“There are maybe 10 or 12 things I could teach you,” sings Carl “A.C.” Newman on his new solo album, Get Guilty (Matador). “After that, well, you’re on your own.” This week, MAGNET lets the New Pornographers frontman steer our website toward 10 or 12 of his own favorite things in music, film, literature and life.
Read our verdict on the orchestral-pop case of Get Guilty and a Q&A deposition with Newman here.
Newman: The Rock*A*Teens broke up years ago, but I just got into them last year. I was floored at how good they were. Kelly Hogan, who sings with Neko (Case), was in the band. I think they’re one of the most underrated bands of the mid-’90s to early 2000s. Dan (Bejar) and Neko were both big fans, but I missed out on them for some reason. I can’t quite explain it: Few bands can pull off being sloppy and symphonic at the same time. They remind me a little bit of Frog Eyes, too. They were a guitar band whose songs sounded like they could’ve been played by a string quartet; instead, they played them with loud, reverby guitars. Sometimes it sounded like garage music. The really great bands are hard to describe. The Rock*A*Teens were so good and out on their own, I don’t know who to compare them to. The Pixies are the same way. The great bands are on their own. They just sound like themselves.
“What Took You So Long” from 1999’s Oh, Merge: Merge Records 10 Year Anniversary Compilation: