The National’s new album Trouble Will Find Me is due out May 20th but they have released the first single “Demons.” The new tune stays with the sound we have come to know a love from The National and will certainly satisfy fans while peeking interest for their new release. Check it out below.
The National recently recorded a song for the new independent film Win Win called “Think You Can Wait”. A video of the song has been released featuring The National playing the song (with guest Sharon Van Etten) inter-cut with behind-the-scenes clips from the movie. According to Matt Berninger, lead singer, the band wrote the song after watching the film and becoming inspired by director Tom McCarthy’s themes of “very normal and good people trying to do their best and the struggle to be good.”
In today’s unlikely duo news, comes the new track from Soul Legend Booker T. Jones featuring The National’s Matt Berninger and Sharon Jones (sans the Dap Kings). The new track “Representing Memphis” is the first from his upcoming album The Road From Memphis. The new album features Booker T. backed up by the Roots, and is said to feature guest appearances by Jim James and Lou Reed in addition to Berninger and Jones. The Road From Memphis follows up Booker T’s last disc Potato Hole, his first album in 20 years. The album featured the Drive By Truckers and Neil Young as his backing band, and won the 2010 Grammy for best instrumental album.
Check out the new track along with another take from the new album – an instrumental cover of Lauryn Hill’s “Everything is Everything” below.
This morning the Austin City Limits festival announced their 2010 lineup. This year’s festival will take place October 8 – 10th, and will include headliners The Eagles, Muse, Phish, The Strokes and The Flaming Lips. There are plenty of really good bands on the lineup to get excited about including Austin natives Spoon, Monsters of Folk, Band of Horses, Yeasayer, Broken Bells, The Black Keys, Gaslight Anthem, and The National. The full lineup is listed below. 3 day festival passes are sold out, but there are still tickets for each day available. For ticket information or more information, check out the festival’s website.
The Flaming Lips
Band of Horses
Monsters of Folk
Robert Earl Keen
The Black Keys
Matt and Kim
Portugal. The Man
The Temper Trap
Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros
Ryan Bingham and Dead Horses
Devendra Banhart and the Grogs
THe Soft Pack
Robert Randolph and the Family Band
The Almighty Defenders
Miike Snow, Mountain Goats, Bear in Heaven, Mayer Hawthorne, Midlake, Foals, Switchfoot, Cage the Elephant, JJ Grey and Mofro, Kinky, Angus and Julia Stone, The Morning Benders, Hockey, White Rabbits, David Bazan, Asleep at the Wheel, Trombone Shorty and Orleans Avenue, Nortec Collective, The Very Best, Beats Antique, Henry Clay People, Blind Pilot, Givers, Dawes, Band of Heathens, Charlie Mars, Two Door Cinema Club, Lissie, Sarah Harmer, The Constellations, T. Bird and the Breaks, Chief, Frank Turner, Those Darlins, Carolyn Wonderland, TEACHERS, Kings Go Forth, The Relatives, The Ettes, Qbeta, The Dough Rollers, MyNameIsJohnMichael, Basia Bulat, Balmorhea, Dan Black, The Jane Shermans, The Kicks, Ponderosa, Two Tons of Steel, Caitlin Rose, SPEAK, Run With Bulls, Maxim Ludwig, Gospel Stars, Heavenly Voices, Wesley Bray & The Disciples of Joy, Jones Family Singers, Ashley Cleveland and Kenny Greenberg, Buddy and the Straight
The National has had a busy day today. In addition to releasing their excellent new album High Violet, they also released a new music video for it’s first single “Bloodbuzz Ohio”.
Don’t expect any special effects or car chases, as the video pretty much just follows singer Matt Berninger as he pensively wanders about town. There is a cameo by famed rock director D.A. Pennebaker as a bartender. Pennebaker will be directing the webcast of the National’s 5/15 show at the Brooklyn Academy of Music. The preview for this event is below the music video, and looks an awful lot like another famouse piece of Pennebakers’s work.
There’s plenty of blood red imagery mixed with deeply somber blues on The National’s latest album, High Violet. It is a well orchestrated and diabolically crafted follow up to the band’s break-out 2007 release “Boxer”. However the middle-brow anthems of snarling hope found on Boxer are replaced with the grimmer realities of a paranoid adult who’s still not fitting in. “High Violet” digs deeper asking more questions than giving answers but still manages to find grace in the process. I don’t know if the album is better than Boxer but it’s certainly more diverse than any of the band’s previous releases. However, while slower tunes like “Sorrow” and “Vanderlyle Crybaby Geeks” are beautiful on their own, they don’t have quite the replay value the others do. Their is a stark contrast to the more gruesome faster-moving songs like “Conversation 16″ and “”Blood Buzz Ohio”. “Terrible Love” is a real standout and emerges as an instant classic.
The National’s skill at blending seriously dark shades with endearing rock melodies puts them in a unique category of talented bands who successfully try to go their own way without spinning their wheels. They still have a knack for turning songs about “white guy problems” into “catchy heart-wrenching tales of mid-American life”. It’s hard to not have some self-doubt as a comfortable American in today’s world and The National embrace this reluctance putting it in the forefront of their songs. When lead singer Matt Berninger sings, “You and your sister live in a Lemonworld, I want to sit in and die” you can’t help but imagine the lanky front-man in his dark suit leering from the corner of a 4th of July barbecue. But it’s not all gloom and doom. There is a sweet and moving finesse beneath the grave vocals which keep The National from being just another angst-ridden rock outfit. The Dessner twins keep Berninger grounded with their soothing riffs and perfectly timed chimes while the other brothers, Scott and Bryan Devendorf, lay down the well-paced beating pulse of the rhythm section. High Violet is a rewarding release with a depth and detail that really takes some time to soak in. I encourage several full listens before passing judgment but rest assured it’s worth it.
