News ~ The National

September 21, 2017

The National take This Is The Kit and Buke & Gase on tour

Our head of corporate PR just came storming through the office to notify us that has not published a news story about The National in almost 5 years. Apparently this dearth of info-bits™ is causing all kinds of problems with our Google search results & Facebook EdgeRank prioritization, so we need to remedy the lack of Brooklyn-by-way-of-Ohio-musician-oriented news immediately!?! So, without further adieu, a thanks to label godfathers, (sometime) benefactors & O.G. signees The National for taking both This Is The Kit and Buke & Gase out on the road as part of their Sleep Well Beast tour. Not sure what we're talking about? Is your only source of #realnews? A...

December 10, 2012

The National do All Tomorrow's Parties festival

The National curated (and decidedly sold out) All Tomorrow's Parties festival came and went this past weekend at Pontin's Holiday Camp in Camber Sands, England. It was bone-chillingly cold, it got dark very very early, and the sands at Camber Sands were only braved by the very very brave. (Count among the brave the dudes of The National who went out there for a photo shoot one morning.)

The long and excellent list of featured musicians included Kurt Vile, Bear in Heaven, Deerhoof, Menomena, Hauschka, Richard Reed Parry (three sets!), Sharon Van Etten -- and that's just the musicians who haven't made an appearance on Brassland discs. The Brassland family was well repr...

April 10, 2012

The National + Grateful Dead

We just want to point out that this happened. The Bridge Session, a collaborative concert involving Bob Weir, members of The National, The Walkmen, Takka Takka, Yellow Birds and Thomas "Doveman" Bartlett took place in Northern California (and on the internet) in late March. No it wasn't a collective hallucination. You can read about The National's continuing interest in reinterpreting the Dead legacy elsewhere on the internet, or this more personal take on drummer Bryan Devendorf's appreciation for both the Dead & Phish. Despite our punk & DIY roots here at Brassland, we have erected a big tent all up in here -- and if you go back far enough you sort of start to realize almost al...

January 23, 2012

Curate-a-Thon for The National

The National have found a way to cure the post-tour blues, now that they're keeping busy with curatorial activities throughout the year. The band was recently invited headline the All Tomorrow's Parties festival this December, and as part of that they get to pick the whole line-up. The festival is held in Minehead, UK which is, uh, right near Bristol, which is in...uh...yeah? (Ok, we had to Google Map that.) Anyway, a preliminary line-up has been announced, including (but not limited to): Kronos Quartet, The Antlers, Owen Pallett, Boris, Tim Hecker, Sharon Van Etten, My Brightest Diamond, Wye Oak, Lower Dens, Megafaun, Suuns, Dark Dark Dark, and our very own Buke and Gase! The rest o...

December 20, 2011

The National ends tour with Beacon shows

The National's tour bus has finally rolled to a stop, with the band concluding their High Violet tour with a series of performances at the Beacon Theater in New York City last week. Their six-show grand finale featured The War on Drugs, So Percussion, Wye Oak, Sharon Van Etten, My Brightest Diamond, and This is the Kit as openers, with various other musical friends like Richard Reed Parry from Arcade Fire and Trey Anastasio from Phish joining the band throughout the week. Nico Muhly and Thomas Bartlett (aka Doveman) were both part of the on-stage party on Saturday.

The band sure has come a long way since we started out with them...and, in the spirit of feeling like proud parents...

September 16, 2011

The National look to future projects

Now that they've been touring for over a year and a half, The National is winding down with a few last shows before they enjoy a break. Now, don't jump to any conclusions. Just because the band is going to take a breather doesn't mean they aren't thinking about new music. In fact, Bryce and Aaron Dessner recently sat down for an interview with NME to discuss ideas for the next record.

In that interview, the twins also discussed the film Summer Lovin' Torture Party, by Matt Berninger's brother Tom (thus completing the triad of pairs of brothers working together). Tom's documentary follows The National during their High Violet tour, and had a couple prelimi...

