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"Neither the college nor the band endorses pornography."
September 15, 2010 7:17 AM   Subscribe

Grand Rapids-based Calvin College has canceled an upcoming concert by acclaimed rock band The New Pornographers because of concerns over the band's name.

The band's name is often attributed to a quote by Jimmy Swaggart proclaiming rock music "the new pornography," but frontman A.C. Newman has said he took it from a Japanese film called "The Pornographers". The cancellation is already spawning the usual assortment of mixed reactions, from posts on the Grand Rapids Press website praising Calvin's decision, to, well, lists of other bands probably also not allowed at Calvin.
posted by 40 Watt (115 comments total) 6 users marked this as a favorite

 
Some days, the line between the real and the absurd is very blurry indeed.
posted by kinnakeet at 7:18 AM on September 15, 2010 [1 favorite]


Calvin College - Distinctively Christian, Academically Excellent
posted by smackfu at 7:19 AM on September 15, 2010


Can they put the show on just off campus in an old warehouse across the railroad tracks?
posted by JBennett at 7:21 AM on September 15, 2010 [1 favorite]


In other news, they've booked classic rockers The Lovin' Spoonful, Steely Dan, and 10cc to fill in.
posted by sourwookie at 7:21 AM on September 15, 2010 [38 favorites]


Maybe a Joy Division covers band?
posted by Artw at 7:23 AM on September 15, 2010 [1 favorite]


Hey, if you want to use "Porngraphers" in your band name, don't be surprised if you get flack for that sometimes. Just sayin'.
posted by nomadicink at 7:24 AM on September 15, 2010 [4 favorites]


Sex, drugs and rock and roll. This is the Holy Trinity. You'd think Calvin College would know that.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 7:25 AM on September 15, 2010


What's the big deal? Can't any damn college cancel a band for any damn reason they want? Am I missing why this is even news, or is this how far we need to stretch now for LOLXIANS points these days?
posted by allkindsoftime at 7:26 AM on September 15, 2010 [5 favorites]


Apparently the ban on New Pornography does not apply to Barenaked Ladies: "BNL's shows in the late '90s at the Orbit Room and Calvin College Fine Arts Auditorium were some of my favorite shows."
posted by oulipian at 7:26 AM on September 15, 2010 [2 favorites]


I don't think "we might get flack from a Christian College" is high on people's list of concerns when they're naming their band.
posted by mhoye at 7:26 AM on September 15, 2010 [7 favorites]


Because if they didn't cancel the concert, there was a chance that college-age kids might learn that pornography exists. Definitely dodged that bullet.

Their loss. Listening to Neko Case sing is a spiritual experience all on its own, for me anyway.
posted by dry white toast at 7:26 AM on September 15, 2010 [3 favorites]


Man, Calvin Coolidge is a real prude.
posted by dirigibleman at 7:26 AM on September 15, 2010 [13 favorites]


Conservative Christians acting Conservative Christian-ly on their own Christian Conservative property in their own Conservative Christian sphere. What's noteworthy here?
posted by MasonDixon at 7:29 AM on September 15, 2010 [3 favorites]


I remember this happening to the Barenaked Ladies at a Toronto event back in the day. Why do Canadians insist on using irony?
posted by acheekymonkey at 7:31 AM on September 15, 2010


Neko Case should fucking fight them.
posted by bondcliff at 7:32 AM on September 15, 2010 [21 favorites]


But do they include masturbation in their lyrics?
posted by blucevalo at 7:33 AM on September 15, 2010 [1 favorite]


Conservative Christians acting Conservative Christian-ly on their own Christian Conservative property in their own Conservative Christian sphere. What's noteworthy here?

It wouldn't be noteworthy at all except they're canceling a scheduled show. It's not like they used to be called the Fuzzy Wumpkins and pulled a bait-and-switch only after the concert was scheduled.
posted by Tomorrowful at 7:33 AM on September 15, 2010 [2 favorites]


This Bike Is A Pipe Bomb still gets my vote for most unfortunate band name choice.
posted by burnmp3s at 7:34 AM on September 15, 2010 [4 favorites]


New act: Christine O'Donnell and The O'nanists?
posted by gwint at 7:36 AM on September 15, 2010 [2 favorites]


I'm struggling to see the importance of this FPP.
posted by drewski at 7:36 AM on September 15, 2010


The city of Toronto did the same thing a number of years back. Banned a group because of their name.

