemingly comes from everywhere, was perfect for Nadler's haunting, airy songs. It was simply beautiful.
The Main Stage was the next stop for The National. I'd mentioned earlier how wonderfully disjointing it was to see bands across the pond and maybe the The National were more so than any of the American-based bands I saw on the weekend. My first National show was seeing them open for John Vanderslice at a tiny rock club in Denton, TX nearly ten years ago. I've seen them at various points since on their upward trajectory so it was only fitting that I see them headline a festival in Europe. From Denton to Helsinki in a decade.
I finished off my night back at the Balloon Stage for Poliça. Drummers Drew Christopherson and Ben Ivascu faced each other and singer Channy Leaneagh and bassist Chris Bierden took up opposing spots with producer Ryan Olson on the edge of the stage running production. It was hypnotic as the glow of the balloon and hazy LED lights provided dreamy ambiance for rhythmic drum beats and the effects-laden voice of Leaneagh. With Jamie xx performing in the Black Tent and French electronic mastermind Kavinsky in the Blue Tent at the same time as Poliça it was impossible to be everywhere, so I opted to stay outside under the cozy environs of the balloon.
The evening continued at a techno club where we drank cider and beer and danced to generally undanceable songs before spilling out into the brisk Helsinki night and heading to another summer-specific after party out at the water. There young locals were hanging out drinking and chatting in a mashup of languages: Finnish, German, French, English... Some opted for an early morning swim, stripping down and flinging themselves off the dock into the chill. Some drifting way, way out into the dark.
As I rolled up to my hotel in the early morning hours of Sunday, with the sky brightening in the east, I got that feeling you get when you're having an absolute blast somewhere that you don't call home.
I didn't want to leave.
"There was a certain amount of science to it. An entire week of work experience students left the office thinking that cutting-edge music journalism in 2014 mostly involves calculating which bands have been mentioned most in NME in the past two years, then hunting out references to the bands that influenced those acts online and finally adding up the number of times each influence came up. This gave us a rough list which our editorial team - heads swimming with all of the bands that Wolf Alice (or whoever) have raved on about over 4am ciders - then took to the pub, tore into shreds, fought and shouted about and finally reconstructed in the rundown of 100 you see in the mag today. The Beatles didn't make it. Sorry." [NME[NME went ahead and listed who they think the 100 most influential musicians and bands are (their latest cover story). Radiohead topped the list. Read the rest with justifications at NME, or just look at their full list below...
Helsinki has some nice architecture...
After spending three days shooting portraits and other SoundWave tent activities for us at Lollapalooza in Chicago, BrooklynVegan photographer Dominick Mastrangelo took off to Finland for this year's Flow Festival. Keep checking back for his coverage from the fest throughout the weekend, starting now...
With Lollapalooza in the books for another year, this weekend's summer festivals look west to San Francisco for Outside Lands. And they also look east, way east, across the pond to the Scandinavian and Nordic countries whom are all holding their own festivals. Norway's Oya Festival is up and running while Sweden's Way Out West and Flow Festival in Finland take place Friday through Sunday. At the time of this writing, I'm 31,000 feet over Iceland and bound for the beautiful seaport city of Helsinki for Flow. The lineup is a healthy mix of heavy hitters, indie-popular bands as well as Finnish talent.
Last week's Lollapalooza headliners, Skrillex and OutKast, are headlining on Friday (8/8) and Sunday (8/10)respectively. The National, whose seemingly endless tour in support of last year's Trouble Will Find Me, roll in to town after playing Oya and Way Out West to headline on Saturday.
In addition to the headliners, the fest also features Röyksopp & Robyn, Polica, Little Dragon, Marissa Nadler, The Horrors, Darkside, Bill Callahan and Janelle Monae are also performing. And a handful of artists who performed at Pitchfork a few weeks ago will be making their way to Helsinki as well including Slowdive, Real Estate and Neneh Cherry.
Flow also gives a nod toward festivals like SXSW and CMJ with a host of talks on tech and music as well as a screening over 40 short films. The National will also feature on the film side with a screening of the documentary Mistaken For Strangers.
