The bands listed below chose names that are what we in the business technically call "terrible." It doesn't mean the band is terrible, although sometimes that is also true. Some of the names are so common to us now that we simply accept the awfulness. I'm not quite sure The Beatles is a great name. But at this point it sounds inevitable. This may, too, be a topic to which we return, since I had so many leftover it seems a shame to leave them without notice.
Be sure to jot down your personal favorite band names to hate in the space so generously supplied to you in the space below by your friends here at Y! Music. Extra points to those of you who say something nice about me and recommend me for a big, fat raise. Folks like graTTITUDE, DUDE and Karen are sure to say something nice (I think). Maybe you should, too.
25) Editors: What's wrong with this name you ask? Look at it. The guy who "reads" (censors and takes the good parts out of) this blog doesn't even actually read this thing. His kids do it and it still sounds as dumb as when I started. Good help isn't hard to find. It's impossible to find.
24) Matt Pond, PA: I like Matt Pond and his revolving group of musicians. But that PA at the end makes it sound like he's running some boring camp for kids whose parents don't want them around all summer. Or it sounds like some place my aunt without the TV might live.
23) Aerosmith: Sure, now everyone knows their name, but back in the mid-1970s, rock magazines would often refer to the band as Arrowsmith. Great, just what I want: a belt buckle that says Arrowsmith. If the cheesy rip-off marketing people can't get it right, how are radio DJs and your parents supposed to?
22) American Music Club: One of my all-time favorite bands. But try convincing other people that they have to check out a band that sounds like one of those mail-order clubs where you buy six albums for a penny and then have to buy another 10 at regular club prices. They wonder why they were unsuccessful?
21) Ned's Atomic Dustbin: I don't know who Ned is and I'm even less interested in his Atomic Dustbin, which sounds like one of those ideas people get when they're completely high and think everything means something. It doesn't.
20) The Flamin' Groovies: "Shake Some Action" is a great tune. But any band with "Groovies" in the title, whether it's referring to something being "groovy" or the grooves of a record doesn't work for me.
19) The Flying Burrito Brothers: One of country-rock's most important bands sounds like an awful Mexican Food Brother Act. This appeals to whom?
18) The Gilded Palace of Sin: A very cool modern death-blues and death-country band on former Magazine / Bad Seed Barry Adamson's label name themselves after the first Flying Burrito Brothers album, meaning that anytime you websearch them, you can't find them and everyone thinks you're talking about an album and not a band.
17) Tony! Toni! Tone!: Thankfully, the group is no longer popular. But when they were, writers, editors (well editors' kids) and proofreaders all had to keep double-checking to see what order the different forms of "Tony" were supposed to be in. Heaven forbid you mix it up. Or leave off the exclamation point. What kind of idiot would use excessive exclamation points????
16) Loudon Wainwright III: There's a reason why people have stage names. I suppose Loudon thought he was cashing in on the Thurston Howell III craze by sporting his rich, aristocratic background. His father was a famous journalist. Does this mean journalists once made a ton of money? Loudon even wrote a song complaining how people would spell his name wrong on the marquee outside a club. It might have helped, Loudo, if you had changed your name to Johnny Rain or something people know HOW to spell.
15) Neutral Milk Hotel: Now, this is another one of those stoned ideas where you mush a bunch of words together. Olivia Tremor Control is fine. Neutral Milk Hotel is stupid. See the difference????
14) The La's: This bothers me because they clearly should be called The Las, since they mean to be plural and not possessive. They put the apostrophe in there because otherwise it looks like they're trying to make a word out of Las with no Vegas. They should've just started over and gotten a better name.
13) Dave Matthews Band: Dave gets to stand in for Steve Miller, Pat Travers and everyone else who ever named their band after them. It must suck to be the bass player. Who agrees to start a band with a guy who insists his name is in front? It's one thing if Bono decides to form a new band. If you're nobody, you're riding on his coattails. But if you meet up with some dude in a bar named Dave Matthews and he says he's naming the band after him, you tell him, only if you can trademark it and sell it back to him.
12) Crosby, Stills, Nash And Young: This goes for Carney-Hild-Kramer, French, Frith, Kaiser and Thompson, Simon & Garfunkel and anyone else who dares put all their last names together to form a group. You're a band, not a law firm.
11) Blink-182: Many groups have added numbers to their band and I'm sure the 182 stands for something deeply profound. (For the record, Mother 13 are my favorite numeric band). But I don't care any more than I want to learn what a Seven Mary Three is or a Matchbox Twenty.
10) Was (Not Was): This is useless. I love parenthetical rock (but not parenthetical band names). There's a (big) difference.
9) Godspeed You! Black Emperor: Look at where they put the exclamation point! It says they took their name from a Japanese documentary, so I can't blame all the bad punctuation on their Canadian-ness. And I suppose it's a better name than calling yourselves Weekend! at Bernie's 2. But not by much.
8) Dokken: If you insist on naming your group after yourself, you need to have a better last name than Dokken.
7) Gorky's Zygotic Mynci: Can a band name you can't spell or make sense of become wildly popular? Apparently not.
6) Songs: Ohia: Jason Molina is one of my favorite songwriters, but he's got the worst ideas for band names. After this colon-blessed mess (Ohia?), he eventually settled on The Magnolia Electric Co. Yes, Jason, just what people want. A band that sounds like a utility company. Why not really annoy your audience and name yourself after a cable company!
5) The Wild Tchoupitoulas: I didn't even bother to type this name out. I cut and pasted it in because I KNEW I would never spell it correctly. The idea of a name is to make it EASIER for people to remember you not harder.
4) ...And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead: On that note, what could be easier to remember than a useless sentence fragment? I'm just relieved it didn't catch on. Can you imagine? ...And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead will be touring with ...But I Thought You Said I Could Go, Mom and ...With Salt In Their Eyes, They Thought They Became Purer, But They Didn't at select clubs throughout the region. Duh!
3) The Band: Was the idea to catch all those fans of "generic rock" who didn't want to pay full price for the brand-name groups?
2) The The: I guess it's better than A A? Though that would put them at the beginning of every music guide, just like the folks over at A A A A A A Plumbing and A A A A A A A Electric and A A A A A A A Excavating. As The The, no one knows what you're talking about and you can't websearch them.
1) Umphrey's McGee: These guys have no right to be popular with this name. For the same reason, bands with the names Closed For Repairs and Free Drinks are doomed to fail. The name sounds like an Irish dive bar. If you saw an ad that said Umphrey's McGee will be performing at The Chance, wouldn't you think it was the newspaper that got it mixed up?