The National: A Skin, A Night/The Virginia EP (Beggars Banquet)

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The National: Blank Slate
The National: A Skin, A Night/The Virginia EP (Beggars Banquet)

Don't be put off by the under-selling title here, this is much more than an EP (which I consider to be what, four, maybe five songs?)

This "EP" is a 12 track collection which features this group of New Yorkers on some new material, some rather smart demo tracks and three live songs (including a fine, scraped-cello version of Springsteen's Mansion on the Hill).

And there's more: it also comes with A Skin, A Night which is an hour-long DVD doco of the band making their excellent 2007 album Boxer (and touring etc).

How much you actually enjoy this cinema verite snapshot of a mumbling band where most people, like, kinda like, can't complete a sentence is over to you. But the grainy quality has some appeal, especially if you were smitten by Boxer (but Wilco's I Am Trying To Break Your Heart this ain't.)

However you will doubtless be returning to the Virginia CD which is chock full of their typically dark, literate and moodily melodic songs.

Every EP should be such good value. 

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Grant Stone - Nov 24, 2008

IMO, one of the best of the year.

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