Kirsten O'Brien/The AS Review
Although their name may suggest it, The New Pornographers are not involved in making X-rated films. Instead, they’re a sprightly Vancouver, British Columbia-based indie pop group that has been making music since 1997.
On May 6 at 8 p.m. they will be bringing their energetic, feel-good music to the Mount Baker Theater, located at 104 North Commercial Street. Tickets are $25 plus applicable fees. Thao & Mirah, a female singer-songwriter duo, will open.
“It’s always fun to play for smaller cities,” said Kathryn Calder, a vocalist, pianist and keyboardist for the band. “Usually bands go to Seattle or Portland or Vancouver, and so it’s always nice to play for smaller towns because people get excited for the show and they’re not spoiled.”
Bellingham is the band’s third-to-last stop on their 2011 spring tour. Since their first show in Tempe, Ariz. on April 15, the band has been zigzagging across the country playing material from their 2010 release, “Together.” Calder also said that the band has been making an effort to play material from their previous four albums as well.
“We’ve been trying to play songs from every album,” Calder said. “There are people who want to hear songs from every album so we’ve been trying to keep it pretty even. Carl [Newman, who plays vocals, guitars, keyboards, bass and banjo] has a pretty good sense for what people want to hear and so he tries to tailor the set list so it’s not too heavily weighted on one album.”
Since the band released its first album, “Mass Romantic,” in 2000, their popularity has steadily been growing.
“Electric Version,” their 2003 album, peaked at 196th position on the Billboard 200 charts. Their latest album, “Together,” peaked at eighteenth.
“You never know as a musician when your next record will be just a complete failure, you’re always sort of on the edge of total disaster,” said Calder, who joined the band in 2005 during the recording of their third album, “Twin Cinema.”
“I think it’s been really validating for the band that not only do we have fans that have stayed with us since the first record, but we have fans who are jumping on board who maybe only know the first two records.”
Returning once again to their unusual name, Calder said that the band is purely about playing their music and having a good time.
“It’s just a name, and like any other band name that people come up with, it doesn’t mean anything. We’re not making movies in our spare time, we’re playing in a band.”