Launched the career of " The Bare Naked Ladies"
posted by Aetius Romulous at 7:36 AM on September 15, 2010


As Calvinists, they ought to realize that the band was predestined to give themselves that name, so there really isn't anything to be done about it.
posted by CheeseDigestsAll at 7:37 AM on September 15, 2010 [6 favorites]


Makes me want to start a band called the Front-Huggers.
posted by Pirate-Bartender-Zombie-Monkey at 7:38 AM on September 15, 2010


They wouldn't have this problem if they were called Horse Jizz Donkey Dick
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 7:39 AM on September 15, 2010 [5 favorites]


Can I make a front page post next time my band has a cancelled show?

damn, we need an edgier name...
posted by flapjax at midnite at 7:40 AM on September 15, 2010


Sorry but "I Love You But I've Chosen Darkness" is the worst name ever and that includes Baltimore's "DJ Dog Dick".
posted by nathancaswell at 7:40 AM on September 15, 2010 [1 favorite]


Why should any rock band perform at this particular venue? Calvin College should limit their musical performances to classical music only. If their student body is interested in any form of music composed later than the 18th century, they should have to go off campus to hear it. This will help to preserve their spiritual purity.

Incidentally if anyone is inclined to argue about the defintion of classical music, I am going to adapt Norman Spinrad's definition of science fiction. Classical music is the kind of music that is sold in the classical section of the music store.
posted by grizzled at 7:43 AM on September 15, 2010 [1 favorite]


So they prefer The Old Pornographers?
posted by chavenet at 7:43 AM on September 15, 2010 [2 favorites]


I always thought "Rage Against The Machine" should've been "Rage Against Yer Mom". I mean, if we were really about truth in labeling here.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 7:44 AM on September 15, 2010 [6 favorites]


It isn't really the college that's motivating the cancellation here. They think it's silly. It's the college responding to angry parents.

Never underestimate the lengths that a college or university administrator will go to to keep his constituents, i.e. tuition-paying parents, happy.

In Calvin's defense, they're actually pretty close to the cutting edge of contemporary Christianity's thoughtful engagement with culture. They have an annual Festival of Faith & Music where bands like The Hold Steady, David Bazan (in his post-Christian phase), and even The New Pornographers have headlined.

Yes, that's right, Calvin has hosted them before. So cut 'em some slack. These people are doing good work, and its unfortunate but not terribly surprising that your standard white-bread middle-American conservative Christian parent isn't down with that.
posted by valkyryn at 7:45 AM on September 15, 2010 [18 favorites]


mhoye : I don't think "we might get flack from a Christian College" is high on people's list of concerns when they're naming their band.

So, we're agreed? If we ever want to get a gig over at the Christian College, we're probably not going to want to keep Satan's Cruise-A-Fuck-Ton as the band name. I'm thinking, Jesus-Love-Hugs instead.
posted by quin at 7:49 AM on September 15, 2010


valkyryn, it's those kinds of unexpected and insightful comments that make Mefi a good place to be, I have to say.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 7:49 AM on September 15, 2010


What's the big deal? Can't any damn college cancel a band for any damn reason they want? Am I missing why this is even news, or is this how far we need to stretch now for LOLXIANS points these days?

Thanks, I was wondering the same thing.
posted by Gator at 7:51 AM on September 15, 2010


This is almost as bad as the time the Ted Leo and the Pharmacists concert was cancelled at the Christian Science college.
posted by cottoncandybeard at 7:51 AM on September 15, 2010 [21 favorites]


This makes me really angry. I am so going to pee on their logo.
posted by Horace Rumpole at 7:52 AM on September 15, 2010 [1 favorite]


I think valkyryn brings up an excellent point. If it is the parent's protesting this concert, it shows how much power parents can have at a university. It is evidence of a truly weird dynamic -- one in which parents are the customers of universities instead of students. Where does this place students? Do they have any power at a university, or does all of the power rest with who is paying for it? Should colleges pander to students or just the parents? It is a weird system considering that these students are for the most part legal adults but in an environment where they end up with little control over their lives.
posted by Peter Petridish at 7:53 AM on September 15, 2010


I suppose they won't be screening any films with murder in the title either? Just to be safe.
posted by hermitosis at 7:55 AM on September 15, 2010


Aren't college kids of the age of majority for all but a few cases? (I myself was 17 for a few weeks my freshman year).

