LNZNDRF + Heaven x Mercury Lounge

The National are in the hiatus limbo, with members giving vague details on the status of their next record. No new record is expected for this year, but the band are sporadically playing festivals, including the first annual Panorama Festival set for July at Randall’s Island. The Dessner twins are occupied with writing scores for Oscar winning films, and producing records for mega indie rock bands, and Matt is busy having his fun being the one half of El Vy, which leaves out the Devendorf brothers, the rhythm section of The National. But they haven’t been too quiet; Bryan released an album with the garden-themed Pfarmers at the beginning of last year, while Scott had a photo exhibit last year as well.

Along with Ben Lanz (Beirut, The National) LNZNDRF was formally announced only a few months ago, but the project dates back to the summer of 2013 and came out of necessity, when an opener had car trouble and couldn’t make it to the venue in time. The project’s self-titled debut is a result of a two-day recording session in Cincinnati, OH. The tracks that make up the record are part of a longer song that was an improvised jam, and then broken up. Drawing influences from the mechanical nature of krautrock and the melodic melodies of post-punk, the resulting tracks range from cinematic soundscapes to experimentally funky grooves. Donning matching tie-dyed jumpsuits, the audience threw out shouts of “who are you wearing?” when the three members (plus Aaron Antz on synths) took the stage for the early show. Playing the record in its entirety, the band was mesmerizing with their extended cosmic jams, and droning electronics.

Heaven (a band that I missed at the 4Knots Music Festival last summer) was the opener and was doing a solo show for both the early and late set. Majority of the set included songs from their debut record, with the addition of a minimal cover of New Order’s “Bizarre Love Triangle.”