The swans are a swimmin’…

I’m getting ready to go to the beach! I am pumped. For now, it is a rainy day and I am doing some work for Brian Lowit, who runs Lovitt Records, doing various Facebook/Myspace advertising things. To keep myself going til it’s time to leave, I have been playing videos of new songs by The National on repeat. The National are one of my very favorite bands, and have a very special place in my heart. I wrote a lot about them in my old blog, so I want get too into detail about my personal attachment to their music, but to say that I am very excited that they have a new record coming out next year, and they’ve been playing some songs from it on their current east coast tour. I was fortunate to see them play some of them at the 9:30 Club two weeks ago.

Here are some videos of these tunes! If you are already a big fan, you will love these songs, and if you haven’t really taken kindly to The National quite yet, you might want to start elsewhere, perhaps with their most recent album Boxer.
“Vanderlyle Crybaby”


I have already developed a strong liking for “Vanderlyle Crybaby,” the first song I posted. The lyrics are quite desperate sounding, almost confessional. Leave your home/change your name/live alone/eat your cake. Vocalist Matt Berninger has an extraordinary ability to write very simple lyrics that still hit very close to home. His lyrics are often humorous, even laughable, and occasionally completely nonsensical. Yet he seems to bear his soul for every twenty something who can relate to his tales of alienation, isolation, depression and regret. I read a review of them once that described them as “Bruce Springsteen and The E Street Band for the white collar class.” It makes a lot of sense when you think of it. They can make a song like “Apartment Story”(off last year’s Boxer), which is a fine tune about being bored and staying inside your tiny apartment cause you don’t really know anyone, sound like fuckin’ “Born To Run.” The times are different, and these days it seems like white popular music fans are more interested in tales of the city living college graduate who can’t find a job than they are the rebel rock n’ roller from Jersey who wants to get the hell outta town.

Either way, I just love this song. It is eerily reflective of my life these days. A lot has been changing for me, having moved to D.C. about eight months ago, and having unfortunately cut a lot of ties and burned a lot of bridges to the town I used to live in, Greensboro, North Carolina. It’s hard to leave a life behind, it’s hard to start over, it’s hard to accept change, even when it is the only constant in your life. The last line of the song, “I’ll explain everything to the geese,” seems like a throwaway line at first listen, but now sounds more like a confession that talking about it just won’t do anymore. We have this idea that talking problems out, putting language to your troubles, or finding somebody who understands you will always do the trick, but it’s just not true a lot of the time. talking doesn’t always help, and there isn’t always someone who understands. usually that feeling seems to come from a projection of finally understanding yourself onto someone else.

That’s the best part about this band, their songs make more sense to you over time, and seem to grow along with you.

Enjoy your weekends friends! I shall return next week.

it’s all been forgiven, the swans are a swimmin…


One response to “The swans are a swimmin’…

  1. I think the efficacy of talking things out really depends on personality type – and the type of problem, obviously – but can also be very powerful. Which may or may not be what you’re getting at, because let’s face it, The National are fucking incredible and that is what you are really talking about.

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