04 March 2010

A Band By Any Other Name Still Smells Like The Drummer's Sweatband

The new issue of Alternative Press (#261 if yr counting) contains their annual compendium of 100 bands we need to know about this year, and as I have done the past couple of years, I'd like to take this opportunity to list some of the very ridiculous and sometimes outright horrible band names found within.

As I've mentioned before, I've always been fascinated by band names. So much so, that I've accumulated my own extensive list with the help of friends and enemies over the past 25 years. Further, I'm willing to admit that our own list contains at least 75% ridiculous and horrible band names that no sane person would ever use to conquer popular culture. Plenty are inside jokes (never a good idea for a band name) while others are merely the result of substance abuse.

(Also - I was once in a band called Those Amazing Foreheads, which is probably worth keeping in mind...)

The difference is - the bands on the following list ARE trying to make a living as professional musicians, and in my own opinion, have one huge strike against them from the get-go by choosing the monikers they have chosen. Hindsight should inform us that at least 90% of these bands will never have any lasting relevance in pop culture, and this failure has almost nothing to do with the music (some of these bands are very good at what they do) and almost everything to do with luck...and their names. I've listed 40 of these 100 bands here, but I could have named a many, many more that aren't half bad, but aren't really half-good either.

Anyways, I realize that after 60 years of Rock'n'Roll, it's become a bit difficult to come up with a cool and original name, but it's not impossible. These kids today, they're either trying too hard, or not trying hard enough. I dunno - you be the judge.

Canada Water (huh?)
Abandon Kansas (first there was Kansas, then there was Bleeding Kansas...)
Zlam Dunk (Slam Dunk might not have been so bad, but that fucking Z!)
Worn In Red
Flood Of Red
The Bigger Lights (What does this mean?)
We Are The In Crowd
We Are The Union
Two Hours Traffic (ugh)
Litany For The Whale (the worst band name on this list)
Freelance Whales (a close second)
Exit_International (underscore essential)
DD/MM/YYYY (meh, maybe not that bad, but certainly a mouthful - "Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome dee dee, em em, why why why why!")
How Dare You (choose such a weak sauce name)
Nightmares For A Week
Those Who Lie Beneath
Cymbals Eat Guitars (Snares Chew Pianos...Rototoms Regurgitate Double Bassoons)
Let's Get It (Get what? I don't get it.)
The Riot Before
The Joy Formidable (Can a band with "formidable" in their name actually ever succeed? Let's find out.)
A Silent Film
All The Day Holiday (???)
Sent By Ravens (Why? Sent for what purpose? What do these ravens want? Why can't these damn ravens do it themselves?)
The Phenomenal Handclap Band
Free Energy
1,2,3 (I maintain that 15,16,17 is as good a name)
The Wonder Years (naming your band after a movie or TV show is almost never a good idea)
Stray From The Path
Here We Go Magic
Breathe Electric
The Downtown Fiction (as opposed to The Uptown Non-Fiction, The Suburban Biography, and The Rural Self-Help Manual)
Stereo Skyline
Red Knife Lottery
A Loss For Words (Indeed, I am...)
Brian Bonz & The Dot Hongs (I assume this is a play on "Hot Dongs", but that still doesn't make this name any better in my mind)
Goonies Never Say Die (really? REALLY? REALLY??? )
The Color Turning
Miss May I

Hotcha! Hank

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Anonymous Andrews W.K. said...

Hello there.
The reason why we chose Exit(UNDERSCORE)International because I read a nice piece in Bizzare magazine about the EXIT organisation in Australia, and needed to make a obvious difference between two 'cool' sounding words put together and the intention of the aforementioned assisted suicide worshop. I hope you forgive us for our effort in keeping people alive.

Much love and peace,

Andrews W.K.


March 06, 2010 2:24 PM  
Anonymous AGAIN............... said...

*Workshop. Excuse my tendancy to the pedantic.



March 06, 2010 2:25 PM  

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