The New Pornographers

124 Songs You Need to Hear Before 2014 Ends

Music is personal. It’s something that I’m never more aware of than I am at the end of every year, when best-of lists dominate the coverage at cultural publications, but the idea of “best” is one that I’ve never quite been comfortable with. It seems too objective to take into account personal taste, not to mention the reality that there’s too much music out there for even the most ambitious listener to have heard everything, or even close to everything. So let’s not use the word “best.” Instead, here are 124 songs released in 2014 that I would recommend to any music lover. Its goal is to highlight not only the year’s biggest hits, both commercially and critically, but also songs that commented on what happened in our world this year, and songs you may not have heard but that you’ll hopefully love as much as we… Read More

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The New Pornographers’ Carl Newman: “Whether People Love You or Hate You, It’s All Phantoms”

Carl Newman (aka A.C.) should be on the tourism board for Woodstock, N.Y. “I feel like small-town America has become synonymous with Walmart, strip malls, and McDonald’s,” he says one August morning, calling from his house in the renowned hippie town. “But Woodstock’s still got a lot of what drew people here in the first place. Next to Bethlehem, I think it might be the [world’s] most famous small town. I’ve got a two-and-a-half year old, and I think it’s going to be a great place to raise him.”

His burgeoning career as a Cool Dad aside, Newman is known more for his “supergroup,” The New Pornographers. Along with (his mostly Canadian) compatriots Neko Case, Dan Bejar, Kathryn Calder, John Collins, Kurt Dahle, Todd Fancey, and Blaine Thurier, Newman has crafted six albums filled with some of the most over-the-top fun in modern indie rock. The band’s latest, Brill Bruisers, is no different. It’s out this week on Matador, so we caught up with Newman to discuss it, as well as his management style, the amusement he finds in toying with trolls, and which member of The New Pornographers is actually the funniest. … Read More

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The 5 Best New Songs We Heard This Week: New Pornographers, Kimbra

It was Jenny Lewis and Jeff Tweedy last week, now it’s the New Pornographers, Spoon, and Interpol. Did ’00s indie favorites have a summit and collectively decide to own the summer? I mean, that’s cool if they did, just wondering. … Read More

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15 of the Funniest Music Videos Ever Made

The music video is, by all accounts, as much of an art form as the feature-length film, although too often these mini musical movies are too serious. Still, plenty of artists have been able to show that they do, in fact, have senses of humor — not just in general, but even when it comes to their own public personae. Here are some of the best, many of which feature cameos from famous funny people to ensure the musicians don’t have to quit their day job. … Read More

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Heavenly Indeed: The 10 Best Indie Rock Supergroups

The first album from Mister Heavenly, Out of Love, officially dropped this week, heralding the official arrival of Sup Pop’s newest indie rock supergroup. Now, though a supergroup, especially in the obsessive fan atmosphere of indie rock, always sounds like a good idea — take four musicians from great bands and they’re obviously make a great band, right? Right — they can run the gamut from wonderful to acceptable to underwhelming to just plain bad. However, since we’ve been digging Mister Heavenly’s new release these past few days, we’ve been inspired to chronicle some of the best indie rock all-star teams in recent history, from the very large and very famous to the more obscure. Click through to see some of our favorites, and let us know which of yours we’ve missed in the comments. … Read More

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Watch Every Famous Comedian Star in a New Pornographers Video

When your band is called the New Pornographers, chances are you’re going to have a pretty good sense of humor. Perhaps that explains the group’s new video for “Moves,” shot in the style of a trailer for a hilariously sensationalized movie about New Pornos main man Carl Newman’s life — and preceded by glimpse at a faux Judd Apatow-meets-Junior-style comedy called Expectant Dads. In addition to that film’s two top-billed stars, Paul Rudd and Bill Hader, the video includes cameos by just about every awesome comedian you can think of, from Daily Show all-stars John Oliver and John Hodgman to Todd Barry and the wonderful Julie Klausner (as fellow fire-haired diva Neko Case, of course). Indie rock fans, be sure to also keep your eyes peeled for Ted Leo (who recently made a similarly comedian-packed video) and Jon Wurster. Do these guys all hang out on a regular basis or something? If so, we’re very jealous. … Read More

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The Followables: 10 Indie Rockers to Follow on Twitter

The world of Twitter can be hard to navigate. We know that you’re already following us @flavorpill, but we decided it would be fun (and possibly helpful) if we rounded up some of our other Twitter favorites in a series we call “The Followables.” In this installment, inspired by The Mountain Goats’ recent appearance on Twitter, we clue you in on 10 indie rockers — the ones whose feeds aren’t obviously controlled by a publicity monkey — whose tweets are music to our ears. Add your suggestions in the comments. … Read More

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The 5 Best Music Videos of the Week

Though they only last a few minutes, music videos can be cinematic works of art. This week’s best clips are mini masterpieces of perspective, both mentally, and in terms of cinematography. Using some fancy film work, The New Pornographers give us a new outlook on the mundane, North Highlands get fit while getting up close and personal, and Bomba Estereo use the lens to let us peek inside an intimate vacation. On the more conceptual side, Broken Bells ask what happens when a vacation actually costs an arm and a leg, and Stars bend time and space as the past is literally projected across their bodies. After the jump, watch our picks for the best music videos of the week and let us know if they’ve helped you gain some new perspective. … Read More

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The Flavorpill Mixtape XXVII: Arcade Fire, Hot Hot Heat, Au Revoir Simone

This week’s mix features some names we’ve mentioned before, including Mystery Jets and Alex Winston. But the purpose of these revisits is not just to listen to these reliably brilliant acts, but to showcase their dizzying range. Also look out for new tracks by the Arcade Fire and Au Revoir Simone, as well as a promising solo debut by New Pornographers’ singer-pianist Kathryn Calder. Don’t forget to Right Click + Save As the next ten at your own pace or scroll to the bottom to download the entire mixtape after the jump. … Read More

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Indie Artists We’d Like to See Covered on Glee

We are total Gleeks. And while we love hearing top ten hits in four-part harmony every week, our favorite episodes are those that pay tribute to particular pop artists. After the wildly popular Madonna episode (and confirmation of a followup), and in anticipation of tonight’s Lady Gaga spectacular, we started thinking about which indie artists we’d most like to see covered by the McKinley High School Glee Club. Is it so crazy to hope that Puck sports an ironic mustache or Rachel Berry trades in her patterned sweaters for thick-rimmed glasses? We don’t think so. … Read More

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