Update: Being seven hours ahead of New York, I've been out and about in Helsinki today. Posters for Flow are everywhere, the weather was gorgeous and I spent most of my afternoon out on Suomenlinna, a fortress built on six islands in the Gulf of Finland. (That beautiful weather disappeared in less than an hour as it's presently pouring outside.) Some photos from my afternoon jaunt, plus the full Flow lineup, below...
by Andrew Sacher
Touche Amore @ Revolution in July (more by Mimi Hong)
No Sleep Records is putting out a new compilation this week, A Comp For Mom, which is a tribute to label founder Chris Hansen's mom who recently passed away. Here's what Chris had to say about it:
A Comp For Mom is a special project i planned over the past month of my mom's life, to release in her honor and to help raise funds for her medical bills. Now it will be released in memory of her. 100% of the proceeds will be going towards any medical bills/other expenses incurred after her passing, after that 100% of the proceeds will go into a Linda Hansen Memorial Fund.The comp features rare and unreleased tracks by La Dispute, Into It. Over It., Now, Now, Run Forever and more, as well as covers such as Allison Weiss taking on The Beatles' "In My Life," Daisyhead doing Jimmy Eat World's "Work" and, recorded special for this compilation, Touché Amore's version of The National's "Available" that they played at Revolution last month. The song, which is a digital-only bonus track, mostly features singer Jeremy Bolm using clean vocals until the song's end when he brings back his trademark scream.
I love you Mom, say hi to Dad for me.
You can pre-order A Comp For Mom now. A full stream of the compilation premieres in this post and can be listened to below.
Riot Fest Chicago 2014 is set to take place from September 12-14 throughout Humboldt Park. The 10th anniversary of the festival features Jane's Addiction, Slayer, The Offspring, Pussy Riot (Nadya Tolokonnikova & Masha Alekhina), Mastodon, The Murder City Devils, Failure, Title Fight, The National, The Flaming Lips, Wu-Tang Clan, Descendents, The Cure, Weezer, Social Distortion, Primus, Patti Smith, and many more across seven-stages. The fest has now shared daily lineups, which you can scope out at the bottom of this post. Three-day and two-day passes are still available, and single-day tickets are on sale now.
RFC 2014 daily lineups lie after the jump...
photos by Mimi Hong
Touche Amore / Tigers Jaw @ Revolution - 7/15/14
Touche Amore brought their ongoing tour with Tigers Jaw and Dads through the NYC-area for a sold-out Long Island show at Revolution Bar & Music Hall Tuesday night (7/15). TA mostly split the set between their two most recent albums, Is Survived By and Parting the Sea Between Brightness and Me, but included others as well, like early fan favorite "Honest Sleep," the song from their Pianos Become the Teeth split, and a cover of The National's "Available" with clean vocals (!) until the song's ending, of course. Check out a very short clip of that with Jeremy Bolm doing his best Matt Berninger impression, below. The recording will appear on the upcoming No Sleep compilation.
Tigers Jaw (who currently share a drummer with TA, and whose Brianna Collins briefly joined Touche during their set) went on right before, playing a 15-song set split between highlights off their excellent new album, Charmer, as well as older cuts like "Plane Vs. Tank Vs. Submarine" and "I Saw Water." Pictures of the show are in this post.
Touche Amore will be back in the NYC-area when their tour with Rise Against and Radkey hits Best Buy Theater on September 26 and Wellmont Theatre on September 30. Tickets for those shows are still available.
More pictures, with Touche and Tigers Jaw's setlists, below...
The National @ Barclays Center in 2013 (more by Dana (distortion) Yavin)
If you haven't seen the National documentary 'Mistaken For Strangers' yet, July 7 is your chance when it screens for $5.00 at City Winery in NYC (try not to drink all the wine... because then you won't remember the movie!). One night earlier City Winery is screening a documentary about one of The National's favorite bands, the Grateful Dead. That one is free (don't take the brown acid).
