August 3, 2013


The National Enlist Vampire Weekend, Bon Iver for Grateful Dead LP

Looks like The National are taking dad-rock to new, unprecedented levels.

The brooding band already have indie gods like Vampire Weekend, Bon Iver, Kurt Vile, The Walkmen and the War on Drugs onboard to help record a Grateful Dead covers album—more like your dad's dad rock!

The National's twin guitarists, Aaron and Bryce Dessner, are in charge of the album, which will benefit non-profit, Red Hot—a charity that focuses on raising AIDS awareness. The Dessners previously worked with Red Hot for 2009 benefit compilation, Dark Was the Night.

No tracklisting or release date as of date, but the boys seem pretty damn stoked. Speaking to Relix, Aaron explained:

“We’ve done a lot of work talking to various artists and laying the groundwork. It is kind of an ambitious project both because of the legacy and the material. We are obsessed enough with the Grateful Dead that it is kind of a monumental idea.”

In addition to those they already have on board, the Dessners hope to convince guitar heroes and fellow Deadheads, Sonic Youth's Lee Ranaldo and Yo La Tengo's Ira Kaplan to join in the fun.

“There are all kind of corners of the musical world that are deeply influenced by the Dead that one wouldn’t expect,” Bryce said. 

“Lee Ranaldo is a crazy Deadhead. So that was part of the idea but I think it is broader than that now. Jerry Garcia was a total cat.”