Carl Newman, the New Pornographers frontman who also records apart from the group under the moniker A.C. Newman, just released his third solo offering, Shut Down the Streets, a couple of weeks ago. The album's equally inspired by two recent events -- the death of Newman's mother and the birth of his son -- and its 10 tracks, intended as a sort of throwback to lush, early '70s folk-pop, prominently feature backing vocals by his pal and New Pornos compadre Neko Case. We rang up the affable Newman at his Woodstock, NY home -- where he was doing some last-minute packing for his current U.S. tour -- for a round of "Reviewing the Reviews," wherein we read him excerpts from a handful of Shut Down the Streets reviews and got his reactions. "To a certain degree, sure," Newman replied when we asked him if he's generally been in the habit of reading reviews of his work. "For example, it's hard to avoid what Pitchfork says about your record. Even though I try not to pay too much attention to them, if you get a really great review from Pitchfork then somebody tells you. And if you don't, it's like, 'Hmmm ... why are people so silent about Pitchfork?'"
- The New Pornographers' A.C. Newman on Leaving Brooklyn for Woodstock and the Dirty Projectors' "Next Level Shit"
- On The New Pornographers' "Your Hands Together," Which You Can Listen To, Right Now