Random Music Talk CXXXI: Interference Finally Gets Its Revenge on Cobbler

The friendliest place on the web for anyone that follows U2.
If you have answers, please help by responding to the unanswered posts.
I got Men at Work greatest hits on one of those 10 CD's for a penny back in the 90's.
Overkill was always a favorite and as an anxious teenager I related well to the lyrics. Something so soothing about that song.
I remember "Who Can it Be Now?" being on some tape of '80s songs I used to listen to all the time as a kid. Always liked that song, too.

This is another great one by them:

I wonder if there was some kind of law in the 80s and 90s that if a guitar solo popped up in a music video, the director had to show the guitarist's hands playing it.
Same here! Looking forward to The National show - it's at one of my favorite NYC venues too in Forest Hill Stadium.

We've got a new St. Vincent on the way too! I am so ready for her industrial era.

Gump, good to see you around man.

First great album of the year for me is Mannequin P***y's I Got Heaven. I'm not usually into punk too much, but this one really goes hard.
Gump, good to see you around man.

First great album of the year for me is Mannequin P***y's I Got Heaven. I'm not usually into punk too much, but this one really goes hard.

Likewise, iron yuppie. Hope things have been good on your end. I've been busy with a small baby but will try to come more often (I'm sad at how quiet this place is and miss interacting with you all on music).

I haven't heard truly great albums this year, but I have enjoyed Marika Hackman's Big Sigh quite a bit. I also can't stop listening to Cat Power's cover of Dylan's 1966 Royal Albert Hall concert (I know it's a 2023 album but I only recently discovered it). I wish I had caught her Carnegie Hall show but it was on my son's birthday.

Really looking forward to Julia Holter's new album in a couple of weeks.
Last edited:
I have been listening through Talk Talk's discography this week for the first time. Why did no one tell me about Spirit of Eden? I am loving this and such a dramatic change in style from their first couple albums. Really love Mark Hollis voice too.
I think Laughing Stock is even better!

New Grass and After the Flood are my two favourite Talk Talk songs.
Wait, there is a...like button now?!?

It's like picking a favorite child, but I do slightly Laughing Stock over Spirit of Eden too. It's so unique and sprawling, and I think clearly approached as their final artwork much like Abbey Road. It's tremendous.
Last edited:
I listened to Laughing Stock today and read up on both of them a bit more. Sounds like they are both considered very influential albums for the beginnings of post-rock (and you can totally hear it). I liked After The Flood, Taphead and New Grass, although I will say at this point I like Spirit of Eden better. Going to check out Hollis solo album too.

It's just wild to me that they started out sounding like Duran Duran and ended up sounding like Low or later-era Radiohead. Would have never expected that a week ago when the only songs I knew from them were "Talk Talk, "It's My Life and "Life's What You Make It".
Oh my god I had no idea that was a song by Talk Talk hahaha.

Interesting we're talking about The National too. I saw them twice this week (and Fleet Foxes too), and it was incredible, a big, Cobbler-style review incoming.
The two shows in Melbourne I presume? Those are some nice setlists. I`d love to hear
Slipping Husband and Baby We'll Be Fine
I kind of enjoyed the new St Vincent single. I'm glad she realizes that the yacht rock thing didn't work. It's better if we can all pretend that Daddy's Home never really happened.
Oh whoops, I forgot to talk about that St Vincent song. I love it and hope the rest of the album is in a similar vein (though I'd be very happy with songs akin to New York, Happy Bday Johnny and Slow Disco too). She sounds so good in rock mode.
Interesting we're talking about The National too. I saw them twice this week (and Fleet Foxes too), and it was incredible, a big, Cobbler-style review incoming.

That's awesome. I saw both bands posting about the shows on social media and I wondered if you'd gone to either show.

I like the new Chelsea Wolfe album quite a bit, thinking about hitting up her show in a couple weeks.
Alright, haven't done one of these in a while... since U2 at the Sphere, I guess.

I went to see The National! At Sidney Myer Music Bowl. Twice. This past week. It's an outdoor amphitheatre, with seats in the front quarter and GA lawn taking up the rest. Fits like 10,000 or something. I've seen a LOT of shows there. The sound is always great, and though you can always see the stage from the elevated lawn, it's often hard to make out. But it's always miles cheaper than the seats. Amazingly, there were heaps of tickets available on Tixel in the lead-up to show. (Tixel is the fucking best... it's the main ticket resale site here and they cap prices at 10% above face-value, so you're never really getting ripped off. SO much fucking better than the dogshit system in the US.) Anyway, I did super well, I got a $75 GA ticket on the day of the show, and then the next night I got a free GA ticket through my friend who works in the music industry, so got two shows for much less than the price of one GA ticket at its official price. Stoked.

