Matt Berninger of The National did a cover of Mercury Rev’s “Holes” in a live performance (quarantine style) for the Stephen Colbert Show. This live performance is a beautiful rendition of the track, while Berninger performs with Steph Altman on the piano. In fact, Berninger released Mercury Rev‘s “Holes,” earlier this year on a 7″ for Planned Parenthood. The recorded version was made with seven other musicians, but on Colbert he did a more stripped-down version, where he also plays the harmonica.
Berninger has also contributed to Walter Martin’s quarantine song/video for charity by doing an eight-hour “Social Distancing Distortion” playlist, and The National are releasing a new video from their archives every week. Martin and Berninger teamed up for “Quarantine Boogie (Loco),” an extremely fun and brilliant track about life in self-isolation during the coronavirus pandemic. Martin is asking for donations to City Harvest, which will help feed New York City’s children and families.
The lyrics in the track, “I was feeling weird. I had a half-assed beard. As I’d just about cleared a month of quarantine,” Martin sings, as Berninger pops up on backing vocals. “My savings got erased. I can’t touch my face. And the only place I feel safe is in a webinar.”
Last December, Berninger teamed up with Phoebe Bridgers and Fiona Apple with a Christmas cover of Simon & Garfunkel’s, “7 O’Clock News/Silent Night.” In October 2019, Berninger, announced a new solo project, Serpentine Prison, with the record being produced by Booker T. Jones of the infamous Memphis soul group Booker T. & The MG’s. Berninger posted the announcement of his album, Serpentine Prison, on Instagram along with the caption, “I’m the luckiest man in the universe with lots of brilliant friends who can play instruments. Not worthy!”
Beringer also partnered up with Phoebe Bridges to work on a collaboration track for the new Zach Galifianakis film, “Between Two Ferns: The Movie.” The song, “Walking on a String,” was officially released on October 17th via Dead Oceans, and is featured in the film alongside Beringer and Bridges. The National’s front man recruited help from his wife, Carin Besser, and longtime collaborator Mike Brewer to write this sweet and sincere melancholy country-folk song. The song was recorded in two different versions for the movie, Pop and Americana, although the Pop version would be the one released to fans.
Photo Credit: Kalyn Oyer