Why should parents have a vote in what their kids see in college? Just because they pay tuition (for some lucky students), do they get to review curriculum and approve textbooks too?
posted by discountfortunecookie at 7:56 AM on September 15, 2010


is this how far we need to stretch now for LOLXIANS points these days?

There's no stretch involved.
posted by blucevalo at 7:57 AM on September 15, 2010


The city of Toronto did the same thing a number of years back. Banned a group because of their name.

Launched the career of " The Bare Naked Ladies"


Not exactly "banned" and not exactly "launched." Barenaked Ladies were removed from the slate at a 1991 New Year's Eve concert in Nathan Phillips Square because a mayoral staffer thought the name objectified women. The band had been playing under that name for several years already (including in Nathan Phillips Square) but it definitely gave them a boost.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 7:57 AM on September 15, 2010


Peter Petridish's comment reminds me of this NYT article & this MeFi thread about it.
posted by chavenet at 7:57 AM on September 15, 2010


"I Love You But I've Chosen Darkness"

I respectfully disagree.
posted by Corey Feldman and the Goatse National Orchestra at 7:58 AM on September 15, 2010 [1 favorite]


I used to have a band called The Whores. (It was in bad taste for a reason, so Judjy McJudge, whatevs.) But one time, we went into a rubber stamp shop to have a stamp made of our logo and the guy who ran the shop refused, on moral grounds, to take our order. About that time, Burt Reynolds' premier of Best Little Whorehouse in Texas was playing down the street, and was featured pretty prominently on the marquis of the Paramount Theater.

I felt as though The Man was sending me mixed signals, at best.
posted by Devils Rancher at 8:00 AM on September 15, 2010 [4 favorites]


Neko Case should fucking fight them.

In my town there is a bakery called Niko's Cakes.

Every time I go past, I expect it to fucking fight me.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 8:01 AM on September 15, 2010 [2 favorites]


that includes Baltimore's "DJ Dog Dick".

Now wait one minute, that is one of the BEST names of all time. That shit gets you banned from any college ever. Shit, even REED COLLEGE.
posted by josher71 at 8:01 AM on September 15, 2010 [1 favorite]


If it is the parent's protesting this concert, it shows how much power parents can have at a university.

Not even Christian colleges are immune from the problem of helicopter parents and the "Veal Generation". Hey, I guess they are engaging the wider culture.
posted by Pirate-Bartender-Zombie-Monkey at 8:02 AM on September 15, 2010 [1 favorite]


So they prefer The Old Pornographers?

Dear Penthouse Letters,

As the ruler of the Kingdom of Israel, I never imagined something like this would happen to me. But one night I was incredibly horny and couldn't sleep, so I went for a walk on the roof of my palace. And that's where I saw this incredibly hot babe taking a bath...
posted by Naberius at 8:02 AM on September 15, 2010 [23 favorites]


What's the big deal? Can't any damn college cancel a band for any damn reason they want? Am I missing why this is even news, or is this how far we need to stretch now for LOLXIANS points these days?

Thanks, I was wondering the same thing.


It is a "big deal" because this is hilarious. Read the quote from the school: ‎"after weeks of discussion and consideration, the irony of the band's name was impossible to explain to many." The Onion wishes it could come up with things like this.

Also, TNP are like, the most 'tame' of all rock bands. They are the rock band that you'd take home to meet your mother.
posted by Threeway Handshake at 8:02 AM on September 15, 2010 [2 favorites]


...and "Grand" Rapids begins its long slide back to "Pretty-Good" Rapids.
posted by Floydd at 8:03 AM on September 15, 2010 [3 favorites]


Can they put the show on just off campus in an old warehouse across the railroad tracks?

no, van andel arena's probably booked
posted by pyramid termite at 8:04 AM on September 15, 2010 [2 favorites]


Perhaps they could get Tim Minchin to fill in. He's got a few good Bible songs.
posted by zippy at 8:04 AM on September 15, 2010


I always thought "Rage Against The Machine" should've been "Rage Against Yer Mom". I mean, if we were really about truth in labeling here.

It evokes the image of a dreadlocked Trustafarian beating on an ATM whenever I see their name.
posted by Devils Rancher at 8:04 AM on September 15, 2010 [1 favorite]


It is a "big deal" because this is hilarious.

