The assertion that individual and ensemble careers often differ seems so self-evident that it might as well go without saying. But what of Canadian indie-rocker A.C. Newman, and the band he co-fronts, the New Pornographers? A democratic, ever-expanding lineup has served to neuter the joltingly virile power-pop the Pornographers showcased on their debut, Mass Romantic, into something limpid over the course of several studio albums. Newman's own work, meanwhile—2004's The Slow Wonder and this year's formidable Get Guilty (both on Matador)—has been consistent in its unabashed, melodic purity, drawing upon late-20th-century songcraft while staying true to its creator's idiosyncratic tendency to cobble together obtuse linguistic non sequiturs fused to synth and guitar hooks you'll catch yourself humming along to in the shower without quite realizing it. With all due respect to part-time Pornographer/alt-country doyenne Neko Case, if you have to catch one Newman-related set this year, make it this one. With the Broken West. 18+.
Tue., March 24, 8 p.m., 2009
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