Storied indie band The New Pornographers are coming to Roots N Blues N BBQ

The indie pop superstars are coming to Columbia.

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The New Pornographers might be indie music’s best known “supergroup,” featuring certified stars like alt-country legend Neko Case, frontman Carl Newman and (formerly, as of now) guitarist/vocalist Dan Bejar. Their hyper-infectious pop tunes took the music world by storm in the early 2000s, specifically with albums like “Mass Romantic” and “Twin Cinema.” Unusual vocals paired with burly guitar riffs and frenetic, mature instrumentation made those early records massive critical and commercial successes. If Weezer was power pop for the lonely high schooler, The New Pornographers were power pop for when those kids grew up.

The band will visit Columbia on Sept. 29, where it will perform at Roots N Blues N BBQ.

The group hasn’t stopped making music since those early days though. In fact, just two days before it performs here in Columbia, the band will release its eighth studio album, “In the Morse Code of Break Lights.” This will be the band’s second record without feature player Bejar, who had a massive role in most of the band’s earlier work.

Bejar had been in the band since its formation by Newman in 1997. Newman assembled a group of Vancouver musicians (including Case, Bejar, keyboardist Blaine Thurier, bassist John Collins and drummer Fisher Rose) who began practicing in ‘97, but split soon after to work on separate projects. Newman thought of the name “The New Pornographers” after watching the 1966 Japanese film “The Pornographers.”

In 1999, Rose left the band and Newman brought in Kurt Dahle to replace him. Finally the band began recording again in early 2000, and released its wonderful debut album “Mass Romantic” later that year. After a brief return to their solo projects, the band released “Electric Version” in 2003.

In 2005, the band released what is perhaps its most celebrated album, “Twin Cinema,” a cheery indie pop masterpiece. Having already gained notoriety off of the band’s first two releases and Case’s very successful solo career, “Twin Cinema” was highly anticipated. Based on critical reception, it delivered. The album was placed at 150 on music publication Pitchfork’s top 200 albums of the 2000s and was given four stars by Rolling Stone magazine.

Since their triumphant 2005, The New Pornographers have released four more albums: “Challengers” in ‘07, “Together” in ‘10, “Brill Bruisers” in ‘14 and “Whiteout Conditions” in ‘17. In 2019, they release “In the Morse Code of Break Lights.”

The New Pornographers will perform at the Missouri Lottery Stage at 5:45 p.m. on Sunday.

Edited by Joe Cross | jcross@themaneater.com

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