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The New Pornographers Staff Pick

When: Sun., July 18, 7:30 p.m. 2010
Price: $27.50

Five albums in, The New Pornographers continue to craft complex yet catchy pop. They weave mini-masterpieces out of clever lyrics about love's hazards, all while delectable harmonies, rich choruses and irresistible hooks rain down. On the recently released Together, erstwhile leader A.C. Newman attempts to "bridge the gap between Led Zeppelin and The Fifth Dimension." While I'm unsure of what Newman was hearing in his head when he and the rest of the Pornographers were crafting these dozen songs, I do know that there's plenty of ear candy to feast on. Thumping riffs and layered vocals with the hint of a tambourine define the epic "Your Hands (Together)," while the optimistic jangle of "Silver Jenny Dollar" perfectly balances out the shambolic chamber pop framing the breakup at the heart of "A Bite Out of My Bed." And while longtime followers may gripe that The New Pornographers haven't grown far beyond 2005's masterful Twin Cinema, the manna they produce is still one of the Great White North's sweetest sounding musical exports. Aided by The Dodos and ImaadWasif, Neko Case's musical day job will be lighting up smiles on Sunday, July 18 at The Fox Theater (1807 Telegraph Ave., Oakland), 7:30 p.m., $27.50. TheFoxOakland .com

— Dave Gil de Rubio

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