The National movie recently opened across Europe where The National will be touring next week. All dates are listed below, even the ones they cancelled in Russka and Ukraine. In April they announced:
Due to the ongoing political crisis in the region, we are sad to report that we have decided to cancel our shows in Moscow, St. Petersburg and Kiev this summer. Ticket refunds are available at the point of purchase. We remain hopeful of coming to play for you in the future and we sincerely hope this current instability resolves in a positive, democratic and peaceful way. Take care of yourselves and we hope to see you soon.They'll see the U.S. again in August whtn they play a series of festival dates including Made in America in Philly, Boston Calling in Boston, and Riot Fest in Chicago and Toronto. Their most recent NYC shows were in Prospect Park for three nights in a row. We also caught them this year at Sasquatch, in Austin, and in Chicago.
photos by Amanda Hatfield, words by Andrew Sacher
The National @ Prospect Park - 6/19/14
The National have taken quite a beating this weekend. On the first night of their sold out three-night run in Prospect Park in their hometown of Brooklyn, Matt Berninger cut his head and on the second night he began losing his voice (he said a moth flew into his mouth). You could tell Matt was weary by night 3, and his voice was still a little shot on the screaming parts, but the band still put on an excellent show.
The set jumped right into the hits, with "Start A War," "Don't Swallow the Cap," "Secret Meeting," "Anyone's Ghost," and more favorites coming before the sun had even fully set. It was almost jarring to realize how many heavy hitters we were getting right away. It was early in the night, too bright out for the light show to have any real power yet, and outdoors so you couldn't be taken over by volume, but here were The National casually playing some of the most beloved indie rock songs of the last ten years. The set really kicked in for me by "Sea of Love" off their newest album, Trouble Will Find Me. The song's driving triple guitars had The National sounding at their most massive, and the song's bridge saw Matt bringing his screams onto one of their most somber albums.
Another highlight of the show came from Trouble Will Find Me, "This Is the Last Time," when the song's big chorus abruptly cut out leaving only piano and clean guitar, and the more crazed light show shifted to a dark purple. In a show that included layered distorted guitars and Matt screaming multiple times, one of its heaviest moments came as he softly sung "Jenny I am in trouble, can't get these thoughts out of me." And when the Dessners and the band's backing vocalist added the "It takes a lot of pain to pick me up" refrain, it was a true show stopper.
That song was followed by some of the deeper cuts of the show, as The National offered "Lean" from last year's Hunger Games soundtrack (which they said was a new version of a song they'd previously cut from an album), into a medley of "Available" and "Cardinal Song" from 2003's Sad Songs for Dirty Lovers, the first time they'd included anything from that album all week. The rocking "Available" was the heaviest they'd sounded all night since "Sea of Love."
Then came the encore which, save for its first song (we got "All Dolled-Up in Straps" from the Cherry Tree EP), was the same it had been the two previous nights. Matt ran through the crowd for the rowdy fan favorite "Mr. November," followed by an upbeat rendition of "Terrible Love." And to close the show, the whole band (including the backing musicians) gathered on stage in front of the drums for a fully acoustic version of "Vanderlyle Crybaby Geeks," much like their pal Bon Iver (who sings on the studio version of that song) does at his shows with "Skinny Love."
Pictures of night 3, which MS MR opened, are in this post. Pictures of night 1 (with Phosphorescent) are HERE, and review of night 2 (with Lord Huron) is HERE. More night 3 pictures, with the setlist and a video of "Vanderlyle Crybaby Geeks," 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...
photos by David Andrako
The National / Phosphorescent @ Prospect Park - 6/17/14
The National kicked off their three-night run in Prospect Park last night (6/17) with a lengthy set that included favorites from their last four albums (plus a cut from the Cherry Tree EP). As anyone who's seen The National knows, the band go harder than their records would have you believe, but Matt Berninger went extra hard last night, hitting his head on one of the video screens causing him to bleed (as you can see above). Hope you're okay, Matt! There's a different opener every night, and last night's was Phosphorescent whose Matthew Houck joined The National during their encore for "Terrible Love." Pictures of both bands are in this post.
The run continues tonight (6/18) with Lord Huron (a few tickets are still available) and Thursday (6/19) with MS MR (no available tix at the moment, but you can win them). All three shows are "benefit" shows for Celebrate Brooklyn's ongoing season at the venue.
More pictures, and The National's setlist, below...
The National @ Sasquatch 2014 (more by Chris Graham and Rae Graham)
The National kick off their three-night run at Celebrate Brooklyn! at Prospect Park tonight (6/17). Tonight's show with Phosphorescent is sold out, but you can still get tickets to Wednesday (6/18 w/ Lord Huron) and Thursday (6/19 w/ MS MR). If you'd like to go to the Thursday show for free, we're giving away a pair of tickets to that show. Details below.
