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As we celebrate the 10-year anniversary of the National’s Alligator, it behooves us to discuss two persistent myths, both related to Aesop’s fable about the tortoise and the hare. The first one is truer, and it goes like this: Back in 2005, a promising Brooklyn-via-Cincinnati rock band released its third album and scheduled a tour… More »

Starting today we’re rolling out the winners of the Gummy Awards, Stereogum & Videogum’s annual readers’ poll. Earlier this month we asked you to vote for 2013’s best album, song, music video, new act, TV show, movie, and viral video. And you did! Thank you for listening! Best Album is the first category we’re revealing… More »

Earlier this year, New York Times pop critic Jon Caramanica wrote a piece about pop’s Summer Of Smooth, about how many of this year’s big warm-weather crossover hits were soft and breezy and immaculately produced and comforting pieces of throwbacky, slick pseudo-R&B. Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines” drove the narrative, but it also encompassed Bruno Mar… More »

More "The National" stories

Bryce Dessner & The Kronos Quartet – “Aheym” Video

Bryce Dessner, one of the two twin brothers in the National, is the band member who studied music composition at Yale before going on to dour indie rock stardom. A few years ago, he arranged a new piece called “Aheym” for the Kronos Quartet, the long-running modern-classical institution, when they were getting ready for a… More »

By: Tom Breihan / September 20, 2013 - 10:12 am

The 5 Best Videos Of The Week

Watching the VMAs on Sunday night, something struck me: The music videos themselves were fairly beside the point, but almost every video that won a major award was absolute bullshit. Justin Timberlake’s “Mirrors” video, which won Video Of The Year, is pretty-enough boring nonsense. Meanwhile, Robin Thicke’s problematic-but-fun “Blurred Lines” video, which did more to… More »

By: Tom Breihan / August 30, 2013 - 12:35 pm

Hear Matt Berninger On The Nerdist Podcast

The Nerdist puts out a ton of great podcasts, you know this, but what you may not know is that they just did a massive interview with Matt Berninger. It’s as funny as always, and especially interesting when Berninger gets into playing Outside Lands (which we covered a few weeks ago), and what it’s like… More »

By: Miles Bowe / August 29, 2013 - 5:30 pm

The National – “Graceless” Video

Every once in a while, the members of the National like to remind us that they do not just sit around morosely brooding all day, and it’s always fun when that happens. Case in point: The video for “Graceless,” an elegant wallow of a song from their new album Trouble Will Find Me. The video… More »

By: Tom Breihan / August 27, 2013 - 10:22 am

Matt Berninger – “I’ll See You In My Dreams” (Isham Jones Cover)

Matt Berninger must have so many HBO coffee mugs in his house. First, Berninger’s band the National recorded “The Rains Of Castamere” for HBO. And now Berninger has recorded another song for another HBO show, Boardwalk Empire. This time around, he’s solo, and backed by Vince Giordano And The Nighthawks, going fully era-specific. Berninger’s versio… More »

By: Tom Breihan / August 21, 2013 - 11:11 am

Watch The National Play Conan

The night before last, the National played on the big outdoor stage at Jimmy Kimmel Live, and one of the two songs they played was “This Is The Last Time,” a slow simmer from their new album Trouble Will Find Me. Last night, the band kept their late-night TV streak going, once again playing “Thi… More »

By: Tom Breihan / August 15, 2013 - 10:36 am

Watch The National Play Kimmel

If you’ve been to a few big music festival in the past five or six years, you’ve probably seen the National play a huge outdoor stage like the one they played on Jimmy Kimmel Live last night, and you’ve probably noticed that they tend to sound incredible on those stages. On that stage, the band… More »

By: Tom Breihan / August 13, 2013 - 10:20 am

Photos: The National, Daughter @ Hollywood Forever Cemetery, Hollywood 8/11/13

After having Bob Weir make a special appearance during their set at Outside Lands, the National made their way south for a haunting set at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery. Matt Berninger couldn’t help himself by quipping that it looked dead out there. Some of the many highlights included “Conversation 16″ which had the crowd cheer… More »

By: Andrew Youssef / August 12, 2013 - 3:38 pm

Outside Lands 2013 Friday: Paul McCartney, The National, Chromatics, & More

Yesterday Outside Lands ’13 kicked off in San Francisco, and there’s already been a ton of memorable moments, from food to comedy to many great sets. The first real highlight of the day was the Men. They’ve quickly evolved into such a diverse sounding band in just a few years, and played a nice, rough… More »

