Published Sep 14, 2010Compared to Holy Fuck, Fucked Up or a large number of metal bands, Vancouver, BC indie pop collective the New Pornographers have a relatively tame moniker. Try telling that to the higher-ups at Calvin College, however, who have just cancelled the band's upcoming performance because of their name.
On October 15, the New Pornographers were scheduled to perform at the Christian college, which is located in the small Michigan town of Grand Rapids. The school hosted a number of forward-thinking indie artists over the years, including Neko Case. Due to complaints about the band's name, however, they were forced to cancel the appearance.
Pitchfork points to a statement from the school:
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...We regret the message we have sent to the band and their fans with this cancellation. 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.
The New Pornographers have not released a statement about the cancellation as of yet. While it's definitely a shame, there's no doubt things can get messy when the Christian music scene meets the secular music world. To be fair, Jars of Clay would probably have just as hard a time booking a show at your average rock club.