MS MR were just at Bonnaroo where they performed their cover of LCD Soundsystem's "Dance Yrself Clean" as well as their Arctic Monkeys cover and "Bones" which was used memorably in the trailer for S3 of Game of Thrones. The duo are set to begin recording their new album this month. Watch a Billboard video where they talk about that, below.
Speaking of Game of Thrones, S4 just wrapped up on Sunday with an action-packed finale that also had some fans of the book wondering where a certain character was. The National recorded a version of "Rains of Castamere" from Game of Thrones way back in Season 2 of the show. They've only played it live once, according to Setlist.FM. Maybe they'll pull it out at one of this week's shows?
MS MR interview video and contest details below...
The National / M.I.A. / Deafheaven / crowd
For a moment there, it looked like The National's headlining set at Sasquatch - one of the band's biggest shows to date - was going to be underwhelming. For the first twenty minutes, the band felt too mellow, and frontman Matt Berninger, disinterested. And then, after "Don't Swallow The Cap", a switch seemingly went off in Berninger's head, and suddenly a middling National show turned into an outstanding, headlining-worthy triumph. After a furious "Afraid of Everyone", Berninger threw the first of many wine glasses (and later, bottles) into the air, walking away as it shattered on the ground. By the time he'd gotten to the always-intense "Squalor Victoria", he'd thrown his first microphone. By the end of main set closer "Mr. November", he'd attacked a stage banner, drank more wine, thrown a stage light, drank even more wine, dove into the crowd, crowdsurfed back, screamed at a sidestage LED screen, gone back into the crowd, drank wine (just to spit it out), and smashed whatever glass remained at that point. [KEXP]We've already posted day 1 pictures of Washington state's 2014 Sasquatch music festival, and here's a set of day 2 (5/24), including shots of The National, Cut Copy, Tyler the Creator, Austra, M.I.A., Panda Bear, Neko Case, Washed Out, Deafheaven, Violent Femmes, The Dodos, First Aid Kit and more. Pictures continue below...
As previously mentioned, Jay Z is throwing his Budweiser Made In America Festival in Philly and LA this year, simultaneously on August 30-31. The lineup for Philly has just been announced and includes Kanye West and Kings of Leon as headliners, plus The National, Pharrell, J. Cole, Girl Talk, Spoon, Chromeo, Grimes, De La Soul, Baauer, Danny Brown, YG, Holy Ghost and more. Full lineup below.
UPDATE: The LA lineup was also announced and it includes headliners Imagine Dragons and John Mayer plus Kendrick Lamar, Weezer, Metric, Chance the Rapper, Cypress Hill, Schoolboy Q, YG, Dr. Dog, Ab-Soul, Isaiah Rashad, Jay Rock, SZA and more. Full lineup below.
2-day passes for both fests are on sale now.
Chicago has The Cure, Jane's Addiction, The National, Weezer, The Flaming Lips, Social Distortion, Slayer, Wu-Tang Clan, Descendents, Tegan & Sara, Metric, the reunited Samhain (!), Cheap Trick, Pussy Riot (Nadya Tolokonnikova & Masha Alekhina), Patti Smith, Taking Back Sunday, Mastodon, Afghan Whigs, Naked Raygun, Cock Sparrer, Superchunk, Lucero, Murder City Devils, Mudhoney, Failure, Hot Snakes, Thurston Moore, Get Up Kids, Kurt Vile, Wavves, ALL, Mineral, Title Fight, Samiam, Menzingers, Front Bottoms, Pianos Become the Teeth, Bouncing Souls, Buzzcocks, Gogol Bordello, Stiff Little Fingers and many more. Tickets are on sale now.
Denver also has The Cure, The National, Weezer, Social Distortion, The Flaming Lips, Slayer, Wu-Tang Clan, Taking Back Sunday, Lucero, Failure, Hot Snakes, ALL, Mineral, Menzingers, Pianos Become the Teeth, Bouncing Souls, Buzzcocks, Gogol Bordello, Stiff Little Fingers plus Primus, TV on the Radio, Glassjaw, Bob Mould, Violent Femmes and more. Tickets are on sale now.
