Monday, October 23, 2006
the bleeding heart show

I'm going to say some things that aren't going to endear me to fans of the following:
Carl Newman (1)
Dan Bejar (2)
Neko Case (3)

Although, I insist that I am, in fact, big fans of all three.

However, I'm going to say some things that are gong to endear me to fans of Kathryn Calder.

Ok... so here goes...

I made it down to see the second of the two New Pornographers shows tonight (I mean, really, I named my blog after them, I pretty much had to). As per usual, the band was pretty fabulous live, and you could make a pretty convincing case for the intro that Grant Lawrence gave them as, "the best Vancouver rock band ever." I don't necessarily agree, but it's certainly not a ridiculous assertion.

The set pulled from all three albums, and I was quite pleased to find that it also contained a fair number of Dan Bejar's songs (despite Dan's absence), because quite honestly, (1) I think he's the best songwriter in the group. That being said, the way Carl rearranges Dan's tunes, really take them to another level. (2) The old Destroyer tunes sound loads better arranged as near perfect pop songs. That's not to say that Dan can't write a good hook, or that I don't love the sprawling, less tuneful stuff that he puts out, but Bejar's songs with Carl's pop chops are the reason they call the NPs a supergroup. And then I guess there's Neko.

(3)But the thing about tonight, was that it was the first time I didn't miss Miss Case's presence. In fact, I'm willing to say that now that Kathryn Calder's had a year playing fill-in, the student's surpassed the master. Neko's got better pipes, for certain, but Kathryn's voice is incredibly confident now. And to be completely honest, it fits much better with both Carl's voice and the music. Neko sort of powers over everything, which is awesome on her solo stuff, but the New Pornographers are very much the sum of their parts, and Calder seems like a better piece of the whole. Also, while Neko's got the gift, there wasn't a single moment tonight that you could pick out where Kathryn sounded worse than if Neko had been there to sing the same parts.

Odds and ends:
- Kurt Dahle's moustache is terrible and vaguely Hitler-esque (never a good idea), though he's still one of my favourite drummers, and can balance a cup of whiskey and rock out.
- That ending to "Testament to Youth in Verse" gets me everytime.
- No "Jackie?" C'mon now.
- People yelling for "Sing Me Spanish Techno" during the encore, after they played it within the first 20 minutes of the show = awesome.

Oh, and thanks to my friend Shea for taking me as his +1.

now playing: the New Pornographers - It's Only Divine Right

5 Comments:

Hey! I was at the show. I actually happened to go to both. And Rofl at the people yelling for Spanish techno at the encore. It was the first song they played actually for both sets.
In my opinion tho, the first show was way better than the second. For one thing, openers were better. Young & Sexy were just way too slow for me, but thats me. Bella is always my favorite but i think the technicians had something wrong with their wiring. I kept hearing annoying buzzing and feedback. So i blame them. But then again for the second show, i went with a pretty dull person so i was stuck in the balcony... boring.
I love kathryn. I think she sounds great!
Best part of the second show was that they played Streets of fire.

This question may make me appear to be an idiot but why doesn't dan tour with them?

By Anonymous Jess, at 3:44 a.m.  

not a stupid question at all...

i think he just wants to focus on Destroyer, and apparently he doesn't really like touring in general.

By Blogger Quinn, at 1:08 p.m.  

no jackie, f off! they didnt play letter to an occupant in t.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3:00 p.m.  

they did "letter from an occupant" on saturday... but no matter how loud i tried, they didn't do "mary martin show" on either day :-(

By Blogger Hanson, at 11:00 p.m.  

Completely unrelated to The New Pornographers, but please tell the guy who wrote the Wu-Tang skit list on Streethawk to actually listen to M.E.T.H.O.D. Man, since it has a lot of drugs and profanity. Not that I'm saying these are bad things, but he said there aren't any in the song, and there's no comments page there.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 7:22 p.m.  

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upcoming shows
2/8 Twin Sister, Eleanor Friedberger, and Ava Luna @ the Media Club
2/9 David Choi @ the Rio
2/10 Secret Chiefs 3 and Dengue Fever @ the Rickshaw
2/13 White Buffalo @ the Media Club
2/14 The Ballyntines and Pleasure Cruise (TT) @ the Biltmore
2/18 Grimes w/Born Gold @ Fortune (early)
2/18 Cruel Young Heart, Young Liars, the Oh Wells, and Matiation @ the Dodson Rooms (AA)
2/18 Cursive w/UME @the Media Club
2/19 The Asteroids Galaxy Tour w/Vacationer @ Venue
2/20 Veronica Falls w/Bleached @ the Media Club
2/26 DJ Krush @ Fortune
2/29 Trevor Hall @ the Media Club
3/6 Slow Club w/Signals @ the Media Club
3/7 Cloud Nothings w/Mr. Dream @ the Media Clubr
3/8 Islands @ the Rio
3/10 Memoryhouse @ the Waldorf
3/17 William Fitzsimmons @ the Biltmore (early)
3/18 Magnetic Fields @ the Vogue (AA)
3/21 Plants & Animals>/b> @ the Rickshaw
3/22 Drive-by Truckers @ the Commodore
3/23 White Rabbits @ the Biltmore
3/23 Loney Dear @ the Media Club
3/24 Sharon Van Etten and the War on Drugs @ the Biltmore (early)
3/25 Nada Surf and An Horse @ the Rickshaw
3/27 The Ting Tings @ the Commodore
4/5 House de Racket @ the Electric Owl
4/6 Chairlift w/Nite Jewel @ the Electric Owl
4/7 Heartless Bastards @ the Media Club
4/8 Metronomy @ Venue
4/8 Gotye @ the Vogue (AA)
4/9 Cults @ Venue
4/10 First Aid Kit @ Venue
4/10 Andrew Bird w/Laura Marling @ the Vogue (AA)
4/13 The Odds and the Grapes of Wrath @ the Rickshaw
4/14 The Joel Plaskett Emergency @ the Vogue (AA)
4/24 School of Seven Bells w/Exitmusic @ the Electric Owl
4/26 Justice @ the PNE Forum (AA)
4/27 M83 @ the Vogue (AA)
4/27 Yukon Blonde @ the Commodore
4/28 Neon Indian @ Venue (early)
5/6 Delta Spirit w/Waters @ the Electric Owl
5/9 Yann Tiersen @ the Rickshaw
5/11 Great Lake Swimmers w/Cold Specks @ the Commodore
5/12 The Boxer Rebellion> @ the Biltmore
5/27 Coeur de Pirate @ Venue

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previous posts
i sing to the empties and cigarette butts
the hold steady almost killed me
blood visions
the month changes numbers
busy doing nothing
the littlest birds sing the prettiest songs
the book of right-on
still ill
my mind's not right
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mp3s are for preview purposes, if you like what you hear, buy it at your favourite indie record store. please don't direct link to photos. click for more.

writing by Quinn
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