Welcome to the Kasbah blog. Check in daily for the scoop on whose performing, what artists are showing in the gallery and special edition interviews and happenings!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Tessa Chats with Porter Paquot

Hi Kasbah People! It's time for another Chat with Tessa! This time I sat down with Porter Paquot, from Portland, Oregon. We met on Skype this Sunday to chat about SL and RL. I have to say, I learned a lot about Porter, she is an open book, willing and eager to discuss both her lives.

Porter came to Second Life at a difficult time. She was struggling with depression and was barely handling RL. Coming to SL and performing gave her the opportunity to be herself and to gain back some of the strength she needed to again function in RL. She attributes her recovery to singing in SL and having the interaction she was lacking. She is now back to graduate school and performing both in and out of SL. I asked Porter what her favorite thing about performing in SL is and she told me how much she enjoys meeting new and interesting people and how she now gets to sing everyday!

Since Porter is singing everyday, I was curious to know if singing in SL had changed her RL performances. The answer was a resounding YES! Porter was very animated as she described how her band had been commenting on how much her vocals have improved, and even she has noticed her range has widened. She also told me how she has been able to explore different styles of music and to just have fun when she is singing. "Performing in SL is just fun for me, I am not here to get rich or famous, I just want to sing and be entertained."

When Porter is not in SL singing she can often be found performing with her real life band Fez Fatale. The band has been around for about 15 years and Porter has been a member for the past 5. She describes the band as "very quirky" and explained that they do all originals and are sort of a "lounge rock" act. Porter is one of 7 members, 4 of which do vocals for the band. If you go to the website you can find some of their recorded works including one titled "Six Pack" which Porter can be heard on.

I happen to know that Porter's band has come into SL to perform with her so I asked about their next scheduled performance. I was pleased to hear they are scheduled to perform at Kasbah on October 3rd at 10pm, it will be a live show with the strong possibility of live video as well! For those of you that might be in the Portland area the live show will be held at The Blue Monk. Since we were speaking of future plans I, of course, asked what else might be in store for Porter. She was very honest and forthcoming saying "I want to widen my fan base, play new venues and even perform at different times than I am used to. I also plan on having Fez Fatale perform hopefully once a month."

Besides the October 3rd show, Porter will also be performing weekly at Kasbah. I twisted her arm (lol) to tell me a little bit about her feelings for the venue. "I LOVE Kasbah, it's the prettiest venue in SL, so classy and well done. It has such a high caliber of music and I am honored to have been included in the lineup!" I don't know about you, but I got the impression she likes it there :-)

If you have been to a Porter Paquot show two things will immediately stand out. First is her powerful voice, and second, her fun and sometimes rowdy group of fans. In SL more so than anywhere else, fans have the opportunity to interact with performers and the performers have that same opportunity. No one enjoys interacting with their fans more than Porter. She shared with me a few of her favorite fan stories. "At one particular venue, the stage is surrounded by water...but it's prim and you can walk right on it...I noticed my fans were all staying back behind the water...somehow the idea came to pass out flotation devices...rubber ducks, and before I knew it I was surrounded by an army of yellow ducks!" She also described a giant beer bottle designed by a friend that she loved so much she has included in her fan gift pack. Porter's relationship with her fans is special, she thinks of them as her friends and enjoys, even encourages them to be as silly and fun as possible. She says it makes the shows even better not only for the fans but for her as well.

The hour was winding down, so I asked Porter my standard last question...and her reply was both touching and fun if that's possible. "Last words to my fans...hmmm, I think my fans are fun, sometimes rowdy but not crazy. I think I have a personal connection with a lot of my fans and consider them my friends. I feel like they are there for the fun, but also to help me grow. They tp in people to hear me and always welcome new people just like I would. I want them to know I appreciate them so much, for coming to the shows, for being rowdy and fun...I just...their help has been invaluable to me. I call them My Peeps, they are family and I love them." It was an awesome hour, talking with Porter today will always be one of the highlights of my SL. Until next time... Tessa1 Beck