By: Miles Bowe / August 10, 2013 - 3:17 pm

Watch Bob Weir Join The National At Outside Lands

Last weekend, we learned a few more vague details about the National’s forthcoming Grateful Dead tribute album — it will likely feature members of Bon Iver, Vampire Weekend, the Walkmen, the War on Drugs, and Kurt Vile & the Violators. On a very related note, yesterday at Outside Lands, Bob Weir (of the Grateful Dead)… More »

By: Liz Pelly / August 10, 2013 - 1:35 pm

Dessners’ Grateful Dead Tribute To Feature Members Of Vampire Weekend, Bon Iver, The Walkmen, Kurt Vile & The Violators

Aaron and Bryce Dessner of the National are about to record a Grateful Dead tribute album. The band will also include Scott and Bryan Devendorf. The name of the album will be Dead Hot, a nod to Red Hot, an AIDS charity organization that started curating comps in the ’90s. As Relix reports, the National… More »

By: Liz Pelly / August 4, 2013 - 4:17 pm

Watch St. Vincent Join The National In Brooklyn

Last night, the National played what must’ve been their first-ever headlining arena show, as they packed their home-borough shack the Barclays Center. And during the show, they brought out one special guest: St. Vincent’s Annie Clark, who sang backup on “This Is The Last Time,” one of the songs from the band’s new Trouble WillMore »

By: Tom Breihan / June 6, 2013 - 11:54 am

Q&A: The National’s Matt Berninger On Trouble Will Find Me, That Six-Hour MoMA Performance, And Going Back On The Road

If it seems as though we’ve been talking about the National’s excellent new record Trouble Will Find Me for weeks now it’s because we have. Even though the record was just released this week, fascination with the band and a buzzing curiosity about how they might follow up 2010’s powerhouse High Violet have kept music… More »

By: T. Cole Rachel / May 24, 2013 - 12:34 pm

Watch The National Play Colbert

Last night, a night after they served as musical guests on Letterman, the National returned to TV, bringing their debonair and sophisticated gloom-rock to The Colbert Report. On Letterman, though, nobody expected them to sit for an interview. And on Colbert, the clearly nervous-as-fuck singer Matt Berninger had to speak on camera to Stephen Colbert,… More »

By: Tom Breihan / May 23, 2013 - 9:00 am

Photos: The National @ Public Assembly, Brooklyn 5/21/13

The National released their new album Trouble Will Find Me yesterday (5/21) and played two intimate NYC show to celebrate. They made an early evening stop at Brooklyn’s Public Assembly and closed out their night in Manhattan at Mercury Lounge. We sent intrepid photog Daniel Topete to check out their BK gig. You can also… More »

By: Stereogum / May 22, 2013 - 5:13 pm

Watch The National Play Letterman

The members of the National are gracefully-aging Midwestern-transplanted New Yorkers who wear suits a lot, and the same is also true of David Letterman. They’re a natural fit for one another. Today, the National release their grand and confident new album Trouble Will Find Me. And last night, they came through Letterman’s show, playing a… More »

By: Tom Breihan / May 21, 2013 - 8:51 am

Deconstructing: The National, Majical Cloudz, And Artistic Pluralism

Everything feels heavier at night. Alone at home after dark, whatever solipsistic sentiment was developing by day takes on titanic proportions. All sense of perspective vanishes along with the sunlight. Melodrama is heightened. Longing feels more desperate, mistakes more extreme. Deep, dark brooding can take over in a way that usually doesn’t happen at noo… More »

By: Chris DeVille / May 14, 2013 - 2:24 pm

Stream The National Trouble Will Find Me

Hey, don’t click out of iTunes just yet! The National’s Trouble Will Find Me is streaming there, too, in advance of its release. Check out the record here and revisit our Premature Evaluation to see how your feelings stack up with ours.

Trouble Will Find Me is out 5/21 on 4AD. More »

By: Claire Lobenfeld / May 13, 2013 - 5:45 pm

Premature Evaluation: The National Trouble Will Find Me

At this point, six albums in, the National are practically a genre unto themselves. On Alligator, the first album that many of us noticed, they had a dark and driving intensity that didn’t seem too far removed from, say, Interpol. As little as two albums ago, they seemed to share a lot of musical idea… More »

By: Tom Breihan / May 10, 2013 - 2:45 pm

The 5 Best Videos Of The Week

Have you watched the 15-minute Red Bull Music Academy documentary about DFA? Or the hour-long Savages Ministry Of Sound show? No? You should do those things. As ever, there was plenty of amazing music-related video on the internet this past week, and not all of it took the form of actual music videos. Some of… More »

By: Tom Breihan / May 10, 2013 - 11:45 am
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