Cincinnatian Matt Berninger discusses The National’s latest effort, becoming “political” and the band’s future
1 Comment · Tuesday, July 2, 2013
The National's edgy, dark-hued songs sync perfectly with
our current age of anxiety, and now comes Trouble Will Find Me — another
collection of richly textured tunes marked by frontman Matt
Berninger’s deep baritone and evocative lyrics. But the new record also
feels like a departure, as if The National finally seems comfortable in
its own skin.
by Mike Breen
Cincy-bred, Brooklyn-based Indie stars start making the rounds for new album
Trouble Will Find Me, the new album from Cincinnati natives (now New York-based) Indie Rock crew The National, was released today in the U.S. on the 4AD label (it came out overseas yesterday). The band has already been busy with pre-promotion (profiles and reviews can be found from just about every major music press outlet), but now that the album's out, the real work starts. The National kicked off what is certain to be several national television appearances in honor of the new release. Last night, the band played Late Night with David Letterman on CBS. Dave (who notoriously has pretty good taste in music) seemed to really dig the performance. The National has already performed on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon.Those with Sirius Satellite Radio can check out "The National: The Radio Show," on all this week from 5-6 p.m. (with replays at 11 p.m.); a live session will also be aired on Sirius all week, as well as The National's June 5, 9 p.m. appearance at the Brooklyn Nets' arena, the Barclays Center. The National also kick off an international tour this weekend; besides Turkey, Croatia and Luxembourg, the group is playing several major music fests in the States, including Lollapalooza, Bonnaroo and Cincinnati's own Bunbury Music Festival (July 14; get tickets here). The band is also playing Columbus, Ohio, in a few weeks — June 15 at LC Pavilion.
by Mike Breen
First video released from Cincy natives' forthcoming 'Trouble Will Find Me' album
The Cincinnati natives in hugely popular Indie Rock group The National participated in a Reddit "AMA" chat today, where fans could ask the band anything. Perhaps someone asked, "Hey, when are you putting out a video for a track from your new album?" because during the chat, the band posted the first video from Trouble Will Find Me, which is due on the 4AD label on May 21 (you can pre-order on iTunes here).Here's the jittery, claustrophobic "Sea of Love" music video. The National come back to their hometown on July 14 to headline the final night of Cincy's Bunbury Music Festival.
0 Comments · Wednesday, April 17, 2013
In filmmaking, there’s always pressure,
especially around one’s first feature. Ideally, you arc your career so
that you can grow as a director with each film, raising your profile as
you raise your game so that when you’re ready for your big break, you’ve
put in the time and have the resume and scars to prove it.
by Mike Breen
Posted In: Music Video
at 11:17 AM | Permalink
Mistaken For Strangers, by Cincinnati's Tom Berninger, set to premiere Wednesday at Tribeca Film Festival
The road documentary about successful Indie Rock band The National (Cincy-bred, Brooklyn-based) is premiering at the Tribeca Film Festival on Wednesday, where the band will also perform. The film, Mistaken For Strangers, was made by Cincinnatian Tom Berninger (younger brother of National singer Matt). From looks of the just-released trailer for the movie, it appears to be a hoot (with a bit of awkward tension for good measure). The National — whose guitarist, Bryce Dessner, just wrapped up another successful MusicNOW festival here in Cincy — will perform
a homecoming show on July 14, headlining the final night of the
three-day Bunbury Music Festival at Sawyer Point Park. For tickets and
more info, click here. The National's first new album since 2010's High Violet, Trouble WIll Find Me, is due in the U.S. on May 21 from the 4AD label.
by Mike Breen
An overview and sampling of the adventurous sounds you'll hear at this weekend's MusicNOW festival
Tonight marks the kick-off of MusicNOW, an adventurous
weekend of music that was started in 2006 by Cincinnati native and
guitarist for successful Indie Rock band The National, Bryce Dessner. The festival's
mission is "to present the best in contemporary music; to offer artists'
an opportunity to take risks; to commission new work."
That's a fair but lacking description of the festival, but
only because the programming isn't bounded by much other than the
desire to explore. MusicNOW has showcased numerous flavors of World
music, often new avant Chamber/Classical works, a "who's who" of the top
names in "Indie" music (Sufjan Stevens, St. Vincent, The National, Bon
Iver, Andrew Bird, Grizzly Bear), a few legends (Philip Glass, Kronos
Quartet) and newer and/or more obscure artists, meshing together to
offer Cincinnati music fans (and the many who come in from out of town) a
truly unique musical experience. Sold out audiences have seen
one-off performances and collaborations, including commissioned
works and world premieres.
