The National Cover The Velvet Underground

The National did a full-on cover of “What Goes On” at New York Magazine’s 40th Anniversary Party this past Friday night. Maybe they were inspired by the various forms of “Caroline Says, Pt. II” and other Berlin: Live at St. Ann’s Warehouse-related materials floating around these days, the fact that both Matt and Lou do a kind of literary sing-speak, or, perhaps the venue’s Exploding Plastic Inevitable-core lighting. More pragmatically, they might’ve looked at the average age New York Magazine’s readership and realized this would go over better than a Be Your Own Pet homage. Here’s what goes on at the Hammerstein Ballroom:

Here’s the song’s earlier version. It’s unclear if fellow NY Mag celebrants Grizzly Bear payed homage to old New Yorkers, too, though they seem pretty tight with Paul Simon these days.