Best rock album of 2013: The National, Trouble Will Find Me
The National’s sixth studio album was three years in the making. In Trouble Will Find Me, the band achieves a maturity that culminates into a cohesive work crafted with beauty. Beyond its singles “Demons,” “Don’t Swallow the Cap” and “Sea of Love,” which are sure to be featured on several soundtracks (a new single, “Lean,” is featured in November’s The Hunger Games soundtrack), the rest of the songs (“I Need My Girl” a standout track) are just as strong, drawing you into a tale of despair but giving you breathing room with glimpses of optimism. A work that is sonically effortless as well as intellectually satisfying, it’s just. so. listenable. If you’re looking for a strong, deceptively straightforward rock album, this is a surefire bet for 2013.
We’re into the semi-finals of the battle of the one-hit wonders. Today, vote for A-ha or Chumbawamba to make it into the finals.
I feel like this group is kind of like a miracle considering where we come from. You can go to New York and put an ad in saying I want to start an Afrobeat punk rock glam band and there’s going be 16 people that call you and say ‘hey, I’m into that.’ Where we’re from, if you put that ad in a paper someone would probably cut it out and frame it because it’s funny.
In his 2008 book, Outliers, Malcolm Gladwell argues that one of the keys to success is an investment of 10,000 hours of practice. The musicians featured in this infographic, includingCaribou’s Dan Snaith, Chromeo’s David Macklovich and Buffy Sainte-Marie, have not only managed to put in the time to become experts in their genres, but have somehow managed to acquire doctorates as well. In the infographic below, we break them down by artist, genre and field of study with surprising results.
"We’ve both felt like it’s a strength that we’re not in a relationship together, because we’re able to talk about things that we wouldn’t be able to if someone ended up on a couch at the end of the night. We can push buttons that we [otherwise] couldn’t. we can step across boundaries that we couldn’t if we were in a long term, committed relationship. The flip side is true too, that sometimes when you see someone that is in a relationship or married they can become really saccharine - too sweet, too cheesy. I think that’s why we can bring more tension to the table [in our songwriting] than if we were in a relationship."