A.C. Newman, Broken West | Logan Square Auditorium | Rock, Pop, Etc | Chicago Reader

A.C. Newman, Broken West Recommended Member Picks All Ages Early Warnings (Music) Soundboard Critics' Picks

When: Wed., March 25, 8 p.m. 2009

“Few have the luxury of B sides, no / But I do, I’ve got buckets full,” Carl Newman sings on “Submarines of Stockholm,” from his new Get Guilty (Matador). He writes so many great pop songs that his main band, the New Pornographers (where Dan Bejar also contributes material), can’t record them all—in 2004 he launched a solo career to get a few more out into the world, and there are a dozen strong ones on the latest record. Newman involved a crowd of musicians in the project, including Superchunk drummer Jon Wurster and pop-noir singer Nicole Atkins, but the sound is still smaller than in the New Pornographers, with arrangements that are a bit less frothy and dense. There’s no missing the elaborate craftsmanship of these tunes, though. Newman’s elliptical lyrics, ornate harmonic constructions, and splendidly subversive melodic lines—which take unexpected turns through wonderful tangles of pop hooks—require multiple listens before you can really unpack and appreciate all the richness he puts into them. The Broken West opens. —Peter Margasak

Price: $15

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