Missed Music

Music you didn’t know you needed…until now.

Quirky but mainstream Pop from The New Pornographers

I recommended a New Pornographers song once before in one of my Friday mixes. Today, I’m going to recommend you check out one of their albums. Who are the New Pornographers? Well, I started doing a little research, as I usually do before I write a post, and I saw them called an “Indie Rock supergroup.” Awesome. I love that stuff. Who has played with who and who they’re working with now. Music is an incestuous business and I love to see the connections, hear the similarities and influences.

So I looked at the band members and their other bands… I had heard of just two of them, Neko Case (who was awesome at Bonnaroo two weeks ago), and A.C. Newman (I love Miracle Drug) and none of the other bands. Maybe you know some of the others.

  • Dan Bejar of Destroyer and Swan Lake
  • Kathryn Calder of Immaculate Machine
  • Neko Case, solo artist, also of Maow and Cub
  • John Collins of The Evaporators
  • Kurt Dahle of Limblifter and Age of Electric
  • Todd Fancey, solo artist (as Fancey) and Limblifter
  • Carl Newman, solo artist (as A.C. Newman), also of Superconductor and Zumpano
  • Blaine Thurier, independent filmmaker
That's super!

That's super!

Maybe I don’t listen to enough Indie Rock, but… define “super group.” Anyway, I suppose you could call them super based on the great music they create together. Their first three albums made The Village Voice’s top 40 in the Pazz & Jop year end music poll, including Twin Cinema from 2005.

Make no mistake this is center lane Pop. It’s not bubble gum Pop, but the hooks are fat (if not phat), the harmonies feature lots of major thirds and fifths. Very accessible music. Still, it’s hard pop that rocks out a bit (they’ve been compared to Cheap Trick, though I’m not sure I hear it) and the lyrics and themes challenge you a bit. Check out these four tracks.

  • Twin Cinema – Three minute radio hook #1: Title Track. A bouncing guitar riff and everyone singing harmony. This is my second favorite track on the album.
  • Use It – The piano work adds a lot of interest to this track. It’s very catchy. This video is strange (but just wait) and I believe one of the “puppeteers” is David Cross.
  • Sing Me Spanish Techno – Newman (the main songwriter) cites Brian Wilson as one of his main songwriting influences and it shows in this song. I like this bizarre video. Does that make me gay?
  • Three or Four – This is the most musically original song on the disc, in my opinion, and it’s my favorite. The guitar crunches out a mean chord progression and the vocal line is unusual. Sadly, YouTube has only live versions with shitty sound, so here is a sample.

Their edgy but accessible sound has gotten them a lot of play on TV and movie soundtracks. Credits include Queer as Folk, Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back, The Office, Weeds, Waiting, Heroes, Rock Band, Numb3rs, and more.



June 24, 2009 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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