April 18, 2017

It Came Out Magical; Top 25 New Pornographers Songs

I didn't plan to write this list, but the New Pornographer's new album inspired me and I have been listening to the band non-stop for the last two weeks. Narrowing their catalog to 25 songs was incredibly difficult and time consuming, but I will keep the commentary short and simple with just a few embedded live videos (one from each of the seven LPs).

I did not include any Dan Bejar songs. He has some great ones ("Myriad Harbor" is my favorite), but I greatly prefer Carl Newman compositions. Also, after seeing the band live Bejar's antics and overall perceived lack of interest in the band was a turnoff. Specially, he was the only member of the band who did not play on every song. He would come out on stage for his songs, but then go backstage in between. Him having no songs on the latest album "Whiteout Conditions" doesn't bother me one bit.

Final comment: I adore Neko Case, so any song she sings on automatically reaches another level for me.

Top 25 New Pornographers Songs:
25. "The Slow Descent Into Alcoholism" from 2000's Mass Romantic
24. "We've Been Here Before" from 2017's Whiteout Conditions
23. "My Shepherd" from 2010's Together
22. "Marching Orders" from 2014's Brill Bruisers
21. "The Electric Version" from 2003's Electric Version
20. "Mass Romantic" from 2000's Mass Romantic


19. "Whiteout Conditions" from 2017's Whiteout Conditions
18. "Use It" from 2005's Twin Cinema
17. "Unguided" from 2007's Challengers
16. "Moves" from 2010's Together
15. "The Jessica Numbers" from 2005's Twin Cinema
14. "Go Places" from 2007's Challengers
13. "High Ticket Attractions" from 2017's Whiteout Conditions
12. "Sweet Talk, Sweet Talk" from 2010's Together


11. "These Are The Fables" from 2005's Twin Cinema
10. "Challengers" from 2007's Challengers


9. "All For Swinging You Around" from 2003's Electric Version
8. "This Is The World Of Theater" from 2017's Whiteout Conditions


7. "From Blown Speakers" from 2003's Electric Version

6. "Letter From An Occupant" from 2000's Mass Romantic
5. "Champions of Red Wine" from 2014's Brill Bruisers
4. "Crash Years" from 2010's Together


3. "Adventures in Solitude" from 2007's Challengers
2. "Brill Bruisers" from 2014's Brill Bruisers
1. "The Bleeding Heart Show" from 2005's Twin Cinema


The New Pornographers albums ranked:
1. Challengers (I know I am in the minority here)
2. Twin Cinema
3. Brill Bruisers
4. Together
5. Whiteout Conditions
6. Electric Version
7. Mass Romantic

April 5, 2017

New music to listen to this week: New Pornographers, Chastity Belt, Big Thief, Charly Bliss...

Lots of great new stuff streaming this week! First of all, NPR is debuting the new album from the New Pornographers. As this excellent Paste review describes, it is more catchy, poppy goodness from the band. Although I do miss the "less accessible and at times gratuitously weird" songs the band has released in the past.


Secondly, Chastity Belt is streaming two new songs from their upcoming June LP. They have been around for awhile, but I just heard them for the first time last night.



Big Thief, whose debut was my #14 album of 2016, already has their second LP to be released in May, and the first track is beautiful:



Charly Bliss debuted a video for another new song from their upcoming Barsuk LP. As a father of two little girls, this video hits very close to home:



Not a new song, but Thrice debuted a stunning video for "Hurricane" yesterday:



Finally, 2017 began with two terrific fundraising campaigns with exclusive songs from nearly 200 different artists. Our First 100 Days is highlighted by new Speedy Ortiz, Rob Crow, Julien Baker, etc. All 100 songs for a $30 donation...



In the second campaign the only way to see and hear all the Rough Trade songs is to subscribe, but they do have a few streaming for free. The best songs though are new tracks from Mates of State and Nada Surf, which can't be listened except through making a donation.