New Pornographers and Midlake play Battery Park. - Oh My Rockness

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New Pornographers and Midlake play Battery Park.

June 26, 2007
Is it just me, or does it seem like the New Pornographers play here every year around the 4th of July, often outdoors and for free? Maybe I'm just making that up, but it certainly seems that these Canadians only show up in NYC right around Independence Day to play their delightfully melodic pop. Perhaps this is a calculated move by the collective? Maybe A.C. and crew know that you don't get as much "oomph" out of their soaring hand-clap choruses if it's cold and dreary outside. And chances are high that Battery Park on the 4th of July will be anything but cold and dreary.

Maybe this band realizes that in order to fully get into what New Pornographers are all about, you need the backdrop of humidity, hot dogs, the Statue of Liberty and clear blue skies dramatically turning to purple, red and green skies by nightfall. If there ever was a "summer" band perfect for this holiday, the New Pornographers are it.

For a quick debriefing, Vancouver's New Pornographers are one of the most popular indie-pop bands (in this land, at least) of the last few years. People just go crazy for their catchy Beach Boys-meets-Cheap Trick melodic power. It's feel-good harmonious music that's quite good for grilling to. I lost track of how many current members they have in the band, but I know leader A.C. Newman will always bring a crew of exceptional musicians (which have included Destroyer's Dan Bejar and Neko Case, to name just a few) to help create his expansive songs of unbridled, bouncy enthusiasm. I guess they just make music that makes people happy.

Opening for New Pornographers are Midlake. These Texans also play super melodic and optimistic pop, like New Pornographers. But these guys substitute the "power" in "power-pop" with "country." Think of their breezy pop as a cross between Fleetwood Mac and The Flaming Lips. It's good stuff.

Oh, and a special note: this show is free, but you needed to reserve your ticket in advance. So unfortunately, don't expect to just roll up and hear New Pornographers play painlessly. Life can be sunny, especially in New Pornographers' world, but it's not THAT sunny.

New Pornographers and Midlake play Battery Park, on Wednesday, July 4th.


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