Photography by nese sahin
Hi! We’re back! Did you miss us? Maybe a little, right? But the world moved on, the blogs moved on, life moved on, and holy shit on a mother fuckin’ stick did the music move on via leaks absolute world-wide pipe break down! There was Band Of Horses, The Hold Steady, The Delta Spirit, Minus The Bear, The Black Keys, Josh Ritter, Blitzen Trapper, Crystal Castles, and, of course, today’s topic o’ conversation, The National! WOW, right?
The only thing missing is my New Pornographers, but in a way, I’m glad. It would’ve been too much and lost in the mix and NP needs all our love & attention!
So… how was your weekend? Mine was GREAT! After a relatively easy ride up on Friday afternoon filled with great music & good times, it was family fun time on Saturday morning & Record Store Day all Saturday afternoon! Check out our haul:
Yep! You are seeing Destroyer, Plants & Animals, Lightspeed Champion, MGMT, Nancy Wilson, Pointer Sisters, a Feist shirt for Baby, a best of Pointer Sisters for her on CD (she REALLY wanted to hear Pointer Sisters) and an Arts & Craft sampler CD.
Pretty intense, eh? Then Sunday we hit Soundscapes and picked up about 4 or 5 more CDs! The Exciters, Sugar Pie DeSanto, (Soundscapes soul selection is amazing, it’s so hard to walk out of there without a handful of albums) Skip Bifferty, well… let’s just say, it was a rather musical weekend. It’s almost overwhelming to come back to Columbus yesterday to so many new albums. Where does one begin?
At the beginning, of course.
The beginning was determined by my curiosity and after the words beautiful, epic, amazing, etc, started flying about for High Violet, well, that’s where I had to begin!
Now, I wouldn’t call me the biggest The National fan. I like them, no doubt, & I’ve liked every album I’ve heard by them, but I don’t follow them, if you, well, follow me. I’m not really sure how they became such a hyped and huge band (huge in the indie/blog world that is), one minute you hear the occasional guy on a music board talking about them and maybe you have a few songs by them on a few mixtapes, but then Boxer comes along (and now High Violet) and suddenly they are the 2nd coming of indie-jesus!
Is it worth it? That’s between you and your ears, but to me, yeah, they are pretty damn good, so shame on me for not paying better attention to these guys! Maybe it’s because I’ve always thought of them as Arcade Fire + Coldplay + Morphine (- the saxophones), i.e, the emotional build-ups of Arcade Fire, the rolling pianos Coldplay, plus the seedy & sexy alley-darkness of Morphine (as well as the crooning vocals) but, again, just no sax.
Oh well. Here we are now and here is High Violet. Will it meet your expectations? Probably. It’s got elements of Boxer (see “Sorrow”) and it’s got what I believe to be is a progression of sound (see the lead-off “Terrible Love”), it’s got epic moments (see “Afraid Of Everyone”) , it’s got brooding transitional songs (see “Bloodbuzz Ohio”), it’s got a theatrical closer in “Vanderlyle Crybaby Geeks”, AND it’s got the feeling of on-the-verge-of-something-big, like soon this will be playing in every Starbucks & soccer mom’s SUV come this winter or something. Really, if one thing can be said, it’s a beautiful & fulfilling album. That is to say, it’s “an album”, taken in at all 11 songs in a sitting. It rewards you for it. It patiently takes you up, down, & over from start to finish, something, in my opinion, that needs to be rejoiced & celebrated more often.
If there is one thing I hope a few people get out of Record Store Day and, by current example, High Violet, is that there is something beautiful about “the album”. It’s an old argument that we won’t rehash again today, but maybe after you load up “Terrible Love” and then later when “Vanderlyle Crybaby Geeks” finishes, if you were ever starting to doubt whether or not the album still lives, you’ll have just a glimmer of hope & let a little smile creep onto your face when “Terrible Love” starts back up again.
Oh, and some tour dates! WHEE!
4-22 Richmond, VA – The National
04-23 Richmond, VA – The National
05-05 London, England – Electric Ballroom
05-06 London, England – Royal Albert Hall
05-07 Paris, France – Le Zenith *
05-09 Berlin, Germany – Astra
05-21 Los Angeles, CA – The Wiltern
05-22 Los Angeles, CA – The Wiltern #
05-23 San Diego, CA – Spreckels Theatre #
05-26 Oakland, CA – Fox Theatre
05-27 Oakland, CA – Fox Theatre #
05-29 Quincy, WA – Sasquatch Festival
06-02 Boston, MA – House of Blues %
06-03 Boston, MA – House of Blues %
06-04 Philadelphia, PA – Electric Factory %
06-05 Philadelphia, PA – Electric Factory %
06-06 Washington, DC – DAR Constitution Hall %
06-08 Toronto, Ontario – Massey Hall %
06-09 Toronto, Ontario – Massey Hall %
06-11-13 Manchester, TN – Bonnaroo
06-16 New York, NY – Radio City Music Hall %
07-27 Brooklyn, NY – Prospect Park ^
* with Pavement
# with Ramona Falls
^ with Beach House
% with the Antlers
Man it’s good to be back! Cheers!