Annie Hamilton opened opened, but I missed her set both nights. She was in Little May, who opened for them on the last tour they did here, so it made sense she was back. Fleet Foxes opened. I am not a big fan of them, just haven't listened to them much or been super enamoured with what I have heard - a few tracks on their latest, Shore, aside, that's a great record. The second main dude with the glasses and facial hair who does back-up vocals and plays guitar has the fucking coolest look. I enjoyed their set - much more when it was full band and they started to get loud towards the end of their set - but felt that they were strangely unsuited to the venue, their music kind of just leaked out. I imagine it would have been a lot better closer in. I'll have to listen back based on the setlists to figure out what tracks I really loved.

I was really excited but also quite nervous for these two shows. For context, this was the band that my ex and I connected the most over across our seven-year relationship. We had front-row tickets for all three shows they were meant to play in 2019 at the Palais Theatre, a 3,000-seat venue that they haven't played since the High Violet tour and are far too big for now. It was for the I Am Easy to Find tour, and I was so fucking jazzed, because I really, really, really like that album, and it would have felt so different. Phoebe Bridgers was opening. But COVID fucked it, and then in late 2022 we broke up. It was devastating, and a big part of me still is devastated, though it was the right decision. But yeah, I was pretty nervous going into the first show. She went to both shows also. We were doing no contact for six or so months but then reconnected late last year, and then I saw her on Sunday, and we both agreed we should stay separate during the shows. I had a big day with an early start the next day too, so was sober and keen to get home as quickly as I could. I was pretty in my head, and also with my existential OCD... heaping a lot of pressure on myself to enjoy the shows, hoping that they would be transcendent, and then getting worried every moment that I was in my head... but anyway.

They kicked off with Sea of Love, a fucking great song, and one of the few Trouble Will Find Me tracks that I'm not absolutely sick to death of. I adore that record, but I fucking thrashed it in 2013 and 2014 that I lost some of my love for it (and of course they've been putting out music that sounds exactly like most of the songs from that record ever since). But Sea of Love fucking rules. Tropic Morning News and New Order T-Shirt were next, two of the songs I do like on what is for me indisputably their worst album. The former has excellent guitar, and the latter's lyrics are heartbreakingly beautiful. Then came Squalor Victoria. FUCK yeah. I sent a long and rambling voice note to Imperor the other night, and I said, if there's one song that I would pick to hear at every single National show for the rest of my life, it's Squalor Victoria. Those drums are just incredible, and whilst I do enjoy the album version quite a bit, that escalation that it has live, with the screaming is just phenomenal. Such an amazing song. Don't Swallow the Cap up next, it's quite enjoyable, but does not excite me at all, my god I just played those fucking songs to absolute death man. Bloodbuzz Ohio still absolutely slays, and of all the 19 trillion songs they've written since that sound exactly the same, I think it's still the best. Gets a huge reaction live too. Imperor hates I Need My Girl. I like it a lot. Trouble Will Find Me is one of the most obvious mental ill-health records ever made. The whole thing is just Matt, tortured by anxiety and depression. My mental health was pretty bad when that record came out, so it's no wonder that I vibed with it so much, and I Need My Girl fit the bill - I'm fucked in the head right now, and god I wish I had my girl to give me a hug and make it all better. But it's interesting, I resonate with TWFM a lot less these days, and I think it's because my mental health has improved a lot, and I don't struggle quite so much with the generic anxiety that that record speaks to so well anymore.

Slow Show was pretty devastating. Great, what a great song, but one of many songs they'll play over these two nights that remind me of my previous relationship. (Oh, I should say, they're doing the two totally-different-sets thing tonight (except for three tracks that they repeat across the two nights). As a gigantic National super nerd (I've just taken the setlists from the eight shows I've seen and put them into Google Sheets and colour-coded them by album) I am very fucking excited to hear heaps and heaps of their songs and very few repeats.) Then it's Brainy, also a great song. Conversation 16, fantastic. I think, pound-for-pound, High Violet is probably their best album. I find Runaway pretty boring, and I'm not huge on Anyone's Ghost, but aside from that it's absolutely stacked with fucking bangers. Then a couple of rarer tracks, Baby We'll Be Fine and Lit Up. Both fantastic. Baby takes a while to get going, the guitars sounds like they're a little tough to translate live, and I think it'd have been a lot better if I was closer, but it was a very welcome track to hear, and once he got to the chorus it was amazing, and he did a bit of screaming repeating "I'm so sorry for everything". Lit Up absolutely ruled. Did not get the crowd reaction it deserved. Baller track and performance. Alien was next, perhaps one of my least favourite National songs, just so by-numbers and uninspiring lyrics. Laugh Track fine. Day I Die I've long felt is The National's version of like Beautiful Day, a later-career track that sounds like five of their earlier, better songs, that you're never truly jazzed about, but still warms you. It's helped by the fact that it's one of the songs he wanders through the crowd for, and it gets better as it goes along.

