News ~ The National

February 2, 2006

The National and The Boss

A few weekends ago The National were among many great artists (Martha Wainwright, Chocolate Genius, Jesse Harris) who kicked off the 6th annual New York Guitar Festival with a free concert honoring Bruce Springsteen's Landmark 1982 album, Nebraska. As it turns out Bruce likes them, he really really likes them. Visit BrooklynVegan for the full skinny.

The band are also playing tonight's PLUG Awards ceremonies. Some are dubbing these "the indie rock Grammys" and we are psyched to see The National have been nominated a record-breaking six times. Much luck boys.

December 15, 2005

Congrats, Nationals

Congratulations to The National for wrapping up an intense 2005. Over 120 shows! There is one left, New Year's Eve at Irving Plaza with friends, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah. This will be one of their biggest shows to date. It's already sold out.

If you missed your chance to get tickets, may we suggest you buy a pair to see George Clooney in Syriana? 30 glorious seconds of "Wasp's Nest" were drawn from their farewell Brassland release, Cherry Tree, and included in the film! If your city has a decent art house theatre, tickets for that should be available for at least another month or so, after which there will be an eagerly anticipated DVD release. Or something.


August 31, 2005

The National: Alligator, Touring With CYHSY, and MTV2 Appearance

The National spent the summer touring in support of their Beggars Banquet debut, Alligator. Most shows have been in Europe, but that will change in September when they do a coast-to-coast US tour with indie rock's latest hot young things/polarizing force, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah. The National also appeared as guests on MTV2's Subterranean last week. Weird, huh?

March 24, 2005

The National's Alligator Doing Swimmingly

Beggars Banquet is currently streaming The National's new album, Alligator, in its entirety on their website. The band will play at New York's Museum of Television & Radio on Tuesday, April 5th as part of Seattle radio station KEXP's week long visit to our fine city. If you're free at 2pm you can reserve a spot at the show by registering here. If you're lazy, it will be broadcast and webcast live.

December 15, 2004

The National: Album (or EP) of the Year!

Last month The National were featured in Magnet's [LINK TO COME]Magnified section, and we are even prouder to announce that their Cherry Tree EP has been named album of the year in They ranked right above much hyped Montreal band, The Arcade Fire. (Take that Canada!) Neither album was nominated for a Grammy, though. Bummer.

In future "record of the year" news, The National have recently completed sessions for their Beggars Banquet debut. Basic tracks were recorded at various studios and overdubs happened in large part in Ditmas Park, Brooklyn, in the Brassland offices, on the Dessner family compound. The sessions were led by Paul Mahajan, who has previously worked on...

September 19, 2004

The National Moving on Up, Sign With Beggars

Huge, slobbery wet, geezus-they-might-get-famous congratulations to The National, who have recently signed a deal to release future records on London-based indie Beggars Banquet. The boys are currently working on a third full-length in the Ditmas Park 'hood. It's tentatively scheduled for spring 2004, though it's uncertain which Beggars label will release final product (4AD, Matador, and XL are in the family). They join a diverse and way rad group of Beggars' artists including Devendra Banhart, The Pixies, Dizzee Rascal, and TV on the Radio. It's been a good time, and we wish 'em the best of luck. L'chaim!

August 13, 2004

Cherry Tree Rakes in Accolades

The National's Cherry Tree has begun raking in accolades. Thank you Salon for calling it "more powerfully moving on each repeat play." Thank you BetterPropaganda for making the lead off track, "Wasp Nest," one their top MP3 downloads for three weeks running. Thank you, again, UNCUT for giving the album a five star review. Thank you Hi-Fi for hosting the record release party this past Wednesday. Thank you to Cincinnati's Shake It! for pressing up a limited 10" vinyl version. Last but not least, thank you to Other Music for hosting a FREE in-store performance this Sunday, August 15th at 7pm. We hope to see you there.

July 19, 2004

The National: Cherry Tree Update, Prepping New Album

Their new mini-album, Cherry Tree, will be available in stores across the US starting today, July 19th. We're not going to spend a lot of time discussing how awesome this record is, but we will point you toward the 5-star review which appeared in the respected British music magazine, UNCUT. Outside of the Rolling Stones' Exile on Mainstreet, Bob Dylan's Blonde on Blonde, and a few other eternal classics, there aren't many albums that receive this kind of praise. Thank you UNCUT.

There will be no extensive touring on behalf of this EP because The National are working on a new album. They have scheduled a release party in New York, however, and there are some other sur...

January 1, 2004

The National Taking Over

Excuse us for being newsless the last month of 2003. We've had lots of news actually, but little time to post about it. Most notably, The National's Sad Songs for Dirty Lovers continues to collect accolades. Critics at The Chicago Tribune, UNCUT (UK), Liberation (France), LA Weekly and have all placed it on their "album of the year" lists. Magnet has called it a "hidden gem" of 2003. Bernard Lenoir at the radio station France Inter has put it at the top of his chart! The group recently completed a triumphant European tour, and already have some great opening slots lined up for the new year, including dates with Pernice Brothers, The Walkmen, and Elefant. We expect the...

