there’s a disturbing trend in the naming of bands these days. apparently everything is permissible. in fact the more nonsensical, or irritatingly “clever”, the better. gone are the days where straightforward names were sufficient. now if you aren’t dropping vowels, making obscure references, and generally being a twit, good luck establishing your indie cred. (note: i actually really like some of the bands mentioned here, so this is mostly said with love, except where it isn’t) so, in no particular order:
the name of this band is pronounced churches, so why not simply go by churches which is a pretty good name instead of deciding that a ‘v’ should replace the ‘u’. well because that wouldn’t be cricket (read: indie credible) now would it. but i will honor that decision by pronouncing their name ‘cha-ver-ches’ because i’m not ‘in the know” and that is how it is spelled.
#2 ∆ (alt-j)
putting aside the fact that this band is named after a keyboard command, they go by the delta symbol, so their name should be delta not alt-j. they ask for a regressive translation of the symbol, suggesting that with their usage the symbol is pronounced alt-j because that’s how you create the symbol on a mac keyboard. but . . . it, um . . . isn’t pronounced that way, the alt-j command came long after delta had existed.
imagine this dialog for a second and how you would respond.
alexander: hey, do you want to come see my band this weekend?
you: yes! what are you guys called?
alexander: (hands you a card with just a ‘&’ symbol on it)
you: oh, cool, you’re called ‘ampersand’.
alexander: no, that’s pronounced ‘shift-7’.
you: . . .
i rest my case.
to be fair this is not really their fault, as they wanted to be called the management which is a perfectly legitimate name, but someone already had it, so in order to avoid confusion and probably legal woes but keep the name they reduced it to MGMT. but the result is a whole bunch of missing letters for that 4 letter combination to be pronounced management, so your name to me is pronounced ‘mug mut’ which, let’s face it, is kind of cute.
#4 clap your hands say yeah
this name ushered in a whole bunch of bands with randomly strung together words often evoking odd commands, and those names just get more and more annoyingly twee as the years go on. this isn’t necessarily the worst offender of this form, but because of its consequence on hipster bands naming themselves things like ‘punch the nun and square dance’ their naming efforts are deserving of revulsion. (note: there is no band ‘punch the nun and square dance’, but now i guarantee there will be)
this name is almost acceptable. nothing wrong with tuneyards as a band name, not the best, but could be much worse. but when you insist on random capitalization of every other letter, it becomes something else. hAtEfUl, that is what it becomes.
#6 the weeknd
again, case of naming a band with odd letter placements or missing vowels, so to continue the established trend, the name of your group is pronounced ‘the week nud’ which is truly awful.
#7 oOoOO (pronounced ‘oh’)
do i really need to say anything about this? the specific capitalization, the number of letters, doesn’t it just make the skin crawl? yes or noOoOO?
#8 the good, the bad, and the queen
not only are you weirdly referencing a sergio leone spaghetti western for your band name, you’re also adding in a random bait and switch that is neither clever or commenting on the original title. here’s a better option to keep the sergio leone theme ‘twice upon a time in the duke of kent’. nope, that’s way worse.
#9 portugal. the man
oh just fuck off.
#10 the child of lov (light-oxygen-voltage)
okay, the child of love while not a great name might actually be acceptable, but when you reduce the word love to lov (still pronounced love) and insist that that stands for light-oxygen-voltage, i don’t know, i start to wonder how many times you were beaten up on the playground.
#11 when saints go machine
what does that even mean? oh, this is the trend of putting incompatible ideas together in a sentence to form an oddly juxtaposed name to sound clever. i’m going to try . . . um, ‘dogs fretting for caburetors’. wow, this really isn’t hard.
#12 the boy least likely to
the boy least like to what? finish a sentence?
– – –
since nothing i say is going to change this downward trend of people giving their bands terrible names, i figured i’d just join the cause and help out. so here are 5 free names for any new indie artists out there. these were generated by glancing at my bookshelf for 15 seconds and randomly smashing observed words together. enjoy!
#1. oblivious to the spine
#2. essex, the rationalists
#3. Q 4 Threedom
#4. complete stories of mao
#5. carl eating zorro