Previously on Reports from the Road, Bryan received gifts from old friends and overheard a conversation concerning shit and figure skating. Today, Bryan takes shots at us (we'll take it this time), and Chicago, while revealing a touching story of a pizza date and his less than honorable intentions. The National only have a few shows left with REM, but there will be many memories to come both here and on Flickr.
DAY FIFTEEN (6/6): Chicago.
If you're keeping score, it was not an Uno's but an Old Chicago Pasta & Pizza we visited back in Colorado. Double fault, Brassland.org.
The last time I was at an Uno's I was fourteen and on a date with a girl name...
Giving two thumbs up to Don Cheadle and expressing a certain ambivalence to what was presumably an Uno's pizzeria, Bryan Devendorf spent his previous installment of "Reports From The Road" revealing some of his juicier thoughts. Settling back into the bus (better known as "The Hurricane"), Bryan again finds himself in the zone, ready to follow his literary muse with the renewed energy only a tour bus can provide. Today's episode finds The National playing the cavernous Xcel Energy Center in the "Land of 10,000 Lakes." (10,000!) Read below for Bryan's latest allusions to current events, references to pop culture, and Spanglish. To view some "Pictures From The Road," head over to...
As reported on Pitchfork, Nico Muhly will be conducting local symphonies for Antony (of Antony and the Johnsons) on his brief international tour this September and October. The performance dates are:
9/5 Portland, OR - Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall (with the Portland Symphony)
9/10 Milan, Italy - Teatro degli Arcimboldi (with the Milan Symphony)
9/12 Zaragoza, Spain - Expo Zaragoza (with the Milan Symphony)
10/30 London, England - The Barbican (with the London Symphony Orchestra)
10/31 London, England - The Barbican (with the London Symphony Orchestra)
Yesterday, you received Bryan's personal opinion on Nickelback. Like most people, he thought they sucked. Today, you can read his thoughts on Republican John McCain and actor Don Cheadle. A hint: he thinks one is old and the other's a good actor. (Which is which?) In the midst of such personal confessions comes more Bryan-esque reportage from the road - The National did this, The National ate there, etc. The possibility for blandness always poses a threat, but Bryan - being a real man - savors the challenge, taking on banality with quick, wry wit and keen observations. Meanwhile, Scott Devendorf observes with a camera, taking pictures for
A day after reaching his monumental tenth post, Bryan Devendorf returns with his second entry in double figures. What's happened in 24 hours? The National find themselves near Morrison, Colorado, playing the same spot where John Denver made music on TV. Accordingly, the venue's historical significance and the area's rugged geography bring back memories for Bryan, a man always good for an anecdote. This time, it's about 5th grade, U2, and the Reagan era. In addition, you'll learn which band Bryan doesn't particularly care for as well as the name of The National's sound man. Fun facts, for sure. If you care to see our raconteur and his band live (they're quite g...
Despite the instability of the touring lifestyle, Bryan Devendorf of The National has been writing his "Reports From The Road" steadily for three weeks, reaching double-digits in posts today, June 9, 2008. A milestone, no doubt. To mark the occasion, Bryan sends word from Oakland en route to Denver. As always, he goes at it like a pro, not once sacrificing clarity or detail to simply mail it in. In short, he does it for his adoring legions of fans. He does it for you. To reciprocate the kindness, check our shows page to find out where you can catch our road warrior in the flesh. To see Bryan and the band outside the office in a candid fashion, head over to Flickr. Enjoy and take care.
After ditching the Extended Stay for the Westin, The National's Bryan Devendorf began his San Francisco stay with some new jeans and a well-researched, Wikipediafied "Report From The Road." The SF trip continues with two shows with REM and Modest Mouse at UC-Berkeley's William Randolph Hearst Greek Theatre. More pictures are on the way; for now, enjoy the words.
DAYS NINE & TEN (5/31 & 6/1): The Greek Theatre
A musician can expect to lose thirty percent of his possessions while on tour. Chalk it up to Buddhism. I think Philip Glass said this. Worry not, friends, I did not lose the Helly Hansen jacket in the fracas at that place in Hollywood. It was a different jack...
Bryan Devendorf's blogathon continues today with his eighth post. The National continue to tour North America, opening for REM and Modest Mouse. Along the way, Bryan and company have been taking pictures, supplementing Bryan's artfully crafted prose with digital images. To understand the life of a touring musician, this is your one-stop shop.
