Calvin College, the "distinctly Christian, academically excellent liberal arts college" in Grand Rapids, Mich., doesn't want you to associate the school with pornography. That means no New Pornographers show:
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.
We at Rocks Off don't think there's any mistake in associating the band's name with porn. Maybe if they were the "New Hustlers" or the "New Adult Filmmakers" or "Pink Starfish" we could see it, but the word "Pornographer" is right there, for Christ's...er, Pete's sake.
The real victims here, of course, are the students of Calvin College, who will be robbed of the singular joy that is a New Pornographers show. And just to be safe, we're going to go ahead and assume the following bands are also on the school's "do not invite" list.
Nashville Pussy: We like Nashville Pussy. They put on a hell of a show, whatever your opinion of guitarist Ruyter Suys' customary disrobing (Rocks Off approves), though we can certainly understand why radio airplay has been difficult to come by.
Circle Jerks: Should longevity diminish the offensiveness of a band's name? Sure, the name "Circle Jerks" might have caused you to titter with your friends and led your parents to confiscate your copy of Golden Shower of Hits, but that was 1983, man. Is there no statute of limitations for rock?
Anal Cunt: Rocks Off can't think of anyone offhand who actually listens to A.C. "for pleasure," but we're sure you perverts exist.
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Revolting Cocks: It's a pretty redundant name, when you get right down to it. Is there such a thing as a "delightful" cock? Has anyone ever seen one? Don't send pics, pls. Thnks.
Cheap Trick: Robin Zander and company might have been able to smooth talk their way past Calvin College's band vetting committee, but we're pretty sure that would only result in disaster when the student body, its hormones inflamed by a bravura performance of "She's Tight," embarked on an orgy of outhouse tipping and heavy petting.
There are, of course, dozens more. And that's not even getting into bands that are objectionable on a religious level (Christian Death, Agnostic Front). Who'd we miss?