Below is a sampling of some of the artists featured this
weekend — though with MusicNOW's encouragement of experimentalism, take
it as merely a surface introduction. The artists will more likely go
beyond any pigeonhole you can come up with, which is the best thing
• Tonight's kick-off is headlined by Anti- recording
artists Tinariwen, a Malian ensemble whose creative North African sounds
resulted in a Grammy in 2012 for its fifth album, Tassili. Read
CityBeat's interview with Tinariwen founder Ibrahim Ag Alhabib (via
translated email exchange) here.
Here's the official video for Tassili track "Iswegh Attay" (with translation!):
• Arcade Fire member Richard Reed Parry has been a part of
several MusicNOW festivals, composing commissioned works and playing
with bands like Little Scream and Bell Orchestre. This year, Reed
Parry will perform the songs of his Indie Folk project, Quiet River of
Dust. The project made it's live debut at the National-curated All
Tomorrow's Parties fest in the U.K. late last year (where Reed Parry
performed three very different sets) and a recording is presently in the
works. A review from the music blog Let's Get Cynical described it as
"a quirky and engaging performance – the first song I hear is about a
boy who gets lost at sea and turns into a fish, if you want some sort of
indication of what we’re working with. The fact that this is the trio’s
first ever show also highlights ATP as the kind of festival where you
get to see things you don’t get anywhere else." Kinda like MusicNOW.
• Rounding out tonight's opener is Buse and Gase, the
Brooklyn duo of Arone Dyer and Aron Sanchez, who make trippy avant grade
music on various handmade instruments. The group name actually comes
from two of those instruments — the "buke" is described as a "six-string
baritone ukulele" and the "gase" is a guitar/bass guitar combo.
Here's Buse and Gase's official clip for the tune "General Dome."
• Saturday's headliner is MusicNOW 2013's most known
performer, Glen Hansard. The Irish singer/songwriter began catching
attention as a member of the group The Frames, then broke out on his own
and won an Academy Award for "Best Original Song" in 2008 for "Falling
Slowly" from the film Once, in which he also starred. Hansard's first
solo album, Rhythm and Repose, was released last summer on the Anti-
label (album bonus track "Come Away to the Water" was, oddly enough,
covered by Maroon 5 and Rozzi Crane on the soundtrack to the blockbuster
film The Hunger Games).
Here's the video for "High Hope" off of Hansard's solo debut.
• Saturday will also feature the performance of new works
composed by Dessner, Reed Parry and Serbian composer Aleksanda Vreblov.
The new pieces will be performed by the Brooklyn Youth Chorus, which has
collaborated with everyone from the New York Philharmonic and Cincinnati native (and Jazz piano
master) Fred Hersch to Lou Reed,
Barbara Streisand and Talib Kweli. The organization works often with composers on new
Here's a clip of Dessner working with the Chorus on the piece "Tell the Way" in 2011.
The Chorus will be joined by young string ensemble The
Ariel Quartet, which formed in Israel and moved to the States in 2004.
Last year, the group was named "quartet-in-residence" at the University
of Cincinnati’s College-Conservatory of Music. The quartet has won
numerous international awards for its work and has performed all over
the world. Also lending a hand with the new works is Shara Worden of
MusicNOW vets My Brightest Diamond.
Below is a clip of the Ariel Quartet performing Mozart.
• Last year, music now featured pioneering composer Philip
Glass. This year, Steve Reich plays the role of "legend" on
the bill. The Guardian's Andrew Clements once wrote that "There's just a
handful of living composers who can legitimately claim to have altered
the direction of musical history. Steve Reich is one of them," while
many others consider Reich one of the world's greatest living composers.
Reich's experiments have been fearless and creatively fruitful and
influential, be it his early work with tape loops or his interactive
"Clapping Music," a 1972 piece performed entirely with handclaps.
Reich will join Sō Percussion for a performance of that piece and more, including a new commission from Daníel Bjarnason (the annual Esme Kenney Commission, named for a young student from School for Creative and Performing Arts student who was murdered in 2009).
