Concert films are one of the best documents a great band can have—without it, the timeless cool of Robbie Robertson would probably have been lost to history—but for one reason or another, the last decade hasn’t produced very many good ones. Blame MTV or celeb culture or the fact that you can find video of a Radiohead gig on YouTube any time you want, but not too many acts seem interested in producing a Gimme Shelter-style time capsule.
But it looks like The National has a better idea. This Saturday, they’re playing a semi-intimate gig at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, and they’ve brought along a little extra help. D. A. Pennebaker, the groundbreaking documentarian and (more importantly) the man behind Don’t Look Back will be filming the gig and streaming the whole thing live to YouTube, where it will live for a month before disappearing from the web forever. Granted, it’s a little early to be planning your Friday diversions—but this one should be worth remembering.
Blue Women’s Group: As a former ballerina and Na’avi, we have to say she’s earned it. [Wonderland]
National Exposure: The National’s new album will be streaming on the New York Times all day tomorrow, which should give you a pretty good excuse to learn about derivatives regulation. [World’s Best Ever]
Well, I Called the Jerk Store…: George Costanza may be the style icon for our era. Try not to think too hard about that one. [Start-Finish]
Combat Rock: Noel Murray digs up a gem from Robert Altman’s early TV career. Not surprisingly, it’s awesome. [A.V. Club]
The pay for the gig is the price of a cab ride, flagged down on the day of the shoot. The cabbie introduces the band, or often enough, just the frontman. (The cabs aren’t big, after all.) The songs are all recorded in one take, usually on the way from the hotel to the venue, so the sessions have an immediacy and intimacy that’s increasingly rare in music. The camera periodically pans across the street for a little incidental London scenery, just so you don’t forget where you are.