Tonight: Catch The New Pornographers Up at White Oak Music Hall (Plus Video!)

Yes, I realize Chris Brown is playing somewhere in Houston this evening. And no, I emphatically do not give a single shit about that, and neither should you. Why? Well, because instead of giving your hard-earned dollars so you can watch a pathetic manbaby who likes to beat on women attempt to rap/sing over lukewarm R&B, you could be witnessing something awesome (and for fewer of those dollars, to boot).

Like, say, Canadian superstars The New Pornographers, who are up at White Oak Music Hall tonight with tourmate Waxahatchee. The former band is a perennial fave of mine, primarily because they somehow manage to create this absolutely picture-perfect pop sound that’s equal parts wild, don’t-give-a-damn joy and sly-winking, subtle snark.

The band’s music brings together elements of every pop icon you can imagine, filters the amalgam through a clear-eyed-yet-nostalgic screen, and presents it full-speed, driving the sound right straight into your goddamn ears, where it will live and live and live. Seriously; I first heard “Letter From An Occupant,” “To Wild Homes,” and “Centre for Holy Wars,” from the band’s debut album Mass Romantic, not long after that album was released back in 2000…and yet even now, as soon as the first bars of any of those three songs come on my car stereo, I find myself singing and howling along at the top of my lungs. These folks build that most elusive creature of all, a pop song that genuinely lasts.

New album Whiteout Conditions, which came out barely a month ago, follows in the footsteps of that initial exuberant blast, with frontman Carl Newman and singer Neko Case still pulling off these awesome, propulsive, heartfelt duets over fuzzed-out keys, thumping drums, and guitars Elvis Costello would be proud to call his own.

Check out the video for lead single “High Ticket Attractions,” in which a simple squabble in Chemistry class very quickly morphs into something a whole lot crazier (and Hunger Games-esque):

Of course, if the above that doesn’t sound like a good thing to you, you’ve got a few worthy alternatives, all of which I also heartily support & endorse:

The Walters/Summer Salt/El Lago @ Walter’s
On Sight #15, featuring Foreseen, Bloodhound, Skourge, United Races, & Erupt @ Satellite Bar ($10)
Thurs., May 4 – NE-HI/Young Girls/Since Always @ White Oak Music Hall
Thurs., May 4 – Blaggards @ Mid Main Lofts Art Garden

Get on it, y’all.


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