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The New Pornographers

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Biography

Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada (1997 – present)

The New Pornographers are a Canadian group formed in 1997 in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. Their sound is influenced by that of such bands as The Cars and Cheap Trick, but they use much more sophisticated rhythms and chord changes. Although it was widely reported that the New Pornographers got their name from a pamphlet put out by televangelist Jimmy Swaggart condemning rock ‘n’ roll as “the new pornography,” Carl Newman has stated that he came up with the name after watching Shohei Imamura’s The Pornographers (1966).

Carl Newman, who writes most of the band’s material, has said, “When I seriously started to try to write songs, my main influences were, like, Burt Bacharach, Jim Webb, and Brian Wilson. Those were the guys I kinda looked at their music and went, ‘What the hell are they doing here?’ I was just fascinated by the structures and the harmonics.”

The melody of the first and eponymous track on their second album Electric Version, for instance, begins with an arpeggiated diminished triad —- a rare and strange opening flourish for a pop song.

The band has released five albums to date:
Mass Romantic (2000)
Electric Version (2003)
Twin Cinema (2005)
Challengers (2007)
Together (2010)

The band members include:
- Carl Newman - vocals, guitar, ebow, synthesizer, harmonica, pump organ, xylophone
- Dan Bejar - vocals, guitar, synthesizer, melodion
- Kathryn Calder - vocals, piano
- Neko Case - vocals, tambourine
- John Collins - bass, guitar, synthesizer, ebow, vocals
- Kurt Dahle - drums, percussion, vocals

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