The New Pornographers play a stripped-down set in The Current studio

The New Pornographers perform in The Current studio
A.C. Newman of The New Pornographers performs in The Current studio (Nate Ryan | MPR)
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The New Pornographers perform in The Current studio (full session + interview)
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  • The New Pornographers perform in The Current studio (full session + interview) 23:27
  • The New Pornographers - Whiteout Conditions (Live on The Current) 03:54
  • The New Pornographers - High Ticket Attractions (Live on The Current) 03:34
  • The New Pornographers - We've Been Here Before (Live on The Current) 03:02

A longtime hallmark of the New Pornographers' songs has been slightly melancholy lyrics wrapped in lively, major-key music. "I think a lot of people listen to music as a sort of escape," says The New Pornographers' A.C. Newman. "I've always loved a song like 'Daydream Believer' or 'Happy Together' because something about it is just like a drug; it makes you feel happy. When I started writing my own music, it wasn't conscious, but instead of being depressed and writing a sad, depressed song, I thought I would rather take that and try and make something that is sort of uplifting."

That said, Newman says the lyrics remain bittersweet. "It's hard to write a 'Daydream Believer'," Newman says. "I've always wanted to, but it's hard."

Newman — along with drummer Joe Seiders, violinist Simi Stone and keyboardist Kathryn Calder — stopped at The Current's studio for a session hosted by Brian Oake and Jill Riley. The band performed stripped-down, acoustic versions of songs from their latest album, Whiteout Conditions.

The New Pornographers were in town to play a show at First Avenue, but that's not the only connection the band have to Minnesota. It turns out the video for their song, "High Ticket Attractions," was shot in Minnesota by area filmmaker Dan Huiting. "Dan called us up and said, 'Hey, I have access to a high school that's about to be demolished, so we can go in there and wreck it as much as we want'," Newman explains. "I thought, 'That's good — let's run with that.' Dan Huiting did the whole thing."

Listen to the complete interview to hear more from A.C. Newman, including the ongoing mystery of Dan Bejar and the New Pornographers' key to being a sustainable band for more than 16 years.

Songs Performed


"Whiteout Conditions"
"High Ticket Attractions"
"We've Been Here Before"
All songs from the New Pornographers' 2017 release, Whiteout Conditions, available on Collected Works/Concord Music.

Hosted by Brian Oake and Jill Riley
Produced by Anna Reed
Engineered by Michael DeMark and Elijah Deaton-Berg
Visuals by Nate Ryan
Web feature by Luke Taylor

Resources


The New Pornographers - official site

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9 Photos

  • The New Pornographers perform in The Current studio
    The New Pornographers perform in The Current studio (Nate Ryan | MPR)
  • The New Pornographers perform in The Current studio
    Simi Stone and Kathryn Calder of The New Pornographers in The Current studio (Nate Ryan | MPR)
  • The New Pornographers perform in The Current studio
    The New Pornographers perform in The Current studio (Nate Ryan | MPR)
  • The New Pornographers perform in The Current studio
    Kathryn Calder of The New Pornographers performs in The Current studio (Nate Ryan | MPR)
  • The New Pornographers perform in The Current studio
    The New Pornographers perform in The Current studio (Nate Ryan | MPR)
  • The New Pornographers perform in The Current studio
    Simi Stone of The New Pornographers performs in The Current studio (Nate Ryan | MPR)
  • The New Pornographers perform in The Current studio
    The New Pornographers perform in The Current studio (Nate Ryan | MPR)
  • The New Pornographers perform in The Current studio
    After the session, left to right: The Current's David Safar, The New Pornographers' A.C. Newman, The Current's Brian Oake and Jill Riley, the New Pornographers' Simi Stone and Kathryn Calder, The Current's Michael DeMark, the New Pornographers' Joe Seiders. (Nate Ryan | MPR)
  • The New Pornographers portrait
    The New Pornographers portrait; left to right: Simi Stone, Joe Seiders, A.C. Newman, Kathryn Calder (Nate Ryan | MPR)

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