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March 21, 2006

Of band names and new music

I've been listening to a lot of new music. New music that has brightened my meager existence and given me reason to smile (or somesuch nonsense). Anywho, this is what I've been listening to:

Usually a band's name is very important to me. For example, I simply refuse to listen to anything by The Barenaked Ladies. That has got to be one of the dumbest band names ever. I just have a feeling that listening to their music will decrease my IQ by at least 30 points every time I hear them. All because of their band name. It may be shallow, but what can I say? I am who I am.

Another example is the Butthole Surfers. I don't care how good their music is, I will never listen to them. Never ever. That band name takes the cake as the dumbest, worst name in the history of recorded music. Ghastly. The Butthole Surfers could make the all-encompassing album, an album that creates world peace and makes my Cheerios less soggy, but I won't listen. George Carlin could travel back in time and help them with their high school history class final project, but I will still refuse to listen. No, no, no!

This brings me to this new band I am listening to: The New Pornographers. Usually a band name like this would cause me to think twice about picking up their album. For one, it is a stupid name. This cannot be argued. And secondly, it makes for uncomfortable conversations and even potential rumors. Take for example this possible conversation:

Mike: Hey Shane, what are you listening to?

Me: Oh, a great new band called The New Pornographers. I really like their music.

Mike: I bet if they are singing about pornography.

Me: What? No, that's not it, let me explain...

Meanwhile, Paul has overheard parts of our conversation from a few cubicles down...

Paul [thinking]: Shane likes pornography? And not only that, it has to be "new"? ... what a pervert! I'm going to have to spread this rumor...

Paul: Hey John, did you hear Shane is using company time to look at pornography?

John [my boss]: No, I guess I'll have to fire him.

Do you see how quickly a band name can make my life unravel? It is quite frightening actually. So, when I come across a band name like "The New Pornographers" I have to seriously think if it is worth potentially losing my job in order to enjoy their music. Well, as you can probably tell, I have decided the risk is worth it.

Twin Cinema was widely regarded by many to be one of the finest albums of 2005, and I can't argue with that. Electric Version is also a fine effort which I am enjoying right now. And for the record, they do not sing about pornography!

So, to wrap this up, here is a list of what I consider to be some of the dumber band names (in order of how dumb I think they are):

  1. Butthole Surfers -- I think I have already established how dumb this name is
  2. Barenaked Ladies -- Again, just plain stupid.
  3. Hoobastank -- Yes, there is definitely something that "stanks" around here.
  4. Goo Goo Dolls -- Lame, lame, lame. And they are making sugary pop to back it up. Disgusting.
  5. Deathcab for Cutie -- Good music, but really, I don't get this band name. It is kind of creepy, truth be told.
  6. The New Pornographers -- if I can't talk about your band in public, you have a stupid name. Do you want to make money?

That about covers it. If you can think of any others, put 'em in the comments.

Posted by snackeru at March 21, 2006 12:17 PM | Lists


I'd have to say Morningwood.

Posted by: bjhess at March 21, 2006 1:30 PM

So Shane, if T-Paw and Phil Krinkie said that they would support a new Twins ballpark but only if you listened to the entire Butthole Surfers catalogue and Carl Pohlad said he'd put more $$$ in the ballpark only if Butthole Surfers music was played between innings, you would have to decline their offer?!?

Also you forgot Big Head Todd and the Monsters. That is one stupid band name.

Posted by: freealonzo at March 21, 2006 2:44 PM

I've never been fond of the name U2, that is one dorky name. LOL!

Goo Goo Dolls. Come on now, that's just awful.

Milli Vanilli. Not only a horrid name, but just awful music.

Posted by: Cheesehead Craig at March 21, 2006 4:27 PM

Hootie and the Blowfish. They just blew. Oh yeah, and the name makes me think of nails on a chalkboard.

Posted by: jclund at March 21, 2006 4:51 PM

Nice list of current faves, all have been in regular rotation with me. The Hold Steady is poised for bigger things after having just signed to a new lable. Their next release should be huge. I have been on the Clap Your Hands bandwagon for awhile. I guess they blew everyone away recently at South by Southwest and their next record is highly anticipated. The New Pornographers are apparently named after a quote from Jimmy Swaggert. If you dig the women singing check out Neko Case's new one, Fox Confessor Brings the Flood, highly recommended. In addition one guy from the band has a side project called Destroyer. That CD is great.
As I type I am listening to the new Jenny Lewis. She is the singer for Rilo Kiley. Great stuff. Check her out on Letterman tonight. I guess sometimes I can obsess over new music as much as stadiums.
My entry for bad band name- Cunning Linguists. It is a real band. Talk about a lame name.

Posted by: Jiminstpaul at March 21, 2006 5:42 PM

I used to refuse to listen to barenaked ladies too because I hated One Week, but seriously some of there songs are stellar, Brian Wilson (live) and Jane are too of my favorite songs....ever.

Posted by: joeywyen at March 21, 2006 9:16 PM

Approve my comment in limbo, Shane. Approve! I included a nasty, dreaded, spammy link in it so it was blocked. :)

Posted by: bjhess at March 21, 2006 11:12 PM

How about the Cherry Poppin' Daddies? The Dead Milkmen?

Deep Blue Something. Tripping Daisy. Toad the Wet Sprocket. (I know, it's a Python reference. Still a dopey name.) Perhaps my favorite bad band name: Gaye Bykers on Acid.

There also used to be a funk-rock band from Portland called Sweaty Nipples, but they never made it out of the indie leagues. (Perhaps it was the name.)

Posted by: frightwig at March 22, 2006 3:54 AM

Here I agree with you. Brand name plays an important role. The name suggests the views and mentality of the band people. Good name means good and bad name neans bad. This is the simple logic applied by the audience.

Am I right? :smile:

Posted by: emma at March 22, 2006 5:19 AM

Let me paint a word picture for you. You are driving around looking for a place with live music. You are looking at the marquee of all the venues. You see "Prince" advertised in one place. Hmm. Then you see another sign that makes you look twice. The sign says:

Tonight Only
Bare Naked Ladies

Come on! That makes it a GREAT name. It is just too bad the band isn't better. The only thing that would be better is:

Tonight Only
Free Beer

Posted by: DouglasG at March 22, 2006 8:36 AM

Yes, but Douglas your word picture assumes that a person would choose Bare Naked Ladies because that is what the person would expect to get. It is false advertising! So, not only is the band name stupid, it could also potentially lure a person into a venue under false pretenses! For shame!

Posted by: Shane at March 22, 2006 8:56 AM

Doesn't Cities 97 play music from a band called The Pooh Sticks? Now that is a stupid name.

Posted by: freealonzo at March 22, 2006 3:28 PM

Stupid post if you're serious. It's people like you that allow government to walk all over your rights. Not discussing a band out of fear for getting fired over the band's name. Unreal. And paranoid.

Posted by: jerk store at March 26, 2006 4:43 AM

Nope, not serious as evidenced by the fact that I wrote about it in the first place (this blog is not anonymous). So save your intellectual freedom lecture for someone else. Lighten up and laugh a little.

Posted by: Shane at March 26, 2006 7:13 PM

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