New Pornographers + Stars, 6/25 Prospect Park Summer Stage


Famished New Porn frontman Carl Newman eats his own microphone

New Pornographers Download:Twin Cinema

By Rachel Khong

Woodchucks notwithstanding, Canadian power-pop power teams take to Prospect Park’s Summer Stage like fish to beaver-dammed waters. Sadies stamp and holler like some electro-shocked do-si-do, and sing songs about streams, rivers, and Manitoba (without the help of Caribou). When tainted love’s too fast to dance to, there’s cutesy Stars for slow jams—tonight, Amy Millan and Torquil Campbell are the mates of this state (borough, anyway). “Elevator Love Letter” flops, maybe, but sometime in between “Reunion” and Campbell’s melodica, things get really, really good. By “Your Ex-Lover Is Dead”—the mates’ harmonizing “live through this and you won’t look back”—most everyone’s sold. Some guy—probably the same guy who later stage dives during the New Pornographers’ set—yells “Amy, I love you!” “Ageless Beauty” is for “everybody who loves [her],” which by now is just about everybody.

Thing is, Neko’s unavailable to usurp tonight’s indie goddess throne. In place of the “elusive Neko Case” (says the concert program) is Carl Newman’s niece in a scoop neck; in place of Dan Bejar is, well, Carl Newman in a regular shirt. The would-be super-group at first rocks cautiously. Twin Cinema may ultimately suck, but for now it’s catchy enough. Newman asks if “Canada’s in the house” (it is), and while 50,000 hipsters are frequently wrong, 50,000 Canadians aren’t. By “Mass Romantic,” even old guys (no, especially old guys) are dancing en masse. Nobody cares that the niece messes up a little during “Electric Version,” though some are probably peeved Bejar’s not around to destroy “Testament to Youth In Verse.” All that matters, really, is the huge flag draped behind them (red, white, and leafy) and the sweet love we feel for our Northward brethren and their pop music. If this is the new pornography, just call us ultra-horny.