I know, I know—there are a million other wonderful places not only in the States but abroad, but you know what I mean.
Find me a city with more songs about it; find me a city with more mystique + sheer strength of presence in the minds of people worldwide; find me another city with as many phenomenal bands, for Christ’s sake. In my mind, no other city even comes close to Gotham in any of these respects.
Literally every time a New York band came up on the various playlists we had going on the 3000+ mile drive across the country last week, I felt a bit of a pang in my heart; the admittedly silly but nonetheless significant, undeniably present guilt of a traitor to my city.
One hundred percent true that the strongest + most real misgiving I have about leaving New York for a while is leaving behind the many wonderful friends we have there. But seriously—New York does now and always has produced so much excellent music, superb visual art, and significant culture.
Which is why it came as a (again, admittedly silly) relief to learn from our friend Martha last night that Matt Berninger—frontman to The National, easily our favorite Brooklyn band—has recently moved to Los Angeles.
Huzzah! Surely a lowly Private in the army of New York’s music scene cannot be considered a traitor when the General himself has abandoned ship for more surf-board-filled, lower-humidity, sunnier shores!
And what better to welcome us to the West (Best?) Coast than a phenomenal National show Hollywood Forever Cemetery last night—seriously one of the best shows we’ve ever attended.
In celebration of what I can only presume will be a large-scale, gradual westward move by all New Yorkers we love and admire, this week’s Song is a live version of The National’s “Vanderlyle Crybaby Geeks” that we recorded last night. The band stripped the piece down to its roots and pulled in openers + label-mates Daughter (whose version of “Get Lucky” we included among our favorite recent covers a couple months back here) to help perform the song…along with the entire crowd of the Cemetery. We thought it was a beautiful way to close out the evening.
Give it a listen and then (if you haven’t seen it already), check out the National’s awesome minimalist video for “Sea of Love”, featuring the secret sixth member of the band on air guitar.
The National’s taking a bit of break from shows for a while, but not before playing Morning Becomes Eclectic on Santa Monica’s KCRW tomorrow at 11:15AM Pacific.
One final quick note—The National sparked up an online campaign today to convince Saturday Night Live to have them on as the musical guests. We think it’d be grand, especially if they work Berninger and all his dick jokes into a sketch. Just tweet to @nbcsnl using the tag #SNLMusic before day’s end.