Tuesday, April 17, 2007

All blog and no play

I'm going to take a break from the Band Name Blog for a month or two. I'll still be blogging here. If you have band names to suggest, leave them in the comments section. Ciao!

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Hooky and the Delinquents

I went looking for bands named Hookey or Hooky (not sure how you spell it). I thought the name would be a comic goldmine in the "who's on first?" tradition.
--Who's playing?
--They're playing Hookey?
--No, we're playing Hookey.

Yes, I know I missed my calling. (I'm here all week, folks.) I found Hooky and the Delinquents and The Hookey Band. The only match for H and the D is a recent classified in a St. Louis paper, looking for members and specifying "all members must chew gum." Clearly they are very rebellious. I think they should title their first CD "Please Hooky don't hurt 'em."

The Hooky Band is based in England and has progressed a little farther than H and the D. They'll play pretty much any kind of music, including "Ho-Down." I think that is probably different from Hoe-Down. I imagine it involves a lot of broken acrylic nails and a tourniquet made of spandex.

Hooky and the Delinquents: 7.9 (nice use of the "X and the Ys" construction)
The Hooky Band: 2.5 (would have been better to call themselves simply Hooky)

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

My! Gay! Husband!

Regular readers should know I'm not a fan of punctuation in band names. What is wrong with "My Gay Husband?" (question mark not included, although that would still be a big improvement over the exclamation points.) With the exclamation points, I want to say the name in cheerleader style: MY (clap) GAY (clap) HUSBAND (shake pom poms)!

MGH is a DJ in Vancouver. I'll grant that he has some pretty spiffy promo posters. The one I like most is above. He has appointed himself "le prince de la rave rap." How does one dress to see rave rap? Lots of bling and a green wig?

I found this name on a list of the best SxSW band names this year, which is quite a treasure trove.

My! Gay! Husband!: 1.8

Monday, March 26, 2007

Sistas in the Pit

I'm going to see Iggy Pop next week, and two bands are opening for him: Sistas in the Pit and The High Class Elite. I predict a fight backstage.

Sistas: The High Class Elite Man is trying to bring us down!
High Class: Climb out of the pit and join the rest of society!

I'm not sure how I feel about names that use the vernacular (i.e. sistas vs. sisters). I know that I feel like a dork when I say "Da Ali G show," because I have very little of that rhythm thing. But I think the sistas can carry it off. Maybe The High Clas Elite should call themselves Da High Class Elite.

Sistas in the Pit: 6.3
The High Class Elite: 2.5

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Lesbians on Ecstasy

I was a little afraid of what I might find when I googled this band name. But "lezzies on x" seem very nice and are from Montreal, a beautiful city that I'll be visiting very soon. Their philosophy/ raison d'etre (en francais out of respect for Quebec) is to put down the acoustic guitar and back away from the multi-part harmonies that lesbian music so often (heck, always) reveres. They're throwing away the chambray and taking it to the dance floor, bitches!

The name is obviously over the top, but it's so out there that I respect it. I wonder how many frat boys stumble into their shows looking for a hot time? If you're in the closet and don't want to be, I think leaving a Lesbians on Ecstasy ticket out when your parents come to visit is probably a good conversation starter.

Lesbians on Ecstasy: 7.1

Monday, March 12, 2007


I dare you to try saying this name using your normal speaking voice. It just can't be done.

The group gives an explanation of their name (something about a coalition of unity) that scores high on the bs-meter. The band members used pseudonyms Chip Fu, Moc Fu, and Poc Fu. This isn't a band, it's a takeout menu. However, the name is certainly memorable and fun. Unfortunately, the Fu-Schnickens' oeuvre has not held up as well as their name. The picture at the top shows the Fu-Schnickens' namesake: a gay basketball team in San Francisco who captured the spring tournament championship in 2005, narrowly beating a band--I mean team--named Contact High.

Fu-Schnickens: 6.3

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Scissor Sisters

The Scissor Sisters' original name was Dead Lesbian and the Fibrillating Scissor Sisters. While the longer name certainly produces quite a mental picture, the shorter name is much better. It's fun to say and your parents probably won't get the sexual reference (though to be fair, I didn't either until I researched it).

The Scissor Sisters have something else going for them: a well-designed logo, which appears above. Not too many bands have logos, and I think that is a mistake. For one thing, a logo probably helps move merchandise. At their recent concert, the merch stand had a full line of logo-ed products, including earrings and a vinyl pillow whose purpose I am afraid to guess at. My group kept our eyes on an older (sixty-ish) couple in the balcony who had a logo-ed poster with them. They looked bored or uncomfortable until the show started, at which point they nodded their heads to a few of the songs. We figured they were related to the band, but it was the kind of show that was fun for all ages. Or perhaps I should say for all those old enough to buy tickets to an R-rated movie, because some elements of the show were pretty risque. But as band member Ana Matronic commented, what do you expect from a band named after a lesbian sexual position?

