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Tuesday, January 20th, 2009

Like A Hitman, Like A Dancer

Review and giveaway of A.C. Newman's Get Guilty

Photo By Caleb BuyersCaleb BuyersLet’s be honest, there’s not a lot of reason for there to be a Carl Newman solo record. The man is the chief songwriter in The New Pornographers, an outfit that turns out material at a pretty decent rate all things considered, and it’s not as though he has a metal jones to itch that wouldn’t work in the context of the Pornographers – when he puts on the AC Newman hat, he’s still the consummate popsmith.

But the whys and wherefores are his business – for the rest of us, there’s no sense in looking a gift horse in the mouth. And in this case, that gift is entitled Get Guilty. Like 2004’s The Slow Wonder, any of the songs on Guilty could have easily appeared on a Pornographers record but unlike that record, which seemed to deliberately apply a more traditional rock band ethos to the proceedings, Guilty seems more willing to incorporate the more ornate flourishes that you’d associate with a proper Pornographers release.

That said, without having to balance out the large cast of players in the Pornographers, the AC Newman experience is leaner and punchier – more of a raiding party than the mothership of the New Pornographers. And for those wondering where all the fast songs that weren’t on Challengers went, well, at least some of them are here – “Like A Hitman, Like A Dancer” and “The Palace At 4AM” have a rhythmic drive and energy that hasn’t really been there on the last couple Pornographer records. Of course, whether they’d have fit is another discussion altogether – the important things is that they’re here now and they’re excellent, as is pretty much all of Guilty.

Get Guilty is out today, and courtesy of Last Gang Records, I’ve got copies on CD to give away to five lucky Canadians (sorry Americans, you’ll have to console yourselves today with a new president). To enter, leave me a comment below telling me something you’re guilty of and make sure your email is there, spam-proofed as need be, so I can contact you. Contest closes at midnight, January 26. Also remember that AC Newman are heading out on tour in February, including a March 11 date at Lee’s Palace in Toronto.

NPR has a short interview with Newman, Magnet a longer one, and Allmusic has traced out his musical history from the early days with Superconductor through to the present. Update: Stereogum has another live session video from Newman to follow up the one premiered at Pitchfork last week. Update 2: The whole album is streaming at Spinner.

MP3: AC Newman – “There Are Maybe Ten Or Twelve”
MP3: AC Newman – “Submarines Of Stockholm”
Stream: AC Newman / Get Guilty
MySpace: AC Newman

Co-Pornographer Neko Case will release Middle Cyclones on March 3 and blow into town for two dates at Trinity-St Paul’s on April 17 and 18. Tickets for each of those shows are $35.50.

MP3: Neko Case – “People Got A Lotta Nerve”

And Neko’s ex-Boyfriends The Sadies will be Jon Langford’s band when he plays the Horseshoe on February 27 – tickets are $12.50 and that gets you not one but TWO sets of country rocking goodness.

Not your speed but still seeking something to do that night? The Music Tapes, featuring ex-Neutral Milk Hotelier Julian Koster, will be at Lee’s Palace that same night in support of last year’s Get Guilty. Like 2004’s Music Tapes for Clouds and Tornadoes. Tickets also $12.50.

MP3: The Music Tapes – “Majesty”
Video: The Music Tapes – “Majesty”
Video: The Music Tapes – “Ministry Of Longitude”

There’ll be a lovely little show taking place at The Central in Mirvish Village next Thursday night, January 29, featuring the songwriters from a few of Toronto’s finest bands in a solo and acoustic setting – Casey Mecija of Ohbijou, Kat Burns of Forest City Lovers, Jonas Bonnetta of Evening Hymns and Gavin Gardiner of The Wooden Sky. Admission is pay-what-you-can.

The Coast are heading over to the UK for some dates next month and Clash has not only conducted a feature interview with the the Toronto boys, but set up a fancy little microsite about the band. And they’re making available to download a Born Ruffians remix of “All The Boys” from Expatriate.

MP3: The Coast – “All The Boys” (Born Ruffians remix)

The schedule for Canadian Musicfest (why do I think I’m going to be the only one not calling it Canadian Music Week?) is partially up, and by partially I mean barely. But there’s still some good information on lineups now available, foremost those of the Chart-sponsored shows at the Horseshoe. And they’re kinda stacked. Just a little. Thursday, March 12 you’ve got Chad Van Gaalen, Gentleman Reg, Women, $100, The Lovely Feathers, The Delinquints and Quest For Fire. The Friday night bill will be led by Handsome Furs and also feature Human Highway, The Bicycles, Daniel Wesley, Dinosaur Bones, Hot Panda and The Schomberg Fair. And finally, Saturday will wrap things up with The Golden Dogs, Two Hours Traffic, Young Galaxy, Rebekah Higgs, The Hundreds And Thousands, Vancougar and Hexes & Ohs. Admission to these shows is via CMF wristbands and needless to say, get there early. Of course, once in you probably won’t be able to leave but really, why would you want to?

