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New Environs Helped New Pornographers Make New Album

of the Oakland Press

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New Pornographers’ Carl Newman had only moved to New York state’s Woodstock area a few months before the band came to his rural home to record its latest album, “Together.” But the singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist says the locale had some effect on the project.

“I don’t think there was enough time for us to be heavily affected, although I know people liked being out here,” says Newman, 42, who moved upstate from Brooklyn and says he’s “slowly turning into a hippie,” bee-keeping, making homemade maple syrup and thinking about raising chickens.

For New Pornographers, meanwhile, the spread “made the recording of the record fairly relaxed and happy. When you took a break from the studio, you could go sit on the lawn in the sun as opposed to walking down the concrete street and getting a sandwich at a deli.”

“Together,” which debuted at No. 18 on the Billboard 200 in May, marks the fifth time Newman has brought together the all-star New Pornographers, whose lineup also includes singer Neko Case and members of the bands Destroyer, Swan Lake, Zumpano, the Evaporators, Limblifter and others. The group has been active since 1997, and Newman says he’s become well-practiced at organizing sessions and tours within everyone’s schedules.

“It’s always been that way, so it’s not really a big deal,” he explains. “There are a few people that want to be there the whole time, but everybody doesn’t have to be. We try to schedule accordingly and go, ‘OK, how about if we have Neko do her vocals this week, and the week before that we’ll record keyboards ... ‘

“Maybe it is difficult, but we’ve been doing it for so long I don’t think we consider it. We just move forward.”

New Pornographers, the Dodos and the Dutchess and the Duke perform Monday, June 14, at The Crofoot Ballroom, 1 S. Saginaw St., Pontiac. Doors open at 7 p.m. Tickets are $25. Call 248-858-9333 or visit www.thecrofoot.com.

Web Site: www.thecrofoot.com

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