Entries tagged with: The New Pornographers
On his eleventh studio album, Poison Season, Destroyer's Dan Bejar has moved beyond the quiet confrontation of 2011's Kaputt and into a musical realm more orchestral and far-reaching. That's not to imply that the Canadian singer-songwriter and reluctant indie tastemaker has embraced a newfound love for tawdry composition. It certainly suggests, though, that Bejar's creative inclinations have rarely if ever remained fixated on any one path to the music. Having created music as Destroyer since 1995, Bejar is understandably averse to the attitude of pop culture immediacy that assumes impact is equal to investment in one's art form. In a way similar to that of his just as notably talented bandmates in indie pop supergroup The New Pornographers, Bejar is content to let the music go where it will, allowing him to be a sort of vehicle for whatever destination great or small it may lead. It's a topic he and I discussed at length in a recent conversation in anticipation of his current tour with Jennifer Castle that hits Webster Hall on October 4.
Poison Season is very much a departure from Kaputt just in terms of the instrumentation that's involved and the altogether broader sound. Was that shift something deliberate on your part?
I don't think it was a deliberate move, though I agree with your reading of what it sounds like. I think the main thing is that I've never tried to start from scratch. If you look inside the records you'll see that there are tons of overlaps as far as the actual music making goes and as far as my songwriting goes. I feel like it's kind of more etched in stone than probably 99% of other songs out there, I mean, to a fault. If anything, it's like: Oh fuck, this really stands out me being myself, or here's me being me again. I don't think that changes too much. I guess in the postproduction, which is pretty elastic, I agree that sonically speaking, Poison Season and Kaputt couldn't be more different, but that's just like a world of weaver plugins and EQs and a certain approach to compression, which just got ignored in favor of classic 70s hardware and fancy microphones and a fancy recording space and the sound of a bunch of people playing in a room together. I don't think we were lampooning anything at the time, but when you listen to it now, the record that I did that came out in 2004 called Your Blues - I don't know, you can see the seeds of it. Even its use of a bunch of midi orchestral sounds, which sound like an orchestra really to anyone but me. The general feel of it is basically like a carbon copy or a blueprint of what we sounded like on stage in 2012. That was really a hyped tour and like the one in 2011, which was more of a Kaputt cover band tour, played more into Destroyer sounds, I guess. But anyone who saw those shows is going to listen to Poison Season and not blink an eye. It's like, oh I see, you guys went out and made a record. I think the one thing was this approach to strings and maybe an approach to the woodwind arrangement, which is faster but also has kind of a classical American film score style arrangements or something like jazz arrangements as opposed to just having Joseph shred all over the record like he did for Kaputt. But the instincts in Poison Season, you could find them on being used on any of the Destroyer albums.
photos by James Richards IV
Sleater-Kinney/Vic Mensa/Kurt Vile/Shamir @ Pitchfork Fest 7/18/2015
"You're beautiful when you're wet," Kurt Vile tells the crowd, putting a positive spin on a damp situation. The singer/guitarist, who has a highly anticipated new record due in September, starts 35 minutes late due to the rain and evacuation delay. True to form, he stretches out, opening with the ambling "Gold Tones," a 10-minute epic that magnifies his mystical, introspective guitar lines and sun-baked vocals. Vile, who never seems in a hurry no matter the situation, remains content to let the groggy country-rock melody run its course. It's his aw-shucks way of easing people back into the festival setting and brushing off the personal stress of losing substantial set time. -[Chicago Tribune]At the end of Protomartyr's early afternoon set during Day 2 (7/18) of the 2015 Pitchfork Music Festival, singer Joe Casey offered the crowd, watching in 90-degree temperatures and unrelenting humidity, a word of advice: "Hydrate." He probably didn't mean the torrential thunderstorm that cracked open an hour later during Ex Hex's set which was cut short as Chicago's Union Park was temporarily evacuated. Folks were let back in less than an hour later, old hat for Chicago festival crowds.