Pink Rabbits, what a brilliant song. Rylan absolutely destroyed me, it was my ex's favourite song, and imagining her dancing to it had me crying. And then England pulled me back, this is a bit of an underrated National track in my eyes, it is an absolute barnstormer, both on record and live. I fucking adore and was jumping up and down all over the place. One bloke came over to me and said I'd made his night, which felt really nice. We then got treated to a new track, "Bat Child", a rocker that is about Spiral Stairs from Pavement, of all things. It was fucking great. It was one of three tracks they played both nights, alongside Mr November and Terrible Love. Fake Empire as good as ever and went off. Space Invader closed the main set. Terrific song, and one of the reasons that Laugh Track is a lot better than F2POF. Outstanding. Bryce and Aaron were duelling during this, smiling heaps, was really cool to see. Light Years opened the encore, absolutely lovely, I really do love IAETF and I hope they find love for it again, it's a real shame that it's now been relegated to this weird outlier afterthought, when I think it's perhaps the most interesting record they've released in the past 15 years. Mr November and Terrible Love are just incredible, it's at this point that you're like, holy FUCK, this is a truly top-tier live band. Amazing that Matt spends 10 straight minutes wandering through thousands of people at every show, screaming his lungs out. I thought I was sick of Terrible Love, but once that first pre-chorus/chorus/whatever it is kicks in, I'm just fully losing it. It's such a fucking great song and is absolutely fantastic live.

And then, their most classic closer. Vanderlyle Crybaby Geeks, unplugged. Huge tears. Fucking beautiful, heartbreaking song, and I just love so much that they stumbled upon that and are still doing it after all these years, and that all their hundreds of thousands of fans still know every single word and inflection. I hadn't seen them since 2018, and though it was extremely bittersweet, particularly, "all the very best of us / string ourselves up for love", it was very fucking special and comforting to see them do this as the finale again. I'm determined to be right up close the next time they're here. Gorgeous. Sang it aloud to myself on the way out.

After another massive day, it was time for Night Two. This time I was going with a friend, and prior to the show I was feeling really sad, just conversing with my ex about the previous night's show and just missing what once was. Parked my car, played some of the Shore tracks walking in, really nice.

I had of course been constantly checking the setlists for this tour, so I figured they'd open with Poolside, and they did, which I was very happy about. My favourite song from Frankenstein. Yes, we've heard these piano lines from them a million times but I think there's a starkness to this song that makes it work. Weird Goodbyes was probably one of the few National songs that I thought was maybe worse live than on record. It was just fine. Eucalyptus sucks, and not even Matt screaming can save it. Up next was Demons and I could very happily never hear this song again. A good song, no doubt, some great lyrics that I resonate with a lot, the "when I walk into a room I do not light it up / FUCK" part is still good, but I hear it and am overcome with a malaise that only playing a record into the ground for two years can elicit.

So this gig has had a bit of a slow and flat start. Kind of the opposite to Night One. But then, thankfully, it takes off on the very next song, Afraid of Everyone, a fucking huge banger (I'm listening back to the songs in order as I write this, and hot damn, High Violet is so fucking good, hey) and then never lets up for the rest of the night. Easily, easily my favourite National show I've seen. Probably not the ~best~, as it was pretty loose and didn't contain many of the 'hits' they played at the previous show and play at most shows, but it was full of a lot of their heavier tracks, and Heavy National >>>>>>>>>>> any other kind of National. And I was also in a much better headspace, with a friend, having a few drinks, and with a day working from home the next day with the two biggest days of my work week both complete. I absolutely lost it during Afraid of Everyone. YA LIES ARE SWALLOWING MY SOUL YA LIES ARE SWALLOWING MY SOUL SOUL SOUL SOUL. Fucking amazing. System was up next, this also sounds a little hard to translate well live, those guitar strikes are a bit hard to get across, but once it takes off in the second half it's a huge banger. I CANT EXPLAIN IT!!! AHHHH AHHH!! ANY OTHER WAY!!! Apartment Story was fantastic. I have memories of when I first became a fan... I think this was the favourite National song, certainly on this forum it had a lot of love. Seems to fallen out of favour a bit with all the amazing songs they've written since, but fantastic song, and I think I'd forgotten how much I loved it. "Oh we're so disarming darling, everything we did believe / is diving, diving, diving off the balcony" is so great. And that outro, too. And I have memories of the guitar part in the pre-chorus accompanied by wicked graphics on the screen from the 2018 tour burned into my mind. This is the Last Time, another one that I'm not quite sure is as good live as it is on record, such a favourite of mine, but it was still amazing. It's such a great song, capturing two different moods, upbeat and downtrodden, so very well. I love how they give the outro more life too with a drum fill instead of the simple fade-out that's on the record.

