The National to Curate Grateful Dead Tribute Album

ALBUM MAY FEATURE STEVE REICH, FLEET FOXES, BON IVER, CRYSTAL CASTLES

The National
In 2009, Bryce and Aaron Dessner of The National curated the album Dark Was The Night for AIDS charity Red Hot. The compilation featured Bon Iver, Spoon, David Byrne, Arcade Fire, and more.

Now, speaking to Spinner at Coachella, The National have revealed plans to cover the Grateful Dead in a tribute album for the same charity.

The group are still deciding which song to cover. Says bassist Scott Devendorf, "We're just figuring that out right now. Matt [Berninger, frontman] has got to sing it, so we're thinking a Phil [Lesh] song, 'Box of Rain' or 'Unbroken Chain,' something like that," he says. "For us, the frontrunner right now is 'Box of Rain' I think, but we'll see."

The band also plans on calling on some of their musician friends to help round out the lineup. "I think Steve Reich is on it as far as doing some things. He's actually an old friend of Phil Lesh. They go back to younger days," Devendorf said. "Then there are newer, folky bands like Fleet Foxes, Bon Iver that are interested."

Fans expecting a conventional album of covers will be disappointed. "It's not going to be like jam bands cover the Dead. There are so many cover bands. I think half of the record will be reinterpreting it," Devendorf says. "We're also trying to think of unusual [acts]. Crystal Castles would be awesome."

[Published on: 4/19/11]

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