Saturday's rain made things muddy -- and delayed Vince Staples' flight, canceling his set -- but spirits weren't too dampened, as massive crowds enjoyed sets by Sleater-Kinney, Kurt Vile, Vic Mensa, The New Pornographers, Parquet Courts, A$AP Ferg, Shamir and more. Sophie didn't play, whether it was weather-related was not made clear, but Towkio filled in. (His pal, PC Music's AG Cook, is scheduled to perform today.) Pictures from the day are in this post.
Pitchfork wraps up today (7/19) with sets from Chance the Rapper, Todd Terje & the Olsens, Run the Jewels, The Julie Ruin, Viet Cong, Courtney Barnett, Perfume Genius, and more. You can watch it live from your air conditioned home, too, as it's streaming live. UPDATE: Day 3 happened and pictures are up.
Canada's Polaris Prize has just announced it's 2015 Shortlist and these are the 10 records vying for it this year:
Viet Cong - S/TThe winner will be announced on September 21 at a gala in Toronto. Who do you think will take home the $50,000 Prize?
Buffy Sainte-Marie - Power in the Blood
The New Pornographers - Brill Bruisers
Tobias Jesso Jr. - Goon
Drake - If You're Reading This It's Too Late
Jennifer Castle - Pink City
Caribou - Our Love
Braids - Deep in the Iris
BADBADNOTGOOD & Ghostface Killah - Sour Soul
Alvvays - S/T
photos by Amanda Hatfield
New Pornographers / Thao @ Celebrate Brooklyn! 7/11/2015
The New Pornographers played a free Celebrate Brooklyn! show at Prospect Park Bandshell on Saturday (7/11). The last time they did this was in 2005, part of a Canada Day celebration. Frontman AC Newman noted how that show changed the course of his life in that he met his wife at it. "I have no idea where I'd be now if I hadn't played that show." It was a perfect night, weather-wise, and the bandshell couldn't have been more packed. Unfortunately the lineup this time didn't include either Neko Case or Dan Bejar (we were spoiled on last year's tour) but they were still great, playing a generous 22-song set. Thao & the Get Down Stay Down were well-matched openers for NPs, making for a lovely evening in Prospect Park. Pictures from the night, plus New Pornographers' setlist, are in this post.
This weekend New Pornographers will be in Chicago for Pitchfork Fest. More pics from Prospect Park below...
The long list for the 2015 Polaris Music Prize, Canada's annual award for a great album, has been announced. It includes Drake, The New Pornographers, Death From Above 1979, Caribou, Alvvays, White Lung, Viet Cong, METZ, Cold Specks, Buffy Sainte-Marie, Colin Stetson & Sarah Neufeld, Patrick Watson, Absolutely Free, Badbadnotgood & Ghostface Killah, Braids, Tobias Jesso Jr and more.
The shortlist will be announced July 16, and the winner will be announced September 21. Check out the full longlist below.
by Bill Pearis
Andrew Bird is one of the contributors to a new compilation titled Good People Rock which benefits Montreal-based charity organization Yellow Bird Project. It's out now digitally via new Arts & Crafts imprint Madic Records. It's got artists associated with Yellow Bird (which makes unique t-shirts) covering other Yellow Bird artists, and Andrew Bird covers New Pornographers' "The Fake Headlines." It's my kind of cover in that Andrew Bird makes it his own while it's unmistakably a Carl Newman melody. The video for the song was made by directors Luke McCutcheon and Michael Yablonski with marionette artist Robin Polfuss and is quite lovely. Watch it below. Other artists involved on Good People Rock include The Tallest Man on Earth, Elvis Perkins, and King Creosote. Full tracklist is below.
Bird will be touring Europe this summer and will play a warm-up show for that at NYC's Le Poisson Rouge on June 25 which he's calling "a very special performance." Tickets for that show go on sale today (5/1) at noon. Andrew's only other US show is a gala benefit for Boston's Institute of Contemporary Arts on May 16. All dates are listed below...
photos: Celebrate Brooklyn last year (more by David Andrako)
We've known about Celebrate Brooklyn!'s summer slate of 2015 ticketed benefit shows at Prospect Park -- including Modest Mouse, Interpol and Willie Nelson -- for a while and now they've announced their free show schedule. In addition to the already-announced New Pornographers show on 7/11 (which now also includes Thao & the Get Down Stay Down) and the Chaka Khan season kickoff show on 6/3, this summer's free highlights include:
Lucius | Luke Temple | Pavo Pavo on Saturday, June 13Full Celebrate Brooklyn! schedule below...
