Indie rock is taking on the Grateful Dead—and it’s all for a good cause. The National are rounding up a group of indie-rockers for an album of Dead covers. So far, the artists include Vampire Weekend, Bon Iver, Kurt Vile and the War on Drugs. However, the National are hoping to add more participants to the list, including guitarists Ira Kaplan of Yo La Tengo and Lee Ranaldo of Sonic Youth.
Album proceeds will go to Red Hot, a not-for-profit organization that works at promoting AIDS awareness. This project is being led by the National’s Aaron and Bryce Dessner. They also contributed to another Red Hot benefit project back in 2009, Dark Was the Night.
“It is kind of an ambitious project both because of the legacy and the material,” Aaron told Relix. “We are obsessed enough with the Grateful Dead that it is kind of a monumental idea.”
Just last year, the National also performed with the Dead’s Bob Weir at TRI Studios for “The Bridge Sessions” benefit concert.