The Brooklyn-based modern percussion group (featuring Eric Beach, Josh
Quillen, Adam Sliwinski and Jason Treuting) formed about a decade ago
around the collective influence of pioneering NeoClassical
experimentalists like Reich, John Cage, Kronos Quartet and others. Sō
has commissioned works from numerous composers and has also been acclaimed
for its own compositions. Outside of the modern Classical world, the
ensemble has collaborated with artists like Medeski, Martin and Wood,
Matmos and Dan Deacon.
Here's a cool mini-documentary from PitchforkTV about Reich and featuring Sō Percussion.
The three days of music are held at Memorial Hall, next to
Music Hall, but this year there will also be an art exhibition at
another great, vintage Over-the-Rhine venue, The Emery Theatre. An
exhibit of works by Nathlie Provosty and Jessie Henson will be up at the
Theatre Friday, 4-7 p.m., Saturday, 12-4 p.m. and Sunday, 1-7 p.m. Bryce
Dessner will perform at a "gallery party" on Sunday 4-6 p.m. The Emery
happenings are free and open to the public.
Click here for ticketing and further info.
by Mike Breen
Band releases "Demons," "Don't Swallow the Cap" from forthcoming 'Trouble Will Find Me'
The Cincinnati-born, Brooklyn-based members of Indie Rock sensations The National recently announced details about their first new album since 2010's High Violet, Trouble WIll Find Me. The album is due in the U.S. on May 21 on the 4AD label. (Click here for the album cover, track listing and more National news.)Today, The National unleashed the first song from Trouble, the warm, crawling "Demons." Check the tune and a video for it below. UPDATE: Today (April 11), The National released audio of the first single from Trouble Will Find Me, "Don't Swallow the Cap." Check it out:The National perform a homecoming show on July 14, headlining the final night of the three-day Bunbury Music Festival at Sawyer Point Park. For tickets and more info, click here. The National has been previewing the new album on its current global tour. Here are a handful of new songs from the LP performed live in Berlin last week.
North African group Tinariwen opens MusicNOW with true World music
0 Comments · Wednesday, April 10, 2013
The backstory of Tinariwen founder
Ibrahim Ag Alhabib is so cinematic in scope that it should be the basis
for an epic independent film.
Plus, The National, Grey Host and Gabriel's Hounds prep new releases
0 Comments · Wednesday, March 27, 2013
Reggae crew The Cliftones release new single, "Hold Steady," while Indie Rock stars The National announce new LP details and Grey Host and Gabriel's Hounds show the many faces of Cincy Metal on new releases.
by Mike Breen
Cincy-bred Indie Rock giants slated to release 'Trouble Will Find Me' on 4AD May 21
Cincinnati-bred, Brooklyn-based Indie Rock group The National has revealed the tracklisting and album cover for its forthcoming Trouble Will Find Me, due out on the 4AD label May 21. The album — The National's sixth — is just a part of a slew of activity on the horizon for the band.A few weeks ago it was announced that The National would perform at the Tribeca Film Festival, where the road documentary Mistaken For Strangers will also premiere (on April 17). The flick was made by Tom Berninger, a Cincinnatian and lead singer Matt Berninger’s younger brother. Tom — who's called a "Heavy Metal and horror movie enthusiast" in the press materials — toured with The National as a first-time roadie and brought a camera along. The film will also screen at the NXNE fest in Toronto in late April/early May.After the album release, of course, The National begin globe-trotting, touring the planet — including a sold-out headlining show at Barclays Center in Brooklyn and a slot at the Bonnaroo fest in Tennessee. Here are details from the press release:Trouble Will Find Me, The National’s new album will be released on 4AD on May 20th & 21st. This is the sixth studio album for the Brooklyn band, and follows 2010’s critical and commercial success High Violet. The album is the most self-assured collection of songs produced by The National in its 14-year career. In an interview with UK’s UNCUT Magazine, front man Matt Berninger described the songs as more “immediate and visceral” than their previous work. Trouble Will Find Me possesses a directness, a coherency and an approachability that suggests The National are at their most confident. The album will be available digitally, on disc, on 180gram vinyl and