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Thursday, July 24, 2014 
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+ Donato Wharton - Body Isolations
+ Svalastog - Woodwork
+ Tim Hecker - Harmony In Ultraviolet
+ Rosy Parlane - Jessamine
+ Jarvis Cocker - The Jarvis Cocker Record
+ Múm - Peel Session
+ Deloris - Ten Lives
+ Minimum Chips - Lady Grey
+ Badly Drawn Boy - Born In The U.K.
+ The Hold Steady - Boys And Girls Together
+ The Blood Brothers - Young Machetes
+ The Places - Songs For Creeps
+ Camille - Le Fil
+ Wolf Eyes - Human Animal
+ Christina Carter - Electrice
+ The Decemberists - The Crane Wife
+ Junior Boys - So This Is Goodbye
+ Various Artists - Musics In The Margin
+ Rafael Toral - Space
+ Bob Dylan - Modern Times
+ Excepter - Alternation
+ Chris Thile - How To Grow A Woman From The Ground
+ Brad Mehldau - Live in Japan
+ M Ward - Post-War
+ Various Artists - Touch 25
+ The Mountain Goats - Get Lonely
+ The White Birch - Come Up For Air
+ Camera Obscura - Let's Get Out of This Country
+ Coachwhips - Double Death
+ Various Artists - Tibetan And Bhutanese Instrumental And Folk Music, Volume 2
+ Giuseppe Ielasi - Giuseppe Ielasi
+ Cex - Actual Fucking
+ Sufjan Stevens - The Avalanche
+ Leafcutter John - The Forest And The Sea
+ Carla Bozulich - Evangelista
+ Barbara Morgenstern - The Grass Is Always Greener
+ Robin Guthrie - Continental
+ Peaches - Impeach My Bush
+ Oakley Hall - Second Guessing
+ Klee - Honeysuckle
+ The Court & Spark - Hearts
+ TV On The Radio - Return To Cookie Mountain
+ Awesome Color - Awesome Color
+ Jenny Wilson - Love And Youth
+ Asobi Seksu - Citrus
+ Marsen Jules - Les Fleurs
+ The Moore Brothers - Murdered By The Moore Brothers
+ Regina Spektor - Begin To Hope
+ The 1900s - Plume Delivery EP
+ Alejandro Escovedo - The Boxing Mirror
+ Function - The Secret Miracle Fountain
+ Sonic Youth - Rather Ripped
+ Loscil - Plume
+ Boris - Pink
+ Deadboy And The Elephantmen - We Are Night Sky
+ Glissandro 70 - Glissandro 70
+ Calexico - Garden Ruin (Review #2)
+ Calexico - Garden Ruin (Review #1)
+ The Flaming Lips - At War With The Mystics
+ The Glass Family - Sleep Inside This Wheel
+ Various Artists - Songs For Sixty Five Roses
+ The Fiery Furnaces - Bitter Tea
+ Motorpsycho - Black Hole/Blank Canvas
+ The Red Krayola - Introduction
+ Metal Hearts - Socialize
+ American Princes - Less And Less
+ Sondre Lerche And The Faces Down Quartet - Duper Sessions
+ Supersilent - 7
+ Band Of Horses - Everything All The Time
+ Dudley Perkins - Expressions
+ Growing - Color Wheel
+ Red Carpet - The Noise Of Red Carpet
+ The Essex Green - Cannibal Sea
+ Espers - II
+ Wilderness - Vessel States

44.1 kHz Archive



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New Pornographers
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Twin Cinema
Matador
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It's easier to nitpick the ones you love than to sit down and explain why you love 'em. If the first things that stick out on the New Pornographers' Twin Cinema are the flaws — amateurish cover art, an unfortunate song title ("Sing Me Spanish Techno") or two — well, that's because the Vancouver indie supergroup made so few missteps over the course of its two previous albums, Mass Romantic and The Electric Version.

Luckily, the next thing that sticks out is how great the songwriting is (again), from the multiple movements and eventual rollicking sing- along of "The Bleeding Heart Show" to the fantastic "Streets of Fire," a duet between Neko Case and Dan Bejar. (Let those eight words roll around and marinate: a duet between Neko Case and Dan Bejar. Nice.) The song's resigned embrace of the chaos all around ("sweet, sweet, sweet, sweet fire in the streets") is just one of the high points on the band's most grounded album to date, one that dials back on the hyperactive immediacy of Electric Version for something more restrained and timeless.

Nothing here surpasses the best tracks from Mass Romantic — it's hard to get over a first crush like "The Fake Headlines" — but "Use It" makes a mighty effort with its propulsive piano, crunching guitars, and well-turned phrases: "Two sips from the cup of human kindness and I'm shitfaced/ Just laid to waste." Such lines can sometimes brim over with excess cleverness when put under the microscope, but the real attraction is the voices anyway — A.C. Newman's sharp and clean, Case's warm and strong, Bejar's high- pitched and wonderfully strange on the pointillist pizzicato of "Jackie Dressed in Cobras," a sequel of sorts to the debut's "Jackie." Bejar's off-kilter compositions, about three per album, provide an essential shot of sour to offset Newman's power-pop sweet tooth. Although he seems content with being more of a secret weapon than a full-time band member, Bejar will tour with the New Pornographers this fall, with his own band Destroyer as the opening act, giving fans a rare chance to hear NP faves like "Execution Day" sung by the man himself.

Neko Case — who caused consternation for the backers of "Letter From an Occupant" by declining to come along on some tour dates earlier this summer — continues her key role as the belter-out of harmonies, but her best solo moments on Twin Cinema are melancholy. "The Bones of an Idol" tiptoes in with bells and piano before swooshing to life with slide guitar and the cries of a chorus; the lovely "These Are the Fables" goes without drums for its first half and paints with abstractions ("Ten thousand dancing girls kicking cans 'cross the sky/ No reason why") before shifting into a bouncy melody worthy of Squeeze or Madness.

In danger of hitting the point of "OK, we get it" — when that zap of newness wears off and a successful band suddenly feels less than essential — the New Pornographers instead come up pretty big on Twin Cinema, transitioning to a sound just as catchy as their old stuff but with more space for the tunes to breathe. Three solid albums and a growing pile of near-perfect singles — not bad for the band that claims to have chosen its name because they were "just fucking around."


by Dave Renard




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