Matt Berninger of The National Covers Velvet Underground’s 'I’m Waiting for The Man' for Tribute Album

The single is part of upcoming album "I’ll Be Your Mirror: A Tribute to the Velvet Underground & Nico," which features covers by the likes of Michael Stipe, Sharon Van Etten and Kurt Vile.

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click to enlarge A still from Matt Berninger's cover of Velvet Underground’s “I’m Waiting for The Man” - Photo: Music video screengrab
A still from Matt Berninger's cover of Velvet Underground’s “I’m Waiting for The Man”


Matt Berninger of The National just dropped a cover of The Velvet Underground’s “I’m Waiting for The Man,” and it is fiiiiiire.

The single is part of an upcoming album titled I’ll Be Your Mirror: A Tribute to the Velvet Underground & Nico, which features track-by-track covers of the Velvet Underground’s debut record. The full album features heavy hitters like Michael Stipe, Sharon Van Etten, King Princess and Iggy Pop.

Interested in more of a sneak peek?

Berninger’s cover isn’t the first single off the new tribute album. Kurt Vile and The Violators’ version of “Run Run Run” was previously released. The full album will drop on Verve Records on Sept. 24.

Why The Velvet Underground and why now? When the average music folk enter discussions about music, it comes down to bands like The Rolling Stones or The Beatles. But let’s be real. The conversation can’t go on long before you get to The Velvet Underground and Nico.

In every decade of music, there are key players who push it to new limits and take their genre in new directions. In the 1960s, The Velvet Underground was one of those players. Ask any of today’s most successful Rockers about their influences and they’ll surely include The Velvet Underground.

Lou Reed, Nico and the rest of band took Rock and made it even more experimental, more radical. Some might even argue that they were a precursor to Punk. Those Beatles shags had nothing on Reed's and Nico’s looks. They were so iconic, so fashionably… odd that the one and only Andy Warhol jumped at the chance to manage them and even named them the “house band” at his collective/club, The Factory.

It’s been nearly 55 years since the release of their debut, The Velvet Underground & Nico, but time has only made their impact on music more obvious. Like almost all geniuses, the public didn’t initially latch onto The Velvet Underground. Their albums didn’t just fly under the radar, they practically flopped. Many of their fans were all born well after The Velvet Underground stopped releasing albums.

We’d be excited for this project under any circumstance. Nothing involving music from The Velvet Underground could possibly be bad. However, seeing local boy Berninger’s involvement only makes it all the more exciting.

It’s been a couple years since we’ve heard much from The National after their 2019 album I Am Easy to Find — although Berninger did release his debut solo album, Serpentine Prison, in October 2020. This makes up for that small absence.

Check below for his full performance of “I’m Waiting for The Man.”


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