Secret Serpents presents the A.C. Newman 2009 Winter Tour
2/20* Vancouver, BC - The Biltmore Cabaret - Jeff Kleinsmith
2/21* Seattle, WA - Neumos - Jesse LeDoux
2/22* Portland, OR - Doug Fir Lounge - Dan Stiles
2/24* Sacramento, CA - Harlow’s - Lonny Unitus
2/25* San Diego, CA - Casbah - Steve Walters
2/26* Los Angeles, CA - Troubadour - TBA
2/27* Santa Barbara, CA - Soho Restaurant and Music Club - Thomas Scott
2/28* San Francisco, CA - The Independent - Chuck Sperry
3/1* Eugene, OR - John Henry's - TBA
3/10* Ithaca, NY - Castaways - Hero Design
3/11* Toronto, ON - Lee's Palace - Gregg Gordon
3/12* Montreal, QC - Il Motore - Lil Tuffy
3/13* Providence, RI - Club Hell - Jeff Matz
3/14* Boston, MA - Paradise - Nate Duval
3/15* New York, NY - Bowery Ballroom - Alan Hynes
3/17** Philadelphia, PA - Johnny Brenda’s - Heads of State
3/18** Washington, DC - Black Cat - Micah Smith
3/19** Chapel Hill, NC - Cat’s Cradle - Us & Them
3/20** Atlanta, GA - The Earl - Methane Studios
3/21** Nashville, TN - Mercy Lounge - Andy Vastagh
3/22** St. Louis, MO - Blueberry Hill - TBA
3/24** Minneapolis, MN - 400 Bar - TBA
3/25** Chicago, IL - Logan Square - Dan Crosshair
3/26** Pontiac, MI - The Pike Room - TBA
3/27** Cleveland, OH - The Grog Shop -TBA
3/28** Pittsburgh, PA - Andy Warhol Museum - Strawberryluna
3/29** Brooklyn, NY - The Bell House - Jason Munn/The Small Stakes
* w/ Dent May & His Magnificent Ukulele
** w/ The Broken West
from Matador Records:
A.C. Newman is neither Hawaiian nor Harvard grad, but oh, yes he can. This Inauguration Day, the lisping ringleader of that maximalist pop conglomerate The New Pornographers unveils his second solo album, Get Guilty.
Pitchfork called his 2004 solo debut The Slow Wonder "soulful sing-alongs with grit, pop nuggets that hold up to hours of repeat play, and ultimately, the sound of a great songwriter hitting his stride." Get Guilty both expands on and synthesizes his talents, with the introspection and nuance of The New Pornographers' last album Challengers, but with more immediacy and the excitability of his most-loved songs.
Get Guilty showcases beautifully Newman's fascinating blend of catchiness and impenetrability – witness the first single, "The Palace At 4 A.M.", a Top 40 singalong that namechecks a Donald Barthelme short story and talks of Polynesian dives, bingo, and bombs. "Thunderbolts" is from the point of view of a gang of young troublemaking gods, and "Like A Hitman, Like A Dancer" distills the 1967 film "Le Samourai" into a simple tale of indecision. Still, those simple thrilling hair-on-back-of-neck moments so familiar to Newman fans are plentiful here: The explosive "change your mind" in "Changeling (Get Guilty)"; the unexpected heart-tugging harmonies of "Like A Hitman"; the crescendo coda of "The Heartbreak Rides".
"Spot The Influence" is a perennial sport to play with Newman's songs, and he himself confoundingly explains his formula as a cross between Keith's "98.6" and 10cc's "Dreadlock Holiday." That said, he cops to "Elemental"'s guitar solo being a tribute to the band Felt, and "The Collected Works" an effort to meld George Benson's "On Broadway" with Queen's "Fat Bottomed Girls". Which could all be a ploy to deflect the Jimmy Webb comparisons, but we've seen his record collection and the guy goes deep.
Players on Get Guilty include drummers Jon Wurster (Superchunk, Mountain Goats) and Charles Burst, an array of strings, horns, and woodwinds, and vocalists Nicole Atkins and Mates Of State. It sounds familiarly lush but not overworked, and even intimate. Dramatic themes recur – change, water, self-doubt, gods and prophets – yet an optimistic beauty prevails. The stately opening track gives way to the orchestral, romantic road trip of "The Heartbreak Rides," and the album closes with one of his most direct songs ever, "All of My Days and All Of My Days Off," a love letter to his wife about their wedding day.