Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Enter the Haggis

I will spare you the revolting picture of a haggis on Wikipedia, but I'll supply a definition of haggis. It's a bunch of sheep organs mixed with some spices and oatmeal, and boiled in a stomach. Mmm--anyone want to come over to the vegetarian side with me? Vegetarian haggis does exist, but I have no idea what it contains. The best-case scenario is probably soft tofu. Now that I've grossed everybody out, I think Enter the Haggis is a pretty fine name for a band. It's amusing and a little juvenile (does anyone need to wonder whether this band was named by a guy or a girl?). The problem is, the name won't age well. Enter the Haggis is unlikely to produce works of genius. If they became really well-known and respected, I think they would be a little embarassed by their name. That's the problem with jokey names.

Enter the Haggis: 5.9

10,000 Maniacs

The power of a name: HS says he thought 10,000 Maniacs was a heavy metal band before he heard their music. We learned through Wikipedia that the band used to be named Burn Victims, which also sounds metal-esque (metallic?). The name was based on a movie called 2,000 maniacs, but I guess 2,000 was just not enough.

This name is fairly memorable and eye-catching, though it poses a problem in the CD store. Will it be filed under T, before A, or after Z? For this reason, I think bands should refrain from using a number or symbol in their names when possible.

10,000 Maniacs: Guest rater HS gives them "a 7.5 for false advertising, because they're not metal. If they were metal, they would get an 8."

Monday, November 20, 2006

I Am the World Trade Center

No, you're not.

I Am the World Trade Center: 0.7

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Destroyer and Pixies

The score of both these band names is boosted by the type of music the band makes. Pixies is a dumb name for a Spice Girls-style band, but it's a great name for the band that features one of the best screamers ever and songs like "I bleed" and "Gouge away."

Destroyer sounds like it should be opening for Slayer or Iron Maiden, but it's really nerd indie-rock in the style of the Mountain Goats. The only thing Dan Bejar (the main/ sometimes only member) is going to be destroying is the mix CD his ex-girlfriend made for him.

Pixies: 8.0
Destroyer: 8.3

The Clash

Apparently my earlier post on The Beat was misunderstood by at least 50% of my audience. I don't dislike those names because they are short; I dislike them because they are bland and show a lack of imagination. (See also The Sounds, whose song "Tony the Beat" I really like, actually.) The Clash is a little bit better. It brings to mind a culture clash as well as being onomatopoetic, and it sums up the angry young raw energy that the Clash represents.

The Clash: 7.5

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Modern English

HS asked me whether I (tender of the '80s flame) had the song "I melt with you" by Modern English. I don't have it, and he was prepared to BUY the CD it was on. In the itunes age, this is clearly deranged behavior. "Life in the Gladhouse, 1980-1984: Best of Modern English" will set you back $16.98. But in addition to that school-dance classic, you get such tracks as Sixteen Days, Dawn Chorus, and Swans on Glass. If anyone can sing those songs for me right now, I'll hand my next paycheck over to you. I am always highly amused when a one-hit wonder puts out a "Best of" compilation. My favorite "Best of"is Toni Basil's. You know, she did "Mickey" and, uh (crickets chirping).

Modern English is a band name that is trying a little too hard. It's too tongue-in-cheek. Like Living in a Box, it tries to sum up the state of the world a little too pithily.

Modern English: 3.2

The Beat vs. The Beatles

I think it's important for bands to show some creativity when choosing a name. When I see a name like The Beat or The Band or The Jam, I think their music is going to be just as bland as their name. (Even though at least one of those bands is really good.) With just a little tweak, The Beat can become The Beatles, a smart and amusing pun.

The Beat: 0.5
The Beatles: 7.5

Tanned, rested, and ready

Apparently my audience has been clamoring for a new post on this blog. My audience of, uh, one regular reader, who shall be known here as Hot Slice (HS). If no one else is reading this, I suppose it's all right to use his nickname. HS convinced me to bring this blog back from retirement, even though he won't leave comments, because of his misgivings about Google-brand applications. Those misgivings are probably well founded, but I'm going to soldier on regardless.

Because not everyone appreciates my talent for instantly divining whether band names Suck or Rule, I am going to introduce a Pitchfork-style scale (0.0 to 10.0) for rating band names.

Let's rock.