Whether you hear it as more mature, stripped-down, and confident or you think it's too slow, Fleetwood Mac-ian, and an overall letdown, the latest LP from The New Pornographers, Challengers (Matador), is yet another attention-grabber from the band. Those without an opinion can form one and support their local records store (if big box bitches haven't eaten them all) next Tuesday, when the record (on CD & vinyl) will be available in stores. Lovers of good power pop or purchasers of this will definitely want to check out the NPs on the Late Show With David Letterman, August 20. If perhaps you somehow got the album free, you can still support the band by seeing them at one of their seven zillion (edit: 39) North American tourdates on the "New Pornographers Challengers 2007 Tour."
The tour itself actually has two separate legs. The first starts on September 13, in Victoria, British Columbia (yes, Canada) and goes for two weeks, wrapping up September 28 in Vancouver, British Columbia (yes, they leave Canada at some point). Matador mates Lavender Diamond will be warming up the crowd at all these shows, save for the first one. Fancy, Immaculate Machine (both NP side projects) and/or The Awkward Stage will also be present during portions of this leg. After a two-week respite, the band strikes up the, uh, band, again October 11 for the second leg of NPC2007T. The full-time opener for this portion is Emma Pollock, formerly of The Delgados, who is set to release her first solo LP, Watch The Fireworks, on 4AD September 11 in the U.S. Others involved in this second leg are the mighty (popular) Spoon, Immaculate Machine, and Benjy Ferree.