Editor’s note: This article was initially published in The Daily Gazette, Swarthmore’s online, daily newspaper founded in Fall 1996. As of Fall 2018, the DG has merged with The Phoenix. See the about page to read more about the DG.
Those students who enjoy listening to bands with terrific amounts of enthusiasm are in luck. This Friday, The New Pornographers– described on their website as “a group of ridiculously talented people”– will be coming to Lang Performing Arts Center. Doors will open at 7:00 p.m. and the show will start at 8:00 p.m. with The New Pornographers’ supporting band, The Brakes.
The New Pornographers, hailing from Vancouver, formed in 1997 under the guidance of the omni-talented A.C. Newman. The band consists of many musicians with Newman on vocals, guitar, ebow, harmonica, etc., Dan Bejar on guitar and synthesizer, Kathryn Calder on vocals and piano, Neko Case on vocals, John Collins on bass, guitar, etc., Kurt Dahle on drums, percussion, and vocals, Todd Fancey on guitar, and Blaine Thurier on synthesizer. As is evident from the various musical strengths of the group, The New Pornographers play powerful and eclectic pop, moving slightly away from this formula on their third album, Twin Cinema. Whereas their previous two albums, Mass Romantic and Electric Version, had a “party-out-of-bounds vibe,” Twin Cinema is slightly more witty and concise.
Newman cites a varied smattering of influences which have shaped The New Pornographers. Top on his list are The Moody Blues, Tubeway Army, Wings,and Brian Eno. “You can’t play ebow without sounding like Eno,” Newman says. The blending of these sounds, as well as a creation of their own, has worked well for The New Pornographers as they have been nominated for the Polaris Prize– Canada’s equivalent of the United Kingdom’s Mercury Prize– and the Juno Award.
The New Pornographers are prepared to bring their unique blend of kitsch, sprawling classic rock, and absurdity to campus. Students should plan on arriving early to ensure themselves a chance to witness all of that on Friday.
To learn more about The New Pornographers, visit their website, www.thenewpornographers.com.