My review of the new 4ad compilation Dark Was the Night features in the new issue of MOJO (as well as an interview I did with Ray LaMontaigne). There are plenty of magic moments but overall I found it disappointing, particularly with the amount of cover versions (nearly two-thirds of the 31 tracks) which 4ad have consciously chosen not to mention in all the hype-building publicity so far. Because it’s for a worthy cause I don’t really agree with the mass-posting of the album and its tracks to download for free online, so I’m going with this video of Yeasayer in session. “Tight Rope” is one of my favourites from the collection, a song I have a sentimental connection with after being privy to the now famous Take Away Show they first revealed it in.
Normally when there is a huge amount of hype surrounding something and people proceed to go absolutely crazy for it, I tend to steer clear. I can’t help it: it’s just an automatic reaction. Only when there’s a consistent stream of praise over time will I begin to investigate. But with The Walkmen’s new album, You & Me, I gave in a little quicker than usual…and I’m glad I did because it’s not what I expected at all. Though the band doesn’t bear much resemblance to The National, the feel of this album reminds me of The Boxer in several ways and I can see it enjoying a similar success in winning people’s hearts. (more…)
I spoke to the great Vincent Moon last night and this is what he had to say on his forthcoming film about The National. “I wanted to do something simple…a very naked movie that’s a little experimental. It’s not a documentary on the making of Boxer. In fact it’s all about live shows but you don’t see any in it. That’s my theory about it,” he laughs. “The meaning of the title is about the reason why you go through all that pain and trouble in the studio; that’s what stays with me when I think of rock music. A skin for the night, the feeling of being in the crowd, screaming, going crazy, and you don’t realise how much pain, work and time has been put in just for this moment. It’s like the end of the tunnel…both for the audience and the band.”
A Skin, A Night is out on DVD on May 20th. (more…)