August 8, 2011

The National Headlines Latitude Festival, Showcase Brassland Catalog

As our friends across the pond are well aware, The National headlined a night at last month's 2011 Latitude Festival. Not only did they thoroughly rock the house (err, arena), but they went all out. For us. Halfway through the set, they knocked out "Available" off of

July 28, 2011

Aaron and Bryce Perform The Long Count at Holland Festival

The National's European fans are certainly getting the royal treatment. While on tour in the UK recently, the band performed tunes from their earlier albums at the Latitude Festival. But that's not all. At the Holland Festival on June 2, the Aaron and Bryce Dessner decided to perform "Tests," from their 70-minute composition The Long Count.

Feeling bummed because you missed out on the good times in Europe? Fret not, for we present you with a video of the "Tests" performance, featuring vocals by Matt Berninger:

For those of you in Europe, why are you sitting there watching a video? Go check out the list of The National's upcoming tour dates and experie...

June 20, 2011

The National featured in Marshall Curry's new doc

Oscar-nominated director Marshall Curry's new documentary, "If a Tree Falls" premieres in New York this week. It will have one-week screenings in theaters across the country throughout the summer. The film is about the Earth Liberation Front (ELF) and their agressive defense of the environment. Why are we so excited, you ask? Well, first of all, we like woodland creatures and forests and stuff. But that's not the reason. We'll let the trailer speak for itself. (Hint: keeping one ear tuned to the background music at the 1:00 minute mark.):

Why yes, that IS the title track of the National's Cherry Tree EP playing in the trailer! And yes, we have lost some wei...

March 10, 2011

Brassland Takes Canada!

Just like a mountie on patrol, Brassland is here to serve you, Canada.

Brassland records are now available in Canada via our friends at Secret City Records. We're starting with The National's catalog but look for our other releases soon. Or- even better, request them. Help out! If you can't find something of ours at your local store, let them know!

There are quite a-many Canadian clips we can place to really drive home the point... but none really does Canadians justice (as well as sum up American ignorance) like this:

March 2, 2011

The National's long march to international victory

On February 8th, the National played a small, packed show at The Studio at Webster Hall. MTV filmed the show for their Live in NYC series. You can watch video of five songs here. Also make sure you tune into PUSH on MTV when they air some of the footage.

Be sure to check them out on their upcoming European dates and also three shows with Arcade Fire.


September 29, 2010

The National Hail to the Chief

Basically we're pretty into this. And, well, we think things went over pretty well. 'Nuf said? This is one of those rare cases where we'll just shut up & let the pictures do the talking.

July 18, 2010

The National on Colored Vinyl, $5 digital deal

The last few months have been exciting ones for The National, and we've been trying to match that excitement with plans for the back catalog. First off you can get their debut The National (s/t) right now as one of's $5.00 digital deals. It will be up there for the rest of July.

More exciting is that are new pressings of the band's Brassland back catalog on vinyl. Sad Songs for Dirty Lovers vinyl will be available in stores on July 20th; The National (s/t) will be available in stores in the first week or two of August. (Check with your local shop. They'll appreciate hearing from you!)

Alternatively, if you're an impatient sort or you want an e...

May 21, 2010

High Violet Charts at #3, Almost Tops that Bieber Kid

If you visit this site regularly, then you've probably listened to The National before. And there's also a good chance you know about their new album, High Violet. As it turns out, you're not alone. On Wednesday, Pitchfork reported that America's tuning in, too, with High Violet selling 51,000 copies in its first week and charting at #3 on the Billboard 200, behind only Justin Bieber ("The Biebs") and Lady Antebellum (no nickname). Exciting stuff, yeah?

To celebrate the release and raise money for their friends at the Red Hot Organization, the band played a gig at the Brooklyn Academy of Music. Filmmakers D.A. Pennebaker and Chris Hedgeus were on site to film t...

May 10, 2010

The National Garner Heaps of Press, Curating High Violet Annex

Tomorrow, The National's new album, High Violet, will be released in stores nationwide. In anticipation, the press has been pouring in. Pitchfork reviewed the album, tagging it with its "Best New Music" seal of approval. Vanity Fair posted a nice write up, comparing the band to Radiohead and featuring some Vanity Fair-esque photos. A few weeks ago, New York Times Magazine featured the band in a long article that reveals a little band history, a little bit of the recording process, a little bit of everything. If you're curious what songs Steve Reich likes from the new record, be sure to read it.

In addition to the flurry of media attention, Other Music will open up an...

May 7, 2010

Five dollar digital deals for The National & Nico. Now say that five times fast.

