New Pornographers played the Orpheum last night.
- Boston’s “Foreplay” on the sound system before the band comes on. Comes off as witty.
- On the records Dan Bejar’s singing doesn’t stand out as much as it does live. Something about the way he approaches the microphone makes him look like he’s always about to rap rather than sing. Bejar leaves the stage during the songs he’s not singing. This seems churlish to me. He couldn’t just stand there and bang a tambourine on his hip?
- “My Slow Descent into Alcoholism,” the best song they ever wrote — probably my favorite song anybody released last decade — appears in the encore. It is great, but all live versions lack the precision which is part of the glory of the studio version — precision married to absolutely unmoderated rocking-out-ness. See:
- Kathryn Calder, once an occasional vocal stand-in for Neko Case, is now a full member of the band, playing keyboards and singing backup. Both facially and in manner she reminds me very powerfully of Doris Finsecker.
- Show ends with “Testament to Youth in Verse.” Openers the Dodos come on stage, everybody’s singing the big “no no no…” at the end of the song, swaying, waving goodbye, drinking beers. The cellist in the back picks up a saxophone. It’s an almost exact replica of the credit sequence of Saturday Night Live. On purpose?