Ah, OK so I was right about the LOLXIANS query. Nevermind, carry on then.
posted by allkindsoftime at 8:07 AM on September 15, 2010


God, it's not like they're gonna get on stage and actually blow the speakers. Shit.
posted by iamkimiam at 8:10 AM on September 15, 2010 [1 favorite]


Ah, OK so I was right about the LOLXIANS query. Nevermind, carry on then.


Perhaps you missed the part about how the Christian school was all "hey guys wait, this actually has nothing to do with pornography, they're really great and you should see them!" This has nothing to do with "LOLXIANS" and everything to do with irony.

But it is OK, keep trollin' bro.
posted by Threeway Handshake at 8:12 AM on September 15, 2010


In a similar story, Hope College in Holland canceled a speaking engagement by Milk director Dustin Lance Black.

Apparently, alumni with deep coffers rule these schools.
posted by morganannie at 8:12 AM on September 15, 2010


Should have mentioned they canceled his appearance because he's gay.
posted by morganannie at 8:12 AM on September 15, 2010


To me it's less LOLXIANS and more LOLPEOPLEWHOMISUNDERSTANDEASYTHINGSTOUNDERSTAND.
posted by josher71 at 8:13 AM on September 15, 2010


Hey, if you want to use "Porngraphers" in your band name, don't be surprised if you get flack for that sometimes. Just sayin'.

Yeah, like, no one should ever expect critical thinking at a college of all places.
posted by KokuRyu at 8:13 AM on September 15, 2010 [1 favorite]


Here's the college's press release about the cancelled show.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 8:15 AM on September 15, 2010


Yeah, like, no one should ever expect critical thinking at a college of all places.

As Valkryn has pointed out, this isn't about the college being dicks. Their release makes it quite clear that they're kind of embarrassed about the whole thing.

Presumably they got tired of dealing with an unending flood of calls from ballistic parents. Specifically, parents who sent their kids to a Christian college in Grand Rapids that the kids probably never wanted to go to in the first place. And among such parents is indeed pretty much the last place you should ever expect critical thinking.
posted by Naberius at 8:20 AM on September 15, 2010 [1 favorite]


But it is OK, keep trollin' bro.

The meaning of 'troll' has been really devalued around here.
posted by shakespeherian at 8:21 AM on September 15, 2010 [2 favorites]


..." lists of other bands probably also not allowed at Calvin."

Add to that list:
Fuck Buttons
Gaye Bykers On Acid

any more ?
posted by Webbster at 8:21 AM on September 15, 2010


Rock music still upsets people?
posted by PHINC at 8:22 AM on September 15, 2010


I fully expect The New Pornographers to turn this rude cancellation into their new hit song.
"Who you are is not what you did ... you're still an innocent."
posted by chavenet at 8:23 AM on September 15, 2010 [1 favorite]


> The city of Toronto did the same thing a number of years back. Banned a group because of their name.

Launched the career of " The Bare Naked Ladies"


And God damn all of them to hell for it. TO HELL!
posted by The Card Cheat at 8:29 AM on September 15, 2010 [3 favorites]


Yes, that's right, Calvin has hosted them before. So cut 'em some slack.

That makes it worse, to me.
posted by rtha at 8:33 AM on September 15, 2010


any more ?

I'm guessing Holy Fuck wouldn't exactly be welcome, nor DJ Fucking in the Streets. The jury might be out on the most horrible band name ever, though: Sudden Infant Dance Syndrome.
posted by Skot at 8:34 AM on September 15, 2010 [3 favorites]


Golly. At my school we actually had an educational dorm program featuring vintage super-8 porn which was loaned by the mayor of the nearby village. One film involved a dog. It was pretty startling--there were some wide-eyed freshmen. Oh, those wacky 70s.

No, I'm not making this up.
posted by kinnakeet at 8:38 AM on September 15, 2010 [2 favorites]


I have a The New Pornographers t-shirt. When I wear it people look at me askance, then I say "It's a band." And they say "Oh, okay!"

It's really not that hard, Calvin College.
posted by Solon and Thanks at 8:39 AM on September 15, 2010


Oh, goody. More weak sauce LOL-Christian. Best of nothing.
posted by five fresh fish at 8:51 AM on September 15, 2010


I was going to go to one of there concerts until I learned there would be, in fact, not actual pornography. I'm not sure if I'll be able to get my money back.
posted by elder18 at 9:01 AM on September 15, 2010


or does all of the power rest with who is paying for it?

