by Adam Hacker
photo by Graham MacIndoe
Ask most people what they think of when they hear the word “Cincinnati” and they’d say chili. Believe it or not though, Cincinnati was also home to one of the greatest and most long-lived rock bands of the new millennium: The National. This five-man group consisting of the Dessner brothers, Devendorf brothers, and Matt Berninger perfectly encapsulated the struggles of white-collar life and (along with LCD Soundsystem) showed the world it was never too late for a music career. (After all, Matt formed the band in his 30s.) Their latest LP, Sleep Well Beast, features electronic flourishes while partly doing away with traditional drums. Even with a few changes, the album still could not have been made by anyone other than The National. Matt’s melancholy baritone and occasionally indecipherable lyrics about regret combine with choppy and moody music to make for perfect listening for anyone feeling upwardly mobile and sad about it.