Monday, August 11, 2008

Up in the sky! It's a band! No, it's a supergroup!

Carl Newman on guitar. Neko Case on vocals and tambourine. Dan Bejar on vocals and some weird gourd-like rhumba shaker. Yep, that's the makings of the Canadian supergroup The New Pornographers. They've produced some of the finest pop albums of the last decade and I can't imagine a modern musical landscape without them. But who in the world would have ever predicted that this precise collection of folks (including Blaine Thurier, Todd Fancey, Kurt Dahle, and Kathryn Calder) would get together and make such sweet noise?

Our earlier post on countermusicals attempted to open the door of our fictional musings to explorations of fiction and counterfiction in music. A question posed there, and a question that is posed daily amongst fervent music geeks, was, and is: If you could construct your own supergroup of existing musicians, alive or dead, who would you choose and how would you arrange them? Much like crossover comics where fans finally get to see Spiderman team up with Green Lantern (I honestly don't know if that ever actually happened) for a token adventure, imaginary supergroups are your chance to bring your favorite musical worlds (pop or otherwise) together to play in tandem and fulfill your fantasies. Take your favorite guitar player and place him/her in front of your favorite drummer, behind your favorite piano player, your favorite harpsichordist, next to your favorite avant-garde vocalist. There are no rules. Just be sure to specify Beatles or Wings-era McCartney if you choose to go down that path.

To start things off, let's see what kind of band I can piece together. On guitar I'm tempted to go left with Johnny Greenwood or right with Doug Martsch, but I think my best bet is with J Mascis. I want there to be some cohesion in my group (sonic cohesion, not play-well-with-others cohesion), so I'll forgo obvious vocalist choices like Björk or Mark Kozelek and just stick with Robert Pollard (circa 1992). (Hamilton Leithauser a close second there for vocals.) Drums are easy with Glenn Kotche. We'll place Kathy Foster on bass guitar for sheer hotness, but also for excessive radness. To round out the sound, I'll also put Spencer Krug on the keyboard, but we'll restrict him to his more straight-ahead playing of Wolf Parade as opposed to his explorative Sunset Rubdown work.

How's that? Now you try.


Tim said...

Hard to beat Kathy Foster for sheer hotness + radness. Maybe circa-1988 Kim Deal. Maybe.

Tim said...

As for me, my ultimate psych-rock supergroup would at its core fuse The Flaming Lips, The White Stripes, and The Fiery Furnaces: Jack White on guitar, Steven Drozd on everything else, Wayne Coyne and Eleanor Friedberger alternating vocals (Coyne working the crowd while EF is singing, naturally), brother Matt playing piano, doing tape loops, and occasional layered weird guitar with Jack, Meg shaking her tambourine. Ronald Jones will reappear to add an extra guitar to the mix. I'll take Dave Grohl on drums (since Drozd will play bass on tour).

And to make the whole mix just a little more explosive? My third vocalist/multinstrumentalist will be Prince.