The National Turns East Village Store Into Art, Music Headquarters

by BILLY GRAY · May 10, 2010

    Brooklyn rock darlings The National will take over a vacant storefront on East 4th Street and turn it into an art gallery and performance space starting tomorrow through Saturday night. Hopefully, the group will make it back from their just-finished European tour in time to drop by.



    The Nationals' guerilla cultural marketing coincides with the release of its new album "High Violet" tomorrow. Last night the European leg of a promotional tour wrapped up in Berlin, which should give members enough time to visit the pop-up annex, also named High Violet, and maybe treat fans to an impromptu and very intimate performance. (The space only holds 150 people.)

    The local boys have been very kind to New Yorkers recently. And even if some supporters might have groused about paying $50 (thanks in part to the Evil Empire's Ticketmaster's inexplicable courtesy and "service" charges) for a ticket to a June 16th show at Radio City days before the band announced a pair of $20 general admission shows at the cozy Bell House, they've gotten over it by now.

    With luck the High Violet annex won't be a fake empire devoid of its beloved organizers. A secret meeting of The National and their followers in the guest room of Other Music--the thriving record store is next door--featuring their brainy new offering would make for an incredible apartment story.

    If not, the band won't be mistaken for strangers at a BAM gig on Saturday, the Radio City show and a Prospect Park concert on July 27th.