For those excited to hear some post-Boxer songs, good news: The National are road-testing new material. They did the excellent Rust Belt-anthemic “Blood Buzz Ohio” — it’s more than the name that matters, really — at Montreal’s Metropolis on Friday and repeated the favor at the House Of Blues in Boston on Saturday, where they also performed the more downcast, still somehow ebullient “The Runaway.” We have audio and video for both. Both are crammed-full of Matt Berninger’s smart, incisive lyricism. “The Runaway” video footage was recorded for CBC’s Studio Q, which is why headphones are involved in the above thumb. Remember, the last time we checked in with Studio Q, they were dealing with a big asshole. The National guys (complete with a horn section and a Doveman) comport themselves more kindly. And with better material.

(Via Bloody Pop)

“The Runaway” (Live At Studio Q)

“Blood Buzz Ohio” (Live In Montreal)

The band’s tour is ongoing. Check dates at MySpace.

Comments (24)
  1. Wayyyyy too good.

  2. mikemikemike  |   Posted on May 26th, 2009 0

    are the two tracks names mixed up? because he keeps saying runaway in the blood buzz ohio video

    • joe  |   Posted on May 26th, 2009 0

      weird, on mine they definitely introduce blood buzz ohio as that and matt sings “blood buzz” a fair few times through the song.

  3. tim  |   Posted on May 26th, 2009 0

    so “karamazov” from carnegie hall is now “the runaway”. these 2 new songs are pretty cool and after having heard the one’s from the dark was the night show, i can’t wait to hear the rest!

  4. Vanderlyle Cry Baby is the best of the new songs you can find a good version of it on youtube

  5. All three of the new songs were so good at the Toronto show that it’s hard to pick a favourite, but Vanderlyle Cry Baby might be mine.

  6. All three of the new songs were so good at the Toronto show that it’s hard to pick a favourite, but Vanderlyle Cry Baby might be mine.

  7. Digger  |   Posted on May 26th, 2009 0

    These guys were awesome in Boston last weekend. New material sounded great and Matt was very entertaining throughout the show. Is he getting more comfortable up there or was he always this good and I never noticed?

  8. I know I usually say super retarded things on this site in order to get attention, like the debauched only child I am; however, I have to take a break from my tomfoolery to say that between this recording on “Runaway” and the YouTube footage I’ve seen of “Vanderlyle Cry Baby”, I am insanely excited for this album and for The National in general. Amidst all their relatively recent success and now having music as their sole focus (as opposed to previous albums when they were working graphic design jobs when they weren’t touring), they seem on track to continue their production of meaningful tunes and haunting poetry. Great stuff. Definitely makes me happy.

  9. Justin  |   Posted on May 26th, 2009 0

    there’s a good version of the runaway on cbc radio’s q podcast. they were in studio doing an interview and played it and fake empire live.


  10. nyc2  |   Posted on May 26th, 2009 0


  11. msaorus  |   Posted on May 26th, 2009 0

    the national are probably my favorite band going right now, if i had to pick. that said, the runaway doesn’t do much for me. a little too much of a “slow show” vibe. hopefully it shapes up a bit before the album hits.

  12. Was lucky enough to see their first sold out show in DC (out of the 3 they played) Sunday night. Really liked Runaway, but not as sold on Vanderlylle and Blood Bust. Both had an alt-country vibe that imo paled in comparison to the Alligator and Boxer songs they played. Of course, a lot could change when they get into the studio, but something tells me the new album is going to be a big departure from Boxer. Good news for some, less so for others.

  13. “Blood Buzz” I really love. It reminds me of that heartbeat-in-your skull, staring into the eye of the storm and waiting for everything to explode vibe that made “Alligator” so cool.

    “Runaway” I just lost patience with, but it isn’t like I’m not going to catch up on it eventually. Plus, The National tend to write growers, so I imagine it’ll sound better after a couple more spins.

  14. pants  |   Posted on May 26th, 2009 0

    I love The National records, but for something their live shows can’t compare to the recorded album. The voice doesn’t carry through for some reason. I’ve seen them live about 4 times in the previous year or so, and every time it feels a little bit flat.

  15. jorge  |   Posted on May 27th, 2009 0

    best band playing right now….so unpretentiously poetic…..they make me happy to be alive

  16. joe  |   Posted on May 27th, 2009 0

    loving these. i was hoping for a more alligator direction is the only thing, and these seem to be more of a boxer style… still, can’t wait regardless!

  17. michaelways  |   Posted on May 27th, 2009 0

    any screaming on the new songs?

  18. spin  |   Posted on May 28th, 2009 0

    does anyone know where i can find the full recording of the Boston show?

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