Monday, October 1, 2007

They've shown this on both screens

Pardon the first life intrusion, but this has a Second Life connection, which I'll explain.

I'd been hearing about a band called the New Pornographers for years. Since I live near Vancouver, British Columbia, it was hard not to hear about the famous home-town band. It was made up of musicians who already had solo careers or careers with other bands, people like Carl Newman and Neko Case. They'd formed in the late 1990s with the intent of recording one album together. Mass Romantic was so successful, however, that they kept going, and have now recorded their fourth.

Even though I had read about the New Pornographers, I didn't pay much attention. I wasn't paying much attention to rock bands at the time. I was still intent on making my own music. And I have always been allergic to hype. As well, I wasn't hearing music from this band on either of the rock stations I tend to listen to when I'm driving my car, and that was my only music input at the time.

Fast forward to my life in Second Life. After lots of career false starts, I started to DJ in the spring of 2007. That spurred a renewed interest in music, especially new music. I started to find music from as many free but legal sources as I could find. That's how I discovered Bloc Party, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Les Breastfeeders, Land of Talk, and the Decemberists, as well as not-so-new stuff from artists like PJ Harvey.

While I was DJing, I was also listening to other DJs to hear what they were playing. One of my favourites was Barely Schlegal. He played a wonderful array of music from a wide variety of sources, including one of my favourites, Mission of Burma. It was at one of his shows, likely at the Velvet, that I first heard the New Pornographers. I was hooked immediately. And how embarrassing! I had to be made acquainted with a band from the town where I lived by a DJ from Texas!

Once I discovered the New Pornographers, I downloaded a whole slew of their songs from eMusic, and they became a regular part of my sets. So when my SO and I found out that the band were playing at one of our favourite clubs in Vancouver, we were there. I bought the new CD, Challengers, which I loved, and got familiar with the songs.

The show was last Friday, and it was amazing. The New Pornographers don't really put on any kind of spectacle, but they are such a good band that you don't care if there's nothing in particular to watch. They played most of the new album and songs from each of the previous three, mostly ones I'd been playing on my shows. I cried for joy listening to the gorgeous "Challengers," which Neko sang beautifully, and "Adventures in Solitude." I couldn't stop dancing and bopping for the rest of the show. It earned a place on my "best of all time" concert list.

We might never have been there if it had not been for Second Life, my DJing, and our man Barely. Thanks, dude.

More Second Life to come—wanderings across the playa at Burning Life. With pictures!

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