Dark Was The Night is a double disc compilation benefiting AIDS relief organization Red Hot, produced and compiled by Aaron and Bryce Dessner (the National). It features outtakes and covers by Bon Iver, Arcade Fire, Spoon, Sufjan, Iron and Wine and Stuart Murdoch to name just a few, as well as collaborations like Conor Oberst/Gillian Welch and Feist/Ben Gibbard. The record skews towards the kind of indie buzz bands I generally avoid, but there are certainly a few artists on here whose work is strong enough that you'll want to investigate further. There are also some you may want to delete from your iTunes straight off the bat. Anyway, it's bursting at the seams and I'm not going to try to give it a track by track rundown, but check it out because there's really something for everyone and it's all for a good cause.
But what I'm really stoked about with this whole Dark Was The Night business is the show that WFUV and The Bowery Presents are putting on, May 3rd at Radio City Music Hall. David Byrne was just added to a lineup that already featured Feist, Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings, the National, TVOTR's David Sitek (also the producer of all three YYY's albums), My Brightest Diamond, and Bon Iver among others. And it's not just going to be a performance of tracks from the compilation, either. Says Aaron Dessner in an interview on Pitchfork that essentially sold me on the tickets:
We're going to have two halves. The first half will be songs from Dark Was the Night, and then there will be a short intermission. And then afterwards, there will be mini-sets by different artists and collaborations, both things that relate to Dark Was the Night and some that don't. Not every artist will do a mini-set, but most will. That's basically it. We're trying to keep the show manageable in length, you know, so it's not four-and- a-half hours or something. But it will be a lot of music.
Which, when combined with the idea of seeing Feist, Sharon Jones, and granddaddy-of-it-all David Byrne, was enough for me to plunk down the $38 for cheap seats. Tickets are still on sale.
Dark Was The Night live - tickets [bowerypresents]
Dark Was The Night (Red Hot Compilation) [emusic]
The National's Aaron Dessner on Dark Was The Night, New National Album [pitchfork]