The answer to this question - in every context in the world - is yes. How does anyone not understand this?

All power, everywhere, no matter the context, rests with those who pay for it.
posted by The World Famous at 9:08 AM on September 15, 2010 [1 favorite]


The college can cancel whatever they want, that's their prerogative. What I always wonder about with these stories is why did they hire the band in the first place? I like to think that, were I in charge of booking bands to perform at my Christian college, I would get consensus from the suits over a band name like that.
posted by usonian at 9:11 AM on September 15, 2010


Good band. Good people. I'm happy for them. This kind of thing never hurts sales or overall career trajectory. Go overprotective parents of young adults, go!
posted by philip-random at 9:11 AM on September 15, 2010 [2 favorites]


Ironically enough, they've been replaced by Anal Cunt
posted by briank at 9:41 AM on September 15, 2010 [2 favorites]


I was going to go to one of there concerts until I learned there would be, in fact, not actual pornography. I'm not sure if I'll be able to get my money back.


Be the change that you want to see in the world. OR, bring your own porn.

Also, TNP just did a signing at a festival I was at. Carl was really nice to some of the young kids who were getting stuffed signed. And actually he asked them if they were going to stay up to watch TNP, and said he promised that he wouldn't swear. Yeah, this guy is such a rock and roll threat that he promises not to even swear if there are kids around.
posted by Infinite Jest at 9:41 AM on September 15, 2010


This Bike Is A Pipe Bomb still gets my vote for most unfortunate band name choice.

"I was at work and just kind of freaked out," [Ryan Modee, lead singer of TBIAPB] said. "I was like 'Oh God, not again. How could this be happening?'"


Press Release #1: Pensacola, Florida band This Bike Is A Pipe Bomb warns fans to avoid placing stickers with the band's name on actual bikes, or anything that could possibly be used as a pipe bomb, as "police might tear that shit up"

Press Release #2: This Bike Is A Pipe Bomb choose new name: This Bike Is In No Way A Pipe Bomb, Not Even For Ironic Purposes

Press Release #3: TBIINWAPB,NEFIP chooses shorter name: This Bike Is Really Comfortable; Band remains as intense as ever, despite less hardcore name.
posted by filthy light thief at 9:44 AM on September 15, 2010 [1 favorite]


I'm struggling to see the importance of this FPP.

The importance of this post, as funny as it is to some (me) is hinted at in the last line of their press release: "Calvin College remains committed to the difficult, yet important work at faithfully engaging popular culture."
posted by acheekymonkey at 9:46 AM on September 15, 2010


I totally expect there to be an obscene entry on Urban Dictionary for "Fuzzy Wumpkins" by the time I get home from work.
posted by kimota at 9:53 AM on September 15, 2010


Gaye Bykers On Acid

The funny thing about that band name is that when I was at Calvin College the college President was a man named Gaylen Byker. I don't know if he's still there.
posted by wabbittwax at 9:54 AM on September 15, 2010 [2 favorites]


Anyone else think that all of the New Pornographers are a pretty good band, but the big 3 (Newman, Case, Bejar) are all much better solo?

They're like the anti-supergroup.
posted by mrgrimm at 10:06 AM on September 15, 2010


I'll assume Gay Witch Abortion is out.
posted by norm111 at 10:15 AM on September 15, 2010


I hear Queef Huffer is available.
posted by KevinSkomsvold at 10:16 AM on September 15, 2010


Anyone else think that all of the New Pornographers are a pretty good band, but the big 3 (Newman, Case, Bejar) are all much better solo?

I wouldn't say that because they totally cook as full-on SMART power pop band in a way that none of them do solo. That said, what maturity from all involved to have happening solo careers and keep the band functional!
posted by philip-random at 10:25 AM on September 15, 2010


If we ever want to get a gig over at the Christian College, we're probably not going to want to keep Satan's Cruise-A-Fuck-Ton as the band name.

Satanicpornocultshop
posted by mrgrimm at 10:47 AM on September 15, 2010 [1 favorite]


There used to be a band in Tucson called Scar Strangled Banger. Named for a Ralph Steadman book.
posted by workerant at 10:47 AM on September 15, 2010


I wouldn't say that because they totally cook as full-on SMART power pop band in a way that none of them do solo.

