New Pornographers Reveal True Origin Of Their Name

- May 28, 2010

New Pornographers mastermind Carl Newman is not the sort of person that bears a grudge.

In response to the Utah resident who recently let her local paper know how appalled she was that a band named "The New Pornographers" would be coming to her city, he can only say, "Yeah, that's good press."

Newman and crew have spent years siding with the popular belief that The New Pornographers name originated in a quote from televangelist Jimmy Swaggart, who said rock 'n' roll was the "new pornography," but it turns out the Swaggart reference is just a convenient cover story. The moniker doesn't have much to do with explicit materials, either.

"That [Swaggart quote] came after the fact," says Newman. "Somebody told me that and I though it was so good that I was going to make it my new story.

"The truth of it is, I've always liked the Japanese movie The Pornographers... It's a mid '60s movie. I was so fascinated by the word pornographer — it just seemed like a weird word to me. It seemed like such a clinical word to describe what it is.

"[Also], Dan [Bejar], at around the same time, had a song called 'The Pornographers,' that was on the first Destroyer record.

"I also always loved the name The New Seekers. I always thought it was a ridiculous name. There were the original Seekers and then a few years later, a completely different band showed up and they called themselves The New Seekers. I really liked the 'New.'

"Somehow, in my head one night, it just became The New Pornographers. Before we'd written any songs — before we were a band — I thought, 'We're going to be a band and we're going to be called The New Pornographers.'

"So, the name came first, probably in 1996. It was quite a while before we ever got around to rehearsing. Then I assembled the band Wizard Of Oz-style."

The New Pornographers are playing these shows in support of their latest album, Together:

May 28 Barcelona, Spain @ Passeio Maritimo De Alges (Primavera Sound Festival)
May 31 George, WA @ The Gorge Amphitheatre (Sasquatch! Music Festival)
June 7 Calgary, AB @ MacEwan Hall
June 8 Edmonton, AB @ Edmonton Event Centre w/ The Mountain Goats
June 9 Saskatoon, SK @ Odeon Event Centre w/ The Mountain Goats
June 10 Winnipeg, MB @ The Garrick Centre at The Marlborough w/ The Mountain Goats
June 11 Minneapolis, MN @ First Avenue w/ The Dodos and The Dutchess And The Duke
June 12 Milwaukee, WI @ Pabst Theater w/ The Dodos and The Dutchess And The Duke
June 13 Columbus, OH @ Newport Music Hall
June 15 Toronto, ON @ Sound Academy w/ The Dodos and The Dutchess And The Duke
June 17 Montreal, QC @ Le National
June 18 Boston, MA @ House Of Blues Boston
June 19 New York, NY @ Terminal 5
June 21 Philadelphia, PA @ Trocadero
June 22-23 Washington, DC @ 9:30
June 25 Chapel Hill, NC @ Memorial Hall
June 26 Atlanta, GA @ Variety Playhouse
June 27 Nashville, TN @ The Cannery
June 28 St. Louis, MO @ The Pageant
July 14-15 Vancouver, BC @ The Vogue
July 16 Portland, OR @ Crystal Ballroom
July 17 Jacksonville, OR @ Britt Pavilion
July 18 Oakland, CA @ The Fox
July 19-20 Los Angeles, CA @ The Music Box
July 21 Tuscon, AZ @ The Rialto
July 23 Austin, TX @ Stubb's BBQ
July 24 Dallas, TX @ The Showroom Palladium
July 25 Tulsa, OK @ Cain's Ballroom
July 26 Lawrence, KS @ Liberty Hall
July 28 Denver, CO @ The Ogden Theatre
July 29 Salt Lake City, UT @ Pioneer Park w/ The Dodos
July 30 Boise, ID @ The Egyptian Room at the Murat Center
Aug. 4 Madison, WI @ The Orpheum w/ The Dodos
Dec. 10 Minehead, England @ Butlins Holiday Resort (All Tomorrow's Parties)

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