Friday, August 6, 2010

Tessa Chats with Harper Messmer

      Hello Kasbah Friends, it's time for another chat, this time with Harper Messmer. I will admit, I was a little shy about approaching Harper.  I had never really spoken with him before and I wasn't sure how he would respond to my inquiry. I needn't have worried. He was enthusiastic and friendly from the door! We met at my favorite quiet place to get to know each other a bit. We both chose to sit on the grass, no easy feat for me with a new sit animation and a dress! Once we were settled I asked Harper about his return to SL music. He had taken a  break and when he returned he had a blow out comeback show. It struck me that things must have changed greatly in the months he was gone. He told me the biggest change he thinks is the economy and how it effects SL, watching venues close and new ones pop up so often. He also spoke of the influx of new musicians to SL and how cool it is to have the opportunity to listen to so many different styles of music from all over the world. He says he enjoys the chance to hear different renditions of the same songs and that since his return he has heard a lot of new talent. "The music scene has grown and I believe it will keep on growing!"
   Harper has been seen at many of the new artists' shows, but he can also be found at some of his good friends' shows participating in something called TP WARS! I asked him to tell me how it got started and who was winning. I could hear the mirth in his voice as he described the events that led up to the first war..."I thought it would be fun to tip one linden at a time, just something to make the artist on stage laugh. The favor was returned shortly thereafter. Then Max (Maximillion Kleene) came up with the genius idea of incorporating a TP in among the basically we try to trick the singer on stage to take the TP as they are clicking through the one linden tips." Harper laughed and said that he is definitely not the one winning as he has only been able to trick one person so far. "I got AMFORTE Clarity, and umm...she wasn't thrilled, but she forgave me....I have been tricked by Raspbury Rearwin as well as Max lol."He also said that it has gone so far now that even when they are not performing some of the players just send random tips.

    I have witnessed TP Wars at several venues including Kasbah. Since this is the Kasbah blog, I thought it prudent to ask Harper his thoughts on The Kasbah. I don't know if you know this, but Harper is very entertaining to talk to, his first response was "I hate that place!" Of course, he was kidding and went  on to say that he thinks the idea to marry the two arts, music and painting is awesome. "It's the only venue I know where you can watch a painter as she paints and hear the live stream of a musician. I think it's innovative and it makes for a quick and entertaining hour."

     When he mentioned the live stream a thought struck me, would we be seeing Harper on live video anytime soon? He explained that years ago, he used to do live video on yahoo webcam but has no real plans to resume that kind of thing in SL. He did say it was not out of the question though...hmmmm. So, if live video is not in Harpers immediate plans what is I asked. "I plan to bring back The Loft in the fall" The Loft is Harpers venue where every Tuesday there was an awesome lineup of musicians! Harper went into detail about how The Loft came to be at Triborough. He thought the 20 connected sims were just right and he set about convincing Panacea Luminos (the owner). I could tell he was thrilled with how hard she worked to make his venue fit in with the overall look and feel of the sims.

     If you have ever been to one of Harpers shows, be it at Kasbah, The Loft or any other awesome SL venue you would see his huge group of fans. We talked about how humbling having fans is to him, because, as he said, he sings other peoples songs for the most part. "At the end of the day, I feel like I am really lucky, I was in the right place at the right time. SL music is a hobby for me and I enjoy it."  Harper went on to talk about how great it is to have the opportunity do meet and hang out with the people that enjoy his music. He said that he is well aware of the dangers of putting yourself out there, and that if you don't have the right mindset it can break you. I think Harper definitely has the right idea, being cautious but not allowing it to go to his head or change the way he acts. He also went on to say how he believes that SL fans are the most loyal, and how they have stayed with him throughout his SL journey.

       It was nice to hear such a fresh perspective. I looked up from taking my interview notes to see that our time was fast approaching the end, so I asked Harper my usual question, did he have anything he wanted to say to his fans before we said goodbye. In Harpers gentle voice there was so much warmth as he said "A big thank you, I don't deserve a lof of whats been given to me and I appreciate the love and support I have received. Performing in SL has been life changing in a great way, it's one of the best curve balls thrown my way and a big learning experience." He talked about how he has grown up musically and how his knowledge of bands and musicians has increased drastically since being in SL. His last words...."I would not have been able to continue on as an artist if it weren't for the fans, I have been given the opportunity to perform with amazing artists and share trade secrets, it's been a really cool experience and I have the fans to thank! Oh...and AMFORTE loves random TP'S!!!" See, I told you he was entertaining lol. It was a great chat and I look forward to catching Harper's show again soon, that's all for now, until next time, Tessa1 Beck