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Tag: The National (1-10 of 11)

Hear the National's new 'Hunger Games' soundtrack song 'Lean'

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We’ve already heard the contributions from Christina Aguilera, Coldplay, and the Lumineers — but the child gladiators of Hunger Games: Catching Fire demand more, more kill ballads!

Sonorous Brooklyn-via-Ohio vest rockers the National oblige today with the stately “Lean”; listen here: READ FULL STORY

Watch the National perform 'This Is the Last Time' on 'The Artists Den' -- EXCLUSIVE

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The public-television concert series Live From the Artists Den is currently in its home stretch, but there are still a couple of great shows left. The next one, airing this Thursday, is going to feature the National — and you can watch a preview of it exclusively here.

The Brooklyn-via-Cincinnati band bring their characteristically dark and brooding vibe to the clip while performing their song “This Is the Last Time,” taken from their recently released sixth album Trouble Will Find Me.

Take a look at the clip below:

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The National and Daft Punk: Should we reward stasis or experimentation?

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The National just released Trouble Will Find Me, their sixth album. I gave it a B, because it is what I consider the very definition of a B-level album: It’s an exceptionally well made album by a now-veteran band, but it does not really waver from the formula set up on previous albums. Essentially, it’s more of the same, so if you like albums made by the National, then you’ll certainly like this new album by the National.

I’ve held fast to that grade, though the more I think about my reasoning, the more I have begun to question it. It has forced a core question to the forefront: What do we expect from our favorite artists?

In the case of the National, it’s deeply unfair that I am essentially punishing them for being excellent. READ FULL STORY

The National: Frontman Matt Berninger talks about their acclaimed new album and documentary, and why failure was good for the band

For years, the National were one of a thousand little-engine-that-could indie bands, living in Brooklyn and (barely) getting by on small-room tours and local gigs.

Until 2007, when the indelible piano anthem “Fake Empire” helped make their fifth album, Boxer, a critical and popular smash. Letterman came calling, and so did the Obama campaign, which used the song as one of its musical signatures.

Now, with a new album, Trouble Will Find Me, their biggest tour yet, and a new documentary that was the toast of the Tribeca Film Festival, the National is poised to make another leap — this time to a level of fame that actually cements the name, while subverting the original intention of a band that actually chose its name because it had no real meaning. This is the year the National becomes The National.

Ask frontman Matt Berninger, and he’ll tell you that the group’s rise has been built on a foundation of failure. A literal band of brothers — the lineup includes twins Bryce and Aaron Dessner on guitar, and Bryan and Scott Devendorf on drums and bass, respectively (we’ll get to Berninger’s own brother later) — the quintet has struggled, bickered, and come thisclose to breaking up since teaming up in the late 1990s. Success hasn’t mellowed them, exactly, but there is a confidence that comes from winning on their own terms, and from knowing that when they step on the stage, they’re one of the best live bands in the business. “You’re not a real band unless you go out and play shows, for whoever, whenever,” says Berninger.

With Trouble Will Find Me out this week (they’ll play The Colbert Report tonight to celebrate), the band is already booked on the road through November. Berninger spoke to EW about the sound of the new album, being a “Brooklyn band,” and how the rock doc Mistaken For Strangers morphed into something not at all standard issue. READ FULL STORY

Sufjan Stevens Christmas compilation - Hear It Here

You’re probably asking yourself, ‘Just how quirky is Sufjan Stevens’ new Christmas compilation, Silver and Gold: Songs for Christmas, Vols. 6-10?’

Well, rather than spoil the fun and answer that question for you, let’s take a look at a few tracks.

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Campaign 2012 music news update: U.S. Presidential candidates joined by Kid Rock, Journey, the National, and more

Today’s announcement that erudite Brooklyn indie rockers The National (left) are opening for President Obama at a campaign event Iowa on September 1 marks the most recent development in the 2012 race’s musical circus — and one of the few examples of a music/candidate pairing that hasn’t resulted in somebody totally freaking out.

The band, who previously opened for Obama in 2008 alongside Ben Harper, bring a much-needed boost to the Democrats’ so-far-disappointing musical retinue.

