The National Played Just One Song at MoMA … for Six Hours

This weekend, notable bummer band The National took the stage at PS1 at the Museum of Modern Art in New York and proceeded to engage in a performance so bold and daring in its sadsackery that it transcended the limitations of rock and roll and became high art. Here you can watch nine minutes of their Sunday “set,” in which they played “Sorrow,” from 2010’s High Violet, for six hours on repeat. In case your workplace frowns upon midday suicide jams or you can’t watch the video for some other reason, here are some lyrics to the song:

Sorrow found me when I was young
Sorrow waited, sorrow won
Sorrow, they put me on the pill
It’s in my honey, it’s in my milk


It is, of course, important to note that the absurdist mopefest was not the brainchild of the band or lead singer/songwriter Matt Berninger, but rather part of a piece (entitled “A Lot of Sorrow,” gloriously) by Icelandic artist Ragnar Kjartansson, who, according to MoMA, “continues his explorations into the potential of repetitive performance to produce sculptural presence within sound.” Basically, it’s not about the crippling despair, it’s about abstraction through repetition and blah blah blah, which means, theoretically, Kjartansson could’ve achieved the same effect with six hours of literally anything.

(h/t Consequence of Sound)

Filed Under: Art, The National