Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Just Something I Thought Was Funny

Not to long ago "Cracked.com" listed The 25 Most Ridiculous Band Names in Rock History. Each entry containes a back story on the creation of the name and then another paragraph on why the editors at Cracked.com thought the name was worthy enough to be on this shameful list.
I'll list a few to whet your appetite, but if you want to read the whole article you'll have to go to the right rail and search out the link!

ENTRY #1:The Alan Parsons Project
The story: Founder Alan Parsons started a "project" with other "project administration personnel" to "drill down" on this whole "music" thing he'd heard so much about. So he named it that.

Why it's ridiculous: It's one thing to just name your band after yourself, like ego cases Dave Matthews and Ben Folds did. But once you've made the choice to be lazy, you're not allowed to get all clever with it afterwards. Besides, it makes the band sound like the sort of after-school activity all the kids who didn't make the basketball team got stuck with. "Today, class, we're going to build Alan Parsons... from common household items!"

ENTRY #2: Stone Temple Pilots
The story: One of the band members thought the logo on the STP car treatment spray bottles was cool. So yes, in case you were wondering: a lot of thought went into this.

Why it's ridiculous: Most of the band members seemed to think titling songs "Kitchenware & Candy Bars" and getting addicted to heroin was a fantastic idea, too. Evidence suggests they might not be the guys to turn to for well-reasoned decisions. The mental image of four guys flying around ancient Aztec temples matches up better with a psychedelic rock band, not a bunch of cock-rockers penning songs like "Meatplow" and "Sex-Type Thing."

ENTRY #3: Smashing Pumpkins
The story: More of a cautionary tale than anything else, bandmates Billy Corgan and co. reportedly dashed the name off quickly so they could get on with their lives, not realizing they'd be fielding lame pumpkin-based jokes about it for the rest of their lives.

Why it's ridiculous: According to a November 1993 Washington Post interview with bass player D'arcy Wretzky, even the band thinks Smashing Pumpkins "is a stupid name, a dumb bad joke and a bad idea," which should tell you something. These days, they claim the name doesn't even have anything to do with pummeling squash fruit, in that "smashing" was meant to imply "great" (as in the British slang), like that somehow makes it less stupid. It'd be like accidentally crapping yourself on a bus, then telling everyone it's okay, because you meant to: Nobody cares why you did it, Shitty Pants.

ENTRY #4: Def Leppard
The story: Singer Joe Elliott thought of the name Deaf Leopard while he was in school (presumably while failing something). The spelling was later changed so the band didn't become confused with punk bands (who are known for their flawless spelling).

Why it's ridiculous: Putting aside '80s metal bands' fascination with animals for a minute (White Tiger, Whitesnake, Great White, Jackyl, Ratt) unless you're a Mozart-level talent, there's simply no excuse for including a word in your band's name that means you can't hear sounds. You might as well just call yourself Terrible Music and save people the energy of mocking you.

ENTRY #5: Of Montreal
The story: Frontman Kevin Barnes has told many conflicting stories about where this Athens, Ga. band got their name, but the one that seems to have gained acceptance is that he was dating a girl from Montreal and it didn't work out.

Why it's ridiculous: What's the word for those people who change their explanation for something 100 times before settling on an excuse that sounds vaguely implausible? Oh, that's right, liars! Barnes named his band Of Montreal because he wanted people to think his band was from Montreal. He knew just as well as everyone else that if your group is from Montreal, you can record yourself taking a poop on a xylophone and Pitchfork will give it a sparkling review. Meanwhile, the last time a great band came out of Athens, Michael Stipe still thought he was straight. But why not just name the band "We're from Montreal" then, and get it over with? Oh right, because Barnes wanted to make it extraordinarily difficult for fans to use his band's name in a sentence:

Of Montreal Fan: Ever heard of Of Montreal? I'm a fan of Of Montreal. In my book there's nobody above Of Montreal.

Hot Indie Chick: You're hooked on phonics, aren't you?

1 comment:

Franko6677 said...

I always thought Echo and the Bunnymen was a ridiculous name, although I kinda like it.

Another that comes to mind is Martha and the Muffins, which the band has said was created after trying to think of the least punk name they could to try to make a statement or something.