Eighth Blackbird With Special Guest Will Oldham | Bill Frisell & Sam Amidon on Thursday, June 18
Lucinda Williams | Jason Walker on Thursday, June 25
Punch Brothers | Sarah Jarosz on Thursday, July 9
Vieux Farka Touré | Tamikrest | Dj Dakar on Thursday, July 16
Jason Isbell | Dawn Landes on Friday, July 24.
Sylvan Esso | Porches on Saturday, July 25
Big K.R.I.T. | Angel Haze | The D.R.E.A.M. Ring: Flexn on Friday, July 31
Tune-Yards | Shabazz Palaces on Saturday, August 8
photo: Sleater-Kinney at T5 in February (more by PSquared)
Sleater-Kinney, who first said they weren't playing festivals but then were announced for Primavera Sound, have now also been added to home stage festival Sasquatch!, taking place Memorial Day Weekend (5/22-25) at The Gorge. Other new additions include Angel Olsen, Hanni El Khatib (who plays NYC tonight), THEESatisfaction, Helms Alee, AlunaGeorge, Kaytranada, Goldlink and a few others.
Those additions join previously announced names such as Kendrick Lamar, Robert Plant, Modest Mouse, Lana Del Rey, Ryan Adams, The Decemberists, Tame Impala, St. Vincent and many more. Festival tickets are still available.
Updated lineup below...
photo: The New Pornographers @ The Brill Building, 2014 (more by Chris La Putt)
Canadian power pop royalty The New Pornographers will be touring this summer in July, a trek that wraps up in Chicago for the Pitchfork Festival. A week earlier, they'll be in NYC to make a return visit to Prospect Park on July 11, part of Celebrate Brooklyn! -- which is almost 10 years to the day since their 'Canada Day' show there in 2005. No word yet as to whether that is a free show or a ticketed benefit show, or who the openers are.
Celebrate Brooklyn has yet to announce their full 2015 schedule, but it includes ticketed benefit shows with Modest Mouse, Willie Nelson, Interpol and more, and the free Chaka Khan kickoff show.. All dates are listed, along with an Rdio stream of last year's great Brill Bruisers LP, below...
The 2015 edition of Toronto's NXNE Festival happens June 17 - 21 at venues all over the Ontario capital. The initial lineup has just been announced and includes Action Bronson, The New Pornographers, Angel Olsen, Zola Jesus, Om, Rae Sremmurd, Deafheaven, Best Coast, Blonde Redhead, Iceage, Real Estate, Lower Dens, A Place To Bury Strangers, Pentagram, White Lung and more. You can check out the full list of initial NXNE showcasing artists below...
Sasquatch! Music Festival will return to Quincy, WA on Memorial Day Weekend, May 22-25, at The Gorge. This year's lineup includes Kendrick Lamar, Robert Plant, Modest Mouse, Lana Del Rey, Ryan Adams, The Decemberists, Tame Impala, St. Vincent, Spoon, James Blake, Hot Chip, SBTRKT, Schoolboy Q, The New Pornographers, The War On Drugs, Little Dragon, Father John Misty, Run The Jewels, Jenny Lewis, Real Estate, Future Islands, Ab-Soul, Sharon Van Etten, Action Bronson, Perfume Genius, Rustie, Courtney Barnett, Strand of Oaks, Merchandise, Ex Hex, and more.
Tickets go on sale at 10 AM PST on Saturday (2/7). Full lineup below...
