Tilda Swinton sleeping in a box at MOMA PS1 was an artistic feat that many around the world thought could never be topped by anyone anywhere ever. But The National are not afraid, and on Sunday they will be playing their song “Sorrow” for six-hours straight. What could happen over those six hours? We chopped the endless possibilities down to a manageable 10.
1. The most obvious result will be that The National’s six-hour-rendition of “Sorrow” will send the most vulnerable of MOMA patrons and guests into a deep state of contemplation in which every mistake they’ve ever made is mentally broadcast in vivid cinematic detail. How can this NOT happen when the opening lines to the song (which will be on repeat for six hours) are “Sorrow found me when I was young/ Sorrow waited, sorrow won/ Sorrow that put me on the pills/ It’s in my honey, it’s in my milk”? They will need intensive and expensive psychiatric care immediately. Medical tents are already being set up inside and outside the PS1 facility.
2. Groups of hipster youth will descend upon MOMA to hear “Sorrow” play for six-hours because they genuinely like The National and they genuinely would like to see it performed for six-hours. But not sober. They will come with concealed marijuana pipes and vaporizers and will enter and leave MOMA several times during The National’s performance. But they will be band’s most faithful listeners, bringing new insights about their lyrics and chord progressions every time they return.
3. The members of The National will wear nametags, and if these nametags are stared at for six hours, (A) people will realize that everyone besides Matt Berninger is a sibling with someone else in the band (Aaron and Bryce Dessner, Bryan and Scott Devendorf), (B) that THAT’S equal parts creepy and kinky and German (?) and (C) people other than critics will finally know who is in The National!
4. Since The National have been so public and active in their support of President Barack Obama, right-wingers still upset about the election results will visit MOMA PS1 for the first time in order to record The National’s incredibly depressing performance and use it as evidence that Obama’s base is disillusioned. But along the way, they will become hypnotized by the song and absorb all of the sorrow in the world. They will develop empathy and love and discover the depths of their emotional capabilities. They will destroy the tapes and register as Independents the next day.
5. Cinco de Mayo and all related festivities will be cancelled.
6. Tilda Swinton will adjust her MOMA piece, “Maybe,” into “YES,” by breaking out of her glass box (which she will find in storage and destroy only for dramatic effect) and slowly twirl in front of The National for their six-hour set. She will be allowed to remain twirling after the set is over. She will twirl forever.
7. Dementors will swoop down upon MOMA to take advantage of all the listless, depressed, swaying, (rich) white youth and adults. Their souls will be taken but they will not notice, because The National has already taken six-hours worth of knives to their hearts.
8. Citizens of The National’s hometown of Cincinnati will appear en masse at MOMA. Since comprehension skills are on the low side in Cincinnati, the six-hours it will take The National to sing “Sorrow” will be just enough for the lyrics — “I live in a city that sorrow built/ It’s in my honey, it’s in my milk” — to fully register in their minds. They will be seriously offended, cut off all ties with the band, and hopefully find their way home.
9. The six-hour melody will awaken the zombies of past-employees, exhibits, and tourists buried beneath MOMA and, in turn, initiate the beginnings of a zombie apocalypse. Finally! Just like the movies.
10. Bon Iver will get really upset and consider relinquishing his crown as Most Melancholy Male. But he’ll check with MOMA to see if he can get his own six-hour gig before making any drastic decisions. He won’t be able to. His next album will be his greatest.