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