Pop sublimity

Jeremy Gordon

Dear Kathryn Calder,

You don’t know who I am, which is fine, because up until a few nights ago, I didn’t know who you were either. But all of that changed as soon as the lights went out at the Metro (3730 N. Clark St.), the giant sign that read “NEW PORNOGRAPHERS” lit up, the sold-out crowd began to scream and you and your bandmates walked out on stage. The fact that it was the full line-up – A.C. Newman, Neko Case, Dan Bejar, the whole shebang – was impressive.

The first time I realized how wonderful a collective you guys are was when in between backing vocals. I saw you looking over at A.C. Newman and Neko Case with a look of admiration in your eyes. You’re related to Newman, but this wasn’t just familial love. This was musical love, expressed through the bouncy power-pop and soaring harmonies that you guys just do so well. From the crunchy guitar lines during “Twin Cinema” to the swirling hop of “Mass Romantic,” it was a great production. Though Bejar was incredibly drunk and out of it, every song he stumbled out to sing was a gem – even “Jackie, Dressed in Cobras” with its weird gypsy vibe.

And when everyone joined in for “The Bleeding Heart Show,” that was as magical a show moment as it gets. Never mind that I don’t know your records by heart. I was consistently entertained. That consistency is something that doesn’t happen all the time with live music. Hell, I fell asleep during an Andrew Bird show once and I love his records.

So maybe this is an ode to the great show you guys put on, or maybe it’s about the adorable shake you did while playing tambourine. But as long as you guys are touring, I think I have to see you every time.

You in particular were great, but it was more than just the musical stylings of an adorable keyboardist – it was all of you guys.

– Jeremy Gordon