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Ep. #159: Carl Newman of the New Pornographers

Carl Newman is a well-respected and gifted pop songwriter who originally hails from Vancouver, British Columbia. Over the past 20 years, he has spearheaded bands like Superconductor and Zumpano, and released highly acclaimed solo records under the name A.C. Newman. While long-respected by peers and critics for his sense of melody and powerful hooks, Newman’s work reached a wider audience at the turn of the century with the emergence of the New Pornographers, a gang of singers and songwriters featuring Neko Case, Destroyer’s Dan Bejar, and Newman among others. Each of the band’s six albums has been called a classic by someone who could spot such things, including their latest LP, 2014’s Brill Bruisers, which, as their highest charting album to date, is their most impactful release since their 2000 debut, Mass Romantic. The New Pornographers are touring behind Brill Bruisers, including stops at London’s Music Hall on Feb. 6 and Guelph’s Hillside Inside festival on Feb. 7. Here, Carl and I talk about when your family gets sick, the measles and Disneyland and the anti-vaccination movement, freedom, science versus pseudoscience, happiness after sadness, preparing for and then having a kid, defining rock and ‘power-pop,’ Big Star and Cheap Trick, staying in the game versus retirement, false cheer, the Neko Case harmony lead on “Champions of Red Wine,” what Dan Bejar’s talking about and how he deals, talking about each other’s songs, being normal and wanting to do nothing, connecting with comedians, the older brother with the music, becoming a performer, working with Sloan and murderecords, how Vancouver music was treated by the rest of Canada 20 years ago, the rapid ascent of the New Pornographers, the future, the song “Hi-Rise,” and then I got my marching orders.

Related links: thenewpornographers.com vishkhanna.com

newman

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