The National

Sorry about the short post yesterday. Here's the full post The National deserve.

The National

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Where have these guys been all my life? Hailing from my hometown (Cincinnati, OH), The National is an indie rock quintet packed with talent. Formed in 1999 in Brooklyn, they were immediately met with critical applause. Their debut, The National, was recorded before ever playing a gig. Lead singer Matt Berninger's striking baritone is as morose as it is hauntingly beautiful. When blended with a style of indie rock that honestly pays homage to driving 70's rock you get a very dynamic, elevated sound rarely heard in an indie rock scene obsessed with New Wave inspired synth-rock. Their sophomore effort, Sad Songs for Dirty Lovers, took it a step further. Berninger sings of trophy wives and slipping husbands, seemingly providing a soundtrack for a depressing movie none of us have seen yet. Between the slow, painful ballads are (musically) upbeat indie rock gems ("Murder Me Rachel"). 2004 saw the release of a mini-LP, Cherry Tree. This provides a great mix of their newest release (which I'll get to in a minute) and Sad Songs. It's a little acoustic, a little atmospheric, and a little up-tempo all at the same time. "Wasp Nest" is one of my favorite songs by these guys, and it finds it's home here. Their most recently release, Alligator, has recently become one of my favorite albums released this year. Too bad I didn't get into these guys sooner, because if I had, they'd be near the top of my top 10 of 2005. Alligator is their most musically and lyrically mature album to date. It's an indie rock opus of melancholy, with a dash of Americana thrown in for charm. Songs like "All The Wine" and "City Middle" give me hope that the indie rock world still does have some great talent in it. Hell, even Pitchfork liked these guys, and they don't like anything. The National is currently on tour Europe in support of Alligator, but I'm sure they'll make their way around the 'States sometime late this summer/early fall. Give these guys a listen.

From 2001's The National
Image hosted by Photobucket.com Cold Girl Fever

From 2003's Sad Songs for Dirty Lovers
Image hosted by Photobucket.com Murder Me Rachel

From 2004's Cherry Tree
Image hosted by Photobucket.com Wasp Nest

From 2005's Alligator
Image hosted by Photobucket.com Abel
Image hosted by Photobucket.com All The Wine

Image hosted by Photobucket.com Abel (Video)

Seriously guys... buy their music. It's good. And while you're at it, hit up their website.


Odds and Ends

iTunes 4.9 was released yesterday. New to the program is full support Podcasting support. Neat.

Speaking of Apple, it seems like they're planning something big for July 7th. New iPods maybe?

This made me laugh a little.

The Bumbershoot music festival (Seattle, Labor Day Weekend) is shaping up nicely with Ted Leo, The Decemberists, Devo, and more.

Turin Brakes will be touring the U.S. soon. That show @ the Magic Stick in Detroit caught my eye...


Daily Torrents

The Mountain Goats - Sunset Tree

Sufjan Stevens - Illinois