I know Sean is all enthusiastic about it, but thus far I am underwhelmed by the recently leaked (thanks to Catbirdseat for the heads up) Twin Cinema. Maybe it'll grow on me, since my second & third times through were much better than my very lukewarm first (more spins needed), but it still feels like something is lacking on this latest New Porn disc, which drops on August 23rd. I responded so immediately to both Mass Romantic & (my #1 album of 2003) Electric Version, not to mention frontman Carl Newman's 2004 solo LP The Slow Wonder, so it's kinda disappointing that it didn't blow me away, like this fantastic Electric Version track did a couple years back.
MP3 The New Pornographers - "Graceland"
Perhaps Twin Cinema just wasn't what I expected from the Pornographers, who have crafted several slower-paced songs that lack some of the bombast that coursed through the veins of their previous efforts. Or maybe the new material just isn't as ridiculously catchy as the rest of the Canuck power-pop supergroup's output. While I got excited when the album's title track was posted in April, both Rachel & I were somewhat unimpressed with it. "Twin Cinema" sounded like good ol' New Porn, but it didn't quite stand out like we thought it should. Thus far, it feels like Twin Cinema just doesn't beg the highway sing-a-longs that the first two discs did (whether we knew the actual lyrics or not). This track (previously linked to back in October '04, courtesy Insound) is off the "rarities" disc of last year's Matador at Fifteen compilation, and dammit if it isn't catchier than anything on Twin Cinema.
MP3 The New Pornographers - "Mass Romantic"
MP3 The New Pornographers - "The Laws Have Changed"
As I'm having a tough time picking a true standout track, I'm not posting any songs from Twin Cinema, though Stereogum & STG are both doing so. These two tracks (courtesy Matador) are two of the band's best efforts IMO & should be listened to repeatedly (also check out the overly-detailed "Laws Have Changed" analysis from Clap Clap if you're so inclined). In cased you missed it, LHB points to a New Porn tour preview from Rolling Stone online.
BTW: I'm not saying that I dislike Twin Cinema. It really is growing on me.
something to shed some light, use it tonite
While I'm still struggling to get things moving & bring this blog fully up-to-date, here are a few brief/random musings to tide you over a little (I hope):
Just a taste of recent concert pix, since I've been slow on the write up.
Is anybody else as bored to tears with the new season of Six Feet Under as I am thus far? Yawn. It looks like they're gonna drive Billy nuts again to spice things up. How original. I hope they manage to wrap things up alright.
Ditch the HBO on Monday nites (you can catch SFU reruns all week) & tune into TNT's excellent new show, The Closer. You ask, "Who needs another crime drama?" Well, this one is actually character-driven (Kyra Sedgwick is an absolute delight) & doesn't suck. It's a welcome addition to the summer TV schedule now that the mediocre fourth season of The Shield is over.
While on the subject of summer series, the second season of Denis Leary's hilarious firefighter drama Rescue Me premiered Tuesday (6/21) on FX. Miss out on the first season? Netflix that sh** & get caught up already.
No, I haven't seen the new new Batman yet, though I'm looking forward to doing so. I've been too busy enjoying my abfab dvd of Northern Exposure's (an old fave) Emmy-winning third season. Loving it, loving it, loving it.
FYI: For those of you who enjoyed last week's acoustic Hold Steady track, The Current is having another fund drive. This time, they have t-shirts.
Lastly, TV Shows on DVD delivered the good news yesterday that the third season of Canadian sketch legend The Kids in the Hall is now available for pre-order - and is shipping this friday. Once again, this is through the KITH's online store, where you can get the new dvd set several months before it will be available in stores or through other online merchants. I've ordered from them twice before (thrice now) & have yet to be disappointed.