Thursday, July 3, 2008

Happy Birthday, America!

Been busy @ work the last few days, and will be busy drinking and playing whiffle ball tomorrow, just as our forefathers envisioned... In the mean time, here's a weak post I wrote a few days ago and just hadn't had the time or desire to put up... I figure, I wasted half an hour writing it, I might as well put it online for others to mock and cackle at...

Yes, I know my participle is dangling...

Name That Band

Welcome to July! It’s a whole new month here at The Dance, a month where your friendly webierhood blogger will get a little bit older, and take a nice long vacation to the lands of Sin City and... someplace else... Wine Country may be out of the question since it's all on fire and stuff... Maybe Arizona instead, and a month that we’ll kick off with a brand new kind of post…

If you’ve read a good number of entries on this site, you’re probably thinking to yourself ‘Man, this OCKerouac guy doesn’t seem to put ANY thought or effort into the stuff he writes… He pretty much just craps his soul all over his keyboard and then expects me to read it… What a loser!’ The thing is, you’re only kind of right… Sure, I am kind of a loser, no complaints there, but past that, I actually do put in at least a minimum of research into my ramblings from sources as varied as IMDB and Wikipedia… I KNOW! How can one man do so much in so little time? I really am quite amazing, I assure you... Occasionally, I’ll even visit a band’s official website, though often this leads to purchasing music, which leads to trouble with a capital T and that rhymes with ‘B’ and that stands for Broke…

My mostly mindless and completely worthless point is that I typically DO put more effort into a post than one would expect from the finished product… I’m not looking for sympathy, or acknowledgement, I’m just making a point to show how THIS post will differ from MOST posts… Namely, this post is nothing more than my own sick and twisted inner workings… It’s not based on a movie, or an album, or something I read someplace that made me do a thing that was kind of like this one time that I thought I should write about or anything… It’s just me… Mad, lazy, looking for an excuse to drop a post me… Not because I thought you’d be interested, but really because I don’t feel like doing a music or movie review…

Instead, I’ll spill my own personal feelings about picking the perfect band name…

So, you want to be a Rock and Roll Star, well listen now to what I say… Oh, wait… Never-mind-all-that-now… So you’ve got yourself a band of wily misfits, and you all make noises that someone else may want to purchase and listen to that you like to call music… Alright then, answer yourself THIS burning question, what do you CALL yourselves?

Still not set on the perfect band name? Still trying to figure out what would look the coolest on an overpriced low quality concert tee? Well fret no longer my friend, keep on reading because I have some sure fire ways to pick a band name that will make all the ladies and gents scream for more of your sweet, soulful sounds…

Option #1: The Mad Libs band name generator…

If you were alive in the 80’s, you’re probably familiar with Mad Libs… If you were involved in any long distance car trip in the 80’s you’re DEFINITELY familiar with Mad Libs… If you were not yet born, or barely cognizant in the 80’s, then you’re making me feel old, but I’ll be pleased to explain… The elders can feel free to listen in as well, just in case you’ve murdered some brain cells in the last 20 years…

So the fine folks at Mad Libs would put together a funny little story, and remove key words prior to printing them up in their book… They would then prompt you with a type of speech to drop in the blank spaces. Verb, adverb, adjective, noun, person’s name, famous place, etc. etc. etc… After you’d pick all your special new words, you’d read your story aloud, and all in the room would chuckle mightily. That was the play anyway, but most of the time you’d end up with a story about a smelly poo making smelly poo with poo Empire State poos, mostly because Mad Libs were typically enjoys from the age range of 8 to 12, the prime age for use of the word poo.

Now that we’re older, and allegedly wiser, all that obsession with bodily functions and parts of speech wasn’t a complete loss, because you can use the Mad Libs formula to build yourself the perfect band name! Just fill in the blanks with your much more adult, expanded vocabulary…


Examples include:
The Jumping Breath Mints
The Bleeding Tailpipes
The Weeping Housekeepers
The Humping Reptiles

Real World Success Story:
The Screaming Trees

Rather not be a ‘The’ band? Try:

Examples Include:
Punch Minnesota
Jaunty Lincoln
Dance Chrysler
Merry Eskimo

Real World Success Story:
I don’t have one… It COULD be YOU!!

Option #2 Random Crossword Answers

If you’re like me, you enjoy a good crossword. You also have no musical talent whatsoever and should NOT, I repeat, NOT be a member of a band. This is a dream that is long ready to die, just give it up already. However, if you’re not like me, but know still enjoy a good crossword puzzle, or know someone who does, a completed crossword can by your window to band name bliss. Simply pick two random crossword answers and slap them together. Add a ‘The’ if you want, or don’t, it’s up to you. They’re not ALL winners, but a whole lot of them are.

Examples (From my July 1st Crossword-a-Day calendar, Happy Canada Day by the way…):
Gas Orchestra
Bear Opera
Nutcracker Bake
(For the Spanish radio crowd) Agua Fumar
Oboe Bang

You can see just from those 5 examples there’s a myriad of combinations that would look great emblazoned over the words ‘World Tour’

Real Life Success Story (I can only assume):
Afgan Whigs

Option #3: You’re a REAL artist, and you’ve got something to SAY!

Afraid that picking your name randomly from a crossword, or playing Mad Libs until you’ve spotted a winner won’t accurately express the world’s evils that you and your band mates wish to combat through the awesome power of rock? No worries, you can still play along. Just get yourself the latest copy of Soldier of Fortune and start leafing through for the names of military equipment…

M1A1 (As in the tank)
Heat Seeking Missile
Smith & Wesson (Would be especially fitting if your names happen to be Smith and Wesson…)

Real Life Success Stories (Obviously):

Feel free to set out on your own and blaze new trails of band naming glory, all I ask in return is front row tickets to Dance Chrysler at the Hollywood Bowl…


Gary Hoggatt said...

There's also the Montyh Python association chain.

Dead Goblins -> Red Goblins -> Lead Goblins -> Lead Hobgoblins -> Hungry, Hungry Hobgoblins

...and so forth.

Ryan said...

I'm just thinking of verbs or adjectives, then adding them to things in my immediate surroundings.

Spitting Notebook
Fogged-Up Particleboard
Blow Shredder
Swallowed Gift Certificate
Sleeping Calendar

I could SWEAR I saw Sleeping Calendar open for Chris Isaak once.

OCKerouac said...

Creepy ain't it... Makes you wonder how bands like 'No Use for a Name' happen... There's ALWAYS use for a name...

CRwM said...

I miss the old school show biz charm of the "Blank and the Blanks" construction: from the classic band leader and his band form - Bob Wills and His Texas Playboys - to the more modern "call out the frontman" form - Jason and the Scorchers, Elvis Costello and the Attractions, James Chance and the Contortions, etc.

It says, "We're entertainers and we're here to entertain the crap out of you." It's all pro.

Certainly the name form isn't so powerful that it can save a mediocre pub band from fading after a few 80s hits - I'm looking at you Huey Lewis and the News.

Still, it is remarkably flexible. You can even get vaguely dadaist with it, like ? and the Mysterians.

OCKerouac said...

CRwM- Correct you are. The classic Blank and the Blanks is always an acceptable format that seems to have gone by the wayside in recent years. This form is especially entertaining when the first 'Blank' is NOT the lead singer, see Mike and the Mechanics...