DAY EIGHT (5/30): "All those DayGlo freaks who used to paint their face "
I wake up on the bus in the parking lot of an Extended Stay America in one of those small East Bay cities that orbit San Francisco like the moons of Saturn. Traffic streams past on an elevated freeway; a high chain-link fence borders the grounds....
Yesterday, we received word from San Diego. Today Bryan Devendorf sends us balanced, well-constructed prose from Los Angeles, the city of angels and The Dude. In this post, Bryan finds himself playing the legendary Hollywood Bowl with REM and Modest Mouse. As you'll soon find out, rock stars other than The National have played there, too. Read below to learn some Devendorf family history, why playing at 6:30 in the evening sucks, and one of Bryan's favorite haunts in LA.
DAY SEVEN (5/29): The Hollywood Bowl
Traffic or apathy (or both?) have kept the crowds away for our set. "No one shows up at 6:30" floats in the air over the dry, eucalyptus-ridden Hollywood hills....
As The National's tour across North America picks up steam, the amount of free time for the band has dwindled. As such, the frequency of Bryan Devendorf's "Reports From The Road" has slightly declined. But have no fear. Persevering through such adversity, Bryan continues to churn out posts - complete with photographs - for your reading pleasure. Today, we hear Bryan's thoughts from sunny San Diego. Tomorrow, who knows where he'll be? If curious, you can check the shows page. Hopefully the band and Bryan haven't already passed you by.
DAY SIX (5/28): Two words. San Diego.
Tonight we have a show at a House of Blues. Sans Modest Mouse, sans REM. The dressin...
This August, Doveman will be touring the United States and Canada with recent Brassland roster addition Nico Muhly and folk musician Sam Amidon as a member of the 802 Tour presented by Brassland and Icelandic label Bedroom Community. Promoting With My Left Hand I Raise the Dead as well as his latest, super secret project (see below), Doveman will be joined onstage by Sam Amidon and various guest musicians to create a newer, slightly different interpretation of Doveman's signature "lamp rock" aesthetic. Visit the shows page to view specific dates and venue locations.
In other news, Doveman is putting the finishing touches on a special project that'll be revealed later this...
Nico Muhly will be touring the U.S. and Canada in August in support of his upcoming release, Mothertongue (in-stores on 7/22, out now on iTunes). He'll be joined on this tour by fellow Vermont-to-New York transplants, Thomas Bartlett (aka Doveman) and Sam Amidon. We're calling it the 802 Tour.
Previously, these three have appeared in each others shows and played on each others records. The performances will feature music from each of the three of them, as well as some sneak previews of future collaborative schemes. Sam will perform a set of folk ballads interspersed with the occasional Melville reading and some liturgical dance, accompanied by Thomas, with guest plinks by Nico....
With both words and photographs, Bryan Devendorf continues to document The National's North American tour opening for REM and Modest Mouse. So far, we've read of Vancouver, Seattle, Bend, and somewhere in California en route to San Diego; we've heard tales of bus troubles, kick-ass rain gear, and Memorial Day basketball with Pabst; we've learned about naughty words, biker gangs, and Dave the substitute trumpet player. So much information, so many thoughts divulged, and the tour has hardly begun. What more could Bryan possibly have to say? Plenty. To see for yourself, read below:
DAY FIVE (5/27): You can check out any time you like, but you can never leave...
As reported on Pitchfork, Aaron and Bryce Dessner are curating a compilation for the AIDS charity Red Hot. The album will be released by The Beggars Group with proceeds going to YouthAIDS. The lineup for the album will include songs by Sufjan Stevens, Grizzly Bear, Feist, The National, The Decemberists, David Byrne with The Dirty Projectors, Spoon, Bright Eyes, The Books with Josè Gonzàlez, The New Pornographers, Antony (from Antony and The Johnsons) with Bryce Dessner, Stuart Murdoch (from Belle & Sebastian), Bon Iver, Andrew Bird, and My Brightest Diamond.
The National keep on trucking across the West Coast, playing shows with REM and Modest Mouse as they gradually make their way east. Road warrior and drummer Bryan Devendorf has been keeping a travelogue of the tour's progress, revealing to the average pop music consumer behind-the-scenes information such as troubles involving both the bus and trailer, shortages of food and alcohol at the Sasquatch! Music Festival, and trumpet player substitutions between Bend, OR and San Diego, CA. And the revelations keep coming - read below to learn how Bryan and the band spent their Memorial Day.
