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New Pornographers with Destroyer & Immaculate Machine
at Bimbo's 365 on 9/27 & 9/28
by Jeremy Sampson on Sep 16, 2005
For devotees of indie pop, September 27th and 28th mark an early arrival of holiday season. Canadian powerhouses The New Pornographers and Destroyer team up with up-and-coming countrymen Immaculate Machine to form a delightful bill at Bimbo's. All three bands take the indie pop credo seriously, creating melodic and catchy tunes focused heavily on harmonies, arrangements and songcraft, while remaining complex and slightly inaccessible, which typically keeps the mainstream at bay. Like their Eastern Canada counterparts in Broken Social Scene, Metric, Stars, et. al., these three groups all work together and share each other's members in highly collective crossover environments. Their stories in a moment.
First, I wanted to share a theory I recently read on why there are so many enormously talented bands coming out of Canada in the last few years. Twenty some-odd years ago our neighbors to the north introduced a new music education program into public schools, teaching youngsters basic music theory and ensuring that all kids played instruments growing up. The theory postulates that today's wave of amazing music from Canada is a direct product of that system. Throw the Arcade Fire into the mix and it's certainly tough to argue the point. It's hard to know for sure, but it sure makes me want to support youth music education programs even further.
The night will begin with Immaculate Machine, a band quickly gaining momentum and very likely thrilled to be included on this tour. The threesome are from Victoria, B.C., where they met in high school. The group caught a big break at the end of a self-promoted tour in 2004 when, at a show in Vancouver, they met Destroyer's producers and caught the eye of Mint Records, the New Porno's label. They released their 2005 Mint debut Ones and Zeroes to rave reviews and got invited on tour as a resounding stamp of approval. Their sound is energetic and positive, though not overly sugary, but always with the drive and purpose of a young band making a statement. Immaculate Machine sing in three-part harmonies with crashing drums supported by keys and electric guitar. Female bandmember Kathryn Calder sings back-up vocals on the New Pornographers' recent smash Twin Cinema, and she also very recently learned that Pornographers' frontman Carl ("AC") Newman is her long-lost uncle.
Next up is Destroyer, initially conceived as a solo project for The New Pornographers' Dan Bejar. Bejar is the theatric and nasal male voice which appears on the Pornos records, his contributions always providing a slightly different twist on the pop music formula. Destroyer is no exception. Over the years, Bejar has become known for his increasingly difficult to decipher lyrics and literary undertones, which give his music a folky story-telling feel. It can also feel a bit heavier and more haunting, though it always maintains sticky hooks and pop sensibilities. No one ever said pop music needed to be happy or simple.
The headlining New Pornographers were themselves really just a side project initially – a "supergroup" fitting the Canadian indie scene's top talents together. The most important names are Newman, Bejar and vocal chanteuse Neko Case. The results of the experiment, quite logically if you think about it, were astounding as a sum. Years later, the full-fledged band is far more successful (and frankly, better) than anything they have done individually.
Not only are they one of the biggest name in indie music, the Pornos are a shining example of a band taking full advantage of its talent. Since their new album was reviewed in this space very recently, you can get a sense for their sound and new offerings, just see below.
Don't miss the best Canada and -- perhaps most importantly -- pop music, have to offer
Tuesday Sept. 27 and Wednesday, September 28
Bimbo's 365 Club
by Jeremy Sampson on Sep 16, 2005