Sunday, October 16, 2005

The Rock Band Name Game

Below is a small sampling of confounding and phonetically-ambigious rock band names, in addition to more "creative" monnikers. Chances are you have heard them recently, or will hear them in the future.


the Shins (all over the Garden State soundtrack)
the Thrills
the Stills
the Kills
the Killers
(they have roughly 12 singles from their only record playing on radio and MTV everywhere)
the Distillers
the Willows
(those of "Feel Good, Inc." and "Clint Eastwood" fame, brainchild of Blur's Damon Albarn)

the Rakes
(a recent much-hyped side project)
the Strokes (they fucking rock or they fucking suck depending on your point of view)

All of these bands have a few things in common, as every single one was either started up within the past 5 years or experienced their first taste of success in that time. All of them are also grouped in the "indie rock" category, whatever that means.

And let's not forget the two most confusing and ambigious band names of all time:

The Band


the Fucking Champs
- This is an awesome name. However, it's unfortunate that, even if these guys were fucking champs, and even if they were the second coming of the Beatles, they still wouldn't have a snowball's chance in hell of experiencing large-scale success. (By the way, Snowball in Hell would be a pretty cool band name)

Anal Cunt
- When posed with the question of good bands no one has heard yet, Ryan Adams recently mentioned this band in a magazine interview, and he said that they are quite good. We can't be sure if he was joking, but then again, no one really said that rockers were particularly savvy.

Here are some classic excerpts from the
Wikipedia entry for the band:

"Anal Cunt is a Grindcore band from the United States. Their song titles consist almost entirely (barring the Picnic of Love album, as well as covers of The A-Team and "Hungry Hungry Hippos" themes) of generally offensive material.

The band has often been criticized for its popularity being based solely on their controversial song titles and lyrics rather than any musical ability, and is often quoted when a debate is being made against the grindcore genre of music. One ongoing dispute is how much Anal Cunt actually believes in what they say on their albums.

Some examples of their less controversial song titles are "Hitler Was A Sensitive Man", "I Hope You Get Deported", and "Connor Clapton Committed Suicide Because His Father Sucks" (the original title for "Your Kid Committed Suicide Because You Suck"). One recurring song title is "X is gay", with X being variable. Some well-known examples are: "Technology is Gay", "The Internet is Gay", "Windchimes are Gay", and "The Word 'Homophobic' is Gay".

The sound of a typical Anal Cunt song is loud distorted guitars usually using only open strings, drums struck endlessly accompanied by loud (often unintelligible) screaming."


Shirley Temple's Pussy
- This was one of the original names used by the band which came to be known as the Stone Temple Pilots. Luckily for them, STP weren't as dumb as the dudes in Anal Cunt, and a change to a name which was memorable, but still confusing, resulted in platinum records, millions of dollars and extravagant drug abuse.

Mookie Blaylock
- The original name for Pearl Jam (who people loved to compare Stone Temple Pilots with). Instead of sticking with the name inspired by the basketball player Mookie Blaylock, Destiny of the 90's again blessed a band with a name change, leading to even more platinum records, 17 drummer changes, and boring, unnecessary political commentary.


And You Will Know Us By The Trail of Dead
- This is a cool name because of the image it creates in one's head, which can range from morbid to comical depending on your mood. This name wanders into both Unfortunate and Confusing categories, if you subscribe to the theory that a band's name should be pronounced in no more than 2 seconds.

the Aquabats
- This is another really cool name, mostly because it's goofy as hell. These guys also dress up in matching comic book-themed uniforms, playing some sort of ska/ punk brand music. Their music pretty much sucks, but the name doesn't.

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