In our past three news posts, The National's designated rhythm specialist Bryan Devendorf has given us a taste of what life is like working in a "mid level band" (his words, not ours). It involves NPR, car services, trans-continental flights, and an awful lot of rumination.
Today, however, brings something new - namely, pictures. While Bryan chose to express himself through wry, stream of consciousness prose, guitarist Aaron Dessner and bassist Scott Devendorf took some snaps with their cameras. We thought we'd post some of our favorites - complete with pithy captions - for your viewing pleasure. For more shots, head over to our Flickr account.
Putting fingers to keys, The National's Bryan Devendorf has guided us through the band's Glastonbury experience. Over the past three days, we've read about Martin Sheen and method acting, white wine and Biggie Smalls.
Today's post comes from the 26th, the day the band officially plays...Glastonbury. The Reports from the Road have led up to this moment. So what goes through a man's mind before playing a large British festival? See below.
Day Three: "What It's Like"
June 26, 2010
My dad was a helicopter pilot in Vietnam. When we were young there was a slideshow he showed us of aerial photographs of Saigon he had...
Two days ago, The National's Bryan Devendorf resumed his Reports from the Road series with a report from home in anticipation of the band's appearance at the Glastonbury Festival in Pilton. We learned that listening to NPR is a good way to begin a nap, that the car service to the airport was probably not on the up and up, and that Bryan is comfortable with a window seat.
Well, now comes Day Two. The "most-esteemed" Boeing 747 has set down at Heathrow and the twenty hours of R&R commence. What does a drummer do with that kind of time? Read below.
Day Two: Day Off
June 25, 2010
In the ongoing film of my life of which I am star, cin...
Two years ago, The National toured the United States and Canada with REM and Modest Mouse. Drummer Bryan Devendorf documented the band's travels with words and pictures, bringing tales of the road to Brasslanders everywhere.
Now that the band is again touring - this time through Europe in support of their Billboard-charting new album, High Violet - Bryan opened up his word processor and cranked out some prose for your reading pleasure. Without further ado, we bring you "Reports from the Road by Bryan Devendorf, Volume 2." Enjoy!
Day One: GLASTONBURY NOW
Brooklyn, New York
June 24, 2010
Its morning in America, again.
I study the ceil...
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...
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...
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...
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...