The New Pornographers – Live from SoHo
The New Pornographers have released a live album, available exclusively from iTunes, that was recorded at the Apple Store in Manhattan’s SoHo neighborhood in December of 2007. TNP was a bit of an acquired taste for me. I had been a Neko Case fan for a few years when a friend gave me copies of Challengers (2007) and Mass Romantic (2000). I can’t say I loved them at first listen. There were a few catchy songs, but nothing that really reached out and grabbed me. Three or four listens later though, and I couldn’t get many of the songs out of my head. Which, not coincidentally, has been true of some of my favorite artists (like PJ Harvey).
TNP is hard to categorize. They are an eclectic group made up of seven, sometimes eight, members of other bands, kind of like an indie super group of sorts. The most recognizable names in the group are alt country sweetheart Neko Case and Destoyer front man Dan Bejar. Together they make some really odd power pop music, which doesn’t sound like it would be very good, but it is! It really really is!
I have to admit, some of the songs are actually better and more enjoyable in the live set than they are on the studio albums, especially All the Old Showstoppers. And one of the standout tracks has to be their cover of ELO’s “rock and roll classic” Don’t Bring Me Down, which you can see from their appearance on French TV HERE (sans the lovely Ms. Case unfortunately).
Overall, it’s a very good live album. Well produced & the sound quality is great. My only complaint is that it’s too short, just eleven tracks, with a few obvious deletions. (No Myriad Harbour ? Seriously?) But that’s alright. It’s still totally worth the download!