Last week the bestseller charts of Bandcamp, the top Internet site for rising indie musicians, included a major metaverse milestone: They Stole My Crayon, a trio of LA musicians with a long history in Second Life, hit the top ten in the Alternative category. Crayon includes Zak Claxton, who's been performing live in Second Life for the last ten years:
"Anywhere between 3-5 times a month on average," he tells me. "I've been doing songs from the album for several years." (The other band members are Bunny Racecourse and Kat Claxton in SL, Bunny Knutson and Christina Lee IRL, but Zak mostly performs solo in-world.) Their music, which you can give me a listen to above, is moody and hypnotic and to me, sort of evokes some early Arcade Fire. ("Adjectives like ethereal, dissonant, and atmospheric also apply," Zak suggests.)
What's striking is how supportive his Second Life-based fan community has been for them Bandcamp, enough to make them an overall top group there:
Zak performing in-world
"I can only think that the album is doing well because of a long-term buildup of fans, friends, and combinations thereof that come from my years of live performance in SL and the similar contacts that my bandmates have," as Zak puts it. "The other thing is that it's an extremely album-oriented project. Almost all of the sales have been for the complete album, rather than singles. Bandcamp allows fans to pay more than the asking price of $7, and over 50% of them have paid between $10-$20 for the album. It's astounding, frankly." He says he's never seen this kind of enthusiasm in career before. "So I really have no idea why this band struck a chord, so to speak."
If you're wondering (and I'm sure you are), yes, the band will do some kind of album-related performance in Second Life: "We are planning on doing some kind of SL-based release event soon. It's all been a bit of a whirlwind for the moment."
So standby for that, and meantime, check out They Stole My Crayon here.
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