Full Chicago and Denver lineups below...
Riot Fest is happening in Toronto, Chicago and Denver again this year, and the lineup for Toronto was just announced. It happens on September 6 & 7 and features The National, Flaming Lips, Social Distortion, Death Cab for Cutie, Death From Above 1979, Brand New, Paul Weller, Stars, Metric, The Head and the Heart, Tokyo Police Club, The New Pornographers, Taking Back Sunday, Afghan Whigs, Alkaline Trio, Glassjaw, Bob Mould, Thurston Moore, Buzzcocks, Clutch, Manchester Orchestra, Lucero, Title Fight and many more. Full initial lineup below. Tickets go on sale Saturday (5/10) at 10 AM.
As mentioned on BV Chicago, the Chicago fest happens from September 12-14 this year, and Denver from September 19-21. Stay tuned for those lineups.
Full initial Toronto lineup below...
Megafaun at Ecstatic Music Fest in 2013 (more by David Andrako)
Megafaun kicked off their short tour in their hometown of Durham, NC last night (4/29) and it continues with another show there tonight (4/30) before hitting DC and finally wrapping up in NYC on Friday (5/2) at Baby's All Right. Opening the DC and NYC shows is, as Megafaun puts it, "a chance to see the legendary Grandma Sparrow," otherwise known as the solo project of Megafaun drummer Joe Westerlund. The band also mentioned earlier this month on Twitter, "This will be it again for a while on the 'ol Faun front. Anticipate some special guests and a very good time. We are real excited!" Baby's All Right mentioned the guests on Facebook too, saying "Friday will be a very special night with some very special guests. Please take our word for it and be here. You won't regret it." Keep in mind that Megafaun's list of past collaborators and friends is long and impressive. Before Megafaun they had a pre-Bon Iver band with Justin Vernon called DeYarmond Edison. Tickets for Friday's show are still available.
In related news, Megafaun members are some of the many people contributing to The National's forthcoming Grateful Dead tribute album. Phil Cook spoke to Jambands.com back in October:
We are also going to record with Justin [Vernon] and [The National's Aaron and Bryce Dessner] on their Grateful Dead tribute. We are going to record out stuff at Justin's studio which is going to be a trip.The tribute will also feature members of Bon Iver, The War on Drugs, The Walkmen, Kurt Vile, Vampire Weekend and more. The National's Matt Berninger also gave an update on the project not long ago to Billboard:
I know the members of Megafaun have deep roots in the Phish world, but were the Grateful Dead an influence on you as well?
Not as much growing up but it has been a more recent thing. My dad was a big Deadhead and he'd take us all to Phish shows to kind of see where the scene was going. So I got into them through him but Phish was one of the bands that my brother and I grew up listening to at jazz camp. Growing up in a kind of removed area, camp and that music opened up our eyes to so many things.
Speaking of the Grateful Dead project, is the National doing a song for that?In other Megafaun news, related band Sylvan Esso just released a new video and announced they'll be playing a Governors Ball pre-party in NYC before their tour with tUnE-yArDs.
MB: Yes. And there's a huge debate over which one to do. They keep talking about "Box of Rain" for me. Something because of the register of the vocals. I'm staying out of it. It's [bassist Scott Devendorf and drummer Bryan Devendorf] that are probably the biggest Dead fans. There's constant emails going back and forth about what to do. They kind of kicked me out of the whole Dead project because I kinda don't know what I'm talking about. I've never followed the Dead much but those guys have become ... they're borderline experts on the Dead. It's a fun thing. Meeting Bob Weir and playing with him in San Francisco was surreal and awesome. I can't wait until that thing finally comes together.
Do you think the surviving members like Bob Weir and Phil Lesh would play on it?
MB: I think so. I don't know. That's a good question. I don't want to say "yes" but certainly Bob Weir ... we've done a couple things with him already and he's the nicest guy. All the surviving members are totally supportive of the project. They sent everybody box sets that we could pass around. They just opened up their entire catalog to us. They've been 100% behind it. I'm not sure who's signed up.
Updated Megafaun dates are listed, with videos (including one of Sharon Van Etten fronting Megafaun), below...