The 2015 Primavera Sound Festival goes down in Barcelona, Spain from May 28 - 30. We knew The Strokes and recently reunited shoegazers Ride were playing and now the line-up is being announced via the festival's mobile app, which is a not-so fun 8-bit game you have to play to reveal names. The whole lineup is in the poster above and includes The Replacements, James Blake, Sleater-Kinney (who apparently are playing festivals after all) Patti Smith performing Horses, Spiritualized, Interpol, Antony & the Johnsons, OMD, Mineral, Brand New, Panda Bear, Run the Jewels, Sleaford Mods, Julian Casablancas + The Voidz, The Black Keys, New Pornographers, Jose Gonzalez, Shabazz Palaces, Kevin Morby, Ought, Disappears, Pharmakon, Baxter Dury, Death From Above 1979, Spiritualized, tUnE-yArDs, Twin Shadow, Swans, Iceage, the Juan MacLean, Dan Deacon, Viet Cong, Sun Kil Moon, Antony, Hiss Golden Messenger, Fucked Up, Kelela, Ariel Pink, Voivod, Electric Wizard, Mikal Cronin, alt-J, Sunn O))), the Thurston Moore Band, Underworld (performing dubnobasswithmyheadman), Pallbearer, Tobias Jesso Jr., American Football, Jon Hopkins, DIIV, Caribou, Unknown Mortal Orchestra, My Brightest Diamond, HEALTH, Babes in Toyland, Thee Oh Sees, Single Mothers, Ex Hex, Shellac and Twerps. Full line-up is below.
by Andrew Sacher and Bill Pearis
We love year-end lists -- reading them, making them, arguing about them. BrooklynVegan editors Andrew Sacher and Bill Pearis have once again figured out their favorite albums of the year which you can check out, with commentary, below. Someday we may be able to come to an agreement on an official BV year-end list, but as you'll see there's not a lot of commonality between their two lists. (Specifically, there is zero commonality.) Which is ok! Diff'rent Strokes to rule the world. This year, they've also added their Top 20 favorite songs as well.
Find out what made their lists, below...
Photo: Operators in Central Park in September (more by Amanda Hatfield)
As discussed, Dan Boeckner's current band Operators are set to support the upcoming Future Islands tour, including the NYC shows on January 8 & 9 at Terminal 5 (night 1 still on sale, night 2 sold out). Right before those shows, Operators will play their own NYC show on January 5 at Baby's All Right, the same place they made their NYC debut at the BV Northside show in June. Tickets for the Baby's show are on sale now.
After the Future Islands tour, Operators will hook up with The New Pornographers for a run of February dates. Nothing in NYC, but there's a few other Northeast shows on that tour. All dates are listed, with a stream of their track "True," below...
As mentioned, Tom Scharpling's much loved, much missed The Best Show makes its return tonight (12/16) in live podcast form with the whole gang (Mike, Gary, Roy, Vance) in tow. Listen (and call in) live tonight from 9 PM - midnight. It will be available as a podcast as well through iTunes, etc. You can also relive some (ok, a whole lot) of Tom and comedy partner Jon Wurster's finest bits from The Best Show's WFMU years on the 16-disc The Best of the Best Show box set which will be out in March via the Numero Group.
While making sure he has all his mics plugged in and ducks in order, Tom put together a Top 10 For 2014 list just for us:
I kept my head down and didn't go out a whole lot so my list might not be as diverse as it would have been in past years. (Sorry, 4:35 PM!). These were some of the things I loved this year that I remembered before other things.Scharpling's list includes albums, live shows, movies and TV, and commentary as well. Read the whole thing below...
Pitchfork have begun rolling out their year-end coverage, and today they posted their Top 100 Tracks of 2014. Like every year, it's a very diverse list, with songs from Taylor Swift, The New Pornographers, iLoveMakonnen, Protomartyr, Cloud Nothings, Rae Sreummurd, Makthaverskan, Ty Segall, Parquet Courts, Azealia Banks, White Lung, Perfect Pussy, Dej Loaf, Migos, Alvvays, Against Me!, Kendrick Lamar, Ariana Grande, Bobby Shmurda, Charli XCX, Grouper, Beyonce, Perfume Genius, Shamir, Michael Jackson, Tinashe and more. And their #1 seems to be the most ubiquitous #1 of 2014.
Check out the full list below...
SPIN returned with their Top Albums of 2014 list today. It's got a lot of the indie albums that usually show up on these lists (Caribou, Future Islands, FKA twigs, Parquet Courts, Cloud Nothings, How to Dress Well, Swans, St. Vincent, Real Estate, etc), a handful of rap albums (YG, Young Thug, Shabazz Palaces, Run the Jewels, Schoolboy Q, Freddie Gibbs & Madlib, etc), metal (Pallbearer), punk (Against Me!, Joyce Manor), mainstream pop (Taylor Swift, Miranda Lambert), and a couple headscratchers (Betty Who at #11?). You-know-who scores the #1 slot once again here. Check it out for yourself below.