But if you do, there’s a few other dates and venues to note. Malajube, who will release Labyrinthes on February 10, are at the El Mocambo on March 12. That same night both Angela Desveaux and The Rural Alberta Advantage are at the Gladstone and 6 Day Riot are at Rancho Relaxo. On the Saturday, Basia Bulat and Herman Dune are at Lee’s Palace while The Ting Tings are at the Mod Club. Still more to come, obviously, but things look to be shaping up alright.

Joel Plaskett will play Massey Hall – yes, Massey Hall – on May 23. Tickets from $29.50 to $39.50.

BlogTO talks to the members of Bruce Peninsula, who have a string of local dates surrounding the February 3 release of A Mountain Is A Mouth. There’s a January 31 date at the Horseshoe, a February 4 in-store at Soundscapes and the February 22 album release party at the Polish Combatants Hall.

By : Frank Yang at 8:15 am
Category: Contests,General

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

RSS Feed for this post28 Responses.
  1. Adam K. says:

    I’m guilty of downloading this fantastic album and being too broke to purchase a copy! Gahh!

  2. Thierry says:

    I’m guilty of not going out and buying this album on its release day because I expect to win a copy!

  3. alan says:

    any idea of further Neko Case or Angela Desveaux dates in the Ottawa or Montreal area? They are not too quick to update their show listings….

  4. Shelly says:

    I’m guilty of buying too many albums.

  5. Paul says:

    I am guilty of entering too many Chromewaves contests.

  6. Tualla says:

    ditto. Our man Frank delivers when it comes to good contests.

    so:
    Tualla **at** Gmail

  7. Jab says:

    Same question as Alan except regarding Western Canada.

  8. Jab says:

    Same question as Alan except regarding Western Canada.

  9. Jab says:

    Also, I guess I’m guilty of double posting.

  10. Frank Yang says:

    sorry, got no info on other CDN dates for Neko (or Angela) – this one came from the Toronto promoter.

  11. Kelly says:

    I’m guilty of having a crush on Malajube. Mais oui!

  12. Garett says:

    I’m guilty of loving Chromewaves too much.

  13. Matt Hawker says:

    I’m guilty of holding off on buying the newest new pornographers album until recently and slapping myself for doing so. And ditto to all the comments above.
    matthewrhawker@gmail

  14. Bruce says:

    I’m guilty of having a clear conscience. (At the risk of short-circuiting any nearby FemmeBots.)

  15. Kaley says:

    I’m guilty of not eating nearly enough servings of fruit in a day.

    kjtevans
    at
    gmail

  16. Anonymous says:

    I’m guilty of being handsome and charming.

    neverforget
    at
    gmail

  17. Paul says:

    I’m guilty of being handsome and charming.

    neverforget
    at
    gmail

  18. nowhere says:

    I’m guilty of going to too many shows. Actually, maybe that’s not something you can be guilty of.

  19. The R.O.B. says:

    I’m guilty of shameless self promotion… visit my blog ((London, On:) Burgeoning Metropolis)

    londononburgeoningmetropolis
    AT
    gmail
    DOT
    com

  20. Michael says:

    Hi Frank. I’m guilty of not saying hi to you at the LOT show. Even though we’ve met before. At your brother’s wedding… and at his bachelor party.

    michaeltseng08
    AT
    gmail
    DOT
    com

  21. Michael says:

    I’m maybe guilty of hesitating (to enter this giveaway)

    mbroadhurst
    at
    gmail

  22. ennsee says:

    I’m guilty of trying to expand my musical tastes.

    ennsee72gmailcom

  23. Alicia says:

    I’m guilty of being shamelessly self involved.

    ellialic
    at
    yorku
    dot
    ca

  24. Thierry says:

    I’m guilty of forgetting to include a spam-proof email in my previous entry: tcote76 AT gmail DOT com

  25. Rob says:

    I’m guilty of getting far too trashed at a birthday party last night resulting in a hangover and what I’m pretty sure was a makeout session with another dude. o h dear.

    (ballisticlemming94@hotmail.com)

  26. thomaus says:

    I’m guilty of being in denial about aging.

    thomaus at mac dot com

  27. Bruce says:

    I’m guilty of thinking the comment Mail field would suffice for email. In case not, wrightebaATyahoodotca.

  28. Jordan says:

    I’m guilty of never actually feeling guilty about things i most likely should feel guilty about.