I thought the Oscars were great this year but definitely unsurprising, no real upsets. I was worried they would allow Gravity to sweep but instead it won the awards it should have (give for take a best director award) and they made the right choice on best picture.
I like the intricacy of their songs. The 5/4 time signatures get me every time, and the fills always leave me wondering how the hell someone can make it sound so effortless. They're a band that demands a good set of speakers or headphones because without, you'll miss out on so much. At first listen the vocals can seem pretty drab and boring, but there Is a slow building intensity in many of their songs that comes through MUCH clearer in the live show. The bottom end is probably my favourite aspect of the band though. The driving beat and almost orchestral bass lines makes for great running music, if that's what you're into.
I'm not a lyrics person. Much more interested in how the music works together, so that could be part of the reason I like The National.
Boxer is definitely where I'd start, then Alligator, High Violet, and Trouble Will Find Me. I can do up a little list of favorite songs later if anybody's interested
This is a very good description. When you first start listening the vocals are one of the biggest hurdles to get over. For some reason when you get used to them though they become weirdly addictive.
Silent Majority sounds like a National album title.
I don't know what it is about The National but they're definitely one of those bands that just eventually clicks with you. I know it's bullshit to say just keep listening but that's really all there is to it. Focus on one of their albums (Boxer is the best choice here) and listen to it all the way through 3 or 5 times. If it doesn't click by then you're probably just not going to be a fan.