I’ll admit it here, I am a song killer. As a child, my brother would warn me against listening to songs over and over. Twenty years later, I still do it. There are however very few bands that I can kill an entire album of. The National are a band that have released two albums that every few months I rediscover and absolutely kill to the point where I have to put the album away for a while.
It all started back in 2011 with a casual listen of High Violet, which roped me in with the delightfully repetitive tune “Vanderlyle Crybaby Geeks.” Much to my surprise, I had taken to the band, despite their largely inaccessible sound. What made me do it was rave reviews from people that I really admire musically.
Lucky for you, as the National’s geekiest fan and a grad student that has 0 interest in her thesis at midnight, I’ve found some old live videos of the National playing material from Trouble Will Find Me at the All Tomorrow’s Parties music festival in September 2012, almost a year before the album’s release. The lovely tunes have very minute differences than the versions they play live now, namely in the tune “Graceless.” You’ll notice right before the chorus he says “Sweetheart” instead of “I’m trying,” and “Now I know what loving means” instead of “Now I know what dying means” in the bridge of the song.
“I Should Live in Salt”: