Two years ago, my boy Royce fought me – but eventually caved – when I said the National’s Alligator was the best album of the year. He would say, “I hate that you’re right.”
Well, now I’m saying I hate that he’s right about Myriad Harbour, a song that is turning out to be my favorite of the year. Coincidentally, I started listening to Challengers really heavily – and Dan Bejar’s ode to New York – at about the same time I took my own trip to the Big Apple in early September. Yes, it took me that long to realize the greatness of Challengers. And now I can’t stop.
It also helped that we saw the New Pornographers in Tucson about a week later with Bejar in all his drunken glory. It was a sight to behold, Bejar moseying on to the stage for his songs then promptly exiting at the end of each song. Unreal. And hilarious.
Bejar was even kind enough to make the group’s KCRW appearance on Sept. 20. Not even Neko was there (at least from what I can tell). What’s that say when Bejar is the responsible one?
At any rate, this version (mandolin and all) is pretty funny because Bejar starts laughing and nearly loses it in the first verse before composing himself.
There’s also something very subtle but somehow defining when he changes the lyric “I walked into the local record store” to “I walked into your local record store.” The slight one-word switch really emphasizes the theme of his singing from the perspective of a New York outsider.
The New Pornographers | Myriad Harbour (live on KCRW)