The next 20 or so minutes was so much fucking fun. Started with Lemonworld, again, another 10/10 banger from High Violet, and holy fuck, that Dessner guitar (is it Aaron or Bryce) captures visceral sadness and pain SO fucking well. Then Humiliation, another TWFM banger. I don't know how or when they figured out how to segue it seamlessly into Murder Me Rachael, but holy fucking SHIT was this a live music life highlight. Utterly fucking incredible. Absolutely lost it, Murder Me Rachael is so fucking good and Sad Songs is SUCH an underrated record. I SAW MY LOVE ... WITH PRETTY BOY! SO SAY GOODBYE... TO PRETTY BOY! TOMORROW WON'T BE PRETTY!!!!!!!!!!!!! And then as if they hadn't killed me enough, then they play Abel, which is probably the best music song ever written by humans or animals or AI or fucking whatever. This was in the top 3 in terms of how much I've lost my mind at a gig. Screaming, climbing on the barrier. I fucking ADORE this song man. Absolutely perfect. What happened to this National!? Jesus fucking christ. I was so alive. MYMINDSNOTRIGHTMYMINDSNOTRIGHT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! And then the fucking HITS just kept coming!!! Matt goes, here's Slipping Husband!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Another fucking rock banger!!!! I would have killed someone to hear Available but this song was also amazing to hear live. We better get a drink in you, 'fore u start to bore us.

That stretch was so fucking good that Mistaken for Strangers was actually a let down. Can you imagine that? Good breather though I was absolutely out of breath. The band was in such fucking good form, too. Matt was screaming heaps, making more jokes, laughing with Aaron/Bryce/whichever, and it was just so loose, and you could see and feel how much fun they were having with a much more loose setlist. The next song, one time, we played it for like six straight hours. I was expecting this one to destroy me but I think I was still too hyped. Deep End was pretty great, Matt screaming PAULS IN PIECES definitely helped. Laugh Track definitely way better than Frankstein. Anyone who really likes Grease in Your Hair is lying. It's good, but they're trying to trick you into thinking it's a great song and it's not. But I tell you what is a fucking great song, and that is SMOKE DETECTOR. The best song by Cincinnati-by-way-of-Brooklyn indie rock band The National in fucking years. Their best rock song since Alligator. It fucking absolutely slays. I adore it, and I hope they always play it forever more, and I hope they make more songs like it. I love Matt's wild delivery and those wild guitars. And the "you don't know how much I love you / do you" is so fucking good. The delivery manages to convey a range of emotions all at once - anger, visceral love, intensity, so good.

Carin at the Liquor Store came next, I can think of many tracks I'd have rather heard, particularly from that album, but it was really great, and it is much better live, they're so fucking good at elevating their songs beyond their studio versions in many different ways and this is no exception. The horns are fantastic, and I'm so glad they have a horn section at every show, it really lifts so many of their songs. Graceless went off, unfortunately it's another one of the TWFM tracks I played too many times, but still great. And any time Matt is in the crowd is so great. Truly, such a fucking entertaining live band. You could know zero times and leave thinking it was an excellent show. I should try to convert some mates. Send for Me closed the main set, and though it is, AGAIN, another song they've written three thousand times (like seriously, listen to I Am Easy to Find, it's almost the exact same piano line), it was really lovely. The lyrics are really nice and it definitely made me cry, particularly "if you're ever in a giftshop dying inside filling up with tears / cos you thought of somebody you loved you haven't seen in years" (FUCK!) and it was a nice closer. One of few songs that I'll officially excuse from F2POF.

The encore opened with Runaway. It's one of my least favourite songs off High Violet and there's so many songs I'd rather hear, but it does have something to it. Though it's pretty boring, it's really well-structured, if that makes sense? And got a good singalong. Fuck it goes on though. It's like five-and-a-half minutes long, most of it just repetition. Come on. Then we got repeats of Mr November and Terrible Love, both excellent again, but I think the tiredness of a big week had started to hit me a bit, and I was also just content to enjoy them at a slower pace. I do wish I'd been in the seats though. I must do that when I see them next. It would be so cool to be near him and scream into the mic.