Scissor Sisters: 8.8

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Lamb of God (and other bands who may or may not be Christian)

This post was originally going to be about The Promise Ring, one of the most famous emo bands. If I didn't know their music, I'd guess they were a Christian band, since promise rings are supposed to be symbols of a couple who want to remain virgins until marriage. At least, that's my understanding. I only know what the documentaries tell me about evangelicals. The Promise Ring is not a very good name. It makes me feel icky, much like the concept of promise rings.

You would definitely think Lamb of God was a Christian band, right? Not so much. They are a "groove metal" band formerly known as Burn the Priest. Burn the Priest is a great name, especially for a metal band. It makes you wanna set stuff on fire.

Although I really hate their music, Creed is a good band name. It's short, suits their musical style, and hints at the group's Christian roots.

Lamb of God: 2.0
The Promise Ring: 2.2
Burn the Priest: 7.6
Creed: 8.0

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

The Reluctant Vegan

What's up with this band name? It's completely lame.

Does it work better as a blog name? Good. Because it's the name of my new blog. Never fear, the Band Name Blog will continue to rock you.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Snow Patrol

This name came to mind as I was watching heavy wet snow fall this morning and into this afternoon, causing cancellation of my plan to attend Kate's fabulous Oscar party tonight in Richmond. Boo to snow.

There is some nice assonance going on in this name. It's a fun name to say, especially if you say it really slow. Then it sounds like a 78 rpm record played at 45 rpm (did I just lose everyone under 30?).

My first thought was that this band's name is a fairly lame drug reference. (See also "ski instructor seeks snow bunny" personal ads on Craigslist.) I imagined they were frat boys who used lots of drugs in college, to later become suburban dads who disdain drug use but who go through half a bottle of vodka every weekend. Let the record show that I'm not afraid to admit when I'm wrong. They earned this name the hard way. As Wikipedia says,
"Bass player Paul Wilson said the reason for the name stemmed from an encounter with police in Telluride, Colorado. The band members apparently were caught trying to cut down a Christmas tree from the skiing hotspot. The band successfully eluded the police when they hid a cave for over five hours. Drummer Jonny Quinn suffered from pneumonia after the ordeal."

This behavior is so stupid I'm actually impressed. They thought it would be better to get pneumonia and risk freezing to death than to get a slap on the wrist and a small fine. I guess natural selection worked out OK for them in this case.

Snow Patrol: 5.7

Loney, Dear

As one magazine put it, this name is the bane of spellcheckers everywhere. Also, it makes no sense. There are many good nonsensical band names, but I don't think this is one of them. I can't find an explanation of the name's origins, but I have learned the guy who comprises 100% of Loney, Dear is Swedish. As someone with Swedish heritage (and because English is clearly his second language), I award him a pity point.

The title of his next album is Loney, Noir. Couldn't he have come up with a straightforward title to balance out the confusing name?

Loney, Dear: 2.5 (includes pity point)

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

The Mod Cons

This just goes to show that yes, all the good band names are taken. I've been happy to find that two band names I'd thought were great actually exist. The Mod Cons are a band from the UK that look pretty firmly entrenched on the Wigan-Liverpool circuit.

The first thing I like about this band name is that Mod and Con are such delightfully ambiguous words. Of course, we know it's short for "modern conveniences," but couldn't it be Mod like '60s mod, and Con like convict?

Second, the idea of modern conveniences is strongly nostalgic for me. What are mod cons? Like, a dishwasher and an electric dryer (as opposed to a rubber tub and a clothesline)? It reminds me of a car mechanic's sign in Worcester, MA, where I went to grad school. The sign said "Computerized service" and it had one of those little atom symbols. Wow--computers!

The Mod Cons: 9.0

Green Milk from the Planet Orange

Sarah keeps the good ideas rollin'. I'll give this band props for a nicely-designed website. This band name wants to be part of the gross-out genre, but the web site tries to put it in the minimal graphics cool-school instead. The best example of a gross-out band name I have found is Orgasm-Induced Diarrhea. Sorry if anyone is reading this over dinner.

You won't forget this band name, but it's also pretty unwieldy. The acronym, used frequently on the web site, is GMFTPO. Now, I work for the Federal gov't, and even I think that's a bad acronym. How about GrMiPO instead?

Green Milk from the Planet Orange: 3.7

Vincent van Go Go

Alert reader Sarah provided some inspiration to get my ass bloggin' again. First, did you know that van Gogh is correctly pronounced like "fun hoff?" The "hoff" is very phlegmy. Things aren't looking too good for Van go go already. This name is undoubtedly funny, at least to me, but it's a little long. Sarah, does the singer perform with a bandaged ear?

Vincent van Go Go: 4.5

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Cute is What We Aim For

Well, you missed (oh, snap!).

