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The National - To Release Live Cassette Box Set From The Greek Theatre In Berkeley, CA, On Record Store Day Black Friday
The National : To Release Live Cassette Box Set From The Greek Theatre In Berkeley, CA, On Record Store Day Black Friday
25th September 2019

The National has announced the release of a live three-cassette box set from their September 24th and 25th, 2018 Greek Theatre shows in Berkeley, CA at the end of their Sleep Well Beast tour.  The Berkeley shows were taped by producer and engineer Erik Flannigan using The Mike Millard Method, which replicates the vintage analog recording equipment the legendary taper used in the '70s and '80s.  The triple cassette limited release will come out November 29th exclusively as part of Record Store Day Black Friday.  Both Flannigan and The National’s Matt Berninger spoke to Relix about the upcoming release, which will be accompanied by a short documentary about Millard and the process of taping the Berkeley concerts from the audience, directed by David DuBois.  Read the interview HERE and watch the trailer for the doc here.  Record Store Day Black Friday releases are available only at independent record stores starting 11/29.  Find a record store near you at recordstoreday.com.

+ 'I Am Easy To Find' is available to buy on gatefold 2x black vinyl, tri-fold deluxe 3x coloured (yellow, red, grey) vinyl, and CD via 4AD here +
Available on all platforms here +

Flannigan explained the idea behind using The Mike Millard Method in the cassette’s liner notes, saying:

"The most celebrated audience taper of the period, Mike Millard, recorded in and around Southern California beginning in 1974 and continued into the early ’90s.  Millard’s legend is built in part on the cunning and subterfuge he used to get his nearly 15-pound cassette deck and microphones into venues like the The Forum, Santa Monica Civic Auditorium, and The Roxy. 

For years I have pondered what made Millard’s recordings so good, and eventually I had an idea: What if you recorded a concert today with the same equipment Millard used in 1977?  Would it sound like his tapes?  Would it tap into his Midas touch?

The National was kind enough to let us test the Millard Method for two concerts at the Greek Theatre in Berkeley, California last September.  These live recordings were made with vintage AKG 451E microphones and a restored Nakamichi 550 cassette deck which are identical to those used by Millard circa 1975-81.  The idea was to see if we could recreate what Matt Berninger calls the “juicy sonic magic” Millard captured in his 1970s field recordings.

Together with my friend and filmmaker David DuBois, we also produced a short documentary about Millard, his recording methods, and our attempt to recreate his work at the National shows in Berkeley, a venue that is utterly unchanged since the ’70s. 

With the advent of smartphones, thousands of people routinely record part of the show when they attend a National concert or any other performance.  Forty years ago, when nobody would dare do that, one man made it his life’s work to preserve legendary concerts on tape.

Read Erik Flannigan’s full liner note HERE.

The National are currently on tour in support of their latest release, I Am Easy To Find. See all tour dates below.

16th - Pepsi Center, Mexico City, Mexico
19th - Coordenada Festival, Guadalajara, MX 
24th - Agganis Arena, Boston, MA, US

25th - Torwar Hall, Warsaw, Poland
26th - Columbiahalle, Berlin, Germany
27th - Columbiahalle, Berlin, Germany
29th - Royal Arena, Copenhagen, Denmark

1st - Ruhrcongress, Bochum, Germany
2nd - Palladium, Cologne, Germany
3rd - Samsung Hall, Zurich, Switzerland
4th - Zenith, Munich, Germany
5th - Porsche Arena, Stuttgart, Germany
7th - Brighton Centre, Brighton, UK^
8th - First Direct Arena, Leeds, UK^
9th - Motorpoint Arena, Cardiff, UK^
10th - Motorpoint Arena, Nottingham, UK^
12th - Campo Pequeno, Lisbon, Portugal^

17th - Zepp DiverCity, Tokyo, JP*
18th - Zepp DiverCity, Tokyo, JP* 
21st - Freemantle Arts Centre, Perth, AU*
22nd - Freemantle Arts Centre, Perth, AU*   
24th - ICC, Sydney, AU*
25th - ICC, Sydney, AU*
27th - Fortitude Music Hall, Brisbane, AU* 
28th - Fortitude Music Hall, Brisbane, AU* 
30th - Palais Theatre, Melbourne, AU*
31st - Palais Theatre, Melbourne, AU* 

1st - Palais Theatre, Melbourne, AU*
3rd - ASB Aotea Centre, Auckland, NZ*
4th - ASB Aotea Centre, Auckland, NZ* 

^ w/ Jenny Lewis
* w/ Phoebe Bridgers