Do you like “Sorrow,” the morose, three-and-a-half-minute song from The National’s 2010 album High Violet? Would you like to listen to “Sorrow” for six straight hours, interrupted only by the brief moment of silence it takes for you to flip a record over? Do you have $150 to spend on collector’s edition vinyl box sets that contain 105 live versions of the exact same tune, spread out across nine LPs? Are you obscenely rich or something? You’re not married, right? Seriously, you’re not married, right? And your wife is cool with that? Have you asked her? Go ask her. We’ll wait.
Provided your answers to all of these questions is “yes” and “nah, she’s cool with it,” 4AD is offering pre-orders now on A Lot Of Sorrow, a limited edition, 9xLP vinyl box set of The National’s 2013 show at MoMA’s PS1. That show, staged by installation artist Ragnar “Lothbrok” Kjartansson, explored “the potential of repetitive performance to produce sculptural presence within sound,” as well as the limits to which The National and its fans could stand to play and hear “Sorrow” without stopping for six straight hours.
Video of the event—in which the band and audience gamely plow through inside a dry ice-filled geodesic dome—confirmed they proved surprisingly durable. “Play it again!” one woman calls out in the clip below, while cheers greet every new round. Reports say the band finished its set and returned for an encore… of “Sorrow.” Everyone had a great time bumming out to “Sorrow.” It was Sunday in New York, and they didn’t have shit to do but brood in an art museum.
And now it’s your turn to stage your own durational performance art, in the comfort of your apartment. Fill your living room with dry ice, and gently sway while staring at the floor. Feed your turntable these nine clear LPs with nothing but “Sorrow” on them, until your neighbors become convinced you killed yourself. All proceeds from the box set will be donated to Partners In Health, which provides medical services to those in need across the world and pledges to “serve as an antidote to despair.” For example, by making sure no one listens to six straight hours of “Sorrow.”