Unlike Superman, who needs only don a pair of glasses and nerdy demeanor to cloak his identity, Carl Newman wont fool most music fans by simply changing his handle to A.C. Newman. Thats because just a minute or so into his second solo album, Get Guilty, that yearning, exuberant voice; the majestic, brightly colored melodies; and the strings, horns, woodwinds, and other baroque-pop flourishes wrapping around stately guitar crunch all make it clear this is none other than the New Pornographers frontman. Newman doesnt necessarily need his famously oblique NP cohort Dan Bejar to concoct heady, elusive lyrics, nor does he necessarily need Neko Case around at least not in the studio when he has Nicole Atkins and Mates of States Kori Gardner to provide stellar vocal harmonies on the album. Sure, its nice when Newmans joined by his old New Pornographers pals, but by any other name he sounds just as sweet, especially live.
Sat., Feb. 21, 8 p.m., 2009