The album is streaming thru NPR until it’s release date on May 11.
With hopes of elevating success amidst high anticipation for their next album, Brooklyn-based band, The National, kicked off a spring/summer 2010 tour from a renovated theater of the same name in downtown Richmond, VA. An appropriate start to their tour for an unconventional band that blends an old-timey sense of artistry with the spirit of modern defiance. Lead singer Matt Berninger doesn’t play a single instrument so his stage presence ranges from shy Jim Morrison, pouncing alley cat to a really stoked, 6′ 4″ infant, oftentimes clapping his hands in manic jubilation. His elevated intensity shines through as he straddles a sense of reckless danger and vulnerable melancholy at the same time. Yet through it all he maintains a fun and gracious rapport with the audience, rare for a lyricist with such dark and serious tones. It’s a far cry from watching other somber baritones, like Interpol’s Paul Banks, who barely looks at the crowd and speaks only when announcing song titles, if that. The National is somewhat of an anomaly, taking you down a dark path at times but not too self-righteous to leave you on your own.
The sound was crisp and booming in the National Theater and while some of the younger indie kids seemed unsure of whether to clap, jump up and down or just do the Charleston, everyone seemed to be having a good time. Twin brothers Bryce and Aaron Dessner shared guitar duties while bassist Scott Devendorf and brother Bryan laid down the rhythm section with an endless barrage of tight drums and piling bass lines. The band played all but one song off upcoming new album High Violet, which at times left a stunned audience nodding their heads until a tune from Boxer or Alligator came up. For the most part however, these new tunes fit in perfectly if not as highlights. Such was the case with “Blood Buzz Ohio”, the first official song released from the new album, which completely rocked the house. Another new tune “Terrible Love”, which ended up being the last song of the night, felt as though it has been in the band’s rotation for years as no one missed a beat and the audience roared with excitement. “Mr. November” was a real treat as Matt waded deep into the sea of fans screaming and singing with tremendous energy, resulting in a surprisingly considerate swarm of the band’s front man.
Playing right at an hour and a half, the “maybe-a-tad-too-short” concert left the crowd of true believers anxious. But that’s really what you want. Even five minutes after the encore finished, the crowd was still hooting and hollering for just one more song. This concert certainly left me longing for more and I might try to catch them again on the latter half of this summer’s tour. After a few listens of both the new songs live and the full album streaming thru NYTimes.com, it looks as though this will be a good and well-deserved year for the National (the band). Stay tuned for a full review of next month’s release High Violet.
Afraid of Everyone
Blood Buzz Ohio
Vanderlyle Crybaby Geeks
Slow Show Mistaken for Strangers
All the Wine
Daughters of the Soho Riots
Today, the New York Times has released an advance free stream of The National’s highly anticipated new album High Violet as well as a great in-depth article on the band itself. High Violet is the Brooklyn quintet’s first full-length release since 2007′s Boxer.
The release is streaming in it’s entirety on the New York Times website. Check it out by clicking here.
After hearing two new tunes (“Terrible Love” and “Bloodbuzz Ohio”) off the National’s new album High Violet, the band has released a third song, “Afraid of Everyone” which you can listen to and download here. I think it’s safe to say anyone who a) likes good music b) uses the interweb and/or c) enjoys songs about Ohio, is eagerly awaiting High Violet’s May 11 release.
The National has posted a free mp3 download of their newest song “Bloodbuzz Ohio” from their upcoming album”High Violet” due out May 11. Much like the other song “Terrible Love” recently performed on Jimmy Fallon’s Late Show, the band has a slightly more optimistic sound than some previous efforts. Well, as optimistic as The National can get anyway. So far so good.
We will have to make sure there is plenty of coffee in the Merchants of Rock office this week, as there are some music guests worth staying up for scheduled for “Late Night With Jimmy Fallon” the next two nights. Tonight, Jimmy welcomes the legendary Allman Brothers Band. The band is in town for their annual NY residency with a stretch of shows at the United Palace Theater from March 11th – 7th. Tomorrow night, Brooklyn based “The National” takes the short trip to Jimmy’s NY studios to take the late night stage. The band is promoting their new album, “High Violet” which is set to release on May 11th. We have yet to hear anything from the new album, but we hope that will all change tomorrow night, as they will most likely bust out some new material for the show. We will do our best to post clips from the shows, but NBC is usually pretty stingy with the music clips. Enjoy!
The National’s new album finally has a title, “High Violet”. The album is set to be released on 5/11 on 4AD records. Frontman Matt Berniger told Pitchfork that we can expect a “faster and meaner record” with their latest release. The band just launched a new website at www.highviolet.com that features five video clips of the band in the studio. The band is sure to be playing the new songs with some old favorites on their spring tour. The tour kicks off 4/22 with two dates at Richmond, VA’s aptly named “The National” theatre. We’ll be there and a write up of the show won’t be far behind. Check out the dates here.