Concert # 19: The National in Boston, Part 1

Concert #19: The National @ Boston House of Blues 6/2

Nearly a month ago, I attended the most significant musical experience so far in my 2010.  I had quite a hard time explaining why the occasion meant so much to me.  A month later, I’ve finally managed to convey the intensely profound moment, in words, to the best of my ability.  This calls for a two-parter, ladies and gents.

The following is a bit more serious and philosophical than what you usually will find on Sex Sux (Amen).  I’m looking at the big picture here, so to speak.  Forgive me.  I hope you have the patience to check the rather long post.  And make fun of it.

Part One:

The internet-driven underground rock movement of the past ten years has produced memorable one-hit records but very little in the way of long-standing careers for these charming over-night-success stories.  I could list the amount of buzzed out bands that were flame-thrown into the black hole of the never-listened-to-again bin, but the new Interpol video summarizes that in a nice five-minute span.  How the mighty have fallen.

Dear Interpol,

You guys are charging 35 fucking dollars to play music you wrote probably eight or nine years ago.  Yeah, that first record was great, but maybe not, since you haven’t had an original thought since.  Reminds me of the commercial I saw for the current Moody Blues/Chicago tour.

Please retire or at least don’t charge 35 dollars for rehashing the past.  Not a single person is going to your shows to hear your new music.



More reason for my frustration: the newest Broken Social Scene, New Pornographers, and Hold Steady records were so tepid I had to reconsider their prior output.  Of those three bands, I only listen to Separation Sunday regularly, anyways.

Still, I’m disturbed by the trend.  Have I out-grown these bands that meant so much to me?  Did I value them too much?  Or have they simply burnt out, ran out of interesting things to say, lost their edge?  What does this all mean for the bands I listen to currently?  Is this a pointless existence, putting time into following the career arcs of bands, going out to buy their records, and attending their concerts?

Which brings me to The National.  I assumed their newest record would hurt my soul a little more.  But, after checking out the overwhelmingly positive Cokemachineglow review, I decided to give the first single, Bloodbuzz Ohio, a shot.

A shot it was.  I forgot the amount of sting Matthew Berninger possesses in his writing, the deeply complicated nuance he includes in each of his painstaking lines, the way he can explain an emotion or situation in the smallest hint of a gesture.

Take the first line of Bloodbuzz Ohio and let it swim in your mind for a little while:

Stand up straight at the foot of your love/I lift my shirt up.

I then checked out the record High Violet.  While not as great as The Boxer and Alligator at first glance, it may grow into another winner.  Typically, a good sign for a record: one I can’t place my finger on after the first ten listens.

Anyways, long story short, I found out I rediscovered my love for The National and was pretty pissed off that I didn’t have enough sense to pick up tickets to one of the two sold-out shows at the House of Blues in Boston.

Then fate interceded: Bradleys Almanac hooked me up with a free pair of tickets, plus a signed Bloodbuzz Ohio 7’’…

Watch out for part two, thee concert review, coming soon to a shitty blog post near you!

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