Earlier this week, Bon Iver and Brookyn-based indie rock band The National appeared as guests on CBC Radio's "Q" show in Toronto. The National played two new songs, and, along with Bon Iver's Justin Vernon, performed their sadly beautiful "Vanderlyle Crybaby Geeks," the last song off 2010's High Violet. The tune features a haunting melody, aching vocals from lead singer Matt Berninger, and vague, opaque lyrics reminiscent of early R.E.M. ("All the very best of us, string ourselves up for…") Berninger has said he added the word "geeks" to the title because people mistakenly thought he was saying the word "geese." This was a much drier affair, after The National performed the tune for a Dutch crowd in the rain this summer, as Berninger mingled with the crowd.
Vernon's critical acclaim recently landed him in an awkward situation, as his pooh-poohing of The Grammy Awards preceded Bon Iver receiving four nominations themselves. Vernon had told The New York Times:
"I don't think the Bon Iver record is the kind of record that would get nominated for a Grammy — I would get up there and be like, 'This is for my parents, because they supported me,' because I know they would think it would be stupid of me not to go up there. But I kinda felt like going up there and being like: 'Everyone should go home, this is ridiculous. You should not be doing this. We should not be gathering in a big room and looking at each other and pretending this is important.' "
Bon Iver fans might also get a kick out of the new Bon Iver workout video, the trailer of which popped up on the internet this week, which, as it turns out, is not a joke.