I didn't think that much of The National before last year, despite all the buzz -- and yet they made the last half of 2005 bearable for me -- and I'm really not exaggerating when I say that. I just didn't get them until I saw the live show. (Much like my experience with The Wrens...) Not to be melodramatic, I credit them for opening up a floodgate holding back a serious amount of pent-up emotions I'd been carrying with me for years.
Thing one: Vincent Moon's gorgeous video for "Sons and Daughters of the Soho Riots." I'd love to know more about the technicalities of this video (cameras and film stock used, etc.), though I assume it's probably 16mm and not Super8...
Thing two: More from Vincent Moon, live videos from Paris in late 2005. (his site) (youtube: about today, abel, baby we'll be fine)
Thing three: A few songs.
The National -- Mr. November
The National -- Cardinal Song
The National -- 90-Mile Water Wall
The National -- Son
(even! more! at their site! wasp nest/slipping husband/murder me rachael/cold girl fever)
The National is playing the Pitchfork Music Festival next weekend (along with like, a huge number of my other favorite bands), a festival in France in September, and a limited number of dates across the country in October. More info at their site.
ps -- OMG, they're just silly. Love it. These are, after all, the men who gave me a cut-out of Bono's nose from the cover of Rolling Stone...