DAY FOUR (5/26): The parking lot at the end of the world; or, California über alles.
The National's tour with REM and Modest Mouse is well under way with a couple of shows in the Northwest. Throughout the journey, drummer Bryan Devendorf has been keeping a journal, revealing information on the tour's progress as well as his thoughts on various cultural topics. So far, we've heard his take on Mike Piazza and Face/Off while learning about the band's bus troubles and border agents' slang for biker gangs. In the latest installment of "Reports From the Road," Bryan provides more musings for your reading pleasure. Enjoy! (Pictures from the band's travels can be viewed on Flickr.)
DAY THREE (5/25): The Planet Oregon
The National are in the midst of an international tour with REM and Modest Mouse. (Well, Canada and the US, but still.) Amid the chaos of traveling from gig to gig, drummer Bryan Devendorf has been kind enough to keep up with a blog, sending us news from the road when he finds the time to sit down and organize his thoughts. Yesterday we learned from Bryan why Côte de Beaune is absolutely delicious. Today, he provides more nuggets of wisdom; if you're curious to learn who the "H.A.'s" are and why Face/Off makes for a memorable film, keep reading.
DAY TWO (5/24): Border Patrol and Sasquatch!
The bus died today - something to do with the battery - which set us back sev...
As you might already know, The National have begun touring with alt-rock heavyweights REM and Modest Mouse across the US and Canada. (Visit the shows page for upcoming dates.) Throughout the tour, drummer Bryan Devendorf has been kind enough to provide us with sporadic updates of how things are going, starting with the band's 5/23 show in Vancouver. For those interested in understanding how Bryan is like former Mets slugger Mike Piazza, read below.
DAY ONE (5/23): Deer Lake Park, Vancouver BC
Woke at eight a.m. in a motel parking lot on the outskirts of Bellingham, Washington, the next to last town before the Canadian border en route to Vancouver. Seagulls wheeled in th...
For those with computers, the wait is over. Digital copies of Nico Muhly's Mothertongue have been released on iTunes (complete with bonus track titled "Skip Town"). Physical copies of the album - sans "Skip Town" - will be available in all good US record shops on July 22nd.
But that's not all concerning Nico, who was recently profiled by British critic Simon Reynolds in the London Times. The piece, written in anticipation of Mothertongue's European release on Icelandic label Bedroom Community, among other things reveals Muhly's thoughts regarding music's relationship to lunch. A must read!
After a quiet winter and spring, Baby Dayliner has surfaced in time for summer, playing the Found Sound Launch Party last night at Brooklyn's Southpaw. As fans present at the gig might have noticed, however, Baby Dayliner left his suitcase of gear at home to play backed by a full, live band. Many thanks to Brooklyn Vegan for breaking the news while praising Baby D's "one of a kind" style.
Look out for more Baby Dayliner shows this summer (including one at the Mercury Lounge on June 21st) and be sure to check back here for upcoming BD news.
As of late, Brassland has been all over the airwaves (or rather, on internet-based radio, but whatever). East Village Radio, a "forum for the musical and cultural melting pot of New York City's East Village," recently welcomed Brassland co-founder Alec Hanley Bemis as a guest DJ for a Friday afternoon slot on Infinite Eargasm. If you're interested in discovering more about Alec's personal taste in music, you can download the show and/or stream it below.
In addition, Sam Amidon appeared on EVR backed by latest Brassland addition Nico Muhly as well as Mothertongue producer Valgeir Sigurõssen. You can both watch and listen to their performance of "Little Johnny Brown"...
Brassland's latest roster addition Nico Muhly will be performing this Thursday (May 8th) at Merkin Hall in New York City. The night's program will be hosted by WNYC's John Schaefer and also will feature a performance by composer Phillip Bimstein. Nico will be performing "Mothertongue" (featuring mezzo-soprano Abigail Fischer) and "Wonders" (for Helgi Hrafn Jónsson), both of which can be found on his upcoming Brassland release Mothertongue.
Muhly will follow up this performance with another the following week at St. Thomas Church on Tuesday, May 13th, showcasing his piece "Bright Mass with Canons."
