This is an mp3 blog attempting to document the gross amount of music I listen to. About once a day, I'll post something I like. If you're a copyright holder on anything I host, get in touch, and we'll settle things in a steel cage instead of a courtroom.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

AC Newman - or - maybe all you bacon jockeys are onto something

Finding out a band you like is Canadian is kind of weird. I mean, it's not a bad thing, but it creates kinda of a "do I really know you?" moment. It's like realizing Super Troopers was made by a Canadian comedy troupe or that a close acquaintance is gay. It doesn't change things, but it certainly throws a WTF factor into the proceedings.

Just as many assume Canada is America's parking lot, most people are operating under the assumption that Canada rock music is essentially America-lite, a nice, white-bread, smiling take on an artform we created (or stole from an oppressed minority, but this ain't This is not entirely far from the truth. While Canada has spawned a number of great bands both past (SNFU, DOA, the Subhumans, Teenage Head), present (the Evaporators, Matthew Good Band, Propagandhi, Sloan) and weak (Our Lady Peace, Avril Lavinge's latest aural abortion), honestly most of it was done by Americans first and better (except maybe DOA). This isn't some nationalistic chest-thumping so much as it is an American rock critic surveying what he knows and reporting back what he's seen. For the record.

So it's mildly weird to me when one of the best power-pop bands since Cheap Trick (if not the best) comes in the form of Vancouver's own the New Pornographers. They've been dubbed a "supergroup" of sorts, which is retarded, since most of the people I know never gave two shits about Destroyer until Dan Bejar was singing backup in the Pornographers.

Same goes for their essential frontman and principal songwriter AC Newman, who was in Superconductor and Zumpano before conceiving the idea of the Pornographers. The man is an amazing modern songwriter if there ever were one, an equal of Ted Leo or Tom Gabel or Matthew Good, someone who can consistently turn out whole sets of compelling songs that always intrigue and entertain with a success rate hardly rivaled by his peers. His sole solo record, The Slow Wonder, is a modern classic. "Drink to Me, Then, Babe" stands head and shoulders with Cat Stevens' most intimate, haunting work, while "The Battle for Straight Time" ride a hooky guitar effect to memorability. If you need me to remind you of which group "On the Table" is the equal, we need to have words.

For people who like piano leads, mellow indie rock, and Bun E. Carlos randomly showing up in comic strips.

Drink to Me, Then, Babe:

On the Table:

The Battle for Straight Time:


Blogger AmyMeacham said...

If you get the chance to catch his live show, don't miss it. It was as great as the New Pornographers were every time I've seen them, too.

6:52 PM


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