I was really hoping that the last song would be About Today, not Vanderlyle, and it was. It fucking absolutely broke me. This song actually has to probably be on their Mt Rushmore. It's SO fucking amazing and well-written. I don't know of any song that captures the little and big relationship griefs as About Today. The padded drumming, that gorgeous but heartbreaking acoustic guitar line, the absolutely on-point lyrics, the strings... Matt's barely-there vocals. I'm so glad they made this before his vocals changed. On the record it benefits so much from his earlier vocal style. "Hey. Are you awake? Yeah, I'm right here. Well can I ask you... about today." I wept, thinking of my previous relationship, and it was beautiful too. And then, they take it into the stratosphere live for like another three or four minutes, it starts soaring, the full band just going in, the horns and guitars sounding amazing and offering a lot of hope. And then they each slowly stopped playing their instruments and left the stage for good. A fucking incredible concert that meant a lot to me.

Some other stray thoughts... I do yearn sometimes for pre-HV National. I think High Violet is the record on which Matt's voice audibly changed. I'm not quite sure how to describe it, but Boxer and backwards, his vocals have this thin, frail sound to them that I really fucking love. And from High Violet onwards, his vocals became more filled out, but lost some of their personality, imho. Anyone else get what I'm saying?

Boxer, it's never been my favourite, but hearing about half of it over these two nights, I do think it's really impressive in terms of its lyricism. It's actually a concept album, really. All of the songs really are about being a twenty-thirty-forty-something, white-collar, self-obsessed, uptight, anxious, co-dependent adult. It's quite brilliant.

During Graceless on Night Two, I was like... holy shit this band have SO many great songs and so many really popular songs too. Like, they could genuinely do a third 'no-repeats' night and it would still land super well, there were a lot of big tracks left in the sheds, like All the Wine, Secret Meeting, Daughters of the Soho Riots, Looking for Astronauts, Geese of Beverley Road, Green Gloves, Start a War, Wasp Nest, Exile Vilify, Cherry Tree, Little Faith, Anyone's Ghost, Quiet Light, Hairpin Turns, Cardinal Song, Available, Lucky You, Nobody Else Will Be There, Guilty Party, Walk it Back, I'll Still Destroy You, Dark Side of the Gym, I Should Live in Salt and several others.

Official National album ranking if I'm trying to be just a little bit more objective: High Violet > Trouble Will Find Me > Sleep Well Beast > Alligator > Boxer > I Am Easy to Find > Sad Songs for Dirty Lovers > Laugh Track > The National > First Two Pages of Frankenstein

Official National album ranking given I overplayed the shit out of TWFM between 2013 and 2015 but I'm still trying to be a bit objective: High Violet > Sleep Well Beast > Alligator > Trouble Will Find Me > Boxer > I Am Easy to Find > Sad Songs for Dirty Lovers > Laugh Track > The National > First Two Pages of Frankenstein

Official National album ranking if I'm being pretty subjective in terms of how I feel at this point in time and if I hadn't overplayed TWFM: High Violet > Trouble Will Find Me > I Am Easy to Find > Alligator > Sad Songs for Dirty Lovers > Boxer > Laugh Track > The National > First Two Pages of Frankenstein

Official National album ranking if I'm being completely subjective in terms of how I feel at this point in time and forgetting I really do love TWFM: High Violet > I Am Easy to Find > Sad Songs for Dirty Lovers > Alligator > Boxer > Trouble Will Find Me > Laugh Track > The National > Cherry Tree > The Virginia EP > A Lot of Sorrow > daylight > First Two Pages of Frankenstein > Songs of Innocence
Last edited:
This was amazing. I can almost hear you, cobbler. Take care, man.

Love love love Apartment Story. Pretty sure Slow Show-Apartment Story is my favorite back-to-back songs on an album this century.
Isn't there a National thread? :sleep: Literally still on page one here.

Anyway, RIP Karl Wallinger. Formerly of The Waterboys and his own band World Party, who have at least one masterpiece of an album in Goodbye Jumbo. I got turned onto that not long after I was first getting into The White Album, and I thought it was so cool that not only did Wallinger cover Happiness is a Warm Gun as a b-side (my fav Beatles track at the time), but the liner notes used the same font and design (including the highlighted photo negatives). Pretty damned cool. Wallinger played most of the instruments and could jump from genre to genre pretty easily. Sinead O'Connor does guest backing vocals on one of the tracks, too.

To many they were likely viewed as two-hit wonders (Put the Message in the Box and Way Down Now from the aforementioned album) but there are so, so many good songs.

World Party’s Karl Wallinger was a pick’n’mix songwriter with a total, titanic love of music
Top Bottom