My friend Jared in high school started a band called Opposite of Impact (they never played a show). One day he told my brother, “You know man, I don’t even know what the opposite of impact is!?”
Voila! The band name dilemma!
The Onion's A.V. Club put together a review of band names for 2013, and the results are worth a retweet. Minnesota locals - tie-dyed jammers Wookiefoot and the artsy-smartsy popsters Dada Trash Collage - get props. Also, erstwhile Minneapolis all-male Britney Spears cover band, SPEARZ (of which my brother is guitarist), has been upstaged by Spears & Gears, everyone’s favorite Chicago-based, all-steam-punk Britney tribute.
In his intro, writer Kyle Ryan declared Twin Cities rockers Gay Witch Abortion belong in the band name hall of fame.
Thi year's list proves a really good band name is contingent upon perceived degree of witlessness. That’s why a band like Warboner is so precious. Do they, like, play a lot of Special Ops-themed video games? Are they making a boring statement? Or better, did they put words in an empty PBR can, pull out two words, smash them together and drunkenly voted on their favorite? In other words, would a Facebook account and a couple songs on iTunes smell just as sweet if not using the handle Whales in Cubicles?
Clever portmanteaus (Velocicopter) to salacious sobriquets (Husky Brunette) to political blasphemes (Mandatory Abortions) to traditional sophomoric punning (George O’Queef), band nomenclature continues to be the most agreeably progressive component of the music industry. And this makes sense, as the A.V. Club points out, attracting attention in a sea of half-bearded bands with loop pedals perversely incentivises naming your band CockSlap.
One question raised by the article is whether these are bad names or awesomely bad names? You’d like to think there’s a Cormac McCarthy fan somewhere behind A Pale Horse Named Death, but then the bio suggests some stoned metalheads in Brooklyn are just really into scary dark death things.
Sigh. The dirges of aesthetics play on ...