Both Clap Your Hands Say Yeah and The National are currently basking in (or perhaps suffering from) the glow of being the next big thing out of New York. Thanks to Pitchfork, most eyes are on CYHSY to take home the prize. The real reason to go out to Modified this Saturday, though, is most definitely The National. Back in April, The National released its third record, Alligator, and it was well received for conveying a pathos befitting Midwestern transplants in New York who are approaching their thirties. Matt Berninger seems regretful, singing about love gone wrong and lonely self-doubt. But the music itself still brims with beauty and hope that rises above the self-involved lyrics. Dreamy guitars imbue a sense of quiet, yet the drums pound with intensity. Flourishes of piano and even strings make the sound full and crisp. Alligator is both captivating and troubling, and that is what makes it so enticing. So although the limelight may be well deserved, it's probably best that The National is less caught up in the hipster hype machine than its opening act. When that hype is gone, The National will still be playing, and people will still be listening.