UPDATE: Songs removed upon artists’ request. Sorry guys.
No, Dark Was the Night is not a grindcore screamo band, but rather a star-studded AIDS benefit double-album put together by Bryce and Aaron Dressner (of The National fame). And when I say star-studded, I mean the tracklisting reads like the side-bar on hype machine of the most downloaded blog-worthy artists in the music industry today. Heavyweights like Sufjan Stevens, Spoon, Cat Power, The Arcade Fire, and Jose Gonzalez share album space with newer acts like Bon Iver, Yeasayer, My Brightest Diamond, and the like. Before you write the album off as an Urban Outfitters-ready masturbatory performance, understand that not only do the proceeds go to the Red Hot Organization (which raises money for AIDS-awareness in Brazil), but most of the songs are originals, and are damn fine ones at that. Highlights include The National’s “So Far Around the Bend”, Sufjan’s 10 minute epic “You Are the Blood” (which is not surprisingly being blogged to death), and The Arcade Fire’s foot-tapping sing-a-long, “Lenin”. With a cast as talented and diverse as this, it’s hard not to find something you like. Check out “So Far Around the Bend” and Beirut (who has thus far dominated my Italian vacation soundtrack) on “Mimizan” below, and make sure to pick yourself up a copy of Dark Was the Night when it drops February 16th.
MP3: The National – “So Far Around the Bend”
MP3: Beirut – “Mimizan”
For those of you interested in my personal life my friends and family that read this here blog, Florence is absolutely amazing and my apartment is a dream. The food is otherworldly and the people are the nicest I’ve encountered anywhere. I’ll be contributing to ATG more regularly now that my internet is set up, but expect it to be slow for me from Thursdays-Sundays as I have four-day weekends and plan to travel often.