Really? I think Get Guilty is pretty much top-o-the-heap power pop.
posted by mrgrimm at 10:55 AM on September 15, 2010


Didn't Starfucker recently change their name to like Pyramid, or something, for the same sort of reason?
posted by Lutoslawski at 10:58 AM on September 15, 2010


I actually really loved the press release from the College about this. The line about explaining the irony fairly drips with derision for the people making a fuss. It's obvious the people behind that press release agree that this is stupid, but they don't feel they have a choice.
posted by jacquilynne at 10:59 AM on September 15, 2010


I never would have imagined a stupid band with stupid offensive/shocking name finally managed to offend or shock people. This feels like those people who get stupid tattoos on their arms or neck and then bitch that they can't get hired because they have tattoos on their arms or neck.
posted by Uther Bentrazor at 11:06 AM on September 15, 2010


I never would have imagined a stupid band with stupid offensive/shocking name finally managed to offend or shock people.

I don't know about you, but the band isn't "stupid," and the band's name isn't offensive or shocking to most anyone in the 21st century.
posted by mrgrimm at 11:31 AM on September 15, 2010 [1 favorite]


The city of Toronto did the same thing a number of years back. Banned a group because of their name.

And then, 9 years later, the band Fucked Up performed at The Toronto Reference Library.
The Times, They Are A'Changin'!
posted by Fuzzy Monster at 12:03 PM on September 15, 2010


There's a constant battle pitched on this campus between extremely repressed and boring people who have donors and loud parents on their side and slightly less repressed people that just want to show some movies, host some bands, study the humanities and maybe smoke some pot. You can guess who usually wins.
posted by thedaniel at 12:04 PM on September 15, 2010 [1 favorite]


When I saw "Christian College cancels New Pornographers show" on Pitchfork, I thought, "Christian College? The kids are crazy with the band name these days."
posted by saul wright at 12:27 PM on September 15, 2010


Anyone else think that all of the New Pornographers are a pretty good band, but the big 3 (Newman, Case, Bejar) are all much better solo?


I like their solo work, and I've seen Newman and Case solo, but I prefer the band.
posted by Infinite Jest at 12:52 PM on September 15, 2010


Man, Calvin Coolidge is a real prude.

Maybe not.
Calvin Coolidge and his wife allegedly visited a poultry farm. During the tour, Mrs. Coolidge inquired of the farmer how his farm managed to produce so many fertile eggs with such a small number of roosters. The farmer proudly explained that his roosters performed their duty dozens of times each day.

"Tell that to Mr. Coolidge," pointedly replied the First Lady.

The President, overhearing the remark, asked the farmer, "Does each rooster service the same hen each time?"

"No," replied the farmer, "there are many hens for each rooster."

"Tell that to Mrs. Coolidge," replied the President.
posted by kirkaracha at 2:45 PM on September 15, 2010 [3 favorites]


thedaniel's description is rousing in its aptness. And it probably doesn't help the cause of the repressed pot-smokers that among the donors can be counted several billion dollars of ill-gotten Amway gold. Then again, the school's endowment, according to Wikipedia, is only about 80 million, so maybe the unrighteous are winning, after all.
posted by flechsig at 3:13 PM on September 15, 2010


Anyone else think that all of the New Pornographers are a pretty good band, but the big 3 (Newman, Case, Bejar) are all much better solo?

Yeah, kind of. The Slow Wonder is one of my favorite albums of the last decade, but I don't like Get Guilty all that much. It's like a New Pornographers album with just Newman singing. Maybe it's just me, but The Slow Wonder seemed like something different.

Zumpano was great, though. And agreed on Case and Bejar.
posted by Dismantled King at 4:38 PM on September 15, 2010


This Bike Is A Pipe Bomb still gets my vote for most unfortunate band name choice.

Holy shit, I used to go see them over in Danville, IL back when I was in high school and I had purple hair.

The best part was after the show, when you took the band stickers, and put them on someone's bike.
posted by six-or-six-thirty at 5:10 PM on September 15, 2010


Yeah alright sorry. Two beers and no use of ctrl+f later, I post an obvious comment. It wouldn't be the first time. I didn't realize This Bike Is A Pipe Bomb was so well-traveled!

