Mic Check: The New Pornographers at the Beachland Ballroom on Tuesday

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And these are only their guitar players.
It’s gotta suck being a member of the New Pornographers and not named Dan Bejar, Neko Case, or Carl Newman. Sorta like being Ringo in the Beatles. With three strong singers and songwriters in the band, the other four members pretty much amount to mere sidemen ... Of course that really isn’t the case. One listen to any of the Pornographers’ densely layered albums – start with 2003’s Electric Version – and it’s obvious this is a band. A fractured, tumultuous, and often complex band, but a band nonetheless. Bejar, Case, and Newman are the stars, but without their backing group – er, fellow bandmates – the results wouldn’t be nearly as splendid. Bejar isn’t taking part in the Pornographers’ current tour, which comes to town next week. He’s busy with his own group, the fabulous Destroyer. But Case should be there (but she too has been busy with her solo work and has been showing up intermittently), and Newman will definitely be there. It’s always a thrill watching these consummate musicians live, no matter what combo is onstage. --Michael Gallucci The New Pornographers perform at 8 p.m. Tuesday, April 22, at the Beachland Ballroom, 15711 Waterloo Road. The show is sold out, but you might be able to score some tickets on craigslist. For a preview, listen to “Letter From an Occupant” below.

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