The party generally known for its Hollywood connections and A-list support has had trouble attracting major entertainment names this year — significantly fewer celebrities are slated to attend its National Convention in Charlotte next week; the event’s relatively low-wattage lineup so far consists only of James Taylor, America’s Got Talent stars Inspire the Fire, and Duke University alums Delta Rae. (Compare that to 2008, when Kanye, Fall Out Boy, Black Eyed Peas, Rage Against the Machine, and Death Cab for Cutie all performed in Denver.) READ FULL STORY

'Grey's Anatomy Vol. 4' soundtrack feat. Cee-Lo, Lykke Li, the National and more -- stream it here EXCLUSIVE

Oh, those crazy doctors and their anatomies!

While Grey‘s returns for its eighth season on Sept. 22, the show’s famously synced-up soundtrack is now on its fourth volume, out today.

Grey’s Anatomy Vol. 4, the series’ first outing in four years, contains a calvacade of alt and indie names — Lykke Li, Cee Lo Green, Peter Bjorn & John, the National, Scars on 45, and more.

You can order it on iTunes by clicking here, and get a full, free streaming sneak preview only on EW.com, below, along with the complete tracklisting: READ FULL STORY

Mumford & Sons covers The National's 'England' on 'VH1 Unplugged' -- EXCLUSIVE VIDEO

Mumford & Sons doing The National? Yes, please.

The buzzy English folk rockers are the latest to take the plunge on VH1’s recently rebooted Unplugged series, and EW has the exclusive video of their cover of stately Brooklyn-based indie outfit The National‘s song “England.”

It turns out that the Mumford boys have admired The National for a long time. “We’re big fans,” says Mumford & Sons vocalist Marcus Mumford just before performing “England” in the video, embedded below.

“Last summer,” he continues, “we got to see them, like, five or six times, and really loved High Violet as an album and that song [‘England] obviously sticks out for us cause we’re English. Still trying to figure out if it’s offensive towards English people, but yeah, we’re making it non-offensive. We’re making it sort of like a real Britannia song today.”

“When we were asked to play a cover, it just sort of jumped out. As opposed,” he jokes, “to playing Ween’s version of ‘Waving my D— in the Wind,’ which we thought we’d save for another time.” Watch it here:

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The National team up with John Slattery from 'Mad Men' in new video: Watch it here

It’s not easy to make an entertaining video when you’re an acclaimed-but-mopey indie band, more known for inducing introspective lethargy than turning frowns upside down. With that in mind, the “Conversation 16″ music video from The National, starring Mad Men‘s John Slattery and Daily Show contributor Kristen Schaal, is a real achievement.

It’s also not often that such a self-loathing song (sample lyric: “I tell you miserable things after you are asleep”) is accompanied by visual gags like a female president packing a teddy with a presidential seal on it (and we’re not talking Beanie Babies). Watch it here: READ FULL STORY

Sasquatch 2010: MGMT, Vampire Weekend, and My Morning Jacket join Pavement

With festival season heading into full swing, Sasquatch—the indie music madness that takes place at the Gorge in George, Washington over Memorial Day weekend each year—announced the line-up for its festivities this year. According to Spinner.com, MGMT, Vampire Weekend (at left), and My Morning Jacket are the biggest acts to join the line-up, which includes the previously announced headliner,Pavement. The acts were announced at a show held at the Crocodile Cafe in Seattle last night.

Also signed on: Broken Social Scene, the National, the Hold Steady, Band of Horses, the xx, Dirty Projectors, Passion Pit, Miike Snow, Ween, Public Enemy, Tegan & Sara, LCD Soundsystem, and Massive Attack.

Who’s missing, Music Mixers? Will you be gearing up for Sasquatch 2010? If you could choose one late-add (or several!), who would it be?

(Follow the Music Mix on Twitter: @EWMusicMix.)

More from EW.com’s Music Mix:
‘My Sharona': the real Sharona remembers late Knack singer Doug Fieger
Tonight’s “We Are the World” update: Watch footage from inside the recording

John Mayer is very sorry about his explicit sexual and racial comments; do you believe him?
Janelle Monae walks a funky ‘Tightrope’ with Big Boi
Sugarland’s new Olympic single goes for the gold: Watch an exclusive preview here!
Linkin Park’s stark Haiti video: Watch ‘Not Alone’ here

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