After many years of hard work, we are so proud to share Day of the Dead with you, our years in the making celebration of the Grateful Dead’s music. Curated by Aaron and Bryce, Day of the Dead is a compilation of Grateful Dead covers featuring over 60 artists, 59 tracks and lasting almost 6 hours. The album is out digitally and on CD today and the 10 LP boxset will be released Friday, September 9th. Pre-orders for the boxset will be available through the 4AD store beginning June 9th. All profits will go to the Red Hot Organization’s mission to fight AIDS/HIV and related health issues around the world.
The songwriting of the Dead has always inspired us and this record is meant to celebrate their legacy. Growing up, the Grateful Dead was the first music that Aaron and Bryce bonded over. Their first-ever jam session was with Bryan, playing the Dead’s “Eyes of the World” in Bryan’s parent’s attic in Ohio. Now, so many years later, Aaron, Bryce, Scott and Bryan make up part of the house band featured on many of the record’s songs. Matt has joined his bandmates to interpret “Peggy-O,” “Morning Dew” and “I Know You Rider.”
We are also excited that a Day of the Dead live performance will take place this summer at Eaux Claires Festival (August 12-13), featuring some of the musicians who appear on the record including Bruce Hornsby, Jenny Lewis, Justin Vernon, Lucius, Matthew Houck, The National, Richard Reed Perry, Ruban Nielson, Sam Amidon and Will Oldham.
Working with such a diverse group of talented musicians and friends on this project was so much fun. We’d like to extend a huge thanks to everyone who made this album possible! More info on the project is available here.
Day of the Dead
We are proud to be playing in Hamilton, Ontario for the first time next month for Welcome to Hamilton – a benefit for Syrian newcomer youth. The event will also include performances by Hayden, Kevin Drew, Max Kerman (Of Arkells) and Terra Lightfoot, along with cameo showcases from Mother Tareka and Crystal Journey. All of the event’s proceeds will go to fund music, art and recreation programs for newcomer youth in Hamilton. Read more about it here.
Benefit performance for Syrian newcomer youth
We are happy to be playing a benefit show for MASS MoCA and Hawthorne Valley Association on Saturday, June 11th, 2016 at Joe’s Field at MASS MoCA. We hope you can join us at this show where we will raise money for two great organizations: the Hawthorne Valley Association in New York’s Hudson River Valley, which is committed to social and cultural renewal through the integration of education, agriculture, and the arts, and MASS MoCA. You can purchase tickets here.
For those who would like to offer additional support for these two amazing organizations, we will be hosting an intimate pre-show cocktail party from 5-7 pm. Members of the band will attend and the party will feature Hawthorne Valley Farm fare and other local foods, farm-to-tap beer, Berkshire Mountain Distillers Spirits, and a behind the scenes tour of MASS MoCA. For full details on the cocktail party visit this page.
Benefit performance at MASS MoCA for Hawthorne Valley Association and MASS MoCA
We are so happy to announce that we will be playing a benefit to help Cooperative for Education launch their Thousand Girls Initiative on October 16th at the Troubadour in Los Angeles. Cooperative for Education was started by Matt’s cousins, Joe and Jeff Berninger, and the Thousand Girls Initiative represents a major program expansion for the organization. Proceeds will go to supporting Cooperative for Education’s efforts to improve the education of girls in Guatemala.
We hope you can join us for this special event to help an organization that is near and dear to our hearts. Tickets go on sale Friday, August 21st, at 10 am PDT here.
Benefit at the Troubadour to launch Cooperative for Education’s Thousand Girls Initiative
We’re very happy to announce that we’ll be headlining Treasure Island Music Festival happening October 17 + 18 in San Francisco! Tickets go on sale June 11th at 10am PST here. Hope to see you there!
Treasure Island Music Festival
We are very excited to let you know that we’ll be releasing a limited edition, vinyl only boxed set of A Lot of Sorrow, our MoMA PS1 collaboration with artist Ragnar Kjartansson. This boxed set contains the entire 6 hour live performance of “Sorrow” across 9 pieces of clear vinyl. The records are packaged inside of clear sleeves and held in a translucent, screen printed box. You can see photos of the package and pre-order at www.alotofsorrow.com. All profits will be donated to Partners in Health, an organization dedicated to improving the health of impoverished people worldwide.
April 30, 2015 – Santiago de Compostela, Spain
May 2, 2015 – Murcia, Spain
July 17 & 18, 2015 – Eaux Claires Festival, Eau Claire, WI
Bryce’s composition, “Music for Wood and Strings,” will be released by Brassland on May 19th. Commissioned by Carnegie Hall and written for So Percussion, “Music for Wood and Strings” is performed on four amplified, dulcimer-like chord sticks. The chord sticks, which were built by Aron Sanchez of Buke and Gase, each have eight strings that are tuned to a pair of chords and were designed specifically for this piece of music. You can learn more about this unique work here.
Armed with a single microphone and an iPhone, Bryan has been recording material for a new project called Pfarmers. The album was created with friends of The National, David Nelson and Danny Seim, along with a face-melting guest appearance by Shugo Tokumaru on electric guitar. Danny says: “The record is about a dream I had where I’m reluctantly accepting a fear of drowning by focusing on being reincarnated as a giant Gunnera plant, which thrive on the banks of rivers (specifically the Jordan River, i.e., the Biblical promised land) after I paint myself gold and sink to the bottom like the El Dorado of South American folklore.” Amen! Listen to “The Ol’ River Gang” and pre-order here.
A Lot of Sorrow Boxed Set
Today, in celebration of Mistaken for Strangers being available for rental and purchase on VHX all over the world, we want to share a song called “Sunshine on My Back” with you. If you visit www.mistakenforstrangersmovie.com and order the film from The National, you can receive “Sunshine on My Back” for free with the film. The song was recorded during the Trouble Will Find Me Sessions and Sharon van Etten provides guest vocals.
We’ve also made the song available on other outlets so those of you who have already seen the movie can enjoy!
Sunshine on My Back
Very happy that The National will be a part of Bryce Dessner’s MusicNOW Festival, which is celebrating its 10th anniversary March 11 – 15 in Cincinnati. We’ll be performing on March 13th and the whole weekend is full of amazing artists. More info here.