November 17, 2003

The National Look Good in Black Sessions

Today, The National will make an appearance on France Inter radio's Black Sessions. Host Bernard Lenoir has been described to us as France's answer to John Peel and recent guests include Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, The Rapture, and Interpol. The latter group released the results of their session on a special EP, and there's already been talk of doing the same for our five Ohio boys. We can't wait to hear the results! The National are on tour in Europe until December 6th.

October 17, 2003

Faders, Rolling Stones, and Pitchforks

The National's Sad Songs for Dirty Lovers is shaping up to be one of 2003's most talked about indie records, an underground hit. Rolling Stone, Fader,, Magnet, CMJ, AP, ToNY, and some newspaper from France all had nice things to say.

The band is embarking on a short west coast tour next week. They play Seattle, Portland, San Francisco, Los Angeles (x3), and sunny San Diego. This will be followed by a month-long European tour. Lookie here for tour dates.

October 17, 2003

Padma Joins The National

Prior to spending some quality time back in Australia, Clogs' Padma Newsome has decided to accompany The National on their entire European tour. He'll be adding violin, keyboards, and personality. He and Bryce Dessner, guitarist for Clogs and The National, plan to open each of these shows with a short set of Clogs' duets, but you can click here for the official dates.

September 19, 2003

New Record by The National, Buzz Building

The National's new album, Sad Songs for Dirty Lovers was released but a few weeks ago and is slowly but surely making it onto record store shelves. We've heard some impressive reports, like the one San Francisco shop that breezed through three dozen copies in a single week.

Tomorrow the band complete their first US tour in support of Sad Songs with a homecoming gig at Brooklyn's Luxx. The tour was quite successful with especially notable shows to be had in Chicago and cities beginning with the letter "C" located in their home state of Ohio (thank you Cinci, Columbus, and Cleveland). To quote one source "Everyone who saw the band freaked the fuck out." Most nights ended w...

August 13, 2003

The National Tour Many Nations

The National have just announced the dates for their September US tour. We've also posted a month of tentative European dates for November. That tour is slated to take them to France, England, Scotland, Italy, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, and Benelux. They'll be playing with everyone from Calla and Songs:Ohia to Lake Trout and the colorfully named Fuck. F**k yeah.

July 9, 2003

The French and Greg Kot Dig The National

The National's new album, Sad Songs for Dirty Lovers, won't be released in America until September 2nd but it's already causing a stir in some quarters.

We just returned from a trip to France where we caught the end of the band's second European tour. It seems they are the joie de vivre for a lot of people over there, especially in Paris, where The National played three shows, selling out 300 seat venues and making French people swoon to the tunes as they sang along with Matt Berninger's lyrics.

The French, however, are not alone.

Even though it won't be released in the US for two months, Sad Songs for Dirty Lovers has already been touted as...

June 5, 2003

The National Invade Europe

The National kick off their second European tour on Thursday, June 5th in Germany. They'll be playing about nineteen shows in Germany, France, Austria, and Slovenia. [LINK TO COME]Check out the dates.

The band's new record, Sad Songs for Dirty Lovers, was released one week ago in continental Europe via our friends at Talitres (European home of The Walkmen, Destroyer, and Calla, among others). The record is already having some notable success on French radio, where it has been played on Bernard Lenoir's program, thereby charting in ways we can't describe because charts and graphs confuse us so. The band's tour is being sponsored by a French radio network, Férarock...

May 12, 2003

The National Announce European Tour

In less than a month, The National will embark on their second European tour. They'll mostly be playing in Germany and France, though there is one date in Austria, and a couple UK dates may be added. Keep an eye on our [LINK TO COME]tour page for current routing, and updates.

We are also proud to announce that the band has hooked-up with Chicago's Billions Corporation for US booking. You can find the announcement on their website here. The band is proud to join Billions' diverse roster of artists that includes old standbys like Nick Cave, Aphex Twin, and Steven Malkmus as well as hot young things such as Godspeed You Black Emperor!, The Frames, and Clinic. Expect the ban...

March 2, 2003

The National Update

The National have just announced a midwestern swing of tour dates with Dan Bern. See the [LINK TO COME] tour page for details. In a bit of random news, the band recently got a note from Gene Ween, native of New Hope, PA and member of Ween. He sent an email asking for the lyrics to "American Mary" so he could cover it at a solo show in his hometown. We thought that was neat. Or neen. Moving on to more substantive matters, The National's sophomore album Sad Songs for Dirty Lovers will be seeing its European release any day now. More info coming soon...

February 2, 2003

The National Update

In more "big overseas" news, the band's song "Bitters and Absolut" from their self-titled debut appears this month on the "New Noises" CD that comes with this month's issue of German Rolling Stone. The Mountain Goats, The Good Life, and Hot Hot Heat are just a few of the bands who also appear on the record. Previous "New Noises" success stories include David Hasselhoff, Milli Vanilli, and Lou Reed (during his Berlin phase).