in a limited edition deluxe boxed vinyl version. After a 22-month tour following the release of High Violet the band returned home. Regardless of plans to wait to record new music for another year or two, guitarist Aaron Dessner began working on sketches of new songs that the other members were too inspired by to not fully realize. Matt confesses, “For the past ten years we’d been chasing something, wanting to prove something. And this chase was about trying to disprove our own insecurities. After touring High Violet, I think we felt like we’d finally gotten there. Now we could relax—not in terms of our own expectations but we didn’t have to prove our identity any longer.” The results are simultaneously breakthrough and oddly familiar, the culmination of an artistic journey that has led The National both to a new crest and, somehow, back to their beginnings—when, says Aaron, “our ideas would immediately click with each other. It’s free-wheeling again. The songs on one level are our most complex, and on another they’re our most simple and human. It just feels like we’ve embraced the chemistry we have.” The album was recorded at Clubhouse in Rhinebeck, NY. Trouble Will Find Me was self-produced and mixed by Craig Silvey with additional mixing from Peter Katis and Marcus Paquin. In advance of the release, the documentary Mistaken For Strangers will premiere at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival as the festival opener on April 17th. The film, directed by Tom Berninger, follows The National on its biggest tour to date. Newbie roadie Tom (lead singer Matt Berninger’s younger brother) is a heavy metal and horror movie enthusiast, and can’t help but put his own spin on the experience. Inevitably, Tom’s moonlighting as an irreverent documentarian creates drama on the road. The film is a touching look at two very different brothers and an entertaining story of artistic aspiration. Following the May 21st release of Trouble Will Find Me, The National will embark on a world tour. Highlights include Brooklyn’s Barclays Center, Bonnaroo Arts & Music Festival, the Greek Theatre in Los Angeles and Red Rocks Amphitheater. Tickets are on sale for most shows announced to date and more shows will be announced soon. ABOUT THE NATIONALFormed in 1999, The National consists of vocalist Matt Berninger fronting two pairs of brothers: Aaron (guitar, bass, piano) and Bryce Dessner (guitar), and Scott (bass, guitar) and Bryan Devendorf (drums). Their first full-lengths, The National and Sad Songs For Dirty Lovers, and a crucial mini-album, Cherry Tree, preceded their signing to Beggars Banquet in 2004. Alligator (2005), included underground anthem “Mr. November,” and raised their profile as the National grew into an incendiary live band. Boxer (2007), featuring songs like “Fake Empire”, “Mistaken For Strangers” and “Start A War,” sold over three times as many copies as its predecessor. The National's 2010 release, High Violet sold over 600,000 copies and was widely recognized for its critical and commercial success around the world. Both individually and collectively The National’s members have been involved in countless artistic, charitable and socio-political pursuits. TRACK LISTING- Trouble Will Find Me1). I SHOULD LIVE IN SALT2). DEMONS3). DON’T SWALLOW THE CAP4). FIREPROOF5). SEA OF LOVE6). HEAENFACED7). THIS IS THE LAST TIME8). GRACELESS9). SLIPPED10). I NEED MY GIRL11). HUMILIATION12). PINK RABBITS13). HARD TO FIND TOUR DATES5/16: State Theater Ithaca, NY 5/26: Boston Calling/ City Hall Plaza Boston, MA6/05: Barclay's Center Brooklyn, NY6/06: Merriweather Post Pavilion Columbia, MD6/07: Mann Center for Performing Arts Philadelphia, PA6/08: The National Richmond, VA6/10: Red Hat Amphitheatre Raleigh, NC6/11: Stage AE Pittsburgh, PA6/13: Lachine Canal Montreal, Canada6/14: Yonge Dundas Square Toronto, Canada6/15: The LC Pavilion Columbus, OH 6/13-16: Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival Manchester, TN6/21: Hurricane Festival Scheessel, Germany6/22: Southside Festival Neuhausen ob Eck, Germany6/25: Cirque Royal Brussels, Belgium6/28: Live At The Marquee Cork, Ireland6/30: Parco Della Musica Rome, Italy7/01: City Sound Festival Milan, Italy7/02: Salata Zagreb, Croatia7/14: Bunbury Music Festival Cincinnati, OH8/06: Roy Wilkins Auditorium St. Paul, MN8/10: Greek Theatre Los Angeles, CA9/17: Red Rocks Amphitheater Morrison, CO For more information visit: http://www.americanmary.com/