When I last saw Ms. Melanie Keller she was a Linden in Linden Lab's basement doing Linden things, and while I'd heard she'd since gone on to Los Angeles to pursue her pop star dream, I hadn't seen much of what transpired since, until this luminous and lovely music video appeared on my Internet stream -- watch it, because it's gorgeous and noir-ish and retro sexy cool:
For my money Melanie's voice sits somewhere between Beth Gibbons of Portishead and Alanis Morisette of the 90s, and that's a very good place to be. I'm biased but I think she could become a star; and if she does, it'll be to some credit to Second Life as a live music venue, because while she was a Linden and starting out as a singer, she performed a couple times in-world too, as an avatar named, well, Melanie Keller:
"It's a great exercise for any performer starting out," she tells me now. "It kept me on my toes and gave me the confidence that I could perform in any kind of situation and pull it off cleanly." That also includes a mixed reality performance in Second Life's salad days of 2008, when MTV showed up to shoot a San Francisco show she did with Keiko Takamura. (Yes, newbies, MTV used to feature SL quite a bit.)
"When we were setting up," she recalls, "they informed me and Cylindrian [another SL/RL performer] that they might include footage of our performances in the episode -- so we had to sign waivers. so I'm sitting there onstage, thinking - wow, I'm being watched from all corners. I have who knows how many people tuning in from in-world, people viewing the live RL feed online, and a potential MTV audience. I seemed to be the least concerned about the packed room full of people before me (many Lindens there, including Philip!) Surreal? To say the least." Then again, the Los Angeles music scene can be pretty surreal too, so I say she's well prepared.