Tag Archives: The Late Show with David Letterman

You should be listening to The National

The National is the indie band of brothers (seriously, it is two sets of brothers and a lead singer) strengthened by the unique baritone of lead singer Matt Berninger.  Formed in Ohio in 1999 and currently based in Brooklyn, The National released their self titled debut in 2001. 

Their sophomore release, Sad Songs for Dirty Lovers, was well received and paired them with producer Peter Katis who would remain at the helm for their next two critically acclaimed albums Alligator and Boxer.

The National Discography:

  • The National (2001)
  • Sad Songs for Dirty Lovers (2003)
  • The Cherry Tree EP (2004)
  • Alligator (2005)
  • Boxer (2007)
  • The Virginia EP (2008)
  • High Violet (2010

Upon forming, most members kept their days jobs and performed locally on the weekends.  As their fan base grew, they began to tour regularly and eventually hit the U.S. festival circuit with sets at Coachella, Lollapalooza, Sasquatch, and All Points West.  They were also able to add a little European flavor to their festival resume with sets at Glastonbury, Haldern, and Lowlands.

Top 5 The National Songs:

  1. Fake Empire (Boxer)
  2. Anyone’s Ghost (High Violet)
  3. All the Wine (Alligator)
  4. Mistaken for Strangers (Boxer)
  5. Bloodbuzz Ohio (High Violet)

For those of you who take occasion to watch some television, you might have caught The National on The Late Show with David Letterman, Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, or perhaps The Late, Late Show with Craig Ferguson.  If you are more of a series kind of TV watcher, you might have heard the band on shows such as:

  • Chuck
  • Gossip Girls
  • One Tree Hill
  • Southland
  • Defying Gravity

Their sound is dark and a bit despondent due in large part to the brooding vocal inflections of Berninger.  While dark, their music is also reassuringly real.  Their lyrics deal with banality of daily living.  They are writing and singing about the things we are living. 

Check out The National at www.americanmary.com

www.youtube.com/watch?v=NBujZr20O6M

www.youtube.com/watch?v=y_5FJe6lJI8&feature=related

Great music awaits!


You should be listening to Arcade Fire!

Arcade Fire is the multi instrumentalist indie band from our neighbors to the north.  That would be Canada for those of you that might be either geographically or border country cliché challenged.  In addition to being a great band, they are also a testimony to the sacred and blessed union of holy matrimony as the band is fronted by the married duo of Win Butler and Régine Chassagne.

Formed in 2003, prior to the nuptials of Win and Régine, Arcade Fire released their self titled EP.  While the debut was a solid effort it is forever lost under the greatness of their follow up album Funeral.  Upon the release of Funeral in 2004, Arcade Fire took the music world by surprise and their debut EP was rereleased.  Their music made it to the Late Show with David Letterman and saw them opening three shows for U2 during the Vertigo tour, and two Grammy nominations. 

2007 saw the release of Neon Bible the highly anticipated follow up to Funeral.  The album debut at #2 and was well received by critics.  The themes on the album seem to be more external and in some cases overly dramatic.

Arcade Fire Discography:

  • Arcade Fire
  • Funeral
  • Neon Bible

Top 5 Arcade Fire Songs:

  1. Headlights Look Like Diamonds (Arcade Fire)
  2. Crown of Love (Funeral)
  3. No Cars Go (Neon Bible)
  4. Wake Up (Funeral)
  5. Intervention (Neon Bible)

Musically, Arcade Fire uses an array of musical instruments to wrap each song in its own sonic temple.  While guitars, bass, and drums are a staple to any band, these crazy cats are playing piano, viola, cello, double bass, xylophone, glockenspiel, keyboards, French horns, harp, and mandolin.  This is not just the studio version, most of the instruments go on tour and the multi talented band members swap instruments throughout the live show.

At times, the band is sonically explosive, beautifully textured, and always a formidable backdrop to the anguished and often pleading vocals of Win Butler.  The variety of instruments do not sound out of place nor do they seem over indulgent.

Check out Arcade Fire at www.arcadefire.com

www.youtube.com/watch?v=1-wEBmLht5g

www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Mum6ggkBJs&feature=related

Great music awaits!