We're just over a month away from 2015 and those UK year-end lists keep pouring in. Now British music mag Uncut has posted their 75 Best Albums of 2014. Looks like their winner is becoming a popular choice for #1, and the rest of their top 10 is split between real-deal veterans (Leonard Cohen [falling just a tad from his 2012 #1 spot], Robert Plant) and rising newcomers (FKA twigs). Elsewhere the list has a lot of the indie-related albums that keep popping up, a good deal of folk/country, more veteran appearances, and a certain opinionated UK duo who have appeared on every UK list we've seen so far and make their US debut this week.
Check out the full list below...
photos by Chris La Putt
"Would it be cool if @TheNewPornos play for too long tonight in NYC? I'm thinking we should really wear out our welcome." - AC Newman
New Pornographers / TPOBPAH @ Hammerstein Ballroom 11/17/2014
Carl Newman wasn't kidding about a lengthy set. The New Pornographers have been playing upwards of 30 songs on their current tour, and did so at Hammerstein Ballroom on Monday (11/17), including 10 of Brill Bruisers' 13 songs. With Neko Case and Dan Bejar both on this tour, it's made for a very fan-friendly, hit-filled time.
Opening this show and the whole tour were The Pains of Being Pure at Heart, whose lineup currently features frontman Kip Berman's cousin Elspeth on backing vocals. Pictures of both bands from the Hammerstein show are in this post.
You can catch TPOBPAH again in NYC soon -- they play Glasslands on Monday (11/24) with Hooray For Earth, GABI, and related band Ablebody. Tickets are still available and it's one of the special shows Glasslands is doing before they close at the end of the year.
More pictures from Hammerstein and New Pornographers' setlist, below...
photos by Tim Griffin
Austin's Fun Fun Fun Fest wrapped up this past weekend with a variety of killer music across punk, metal, hip hop, indie, electronic and plenty of the in-between, plus comedy, wrestling, BMX competitions and more. The lineup spanned legends like Judas Priest, Gorilla Biscuits and Nas through great newer artists like Angel Olsen, Deafheaven and Courtney Barnett. We've already written plenty about it -- check out our reviews of day 1, day 2 and day 3 -- as well as posted pictures of Judas Priest, Gorilla Biscuits and Mineral.
The New Pornographers with new drummer in Columbus last month (via @JoeSeiders)
As mentioned The New Pornographers' longtime drummer Kurt Dahle left the band abruptly in September, just a few days after playing NYC's The Brill Building. The band have replaced him (on this tour at least) with Joe Seiders of Beat Club who has also played drums for Tracy Bonham, Juliana Hatfield, and others.
In other member shuffle news, Amber Webber of Black Mountain and Lightning Dust filled in for an absent Neko Case on their two recent Vancouver shows, but Neko rejoins the band tonight (10/6) in Seattle at The Showbox. (They played live on KEXP earlier today, look for archive video soon.) They'll be at NYC's Hammerstein Ballroom on November 17 with The Pains of Being Pure at Heart (tickets).
by Bill Pearis
One of the catchiest songs on The New Pornographers' Brill Bruisers (an album filled with super-catchy songs) is "Dancehall Domine" which is the new single and just got a video from directorial team Leblanc + Cudmore. It's a hodgepodge of ideas but all very stylishly shot in widescreen. Says one half of the directorial team, Scott Cudmore:
Sometimes I like watching the b-roll or behind the scenes or outtakes on DVDs and blu-rays...'Dancehall Domine' is meant to feel like a whole bunch of those clips sort of strung together as if they're taken from some fucked up Italian or French musical maybe. Or a bunch of fragments from films like that--thrillers, bad romances, in one case we're clearly referencing Clouzot's famous L'enfer tests. We even have the man himself in there!It's about time someone referenced L'enfer in a New Pornographers video! Watch it below.
