Name That Band
What’s in a name? There are so many bands out there now, it’s hard to keep track of them all. They are all over MySpace and iTunes, and every NYC venue has an extensive concert calendar. Sometimes there are three or four bands a night. It’s hard to know which bands I’ve listened to, what I’ve heard about them, and what they sound like. So I have realized that band name choice is very important. When names are similar, I start confusing them with each other, and I’m never quite sure if I know their music or not.
Sometimes the name similarities cause me to miss out on concerts. Kings of Leon is a popular band right now, but when I heard about them I thought I had seen them open for The Killers a while back. And I remember being bored and counting down the minutes until The Killers came on. Turns out that was a different band called Louis XIV. I guess all royalty blends together in my head. But here’s a look at the current trends in band names:
First, there are the ones I don’t know how to pronounce:
Then there are those band names I have pronounced incorrectly:
Pela (PAY-la, not PELL-a)
The Avett Brothers (AVE-it, not AV-it).
And the ones that have to give you instructions:
Aa (BIG A little a)
+/- (Plus Minus)
And who knew that “Yeah” would be a popular word in band names. Here’s a few:
Clap Your Hands Say Yeah
Yeah Yeah Yeahs
Does It Offend You, Yeah?
Then there are the ones that changed their name. Prince and Diddy did it multiple times, and I recently learned that another band changed their name from Say Hi to Your Mom to just Say Hi. And I wondered, did they have a falling out with someone’s mother? Or was t-shirt production too expensive with the added characters? I’m guessing they didn’t like how the limited space on show announcements forced their name to be shortened to S.H.T.Y.M. I can’t say I’m fond of the name Say Hi, but I guess it’s better than completely changing it to something else and then forever being known as something like Rocket Science (The Band Formally Known As Say Hi To Your Mom) with the resulting print on t-shirts: Rocket Science (TBFKASHTYM). But, I must recommend their song “Northwestern Girls”.
Some bands pick really long names, like:
Miles Benjamin Anthony Robinson
…And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead
And there are some odd ones, like Natalie Portman’s Shaved Head. One of the bands I saw this summer was called The Ladybug Transistor. I’m wondering how far they can get with this name…but hopefully they’ll prove me wrong.
Then there are all the bands called “The Somethings” currently on the scene. From the Monolith Festival alone we have: The Giraffes, The Whigs, The Elms, The Postelles, The Kills, The Presets, The Muslims, The Veils.
In addition to:
Some band names are so similar that it’s easy to confuse them when you see their name in a list of upcoming concerts. Here are some that I’ve mixed up:
I thought I saw Love as Laughter at the Monolith Festival, but as it turns out it was LoveLikeFire. I like Mirah, and I got slightly excited when I saw ads for Marah, hoping it was a typo. No such luck, so close yet so far… And when I first heard about Cloud Cult, I thought I knew them. But, no, I had an album from The Cloud Room.
But my favorite band name is Tea for Julie. I’m serious, this is really a band. See for yourself here.
If I had a band it could be called, well, Second Doubles, or maybe I, too, could go the symbol route. Something like ÷, but I’d let people call us Division. Or how about just “The Best Band Ever”? I can hear it now. On the radio: “That was ‘Calamity’ off the debut album from The Best Band Ever.” In conversation: “Do you know The Best Band Ever?” “It depends. Which band do you think it is?” “The Best Band Ever.” “Yeah, I get that, but what’s their name?” (this may go on for a while…). At concerts: “Thanks so much for coming, we are The Best Band Ever.” And on the venue marquee: “TONIGHT: The Best Band Ever.” Who wouldn’t buy a ticket to that show??
So, if you had a band what would its name be?
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Tags: clap your hands say yeah, say hi, tea for julie