After you're done learning how to sprechen sie deutsch, peep The National's [LINK TO COME] new video for "Son." (Not so fast 56k users, it's a 9.5MB download.)

December 13, 2002

European Report

We just got back from Europe, where we accompanied the National on the first leg of their ongoing European tour. Great successes were had in disparate locations like a basement club in the Notting Hill district of London; a smoky and intimate red-curtained club in Halle, East Germany; and a venue in Paris, France called Le Guingette Pirate -- essentially a pirate ship docked on the Siene River. (After the gig, The National stayed up to participate in a dance party that lasted well into the night.) Two days later, they played a well-attended, last minute Paris gig opening for Low.

We've also heard our first reports from an enthusiastic European press. Kerrang! says of The Nationa...

November 19, 2002

The National Update

The National have finished sessions for their new album. The tentative title is Sad Songs for Dirty Lovers but that might change.

The band is travelling to Ohio to spend the Thanksgiving holiday with their families. While in the midwest, they'll be playing some gigs with Dan Bern. There won't be much time for leftovers. The National are catching a flight to London on November 29th for their first European tour. For details on the month of shows in England, France, Germany, Ireland, Kentucky, and Switzerland visit our [LINK TO COME] tour page.

October 5, 2002

The National Update

Matt Berninger, lead singer of The National writes: "The new record is almost finished and will be done in a month or two, maybe. It's been described by early listeners as 'creepy, rocking and sexous (erotic and dangerous but in a fun way)' and 'the perfect record for dirty lovers.' It might be called Cardinal Song or Shaving The Neighbor but probably not."

Matt sounds non-committal, but we've been told basic tracking for the album is finished. Clogs' Padma Newsome contributed what are being called "mildly askew string arrangements." Nick Lloyd led recording sessions in seven different locations, ranging from the penthouse of the Soho's Puck Building...

August 25, 2002

The National Means Quality

...which is another way of saying that they take a long time to get things done. Recording sessions for the follow-up to their self-titled debut continue in the fashion of many good things you wouldn't want to live without, things like consumer capitalism and the weather. The sessions have moved from a glamorous location (the penthouse of the Puck Building in Soho) to a charming and rustic one (an 18th century vintage farmhouse in the Connecticut suburbs). (Pictured, at right, is drummer Bryan Devendorf at the Puck, either making phat beats, aiding producer Nick Lloyd in mixing a song, or playing Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 3 on the Game Boy Advance.) Wrap-up is currently scheduled for th...

July 17, 2002

The National's New Website

Contrary to popular belief, the internet is still hot hot hot! Hence the re-design of the National's web presence If you want to learn more than you ever wanted to know about the Nabisco Biscuit Company's Bathtub Dunkers, graphic designers, eCommerce opportunities in an economic downturn, and the weather you should go there. Now.

March 29, 2002

News on the Development of The National

"The National are recording 26 new songs about 2 things, men and women," reports the band's vocalist Matt Berninger, "Some of these new songs are very loud." Many of these songs will end up on the second album for the Brooklyn-based band, to be released on Brassland this fall. Or this winter. (Depends...)

The sessions for the record are notable in that they're taking place in the penthouse of the Puck Building, a very hoity-toity piece of New York real estate, poised between lofts owned by David Bowie and Sonic Youth's Thurston Moore. Helming the sessions is Nick Lloyd, producer of their first record. He is co-producing the album with Paul Heck, a long time producer for...

November 15, 2001

The National vs. Osama

Click here for a revealing feature on The National in Cincinnati CityBeat. It appeared in celebration of tonight's gig in Newport, Kentucky, nearby the ancestral home of these current day Brooklynites. A preview: "I love the first album, but the next one will have more firepower for us," [The National's Aaron] Dessner says. "If the debut is kinda smoky and somber, the next one will be more explosive, more like a punch in the face. Maybe we should call it Fuck Osama or something." Taliban beware.

November 1, 2001

The National Kick Off Their Tour In (and With) Style

In 2 days, The National kick off an American tour with 15 shows in 16 days. The days before the tour find the band fit and sexy as ever, semi-groomed and glamorous.

Grrrr!(Hands off ladies. Most of them are taken. (It's up to you to figure out who's not.)) Click [LINK TO COME]here for dates, cities, venues, and openers. Here's what the band have to say about it:

"I shall say another world for the most select ears: what I really want from music. That it be cheerful and profound like an afternoon in October. That it be individual, frolicsome, tender, a sweet small woman full of beastliness and charm."
-Friedrich Nietzsche

"The whole business is built...

October 15, 2001

The National Tour Half the Nation

In November, The National are kicking off an 18-date American tour. [LINK TO COME] Click here for dates and cities. Most shows are with their buddies from Brooklyn, Elk City.

September 21, 2001

The National Tour

The National are currently scheduling a two week November tour of the northeast, midwest, and southeast with their buddies from Brooklyn, Elk City. Another possibility in the works is a promotional CD-EP featuring 2 album tracks, and a handful of unreleased songs and demos.