Cute is What We Aim For: 0.5

Monday, January 29, 2007

The Knack

Thanks to someone who shall remain nameless, "My Sharona" has been stuck in my head all day. The instigator has redeemed himself to a degree by discovering that the titular Sharona is now a real estate agent who says inscrutable things like "My Sharona has had an impact on my ability to understand the entertainers [sic] mind, there's something simpatico." All right, honey, you need to stop smoking the funny cigarettes Doug Fieger gave you when you were 17. (For further reading check out this excellent appreciation of the Knack's late drummer, Bruce Gary.)

Anyway, The Knack is similar to The Rentals. The band names are middling on their own, but they made for some great artist/title combos. The Knack released Get the Knack, and the Rentals have Return of the Rentals. Not the most sophisticated humor technique, but it works for me.

The Knack: 7.4

Friday, January 26, 2007

Noble Rot

I'm back from my business trip out west, where Budget car rental conspired to stick me in a Hummer H3. Hilarity did not ensue. I feel like I should spend the weekend planting trees in penitence.

I thought Noble Rot would be a great band name, so I was pleased to find that this band does indeed exist. This web page about them is hilarious and profound all at once. Their song titles include "Detox Bitch" and "Big Bottle of Love." The page also opines that the lead singer's basement is "a hot spot of sorts for underground rock shows." In short, I see this band as the sons of Spinal Tap.

The singer comments that “In the end, you make the name, the name doesn’t make you.” I tend to disagree (that's kind of the point of my blog, after all), but there is a kernel of truth here. The most outlandish band name can gain respectability if the music is good enough.

Noble Rot: 9.2

Wednesday, January 17, 2007


I thought this name was French at first, but it turns out it's no language known to (wo)man. The band explains:
"The first two letters were intentional, because there was an 'au' sound in the track, and the rest of the letters were bashed randomly on the keyboard. We had this track title for ages, and we had written it on a cassette, with some graphics. It looked good, and we began using it as our name."

Let's hope these guys aren't air traffic controllers in their day jobs. My next question concerns the pronunciation of Autechre. Wikipedia says it's usually pronounced "awe-teh-ker." I wonder how many people say it with a French inflection? It's pretty advanced French too, with the phlegmy "hre" sound.

In sum, we have a keyboard-bashed name that is prone to be hilariously mispronounced by wanna-be Francophones. Brilliant or bollocks? For once, I'm not sure.

Autechre: 5.0?

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Apostle of Hustle

Alert reader Kate introduced me to Apostle of Hustle. The name can be a little bit of a tongue-twister, but I like the internal rhyme. As I want to evaluate this name objectively, I have not yet listened to their music, but I imagine it to be fun-kay.

HS and I agree that Ian Svenonius should take over this band name, by force if necessary. Ian Sven is truly the Apostle of Hustle. Not to name drop (ha, you know I love it), but last weekend, I found myself being the (soy) meat in an Ian sandwich. However, it was all G-rated. We were at a very small show at an art gallery and I was next to Ian Sven. HS asked me to pass his copy of Ian's new book (The Psychic Soviet) over for him to sign. Ian looked rather surprised. Ian MacKaye had been standing behind me for a while and interjected, "My name's Ian too...I can sign it!" Momentarily overcome, HS and I just laughed. The next time this happens (yeah, right), HS is going to respond with "Your name is Ian?" Yes, our curse is to always think of good come-backs too late.

But I digress...

Apostle of Hustle: 8.6

Friday, January 05, 2007


Hem spelled backwards is meh, which is pretty much how I feel about this band name.

Hem: 2.6

Pink Floyd and The Psychedelic Furs

These band names belong to the nonsense/ nonsequitur band name genre. They seem to make no sense. Don't even try to think rationally about what a psychedelic fur is; it's not meant to be logically understood (but maybe it has something to do with Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat).

I admire the Dada element in these names. Turns out that Pink Floyd does have a logical explanation: it's named after two blues musicians. More interesting is that Pink Floyd started out as Tea Set. Wow, is that ever a wussy name. It might be appropriate for Belle and Sebastian (and hey, I like B&S), but not for space/stoner rock.

Pink Floyd: 7.9
The Psychedelic Furs: 7.0

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Def Leppard

Why not Deaf Leopard? Well, the band originally was called Deaf Leopard, but they thought it made them sound too punk or something. The whole thing is a little unclear to me. Why use a deaf leopard as your emblem? The leopard cannot enjoy your music. Perhaps, like the umlaut, the "leppard" lends an air of menace. It would be great if a heavy metal tribute band called itself Def Leper. However, it seems that name is already taken, and by a man of the cloth to boot.

Def Leppard definitely looks more rockin' than Deaf Leopard. It reminds me of a line in American Movie where the film director keeps pronouncing the title of his movie, Coven, as if it rhymes with "woven." He does that because it sounds more rockin' that way. An actor in the film remarks that to be pronounced that way, an umlaut should be added.

Def Leppard: 6.8