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3.20.2007

The National play with their food

Director Vincent Moon made a few outstanding videos for The National last year, and it appears he has been working on a project called "Take Away Shows" which are short, improvised little concerts by big, big bands. The project features a plethora of uniquely creative indie bands like Cold War Kids and The Low Lows.

Moon, who is also producing a feature length film about the National, which will come out around the same time as their new album "The Boxer" in May, explains what's going on in these clips of the band, playing stripped down versions of some new songs.

The great flamenco guitarist Pedro Soler invited The National last September to play at a guitar festival in Perpignan, in southern France. Taking a break from the dementia of recording their new album, they had just come from a short respite in Banyuls, which is a tiny port town at the edge of the Mediterranean. They were staying in a small farmhouse owned by Pedro and Madeleine, isolated in the mountains and overlooking the sea. We agreed to hang out for a couple days and pass a special moment in the sunny south with a unique group of friends.

The concert in Perpignan was explosive and stunning-whoever’s seen them live can attest that they have an astounding tendency to make the audience shudder. It would be difficult to say that Matt « makes the show », even if you find yourself latching onto his nervous and brusque gestures, which seem to appear as a testimony of unforeseen brilliance. He told me last summer that « What’s easy about going onstage and singing as opposed to just speaking publicly, is that, you have music behind you just to cover you up a little bit. To hide in... » It’s all there.

Start a War is on the new album. It was late, nearing the end of a typically southern diner beneath a great tree. It was obvious that everyone there had to participate. I think it was Bryan who had the idea to have everyone play in rhythm with whatever he/she had in hand-glasses, plates, bottles, trunks of wood. Hands. This unfolded gently, moving a little through the euphoric haze of alcohol, a little through the heat of Spain close by.



Here is "Start a War"



And "Ada"



If you like the tracks, head over to this page for more details AND downloadable quicktime files and Mp3s.

MP3: "Start a War" (Take Away Sessions) by The National

3 comments:

Andrew said...

dude, i'm starting to get a little worried. the new arcade fire album has been out for a while now and still no review or commentary from you. you didn't slip into a time/space continuum did you?

tyrone said...

You know, I can appreciate the concern. Don't worry, I bought it... I'm still taking it in... it's one of those albums that doesn't deserve a snap judgment.

Andrew said...

Ocean of Noise is rocking my world right now....in a slow, melodic sort of rocking kind of way.