10.12.2010

The National

Image a la Google


Are you listening to The National? If you answered no then I have something to tell you...

The National is probably the best band you're not listening to. If yes, than you probably already know what I'll be gushing about for the remainder of this post (but maybe everyone's already listening to them, rendering this suggestion irrelevant?). Darling began listening to The National sometime last year (although their first album released in '01), and, admittedly, it took me a little longer to catch on. Maybe it's the magic of live performance? But suddenly I can't seem to get enough of this Brooklyn-based ensemble. Their moody melodies creep up on you slowly--the more you listen, the more hypnotizing it becomes. 

We saw them perform in the historic Ryman Auditorium in Nashville. The visitor tour claims that the Ryman Auditorium has been rated as having the second best acoustics in the world (after the Mormon Tabernacle Choir's venue in SLC). Truly, the sound was pristine, impeccable + there is not one bad seat in the house. Fantastic lighting design + a talented array of musicians (keys, strings, brass, drums, guitars, bass) made for an impressive show. They gave such an electrifying, intimate performance, pulling material from all of their albums. To end, the band got personal, unplugged, to pay homage to the venue and show off what it could do, the original purpose for which it was constructed. No amplifiers, no microphones, the house lights came up and the evening closed with a very moving, acoustic rendition of Vanderlyle Crybaby Geeks. 

But I mean, seriously--if you have any affinity for Interpol (my original theory on The National was that I thought they were the new Interpol), Arcade Fire, Alexi Murdoch, Radiohead, The Smiths/Morissey, Psychedelic Furs, and Talking Heads... OR, if you are a victim of urban isolation with an affinity for black comedy... pick up an album. Boxer, Alligator, or High Violet might be good places to start, but it's all quite excellent...

3 comments:

Ann-Michelle said...

His bass voice is a little creepy to me at this point. I have to get past that first.

Jessica C. said...

Em, I have always loved your music tastes. You were the first person to introduce me to Alexi Murdoch from the O.C. mix tape 1. So, I'm gonna look up The National NOW. :)

Soph! said...

Everyone always gets a shocked face when I tell them I'm not a big fan of The National. I love all of the bands you mentioned, but for some reason can't get into the national! I'm a weirdo, I know.