Next Tuesday, The National's fifth full-length album, High Violet, will be released in stores all over. (To stream the entire album, click over to NPR.)

In celebration of their fifth album & those of you with weird numerological fixations, we've priced digital downloads of the band's Brassland releases and for a single Lincoln ($5.00) throughout May. If there was ever a time to acquaint yourself with the band's back catalog, this would be it. Relevant links for relevant albums:

- The National's self-titled debut at Amie Street
- The National's second album, Sad Songs for Dirty Lovers at Amazon
- The National's final Brassland release, th...

April 19, 2010

Sad Songs for Dirty Lovers Available on Limited Edition Vinyl

In the spirit of the just-passed Record Store Day (4/17), we thought we'd clue you in on a new item that's that we made available for the occasion in two of our favorite New York record shops. Manhattan's Other Music and Brooklyn's Sound Fix Records were exclusive stockists for limited-edition vinyl copies of The National's second album, Sad Songs for Dirty Lovers. The LP in an edition of 500 copies features subtly different art work (more color!) and sounds pretty good. We're proud. At this point, both stores have sold out of their initial allotment of LPs.

Those who missed out can still find the vinyl version of Sad Songs for Dirty Lovers at the Brassland...

March 15, 2010

The National Name New Album, Play Fallon and Bell House

As of early last month, The National had announced that their new album, still untitled, would come out in May, specific date also unknown. Well, you can now fill in those details - last week, news broke that the album shall henceforth be known as High Violet and it shall be available in fine retailers and e-tailers on May 11th.

In addition, the band put up, a microsite featuring a few clips shot from the studio and a rotating set of pictures (a la taken during the recording sessions. While bloggers were busy posting the new album cover (left) and linking readers to the new website, the band appeared on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, where they de...

February 1, 2010

The National Set Release Month for Album, Announce Tour

It's been well over a month since The National last made news in these parts. At the time, they were boasting a four and a half star rating on YouTube! for their Google commercial and were well at work mixing their follow-up to Boxer. Last week, the band announced that the as-yet-untitled album will be released worldwide this May on 4AD. Matt sat down for an interview with Pitchfork to discuss mastering the record, the possibility of naming it Summer Lovin' Torture Party, and having Sufjan sing back-up.

In addition, the band will play a few shows that straddle the album's release, including: The Big Ears Festival (3/28) in Knoxville, TN; a two-night stand at The Natio...

December 14, 2009

The National Featured in Google Ad, New Record, New Website, New Twitter

It's been a while since we last heard from The National. At the time, they were working diligently on their new album, playing a few shows, and releasing a cover of Polaris' "Ashamed of the Story I Told" for the benefit album Ciao My Shining Star. Later, various band members popped up in a couple of "the" projects - The Long Count, The Conformist. But on the whole, pretty quiet.

Then we saw this little anthem:

The Google ad, titled "Out of Office," features "Apartment Story" from the band's most recent album, 2007's Boxer. So far, the spot sports a respectable 4 1/2 star rating on YouTube!, though one dude named "Syntox" got rather catty ("Th...

July 24, 2009

The National Finish up US Tour, Cover Polaris for Benefit Album

The National have been pretty occupied this summer in a low key kind of way, playing shows and working on their latest studio creation. Recently, their short tour of the Midwest - which also included a stop in Ottawa - ended with a headlining spot at the Pitchfork Music Festival on July 18th.

In other news, a stream of The National's take on Polaris' "Ashamed of the Story I Told" has been circulating around the interweb. We enjoyed it and thought maybe you'd like a listen:

For those unaware, the song is the group's contribution to Ciao My Shining Star: The Songs of Mark Mulcahy, a tribute/benefit album for...

June 1, 2009

A National Update Per Scott G.'s Request

Not long ago, Brassland's #1 employee received an e-mail from Scott G., who had this to say:

Dear Glenn,

I am 15 yrs old and a HUGE fan of the National. I know their music is not really intended for my age group, but that's just because young people's music tastes suck these days. I just had two questions:

1. Any news when their new album will be out? I went to the concert last night, and they played a couple of new songs (Baby, Vanderlylle, Blood Buzz, and one other). When will this album come out?

2. How come they do primarily morose songs? Is it because of real-life experiences? Difficult relationships? Or are they just easier/more fun to w...

