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Ladies and Gentlemen, the Group of Death!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012 - 05:24 PM

When it comes to vacation days, WNYC has a "use it or lose it" policy, and with the end of the fiscal year approaching on June 30, I'm about to lose a few days. So today I'm at home, currently watching Euro 2012, the European soccer championships.  I started while Portugal was beating Denmark, but incompatibility issues between my home computer and the Soundcheck website mean that I’m finally finishing it during the marquee matchup between Germany and Netherlands.  All four teams are ranked in top 10 of the world, and are all in the same group of four, which is why all the commentators are referring to it as the "Group of Death."

Which would be an awesome name for a band.

We've talked before on the show about how hard it is to find a good name for your band, how so many names are already taken, and how badly some bands are named. Of course, a bad band name to one person is a stroke of genius to another. I happen to like the Austin,TX-based group called I Love You But I've Chosen Darkness (ILYBICD for short), but my wife thinks it's a stupid name. Brooklyn's And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead (Trail of Dead for short) is a band whose music I like more than their name, but I can't say why I think that's cumbersome and ILYBICD is not.

Then there’s the band Fun. (Fun-with-that-stupid-and-unnecessary-period-at-the-end for short), whose name makes any sentence containing it an unexpected challenge to read (or write).  Given the success of their current hit, “We Are Young,” that’s a lot of sentences. And don’t get me started on Panic! At The Disco.

I guess what I’m saying is that I don’t mind the full-sentence band name (subject, verb, object), but the willfully weird punctuation band name actively annoys me.  (Maybe I’ll except the band !!!, since I like their music…)  (Nah.)  But of course names like Fun. and Panic! At The Disco certainly seem to work for lots of other people.  For me, they belong in the Group of Death.

When it comes to band names, there’s a fine line between Creative Thinking and Desperate Disaster.  So throw out an unusual band name – one that you think rocks, or one that you think deserves to die a quick death.  And let’s see what the reaction is…


John Schaefer

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Comments [4]

Frank Grimaldi from EV

The band name that always makes me laugh:
The Dead Kenny Gs

The band name that has me asking "why and how did they come up with this name?" (btw - great band)
Jukebox The Ghost

The band name that I think is really dumb and brilliant at the same time because it grabs my attention whenever I see it in calendar listings:
We Were Promised Jetpacks.

Jun. 15 2012 06:28 AM
Robert from Brooklyn

I like the natural out flaw like The Black Keys did or how native Americans gave name for the kid after year or two being able to see kid in action; "Dancing with Wolfs" like, therefore sky is the limit-open your eyes and ears and will come to you, it is natural creative process one should open to subconscious and appreciate every step toward.

Jun. 14 2012 06:13 PM
A.J. Mell

Humor goes a long way for me. These are all pretty obscure bands, but the names are among my favorites:

The Guilloteens
The Supreme Cool Beings
Bad Teenage Mustache
Ed Asner Is Gay
The Hugh Beaumont Experience

Jun. 13 2012 06:28 PM
Kerry Nolan from Jersey Shore

When my son was about 10, he decided that if he were ever to create a band, its name AND first album title would be, "I Smell Like Cheese".

Jun. 13 2012 05:47 PM

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