Sunday, February 24, 2008

Bands With Stupid Names

From, with a little help from me.

Porno For Pyros
The story: Former Jane's Addiction frontman Perry Farrell came up with the name while watching coverage of the LA riots on television. Presumably while masturbating.
Why it sucks: Isn't pornography for pyromaniacs pretty much the same as porn for everyone else?

The story: Lead singer Chad Kroeger was having trouble coming up with a name, and so approached his brother, who worked at a Starbucks. Coffee was $1.95, which meant every customer who paid two bucks got — waiiiit for it — a nickel back!
Why it sucks: Asking cashiers at franchise coffee shops for career advice can only end in tragedy.

Matchbox 20
The story: Explanations range from the name being the title of a song to the drummer seeing the word "matchbox" and the number 20 on a guy's shirt in a restaurant. Either way, shut the f*ck up, Rob Thomas.
Why it sucks: If you're going to pick a band name that's nonsense, it should at least sound cool (Soundgarden, etc).

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 sucks: There's simply no excuse for including a word in your band's name that means you can't hear. You might as well just call yourself Shitty Music and save people the trouble of mocking you.

Puddle Of Mudd
The story: The 1993 Missouri River flood left the band's practice space a muddy mess, which led them to this name — instead of the far better one, Missouri River Flood.
Why it sucks: Not only do we get an extra "d" for no reason, we also get an altogether unnecessary word. No, it couldn't just be Mudd Puddle. We definitely need that extra "of." Just like when you're ordering lunch and get a sandwich of tuna with chips of potato.

Of Montreal
The story: No one knows. Or cares.
Why it sucks: They're "of" Athens, Georgia.

The Goo Goo Dolls
The story: The band found the name in an issue of True Detective Magazine after a club owner balked at their original and equally dumb name The Sex Maggots.
Why it sucks: Say it out loud. There's your reason. Sure, it might have seemed like an ironic name back when you guys were young and confident that you'd always rock the fuck out, but now you're on adult contemporary radio, and your name reminds people of the gurgling mess in the back seat that brought their youth to an abrupt end.

The The
The story: A British act decided to come up with a band name even more ironically detached than The Band, just to piss off Robbie Robertson.
Why it sucks: Try Googling their name.

Panic! At The Disco
The story: Named after the Smiths song, "Panic," which includes a line about a disco burning down. Note that this offers no explanation whatsoever for the extraneously lame exclamation mark.
Why it sucks: Much like their contemporaries in the whine-rock genre, the title utterly fails at being either cute or intelligent, and is instead simply annoying. At least Fall Out Boy is a Simpsons reference.

Limp Bizkit
The story: Rumor has it that the name comes from the title of the masturbation game in which a bunch of scholars stand around a biscuit and ejaculate onto it. The last guy to do so has to eat the biscuit. So, in a metaphorical way, the American public has been losing this game every time Limp Bizkit released an album.
Why it sucks: Limp Bizkit intentionally misspelled their band name, because that's phat with the kids. Fred Durst apparently thought that naming his band after a game played by lonely, pimply-faced masturbators was just a little too intellectually haughty, so he dumbed down the spelling for us.

The story: A group of British "anarchists" with strong political opinions needed a band name that resonated with the passion of their views, and so picked a gibberish word that means nothing.
Why it sucks: Rage Against the Machine might be a little trite for a band name, but at least it gets the point across. Chumbawamba's only political statement to date is "Tubthumping," which takes the controversial stance that it's incredibly fun to get shitfaced.

The story: In an interview, here's what the band's vocalist, Doug Robb, had to say about the name: "It's really cool, it's one of those old high school inside-joke words that didn't really mean anything."
Why it sucks: Actually, Doug Robb, it's not really cool. If you're going to name your band after a high school inside-joke word that doesn't mean anything, why not use a word that doesn't sound like something you'd shout if you had to wear a helmet all the time and licked the windows on the short bus.

Toad The Wet Sprocket
The story: The name is taken from a comment in an Eric Idle monologue on a Monty Python album. This, then, is the musical equivalent of the A/V club nerds who recited the "Knights Who Say Nee" sketch over and over.
Why it sucks: You can have the bitchin'-est music in the world, but as soon as the DJ says your name, the game's over.

Thirty Odd Foot of Grunts
The story: There are competing origin stories for the name of Russell Crowe's band, but, in the final analysis, no one gives a rat's ass.
Why it sucks: In Crowe's excitement over coming up with a gimmicky band name that suggests he can't sing, and in his band mates' excitement to agree with that name lest he pummel them with whatever household object was nearest at hand, the boys apparently forgot to make Foot plural. Oh, and it sounds like a gay porno title.

Hootie & The Blowfish
The story: The band is named for two of singer Darius Rucker's college choir friends, nicknamed "Hootie" and "the Blowfish" because one looked like an owl and the other like a blowfish. Interesting note: That choir was named Darius the Black Guy & The Two Ugliest Dudes on Campus.
Why it sucks: In a word: "hootie." In four: "hootie," "and," "the" and "blowfish." We now know from scientific studies performed in 1998 at Cambridge that there isn't a single aspect of Hootie and the Blowfish's name that doesn't invite you, the listener, on a subconscious simian level, to punch each of them in the face until they agree to change it.

Archers of Loaf
The story: Because the band members apparently wanted to spend every single interview talking about their name, they came up with the dumbest one they could think of.
Why it sucks: Because it's clearly just the result of opening the dictionary two times and using the first word one of the guys pointed to. Unfortunately, one of the words happens to be "loaf," as in "meat" or "pinching a." So people hear your name and think about their mother and/or taking a dump. Good thinking, guys.

Clip Of The Day

I saw a few minutes of the original Planet Of The Apes on TCM a few nights ago, and naturally it reminded me of one of my all-time favorite Simpsons bits.

"I hate every ape I see, from chimpan-A to chimpanzee..."


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