May 7, 2009

The National and Nico on Fallon

Other than the release of the Aaron & Bryce Dessner-curated Dark Was the Night compilation and the whole band's appearance at the DWtN benefit show at Radio City Music Hall, things have been rather quiet lately for The National. Sure, they've been preparing for their largely sold-out May tour and, sure, one might gather that the band is, theoretically, working on a new album. That we venture to guess such things, however, does not make these things true. It's so hard to know what goes on beyond closed doors and, more specifically, outside of the icy glare of the internet and its many news outlets.

One thing we can verify: The National did manage to pay Jimmy Fallon a vis...

February 27, 2009

The National Put Together May Tour

Other than the release of "So Far Around The Bend" for the Dessner-curated Dark Was The Night, things have been rather quiet for The National. Come spring, however, the band will resurface for a festival appearance in March and a short tour along the east coast in May. The cities and dates are: St. Augustine (3/8, for the Harvest of Hope Festival), Toronto (5/21), Montreal (5/22), Boston (5/23), Washington, D.C. (5/24, 5/25), Atlanta (5/27), Raleigh (5/28), and Philadelphia (5/29).

For venues and links to purchase tickets, be sure to visit our shows page. And stay tuned for more news from the band - we'll publish it as it gets confirmed.

October 20, 2008

The National Help Stir Obamamania, Tour Brazil

With November 4th rapidly approaching, there's been a lot of fuss lately regarding the Presidential election. And as patriotic Americans, The National have chosen to exercise their First Amendment rights by voicing their support for Democratic hopeful Barack Obama. First came the t-shirts cleverly punning on the band's perennial encore, "Mr. November." Then came the use of "Fake Empire" for an Obama commercial. And last week, the guys simply rocked out, playing a "Vote Early, Rock Late" benefit in their hometown Cincinnati on October 16th. Backseat Sandbar was there to cover the event - there's a nice review, streaming videos, and some high-quality pictures. You can watch t...

May 2, 2008

The National Tour Across America and Europe

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.

March 7, 2008

The Boss and Ms. Bush Approve of the National

This past week, both Bruce Springsteen (awesome) and Jenna Bush (awesome?) voiced their appreciation for the National. The Boss, in an interview with USA Today, provided a list of his favorite songs and artists on his iPod. Following the Flying Burrito Brothers ("Sin City") and preceding the Pogues ("Dirty Old Town") came the National ("About Today"). What can we say? The man's got good taste...

And in an interview with MTV News's John Norris, First Daughter Jenna Bush voiced her high opinion of the National. Norris also approved, stating, "Yeah, I love them...yeah." MTV News - illuminating and insightful, as always. Anyway, we certainly agree with them and enjoy th...

September 14, 2007

The National Does Letterman

As some of you already know, Doveman has been opening a number of dates on The National's current US tour, thirteen dates which will find him visiting most major cities on the east coast of America and Canada, and into the deep south. For those ardent fans of The National (and boy, there's a lot more of you these days) we also bring you this hot gossip alert that Doveman's pianist/keyboardist/driving inspiration, Thomas Bartlett, has been joining The National on stage with some frequency. Let us count the iterations: (1) 3/5ths of The National have been backing him throughout Doveman's set, namely Aaron Dessner, Bryce Dessner, and Bryan Devendorf. (We're told Scott and Ma...

June 18, 2007

The National: Boxer, Selling Out the Bowery, and Opening for the Arcade Fire

Okay, RIAA certification seems unlikely at this point, but ya' never know...

It's seems very likely you've heard the deafening hype about, Boxer, the new album by Brassland's original flagship band, The National (aka The Franchise). A slot opening for The Arcade Fire! Five sold out shows in a row at New York's Bowery Ballroom! 10,000 copies of their new record sold in its first week! Justin Timberlake's announcement that Matt Berninger will do a guest rap on a remix of his new single! Okay, at least one of those statements is a lie. And, frankly, the hype has gotten so loud our ears and eyes feel slightly cloudy. Nonetheless, congratulations to the boys from...

March 20, 2006

The National Update

The National have scheduled two brief tours of major markets -- America in late March and England in late May. The latter tour includes three sold out gigs opening for Editors. When these dates have been completed the band will begin work on a new album, their second for Beggars Banquet.

Click here to get more details on all of the aforementioned tour dates.