The National's appearance at Coachella last Friday marked the beginning of a busy summer for the band. Some highlights on their touring schedule include: a three night stand at Dublin's Olympia Theatre, a gig at All Tomorrow's Parties, and a month-long jaunt across the US and Canada opening for REM and Modest Mouse. Once done with that, then it's back to Europe for some more summer dates, including the O2 Wireless Festival, T in the Park, Haldern Pop Festival, and Green Man Festival.
Clogs are featured on the original soundtrack to writer/director Chris Eigeman's debut film Turn the River. The soundtrack features songs from Lantern as well as new music.
Starring Famke Janssen and Rip Torn(!), the film's narrative centers around Kailey, a divorced, tough-as-nails mother who makes her living playing poker upstate and hustling games in a Manhattan pool hall. In order to gain back her 11 year old son, Gulley, from his abusive upper-class father, Kailey must first gain the necessary cash to secure bootleg passports by participating in a $10,000-per-rack game of nine ball.
Will her plan work? Will everything turn out all right in the end? W...
Remember the March 14th news story that (not so subtly) hinted at a big upcoming announcement? Well, the news broke this morning on Brooklyn Vegan, and we're happy to confirm that Brassland will be releasing Nico Muhly's Mothertongue on July 22nd, 2008.
For those not in the know, Nico Muhly is a 26-year old composer born in Vermont. He graduated from Columbia University in 2003 with a degree in English Literature and received a Masters in Music from the Juilliard School one year later. Since then, he has amassed a string of commissions, collaborations, and premieres (including The Boston Pops, the BBC, American Ballet Theater, the New York Public Library, the Whitney Museum...
The MusicNOW Festival at Cincinnati's Memorial Hall has come and gone and, from all accounts, it was a major success.
The festival, curated by Brassland co-founder Bryce Dessner (Clogs, The National), ran April 2nd-5th and featured such varied musicians as Andrew Bird, Bang on a Can All-Stars, Dirty Projectors, Glenn Kotche (Wilco), Grizzly Bear, Nico Muhly, Padma Newsome (Clogs, The National), Rachael Elliot (Clogs), Richard Reed Parry (Arcade Fire, Bell Orchestre), Sufjan Stevens, and Thomas Bartlett (Doveman).
For more on the event, there's an interview with Bryce at the Cin Weekly and, if you're in the mood for some pictures, head over to Pitchfork and Spil...
In anticipation of Cincinnati's MusicNOW Festival, Bryce Dessner (Clogs, The National) stopped by the WOXY.com studios to talk about the festival and guest DJ.
In the interview, Bryce revealed his enthusiasm for the festival's opening night (which is actually tonight) by name-dropping some musicians (Sufjan Stevens, Richard Reed Parry of Arcade Fire/Bell Orchestre, Nico Muhly, Aaron Dessner of The National, Padma Newsome of Clogs) and films (by Robert Breer and Maya Deren) that will be featured in the night's festivities.
Give the interview a listen - it's both informative (Bryce really knows his stuff) and pretty interesting. And if you hear something you...
Bryce Dessner, guitarist for Clogs and The National, does more than merely make music. Turns out, he (with the help of some other folks) can organize it, too.
On April 2-5 (Wednesday through Saturday), Bryce will curate as well as perform in the MusicNOW Festival at Memorial Hall in his hometown of Cincinnati, Ohio.
The festival aims to feature artists "that take risks and do not fit neatly into categories," which this year includes Richard Reed Parry (Arcade Fire, Bell Orchestre), Nico Muhly, Thomas Bartlett (Doveman), Padma Newsome and Rachael Elliot (Clogs), and Bryce and Aaron Dessner (The National). And that's only the first night. The festival will also featu...
As previously reported, Pela was forced to cancel the remainder of their tour following singer/guitarist Billy McCarthy's hand injury.
Well, everyone's happy to say that Billy's surgery went well and that he and the band are now in the process of a little R & R. In May, the band will hit the road again to make up the canceled shows. See the new tour dates on our shows page (click on the "Artist" column heading in order to sort dates by Brassland artist).
Bryce Dessner (Clogs, The National) will be appearing again tonight at The Kitchen with Wilco percussionist Glenn Kotche. The performances will consist of Dessner's original compositions for guitar and string quartet as well as works from Kotche's solo album Mobile and adaptations from Anomaly - his new composition for the Kronos Quartet. The show begins at 8 p.m.