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Breaking Artist: The National

May 30, 2007 4:25 PM ET

Who: Graphic design school drop-outs Matt Beringer (vox) and Scott Devendorf (bass) recruited Devendorf's brother Bryan, plus fellow Ohio natives (and twin brothers) Aaron and Bryce Dessner to play music together after relocating separately from Cincinnati to Brooklyn in 1999. The fivesome started recording tunes on a lark, crafting orchestral anthems that drew sonic inspiration from Guided By Voices, the Smiths, the Replacements and Violent Femmes. Eight years and four albums later, the quintet has arrived, first with the release of 2005's Alligator, an indie-rock blockbuster that sold more than 60K, and this month with the critically loved Boxer -- a strings-bolstered collection of epic blue-collar yarns. Read a live review of the National's NYC Bowery Ballroom show here.

Hear It Now: Feast your ears on boozy ballads like "Fake Empire" and "Mistaken For Strangers" on their MySpace page.

To read the new issue of Rolling Stone online, plus the entire RS archive: Click Here

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Song Stories

“Hungry Like the Wolf”

Duran Duran | 1982

This indulgent New Romantic group generated their first U.S. hit with the help of what was at the time new technology. "Simon [Le Bon] and I, I think, had been out the night before and had this terrible hangover," said keyboardist Nick Rhodes. "For some reason we were feeling guilty about it and decided to go and do some work." Rhodes started playing with his Jupiter-8 synth, and then "Simon had an idea for a lyric, and by lunchtime when everyone else turned up, we pretty much had the song." The Simmons drumbeat was equally important to the sound of "Hungry Like the Wolf," as Duran Duran drummer Roger Taylor stated it "kind of defined the drum sound for the Eighties."

More Song Stories entries »
 
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