Archive for October, 2007

The National – Ukula (Summer)

October 23, 2007

An interview with Matt Berninger of The National
(originally published in Ukula Vol.3 No.3)

Photo by Walid Lodin

White shirts, neckties, Citibank lights, punch tables, empty tuxedos, “the unmagnificent lives of adults” — hardly the stuff of rock n’ roll. And yet within the lyrics of The National’s Matt Berninger, these commonplace images induce a compulsive tugging at the loose threads of existential meaning.

The National’s music is equally compelling, but patient. It sidles up, full of nervous energy and subtle melodies. Nothing is obvious on the first listen except for the haunting resonance of Berninger’s woody baritone, or maybe the occasional turn of phrase, a rolling drumbeat or shades of the ever-present piano.

With the same glacial confidence found in their music, The National has asserted their importance to the indie rock world. Building on the unanimously glowing reception of “their first masterpiece” Alligator in 2005, they have returned this spring with Boxer, their most accomplished effort to date, as well as an enviable stint opening for the Arcade Fire and five sold-out headlining nights at New York’s Bowery Ballroom.

How is it that this gimmick-less band, whose dynamic live show (highlighted by Berninger’s captivating and sometimes volatile presence — he is known to walk off just to clear his head and have a smoke when things get too intense) has retained the attention of both the mainstream press and the fickle blogosphere? It seems to have a lot to do with returning to day jobs from time to time just to keep in touch with normality. Not very rock n’ roll indeed. (more…)

Cheap Parking – Eye Weekly (10.11.07)

October 17, 2007

The Matador’s sorry lot and a look at why there’s too much cheap parking in Toronto.

The National live – Eye Daily (10.9.07)

October 12, 2007

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The National at the Phoenix in Toronto.

Photo by Walid Lodin

David Yow & Qui – Eye Weekly (10.4.07)

October 4, 2007

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Scratch Acid/Jesus Lizard frontman David Yow returns from his day job and joins Qui. Apparently I like bands who like bathtubs.