Since their first album Mass Romantic dropped almost 10 years ago, I have been a fan of The New Pornographers. They’re an amazing and unique-sounding band that uses unusual combinations of instrumentation and composition to create a musical motif that is not easily classified. Their use of several songwriters and lead singers is something that I’ve co-opted into my own band, which fans seem to enjoy a lot.
(Incidentally, pause it at 3:12 – those of you in Vancouver will probably recognize where this video was shot)
There’s a second reason why I thought I would highlight this particular band today (besides the fact that they’re amazing). Just like the Bare Naked Ladies had to deal with back in the 90s, some puritanical morons in the United States have canceled a performance by the band because of their spikiness over the name:
A Christian college in Grand Rapids, Mich., has cancelled a scheduled concert by Canadian indie band The New Pornographers because of the band’s name. The Vancouver-based band’s website announced the cancellation Wednesday. Calvin College rescinded an invitation to the band to play on Oct. 15 after weeks of discussion, the college said in a statement. The statement said the college found it difficult to explain the band’s name.
Yes, God forbid (pun intended) that anyone mistake the venerable name of Calvin College with anything so revolting as pornography. No, they’d much rather be associated with:
- Rampant anti-Semitism;
- Original sin (a disgusting doctrine which preaches that a mythical ancestor ate an apple, and as a result you are doomed to an eternity of torture);
- Censorship of musical expression (shock! surprise!)
- Southern Baptist churches (hi Fred!)
- And of course, Puritanism
Just so long as nobody thinks they’re cool with pictures of nekkid ladies. I felt today’s video was particularly appropriate.
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I think that canceling a performance because of a band’s name is pretty dumb.
But honestly, I don’t have a lot of sympathy for The New Pornographers or for Bare Naked Ladies.
When they chose their names, I’m sure that they knew that sometimes those names would help them and sometimes hurt them.
And I totally DO NOT buy any line like “we just thought it was a cool name. we didn’t know anyone would be shocked by it”.
It was probably closer to “We just thought it was a cool name, and we didn’t think anyone was going to be a whinging crybaby over something so immaterial.’
I luuurve the new pornographers. Have you heard their new album?
Hells yeah. There was a free stream on NPR for about a week and I listened to it non-stop. I blew my music budget this last month on Ted Leo and the Pharmacists, but it’s October now so I will probably grab the new one.
Okay, two things:
1) Original sin **DOES NOT** mean that you are doomed to an eternity of torture. This is a common misconception. Since the original sin is cast out of the believer when they profess their faith (at the baptism), this means that **only babies** will be tortured for eternity. If you aren’t a baby, you’re safe. Babies, though, can (and will) burn in hell.
2) This isn’t about a movie at all!