It's been a decade now since the New Pornographers made the North American indie-rock scene. That the band was a side project for almost everyone involved—and that long-gestating debut Mass Romantic would eclipse every member's other gigs—was the insider rock-crit cherry on the ice-cream sundae of its success. Somewhere along the line, though, they lost their way: settling into lame MOR clichés, jettisoning bite for balm, in serious danger of becoming another face in the almost-adult-contemporary crowd. So it's a pleasure to report that on Together, the New Pornographers have their shit, er, back together, cranking out mildly ironic gems of their peculiar brand of power-pop Americana. Are they still stuck in the '60s? Kinda. Are Dan Bejar and Carl Newman's voices reedy and raspy as fuck? Of course. Do they have the sense to put not-so-secret weapon/alt-country force-of-nature Neko Case out front to steal the record out from under everybody else? You betcha—and that's why we can't stop spinning it. With My Gold Mask. 18+.
Fri., June 11, 8 p.m., 2010