Elbow brought “Lippy Kids” to Late Night with Jimmy Fallon on Wednesday, further deepening my regret that I won’t be able to see the band in Los Angeles on Oct. 1. How flawless is Guy Garvey’s voice here?
Garvey also chats behind the scenes about the song and New York City here and performed “The River” as a web exclusive:
So, Tom Vek disappears for five-plus years and now he’s showing up everywhere (not that I’m complaining). It’s good to make up for lost time. After dropping his sophomore album Leisure Seizure in June, he’s now showing up as a guest on new track for DJ Shadow. You could say Vek’s name is, uh, being plastered everywhere.
We trekked to Los Angeles this past weekend to see the National at Hollywood Bowl, and it was easy to get the sense we witnessed a True Moment – a stunning realization of a band’s ascent. Is it possible the group that was playing the smallish Modified Arts in Phoenix six years ago was now nearly filling an 18,000-capacity amphitheater? That’s basically the size of a basketball arena, and when I think of it like that I still can’t wrap my head around it. (I caught myself several times turning around to try to grasp just how many people were there.)
Surely in the seven or so times I’ve seen the National I’ve had more intimate experiences, like, say, last fall at Marquee Theatre in Tempe when singer Matt Berninger’s mic cord nearly clotheslined me as he took “Terrible Love” through the audience. At Hollywood Bowl, we sat somewhere in the middle (section K), and while the band felt far away (I spent a lot of time watching the video screen) the show was still riveting.
Berninger appears more comfortable on stage – he sort of has to be at this point – but there’s still a bit of an anxious edge to him. And the Bowl setlist, about 80 minutes long, played into his hands. While it drew heavy from High Violet (with guest help from Annie Clark, aka St. Vincent), they snuck in older tracks, including “Available” and “Cardinal Song” (I can’t recall ever seeing them play anything off 2003’s Sad Songs For Dirty Lovers).
The show ended with “About Today,” a song off the 2004 Cherry Tree EP that has been revived as a featured song in the movie Warrior. It was a beautiful (if somber) ending to a perfect night, and thanks to the National’s old label, Brassland, you can download the track for free at Bandcamp.
Here is one of the trailers for Warrior, featuring “About Today”:
I mean, what is there to question or decipher when, on a track like Fly As Fuck (which we’re premiering here), you hear a line like this: “Rolling down the street / bumping Humpty Hump / out the fucking trunk / and it fucking thumps.” Coupled with bass-rattling production from Young L of the Pack and a guest verse from Tucson’s own Isaiah Toothtaker, Fly as Fuck flaunts a back-to-basics style that Not the 1s embrace throughout the album.