You can catch New Pornographers (with new yet-unnamed drummer) when their tour hits NYC at Hammerstein Ballroom on November 17 (tickets) with Pains of Being Pure at Heart. All dates are listed, along with the new video, below...
by Bill Pearis
Kurt Dahle w/ The New Pornographers @ The Brill Building (more by Chris La Putt)
Not the best known member of The New Pornographers, but drummer Kurt Dahle was maybe the most fun to watch live, making funny faces while dropping fills, never missing a beat. With that it's sad news that the band posted on their Facebook over the weekend:
Kurt Dahle is leaving the New Pornographers. It has been a great 15 years playing with an amazing drummer, singer and performer. We wish him the best.Well that is a bummer. Dahle was with them just ten days ago when they played The Brill Building. Kurt, we'll miss seeing those faces when The New Pornographers' fall tour hits NYC in November.
Everything is still full steam ahead with the band and we look forward to continued rocking and singing of songs.
No word on his replacement yet. (Jon Wurster, what are you doing this fall?) Video of Dahle behind the kit from earlier this summer, below...
by Bill Pearis
While there, the band's chief songwriter, Carl "AC" Newman, applied for a job as a hitmaker in the pop landmark's storied offices. Apparently there's only one songwriting team (Julie Klausner and Anthony Atamanuik) left in the building and they've been relegated to not the nicest space there. (The heyday of Leiber/Stoller and Goffin/King it ain't.) Needless to say, Newman won't be quitting his day job. Watch his video encounter, written by Jake Fogelnest for Funny or Die, below.
photos by Chris La Putt; words by Bill Pearis
The New Pornographers @ The Brill Building 9/4/2014
"This is a throwback to those classic Brill Building basement shows...you know, like when Carol King would do Sonics' covers? It's in the book. That I'm going to write." Carl Newman, defacto leader of Canadian supergroup The New Pornographers, was joking about the deserted Brill Building storefront (technically next door to the famous golden BB entrance) that was hastily converted into a venue for this record release party. Anyone there who bothered to look up could see up into the next floor via holes by the building supports. Same for the floor -- Newman warned "Please don't fall into the abyss!" This was closer in vibe -- and in un-AC'd temperature -- to 285 Kent than something you'd expect in Times Square. It was HOT in there but a cool nod to pop songwriting's past that clearly is an influence on The New Pornographers in general and their great new album, Brill Bruisers, specifically.
The show, which was presented by NPR and hosted by All Songs Considered's (and nonstop showgoer) Bob Boilen, featured The New Pornographers in full effect, with Neko Case and Dan Bejar both there, along with the rest of the band, including new touring member Coco Hames (of The Ettes). (NPR gave away tickets via Twitter.) The band sounded fantastic and they were all clearly having a blast, despite the sweatbox atmosphere. Drummer Kurt Dahle, in particular, seemed to be having a particularly good time, making faces while dropping crazy fills on new LP track, "Spidyr." (I think I spent half the show just watching him.)
The crowd was eased into the new album, starting with a couple oldies first -- "Moves" from Together then Bejar sauntered out for Challengers' nugget "Myriad Harbor." Then we got our first taste of Brill via the driving "Dancefloor Domine," which is a good showcase for the new arpeggiated-keys-ELO-ABBA vibe of the new album. We got about half of Brill Bruisers, including the title track which is much more a wall-of-sound force live than on record. (They played it on Letterman the night before, video below.) Bejar came back out for single "War on the East Coast" which was extra-energized by some crazy/effected guitar blasts by Newman.
Other older tracks included "The Laws Have Changed," "Twin Cinema," "Mass Romantic" (many cheers for that), and they finished the hourlong set with the "hey las" of Twin Cinema deep cut "The Bleeding Heart Show." I woulda personally liked a couple more from the new album -- specifically "Champions of Red Wine" and "Marching Orders" -- but it was a solid, leave 'em wanting more set and was easily the best New Pornographers show I've seen since the Electric Version tour.
The New Pornographers -- with Neko and Dan -- will be back in NYC when their fall tour hits Hammerstein Ballroom on November 17 with openers The Pains of Being Pure at Heart (tickets). More pics and setlist from the Brill Building show, plus the Letterman performance video, below...