Posts Tagged ‘the new pornographers’


Off-topic: Cross-Canada road trip #1

July 25, 2009

Day 1 of the road trip: Seattle, WA to Revelstoke, BC

Despite heading inland and therefore bypassing Vancouver, I thought I would share this track from Lotusland’s The Awkward Stage. Frontman Shane Nelken is part of the extended New Pornographers collective, having played piano on AC Newman’s The Slow Wonder and collaborated on Dan Bejar and Blaine Thurier side project. The Awkward Stage has a brand-new album out, Slimming Mirrors, Flattering Lights, but this is the title (and my favourite) track from their 2006 debut. But the video above is for a new track, “Mini Skirt of Xmas Lights.”

MP3: The Awkward Stage – Heaven Is For Easy Girls [buy]


Listen local: Visqueen

May 8, 2009

Okay, now I’m really annoyed at the music industry. How come my local radio station played all kinds of crappy third-rate Nirvana wannabes on the other side of the continent, but I had to wait until 2009 to hear about Visqueen? (Seattleites and dedicated indie-music lovers, feel free to upbraid me for my cluelessness.) I caught their song “Beauty Deluxe” on KEXP a few weeks ago (off their sophomore release, Sunset on Dateland) and I’ve been exploring their back catalog since. Their power-pop sound has a bit of a harder punk edge, like The New Pornographers laced with the Buzzcocks. Couple that with lyrics like, “Circuitry has soldered me like fuses to a frame/a tiny dial, and love erupts on broadband” (from “Crush on Radio”) and I’m a goner. The best part? It looks like they are set to release a new album this year, their first since Sunset in 2004, so I’m crossing my fingers for a chance to see them live.

MP3: Visqueen – Beauty Deluxe [buy]


Counter-programming: indie music vids

November 28, 2008

[embedded YouTube video; if you can’t see it, click here]

If your family holidays are characterized by everyone gathering in the living room and watching large, heavily-armoured men crash into each other (that would be American football, for our non-US readers), and that’s not exactly your speed, I commend to you some counter-programming.

On opposite sides of the English Channel (known by the rather less possessive La Manche on the other side), two groups are making short videos of indie music that are characterized by a common bare-bones aesthetic. In London, there’s the Black Cab Sessions – as the name suggests, it’s all bands filmed playing a song in the back of a black cab (given the rather stringent space limitations, sometimes it’s only part of the band, like the Spoon video above that is just Britt Daniel). In France, La Blogothèque has a video podcast called Les Concerts à Emporter (The Take-Away Shows, better translated as ‘The Take-Out Shows’ on this side of the Atlantic). There’s masses of cool stuff in both sets, including The National, The New Pornographers, and Amanda Palmer.

So gather up your like-minded relations, ignore the cheers coming from the living room, and huddle around the glow of the LCD screen to watch some great indie music unfold.

MP3: The New Pornographers – All the Old Showstoppers


Threesome: hits and misses

June 2, 2008

female iconAs the requisite counterpart to the previous Threesome, here are three songs whose titles feature a female honorific. Not to get too gender-stereotyped, but they contrast sharply with the angular, aggressive songs in the male version. And oddly enough, they are all from sophomore albums. Up first, the Dresden Dolls’ “Mrs. O”, from their album, Yes, Virginia. Next, “Miss Teen Wordpower” from The New Pornographers’ Electric Version. Finally, “Miss Idaho” by Ox (from American Lo Fi, on Toronto’s awesome indie label, weewerk) is a beautiful country-ish song about leaving the city behind.

MP3: The Dresden Dolls – Mrs. O (more Dresden Dolls)

MP3: The New Pornographers – Miss Teen Wordpower (more New Pornographers)

MP3: Ox – Miss Idaho (more Ox)

Previously: Threesome: mister mister