(For the record, they were way better than Falling Star)
posted by six-or-six-thirty at 5:13 PM on September 15, 2010


In this time of moral and financial crisis, Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker is going to build a stage in Pioneer Park and invite the rock group the New Pornographers perform ("Twilight to bring booze, big acts to Salt Lake City's Pioneer Park -- will it stay?" Tribune , April 30). Please tell me this is a final April Fool's joke.

Considering Becker's agenda of "fairness," to whom is even the name"New Pornographers" being fair to? Is it fair to the victims of the 6,500 registered sex offenders in Utah? Why does Becker want to promote thoughts about pornography, which contributes to crimes against women and children?


(Original Salt Lake Tribune letter gone to pay archive.)
posted by pashdown at 5:34 PM on September 15, 2010


If the band was called "The New Rapists," would people on MetaFilter view the issue differently? What you call your band has a predictable effect on how people view the band, regardless of how the music sounds or the lyrical content.
posted by The World Famous at 6:34 PM on September 15, 2010


The best part was after the show, when you took the band stickers, and put them on someone's bike.

I used to have a CAR BOMB bumper sticker on the back of my piece-of-shit Mazda. It came from a Negativland album. I traded the thing (the car that is; I've still got the album) for a bottle of single malt whiskey in early 1995 ... about three months before Oklahoma City. I suspect the guy was seen feverishly scraping it off a day or so afterward.
posted by philip-random at 7:44 PM on September 15, 2010


If the band was called "The New Rapists," would people on MetaFilter view the issue differently?

Oh, I don't know, probably. While we're making things up, what if the band were called "The New Slavers" or "The New Genocidal Nazi Youth?" How quickly can we get Godwin into effect?
posted by axiom at 7:54 PM on September 15, 2010


Calvin's statement:
Regrettably, Calvin College has decided to rescind its invitation to the band, The New Pornographers, slated to perform on Friday, October 15, 2010, in the Fieldhouse Complex on campus. We believe that the decision to invite the band fit our rubric of engaging culture through a Christian lens. The band makes good, thoughtful music, and we invited them here based on their artistic merit. However, after weeks of discussion and consideration, the irony of the band's name was impossible to explain to many. The band's name, to some, is mistakenly associated with pornography. Consequently, Calvin, to some, was mistakenly associated with pornography. Neither the college nor the band endorses pornography. The Student Activities Office regrets the way this has happened. We regret the message we have sent to the band and their fans with this cancellation, and any confusion this has caused generally. We have been in contact with the band to explain this regret and the breakdown in our own processes that led us to first invite them and then withdraw that invitation. Calvin College remains committed to the difficult, yet important work at faithfully engaging popular culture.
Burried lede: The New Pornographers don't endorse pornography?
posted by l33tpolicywonk at 7:54 PM on September 15, 2010


While we're making things up, what if the band were called "The New Slavers" or "The New Genocidal Nazi Youth?" How quickly can we get Godwin into effect?

Why bother? The point is that if you name your band after something that a certain group of people thinks is evil, that group of people might not want your band to play at its venue.

Did the Meatmen play at PETA functions?
posted by The World Famous at 8:01 PM on September 15, 2010


Well, the Meatmen didn't play a PETA function because they weren't political but not because their name has the word meat in it.
posted by josher71 at 9:07 PM on September 15, 2010


The New Rapists

The Rapey?
posted by Artw at 9:14 PM on September 15, 2010


Josher71, how can you assign specific motivation to a hypothetical past event that never happened as if there was some specific, identified reason for its non-occurrence? Were you on some committee at PETA that actually considered inviting the Meatmen to perform but then decided that the band's music was insufficiently political? Because that has to be a great story.
posted by The World Famous at 9:22 PM on September 15, 2010 [1 favorite]


Just like they state - "Distinctively Christian". Give me a break.
posted by esl899 at 11:55 PM on September 15, 2010


The World Famous: aren't you doing exactly the same thing? Were you on a PETA committee that loved the music and lyrics of the Meatmen, but didn't like their name?
posted by Infinite Jest at 11:56 PM on September 15, 2010


No, i'm just giving an example of another actual band name that might foreseeably be problematic for a specific organization.
posted by The World Famous at 12:15 AM on September 16, 2010


If they can't do the show at Calvin College, maybe they could re-schedule it at Hobbs College.
posted by ZenMasterThis at 9:42 AM on September 16, 2010


Rape Nazi

it kind of rolls off the tongue, actually
posted by nathancaswell at 4:59 PM on September 17, 2010


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