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Old 09-11-2011, 10:00 AM   #781
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I'm confident the next album will be unique in its own way.
That's what I'm hoping for. I would think that this is what will happen.
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Old 09-11-2011, 10:31 AM   #782
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I guess that I don't see High Violet as any darker than its predecessors. Sad Songs, Alligator, and Boxer may have some faster, harder-edged songs, but the subject matter of all three is thoroughly depressing. Alligator is dominated by the bitter anxiety of coming of age in an uncertain world, and Boxer by a fruitless search for identity. Then there is Sad Songs, which is an extended outpouring of emotional trauma. No National album has ever been a laugh riot.
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Old 09-11-2011, 10:51 AM   #783
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Though Matt did introduce Conversation 16 as being "about cannibalism, but in a funny way" when I saw them.
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Old 09-11-2011, 01:06 PM   #784
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Yeah, I don't see how High Violet is such a dark departure.

The main thing for me? They've released some songs since High Violet, and they've been awesome. Exile Vilify is an incredible song.
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Old 09-11-2011, 02:51 PM   #785
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The main thing for me? They've released some songs since High Violet, and they've been awesome. Exile Vilify is an incredible song.
Indeed. Think You Can Wait is almost equally good.
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Old 09-11-2011, 03:08 PM   #786
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I guess that I don't see High Violet as any darker than its predecessors. Sad Songs, Alligator, and Boxer may have some faster, harder-edged songs, but the subject matter of all three is thoroughly depressing. Alligator is dominated by the bitter anxiety of coming of age in an uncertain world, and Boxer by a fruitless search for identity. Then there is Sad Songs, which is an extended outpouring of emotional trauma. No National album has ever been a laugh riot.
I never wanted a laugh riot. High Violet doesn't reach their lowest emotional levels by any stretch; it also doesn't have a lot of bright spots. It doesn't have much that grabs me either way, good as the songwriting is.

Exile Vilify is, to me, more interesting in its music and production than anything on High Violet. The swelling strings really swallow the listener whole and get you engaged in the track. Matt sounds so distant that you end up listening to him more closely than ever; I love his vocal melody in the chorus. It's a beautiful track that eschews the typical rock arrangement to far greater gains. Ultimately, it gets me excited for the band's future, even if I'm not the biggest fan of their newest album.
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Old 09-11-2011, 03:23 PM   #787
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Oh, and for the record, I couldn't care less what does or doesn't happen to the size of their collective fanbase. The National are a band that speaks to me individually, and if I feel like their music has gotten more general and less intimate, that to me is a loss of quality. As long as their songs have those special lyrical and musical moments that smack of personal experience and care, they will be a great band. The day they start writing generic love/hate songs with really bombastic production is the day we're all fucked.
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Old 09-11-2011, 03:34 PM   #788
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Seeing them at the Hollywood Bowl tonight. I believe they will be playing at least part of the show with a string quarter.

While this band hasn't quite CLICKed for me yet, I'm looking forward to getting another opportunity to give it a go. When they opened for R.E.M. a few years back at a other revered venue (Madison Sq Garden) I didn't make it in time for their set and only was able to suffer through Modest Mouse.
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Old 09-11-2011, 03:37 PM   #789
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Lucky you.
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Old 09-11-2011, 03:41 PM   #790
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Laz stands outside of our inferior concerts with a disparaging look on his face.
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Old 09-11-2011, 05:37 PM   #791
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They played Thirsty at the last two concerts.

Gotta love the Sad Songs love they're showing on this tour. I prefer that album over Boxer and High Violet by far.
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Old 09-12-2011, 02:30 AM   #792
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Yeah Thirsty was played tonight and dedicated to 9/11 or something. Though he said the band hadn't played it in years so he must be a LIAR like Boner.

Also some of you will be pleased (and jealous) to hear that Annie Clark a.k.a. St. Vincent showed up as a surprise guest, sang b.vocals and played guitar on a couple songs, and then sang a verse on Afraid Of Everyone (had to look that title up).

I really enjoyed the music a lot. Matt Berninger's vocals are something I'm struggling with, however. The staccato monotone works on some songs, on others it just doesn't. I also find some of his occasional screaming to be a little forced. There are some tracks where he does emote successfully and the difference is appreciated. I do respect his writing a lot, I just don't think his delivery complements the songs half the time.

Also, Sharon van Etten came back out and sang b.vocals on a song that he said was written for the recent film Win Win.

One cool thing Berninger did was mention how there was a clock on stage telling them how much time they had left to play. He then held it up and faced it towards the audience for one song. At the end of the show, during the last song, he held it aloft as it ticked off the remaining 30-40 seconds as the band played off.

The song before that he waded pretty deep into the crowd and was I think at some point held up by fans.

There was a horn section that played throughout the whole show and really worked well with the band.
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Old 09-12-2011, 04:17 AM   #793
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he got surfed way far out in the crowd in boston, I was a little surprised he stayed afloat that long.
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Old 09-12-2011, 08:01 AM   #794
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Holy crap, just found out they're playing Adelbrain in November
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Old 09-12-2011, 08:48 AM   #795
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Holy crap, just found out they're playing Adelbrain in November
Yep, as a sideshow for the Harvest Festival, cos that's only coming to Melb, Syd & Bris. Definitely go see them
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