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Tuesday, May 16, 2006
  Vancouver and Free Love
one of my favorite quotes ever comes from a book by Tom Robbins (Even Cowgirls Get The Blues, 1976). any of you who know Robbins's writing will know immediately that it's easy to pick one of his lines and quote it in oddball situations. like a music blog.
"Love is dope, not chicken soup... I mean, love is something to be passed around freely, not spooned down someone's throat for their own good by a mother who cooked it all by herself."
Free Love? you bet. toaster loves that kind of thing.

but really, i'm bringing up this point as a comparison to how musicians sometimes treat eachother in their bands. they swap members, do side projects, and basically drive us all crazy with names and connections that we need to keep up with. i feel like toronto is famous for this, especially.

but here's a case in point: The New Pornographers. these guys are really cool, and you probably already know them (canadian band, eightish members, happy "all guns blazing" pop; big sound, catchy good stuff). but what you might not know (i'll admit it! i didn't at first! exclamation point!) is that at least three of its members have side projects that are pretty damn successful. like:

Neko Case: ANTI Records
i secretly really love this woman's name. it's really hard to forget. her voice is also pretty unique, and hard to get out of your head, so all in all this chick has me tuned in. she's probably the best known out of all the NP's side projects. Fox Confessor Brings the Flood is her latest album, and it's absolutely amazing. sort of alt country, folky crooning... yep, crooning. you heard it here.


Destroyer aka Daniel Bejar: Merge Records
anyone whose first song on an album is nine minutes long has got to be either a self-indulgent jackass or a reasonably self-assured, talented guy. he could be both, i'm not entirely sure. but with the rest of the album to follow, i really feel like he's the latter guy: Destroyer's Rubies is a fantastic, complex album with a sound that will last you way longer than, say, The Killers. yeah. it's just above all that.
...also. you must read Pitchfork's review of this album. not only does he speak directly to the hype that was rampant throughout the blogosphere, but it is a CLASSIC example of the pretentiousness that is Pitchfork's entire existence. hail the royal pitchfork staff. gotta love that.

A.C. Newman: Matador Records
lastly on this list is the frontman of the NP himself. his voice is absolutely unmistakable. it is perfect for the sound he so obviously prefers; though The Slow Wonder is very much his own creation, it still sounds much like the NP records. it is catchy, hooky pop that does it for him best. here, though, it's stripped down a bit, with less of that happy in-your-face pop and more of a variety, with ballads to boot. the guy knows his shit. you just can't deny that.


there are others. they're incredibly talented people. to know more about their projects and individual endeavors, click on "other projects" when you get onto their site that i so kindly linked you to at the top of this post. crazy Vancouverians. (that doesn't exactly work.)

buy any and all of these artists from Amp Camp, and tell them hello from me.
 
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